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

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

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.

Alexander Technique, anxiety

1am


It’s 1am in the morning,

a time I like to be asleep,

I like my 8 hours of sleep a night,

tonight it isn’t going to happen,

I suddenly woke up,

so time for a cup of tea on my own,

even my dogs didn’t stir,

they like their sleep

so do I!

worrying about things wakes me up,

why tonight?

I know why, you don’t need to know.

You need to know this is what anxiety is like

waking up suddenly for no apparent reason

waking up suddenly for a reason I can’t tell you

waking up worried

when the best thing is to sleep

so I’m refreshed to face the worry,

not blurry in the morning

Oh the joys of life when your anxious.

I have tools to help me

But

Sometimes it is best to let anxiety run

The best tool is to talk to someone,

to let it all out

But

At 1am all is peaceful

Except

For me!!!!

Another way is to write about it

So here I am

And

You are here reading my story

Suddenly my stomach pain has subsided

You did that

Thank you.

I’m breathing again

I’m calming down

Time for more tea

My anxiety is calming

So

I can find my balance with gravity

I can find my balance with time

I can let go and be here

so

I can be at one with myself and not thinking ahead of time

That’s what I think anxiety is

Thinking ahead of time.

Thinking ahead of time is a fiction

It’s a waste of time

Being awake at 1am is a waste of sleep

Except for the lovely cup of tea.

Alexander Technique

Being a human being not a human doing


This week is Mental Health week, the hidden pandemic that we don’t like to talk about.

It is great that we can now speak about it but have we done enough, are some of the concerns just false platitudes of people stuck in their own mental health problems.

Suffering from mental health problems is shit; nobody really understands your own unique mental health problems.

There’s lots of help from lots of modalities, all trying to wedge your unique mental health problem into their niche. I may be hard on these wonderful people that have a deep urge to help others.

Remember this in my perspective and I may be completely delusional on this matter. I’m happy to be proved otherwise.

Many modalities are sticking plasters for a headache. They work for a while whilst you believe it is helping you. They add another layer to your thinking to smooth over and hide your personal unique problem. Your personal unique problem will break out of these layers when it needs to; like Dr Ford recently with Kavanaugh.

Plastering over things just postpones the problem, I know because that is what I do, but to a lesser extent now. Now if I feel shit I tell someone, I did this morning, hence this blog, thank you, you know who you are.

What has worked for me is instead of adding layers is removing the layers and meeting my problems naked and vulnerable. It sounds very, very scary; it is the first time and possibly the second time and the third. Now it is joyful, standing naked and vulnerable and letting my problems trying to get to me. (Standing naked is a metaphor; well most of the time, best not done in public!) Opening up to myself and braving my vulnerability is fantastic, terrifying, weird, freeing, stupid, enlightening; initially changing rapidly in the kaleidoscope of my thought. Slowly my thoughts slow to thoughts of freedom and joy, sometimes with tears of joy.
You may think this is mindfulness; it is but a whole lot more. We all have this within us, all we have to do is find it.

It has taken me, since the discovery that I have been suffering from anxiety, about ten years to write this. Some of these years I can’t remember. What I know is that I’ve been trying and trying to resolve and get over my unique personal problem.

Recently I’ve discovered, trying and trying to resolve and getting over my unique personal problem doesn’t work!

I wish I knew that earlier, the answer is not trying and not getting over my unique personal problem. Trying just adds layers to smoother the problem and the problem is me!  I’m trying to hide from myself.

The secret is to be; be yourself, be balanced with gravity, be now, be here, not drifting off somewhere in your thoughts. All this is easier to say than do but doing is the wrong approach, it is being, being a human being not a human doing.

I teach how to be an being, not using unnecessary energy and not being a human doing. The benefits are that life is freer, happier, joyous, loving, beautiful, plentiful, and peaceful. Life is like it is now, the same family and friends but much, much better.

My unique personal problem is still with me as it is me, now we live in harmony with each other. My problem does shout at times for me to do something, now I know how to return to a being.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, anxiety, attention, breathing

Life becomes a whole lot better. 


We all love getting ready for something,

  • getting ready for friends coming round
  • getting ready for dinner
  • getting ready to catch a ball
  • getting ready to run
  • getting ready to stand
  • getting ready to sit

You probably know even more.

Some activities of getting ready do need some preparation, like making dinner, preparing for friends how will visit. However some things we get ready for there is no point is getting ready as we are ready already. These activities are generally when we move from one activity to another.

  • from sitting to standing
  • from walking to running
  • from observing to catching a ball

We all tend prepare for the change in activity by getting ready, the getting ready is a tightening of muscles in preparation for something we are already prepared for. We overthink things so we think we need to do something to get ready. Maybe grimacing your face to lift a heavy weight, if you think about it, we don’t tend to lift things with our facial muscles so why all this extra effort?

It is not just our facial muscles that we tense to get ready, it may be holding your breathe,   tightening your shoulders, we all have our favourite tightening for our own way of getting ready.

What’s yours?

The difficult bit is noticing your own getting ready patterns, that’s where I come in, my years of Alexander Technique training and practice, I notice these things in people and can offer you a different plan for getting ready where you don’t grimace to lift heavy weights or don’t hold your breathe when you decide the run or don’t tightened your arm just before you catch a ball.

I’ll introduce you to rediscovering your freedom and aliveness you once had, then life becomes a whole lot better.

If you want to know more, drop me a line or two.

 

 

Alexander Technique

This is better then smoking dope


The other day I went to pick up one of our dogs from the vets, I went with the vet nurse to the treatment room, she explained what I need to do post operation, during our conversation she asked what do I do. I told her that I’m an Alexander Technique teacher, she said the usual, “What’s that?”. My description that morning was, I teach people to be in balance, that’s with gravity and also with time and space.

She replied: “oh!”

We walked to the get my dog from the kennels. I asked here if she wanted to experience what I teach? Yes please.

I explained it’s firstly about noticing things and just observing. (if you want, please play along with what I told her)

The first thing to notice is yourself, notice your feet touching the ground as you walk, then notice your body from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.

We arrived at the kennels, she let my dog from the crate, lots of fussing and then we tried to get his body sock on to protect his stitches.

He wasn’t having any of it.

I suggested that we can calm him easily by simply noticing ourselves like I just mentioned, if that doesn’t work then notice the space around you. It worked and he immediately went quiet, she was amazed! We put his body sock on.

There was only one other dog in the kennels, he was panting and very stressed. Our thinking wasn’t working on him. I said lets see if we can calm him down. Again notice yourself and the space around you and include the dog in your space. The panting slowed but he still wanted to pant.  She commented that the energy in the room had changed it was now calm.

I challenged her to experiment again, same routine with another extra. Notice yourself, the space around you and this time you have the freedom to leave the room whenever you want to. The panting stopped! He still had his head up. She commented the energy in the room has changed again, it was still very calm but now more crisp and energetic.

One last experiment, repeat your thoughts without words, over and over again. The dog rested his head on his front paws. We both sat on the floor of the kennels with my dog lying on his back, the other dog quiet in his crate.

She said she wanted to stay here all day, she’s never been so chilled and energised at the same time.

She said this is better then smoking dope!

You can have this experience if you want.

I have the experience most of the time and can show you how.

This is being present in the here and now, it is available to all.

Veterinary nurses love it, well the one I was with.

Dogs love it, definitely my dogs.

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YOU can love it to

It is your life but a whole lot better.

Alexander Technique

Enjoy and see the beauty


On the London tube this morning, going home after a wonderful weekend learning to develop my psychophysical awareness.

What I noticed was no one in the tube carriage was there!

There was a whole collection of eyes.

  • Eyes in their phones
  • Eyes in their tablets
  • Eyes behind eyelids
  • Eyes staring aimlessly into space
  • Eyes with no energy

Which eyes do you have?

I can only guess what my fellow passengers where thinking about but I think I can safely say they weren’t enjoying the moment as I was. Why waste any moment even on the tube.

These moments are yours and yours alone, enjoy and see the beauty; there really is beauty in every moment. All you have to do is let beauty come to you, this is something I learnt this weekend.

.

Alexander Technique

Catching the ball


In many of my lessons I work with catching bean bags (they don’t roll under the furniture as balls tend to do).

Catching bean bags is a great stimulus for some, not so for others. A greater stimulus is not catching a bean bag and letting it fall by your feet.

We have had so much conditioning that letting something fall is a bad, even when there is permission to let it fall.

This conditioning has restricted your choices to only one;

CATCH THE BALL AT ALL COSTS. 

This single choice is not restricted to catching balls but to many other activities in your life. Simple things like not walking under ladders, using your dominant hand for many activities, what you do when you awake up in the morning, what you do in the evening, how you respond to people, sometimes in very different ways to different people. These are all yours and my habits; an easy way to move through life!

Sometimes the easy way to move through life isn’t always the best option for now, though it may have been in the past.

My thoughts about catching ball are that you were either great at catching or go into panic with the fear of dropping the ball; I was in the later group. The fear of missing the ball and wrecking the game for others in my team was my overriding thought, so like others I tried really hard to catch, however the more I tried the worse I got; how could that be!

Life moves on, team games with catching balls stay at school, I go to work, however trying too hard moved with me through work and leisure.

  • Trying too hard to please
  • Trying too hard to be successful
  • Trying too hard to be good

I’d been successfully conditioned at school, school was successful as I became an ace student at trying too hard and continued for most of my life.

However trying to hard has it’s limitations, there is

  • only one choice,
  • only one route
  • only one option

That is to work hard trying to achieve your goals.

I’ve since learnt that I don’t have to catch the ball, I can make another decision, one of many options! The strange thing is when there are options are I free up, as do whomever I’m working with. When they or I choose to catch the ball we pick the ball out of the air instead of trying to catch. There is a lightness and freedom in their movement, they become happy and joyful. I regularly hear comments about their pain disappearing.

You may be wondering what is happening, pain in many people is manifested by their habits, their habits sending messages to muscles to tighten and keep tightening, muscles tire and eventually send messages to stop in the form of a pain message. We get stuck in habitual behaviour, we don’t know how to get out of it hence we keep recreating and empowering a vicious cycle, it gets worse and worse, and if you are in pain then the pain may get worse.

Rediscovering that you have other options breaks the vicious cycle and for a few moment pain disappears, this is what happened when we played catch. Unfortunately our habits are well embedded and we quickly return to our vicious cycle of pain. That’s where my training helps, I’m trained to notice through observation and to instruct you that you have other options to lead your life, these options will lead you to rediscover your freedom and aliveness you used to have whilst making mature choices in the way you want to live you life.

If you want to know more, please contact me.