Alexander Technique

The ticking clock


Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can hear the clock ticking and sometimes not!

It happens to me a lot, I can sit in the same rooms with the same clock, sometimes it ticks sometimes not, tick tick.

This is absolutely nothing to do with the clock, it is all to do with me! It happened this morning, I was texting a friend, we were both grumpy, they suggested why not do a Byron Katie? This is a method Byron created to turn the conversation around and check if it’s still true. If you want to know more there will be something out there on the internet.

The turnaround worked and suddenly the clock ticked!

I’d got out of my grumpiness instantly and the clocked ticked and kept ticking. Thank goodness I felt better, back in balance and the quiet presence I really like.

My interpretation to all this is that when your grumpy or in pain or stressed or anxious, to keep surviving and living everything is done using too much tension, I assume this includes hearing as when I’m present the clock ticks.

When was the last time you heard the clock tick, heard birdsong, heard the sounds of the forest? Give yourself time to listen, give yourself time to be present, give yourself time to be here.

The silly thing with your time is that it only exists in a moment, a moment you can’t hold on to, a moment you can’t wait for, a moment that is here now; the best moment you will ever have.

This is a message to you and equally to me, STOP waiting for the right moment because it is now!

Enjoy the tick of the clock❤️

Alexander Technique

How’s your toes?


We all constantly engage with people even thought we don’t notice it, for example having an emotional response when watching a movie, a play or listening to music; emotions rise, and you may have tears, or you may fight your hardest to stop your tears. This is the communication I mean.

Have you ever walked into a room; you can feel something has just happened; you can feel the mood of the room. Sometimes this feeling is not very nice or equally it may feel buoyant and good.

These senses are all communications, many of you have desensitised yourself to these senses not by choice but what through life’s stresses and strains.

During my Alexander Technique Teacher training I’ve learnt and am still learning is to strip back the effects of life’s stresses and strains so that I can regain my sensitivity to our numerous forms of communication so that I can accept your communications when you wish to converse. Your wish is ever so important, firstly for yourself; having the knowledge that I’m not prying and secondly for me, it’ll be shear overload for me if I accept everyone’s communications.

As an Alexander Technique teacher, I need this sensitivity to your communications, even to those as yet undefined methods of communication. This communication is enhanced by being aware of myself and my environment in each and every moment; a quiet listening. And equally a quiet talking, Listening implies hearing sounds, what I’m writing is not about just sounds but all the ways you are communicating, equally talking is not just about making verbal sound but all the ways I can communicate to you that you will receive information. We are constantly sending and receiving non-verbal information to each other, a smile, a connection eye to eye, the way you respond physically to stimuli, your response to touch. Alexander Technique Teachers do a lot of touch, normally somewhere on your back, it’s the easiest way to sense your kinaesthetic activity and also to allow you to get to notice your own kinaesthetic self.

There will be most likely a conversation to stimulate you to notice something. Perhaps you can experiment now;

“Do you notice what you are doing with your toes whilst reading this blog?”

Perhaps you stopped reading to wiggly your toes, that’s absolutely fine, now can you notice your toes, without wiggling them and continue reading? Does your sensation of yourself increase by this simple activity?

I’d love to read your comments.

Perhaps today, when you remember, notice your toes or any other part of your body you want. Does your awareness spread?

You are now in conversation with yourself.

Have fun experimenting.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique

What’s your quality of contact?


The quality of contact with others is very important and if you contact without thought things will generally go wrong. This is not just about touch, it’s all forms of contact.

Following on from my previous post https://alexanderintheforest.co.uk/2019/10/28/why-do-i-keep-tripping-myself-up/ I mentioned non-doing, you may be wondering what that is.

It was something that was impossible for me to discover then one day someone said the right words to me and there I was with non-doing hands. It’s an exquisite place to be, neither doing too much nor doing too little, balancing on a knife edge in non-doing space.

I’m having difficulty in explaining this, as it is a non-verbal space hence my difficulty. Perhaps an example is when you master riding a push bike and can cycle without holding the handles, you are at one with your bike and the space and ground around you.

Non-doing is a quality of contact, it not just touch, it is all ways, speech, visual, energetic contact and the contacts I don’t know or understand. Years ago when we only had landlines without caller display, yes they did exist once. When my mother phoned I knew it was her before the phone rang, I picked the phone up and said “Hi Mum”, I was always right, she did the same to me when I phoned. So I assume contact can come in many forms.

From my understanding and experience non-doing isn’t available unless your in balance with yourself. An awareness of where I am physically, allowing my reflexes respond to gravity whilst I sit here writing, not trying to balance myself another way. An awareness of the room I’m in and my dogs enjoying the quiet energy that is allowed to manifest from my awareness. Knowing that I only have a single moment to enjoy and this is this one, now it has gone and now can enjoy the this one, these moments never stop and never stay.

Of course you need to plan and dream of things else you’ll be frozen by the moment, though it is beautiful to be permanently in the moment, it’s not productive, it doesn’t buy you food or pay the mortgage.

Being in the moment in activity with the awareness of yourself and the environment non-doing naturally becomes available, it cannot be done else that would be doing!

If you are intrigued and want to experience this, then perhaps contact me or another Alexander Technique Teacher.

I worked with someone recently and they said this awareness is like smoking dope, everything becomes extremely lucid, calm and beautiful.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique

Why do I keep tripping myself up!


I’m writing my body of knowledge of what I understand the Alexander Technique means to me. I’m deliberately not going to write in this blog using the accepted principles and concept of the Alexander technique as I feel you will leave at the end of this sentence: I’ll put them in my own words!

I plan to use my body of knowledge as the backbone to my teaching, adding to it as and when discovery something.

Today’s topic my be a little deep for some, the intention of the topic is on the lines of “why do I keep tripping myself up!”.

My understanding is that we model from past experiences, good or bad, onto an activity we are about to perform, the quality of the performance depends on past experiences. I think that is generally true however you can learn how not accept past these marring past experiences onto your activities. This is one aspect that the Alexander Technique can help with.

The Alexander Technique works by being indirect to the issue you are having. Meeting an issue directly you will no doubt do something else to work around the issue and from my experience make if more complex and more difficult to manage. This is true for businesses and you personally.

Going indirectly you have the opportunity to look at the issue from the outside, you’re not stuck in issue fighting to resolve it. Working indirectly is good to a point, you might see the resolution to the issue, then jump in and fix the issue. Fixing makes it more complex, it may work for a while however will fail eventually.

If you add a non-judgmental demeanour to viewing indirectly, a deeper knowledge of the issue can be seen, however this is not quite enough to stop tripping up. Most people can get to this quality of demeanour, the next level takes some practice, hundred of hours of practice. You can shortcut the practice by engaging with an Alexander Technique Teacher who will help you.

At a certain point during an activity you will decide, you may not notice the decision as it may be subconscious, to get on with the activity and finish it, At this point past experiences will be called to complete the activity. You will revert to habit. Fear may raise its head, a tightening in your stomach perhaps, you wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing, it wasn’t my plan to behave like this, what’s going on, I’m out of control!

What the Alexander Technique Teacher will teach you initially is to notice the critical point, firstly you might not be able to stop yourself from continuing but you can notice the critical point. Then it’s time for practice, noticing the critical point, then continuing or stopping what you plan to do. This takes practice and even more practice. What the Alexander Technique Teacher give you is their skill to notice your critical point and more importantly a non-doing support for you to experiment with your activity.

I not aware of any teaching, coaching or modality ( I’d like to know if this is true) that provides this type of deep understanding of why you do particular things in a particular way, and then help you change your way if your choosen way doesn’t met your intention.

How to get things right without trying too hard.
Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, direction

Non-thinking thinking


Again I’ve not been writing, this time it has been deliberate, I needed time to reflect and also to great some inspiration from somewhere or someone. Last week they arrived at the same time.

I was at the ATI (Alexander Technique International) conference in Ennis in Ireland and Megan Macedo presented for a couple of hours, she’s the story writer.

I’ve been stuck in not writing as I don’t want to write about my troubles and how the Alexander Technique helped me in that particular trouble, the Alexander Technique did, that’s not my problem, I was bored of writing the same sort of thing.

My problem was what to write instead?

The Alexander Technique works for all; it raises your consciousness and awareness in how you move and life your life. Some people have problems raising their consciousness and awareness without loving support. I’ll put my hand up to this.

The Alexander Technique is seen as something to do with posture, a good straight back, sorting lower back pain out; physical sort of stuff. The secret it isn’t any of that stuff, the side effects are those things. The Alexander Technique is about thinking, non- thinking thinking.

Confused, let me explain.

To do something, like writing this blog, there is a series of thoughts I have to generate to build this sentence and then turn this sentence into keystrokes to make it visible on my screen.

Writing this blog starts way before I get to my keyboard, I need an intention to write using my learnt skills to form sentences in English and manual skills to touch the correct keys. There is also emotions that generate intention, in the past I wouldn’t be writing as my emotions would be saying NO WAY! I’ve agreed to differ with that emotion that I’m rubbish at writing, and even more rubbish at writing from the heart, the emotion hasn’t gone, i choose not to engage with it. This week I stood and recited in front of an audience, again I choose not to engage with the emotion that was saying I’ll be rubbish at that. Emotions get empowered by other people agreeing with them, again I can choose not to engage with their comments. The crux of the Alexander Technique is that you can empower your power of choice.

You may be thinking what is choice to do with non-thinking thinking.

There is a point of balance with everything, thinking included, in fact thinking is the heart of our balance. If we try we over balance our thinking and force something to happen you may get away with it in the short term but it won’t be your best option.

There’s a sweet spot in our balance where no effort is required, just like balancing a fork across your finger, too much one way our another and the fork will fall off.

Emotions are the same, there need to be some energy in the emotion but not to much, enough energy with start the flow of emotion > feeling > thought > then into the conscious realm > behaviour > activity. If an inappropriate emotion starts this flow, the behaviour and activity may well be inappropriate or sub optimal.

So how do you stop your emotions running away with you?

From the Alexander Technique view, it is about the teacher being in balance observing in a non-doing non-judgmental way on what you are doing, noticing the critical point when your activity starts to go awry, pause at this moment and work out an alternative indirect way to achieve the activity.

These Alexander skills don’t come cheap, it is many hundreds of hours of practice, more like several thousand hours of practice to develop the skill to notice and understand what is noticed, learning how to be fully aware of yourself and what’s happening around you in each moment are skills needed to help others to develop their consciousness and ability to choose.

Don’t underestimate the skills of an Alexander Technique teacher, that may appear to the quiet and keep to themselves, that is because they respect your space and energy and will not trespass across your boundaries. This makes it very difficult as we can see your pain and troubles, your hubristic way hiding your difficulties. Why not be brave and discover what we have to offer.

Alexander Technique

The criticism is all mine


Thank you for contacting me today, firstly for reading my blog and also telling me that I have some typos.
I’m really pleased that people take time to read and I’m especially pleased that I’m told that I’ve got a few typos.

I’m genuinely really pleased to be told I’ve got typos but deep in my gut I get the bad old feeling that I’ve got it wrong again! I’m not good enough, I’m a failure, you probably sometimes have these feelings yourself.

I know and trust the person who contacted, their intent wasn’t to criticise.

The criticism is ALL mine.

Sometime in my childhood someone criticised me about something I did, the feeling of hopelessness and failure with my tightened gut developed from then and is still here today. One of my habits is to get on with a task and then fire and forget, hoping that is is good enough.

Today I got told I have typos! My self-criticism rose, the difference now is that I will engage and resolve the problem, in the past I’d spend time rationalising the problem, a good dose of procrastination and work out why it wasn’t my fault: lack of education, never good at grammar, etc.

Blaming others for my mistake.

I’ve stopped blaming, this change came about through my Alexander Technique training; a mix of self-acceptance, self-awareness, learning to be present and throughly enjoying the here and now; you should try it sometime as it will change your life for the good. With these skills life becomes easier and FANTASTIC, however not every day is fantastic, there are bad days and good days, and there are days I drift into old habits and fire and forget when I’ve written a blog. Today was a good reminder old habits linger, waiting to pounce when an eye is taken off the ball.

By the way this is my 201st blog about the Alexander Technique, there must be something in it for me for me to keep on writing.

Why not find a teacher or even me and discover why I keep writing about the Alexander Technique.

Patterns in the sand
Alexander Technique

Is the Alexander Technique for everyone?


Of course I would say yes, the Alexander Technique has helped me immensely, I manage asthma without drugs, my depression and anxiety is much reduced and when they flare up I have the tools to snip them in the bud. Asthma, depression and anxiety are now managed with the tools I’ve learnt through the Alexander Technique, so go course the Alexander Technique is for everyone.

I do have a ‘but’.

If you believe that the world, your society, your family is responsible for your behaviours, whether good or bad behaviours then perhaps the Alexander Technique isn’t for you.

If you believe you have a right to an easy life and other must support your dream, then perhaps the Alexander Technique isn’t for you.

If you discover these dreams and believes don’t work for you anymore and want to discover something different then the Alexander Technique could be for you.

Learning to increase your awareness of yourself and your surroundings isn’t hard to learn however if your ego thinks otherwise it is extremely hard to learn as your ego will stop you. Egos are strange things, they just want to be in control and keep on doing the same other thing whether it is good or bad for you.

Egos like to be in charge.

What the Alexander Technique will teach you is that you have choices, one action may be the egos way however you have more choices that may lead to other actions. These other actions will probably be better than the good old ego way.

From my self discovery, asthma, depression and anxiety were my ego’s way to ‘help’ me cope with life. This helped years ago: I got breathless, then I didn’t need to go the school and got lots of love from my mother. What a fantastic plan for a child, lots of love and skived from school.

A win win situation.

This successful plan then morphed in to other uses, mostly successfully, I didn’t do what I didn’t want to do. Win win again.

This win win plan morphed into something horrible.

I could leave my house without using my asthma pump at the door and a few more to get to the car.

My life stopped.

I’ve thought about this for a long time, distilling my actions down to a simple recipe; I don’t want to do something, seek approval and get lots of love from the person you love, repeat when desired.

I was exercising my right to have an easy life and relying on the support of others. This is OK as child but as an adult!

What the Alexander Technique has taught me is the fundamental rule that I must first love myself before I can love anyone or anything else. As with learning anything new, the route to understanding is a contorted twisted maze of dead ends that must be visited before you can discover the centre of the truth. Then you can use all the dead ends to mix with the truth to have your own wisdom of what love is.

If you want to let go of your childish ways then perhaps the Alexander Technique is a way to discovery yourself. As Rudyard Kipling wrote –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

‘If’ Rudyard Kipling
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46473/if—
Alexander Technique

What is the Alexander Technique?


I’ve written what it is many times, yesterday I explained that it is teaching co-ordination, co-ordination of the whole human entity with all its boundaries, all the boundaries you care to know or think about and some you didn’t know existed.

It’s the co-ordination that you wish you can have so that you can be better at whatever you aspire to be.

Many of us spend many years and a lot of money to learn how to do something, perhaps your job, vocation, or you hobby. The list is endless; sports, musician, actor, poet, writer, doctor, nurse, dentist, lecturer, decorator, chef, hula hoop maker… . The list is endless, we are all trained in some activity that would benefit with better co-ordination.

This improved co-ordination is what the Alexander Technique teaches.

Improving your co-ordination by teaching you how to be in balance with whatever you want to do and whomever you want to communicate or interact with.

The art is noticing how you are reacting instead of being in autopilot. Taking more control of your reactions your performance will improve.

The by-products of improved co-ordination are that pain will soften and may eventually disappear, you will be happier, there will be more time in your day.

You will feel great!

Why not give it a try, if you don’t like feeling free, almost weightless, brighter and happier this is not for you but then again you will never know until you try it. Unfortunately words can’t describe the freedom and aliveness that being in co-ordination brings.

Alexander Technique, anxiety, attention, breathing, depression, habit, happiness, intention

Who’s Bonkers?


I’ve been working with a couple of therapists over the past few weeks, offering them a series of 6 free Alexander Technique sessions, another therapist is joining next week the 6 free sessions, The objective of these sessions is firstly for me to practice on willing volunteers who wouldn’t normally have Alexander sessions, and also to demonstrate to them through their experience what the Alexander Technique is. Part of the deal is to produce 7 short videos for them to reflect back on their changes and also for myself to use to for promotion of myself and the Alexander Technique.

I’ve never quite worked out what the definitive definition of the Alexander Technique is, my definitions change as quick as the clouds pass over me. What I do know is that I feel lighter, freer and more alive when I apply my Alexander thinking.

I let my dogs be close by, normally near my feet, if my client is content. My dogs seem to love the session, they are a mirror of the energy in my studio. They are all busy when the session starts and very soon rather chilled; all on their backs chilling.

Not quite so chilled but having fun

Helping others to raise their own awareness is key for a successful Alexander session, I’ve got several methods to help; firstly by talking about what they notice in the room and the spectacular view I have from my studio. Noticing is important, noticing naturally brings awareness and quiet, instead of being busy about the future and or the past. Awareness of your environment brings about a change in quality of your use with a wonderful calmness.

This awareness itself is fantastic but its only cracking open the door very slightly; my goal is to introduce total awareness whilst in activity, this is the power of the Alexander Technique.

The difficulty with total awareness is that your habits will be resistant to what you are being taught; we have safety in our habits that protect us from feeling different even if these habits are not so good for us.

We are all bonkers!

Letting habits go is the key to change however you and I have many devious ways of maintaining out habits even if they aren’t helpful. we build habits to protect ourselves then hold onto them and use them even when they are no longer needed.

We are all bonkers!

There are several ways to attempt to change habits:

  • deep meaningful conversations with others or yourself
  • getting fit
  • being busy
  • getting help from others

I guess you have all used one or all of these methods, I have, some have helped but generally I slowly gravitated back to my old habits.

I work differently, you will have fun, you will laugh, you will feel free, you will feel light, you will be buzzing with life.

These feeling will last for sometime, with one session you will discover what is available to you but it will fade as you try to recreate the feelings. With further sessions you will increasingly discover what is needed to maintain your freedom and aliveness that allows your old habits fade.

I’ll be posting these short weekly videos once my clients have finished, then they will be able to tell you how it was for them.

If you want to know how they got on, please follow me on WordPress or on social media.

Alexander Technique

Asthma and how the Alexander Technique helped me


Interesting what I was thinking about 4 years ago. I now think the asthma I had was nothing to do with fight or flight but of the reptilian freeze response we all all have when things get really, really bad. I just couldn’t move out of fear. Horrible times!

Alexander in the Forest

In 1995 I had a very bad year, some of the most stressful events in my life appeared at once, then I got the flu – asthma struck me with a huge bang.

I could only walk a few yards before I needed to stop to get my breath back, it was just horrible, I seemed to be permanently using my inhaler. On one event I was admitted to hospital, the paramedic prepared me for a drip in the ambulance, I thought I had some medicine through the drip and instantly recovered.

I thought, asthma is psychological? A needle in my hand connected to nothing and the symptoms stop!
I’d neverreally thought whatasthma was, here is a definition
•a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.
•from Greekasthma…

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