Post by Category : Ache – ease

Is Your Head Screwed On Right?

Anatomy and Art, Cartoon by Kirsten Harris 

 

Is your head screwed on right?

 

I love the way our language and the phases we use reveal so much on closer inspection! We might say ‘so and so hasn’t got their head screwed on right!’

It’s a cheeky way of saying someone’s thinking is out of balance – faulty!

Someone with their head ‘screwed on right’ is conversely seen as balanced, sensible and wise.

 

I love the suggestion in this common phrase that the balance of the head is key to our ability to think clearly, rationally!

 

Anger, frustration, trying too hard or slumping and other distortions of the physical balance etc can all lead to a sense of not having your own head screwed on quite right! A kind of feeling or emotional condition where you know that there is nothing really wrong, but don’t feel quite right.

 

The Alexander Technique is a fantastic way of discovering how the balance of the head atop the spine facilitates freedom and ease emotionally, mentally and physically.

 

The compromised shortening of the muscles in the neck when your head isn’t ‘screwed on right’ aka in balance,  can lead to many unhelpful conditions that are commonplace in this modern world.

 

The lack of balance of the head and accompanied tightness in the neck and domino effect through your entire system can lead amongst other things to feelings such as anxiety or worry, defensiveness and anger,  as well as of course, pain.

 

To end, I question as a society in general, whether we have our heads screwed on right?

 

Body Magic by Kirsten Harris

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

www.kirstenharris.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

Once Upon a Time …

The Old Horse Chestnut Tree by Kirsten Harris, Pen on paper

 

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the frozen lands of Scotland, a young woman found herself trapped in a dark and terrifyingly lonely forest. Sharp, searing thorns ripped at her back, pulling her this way and that, completely stopping her from moving.  She was lost, stuck, scared and in horrendous pain. The harder she tried to break free from the fearsome binding wilderness the more it entangled her. She tried everything, even ignoring and suppressing the pain it inflicted, but it just gripped her tighter and tighter. She felt utterly lost.

 

One day whilst trapped in the forest she met a witch, who was really a wise woman in disguise. The witch spoke to the girl and gave her a very strange message – She told the girl to keep saying ‘I let my neck be free’ no matter what!

‘What strange words!’ thought the girl. ‘I let my neck be free!’ Oh well if that is her best magic spell I better give it a go –  I have absolutely nothing to lose and you never know it might work!’

 

Days passed and the girl kept saying ‘I let my neck be free’ to herself over and over and over.

 

One day a beautiful shining magical sword appeared before her.

‘Pick me up and use me, I am the transformational sword of your thinking’ it whispered.

As she picked it up the girl thought she could see a tiny glimmer of light through the thick gnarled impenetrable branches of the forest.

 

She realised in order to reach the light she had to use the sword to get through the entangled forest, cutting through the twigs and branches one by one. Not only that, but she had to go deeper into the painful knotted wood and not be frightened of its fearsome voice and cry, but to listen to it, to face it with courage.

 

She picked up the sword with her mind’s eye, and started to use her thinking to cut pathways. Her body was the forest and her rapier like mind her way to free it from the painful strangle. She had to trust that her mind was brilliant enough for the task ahead. She came upon dead end after dead end. Dark places engulfed her, but she had no choice but to be brave and patient and keep moving forward into her thinking. The girl started to see the pain as her friend, a friend that was calling for her attention, guiding her mind as to where to travel.

 

‘Come into me’, it shouted, ‘step into this pain in your neck, let your neck be free, travel through this howling in your back, bare the darkness and see what happens. Keep stepping forward into my call for only then will I allow the light to appear. I cannot shout any louder for you to hear me. Pay attention, I am your friend in disguise.’

 

She stopped struggling staying still and quiet allowing her mind to be free in the darkness. Any desire to move or run away from the pain she learned to ignore, instead she wrapped her mind around it, exploring, spiralling, mentally dancing with the pain, letting her consciousness be it, feel it, find its story.  Her tenacity started to pay off and slowly over time a clearing emerged in the forest that was full of light and shimmering beauty. The pain had disappeared in that place, and then the next and the next …

 

Little by little she started to find a path out of the entangled forest as she learned to follow and play in the the branches of her nervous system, finding a wonder world, a labyrinth of stillness, possibility, light and illumination.

 

The girl was uncovering her own enchanted tree in the magical forest of life. It was not the scary place the pain had made her think it was.

 

Pain had become her transformation and her salvation and she learned to thank it for the kindness its voice was really presenting and all that it was teaching her.

 

**********************

This is my story, my journey with the Alexander Technique as a 24 year old.

 

Share Button

You’ve Got It Already!

‘Unhelpful Thinking Habits!’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

Whatever this ‘thing’ is that Alexander Technique teachers get so passionate about and want to teach you – you’ve got it already!  You know IT! This is the premise that I work from. I am not teaching you something that you don’t already know. All I am doing is hopefully reminding you how brilliant you are – refinding something with you that you already have.

 

For most of us, our natural poise has been compromised and with it our sense of easy well being, connection and confident pleasure in life. Life has become a bit or a lot more complicated than it need be.  The Alexander Technique IT factor is a ‘primary freedom’, or ‘primary control’. Horse riders will understand it as the balance and freedom of the horses poll. A poise is released through your entire being when we find the release of the head into its natural easy balance atop the spine. You were born with this self righting mechanism intact, but may have compromised it along the way.

 

Releasing interference to the primary freedom is not necessarily a long complicated process, it can happen in this very moment …. and this moment … and this…  It is simply our habits and lack of awareness that get in the way. Alexander Technique is a marvellous way of discovering you’ve got it right now, that you are by design balanced.

 

I still remember my first lesson with Astrid Cox 30 years ago. It was empowering, exciting, thrilling… A great big ‘AHA’ light bulb switched on in my entire being. My mind and body became one again. A clarity about myself lit up that had been dimmed, leading to extreme pain by the time I was 24 years old. I knew then that I was responsible for how I felt. I didn’t have back pain and it had me, I was doing something that created the pain, a pain that I could change by thinking.

 

The word technique is a little misleading. Alexander lessons are not so much a technique but more a means of understanding a principle, a paradigm, a truth about yourself that is inspiring, illuminating and applicable to everything if you choose.

Yes, I am still passionate 30 years later!

 

This morning I just wanted to affirm that YOU are amazing! You are IT! And even if you don’t know it right now, you’ve got it already!

‘Let Go’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

***********************

More from me –

Body Magic download here

Breathe download here

Walking with your Horse download here

The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods, Colouring Book with AT inspired words.

Sale price £5 link here

Art and blogs about art – www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

Alexander Technique – www.kirstenharris.co.uk

FB – The Daily Ease Alexander Technique

FB – Kirsten Harris Art

 

 

 

 

Share Button

How to get a sore neck!

  • Slump a lot
  • Let your head poke forward so your neck has to work really hard all the time
  • Sit cross legged
  • Slump even more
  • Get angry and stressed
  • Worry a lot, definitely sweat the small stuff
  • Hold onto ‘stuff’ and worry about the past
  • Keep your hands in your pockets when you are walking
  • Definitely don’t let your arms swing
  • Carry a heavy bag on one shoulder
  • Keep your tongue clamped to the roof of your mouth
  • Shallow breathe
  • Worry about the future
  • Don’t stretch
  • Develop habits of self judgement and fearful thinking
  • Have absolutely no knowledge of how the body balances
  • Try to sit up straight and have good posture
  • Do not become aware or gain self knowledge!

 

If you follow these instructions you should get a sore neck and more! Good luck!

 

OR …. !!!???

 

Alexander Technique, the art of changing!

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Art

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

 

Share Button

How to Be a Flop!

How To Be A Flop, Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

Instead of a ‘how to be a success’ blog I thought I would write one about how to be a flop! Let’s take some pressure off and hopefully make life a little easier. It’s really much easier being a flop after all!

 

So, what if it was absolutely OK to be a flop at work, at home or at school? What if being a flop is actually a way to achieve more success? What if people actually saw your flopping as wonderful self care! A little bit of daily ease!

 

So when the pressure gets just too much why not just give up for a bit and let yourself flop over. Sitting on a chair is the easiest way. Simply let yourself hang out for a bit with your head between your legs and let go.  People will probably ask you if you are ok but that’s ok. It feels good being floppy, quite a relief really. So don’t worry what you look like, go ahead, flop!

 

Let your neck be free so your head can really hang…

Surrender the weight of your head to give your neck and back a wonderful releasing stretch…

Let the weight of your arms hang heavily, freeing your shoulder muscles and stretching the connective tissue around the shoulder blades, an area that can get really tight…

Let yourself breathe out, big sighing out breaths easing the ribs…

Let go and give up being an upright person for a bit and enjoy the view from between your legs!

 

Congratulations you are now a flop!

If you have a cat or a dog they will probably want to lick your face as you are now at their level and they think that is very exciting. Just a mini hazard of your new found flopdom.

 

STRANGE BUT TRUE – if you imagine looking up your nose, you will get more of a releasing stretch on the back of your neck!

 

It feels great being a flop. Really it’s a giant relief to take time out for a minute or two.

 

When you want to come up again, think about rebuilding the spine slowly from the bottom up … like a tower block … vertebrae by vertebrae…one bone at a time … one on top of the other … leaving your head until last so that it can find its balance point on the two rockers on the base of your skull.

 

I recommend you let yourself be a flop at least once a day. It really is jolly good for your daily ease!

 

With love

Kirsten

 

The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods Colouring Book with Alexander Technique inspired words is now HALF PRICE, ON SALE Here

Usually £10 reduced to £5 plus postage LINK Here

Please email me if you are interested to buy kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

Share Button

The Daily Ease

I gave my blog the title The Daily Ease as a reminder to make time for a daily ease.

 

What does a daily ease mean to you?

 

  • lying down in consecutive rest aka semi supine
  • going for a walk
  • turning your phone off for a time
  • stopping to look, listen and be the appreciative life
  • consciously doing a big sighing out breath and letting go
  • letting go and letting god and reminding yourself to trust
  • smiling
  • drinking a glass of water
  • a yawn and a stretch
  • something else? many ease ideas available …

 

There is something very powerful about making a conscious choice to prioritise a daily ease for yourself. A mini mini mini break! A moment or minutes to stop and be the ease. It is really as easy as letting your neck be free …

 

This week seems particularly poignant for me to let go and let god, to, as Einstein said, decide that it is a friendly Universe. Decide that things are happening for me and not against me.

 

So I chose all of the above as my daily ease today but in particular to TRUST the process. Anything for an easier life!

 

Ahhhhhh ………. Ease!

 

********************

 

My downloadable lessons –

Body Magic

Breathe

Walking with Your Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

The Giraffe

The Giraffe by Kirsten Harris

 

‘You’re having a laugh’ said the baby giraffe
‘If you think I’m going up there!
I’ve no head for heights, they give me a fright
I don’t want to be tall, it’s not fair!’

 

‘Your thinking’s absurd’ twittered the bird
Looping high fives in the air
‘Forward! Up to the zone, for a confident home
Think up, planet up, it’s a dare!’

 

‘I’m shy’ he replied ‘I’ve no time for the sky
It’s odd and it’s weird being me
I’ll slump and I’ll slouch, it won’t hurt much … Oh ouch!
My neck doesn’t feel very free!’

 

‘Structure your bones like a house’, said the mouse
‘To balance your head without care
Free your neck in your mind. Think up, you will find
You’re giraffey not mousey –  so there!’

 

The thing that is strange is how it is arranged
The giraffe, the wee mouse, even me:
Seven bones in the neck, yes the same – what the heck …
Am I human or mouse? Which is me?

 

(Think I’ll be a giraffe!)

 

IMG_6346

I’ve painted giraffes many times since this amazing encounter in Botswana 20 years ago. I had the idea then to write something Alexander Technique inspired about a giraffe. It has only taken  twenty years for the idea to be born in this verse. Hope you like it. I want to do a better illustration next.

 

giraffe3

The Light by Kirsten Harris, Oil on Canvas, 110 x 110 cm Sold

 

Something else you might like –  HERE is a link to an Alexander Technique colouring book. Each double page spread has AT inspired prose and a drawing to colour … for anyone who wants to share or learn AT in an easy, different way …

The Daily Ease, A Walk in the Woods Colouring Book

 

What people are saying – “Within the words and magical illustrations are lots of wonderful reminders of the wisdom and teachings of the Alexander Technique and how they can be so easily incorporated into our daily life to bring us ease and flow.” Sally, Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods

It’s finally here –  The Daily Ease colouring book. Inspired by walking in the woods with my dog Maisie – this is Alexander Technique passionista meets nature lover meets eco warrior meets tree hugger meets creativity encourager

 

For children and adults alike.

 

Interwoven with the drawings and writing are lots of Alexander Technique concepts and inspirations, hopefully presented in an easily absorbed way to make you smile

 

Here is a sample page …

 

fullsizeoutput_159efullsizeoutput_159c

 

A link to buy the book here –  The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods

Written with love, all profits from this book will be used to plant trees here in Scotland

 

What people are saying –

‘This is more than a colouring book, it is a delightful, gentle, joyous book of wisdom for all ages.’

‘Within the words and magical illustrations are lots of wonderful reminders of the wisdom and teachings of the Alexander Technique and how they can be so easily incorporated into our daily lives to bring us ease and flow.’

‘Kirsten’s book combines her wonderful warmth and humour with her gift for art, love of nature and passion for the Alexander Teachings in a way that is accessible for everyone.’

 

Do email me if you have any questions kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

Discounts available for quantity purchases (email me)

To post abroad please again email me as I will need to add postage

Free postage in the UK

 

I hope you enjoy The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods

COLOURING BOOK KH-2

 

 

Share Button

Ki – How I Discovered Alexander Technique

Ki

 

Here’s a girl, nick-name Ki

Yup, a verse, all about me

A teenager who slumped and slouched

Growled and groaned, and then BIG OUCH!

My back packed up, could take no more

Age 24, in pain on the floor

 

It happened quite out of the blue

While turning for paper on the loo

That little twist, the final straw

My slumped tight muscles finally swore

 

Muscle spasm, extreme pain

The doctor came, but nothing gained

The collar to hold my neck was thick

The pills he gave me made me sick

Puking with a neck in spasm

My brain to body, there was a chasm

 

One day, a visiting friend, an actor

Showed me what was the matter

‘At drama college we learned Alexander Technique

So simple, profound, amazing, unique’

 

‘Let me show you how to lie

Your head on books, knees to the sky …

Just rest … let your mind begin to go …

Into your body, let it flow … ‘

 

‘The pain is your body shouting ‘KI LISTEN!’

There is no need to stay in prison

For that is what your body’s become

You’re stuck in your head, it’s really quite dumb!’

 

From that moment I could see

That Alexander Technique was for me

‘Let it go!’ I’d found a key

To learn to let my neck be free

 

Opening my thinking as I go

Not to arrive or be perfect, just to flow

To let my life a journey unravel

As freely forward and up I can travel

Noticing habits that put me wrong

Like a clamped up, held tight tongue

 

I’ve learnt this technique bit by bit

And am still learning, come to think of it

For there is no destination, perfect or right

It’s a moving journey, travelling light!

 

That was 30 years ago and I still LOVE Alexander Technique. If you would like o find out more why not check out my download BODY MAGIC here. 2 x 25 minute lessons for semi supine aka constructive rest.

[purchase_link id=”50″ style=”” color=”” text=”Purchase”]

BodyMagic_mobile

Share Button

STOPPING – The Most Magical Gift of All!

Do you know how to rest constructively?

To stop, once a day, and give yourself the best gift of all?

 

To simply, quickly and effectively LET GO for a short period of time, so that you can bounce back into action with restored energy and vitality…

There is an old wisdom – Less is more…

 

Animals do!

My dog will power nap, she is not asleep.
In fact she is entirely alert but in a resting state.

Her body completely inactive, but her ears and other senses still listening.

She amazes me that after a few minutes she is full of beans again.

 

It is a great skill to learn.

And the best gift you can give yourself.IMG_6847

‘Maise and Me – Zoned and Boned’

 

HERE IS A QUICK GUIDE TO STOPPING CONSTRUCTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY –

 

 

GUIDE TO BODY MAGIC –

 

  • Know there is an optimum way to stop and rest. Lie as shown in the pictures – head resting on books so your head is not pulled back, nor are you giving yourself a double chin, knees up, hands on ribcage.

 

  • This constructive rest position provides maximum support and minimum stress for working muscles to release.

 

  • Putting your legs up on the sofa with your bum as close to the sofa as possible,  back on the floor, works well too. Be Warm.

 

  • We all need a bit of support now and then – give it to your self. Stop and lie down on the floor!

 

  • Like the childs game ‘Dead Lions’ (which I loved as a kid -the only one I seemed to be good at!) your job is to NOT move for up to 17 minutes! Stay still physically, but activate your brain in a new way mentally. We are finding a way to BE ZONED!

 

  • Being Zoned allows lots of wonderful magical things to happen in your body -intervertebral discs rehydrate (you will be taller when you stand up) adrenalin leaves the body (you will be less stressed) and your mind and muscles have a chance to let go into length. To really find neutral. Your happy state!

 

  • Five minutes resting constructively is better than NO minutes. Little breaks. YAY!

 

  • How do you get into the zone? Like an artist using a brush stroke loaded with magical paint,  brush mind attention through your own system, your muscles, your shapes, the curves and breaths of your body.

 

  • This will encourage your muscles to release into your NATURAL LENGTHENED EASE STATE.  You cannot do something to make your muscles LET GO, but you can think into them to trigger a release….. It works, the more you practise the easier you get!

 

  • Let Constructive rest BE YOUR DAILY EASE…. it is Body Magic and the Best Gift you can give your self. Mind about your self!

 

  • Stopping is a great place to start to ease out just about any situation.

 

 

TO HELP YOU GET ZONED…

GIVE YOUR SELF THE MOST MAGICAL GIFT OF ALL…

CLICK THE LINK HERE – BODY MAGIC

 

Enjoy resting!

 

MAY DOC002(23)

‘I Feel like I am floating!’

 

Share Button

Fancy That!

Fancy That!

by Kirsten Harris

 

‘When I say ‘I’m tired!’ I feel rather flat

But if I say ‘I’ve energy’ I do have! Fancy that!’

 

 

JULY DOC004(16)

 

 

‘Gently purring, resting easy

Neck a free releasing muscle stream

Body feels buttery and creamy

Letting go, a forward flowing dream’

 

*******

 

Animals know how to rest

How to let go

How to live the dream

 

Crazy Maisie, my darling cockerpoo, is currently passed out at my feet after a busy morning bossing me about to throw a ball.  Activity and rest, she knows the difference. Not so crazy Maisie…

 

But I can be tired and keep pushing myself to do more, silly human doing!

And then moan about being tired, and feel worse and worse. Daft person!

 

 

The two lined verse from the mouse reminds us that the words we say effect us…

 

This illustration from The Daily Ease 2017 calendar reminds us to let go…

 

What’s up? Asks a mouse….somethings wrong…

Ease up, feet up, rest easy….the mice advice…

 

Co-operation and friendship become easier…

The mice are not scared of the cat….

Fearlessly resting…

Do I fearlessly rest?

 

It is by learning to stop that we find change…

Stopping in the moment…

Stopping an unhelpful thought such as ‘I’m tired!’….

Stopping to rest…

Stopping to feel love…for one’s own loving heart….for the support around us…

Stopping to lie in semi-supine…

Stopping to love the feel of the releasing muscle stream available to all of us when we really allow ourselves to rest…

 

The cat knows!

Smiling purring puss..

The little mice know too!

Do you? Alexander Technique will show you how…

 

The Daily Ease reminds us how lovely it is to rest…

Hmmm, I fancy that!

 

***********

To buy a copy of The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar.

Alexander Technique wisdom for children, adults, cats and mice!

Click Here

 

Share Button

I Feel Like I am Floating

MAY DOC002(23)

 

Taking the time

To lie in semi supine

Is good for my spine

And helps me feel fine

 

17 minutes of time

On the floor is sublime

Let go to align

My bodies design

 

Think into my outline

Contemplate widening from my centreline

Radiating inner sunshine

To find balance’s forward and upward refine

 

Intelligent as Einstein

As refreshing as wine

Rejuvenating the discs of my spine

And it doesn’t cost me a dime

 

Alexander Technique semi supine

Easy DIY self care guideline

Release holding my lifeline

It’s quite simply divine!

 

The drawing is from the  2017 Daily Ease Calendar Available to pre-order now.

A fun reminder to bring Alexander Technique into your daily life every day.

http://www.kirstenharris.co.uk/calendar.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

The Girl with Two Necks

I have two necks. No really I have, and so have you!

No need to pat your under-chin and worry if you’re developing a wattle. I’m not being insulting! Me? Well maybe I do have little extra chin or two, but I really do have two necks!

 

One of my necks has seven bones. This neck is sometimes described as swan-like or Shrek-like depending on how it’s used and can be a pain in the neck or free and graceful. Are you rubber necking now to find out where your second neck is…

Your second neck has five bones, lumbar vertebrae. This neck is at your waist. Like the one above it it’s very mobile when free but can be tight, stiff and restricted and hurt a lot when not.

 

I want to keep my first neck free as it holds my oh so brainy brain up.

I want to keep my second neck free as it supports the balance of my heart up in space.

I want a heart and brain that are not constricted. Makes sense to me. I might be a little more successful at everything that way. Life is tough enough without having two bottle necks to contend with.

 

So today, how about spending a little time thinking of being a girl or boy with two necks and explore the enormous range of mobility and movement sensation they both give you. Two connected necks talking to each other in your thoughts.

 

I wrote the first half of this blog before getting on a flight. Every time I reminded myself that I have two necks whilst standing in the many airport queues or sitting in my not so easy jet seat I felt comfortable again.

 

So with a little daily ease and a wonderful anatomy of abundance – welcome to the world of having two necks. Mythical!

 

 

Share Button