Alexander Technique

Boundaries and walls


Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries we want more boundaries, they could be walls, fences, border controls, there seems to be a worldly desire recently to keep what we have from others. Do these state boundaries scale down to our towns and cities, keeping others at bay, equally do we do it to ourselves, thoughts of we can’t do this and that, keeping this and that at bay. Is what we think and do constrained with own imaginary walls, fences and border controls?

What are these for, are they to keep the status quo inside and stopping new ideas coming in upsetting the status quo?

I know what my border controls are, they are for me to keep doing the same old thing out because of the fear of the past, I did it that way once, I was convinced it was the right way to do it, it wasn’t, if I keep trying it’ll work eventually, surely! This is stupid, I know it’s stupid but I keep on doing it, some things are so strong that keep on doing it is the only way. Sometimes I want to build a bigger stronger wall just out of the fear of what’s on the other side. I know it’s stupid but its the only way, isn’t it?

Some borders are the other way round, you want to get inside; the grass is greener over there, it seems to be better it I do … . Envy is just another border, something that you are pining for that is just out of your reach, you can see it but can’t get to it, you are convinced the streets are paved with gold, if only you could get there to see these streets.

For most things I can let my internalised borders melt away, some I have real difficultly with, some I don’t even know I have.

The borders I have some control over I can always climb over and take a look, take the rose tinted glasses off and take a real look. Pause and really look around.

Many years ago on my first trip to the USA, I discover the delights of sour cream and chive crisps, (chips in the USA), I hated cheese and onion crisps in the UK, I brought a packet back for my family to taste, I got home and they were discussing, they tasted just like cheese and onion crisps. Being in the USA I was living the dream of milk and honey, everything was great and tasted great, coming home reality hit, the crisps were just the same!

It was very grounding of me, the realisation that I made up beliefs and dreams that didn’t meet reality. I guess we all do this.
We live a dream of our own making, some dreams may be nightmares.
Some dreams are about wanting something but the wall won’t let you get to it. The wall is also part of your dreams, what would it be like without the wall? Would the need to dream about what you want disappear because it is so easy to get or would you build another wall to keep the dream of wanting going?
Trying and needing I find are ever so tiring, there is a more successful way to get what you’re trying for and that is not trying but allowing things to happen. Taking the wall down and allowing your dreams to manifest.

Sound stupid but it works, you may not get what you really wanted but something better will appear.
Recently I’ve been wanting, really wanting something, this blog has open-end my eyes about it, time to take the wall down.

This blog and nearly all my other blogs I don't know what I'm going to write about, I let my fingers do the typing with an open and free mind. I'm sometimes shocked what appears, as I am today!

I’ve been getting more and more uptight recently but I didn’t know why, I do now, now I can do or rather non-do without my wall and let it manifest in whatever way it happens – I feel ever so grounded and positive, thank you for reading.

If you want to know more about how I work, then please contact me.

Alexander Technique

No more reading between the lines!


I may have maligned the working class but I guess everyone who loses the trust of someone, loses trust in what that person says and then they read between the lines to ensure their own survival. Unfortunately the way our brains work we may well transpose the lack of trust onto somebody else that has what your brains think have similar attributes to the person we originally lost trust with. We do this all the time, it is part of out nature to ensure that we can survive. It is the immediate response to someone we meet for the first time, sometimes we utterly trust the person, sometimes we have no trust, our gut feeling tells us so.

As with everything we have choices, let your gut tell you who to like or not, your gut may well be telling the truth, or tell yourself that you have never met this person before and start with a clean slate. Start with trust, perhaps not fully open trust but enough trust to start a relationship, just because they have similar attributes to someone you didn’t trust doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust them. Let this person earn your trust, you can only do this with an open heart and an observing mind then your gut will settle. There is another important choice we all make and that is the choice between giving and withholding consent.

  • Giving or withholding your love
  • Giving or withholding your friendship
  • Giving or withholding your time
  • Giving or withholding your connection to others
  • Giving or withholding your touch
  • Giving and withholding consent to yourself

Choosing whether to give or withhold consent takes only a moment, it is just a thought, we even do it to ourselves many times a day; you may be on a diet and you walk down the sugar canyon to the checkout at your store, I guess your consent switches many times with all the temptations whilst you wait to pay. Let’s move on, there’s another blog about sugar, obesity and greed.

Giving and withholding consent sounds very simple to do; there is a warning. It is how you go about it, if you choose out of greed, vengefulness, revenge or to cause pain then you will be hurt others and yourselves, your negativity will flow, if you are doing it to yourself you need to rethink what you are doing.
If you are choosing your consent to help others even if it is out of love I’d suggest that will not help you in the long run, you will be giving too much and eventually wear yourself out.

The only healthy consent is choosing what gives you a healthy boundary between you, yourself and others. You are neither a pusher or grabber or observer in what ever relationship you have. Of course you will tend towards pusher, grabber, observer continually changing in all your relationships. What I ask is for you to notice which one you are in a moment of your choosing, does it feel like a gut feeling, out of love, or is it your mind telling you want to do.
If either gut, heart or mind is overpowering the other two then I suggest that this choice is out of balance. You need to find another way that helps you with your healthy boundary with this relationship.
What helps me is pause for a moment, notice where I am, notice my feet on the floor, my bum on the chair and my arms on the desk as I write, I notice that I’m in balance with gravity, I’m in continual movement and my joints are free to move now. Now I have my attention to myself and surrounding.
I’m now open to giving consent, you may notice, I do, that my head, heart and gut come into sync and the quality of consent is contented. Hopefully that makes sense!

This pausing and resetting is ever so powerful, it give me clarity and finesse in what I give or withhold consent to, I can give or withhold trust in that moment or person because I know what I choose will maintain my health boundary.
With this, there are no more reading between the lines!


Alexander Technique

Reading between the lines


I’ve been pondering what my last blog was about, the crux of it is be myself, be my own self worth, be who I think I am, be comfortable with my thoughts, however being all that does sometimes offend others as they have differing views on life or they may be on a different scale of measurement to mine.

The trouble with words is that they, more than often, become a form of measurement, a judgement, a criticism and that can very easily have a negative context to them, if not negative they get on the scale of judgement. This may be my view on life, being brought up to keep quiet and don’t show my face else I might get noticed! Very working class!!!

Being brought up as working class, every word is important, what is more important are the words that aren’t spoken, the look in the eye, the wry smile, this conditioning spoils the beauty of the spoken and written language as the trust is lost in the words; I’m on guard looking for what is REALLY BEING said. I guess most of the time what is being said is what is said, there is no sinister undertow of intent. I’ve noticed when I’m not comfortable with myself I default back to me working class roots and I start reading between the lines.

This is a hateful thing to do, to the person who communicated to me but more importantly to myself. I wrote, I’m more important, as it is me that is doing it. I believe that this is an anxious response to a stimulus, I’m getting ready for something that most probably will never happen, it’s in my thoughts and no-one else’s.

I do all this in a blink of an eye and I can also choose not to do all this in a blink of an eye. The trick is to notice first, something we can do with some practice. If we don’t notice what we are doing we are pretty well stuck until something breaks; sometimes we are so stuck in our habitual mess we can’t see a way out, we think we may as well just continue in the mess and see what will happens, I’ll let you into a secret, it just gets messier and messier until something breaks.

Stopping and having time to notice may seem the completely wrong thing to do when there is an urge to do something, in fact do anything; flailing around in the hope something will stick that will help.

Luckily now, I notice pretty quickly and can choose to return to balance by being an observer of the words spoken or written without reading between the lines for some sinister subtext.


Alexander Technique

2018


The end of the year is very near, it’s just a couple of hours away; I’ve been thinking and reflecting on the past year. It’s been a busy year and it has flown by.

The end of the year is very near, it’s just a couple of hours away; I’ve been thinking and reflecting on the past year. It’s been a busy year and it has flown by.

I’ve written 39 blogs, there are a few blogs that may be worth reading again. The first comes to mind is when I visited the vets and I talked to a vet nurse about the Alexander Technique and demonstrated with her and the dogs in the kennels. This is better than smoking dope.

Another blog I liked was when I was in Bordeaux on a Alexander residential course. I discovered the essence of what the Alexander technique is; It’s all about love. I’ve just read it a gain, I was inspired through the work we did there.

In October I was feeling particularly anxious and could sleep so I wrote a blog exactly how I felt at 1AM. I find writing very cathartic, this blog helped me sleep that night.

And finally, yesterday I really enjoyed my coming out, this took a lot of courage and encouragement from a friend for me to write and then to post.

I hope you have enjoyed my blogs over this year and the previous years. I’ve enjoyed writing them and as I wrote above they are very cathartic for me, I’ve also come to learn that many have similar life issues and I’m not alone. I do encourage you to speak, write about the things that are holding you or find someone to help you, obviously I’m biased but find an Alexander Technique teacher to help you to rediscover your ease.

Let us all have a fantastic 2019. Please keep reading, you can always join my mailing list then you’ll get my blogs via email then you won’t miss any.

What was your favourite blog?

Alexander Technique

The Christmas Conundrum; the great expectation!


It’s early on Christmas morning, I wanted to sleep on but the dogs had another ideas or did they sense I’d woken. Anyway I’m up, the dogs have gone out and I’m drinking tea and writing far to early in the Christmas Day morning.

I’ve had many a Christmas morning, firstly with great expectations when I was a child, Santa was going to deliver the toy or game of the year, he didn’t, I got something else not quite what I wanted, I was disappointed but held a brave face; perhaps next year I’ll get what I want.

It never happened.

When I was with my children, they got the toys I’d always wanted and more. Christmas was fantastic but I still had an underlying feeling I didn’t get what I wanted.

Was I chasing a fantasy?

Divorce happened, my children and I separated by distance and financial cost, then parent alienation syndrome cut in and I was well and truly separated, I pined for the Christmas’s I had with my children. Nothing has helped with the sense of loss I’ve had for many years. Christmas has become the focus of my pain of loss. I’ve played games with myself by

  • ignoring Christmas,
  • having extravagant holidays at Christmas,
  • being thoroughly depressed at Christmas
  • being over generous at Christmas

Nothing seems to work, I’m still expecting the great expectation but I don’t know what it is. The separation from my children has made it even worse.

How can I not know what it is if I’m expecting it?

Christmas is a sad time of year as are their birthdays. Christmas is worse as everyone is ‘enjoying themselves’. Not everyone; there are many like me who brave the festive season with stomach churning pain. The pain is the loss and regret of others. This year I’m playing at ignoring Christmas, I’m too old for it, Christmas is for children, Christmas has gone commercialised.

Any excuse to ignore Christmas.

Reflecting on why Christmas is a great expectation. I think it all starts by being told to be good else Santa won’t bring you what you want. I was good and he didn’t, he broke his promise!

As a child my heart was broken every year because my great expectation didn’t materialise. In reality my parents could afford the latest and best presents for their children. Our society and commercialisation has a lot to answer for, I imagine there have been millions of children disappointed on Christmas morning and equally millions of parents spending beyond their means to satisfy the expectations of their children.

I have and you have been caught in the maelstrom of lost expectations that are the promises and dreams of Christmas’s past.

There is a simple present that everyone can have and give if they so wish.

That is love.

These great expectations are expecting something that is not love, the expectations are given in place of love, they are supposed to express love but they are only tangible gifts that can’t support love. They can support a memory of the time the gift is given. Love is in the person not the gift. There is a catch; to offer love you need to love yourself first, you need to be able to look yourself in a mirror without flinching away and tell yourself that you love the person you see in the mirrors reflection.

Loving yourself allows you to love others, then your gifts are tokens of your love.

Great expectations are an expectation of what others will provide you, they will never meet your expectations.

How about having no expectations from others and enjoy the shear joy of receiving their tokens of love.

This is what I’ve done this Christmas morning, it’s been wonderful with tears of joy, love and contentment with no great expectation.

Have a wonderful Christmas and pass your love on to all you know.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique

How can I rid myself from pain?


  • DO YOU ever have the thought of ah, I’ve arrived, then stop and switch everything off?

What I mean is switching your awareness off! Sometimes this is a very good thing and sometimes not so good. If it’s automatic then you don’t have the option to decide if it is good or not so good.

  • DO YOU seem to get pain somewhere when you do a particular activity?

Being in auto may be the reason why you have pain, you will have a habitual movement plan that you use that triggers pain, wouldn’t it be great to renew your movement plan!

There are many ways to suppress or relieve pain but somehow does your pain keeps coming back?

  • How can you get sustained relief from pain?

These questions can be answered by raising your awareness of yourself, you can get part way on your own however to get the full embodiment of yourself you will need help. You need a mirror of some sort, a real mirror, watch yourself on video or get someone with the skills I have to observe what you do in activity and then work together to develop a new movement plan that is pain free, this may seem impossible to achieve, I know it is not as I’ve witnessed it many times.

Pain may be coming back because of how you do things, you may work in auto without noticing very much; I’m sure you have wondered how

  • Your tea was made,
  • You missed a road junction on a road you travel regularly on,
  • If you cleaned your teeth this morning?

We are odd creatures; things get so habitual we don’t know we have done them.

This is equally true to how we do things,

  • Straining our eyes to look at something,
  • Looking busy by pulling a face.
  • Straining yourself to lift something then discovering it was really light, then possibly jarring your back because it was too easy.

Much of our pain comes from an activity that we did and you probably did the activity not in a very conscious way.

Pain is your body shouting really loudly to STOP doing it that way!

There is a way to stop most pain and that is to learn how to do things consciously. Meditation and other modalities will help; you can even learn consciousness on your own.  It’s relatively easy to have a high level of consciousness when being still or working through a directed activity; the real test of consciousness is when we undertake your familiar activities whilst maintaining a high level of consciousness. This embodied use of yourself will reduce the risk of pain and possible injury.

Alexander Technique teachers are trained to be your mirror to help you see when you loose your embodiment; then offer ways to regain it. More so, we teacher you to realize that embodiment is available to you and everyone; it is only a conscious choice that many never realize they have this choice. I’ve found that many are very resistant to discovering there own embodied consciousness; I guess they are comfortable with their pain and beliefs; their pain is who they are but is it really?

Little do they know life is a whole lot better without the restrictions of pain and doubt?

  • Doubt stops investigation and experimentation,
  • Doubt keeps you where your are,
  • Doubt keeps you safe or so you think,
  • Doubt will stop you rediscovering the freedom and ease you had when you were a child.
  • Doubt has loaded you with pain by continually holding you back mentally and physically.

By improving your embodied consciousness doubt has less control over what you think and do; life becomes joyous and fun, the things you thought were troublesome melt away to nothingness. Please believe me this has happened to me and through applying the Alexander Technique.

If you live or work around Gloucestershire or the Forest of Dean please seek me out so I can teach you what I’ve learnt.

Life will be as it is but a whole lot better.

Alexander Technique

Life can be a breeze; the choice is yours.


One of the activities I really hate but secretly love is running, it is one of those activities that I used to hold my breathe as I prepared to run hence I didn’t get far before I was out of breath!

A pretty obvious outcome but I couldn’t understand why I was always out off breath; it has only been in the recent years that I worked out that I do hold my breath, in fact I hold my breath to start most activities.

You may think this is a strange thing to do, I do now, and many of us have particular foibles when we start an activity. For strenuous activities including running I held my breath.

In fact, I held my breath to start any activity! I wonder what you do?

Now lets turn this around.

From my perspective, getting ready to do something is your ego getting ready by calling up its favourite but not so useful habits; my habit of breathe holding. If I quieten my ego then I’m ready to run and I don’t need to hold my breath, things just happen.

Being ready is a completely different sensation to getting ready.

Being ready I feel light and buoyant, all my joints have the freedom to move, my thinking is livelier and brighter.

Getting ready I feel heavy and locked, my joints are tight and reluctant to move, my thinking is wondering what is going to happen, as I write and experiment with my thoughts, my breath is becoming laboured, butterflies are appearing in my stomach.

Being ready and getting ready are both thoughts generated from my mind and I can choose which thought, I much prefer ‘being ready’ to ‘getting ready’ it is a much happier place however I still have a lingering habit of not choosing and going straight for ‘getting ready’.

The trick is to notice, pause for a moment and then choose. How to choose takes skill and plenty of practice; this is what I teach. We all have the capacity to be ready, with lightness, buoyancy with freedom to move; we just don’t choose it.

Most of our life we have been cajoled, bullied, taught, encouraged to get ready for things by holding, hunkering down, freezing, grimacing so we can demonstrate to others that we are getting ready; I was like that with running.

Last week I decided to take up running again, I joined a 0 to 5 km club, it was into the 6thweek of training, my first for several years. I choose to ‘be ready’, no ‘getting ready’, no holding my breath; it was a breeze. I really enjoyed the run, the circuit we ran was about 3.5 km, dispersed with periods of running and walking. The moments when I noticed I was starting to try harder because of a hill or I was drifting away from the pack, I refreshed on thoughts of being ready and my lightness and buoyancy returned; the gradient became easier and I floated closer to the pack.

We all have this power to choose but many think that life must be hard and difficult if it is to be at all successful, in fact the opposite is true!

Life can be a breeze; the choice is yours.

Alexander Technique, anxiety

1am


It’s 1am in the morning,

a time I like to be asleep,

I like my 8 hours of sleep a night,

tonight it isn’t going to happen,

I suddenly woke up,

so time for a cup of tea on my own,

even my dogs didn’t stir,

they like their sleep

so do I!

worrying about things wakes me up,

why tonight?

I know why, you don’t need to know.

You need to know this is what anxiety is like

waking up suddenly for no apparent reason

waking up suddenly for a reason I can’t tell you

waking up worried

when the best thing is to sleep

so I’m refreshed to face the worry,

not blurry in the morning

Oh the joys of life when your anxious.

I have tools to help me

But

Sometimes it is best to let anxiety run

The best tool is to talk to someone,

to let it all out

But

At 1am all is peaceful

Except

For me!!!!

Another way is to write about it

So here I am

And

You are here reading my story

Suddenly my stomach pain has subsided

You did that

Thank you.

I’m breathing again

I’m calming down

Time for more tea

My anxiety is calming

So

I can find my balance with gravity

I can find my balance with time

I can let go and be here

so

I can be at one with myself and not thinking ahead of time

That’s what I think anxiety is

Thinking ahead of time.

Thinking ahead of time is a fiction

It’s a waste of time

Being awake at 1am is a waste of sleep

Except for the lovely cup of tea.

Alexander Technique

Being a human being not a human doing


This week is Mental Health week, the hidden pandemic that we don’t like to talk about.

It is great that we can now speak about it but have we done enough, are some of the concerns just false platitudes of people stuck in their own mental health problems.

Suffering from mental health problems is shit; nobody really understands your own unique mental health problems.

There’s lots of help from lots of modalities, all trying to wedge your unique mental health problem into their niche. I may be hard on these wonderful people that have a deep urge to help others.

Remember this in my perspective and I may be completely delusional on this matter. I’m happy to be proved otherwise.

Many modalities are sticking plasters for a headache. They work for a while whilst you believe it is helping you. They add another layer to your thinking to smooth over and hide your personal unique problem. Your personal unique problem will break out of these layers when it needs to; like Dr Ford recently with Kavanaugh.

Plastering over things just postpones the problem, I know because that is what I do, but to a lesser extent now. Now if I feel shit I tell someone, I did this morning, hence this blog, thank you, you know who you are.

What has worked for me is instead of adding layers is removing the layers and meeting my problems naked and vulnerable. It sounds very, very scary; it is the first time and possibly the second time and the third. Now it is joyful, standing naked and vulnerable and letting my problems trying to get to me. (Standing naked is a metaphor; well most of the time, best not done in public!) Opening up to myself and braving my vulnerability is fantastic, terrifying, weird, freeing, stupid, enlightening; initially changing rapidly in the kaleidoscope of my thought. Slowly my thoughts slow to thoughts of freedom and joy, sometimes with tears of joy.
You may think this is mindfulness; it is but a whole lot more. We all have this within us, all we have to do is find it.

It has taken me, since the discovery that I have been suffering from anxiety, about ten years to write this. Some of these years I can’t remember. What I know is that I’ve been trying and trying to resolve and get over my unique personal problem.

Recently I’ve discovered, trying and trying to resolve and getting over my unique personal problem doesn’t work!

I wish I knew that earlier, the answer is not trying and not getting over my unique personal problem. Trying just adds layers to smoother the problem and the problem is me!  I’m trying to hide from myself.

The secret is to be; be yourself, be balanced with gravity, be now, be here, not drifting off somewhere in your thoughts. All this is easier to say than do but doing is the wrong approach, it is being, being a human being not a human doing.

I teach how to be an being, not using unnecessary energy and not being a human doing. The benefits are that life is freer, happier, joyous, loving, beautiful, plentiful, and peaceful. Life is like it is now, the same family and friends but much, much better.

My unique personal problem is still with me as it is me, now we live in harmony with each other. My problem does shout at times for me to do something, now I know how to return to a being.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, anxiety, attention, breathing

Life becomes a whole lot better. 


We all love getting ready for something,

  • getting ready for friends coming round
  • getting ready for dinner
  • getting ready to catch a ball
  • getting ready to run
  • getting ready to stand
  • getting ready to sit

You probably know even more.

Some activities of getting ready do need some preparation, like making dinner, preparing for friends how will visit. However some things we get ready for there is no point is getting ready as we are ready already. These activities are generally when we move from one activity to another.

  • from sitting to standing
  • from walking to running
  • from observing to catching a ball

We all tend prepare for the change in activity by getting ready, the getting ready is a tightening of muscles in preparation for something we are already prepared for. We overthink things so we think we need to do something to get ready. Maybe grimacing your face to lift a heavy weight, if you think about it, we don’t tend to lift things with our facial muscles so why all this extra effort?

It is not just our facial muscles that we tense to get ready, it may be holding your breathe,   tightening your shoulders, we all have our favourite tightening for our own way of getting ready.

What’s yours?

The difficult bit is noticing your own getting ready patterns, that’s where I come in, my years of Alexander Technique training and practice, I notice these things in people and can offer you a different plan for getting ready where you don’t grimace to lift heavy weights or don’t hold your breathe when you decide the run or don’t tightened your arm just before you catch a ball.

I’ll introduce you to rediscovering your freedom and aliveness you once had, then life becomes a whole lot better.

If you want to know more, drop me a line or two.