In life we generally rely on our subconscious to direct our movement. We stand, sit, walk, and bend automatically with no thought to how we move. Our subconscious habitually does it for us, and it dominates us so that we don’t consider the best way to go about our everyday activities.
The practice of Alexander Technique encourages us to become more consciously aware, and to learn the most efficient and energy saving way to move. It actually brings us back to the movement patterns that were implicit as a child.
The Alexander Technique is simple and commonsense, but it is not easy because somehow we have to break the habits of a lifetime that are deep in our subconscious, to allow the childlike movement to re-emerge. How can we do this?
I will call my subconscious Peter!
Peter sits on my shoulder and is my friend. But he is a misguided friend. MIsguided because I have unwittingly taught Peter how to lead me through my life in ways that have caused me pain and ill health. Unfortunately, on occasions Peter is not very helpful because he overrides what I know is the best way to carry out any activity, and takes over before I have time to think.
I need to retrain Peter.. he has been part of me for a long time, and he should be my friend and help me through life. He knows me better than anyone else… even better than my mother, and he has been with me every single moment of my life, enjoying my happiness, indulging in my sadness, he knows my every move……and he is not going to go away.
How can I change him? We all have the ability to change, even though we think not and Peter can change like the rest of us. I just need to be strong and tell Peter to STOP interfering and give me time to rethink the best way to carry out my life. But this is a very general statement… because I need to stop Peter interfering not only each time I make a move, but also when I react to a stimulus… Wow… I can remember when I started to learn the technique how impossible that seemed. It means that I have to consciously aware of my every thought and my every movement and that requires discipline.
If you learn the Alexander Technique you will learn a series of primary directions. FM Alexander’s directions enable us to engage the conscious mind and override Peter’s decisions. Ask Peter to listen and take note of these directions, so that his decisions become less misguided in future and he is once again willing and able to help rather than hinder.
Kay Cady lives in Denbury, in Devon, England She is the second person to take up my Parade of “P”s – Take Your Pick challenge. Thank you Kay – and I hope there will be many more! You can contact me through this Contact Page if you wish to contribute.
Image credit: sognolucido / 123RF Stock Photo