Alexander Discovery, anxiety, Asthma, breathing, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, happiness, Inhibition, mindfulness, procrastination, self-doubt, trying, walking

When thinking goes awry


Sometimes I don’t want to walk my dogs, lots of excuses, non of them are valid but in the moment they are really true – honest. It’s that moment of getting up and doing something to meet the expectation of others or my dogs that I find difficult to achieve.

The trouble with trying to keep up with someone else’s expectations, I’m doomed to fail; I will be never be quite good enough or that’s what I may think.

So what can be done, instead of trying to satisfy someone else’s expectations, I go for a walk  for myself and the dogs can come as well. It’s their choice to come along if they want. My dogs never say no so now I have a win – win situation. I’m going for a walk under my rules.

Some where to go, I’m quite fortunate as I can walk out from my house, up a very step hill into the Forest of Dean. Sometimes if I’m not in the mood the hill outside is just too steep so I have other options, dogs in the car and off to somewhere else. My favourite walk, my sanctuary is Soudley Ponds, my dogs love being there as you may have guessed there’s water, my dogs love water, I prefer dogs and water to dogs and mud.

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There’s a good path around the ponds and parking at both ends. At Soudley Ponds I have two walks, the easy one around the ponds, the walk is just under 2 miles so it is a nice distance to reflect and reset my thinking for the day. I return home motivated and eager to get on with the day.

If I want a challenging walk there’s a step hill up to Blaize Bailey  (a link to google maps) there’s a view point which looks over the River Severn, it’s just a beautiful view. Perhaps a blog about the Blaize Bailey walk later.

I use my walks to reset myself, consider if all those urgent things are really urgent, perhaps decide to tackle a few of those things I love to procrastinate about. I always find them so simple once I get started and a great relief once they are completed.

Have you ever wondered how we do things, a thought and it happens. Keeping it very simple, we think and something happens, for example, at the moment I’m having thoughts about what to write, I translate these non verbal thoughts into verbal thoughts, formulate a sentence then change these verbalised thoughts into muscular activity so my fingers can move around my keyboard to produce these words. We do this all the time and it’s amazing how with just a thought things happen.

Sometimes this simple thinking can get awry, a few years ago I wouldn’t have dared to walk a few hundred yards without my trusty inhaler, yes I suffered from asthma, or as I like to think nowadays my thinking had gone awry. I was stuck in the freeze mode of the fear reflex. The fear relex is wonderful for freezing when hiding when being chased or being quiet ready to pounce on prey but not if it’s held for weeks, months and years.

I did years, several miserable years, years I can’t remember.

I just survived.

In the freeze mode I found that I breathed in but not out, there was some breathing else I won’t be here to tell you.

My breathing function reduced to just using the upper part of my lungs, my inhaler helped when things got tough.

I thought my life was set as it was.

However I discovered that my thinking was awry and that I could change my thinking, I needed help to guide me though and time to realise it was possible. So if your breathing is effected by stress, depression, anxiety then from my experience there is help and it’s within you, you may be like me and need help to find it in yourself and you may be able to find away yourself.

There’s many aspects to understand about your breathing, I found that understanding where my lungs and diaphragm are helped me, it may help you. Also understanding how breathing is semi-automatic; we can control breathing or just let it happen without conscious control. It is this ability to consciously control breathing when fear triggers the fight and flight response.

If you get stuck then your thinking goes awry.

So how to prevent, notice, do something to prevent this thinking, you’ll have to wait or read more in my mailing list; if you live in the Forest we could meet up and enjoy my sanctuary, Soudley Ponds?

The trouble with trying to keep up with someone else’s expectations, I’m doomed to fail; I will be never be quite good enough or that’s what I may think. Again this is thinking gone awry.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, happiness, mindfulness, self-doubt, stopping, trying

Alexander = Simplicity


I spoke to a friend tonight about my recent decisions, she didn’t know until I told her, just before I left on my new journey.

She was very unset in that moment but I didn’t have time to explain. I tried to call, but her phone number had changed, it wasn’t until tonight I got her new number and we chatted. I was concerned and worried that I had upset her by my leaving. I got the impression that it was not only me that found it difficult, everyone one else felt the same; I left a hole in the team. The team will heal and move on, as will I.

Sometimes decisions have to be made to benefit yourself, this one was for me no matter what disruption it caused.

I’ve learnt over the past few years that I need to look after myself first then and only then can I look after others. It gives me a grounding to do other things, it gives me a grounding that allows my authenticity to evolve and grow. It gives my authenticity the authority to notice and be confident to stop things that I’m uncomfortable with. My authority allows my to make choices that meet my authenticity. My authenticity helps me to get grounded.

So being true to myself develops a virtuous circle of empowerment.

We chatted, we chatted for a long time, it was a good talk, an open honest discussion.

Above was written several weeks ago and now with time to reflect I now have some more thoughts I’d like to share

So what next for me and them, they will do whatever they do, I will have my own things to do. In fact, I now have started my new plan and it is my plan instead of working to someones schedule, expectations and beliefs.

My decision was made because I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, I was trying to be someone I thought they wanted me to be. I don’t know if they wanted me to be that person, probably not, I did’t know but still tried. By leaving I broke the cycle of trying.

I’ve now discovered that I only need to be one person and it is the authentic person I mentioned above. Discovering how to be authentic was what I was trying to do by modelling myself on a vision of myself.

This just doesn’t work,

  • I thought I knew better,
  • I was taking a shortcut,
  • I was avoiding the truth,
  • I was scared of the truth,
  • I was scared what the authentic me looked like,
    • behaved like,
    • spoke like,
    • thought like.

I was unwilling to look for my authentic self so I applied my deception and deflection tactics in the vain hope that nobody including myself would notice.

Oh joy, how I’ve been deluding myself!

I’ve got an email string with someone, it’s about Alexanders discovery and the email title is “Alexander: Simplicity” I can’t remember how it got that title, it doesn’t matter but it does sum up quite succinctly Alexanders discoveries. What I’ve been doing all my life is trying to understand how things including myself work, it is fantastic as a marine engineer fixing equipment on ships, but trying to work out how I work just puts too much load on my thinking and things just stop working as efficiently as they should. This thinking includes trying to be someone I think I should be.

It is just a waste of time and effort.

So what to do instead, very simply: do nothing and wait.

That doesn’t read too well, it’s a little more than nothing, it is allowing your psycho-physical unity and your head-neck-back relationship to work as it should; it is applying Alexanders discovery, if you want to know more, then please subscribe to my mailing list where I go into the discovery in more detail, it is free and you can unsubscribe at any point.

Alexander = simplicity

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Discovery, End-gaining, Inhibition, stopping, trying

Happy 10th Birthday


Tonight I thought it would write another blog but Facebook notifications and texts keep pinging. I do a report on Monday evenings so the plan was do the report and then blog.

Those pings just distracted me. I see this all the time, someones phone make a noise and the only thing them can do is to respond to their phone, it doesn’t matter what was going on in the real world next to them the phone is the most important thing in this moment in the world.

It’s scary how we have suddenly changed in only ten year (it’s the smart phones tenth birthday today) to be slaves of our smart phone.

Why is it much more interesting somewhere else than just here and now?

Could we be missing something somewhere?

Do we crave for distraction from the real world?

I don’t know your answer, so one of mine, I think I have a few but this one is tonights. Simple it is procrastination, a way of avoiding things by getting involved with a distraction. I’m good at it, I even blog to procrastinate.

By the way I’ve just had a flurry of pinging and I’m still writing, they’ll have to wait until the end of this blog and I’m chuffed with myself. This is the power of noticing my response to a ping, stopping my habit of going to see who has messaged me but instead deciding that they can wait until I’m free and ready to see what’s going on. Of course I could have decided to go and look who is messaging me, then I have another decision to either respond or not (just been pinged again, oh the temptation).

That comes on to another point, it’s all well and good to notice and decide to do the “good” thing every-time, if you continually do this, life does become evangelical and boring.  I know, I’ve done it. As all things in life, living should be fun if it’s any other way you’re trying to hard, lighten up and have fun. So perhaps go with the temptation but only with a conscious choice.

Happy 10th birthday

Why not click here to discover more

Alexander Discovery, Anger, anxiety, Asthma, Asthma

Do terrible 2’s always change to angry adults


Do you know I get really angry with some people, they just won’t listen. Some of these people have never even seen me, we have never physically met nor communicated in any way  but they still make me angry.

Does this sound familiar? Politicians are my favourite to be angry with at the moment.

So if they don’t know me and we have never met how do they know I’m angry with them, it would be good for them to know, as I’m using plenty of angry energy on them. The probability is that they will never know I’m angry with them so why am I being angry with them. I’m guessing they have breached my beliefs, they have gone beyond what I’m comfortable with, someone sometime ago breached my beliefs and I had a tantrum. I don’t know when it was or who it was but my tantrum got the result I wanted. I may have used the tantrum over and over again and it produced the result I wanted. This tantrum was successful so I stored it away with my other habits. Everytime I needed this tantrum it was there for me, being like all habits it likes to survive so after each use it reviews what was successful and what was not, it changes a little, some bits are retired and new bits added, so it it really for the next time.

Over time the tantrum morphs into anger.

Many people will just stay that way, they develop from the terrible 2’s to angry adults, negativity works for them or so they think.

I think negativity doesn’t work as it just makes you ill, it may take many years but will get you eventually.

Negativity generates more negativity, a vicious circle! Wouldn’t it be better to be less angry.

This seem to be my theme over my past few blogs, stop and notice.

Notice what makes you angry, it maybe someones stupidity it maybe what someone says. If you aren’t close enough to challenge them to consider a change, then perhaps you could tone down you response to their stupidity. This takes some practice to notice when you start to be angry, it’s even more difficult to notice that you are going to be angry, noticing those triggers that set off your anger.

I’ve done a few years training to discover these things firstly in myself and then others, my training also taught me some simple skills on how to think differently. If you want to know more you could join my mailing list, it free and you have no commitment to do anything.

 

 

Alexander Technique, anxiety, Asthma, body mapping, body-mapping, breathing, mindfulness, self-doubt, stopping, trying

Play with my thoughts


Another day and another dollar, doesn’t that sound depressing, it does for me, I have thoughts of just slowly treading along doing meaningless, unfulfilling work year in and year out.

The slow trickle of depression sucking you down and down until you can’t function anymore until there isn’t a dollar a day, cast on the heap of worn out workers waiting for your maker. Is that what life is about, I think it is for some but it doesn’t have to be that way. I was being suck down with depression for years without even knowing it, it effected my breathing, how I behaved with people, I did enjoy the effects of alcohol as it hid my problems each evening, it helped me sleep then the day started again.

Another day and another dollar. 

This happened for years until recently when I discovered that the only person how was allowing the slow trickle of depression to suck me down was ME. It was hard to believe that I was causing myself to hurt myself, nobody has ever told that I could just hurt myself by thinking, but it is true.

So a started my slow journey from depression to where I am today: I don’t know where I am on the scale from 1 to 10 but I know I’m not at rock bottom though I was there once. I was probably lucky as I disguised my depression as asthma so I got inhalers instead of anti-depressants. I guess my slow journey would be a very slow journey if I was stuck with anti-depressants.

I discovered that my habits effect how I function and how I function effects my habits. So by doing something new I learn a new habit then I use the new habit to do that something again, the habit and the activity added together to create an improved habit, this cycle continues infinitum for depressive habits things just get worse and worse.

The secrets are firstly you need to notice that your thoughts are causing these thoughts, there may be relationships with people and organisations that trigger these thoughts but it is you that has the thought. Noticing is really difficult as you have nurtured these habits to survive and you won’t be willing to let them go so you will keep them we hidden from yourself however others have skills to expose your habits and help you to deal with them.

The way I learnt was to become more observant in my daily activities, simple thinks like when I get a nervous cough, I ask myself what was I thinking just before I started to cough. I may be because I was thinking of an awkward situation later on in the day and this triggered my cough. Once I’ve identified my thoughts I can play with the thought and ask myself if it happening now, No it’s later on in the day. If it’s not happening now then it may never happen, so why worry, why cough. I don’t have any control over others thoughts and actions so again so what I’m thinking about what they my say or do may never happen so why worry, why cough. This play on my thoughts brings me back to reality and I also have a physical feedback to check if i’ve stopped worrying, may cough.

This play can be done on any physical action but first you need to notice the action and the thought that triggered it.

If you want to now more I’ve a mailing list where you can receive more useful ideas

 

Alexander Technique

The real me


Alexander in the Forest

Authority – a word that gives me awkward thoughts

  • Being told what to do
  • Being measured and checked if I’m doing it right
  • Somebody has the authority over me
  • I want to rebel against authority
  • I’m not in charge
  • I’m being undermined and not in control

However

If I turn it around

“Somebody else has authority over me’

to

“I have authority over me”

then thoughts change and I’m empowered with the authority in what I do.

The need to

  • please others disappears
  • be measured by others disappears
  • search for criticism and approval from others disappears.

I am my own man and I become my authentic self.

The real me

On first thoughts this turn around is pretty scary, I’m vulnerable and open to others, well that’s my initial thoughts but really I’m not open to others, I’m open but in control of my own destiny.

Life still goes on…

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anxiety, body mapping, body-mapping, happiness, Inhibition, mindfulness, self-doubt, trying

The silt of depression


When I was a child sometimes if I did something a little bit stupid I got the threat of the men in white coats will turn up in their yellow van and take me away, they worked at the lunny bin, a place where all the lunatics where put. Not a nice thought that someone in my family would want to send me there, I know that this was in jest but however these thoughts stick and set a chain of events through out my life.

After all I was only being a young boy doing young boy things; getting muddy, taking things to bits to see how they work, being mischievous and being the real me and being happy in discovering my own world. I would now call it self discovery.

Unfortunately my self discovery didn’t suit everyone and they wanted my self discovery to be controlled hence the threat of men in white coats.

When I was young I was never too sure whether these threats were real as a I remember one of our neighbours being taken away as she had a breakdown and when she returned she was never quite the same again, I was too young to know the whys and wherefores of why she was sent there but could see how she was when she returned.

So the threat to be good was reinforced.

Perhaps threats were the only thing that worked to curb my mischievousness, my self discovery

The various methods people use to control others will have a compounded effect and prevent a person to flourish fully. Today when I was out walking and thinking what to write, men with white coats came to mind as well as meandering streams and water dams.

Meandering streams and rivers will change their route over time and some areas will silt up and oxbow lakes will form, as for man made dams their efficiency will constantly diminish as silt settles this reduces the volume of water behind the dam. The relationship between men in white coats and dams is that the silt is the doubt and worry that slowly reduced our performance to live being our authentic self and enjoying our self discovery.

The introduction of men in white coats may well have been the start of my depression and anxiety, the first part of the silt of depression. There was many more things but without the first grains of silt the other things may not have silted up so easily.

So what can be done about it?

Firstly don’t scare children with idle threats to get them under control.

For yourself, if you are reading this you probably realise that depression and anxiety are common place and you may well be also suffering. I’ve found that things can be done without drugs, my bad days I took St Johns Wart, I guess I wasn’t that bad but then I don’t really know as I’ve never compared notes with anyone else.

The secret I’ve discovered is that if I know where I am in time and space depression and anxiety magically disappears. When I first discovered this it didn’t last long and I couldn’t do it on my own but over time I’m self sufficient in my time and space. I see it as a bubble or circle when I feel safe it can be as big as it wants however when things get tough i need the circle to be as small as possible so that I know exactly where I am in time and space. When I am really in the here and now my depressive and anxious thoughts can’t get to me. These skills are taught in mindfulness but to get the full set of skills Alexanders discovery of the head neck and back relationship in relation to being in the here and now really  clears away the silt of depression.

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