Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can hear the clock ticking and sometimes not!
It happens to me a lot, I can sit in the same rooms with the same clock, sometimes it ticks sometimes not, tick tick.
This is absolutely nothing to do with the clock, it is all to do with me! It happened this morning, I was texting a friend, we were both grumpy, they suggested why not do a Byron Katie? This is a method Byron created to turn the conversation around and check if it’s still true. If you want to know more there will be something out there on the internet.
The turnaround worked and suddenly the clock ticked!
I’d got out of my grumpiness instantly and the clocked ticked and kept ticking. Thank goodness I felt better, back in balance and the quiet presence I really like.
My interpretation to all this is that when your grumpy or in pain or stressed or anxious, to keep surviving and living everything is done using too much tension, I assume this includes hearing as when I’m present the clock ticks.
When was the last time you heard the clock tick, heard birdsong, heard the sounds of the forest? Give yourself time to listen, give yourself time to be present, give yourself time to be here.
The silly thing with your time is that it only exists in a moment, a moment you can’t hold on to, a moment you can’t wait for, a moment that is here now; the best moment you will ever have.
This is a message to you and equally to me, STOP waiting for the right moment because it is now!
We all constantly engage with people even thought we don’t
notice it, for example having an emotional response when watching a movie, a
play or listening to music; emotions rise, and you may have tears, or you may fight
your hardest to stop your tears. This is the communication I mean.
Have you ever walked into a room; you can feel something has
just happened; you can feel the mood of the room. Sometimes this feeling is not
very nice or equally it may feel buoyant and good.
These senses are all communications, many of you have
desensitised yourself to these senses not by choice but what through life’s
stresses and strains.
During my Alexander Technique Teacher training I’ve learnt
and am still learning is to strip back the effects of life’s stresses and strains
so that I can regain my sensitivity to our numerous forms of communication so
that I can accept your communications when you wish to converse. Your wish is
ever so important, firstly for yourself; having the knowledge that I’m not
prying and secondly for me, it’ll be shear overload for me if I accept
As an Alexander Technique teacher,
I need this sensitivity to your communications, even to those as yet undefined
methods of communication. This communication is enhanced by being aware of
myself and my environment in each and every moment; a quiet listening. And
equally a quiet talking, Listening implies hearing sounds, what I’m writing is
not about just sounds but all the ways you are communicating, equally talking
is not just about making verbal sound but all the ways I can communicate to you
that you will receive information. We are constantly sending and receiving
non-verbal information to each other, a smile, a connection eye to eye, the way
you respond physically to stimuli, your response to touch. Alexander Technique
Teachers do a lot of touch, normally somewhere on your back, it’s the easiest
way to sense your kinaesthetic activity and also to allow you to get to notice
your own kinaesthetic self.
There will be most likely a
conversation to stimulate you to notice something. Perhaps you can experiment
“Do you notice what you are doing
with your toes whilst reading this blog?”
Perhaps you stopped reading to
wiggly your toes, that’s absolutely fine, now can you notice your toes, without
wiggling them and continue reading? Does your sensation of yourself increase by
this simple activity?
I’d love to read your comments.
Perhaps today, when you remember,
notice your toes or any other part of your body you want. Does your awareness
I’m writing my body of knowledge of what I understand the Alexander Technique means to me. I’m deliberately not going to write in this blog using the accepted principles and concept of the Alexander technique as I feel you will leave at the end of this sentence: I’ll put them in my own words!
I plan to use my body of knowledge as the backbone to my teaching, adding to it as and when discovery something.
Today’s topic my be a little deep for some, the intention of the topic is on the lines of “why do I keep tripping myself up!”.
My understanding is that we model from past experiences, good or bad, onto an activity we are about to perform, the quality of the performance depends on past experiences. I think that is generally true however you can learn how not accept past these marring past experiences onto your activities. This is one aspect that the Alexander Technique can help with.
The Alexander Technique works by being indirect to the issue you are having. Meeting an issue directly you will no doubt do something else to work around the issue and from my experience make if more complex and more difficult to manage. This is true for businesses and you personally.
Going indirectly you have the opportunity to look at the issue from the outside, you’re not stuck in issue fighting to resolve it. Working indirectly is good to a point, you might see the resolution to the issue, then jump in and fix the issue. Fixing makes it more complex, it may work for a while however will fail eventually.
If you add a non-judgmental demeanour to viewing indirectly, a deeper knowledge of the issue can be seen, however this is not quite enough to stop tripping up. Most people can get to this quality of demeanour, the next level takes some practice, hundred of hours of practice. You can shortcut the practice by engaging with an Alexander Technique Teacher who will help you.
At a certain point during an activity you will decide, you may not notice the decision as it may be subconscious, to get on with the activity and finish it, At this point past experiences will be called to complete the activity. You will revert to habit. Fear may raise its head, a tightening in your stomach perhaps, you wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing, it wasn’t my plan to behave like this, what’s going on, I’m out of control!
What the Alexander Technique Teacher will teach you initially is to notice the critical point, firstly you might not be able to stop yourself from continuing but you can notice the critical point. Then it’s time for practice, noticing the critical point, then continuing or stopping what you plan to do. This takes practice and even more practice. What the Alexander Technique Teacher give you is their skill to notice your critical point and more importantly a non-doing support for you to experiment with your activity.
I not aware of any teaching, coaching or modality ( I’d like to know if this is true) that provides this type of deep understanding of why you do particular things in a particular way, and then help you change your way if your choosen way doesn’t met your intention.
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 –
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.
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.
The weather in the UK has been dreadful for June, inches of rain well above the average. But not where I was, I’ve just come back from a fortnight in the Outer Hebrides to the west of the Scottish mainland. The weather was very changeable and I would lie if I said it didn’t rain, it was mostly sunny with passing clouds. Each time we arrived at our destination the sun appeared. The main issue was the sun or rather daylight, in June the sun goes below the horizon for a few hours but there is still daylight a sort of bright dusk that then moves into a bright dawn. I’m not complaining as I’ve been this far north before in June; I enjoy it but it gets tiring, learning to sleep when light is burning through the curtains is an art.
Changing sleeping habits is like any other change, firstly you need notice there is something to change and then it’s something you want to change.
Acceptance of the change will then naturally follow.
My difficulty was, I didn’t know what time it was, I haven’t worn a watch for quite some time and being on holiday there was no rigour of working. Normal things that communicate time where missing, we didn’t watch TV; well, just a bit at the end of the day. When travelling in the car we were listening to audio books most of the time instead of the radio so most of our time references had disappeared. Incidentally as I didn’t have a handle on time I enjoyed very long days of daylight.
Time could have been something I wanted to manage, become regimented and do particular things at particular times, I chose to ignore what time it was and enjoy each day as each moment appeared and moved on.
Be warned – cafes and restaurants do have opening and closing times, we nearly were too late a couple of times as we thought it was about 12:30 and it was just before 3pm!
It was my birthday whilst on at North Uist, yes another one! My wife did her usual fantastic research and we had a delicious meal; we were on time for this, though Alistair our taxi driver for the evening took his time driving to and from the restaurant. The taxi journey is another story for another day.
As with everything, it is how I approach something will effect how I behave. I decided to
enjoy the weather as it changed, as they say where there is wet weather, there is nothing wrong with the weather but there is a problem with the clothes your are wearing.
Not to worry about not getting to sleep because it is still light.
Not to worry about time except when I needed to
I enjoyed my holiday, all in all a fantastic time in the Outer Hebrides. It felt like it was far longer then the two weeks perhaps that was because I hadn’t a care what time it was.
A special thanks to my wonderful wife who arranged everything.
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.
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!
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.