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!

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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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Alexander Technique

At the Dentist


Do you ever feel light and free when you meet a someone; something strange happens, sort of lightness, some sort of connection. Sometimes it’s the other way, you get heavy and morose, maybe somewhere on you body gets more painful.

Like it or not we all need the company of others, sometimes you may get stuck in a relationship with negative vibes. It’s not nice, you are on your toes all the time waiting for criticism, evolving and developing your anxiety and depression, you may start to believe that everyone is like this and it becomes the norm!

I lived like this for many years.

Slowly I’ve changed to being on the light and free, I have positive vibes! I can quickly go negative, it was my norm for a long time, I now have tools so the I can notice and quickly turn around.

Yesterday I went to the dentist; the last appointment to fit a crown. I’d spoken to the dentist previously about helping the surgery staff with their aches and pains so this visit I brought my sales letter, its first time in action. I printed three copies, my plan was two copies for the dentist and one for the receptionist.

I was on time but the dentist was late, so I had the opportunity to pass my sales letter to the receptionist, explained what its about; noticing habits and making choices, increasing awareness in everything you do. She commented on her lower back pain, we continued talking about her previous work and other things, I quietly and consciously increased my awareness whilst chatting, she copied the awareness without knowing. After a few minutes I asked about her lower back pain, she was shocked that it had diminish.

“How did you do that!” she said, “It’s magic, can other people do this? Why doesn’t anybody know about the Alexander Technique?”

The thing is most people can have this awareness but they choose not to. It’s not a real choice as you have been steered and trained to behave in a particular way by your family, friends, enemies, colleagues and almost anywhere you can think of.

You have a particular response to a particular stimulus that is particular to you. I didn’t like paper tissues as many years ago some stuck to my face, it’s only recently, 50 or so years after the event that I can now use tissues. You may have one or many responses similar to my paper tissue response.

What changed my life is firstly coming across the Alexander Technique and then training to be a Alexander Technique teacher, which I’ve almost completed.
Learning the skills to be present and a heightened awareness, the observational skills using my senses, not just my sight and hearing, so that I can observe others habits. there is also the connection between the client or group of clients and myself, not pushy, not soft, somewhere in the middle that allows an open communication that goes both ways. All this takes time, anguish, frustration, noticing habits and letting them go is difficult, well it was for me!

Now here’s an offer, whilst I’m still training I’m offering you free sessions, firstly to practice my skills, I’ve already worked with over a hundred different clients and secondly to get the Alexander Technique out in the world. Don’t worry if you can’t see me in person, we can always work over internet with a video link.

Any takers?

Alexander Technique

Boundaries and walls


No more boundaries, just be yourself!

Alexander in the Forest

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…

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happiness, mindfulness, present, wellbeing

The Outer Hebrides


The weather in the UK has been dreadful for June, inches of rain well above the average. But not where I was, I’ve just come back from a fortnight in the Outer Hebrides to the west of the Scottish mainland. The weather was very changeable and I would lie if I said it didn’t rain, it was mostly sunny with passing clouds. Each time we arrived at our destination the sun appeared. The main issue was the sun or rather daylight, in June the sun goes below the horizon for a few hours but there is still daylight a sort of bright dusk that then moves into a bright dawn. I’m not complaining as I’ve been this far north before in June; I enjoy it but it gets tiring, learning to sleep when light is burning through the curtains is an art.

Kentallen, south of Fort William

Changing sleeping habits is like any other change, firstly you need notice there is something to change and then it’s something you want to change.

Acceptance of the change will then naturally follow.

My difficulty was, I didn’t know what time it was, I haven’t worn a watch for quite some time and being on holiday there was no rigour of working. Normal things that communicate time where missing, we didn’t watch TV; well, just a bit at the end of the day. When travelling in the car we were listening to audio books most of the time instead of the radio so most of our time references had disappeared. Incidentally as I didn’t have a handle on time I enjoyed very long days of daylight.

Loch Seaforth, the view from our room!

Time could have been something I wanted to manage, become regimented and do particular things at particular times, I chose to ignore what time it was and enjoy each day as each moment appeared and moved on.

Be warned – cafes and restaurants do have opening and closing times, we nearly were too late a couple of times as we thought it was about 12:30 and it was just before 3pm!

It was my birthday whilst on at North Uist, yes another one!
My wife did her usual fantastic research and we had a delicious meal; we were on time for this, though Alistair our taxi driver for the evening took his time driving to and from the restaurant. The taxi journey is another story for another day.

oops all gone

As with everything, it is how I approach something will effect how I behave. I decided to


  • enjoy the weather as it changed, as they say where there is wet weather, there is nothing wrong with the weather but there is a problem with the clothes your are wearing.

  • Not to worry about not getting to sleep because it is still light.

  • Not to worry about time except when I needed to

I enjoyed my holiday, all in all a fantastic time in the Outer Hebrides. It felt like it was far longer then the two weeks perhaps that was because I hadn’t a care what time it was.

A special thanks to my wonderful wife who arranged everything.

and we saw Golden Eagles in flight
Alexander Technique

Inspired by women


I’ve been inspired by a couple women very recently, in fact last night and today. There are other women who keep me on the straight and narrow over the last few years, one of them is of course my wife.

Yesterday I was planned to do a presentation to the Gloucester FHT Support Group about the Alexander Technique, this was postponed from a previous date. I guess the cancellation and new date didn’t suit every one, in fact no one turned up except Harriet, who organised the workshop. I suggested as we are here I could do practice my workshop with here. She didn’t know much about the Alexander Technique, I started with the question; “what is the Alexander Technique, any answer is the right one as long as it’s honest”. The range of answers are alway interesting; from I haven’t a clue, to, something about posture, to, comprehensive answers about choices and consciousness.

They then move from their natural poise to a soldier on parade, they think they need to do something in their explanation.

She wasn’t so different something about bones, posture and neck then stretching to be a soldier.

What amazed me is that Harriet got what I was teaching her very quickly, she changed in front of my eyes, she told me she thought she was free and present before we started then she discovered that there is another level to it all.

We are now planning for another workshop later this year.

The other woman I met today was Patricia Maddalena who presented at a workshop I decided to go to at the list moment, I was late, may be purposely, something was drawing me there but I was reluctant to go. The topic was ” How to be a money generator” I normally don’t like this type of presentation however Patricia was engaging and very good, everything was said from the heart, she has had a rag to riches growth in the past 5 years. Not much was said about money, nothing like; if you follow my plan you’ll be millionaires next week. Simple down to earth stuff, believe in yourself, remodel your thinking and let the past go. Don’t think in the future tense, think and talk about now, equally modelling the past to what’s going to happen in the future, change it to what is happening now.

What really shocked me were a couple of things, her vibrancy, love and compassion, and this was the first time she had presented to a group for an hour and she over ran by a couple of minutes.

Both women have stopped me in my tracks for the similar thing, allow themselves to trust themselves, listen to themselves and good things will manifest; Harriet for trusting in me and showing her that she has more freedom and ease to rediscover in herself. Patricia in noticing that she can let go of her limiting beliefs and thrive as much as she wants and also share her discoveries with love and compassion to all whomever wants to listen.

And she wore these shoes! Aren’t they great.

Alexander Technique

Too much thinking and not enough doing


I’ve been thinking for rather a long time, yes, you may be thinking, surely for all your life! The thinking I’m writing about is the thinking that the Alexander Technique steers you to think, thinking about what I’m sitting on, thinking about what I’m touching, thinking about my local environment, thinking about my intention to do something.

The danger is that I’m thinking too much and not doing, I’m stuck in my awareness of everything around me. It’s a wonderful awareness, awareness on the cacophony of noise in the Fremlington Quay Cafe. An old railway station on the Devon coast.

The awareness that the coffee is good and the atmosphere is light and happy.

I was expecting a quiet cafe however it is full of walkers even on this rainy day.

These walkers aren’t short in doing activities but are they aware of each footfall when they are enjoying their walk?

As with everything, things are better when in balance, just enough thinking and just enough activity, though I’m not sure if they are opposites, they feel like they are today because my thinking is stopping me being active.

There seems to be a point in time when this awareness becomes embodied, something flips from the old norm to the new, this awareness becomes the norm. This has happened to me recently, there’s no need to ‘do’ the awareness anymore, it is with me without effort. However this has left a void in me as I’ve nothing to do or focus on. Can I now get on and do things I’ve put on hold?

There is a twist, things feel different now, they are easier, I can choose and more importantly I have the freedom to say no.

Off for a walk along the Devon coast.

 

That was breezy! It didn’t rain!

Time for lunch.

On the walk I experimented with noticing, noticing me, noticing the ground, noticing the wildlife, the fresh new leaves on the tree, the cherry blossom.

What caught my attention after walking for about an hour was where I thought my hip joints were! My thought was definitely not where my hip joints are.

Time to experiment, a bit of silly walking and dad dancing; I was alone on a very long footpath. Noticing where the hip ball joints are, it’s closer to the centre line of your body than most people think and also lower. Please research and discover for yourself.

Moving my thinking closer to reality eased the ache I had.

Perhaps if you have pain in movement, it may be that your thoughts are not quite in line with how your body really moves.  

Having an awareness of myself and my environment when I was out walking made the walk easy, less tiring and enjoyable, before I knew it I was back at the café for lunch.

Here’s some more photos of the walk.



Alexander Discovery, Forest Naturals

Have you lost your gazelle!


Ever feel flat and weary, that Boxing Day tummy that is full and wallows that stops you from moving like a gazelle? Well today that is me…

It may be a combination of good food, too much of it and the being over heated with the beautiful sun. Yesterday felt like August and it’s only April, today is supposed to be the same.

I guess many will feel the same, all I just want to be is wallow and enjoy the sunny weather, the gazelle inside me seems to have gone hiding in the tall grass for the moment.

This is hard; tempting my gazelle out so I can enjoy my aliveness fully whilst wanting to slowly and aimlessly wallow in the mud. Perhaps today is the day to contemplate and do little more.

Yesterday evening I got a message that there is stand available at a show, would you like to attend. In a flash, yes, but what should I do, is it Alexander Technique, I’m not too sure how that could work or is it our beauty product business. We opted for Forest Naturals.

We are off to Stroud on the 6th May, this is our first stand since Christmas, it’s strange how things know when your ready, My wife how who leads on Forest Naturals has been off work for the past 4 months, unable to do very much at home, this week things changed, she has more energy and is returning the way she was before Christmas, then a call from nowhere just at the opportune time. Perhaps my wife has now done her wallowing and her gazelle is ready to spring to life!

Developing the products for Forest Naturals has taken sometime, deciding what to make, attend training courses, not only how to make the soaps, creams and balms, there were the legislation course on how to provide products that are used on skin. Engaging a chemist to review our recipes and then the worrying wait when samples were tested in the lab. We now have certification to produce our products, that’s the ones that have been certified. More need to go away for certification before they are available for sale.

Deciding what raw ingredients to use has been problematic. We only wanted the best, none of the low quality or doctored raw ingredients that are available.

  • Where are they manufactured,
  • where in the world,
  • who manufactured them,
  • are they ethically sourced,
  • does the manufacturer abide with high environmental standards?

Sourcing raw materials to meet our standards is expensive, there are plenty of cheap options that we disregarded. We now have a range of products that not only smell good, they have best essential oils.

The feed back from our customers is fabulous.

I seem to have digressed, that’s because I believe what we produce is fantastic.

Not much about the Alexander Technique today, it’s always there, it’s there when making conscious decisions which recipe to create, measuring out the ingredients, stirring the recipe, there’s a lot of stirring. Potting creams or wrapping soap.

Believe it or not the hardest and most difficulty part of making our products is creating and putting labels onto the products. Please have a look and like our Facebook page.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Being out of control


It is Easter Sunday, it is sunny and looks like its going to be a beautiful hot day here in Gloucestershire. I will enjoy the beautiful hot day but somewhere inside me I feel guilt not for enjoying it but during my life contributing to the global warming. A strange mix of feelings, one is close up; the enjoyment of my day with my family and later on with friends coming around for diner. The other feeling is so nebulous, so unreal, from a personal point of view, unmeasurable and so huge, I feel powerless to do anything. Looking around my desk as I write, I guess as I don’t knows as I’ve never checked, the majority of items have been imported, some may have raw materials that have influenced the change in our environment.

This feels so out of my control, if we all stopped buying we would put other humans at risk of starving, their infrastructure would crumble as the need for product they manufacture would disappear. This has happened before with mass closures in the 1980’s of the UK coal, steel and shipbuilding industries, whole towns and village suddenly became unemployed. I’m guessing again, this has happened all over the world when a method of production has become unprofitable and has moved to somewhere where profits can be made.

Perhaps these closures need to happen again, I really don’t have an answer, I really don’t have a clue on what to do.

What I can do is,

  • reduce my mileage
  • reuse things
  • reduce what goes to the tip
  • eat all the food we buy
  • only buy what is necessary
  • review what is necessary
  • keep things until they are worn out before replacing them
  • leave plastic packaging at the shop

What is your list?

Learning the Alexander Technique has helped me as I am a lot more conscious in what I am doing, I make conscious choices instead of jumping in and making brash decisions as I used to. Raising your consciousness will help you to really enjoy your day, whatever the weather, whom ever you meet, whatever is troubling you. A raised consciousness helps you to take a moment to wait for a decision to manifest, it is strange how it works. I find the right answer is found, or the right situation or person will turn up to help. Many appear to believe that the Alexander Technique is about sitting and standing, about helping physical pain. It does have those characteristics, whoever it is about raising your consciousness so that you can choose how you move and react with your environment in anyway you choose. Stunningly simple in its concept and stunning simple to be.

However the simplicity has a catch,

  • if you want it, it isn’t available
  • if you try for it, it disappears
  • if you pine for it, it hates you
  • if you hate it, it will tease you
  • if you push at it it will push back harder

The secret is

  • if you don’t try, it will appear

The training takes sometime, to teach it can take many years to learn the art of just being and having the skills to show others how to be, I know it as I’m on that journey.

To experience what a teacher can offer and show you that you have the freedom and ease to be can take a few moments. However this will be fleeting, then you may want, try, pine, hate or push it to get is back. It will resist you.

Your teacher will teach and show you methods and techniques for you to notice and act in different ways that brings about the freedom and ease. If you don’t believe it, find an Alexander Technique Teacher, as you have got this far and if you live in somewhere in or near the Forest of Dean, why not contact me for a free session.

Anger

I’m angry


I’m annoyed, it is a strange annoyance, it is an annoyance that I thought I would not be annoyed about.
This week, all of a sudden the environment has become a big issue for me, it has sort of been simmering for years, knowing that us, humans, are wrecking the world we are living in. We’ve known this for years but its always been someone else’s problem. I’ve believed the politicians and industry will sort it out, well that was my belief, they are human as well, aren’t they!

Unfortunately from the politicians and industries point of view it is the other countries and other industries that need to sort it out first, not them. I really do not know if this is true but that is the feeling I get. Walking away from the Paris agreement just to line the pockets of industrialist and themselves without a care for anything else is abhorrent, selfish, and eventually suicidal for them and death to the majority of life on earth.

I’ve just realised I’m not annoyed, I’m angry!

I’m angry at the stupidity of me
I’m angry at the stupidity of others
I’m angry that this has gone on for so long
I’m angry at me for not really doing anything to help
I’m angry at you for not really doing anything to help
I’m angry!

Apparently we have ten years to put our house in order. Can we wait to see if this is true? If this is true the children being born now won’t have a life like we have had.

This is really what has annoyed me, if what has been said is true, I’ve contributed to the impending extinction of the world!

I don’t know what to do!
I don’t know what to do!
I’m angry that I don’t know what to do!
I’m annoyed that I don’t know what to do!?