Alexander Technique, freedom

Stuck in the middle


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I’m stuck in the middle!

I didn’t realise it had happened to me!

Stuck in the middle, really!

Let me explain.

This year I’ve experienced some traumatic events, a couple in the top ten, I’m not boasting, it’s what has happened to me. What I find interesting is what my reaction to them has been and how my reaction affected others close to me.  

Over the past few years I’ve been developing my skills at being present and balanced, I guess that I’ve been so present and balanced nothing has really upset me, I’ve been like a palm tree in a cyclone, I’ve just stood there and taken all the wind could give me, once over I’ve stood tall again. This may be useful when teaching the Alexander Technique, but I doubt it. I guess I would give feedback to myself that I may appear to be uncaring, remote, difficult to read. Simply out of touch with what’s going on, that’s from the outside, from the inside I’m aware of what is happening but not responding to what is happening around me, I’m choosing to be balanced. What’s really happening is I’m in the habit of being in balance, the habit of being present. This habit isn’t helpful! I’m stuck in the middle watching the world go around me with quiet contentment; 

bad news just melts away, 

good news just melts away.

I’m just standing tall!

I spoke to a colleague about this, she commented that she’s the same, a while ago she’d shout and scream or be overwhelmed with joy, everyone would know how see felt, not anymore, an event arrives, some reaction and a swing back to the middle and her day carries on. It almost as she didn’t care; cool and calm in the face of adversity.

This is all about understanding ourselves, we both had lost the habit of overreacting with little conscious control, to not reacting and staying present with conscious control, both of our habits have shifted. There’s certainly more consciousness in being present as it is a continual choice, I feel I’ve gone too far and now need to express appropriate emotion to a particular situation for me to engage with the situation and for other to understand how I’m feeling. Trust is needed in myself to be honest and authentic that allows others to engage with my emotions. 

Writing this has opened my eyes, it is all to do where I am in the moment; how and what I’m thinking. If I’m thinking inwardly or just to the surface of whatever a surface means to me then I’m stuck in the middle without any scope to go beyond that surface, if I think beyond this surface then I’m open to many, many choices, I’m not stuck in the middle, I’m free to explore. 

We all have habits that aren’t that useful, it’s recognising them and doing something about them, sometimes it’s best to let them run, sometimes to pause and continue, sometimes to pause and do something different. The important thing is to firstly notice if you don’t then you haven’t these choices, all you can do is plough on regardless. Being present and aware has become a stuck habit, it’s now time to notice this habit and go beyond the false boundary I’ve set myself and get out there with the rest of the world. Thank for reading my blog and getting to the end, do you ever get stuck in the middle? I’d love to read about what you think about my blog. If you would like to receive my blogs by email all you have to do is click on this link, you can unsubscribe whenever you want.

Until next time.

John

Alexander Technique

Posture, such a confusing word!


Posture is a contentious word in the Alexander world, just like Marmite so love it, some hate it! I’ve been listening and agreeing to both sides.

Students come to Alexander Technique teachers because of;

  • poor posture,
  • wanting to improve posture,
  • their posture is giving them pain,
  • they know we can do something about posture.

The evidence is there in the writings and videos that Alexander Technique teachers have produced and what their friends and family have also said.

Conversely the argument is true, the Alexander Technique is nothing to do with posture, it is about how you choose to think;

  • having a great awareness of yourself and your surroundings,
  • with an intention to do something,
  • then you are available to move freely and life becomes freer by each second.

Being free by the second, pain can evaporate without you being aware that is has disappeared; this is what the Alexander Technique is without a mention of posture!

Free by the second

The catch with posture is that it can be a noun or a verb! Prefixing an adjective to ‘posture’ makes posture a noun, I believe this is where the trouble lies.
The noun definition from google is ‘the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting’. Clearly this fits in with the first argument; “my poor posture is the cause of my back pain”, there’s little thought of where poor posture comes from, this is because posture in this sense is a noun, it’s therefore a proper thing that other things can be attributed to it and posture gets the blame for your;

• lower back pain,
• frozen shoulder,
• neck pain
• etc.

The noun generates a vicious circle of posture and pain that is very difficult to get out of as it’s not postures fault!

The verb definition from google is ‘behave in a way that is intended to impress or mislead’. This clearly fits in with the second argument, behaviour comes from thought, whether it’s conscious or not.
People come for Alexander lessons to be free from pain, improve performance, to learn to cope with life and a host of other personal aspirations. We do look at their posture in the noun form and verb perspective.

The verb posture contributes to the noun posture.

Therefore working with then verb posture will effect the noun posture, this will lessen to side effects of both the verb and noun and pain will diminish, performance will improve, the student will move closer to their aspirations, dreams and intentions.

Behaving in a way that is intended to impress or mislead is, I believe, the crux of the Alexander Technique, having the time to pause and notice to either carry on to impress or mislead, or not to; these are your choices. This is not only when you interact with others, more importantly how you interact with yourself moment by moment, molecule by molecule. Of course you can impress and mislead if you want to however both of these need to be a considered decision.


My conclusion is posture is a good word to use in the Alexander world, it is in parlance with our students, normally as a noun.


Our role as an Alexander Technique teacher is to demonstrate freedom and aliveness without the need to impress nor mislead so that the student can develop these skills themselves.


They will then discover how powerful the opposite of verb ‘posture’ is ‘to neither behave in a way that is intended to impress nor mislead’.


This profound discovery that can be applied at any moment of your choosing.

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