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

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, Asthma

Asthma and how the Alexander Technique helped me


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 never really thought what asthma 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 Greek asthma, from azein ‘breathe hard’.
Well, that may be true but is it always, sudden onset of asthma after a trauma could well be different; I recon it is a muscular response to stress related to the fight or flight reflex. Breathing is dependant on the muscles and skeleton of the thorax and also the muscles abdomen however with asthma caused by stress the control on these muscles goes awry.  I found that when I had an asthma attack, it wasn’t that I couldn’t breathe in but I was full of air and couldn’t breathe out, inhalers eased the effect but did nothing in the long-term. I simply wasn’t using the array of muscles available for breathing as my thorax was locked in a fright, unwilling to move, not knowing how to move. I sort of breathed from my shoulders, sucking in air by scrunching up my shoulders. My shoulders felt like they were up near my ears. I was breathless if I did too much activity, I went in to panic mode if i did too much activity, a vicious circle with no escape if I didn’t have my inhaler to hand; well that’s what I thought.
I accidentally discovered the Alexander Technique 10-12 years after I started with asthma. It just made me feel good, I enjoyed the feeling of lightness, greater ease, I was happier. My inhaler use reduced but I didn’t put it down to the Alexander Technique; I’ve noticed that it’s always something other than the Alexander Technique that has improved what has improved.
I remembered the night in the ambulance; A needle in my hand connected to nothing and the symptoms stop! 
Perhaps the Alexander Technique can help me manage my asthma. I went on  a voyage of discovery, firstly I discovered that the Alexander Technique is not a therapy but training how to use myself efficiently and effectively, in fact efficaciously.
My asthma is the output of many habits I’ve developed over my lifetime; they were all valid when I developed them but may not be valid now. The Alexander Technique allows me to stop and choose how I want to approach stimuli, say a stressful situation, instead of my habitual tightening and resultant asthma, I can choose something else.  The Alexander Technique isn’t a quick or instant fix but I think well worth the effort, why be reliant on inhalers when I can consciously control my actions.
I now live an inhaler free life, when the asthma indicators arise, I can now stop, choose and get on with my life.