Finding the Body
How would you answer that question?
You might say something like: “I’m in a pretty good place at the moment.” Or “I’m living in wonderful community.” Or even: “I’m in love!”
But perhaps, especially if you’re a Country Music lover, something more like: “I’m in the doghouse now.” Or “I used to be in Hillbilly Heaven, but now I’m stuck in Honky Tonk Hell.” There’s often a clear sense that being in a bad place is something will go on forever: “I’ve been in prison 18 years and I still got life to go.”*
On the other hand, if you’re one of a growing group of neuroscientists who believe there is absolutely no evidence of any objective reality at all, and that everything you see, think, hear etc. is a product of your consciousness, then the answer might be: “I’m nowhere because there is no actual ‘place’ to be.”
And if you’re just an ordinary person, perhaps standing in line at the coffee shop waiting for your morning latte, you might say: “I’m 3 feet from the counter, reading this weird blog post about finding the body!”
If you’re a teacher or student of the Alexander Technique, your answer might involve location, but perhaps in an unorthodox way. Jennifer Roig-Fraincoli, an Alexander teacher in Cincinnatti, finds it useful to think: “I’m at the center of the universe.” This can bring forth some new ways of thinking designed to improve your posture and coordination. (You can listen to a podcast about her idea here.)
Many Alexander Technique people like to talk about the importance of “being in your body.”
But this raises an interesting question: “Where exactly are the outer surfaces of this body I want to be inside of?” And equally important: “Where do I think they are located?” And is there any possibility that I have those surfaces mapped incorrectly? Could I think they are somewhere they are not?
It’s an important line of self-questioning because if there is a mis-match between my belief about the location of the outer perimeter of my self and the reality of it’s location, it’s almost certain that the messages I give myself about how I stand, sit and move are producing posture and movement results that are inefficient, and potentially harmful.
My colleague John Macy, an Alexander Technique teacher and physical therapist in Omaha, Nebraska has been thinking about these sorts of questions a lot. We’ve worked together to come up with simple ways of determining if you have a mis-match of the sort described above and, if so, some easy ways to correct it.
Another colleague, Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher in Wilmington, Delaware kindly agreed to help me with a little YouTube video demonstrating some of these ways and how they can enhance the ease with which you go through life.
This video – seen below – is a bit of an experiment and we value your feedback, and accounts of your experiences using the ideas in the video. If there is demand for it, we will produce other follow up videos. Please leave your comments and suggestions on YouTube and/or below and on Facebook.
*Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, The King of Tears, gives a fascinating analysis of this characteristic of country music. Here’s the actual song by Stonewall Jackson (no, not the Civil War general!) from which this particular example of pure, never ending, country music misery is taken:
Thanks to Anne Kennedy Rickover – my Blog Title Guru – for the title of this blog, and for the idea of using a detective image.
Detective Image Copyright : Andrea De Martin