I’m Doing Everything I Can To Sabotage Myself

I’ve launched an all-out war on my well-being.

My first assault was a video last week (now taken off-line) about how I use whips and chains to prompt my pupils to pay proper attention to their primary control.

On Torah Talk last night, Luke says: “I was reading Bava Kamma the other day when I should’ve been davening (praying), and I learned about something called visual trespass. I can look out from my window and a few buildings over, I can look in the apartment window of this couple. There’s a man there and there’s a woman there. Sometimes I look up from my Torah studies and I look at them and then I remember what I studied in Bava Kamma, that there’s such a thing as visual trespass. You’re trespassing on someone’s privacy if you’re watching them in private.”

Rabbi Rabbs: “That’s right.”

Luke: “It makes me think I’m committing a sin.”

Rabbi: “It’s a form of stealing. Jews are supposed to be tznious (modest). Not just in showing, but you shouldn’t be searching for it.”

Luke: “So is it bad that I have a telescope set up in my room?”

Rabbi: “What do you think?”

Luke: “I think I should get myself to a 12-step meeting soon.”

“I haven’t been in about three months. I was going to go Sunday afternoon but I wanted to see the second half of the Denver-New England game.”

Rabbi: “What’s going on with your career?”

Luke: “I’m trying to learn responsibility and becoming part of a community of Alexander teachers. It’s supposed to be collegial. We’re not supposed to disparage each other publicly.”

Rabbi: “That must be a real test for you.”

Luke: “I want to make these wacky videos where I pull out my whips and chains and say this is how I teach Alexander Technique.”

Rabbi: “What is that about?”

Luke: “Some people in the Alexander community said it wasn’t funny so I took it down.”

Rabbi: “Good. Then I didn’t have to tell you. What were you thinking?”

Luke: “I thought it was funny.”

Rabbi: “Dude, you’re starting a business. You’re supposed to be professional and legitimate and it seems like you are doing everything you can to self-sabotage. I’m glad that other people told you that.

“It’s like day one on my own, the first thing I’m going to do…”

Luke: “Is to make an S-M video about the Alexander Technique.”

Rabbi: “Yeah, my first day as a professional business guy. This is my business. I just graduated. The first day, I’m going to put out a video that makes myself look like a total ass on the internet. This is going to be great. Come over to my place and I’ll give you whips and chains treatment.”

Luke: “That’s pretty much it.”

Rabbi: “Why can’t you just go straight?”

Luke: “I’m starting to think that that video wasn’t such a good idea. I got a little bit of flak for it.”

Rabbi: “I wasn’t even going to say anything. This guy’s on his own.”

Luke: “I’m trying to learn to be more professional but the wacky Luke just keeps coming out.”

“I don’t have any therapy for three weeks because of Christmas break so I really hope I don’t go off the rails.”

“Don’t repeat what the Lakewood Rav just wrote. Yeah, I did some wacky things in the past.”

“I’ve been sending out these email pitches about the Alexander Technique but I have had no response. I just have two students.”

The rabbi clears his throat. “I’ve been having throat problems.”

Luke: “Well, free your neck and think up.”

Rabbi: “Will that help my throat?”

Luke: “Yes.”

Rabbi: “Maybe people will see this show, see that you’re a little bit normal than you appear in your videos, and will be tempted to do it because Rabbi Rabbs gives his…”

Luke: “Hecsher.”

Rabbi: “I’ve let you work on my neck and we’ve put it on camera. If I let him, then you can too. Guys especially have nothing to fear.”

“You should give this guy a chance. You’re like a drug dealer. The first one’s free.”

Luke: “I’ll give a free consultation. Call me. Go to Alexander90210.com.”

Rabbi: “Anything else to say?”

Luke: “I hope I don’t keep self-sabotaging.”

Rabbi: “Folks, Levi is very legit. He’s on the up-and-up. He’s worked hard on this. How long were you in school?”

Luke: “Three years.”

Rabbi: “The guy is ready to go pro. If you want your necks…”

Luke: “Free your neck.”

Rabbi: “Have a good use”

Luke: “Of yourself. Move with poise and elegance.”

Rabbi: “And don’t compress. And think up and all this stuff, this is the guy to come to. I would go to this guy before anyone else for Alexander Technique. Just don’t look at his videos because he’ll do everything he can to sabotage himself.”

Jack* emails: “This is very common in new medical house staff, the only difference is that most of them don’t blog or make videos. It takes a long time, for some of us it never happens, to believe you actually ‘are’ what your degree says you are. At the beginning it is funny to be called “Dr” or be referred to as a someone who can help someone when just a few months ago one was just another student, hanging out with buddies on Thu night and cramming for exams. But one must avoid self-deprecating remarks and the like, because the faith in the practitioner is an important part of the healing process for the patient. The new practitioner learns to put a ‘professional face’ on prior to entering the patient’s room, until over time it becomes natural. The difference for you is that you have this internet persona which you will also have to undo if you wish to build a practice, since its not likely that many will agree to put their health in the hands of someone who jokes about sexual deviancy, etc, with regards to their practice. If I saw a line like “Guys especially have nothing to fear.” (Rabbi Hershel Rabbs Remer) on a site, I would call a different practioner, since why pay for a joker when one can have the real thing, like Lutz on your linked list who makes it sound natural that working with him will open new vistas in perception, etc. You will need to play the part, at least like an actor, in terms of patient interactions, until you’ve gained some field experience and the experience radiates naturally from the initial encounter.”

We discuss Judaism’s views on abortion. There are various opinions as to how Judaism views abortion. Some rabbis never permit it unless the mother’s life is at risk, while some permit it during the first 40 days of pregnancy even when there is no risk of death to the mother, but as long as there is risk that the child will cause emotional problems for her.

Luke: “Most of the Jewish girls that I’ve been with said that they’d just get rid of it because they didn’t want to be shackled to me. And every time they saw the kid, they’d remember me. And it was just way too emotionally traumatic for them.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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