I have a dream…an unavowed dream that is about to become avowed…
It is a dream that ca. US$300 a year per practitioner could buy Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners a professional organization that wouldn't respond to its members' requests for support in practice-building with veiled suggestions that real grown-ups don't expect their professional organization to support such trivial and grubby things.
A dream that we had something, well, like our beloved FGNA only…a little less disparaging of us.
But alas the latest issue of In Touch came today. I'm so sorry to say that what we have is like FGNA, only more so.
Mission statements are important things. At some point when I wasn't paying attention, the FGNA adopted a mission statement that reads:
Because the Feldenkrais Method® transforms people’s lives in deep and profound ways, freeing them to enact their avowed and unavowed dreams: It is the mission of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America, a membership organization, to act in stewardship of the legacy of Moshe Feldenkrais. (Mission Statement of FGNA, 2004)
That might be a nice mission statement for FEFNA, the Feldenkrais Educational Foundation of North America, whose membership is the public. But for the practitioners' member organization?
In Touch features a dreamy lead article gathering and sharing the fruit that such a confused mission statement could be expected to bear in an organization with a culture like ours, disparaging the very notion that the practitioners' professional organization should serve practitioners.
The analogy with IBM — yes that's it! Behind the member request that FGNA act as an organization serving practitioners is the selfish demand that FGNA turn out diet pills instead of doing that dream magic thing FGNA does so well! Diet pills to fill my personal bank account! Legacy of Moshe be damned.
The public encounters the method through practitioners. Practitioners look to their professional organization for support in practice building because small or non-existent practices mean two things at one and the same time: they aren't making a living and they aren't getting to share the magic they love with the public.
These two things, making a living and sharing the method, are not separate, and they certainly are not opposite.
If they were, why in the world would we have this whole apparatus of training programs and service marks and a Guild?