So how do you find contentment? It’s one of those very easy things to do be ever so hard to achieve, I think I’ve got a plan but have I?
It’s just one of those things.
If you think you have it, it just disappears in a puff of smoke. If it is so elusive why do people want it so much? Is it because of its scarcity, elusive or is it because you hear good things about contentment.
You can discover through various channels, yoga, meditation, reflexology, energy work, martial arts, mindfulness and for me it was via the Alexander Technique. As I’ve written before these channels or methods are just one of many ways to get you to notice what you are doing and then to invite a change, hopefully for the better.
What I like about the Alexander Technique is that it is sort of mindfulness in activity but it is a lot more than that. The Alexander Technique is choosing to be conscious in what you choose to do. You have options to choose, sometimes it is best to let your reactions take over, say, avoiding a speed car or something falling near you and you need to avoid it. However most of the time you could be more conscious in what you do, it is your choice. However being more conscious in what you do does lead you to being more content, I’ve noticed less things phase me, my anger and equally my joyfulness have lost their energies, of course if I choose to.
Many people think they know what the Alexander Technique is, isn’t about posture, something about a straight back? It is but it isn’t, it’s about thinking and allow yourself to be as it should be, then again it’s not about the thinking, or what I think you think thinking is.
The thinking I’m suggesting is akin to non-thinking but is more than non-thinking. If you are confused, join the club, I was confused for years.
My confusion was that I thought I had to do something to do this ‘more than non-thinking’ stuff, the secret is there is nothing to do as it is built into ourselves already.
If we take a moment or several moments for me, you may notice more things in your vicinity, noises may get louder, I notice that normally silent clocks get loader, my sight gets cleared and my peripheral vision increases, my sense of touch increases, these sensations only that if I stop fretting and worrying about things. All this can be achieved by using mindful techniques, what is different with the Alexander Technique is we practice this whilst in everyday activities. So you may find when you have an Alexander Technique lesson that the activities my seem a little contrived, for example moving from sitting to standing, if you think about it, how many times a day do you sit on a chair and how many times are you really conscious of sitting and standing or any other routine activity?
Experimenting with the routine everyday activities gives you plenty of homework to experiment with. How about experimenting now? When you next decide to move from sitting to standing start to notice things,
- What are you thinking, if there is any judgement let it go and move to standing?
- What limbs do you use, let any judgement go and move to standing?
- What muscles do you need to use?
- What happened with your breathe, did you hold your breath or gasp before you started the activity?
- What happened when you reached your full height, was there any judgement?
You may have your own questions you want to ask yourself, please avoid being judgmental as judgement will mask your discoveries and also you’ll lose your presence.
What you may find is that you start the experiment and all of a sudden you are standing with no recollection of the questions or even moving from sitting to standing. What ever you notice is great, next time you experiment you will notice something else, keep experimenting and noticing the change. Of course you could seek out an Alexander Technique teacher or even me, you will get quicker results and a noticeable change in how you move in your daily activities and also in your contentment with life.
Go on, give it a go!