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, 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.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, direction, freedom

Strange and Wonderful


I looked in the mirror yesterday and laughed, it was a spontaneous laugh, I didn’t start the laugh it was my image in the mirror. Normally my image is demur and doesn’t like being looked at, maybe for a few seconds, then looks away.

Something changed this weekend, I may get to it later or not. Let’s see!

Well, it’s sooner than later, I had some wonderful words write that have disappeared for a while, they my come back or not.

This weekend I was continuing my training to be an Alexander Technique Teacher, it’s taken longer than most but not as long as other I know. I love the work and rediscoveries that I have made about myself. There has been tears and snot, lots of it. Especially this last Sunday, even before we started at ten. I have a dear friend, she’s an Alexander Technique Teacher in Scotland, we message each other regularly, she’s sometimes my safety valve, she sometimes pushes my boundaries. Last week she wrote some thoughts for horses, “In our Hands“. On Sunday morning I read it again probably for the fifth or so time, I was in the restaurant where I was staying, I had to leave the restaurant to get to the safety of my room and sobbed and sobbed: I discovered for me it wasn’t about horses, it was about me!

The second part was particularly poignant for me.

“2. Can you sit in balance on a chair, easily for a prolonged period of time without discomfort? If not, learn to do so before you sit on a horse. You are only bringing your inbalances to your riding and teaching your horse tension otherwise. You will create imbalances. Find your own poise first and then you will find the poise of your horse. It’s magical when it happens and totally worth the work on your self.”

Kirsten Harris

The learning I’ve been doing for these years is summed up in the last sentence ” It’s magical when it happens and totally worth the work on your self.”

Sunday was the third day of the weekend training, I’d discovered things that I wanted to explore, I usually have things to explore but normally I can’t seem to express them verbally, they normally disappear deep inside me, this weekend I let them all out, there was no resistance, well maybe a little with some things, Kajsa helped me with her kind and skilful words and touch. I was suddenly in the here and now without effort, I didn’t try to get there, I was just there and I wasn’t going anywhere else! I’ve experienced this a few times before but then it was fleeting, not the persistence I discovered on Sunday and that is still with me now.

My image is content with me as I am with my image; a strange and wonderful space and time to be in. I’m getting used to it and loving it!

Peter at South Bank has been training me for a few years to help me rediscover myself, this rediscovery brings naturally freedom and aliveness in everything I do. It is utterly fantastic, even when I’m angry, confused, happy or sad.
You have got to here in my blog and may be fasinated by my discovery, if you don’t know anything about the Alexander Technique, go find a teacher. Rediscovering you freedom and aliveness is easy with the help of a teacher, it will be fleeting. The skill is freedom and aliveness with persistence; knowing that if something or someone knocks you off balance, your freedom and ease can return in an instant. This takes practice, loads of practice, as Kirsten wrote “It’s magical when it happens and totally worth the work on your self.”
Love to you all that have helped me this far on my journey, there have been many.

Alexander Technique

If it’s clear, then cross the road


It’s been a while since I’ve written here, I’ve sort of stopped for a while to consider what to do next! Stop, look and listen, if it’s clear then cross the road was advertised a long time ago on road safety adverts, comes to mind. I’ve been stopped whilst looking and listening, this is my first step off the kerb!

Stopping was the hard thing to do as I wanted to plough on regardless and at the same time knowing it is good stop. I guess I stopped but I don’t know, we all play games on ourselves; I may have played at stopping and instead just waited to continue irrespective of what I’ve seen or heard, that’s pretty dangerous when crossing the road and could be also in life. What I’ve come to discover that I continually play these games on myself and as we both are human you will be playing the same sort of games to a greater or lesser extent. Then to the next discovery; be content with who you think you are, for me this has only happened when I noticed and stopped the games I’ve been playing at stopping. Who I think I am changes by the minute of everyday, I will meet somebody and change, I will see, smell, touch or sense something and will change. We all react to our environments in some way all of the time, just be content that this happens; notice and learn. Noticing my reactions to my environment has been interesting, by noticing I have a greater choice, firstly is my initial reaction true, if it’s not I could do something different or nothing at all. A surprisingly simple concept but ever so difficult to enact as I’m fighting against my habits that have protected me for many years. However fighting, whatever fighting means to you, will make your moment with your environment more complex and not appropriate to you; your body will push back and put the brakes on, producing that knowing feeling or pain somewhere.

Looking and Listening, I guess, during my time out, I’ve been noticing and asking questions to myself and others, accepting what I hear and see. Again noticing when my ‘fight’ pops up. Is my fight real or imaginary, do I trust the person, do I trust what I hear, does it content matter to me? When trust and truth line up everything becomes easy, life is good.

It is clear to cross the road, when I’m open with myself and the trust and authenticity of others shines brightly, then I can make a decision to cross the road or not; it’s my choice. If trust and truth are missing it’s not safe to cross, stop and wait by the kerb until trust and truth come to help or walk on to find another route.

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.