Alexander Technique

The criticism is all mine


Thank you for contacting me today, firstly for reading my blog and also telling me that I have some typos.
I’m really pleased that people take time to read and I’m especially pleased that I’m told that I’ve got a few typos.

I’m genuinely really pleased to be told I’ve got typos but deep in my gut I get the bad old feeling that I’ve got it wrong again! I’m not good enough, I’m a failure, you probably sometimes have these feelings yourself.

I know and trust the person who contacted, their intent wasn’t to criticise.

The criticism is ALL mine.

Sometime in my childhood someone criticised me about something I did, the feeling of hopelessness and failure with my tightened gut developed from then and is still here today. One of my habits is to get on with a task and then fire and forget, hoping that is is good enough.

Today I got told I have typos! My self-criticism rose, the difference now is that I will engage and resolve the problem, in the past I’d spend time rationalising the problem, a good dose of procrastination and work out why it wasn’t my fault: lack of education, never good at grammar, etc.

Blaming others for my mistake.

I’ve stopped blaming, this change came about through my Alexander Technique training; a mix of self-acceptance, self-awareness, learning to be present and throughly enjoying the here and now; you should try it sometime as it will change your life for the good. With these skills life becomes easier and FANTASTIC, however not every day is fantastic, there are bad days and good days, and there are days I drift into old habits and fire and forget when I’ve written a blog. Today was a good reminder old habits linger, waiting to pounce when an eye is taken off the ball.

By the way this is my 201st blog about the Alexander Technique, there must be something in it for me for me to keep on writing.

Why not find a teacher or even me and discover why I keep writing about the Alexander Technique.

Patterns in the sand
Alexander Technique

Is the Alexander Technique for everyone?


Of course I would say yes, the Alexander Technique has helped me immensely, I manage asthma without drugs, my depression and anxiety is much reduced and when they flare up I have the tools to snip them in the bud. Asthma, depression and anxiety are now managed with the tools I’ve learnt through the Alexander Technique, so go course the Alexander Technique is for everyone.

I do have a ‘but’.

If you believe that the world, your society, your family is responsible for your behaviours, whether good or bad behaviours then perhaps the Alexander Technique isn’t for you.

If you believe you have a right to an easy life and other must support your dream, then perhaps the Alexander Technique isn’t for you.

If you discover these dreams and believes don’t work for you anymore and want to discover something different then the Alexander Technique could be for you.

Learning to increase your awareness of yourself and your surroundings isn’t hard to learn however if your ego thinks otherwise it is extremely hard to learn as your ego will stop you. Egos are strange things, they just want to be in control and keep on doing the same other thing whether it is good or bad for you.

Egos like to be in charge.

What the Alexander Technique will teach you is that you have choices, one action may be the egos way however you have more choices that may lead to other actions. These other actions will probably be better than the good old ego way.

From my self discovery, asthma, depression and anxiety were my ego’s way to ‘help’ me cope with life. This helped years ago: I got breathless, then I didn’t need to go the school and got lots of love from my mother. What a fantastic plan for a child, lots of love and skived from school.

A win win situation.

This successful plan then morphed in to other uses, mostly successfully, I didn’t do what I didn’t want to do. Win win again.

This win win plan morphed into something horrible.

I could leave my house without using my asthma pump at the door and a few more to get to the car.

My life stopped.

I’ve thought about this for a long time, distilling my actions down to a simple recipe; I don’t want to do something, seek approval and get lots of love from the person you love, repeat when desired.

I was exercising my right to have an easy life and relying on the support of others. This is OK as child but as an adult!

What the Alexander Technique has taught me is the fundamental rule that I must first love myself before I can love anyone or anything else. As with learning anything new, the route to understanding is a contorted twisted maze of dead ends that must be visited before you can discover the centre of the truth. Then you can use all the dead ends to mix with the truth to have your own wisdom of what love is.

If you want to let go of your childish ways then perhaps the Alexander Technique is a way to discovery yourself. As Rudyard Kipling wrote –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

‘If’ Rudyard Kipling
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46473/if—
Alexander Technique

What is the Alexander Technique?


I’ve written what it is many times, yesterday I explained that it is teaching co-ordination, co-ordination of the whole human entity with all its boundaries, all the boundaries you care to know or think about and some you didn’t know existed.

It’s the co-ordination that you wish you can have so that you can be better at whatever you aspire to be.

Many of us spend many years and a lot of money to learn how to do something, perhaps your job, vocation, or you hobby. The list is endless; sports, musician, actor, poet, writer, doctor, nurse, dentist, lecturer, decorator, chef, hula hoop maker… . The list is endless, we are all trained in some activity that would benefit with better co-ordination.

This improved co-ordination is what the Alexander Technique teaches.

Improving your co-ordination by teaching you how to be in balance with whatever you want to do and whomever you want to communicate or interact with.

The art is noticing how you are reacting instead of being in autopilot. Taking more control of your reactions your performance will improve.

The by-products of improved co-ordination are that pain will soften and may eventually disappear, you will be happier, there will be more time in your day.

You will feel great!

Why not give it a try, if you don’t like feeling free, almost weightless, brighter and happier this is not for you but then again you will never know until you try it. Unfortunately words can’t describe the freedom and aliveness that being in co-ordination brings.

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!

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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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.