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“Take a gambling chance” — 13 Comments

  1. The Alexander Technique has definitely helped me take risks – or things that felt like risks to me, for instance speaking out in public, saying “no” on occasion, etc. This is still a work in progress. I love that Marjorie Barstow’s inclination was to say “yes” to anything new. I am most definitely not there yet. My strong habit is to think “I can’t do that” first, and I have to consciously work with myself to overcome this at times… The Alexander Technique most definitely helps me see this more clearly, and not necessarily be stuck in the “I can’t…”

  2. Hi Robert,
    I like this idea a lot. I like the idea that by using the Alexander Technique, we are moving further and further from the startle response. Maybe that could help us take healthy gambles. And what better way to take a chance than to see if we could move the Alexander Technique to unexplored places, or present it in unique ways? This post definitely has me thinking. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for an informative post.
    The instinct for self preservation is strong, so I guess for most of us, the immediate response to an unfamiliar situation is,”No way I can do that!”, or at least,”Well…”. It’s beautifully ironical that inhibition enables us to counter this response and take a leap of faith!

  4. Great post, thank you Robert. I’m taking a chance on becoming a teacher and heading into the totally unknown tomorrow. A a first, I’m reciting something rather special in front of an unknown gathering of wonderful teachers and students, my mother and friends, and I don’t need to get it ‘right’ at all….

  5. Thanks for all the wonderful comments.

    Padmini, I love: “…for most of us, the immediate response to an unfamiliar situation is,”No way I can do that!”, or at least,”Well…”. It’s beautifully ironical that inhibition enables us to counter this response and take a leap of faith!”

    Mark, you make a great point about taking the AT into new places. I do feel a lot of AT teachers are stuck in old paradigms that Alexander would have ditched decades ago if he walked among us.

    Imogen and Stella, keep on pushing the envelope!

  6. Lovely post, Robert, and so true to my own experiences with AT! Here are some pivotal moments in my AT history which I’m reminded of: (1) considering my AT teacher after one of my very first lessons, I thought: “What a beautiful profession! I could NEVER do THAT!”…and here I am; (2) seeing exquisitely gorgeous Japanese temari balls in a library windowcase during my teacher training, thinking, “I could NEVER make one of those!”, so I did… (3) imagining that my worst nightmare would be to try to explain AT to a boardroom of surgeons… and then having that actually happen to me, as one of the best experiences of my life. AT never ceases to amaze me, as I take gamble after gamble, and the impossible materializes in the most unexpected and beautiful ways….

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  8. When I was younger I was terribly shy and the very idea of standing up in front of people and talking was horrifying. I was often sick at college rather than do a presentation. I now do 4 hour workshops and talks in business. The Alexander Technique has certainly let me take a few more gambles. I figure “What is the worst thing that could happen” and free my neck!

  9. Lovely post – thanks so much for sharing Robert! I love this little tidbit of Mark’s history and the parallels with FM’s 💜

    I have a vivid memory when I was first considering training and asking my teacher what they thought –
    Their gracious response was enthusiastic: “You’ll make a great teacher!” yet honestly I wasn’t quite ready to believe it 😂
    I moved to Philly to train because I knew it would help my dancing and hoped that someday I might be able to teach –
    I’ve never once regretted that leap of faith!

  10. Thank you for your post, dear Rob. I can hear Marj saying those delightful words right now, as she did so many times during those years in Lincoln and elsewhere. I find myself saying them when I teach, and of course, giving Marj credit for such a powerful phrase. The phrase itself, and the easy way she said it, truly allow each student to make the AT process “their own”. They are being encouraged to step into unknown territory, with delight and wonder: creating a definite sense of the “adventure” of FM’s process.

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