How Long is a Piece of String?

I recently attended the annual Breakthroughs International Conference for the first time. The conference took place in Malaysia, but was online this year due to COVID-19. Since many of you may not be aware of this organization, let me explain. Breakthroughs International is the over-arching organization under which Brain Gym® International falls. 

If you follow my blog and/or are clients of ours, then you will know that here at Brain Fit Academy, we employ Brain Gym as one of our main modalities.

During this conference, a sad occurrence took place. A long-time Brain Gym International Faculty Member and founding member of Edu-K in New Zealand named Glenys Leadbeater R.N., passed away.

I didn’t know Glenys personally. I never met her- even virtually. But over the last six months or so, I have heard a lot about her and her legacy. Her name was mentioned numerous times in the Brain Gym in-depth course that I took. And then it came up again during my last class before becoming an instructor/consultant- the teacher practicum course.

On the first day of the conference, one of the presenters was none other than Glenys herself!

It was a recorded presentation and it was her presenting her journey through chemotherapy using Double Doodles. She documented the process through Double Doodle pictures that she created.

I watched- fascinated not only by her Double Doodle pictures, but also the strength and positivity she emulated. She told the story of her cancer and treatments matter-of-factly. While her presentation was playing, Glenys received a myriad of messages of love, kindness and support through the Zoom chat feature- even though she wasn’t well enough to be there live. It was truly a touching experience and I could literally feel the love coming from people all across the world for this woman that had been such an important part of the Brain Gym organization.

At the end of the conference (and I think somewhere in the middle too) we were told about something that Glenys would always say and it really stuck with me.

Apparently, when anyone would ask her how long something would take, or how long they needed to do a movement- or the like, Glenys would answer with a statement like this: “I don’t know? How long is a string?”

“How long is a string?” That was her answer. 

I love that answer. As a person who does this work (and I’m relatively knew to all of this compared to many others) I do often get asked the question about how long something will take, and my answer has typically been something like- it depends. And then I proceed to give them an explanation of different people, different needs, etc. 

But- “I don’t know- how long is a string?” is such a better answer.

This answer embodies what Brain Gym is all about. Noticing in your body. Feeling when something feels good to you (or doesn’t), knowing what you need, and sensing and understanding for yourself- when it is time to stop; and indeed, when it’s time to continue. Trusting your own innate intelligence and your own body. Trusting that you already know “how long the string is” you just may need someone to help you draw out that “knowing”.

“How long is a piece of string?”

It’s a phrase I will always remember. It’s a phrase that makes me feel closer to this woman whom I never met but feel like I know. It’s a phrase that helps me to see how much Glenys Leadbeater lived and breathed Brain Gym. 

To all my fellow Brain Gym Consultants reading this? Help your clients get to know and understand “how long their piece of string is”- in that week, in that day, in that moment. And I will do the same.

To clients of Brain Fit Academy? Well- you just might hear me answer your question with “I don’t know- how long is a piece of string?” And please know- Brain Fit will be there to help you find out.

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