Post by Category : Habits

No Room For Doubt!

No Room for Doubt!

‘There is no room for doubt in art!’ Sean Scully 

The opposite of the word doubt is confidence. Other words to describe the opposite of doubt include belief, conviction, trust, definiteness, faith, ease, truthfulness, solution, calm, clarity, knowledge…

At art school we were encouraged to be bold, to be confident, as a key to being an artist! That was the main input. Express yourself no matter what!

‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power and magic to it.’ Goethe 

In the documentary ‘Unstoppable, Sean Scully and the Art of Everything’ Sean says ‘There is no room for doubt in art!’ He describes doubt as an entirely unhelpful emotion that gives you nothing and creates a block. He says to be an artist you need to be driven, not care what anyone thinks and not doubt yourself. 

I needed to hear those words! Maybe you do too? 

I AM AN ARTIST not a doubter! I needed to be reminded to not doubt in order to reconnect with conviction, trust and ease to the flow that drives me forward. Luckily I have never had a problem with motivation up until the past couple of months when I have let doubt creep in, like an unhelpful ear worm, due to a whole bunch of events colliding, including an attempted scam where, despite my body screaming at me ‘there is something wrong’ I doubted what my intuition was shouting with almost disastrous consequences. Thankfully I woke up in time! However it left me traumatised and doubting myself. 

Art is about exploring connections with life, love, god, creativity, spirit, whatever you want to call it. Art is about faithfully being yourself, whatever and no matter what! What else can you be!? 

‘Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.’ Lao Tzu

We are often ‘taught’ to doubt, to not trust our intuition, to not trust our self, to not have self worth, to be humble and hold back, to not be at ease, to have fear, to give our power away and accept authority without question. 

A whole load of (negative) events caused me to allow myself to doubt and block the flow of my art and therefore my life. DAH! How ridiculous can a girl get!? Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

‘If you stop doing the wrong thing, the right thing can do itself!’ FM Alexander 

There is no room for doubt in art (or life). It is utterly unhelpful! Having faith and trust in yourself is a good thing, not an arrogance. 

Art can transform experiences, trauma, disillusionment, hurt. Art can reconnect us to passion, to love, to life. Art can deepen our understanding of the experiences we have! We just need to show up wholeheartedly to the process and the solution is in front of us. 

It is time to clutter clear doubt from my studio!

Time to just embrace that despite feeling a bit broken, including physically from breaking a bone, I can make art and be creative from where I am right now. The pain can have expression. What else? How else can change occur? That is clarity instead of doubt!

It’s a choice – confidence or doubt. Approaching art with definiteness that the years of knowledge and practice allow is an act of faith. In committing to the process the flow finds you … 

Let go, make art! 

I thought I would share these thoughts as doubt can show up in many areas of our life and I agree with Sean Scully – there is no room for doubt! 

Trust your intuition! Trust yourself! Trust your heart! Trust your art!

Forward and up! Love Kirsten

(Image – ‘Trust’ www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk)

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In Our Hands

(I shared this originally as a facebook post on my art page Kirsten Harris Art. I wanted to write something to go with the drawing and to write from my heart about horses. I thought I should post as a blog here. I hope you enjoy it. )


‘In Our Hands’ by Kirsten Harris

5 Thoughts – 
1. Our hands have immense sensitivity. Can you let your hands be neutral? Do your hands know how to listen to follow your horse or do they control and bully? Do you use your hands to pull at your horse’s sensitive mouth and head? Or do you allow the energy of your heart-brain and the elasticity of your body to move through your hands into a flow of union and connection? 

2. Can you sit in balance on a chair, easily for a prolonged period of time without discomfort? If not, learn to do so before you sit on a horse. You are only bringing your inbalances to your riding and teaching your horse tension otherwise. You will create imbalances. Find your own poise first and then you will find the poise of your horse. It’s magical when it happens and totally worth the work on your self.

3. Horses are teachers for our heart and soul. We have much to learn from them. If you feel anger, frustration or ego around your horse walk away. Take wise counsel, breathe, let go. A horse is not a sponge for your unprocessed stuff. Negative thoughts and emotions do not belong around your horse

4. Be patient and learn to be at ease with yourself. Meditate. Listen. Let go. Horses will teach you about timelessness, unity, flow, courage, the divine, non verbal communication, boundaries, energy… Horses will teach you how to think into the vastness of the universe and the great mysteries. Be patient with yourself and your horse. Learn to get out of your own way to allow the door of knowledge to open. There is plenty of time. It is all you have. Enjoy the process. 

5. It is OK to feel fear. You and your horse are both flight animals. It is not OK to take your fear out on your horse. Let your heart be open and soft. Love your horse with all your heart. Let your ego dissolve so you are pure around your horse. Be a child of wonder and awe in his presence. Be fully present. Enjoy what you are learning and experiencing right now. Don’t compare your journey with your horse with that of other peoples. The journey of ‘should’ and ‘ought’ will only get in your way. You and your horse are both unique and marvellous. Your horse is an honest loving mirror into your essence, your soul in space right now if you dare to peek. Do you love what you see? 

Written and drawn with love
Kx

copyright Kirsten Harris 
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Artwork and prints
www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

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Enjoy A Breather

I am interested in how language changes things. I have been thinking about this in relationship to resistance and time. I noticed recently a feeling of resistance to appointments. Instead of feeling flaky and dragging my heels, I have been wondering about the resistance and have come up with an insight that feels helpful.

 

Alexander Technique is very much a training in self awareness and ease in present time. An appointment is a commitment to the future. I noticed that having things booked in feels like I am being pulled out of my ease and creativity. Knowing I have to do something specific later starts to impinge on the present –  like a big rock is blocking the flow. Yet as soon as I arrive at the appointment I am in the flow again and enjoy whatever I am doing. Weird!

 

I started to talk about this with students and friends and have discovered that many other people feel this way too, also with an accompanied feeling of guilt. What a relief that I am not alone!

 

Somehow locking down our relationship with time is stressful for many of us. I muse that in the agricultural age our clock was daylight and the seasons, hunger and health, and not specific hours and minutes.

 

I have also been thinking about time in terms of ‘time off’ and ‘taking a break’ thinking my resistance was because I needed a break. Yet thoughts of time off and taking a break don’t feel genuine. The expression ‘I need a break’ suggests breaking off for a bit from what we are doing in order to return to exactly what we were doing before. Secondly ‘a break’ also feels negative, a splitting and an implied criticism of the present to be in the future.

 

Noticing this I have been experimenting with the word breather –  ‘I’m enjoying a breather’ or ‘I’m allowing time for a breather’ or ‘I’m having a breather.’  Here now is an instant change into ease in the present moment. Taking a break and taking a breather are two common expressions which look like they mean the same thing, but have, for me at least, a very different effect.

 

Having a breather is a shift of consciousness right now. A breather is a renewal. A letting go. An easing open. There is a Buddhist saying ‘breathing is the hinge on which the door of life swings.’

 

A breather is a thought here and now. A thought that I think positively effects outcomes in the future yet keeps us tuned to the present moment.  A breather might be simply noticing light or sound, pausing to be present, aware that you are being breathed right now. You don’t have to do your every breath, you don’t have to be in control!

 

A breather might turn into an Alexander Technique ‘Whispered Ah’ or lying for 20 minutes in semi supine.

 

A  breather might be pausing a thinking habit that is stressful or giving yourself permission to not book ahead into busyness.

 

For me a breather is the latter, not booking too many dates in a habitual way so that I can enjoy some space and trust and deepen into my creative flow which I am loving.

 

A breather is giving time to expand into the things you really want to do, trusting it is ok not to plan stuff motivated by fear, lack, habit, should’s, ought’s, avoidance of your hearts desire or people pleasing! I’m allowing myself to enjoy a breather from that and to see what happens.

As FM Alexander said ‘If we stop doing the wrong thing, the right thing can do itself.’

 

Taking a breather isn’t selfish! Taking a breather is necessary, life affirming, passion renewing, healthy and wise! I’m loving the thought of a enjoying a breather leading the way to open the magical door of possibility … A breather is not so much a break more an energising of flow and even better resistance frees up!

 

Forwards and up!

Love Kirsten x

 

The photo was taken near me at the Falls of Clyde in Scotland. It is a huge old stone wall in the woods with two door spaces in it. The remains of a building, an Orangery, I think! It’s a breathtaking place!

 

Resources –

Breathe Media download

Body Magic download

 

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Art

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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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

 

 

 

 

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Trust! A Door to Ease and Creativity…

The Unused Door by Kirsten Harris

 

Trust! How do you do that?

 

I believe trust is one of the many skills that the Alexander Technique teaches. A life skill that is as precious as it can be potentially challenging to access.

 

As we learn to trust the support of the ground and the direction of our thinking we become aware of the delicacy of our innate balance. As we learn to apply these skills to the bigger picture, to our life, doors of possibility, ease and creativity open for us.

 

How? Understanding some simple anatomy certainly helps. Knowing where we are being anatomically supported by the ground and our own structure makes it easier to learn to let go and trust that we will be supported, that we are OK!

 

Another skill is to trust your thinking. I do this with an awareness of a simple yet profound question – Is my neck free? If not, why not?

 

If I decide to do something, to make a decision in any way and my neck is free, it is the green light to proceed in a forwards and upwards direction. Flow forward.

 

If my neck is tight it is a red light warning sign. Pause, think again, perhaps stop altogether, notice what is happening, let go…

 

Lessons in the Alexander Technique help you heighten awareness of the feedback that your body is constantly giving you. As you get more skilled at listening to your inner tutor, intuition, the door of trust swings wider and wider open revealing new landscapes of possibility, ease and creativity …

 

A short blog on a big subject!

 

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The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods – my Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book is now half price reduced to £5 plus postage. LINK HERE. All money being used to plant trees. Please email me if interested kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com.

 

Link to the new Alexander Technique teacher training school opening in Scotland, January 2019. A term self development foundation course is also available… https://www.edinburghalexandertraining.com

 

 

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Where’s Your Birdie?

Where’s your Birdie?

 

This is the question I am going into the New Year with!

 

No, I haven’t suddenly landed in an episode of Wacky Races with Dastardly and Muttley trying to ‘catch the pigeon’ nor have I lost my cockatiel, (long since dead much loved rescue bird, Custard). The birdie is metaphor for attention, spirit, direction, focus …

‘Forward and Up’, Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

Years ago I attended a lecture and then read about a wonderful horsemanship theory called Birdie Theory, by Dr Deb Bennet. The concept is that the birdie is the horses attention, and that it is an extremely good idea to know where the horses birdie is at all times. For example a horse that is unwilling to go forward may have left his birdie back in the stable and you may have to go and retrieve it, or equally a horses birdie can fly miles away, his attention caught by something in the distance. Where the horses birdie is, is where his body will want to go. Does this sound Alexander Technique familiar?

 

The birdie is attached by a ‘golden thread’, and you do not want to snap the thread. That is then cruelty.  Your job is to be aware and understand how to connect with the inside of the horse, moment by moment and get his birdie with you. A job in the ongoing present. Patience is required.

 

‘Good Boy’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

I started thinking about Birdie Theory in relationship to a friend with a family member with mental health problems the other day, wondering if this concept might be of help.

 

But then it struck me that it would also be useful for me to reconnect with my birdie as the year comes to an end and consider where my birdie is.  Have I caged it in any way? Am I clipping my birdie’s wings? Am I losing my birdie at times? Or abandoning it? Where does my birdie want to fly into the new year? How high does my birdie want to fly? How far? Does my birdie need a bit of attention? …

 

‘Believe in Yourself!’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

Thinking of a birdie leading the way forwards and upwards into he flow of life feels like a really helpful concept for me to see my New Year’s Intentions as not so much a ‘to do’ or ‘to achieve’ list but more as New Year Attentions – a reconnection and renewal of where my spirit is going to be in 2019.

 

And now searching for an image for this blog I realise a bird had been appearing in lots of drawings over the past few years and that I feel inspired to develop this birdie character in my artwork too into the new year. My birdie is happy finding a birdie! Where’s your birdie?

 

Hope this is helpful and wishing you a very happy new year

 

With love

Kirsten

 

LINKS

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – artwork, prints, cards

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique and Horsemanship  – Walking with Your Horse Lessons in Alexander Technique 

 

Air Bourne by Kirsten Harris

Oil on Canvas

100 x 150 cms

 

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Please Your Self!

Cartoon ‘Zoned and Boned’ by Kirsten Harris

 

Please Your Self! 

 

‘Oh just please your self!’ 

Have you ever had that said to you in anger or annoyance, or in judgement of your behaviour? Or perhaps you’ve said it to someone else, said in disagreement. Does ‘pleasing your self’ sound like a criticism or something that a narcissist or a really selfish person would do. Does pleasing your self make you question yourself as being someone who is selfish, worthless, not deserving of friends, someone who doesn’t think about others? 

 

Here is my take on it. First a few dictionary definitions of the words involved- 

 

Please 

  • cause to feel happy or satisfied
  • take one’s own wishes into consideration in deciding how to act or proceed
  • a polite way of saying yes
  • to have kindness

 

 

Your Self

  • a persons essential being that distinguishes themselves from others
  • the evaluation by oneself of one’s worth as an individual in distinction from one’s interpersonal or social roles. 

 

 

If you look at the meaning of the words than pleasing your self seems like a very worthwhile activity and one can make sentences from these short definitions such as-

 

 

  • Having consideration for your true self
  • Taking the wishes of your essential being into consideration before deciding how to act or proceed
  • Being kind to yourself 
  • Saying yes to your own self worth 
  • Feeling satisfied with your essential being 
  • Being happy with that which distinguishes yourself from others
  • Evaluating yourself kindly
  • Being happy and satisfied in your social roles

 

 

As a seasoned people pleaser I know it can be tricky to learn to please your self. And when you do … sometimes people don’t like it!

 

From an Alexander Technique point of view I would suggest simply stopping as a good starting point. We can learn how to ‘inhibit’, find a pause in the moment, and notice our thoughts and habits. We can learn to stop criticising ourselves or take on other peoples criticisms. I could go on …

 

Taking time out and lying in semi supine aka constructive rest does more than just sort the physical body out, it suspends the habits of our activity, meaning that our personality constructs can have a bit of time out too. Pausing allows layers of social behaviour to float away and the jewel of our true self to be revealed.  This is a psycho-physcial technique after all! Making space for yourself is a very satisfying thing for your true self. 

 

As an artist I value my time alone. I enjoy being solitary, though I am probably quite extrovert in many ways and like being with people too. But truthfully, really pleasing myself at this point of my life is being creative, and being at home and in my garden. I have been criticised for being a workaholic and not going out or being sociable enough. Pleasing your self definitely takes a bit of practise!

 

I find myself making excuses not to do social things and I realise that instead of feeling guilty about this and wondering what is wrong with me that I don’t need to rush around the planet to be happy. I just really enjoy being alone a lot to paint and draw and be with my animals.

 

I remember as a child being given a desk and an angle-poise lamp for a birthday by dad and being delighted, seeing myself monk-like filling a book with wonderful illuminated drawings and magical things and then realising I had nothing much to say and the desk had been bought to do my boring old homework on anyway! But that moment of delight was some aspect of my true self that is still present.

 

I wonder what pleasing your self means to you? I wonder if it makes you feel selfish even thinking about pleasing yourself? Does it make you think other people will think you are selfish or won’t like you? If so, spot the people pleaser! Maybe it is time to give the gift of you to you. Notice do the words ‘please yourself’ make your heart harden or some other tightening or constriction in your body because it resonates as a criticism? This is body magic information for you.

 

I wonder if taking a bit of time out this solstice to please yourself, your essential being, will reveal a hidden gem or two. I wonder if you will find a gift of gold lying underneath the magical Christmas tree – that true gold that is you!

 

Go on –  really please your self for a bit today and see what happens! What do you really want to do?

 

I am beginning to think that perhaps the only way we can truly move forwards and upwards as humans is when we realise that being kind to our individual essential being is the way. Pleasing our true self and letting go of all the shoulds, oughts and demands that we have absorbed that diminish our capacity for love, truth and fearlessness. Perhaps then we will bring more kindness, friendliness and thoughtfulness into the world, for when ‘please your self’ i.e. be happy is a criticism perhaps there really is a need for change!

 

And if you are not sure how to start the change be like Maise and me in the drawing and start by lying down in semi supine for 20 minutes and just let the magic happen as you let go.

 

With love

Kirsten

 

Body Magic – audio link here

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

 

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Enough is Enough!

Do you read ‘enough is enough’ as a positive or a negative? An affirmation or a telling off? A plenty abundance or a never again?  A good enough or a not good enough?

 

If enough is a negative, is it is time to question whether you habitually give yourself a hard time? Thinking that your good enough is not good enough, or not enough, is possibly an unhelpful habit!

 

Is it time to be a little kinder on yourself and see your beautiful self as enough, just exactly as you are right now? Warts ’n’ all!

 

I am asking the question as I see in myself and others too much beating up on the self. Too much ‘Where is my big stick?’ syndrome that definitely tightens the neck and creates startle pattern in the system! Why are we so hard on ourselves? I don’t see horses or dogs behaving like that!

 

It seems that there are so many areas of our lives to juggle and keeping all of them up to scratch is nigh on impossible. Enough is enough on being hard on ourselves. Time to lighten up! Ease out and be enough right now!

 

If I decide I am doing my best, even though the results are not always fantastic, it frees me into a more comfortable abundance present. A trusting loving state. ‘I am doing enough, being enough!’

 

So, for now, ending this blog, enough is enough. Enough work for the day. Time to stop and smell the roses and choose ease instead. Time to be with my animals and then lie down in constructive rest!  Can one ever get enough or that?

 

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Body Magic, constructive rest link here

 

Art Work ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ by Kirsten Harris, Oil on Canvas

www.kirstenharrisart.com

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The Opposite of Creativity is not Destruction, it’s Stagnation!

The opposite of creativity is not destruction, it’s stagnation.

 

This thought came to me yesterday as helpful. 

 

Creativity is defined as the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something: inventiveness.

 

Destruction is defined as the act of destroying something.

 

Stagnation is defined as the state of not flowing or moving. The lack of activity, growth or development. 

 

My thought is that we as individuals are disempowered when we see the opposite of creativity as destruction. We feel helpless to do anything about terrible events like the destruction of the rainforests, for example. We are not encouraged to use our brilliant creative minds by this definition. How can I take on the force of destruction on my own?

 

However, if we see the opposite of creativity as stagnation, perhaps there is a calling here to see our innately creative selves more clearly, and to start to move from a state of not flowing or moving into activity growth and development in small ways that collectively might make a huge difference.

 

To me this change of definition is empowering. Are my thoughts and actions stagnant becomes a useful question. 

 

My interest in the brilliant Alexander Technique these days is how it informs and releases creativity in the individual. I truly believe the world needs more creative thinkers and a population that is not sitting passively stagnating!

 

If I look at the concept that the opposite of creativity is stagnation it becomes clear to me that Alexander Technique definitely encourages a deepened creative state as it teaches the individual to remember and reconnect with their natural and harmonious easy flow of being and encourages free movement through life in our deepened understanding of our own original inventive self.

 

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My small act of creativity for our lungs of the planet – an Alexander Technique inspired ‘story’ book called The Daily Ease , A Walk in the Woods with the intention that all profits will go towards planting trees. 13 black and white plates that can be coloured in too. Suitable for adults and children

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk (Art)

www.kirstenharris.co.uk (AT)

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Drinking Water with a Fork

Am I drinking water with a  fork?

 

This is my new transformational question, a holy grail kind of question, a forking great question!

 

Drinking water with a fork is obviously a difficult, inefficient, unsustainable, energy dripping thing to do. A cup’s a more sensible choice to hold water to quench thirst.

 

Yet I find my self engaged in activities that could definitely be likened to drinking water with a fork. Do you?

 

So now instead of feeling forked off or burnt out I am asking the question – am I drinking water with a fork? Is this action, thought, relationship, behaviour, habit … fork or cup? Draining or nourishing? A simple question that changes my awareness and thinking, more able to see the ridiculousness of my habits and be my own change.

 

A fork and a cup, images for balance, both necessary useful tools, but with very different results.

 

Fork and Cup

Forward and Up!

 

Are you drinking water with a fork?

 

Love Kirsten

 

Body Magic, Lessons in the Alexander Technique click here

Breathe, Lessons in the Alexander Technique click here

 

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Stuff and Nonsense!

I am sorting out my wardrobe and discovering in the process that my favourite childhood book has morphed into ‘The Try On, The Bitch and The Wardrobe!’

 

My closet is bursting at the seams with fantasy versions of an alternative reality –  a life that is ‘absolutely fabulous darling!’

In truth, I live in paint splattered jeans in the muddy countryside. It also appears most of my clothes have ganged up against me and shrunk. It really is a magic wardrobe!

 

Somehow a clothes purge seems symbolic. A letting go of versions of myself that are outworn, outdated or frankly nowadays delusional!

A kind of shedding of old skins – letting go of the metaphorical onion layers to find transformation.

 

The so called middle age spread has spread all over the house. I begin to understand what the phrase means. Not so much body fat from stuffing your face but a general boundary spilling over abundance stuffing of everything that slows down your energy.

 

I have been decluttering all summer. It has been a slow stuff shuffle, rather than a whirling, twirling, passionate tango.

 

Every now and then a treasure emerges –  a new idea for how to use things, a bit of space made. Happy moments. Little bits of energy release into a punk pogo round the room. An 80’s music radio station has played in the background all summer. Gold!

 

Lots of lying down in-between too. Letting go of stuff is very exhausting!

 

Now beautiful dresses are being banished to the local Breast Cancer charity shop to look wonderful on someone else. It is as though these tiny tight fragile ‘tutus’ of design gorgeousness are mocking entities in the wardrobe tormenting the more fulsome fifties me! Begone, reminders of another era, this is not my life anymore. Stop poking me!

 

They say ’nature abhors a vacuum’. I am trusting the air developing in my cupboard is inviting new possibilities for adventures and freedom. My magic wardrobe, I tell myself, is inviting a magnetic creative force field of possibility and well being –  new doors to walk through will miraculously appear, magic kingdoms revealed to explore. New outfits for new fit outings.

 

As letting go of unnecessary tension in the body takes a bit of conscious awareness and courage, so does letting go of the tight, out-moded, worn out – the clothes and stuff we are holding onto that stops us being the best person we could possibly be right now. Material on the outside matters somehow to the heart of the matter on the inside.

 

Material girl

Slowly she shuffles stuff

Stuff stuff stuff …

‘Stuff and nonsense’ my granny would have said!

Letting Go by Kirsten Harris

 

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From Gratitude to Grrr-Attitude!

From Gratitude to Grrr – attitude!

 

Inhibition in the Alexander Technique sense doesn’t mean not reacting but pausing before reacting habitually to take a moment to decide how you want to react. For many of us that can be taking a moment to choose not to ‘be nice’ or ‘do nothing’ but to be truthful and take action. To have a bit of grrr – attitude. 

 

I know my habitual reaction to things can be to smile, be nice, try to stay positive and not speak up for myself.

 

I was bought up to be grateful. ‘There are starving people in the world you know’ as a reason for me not to have an opinion about anything. I was also brought up to be nice, sent to a convent school where niceness was valued above all things – ‘You won’t find a husband if you are not nice.’ (Whoops!)

 

Believe me I am grateful and it is nice to be nice. But in all this gratitude and niceness the lesson for me has been to develop a bit of grrrr! 

 

So here is a blog about developing some grrrr-attitude, which for me is an empowered version of gratitude and a valuable self-development tool for pulling the lessons out of experiences so you can move forwards and upwards in life, rather than get stuck in startle pattern. 

 

My dog has grrrr-attitude – I am a great believer that animals have a lot to teach us dumb human beings!  For her grrr-attitude is about looking after herself and achieving her passionate love for having her ball thrown. A little bit of grrr in her soul makes her an excellent communicator and trainer of humans. As I am interested in both self care and developing and following creative passions here are few thoughts about grrr-attitude.

 

Grrrr-attitude gives you healthier boundaries. Sometimes we need a bit of grrr to stick up for ourselves rather than be walked over, bullied or disempowered in ways where we end up seething inside but incapable of doing anything about it. Healthy boundaries are something to be grateful for. Heathy boundaries give you a healthy ‘yes’ and a healthy ‘no’, the first two movements of the spine! A healthy yes and a healthy no and you are free to move!

 

Grrr-attitude gives you a voice and a viewpoint. I am grateful that my voice is developing and hope that in my teaching of the Alexander Technique, particularly at school, I teach my students to have a voice too, their own voice not just a people/teacher pleasing voice.  I aim to teach them to have the courage to speak up – 

 

“Sometimes I see people who are doing speeches or presentations and I wish they had Alexander Techniques lessons. It is a simple thing to do and it helps you be more confident especially as a lot of things at school are about doing things in front of people” Lucy, age 14.

 

I believe Grrr-attitude develops your gratitude – your ability to love, your integrity and your connection to the beauty of the world and your own true nature. A little bit of grrr gives you the ability to stick up for the things you believe in at your core with more courage and strength.

 

Grrr-attitude is about acknowledging when something has got under your skin and having the wherewithal to do something about it.

 

Grrr-attitude also gives you the energy to keep doing what you want to do, to follow your passion without necessarily following the crowd or getting fearful and tense. I wanted to be an artist and an Alexander Technique teacher, two things that are apparently hard to make a living doing! Well, with a bit of grrr-attitude you CAN make a living.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you can’t!

 

I could go on and on… and maybe I will at a later date …

But for now wishing you an attitude of grrr-attitude if you need it and I am truly grateful for you reading thus far. 

 

(Tempted to say Amen, but that is the ex convent girl sense of humour taking over!) 

 

With love

Kirsten

‘If you have an Itch…’

Oil painting by Kirsten Harris

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On Being Wiggly

On Being Wiggly
(Notes from teaching 12 – 14 year olds)

 

‘Is anything in you body straight?’
‘Er … No!?’
‘That’s right your body wiggles and spirals, curves and flows, it is living and isn’t straight.

Is anything in nature, the natural world, straight or is it wiggly?’

‘It’s wiggly’

‘How about this school?’
‘This school is straight!’

‘Yes, people seem to enjoy constructing flat, straight buildings don’t they!’

‘How about music, is it straight or wiggly?’
‘Wiggly!’

‘So you are wiggly children in a flat school doing a wiggly thing, music.’

 

‘Let’s go for a wiggly walk around the room, let’s let go of your straight morning in a straight classroom on a hard chair and all the straight thinking you have been doing and enjoy a good wiggly walk.

They loosen up quickly and easily!

 

‘Now what happens if you think about walking straight?’

Everyone slows down and stiffens straight away!

‘Can you wiggle your walk even more? Can you keep the feel of the wiggly walk when you walk in an everyday, forward and up way?’

 

I wiggly walk with them, talking about the body as we go. One boy want to get on the floor and demonstrates The Worm! A brilliant wave like motion though the body.

 

I ask them to play the piano in a wiggly way, not to worry about getting it right or what it sounds like. To give themselves wiggle room to make mistakes and have fun. To wiggle and enjoy.

Result – instant amazing fluidity and ease of playing.

 

We talk about the flow of thought to piano and piano back to person as sound, as a figure of 8, a loop, waves travelling; not a one way thing, not a linear activity from brain to hands to piano in an upright ‘sit up straight’ posture!

I ask them to receive the flow of sound back, feel the actual reverberation of the piano through their hands, their spines to their ears. ‘Aha’ moments emerge.

 

They wiggly think as they play allowing movement and it sounds great. They can all hear and feel the difference. They experiment with changing their thinking to straight thinking and them back to wiggly.

 

Now it is really easy to see when unhelpful habits emerge – thinking habits.

 

They start to see in each other the instant connection between how they think and how the body responds and how that in turn effects the sound of their playing and can observe the changes in each other with no problem by noticing changes in sound and their level of interest in what the other is playing.

 

They give each other great feedback –

‘Your thinking has gone straight, stop trying so hard,’ one girl says to a boy, ‘be yourself, stop performing and showing off, just be in the music. That’s better, you look much more you now and it sounds much more dynamic!’

 

 

‘What happened there?

‘I was worrying about getting it right!’

‘Is that straight thinking or wiggly thinking?’

‘Straight!’

What would be a better thought?

‘I could think that I am exploring the music, I could just have fun experimenting. I could play with the music and just enjoy it.’

 

(We did a class last week all about the word play versus practise – they play instruments after all!)

 

Aha! He makes a connection between his creative mind that doesn’t worry about not getting things right and can explore and his school mind that thinks he HAS to get things right.

 

‘Great, that’s wiggly thinking. Can you feel and hear the difference?’

 

We listen and we notice how the sound of the piano reverberates long after the music has stopped. The children notice in each other how many of them slump the moment they stop playing, as though defeated and awaiting criticism, and realise that the music hasn’t stopped and stay with the travelling sound waves, their listening taking them into an easy poise as the sound becomes quieter and quieter finally fading to nothing. They let themselves receive the sound waves.

 

Now they are owning their playing and their habits!

It is so unbelievably simple to teach and so effective.

 

A bell goes for the next class, they all react!

‘Did you notice your reaction to the sound of the bell?’ I ask.

(It is a hideous jangly synthetic noise.)
‘Yes it was straight thinking wasn’t it miss! We all stiffened and panicked a bit.’

‘Yes the bell ringing is straight isn’t it, a line to tell you the class is ended. I think my job is to keep you wiggly as you travel through your years here at school so you can keep your music flowing, don’t you.’

‘Ha Ha! Yes! Bye Miss, Thank you! Have a good Easter.’

 

Do you give yourself wiggle room to play in your life? And if you did, what would change?

 

Quotes from 12 year olds on this class – 

 

‘Alexander Technique helps me to see music in a different way, and find ways to make music really fun and not just see it as work. If you look at it as work you get really bored, but since last week I’ve really enjoyed playing music, because I saw it as play and not practise. I have really enjoyed sitting at the piano.’ Elian

 

‘Since Alexander Technique I’ve properly enjoyed work because I started to see it positively instead of in a bad way, by opening up and thinking forward and up. It is a lot more jolly to feel what you are playing, to be in the world of music, to feel the nice sound in your heart and in your surroundings’ Sid

 

‘If it is straight thinking then you just play and get the notes right, if it is wiggly you play it how you are feeling and get the dynamics better, you play it more emotionally.’ Scott

 

‘When I smile and think forward and up I felt happier and could put more emotion into the music.’ Amalie

 

(These classes are short, 25 minute, small group classes, the students have Alexander Technique every week as part of their ‘Curriculum of Excellence.’)

 

On Being Wiggly Part 2 here

 

*****

Art work from The Daily Ease, Alexander Technique colouring story book

link here to The Daily Ease book

available at  www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

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Lean on Me

‘Lean on me …. We all need somebody to lean on’ – A lyric! A truth?

 

What happens if someone leans on you? Can you look after yourself? Or will that leaning push you over, cause you to crumple, to collapse? Will you feel resentment or stress from the pressure of someone leaning? And what if you lean and the support is taken away, or not there? Will you fall? …

 

Teaching the other day, I noticed, as my pupil talked about the stress she was feeling from her friend leaning on her emotionally, that physically her whole structure de-powered too. Literally, within the thoughts of the emotionally difficult situation, she lost her inner power, her poise, her balance, her solidity, her ‘self’. She described herself as crumpling and withering under the strain of the relationship. She looked in pain.

 

I have been developing my teaching over the years based on understanding the simplicity, power and application of Alexander’s direction ‘forward and up’. Much of this teaching is done hands-off, and came about from teaching Alexander Technique to children in a school context, where traditional ‘hands-on’ Alexander Technique is not possible.

 

As we took the ‘forward and up’ lessons into the consideration of the difficult situation, she became clearer and clearer about what was happening psycho-physically, observing the effects of the unbalanced relationship with her friend.  There were several ‘Aha’ moments. I then spontaneously decided to physically lean on her from the side. What happened? Well she started to collapse of course. I asked her to push back, to do what was needed to look after herself and not let herself be leaned on.

 

Something amazing happened.

As she pushed back and uprighted her own physical structure, mine righted itself too. We both stood side by side perfectly in balance. As the leaner, I literally ‘popped’ into balance as she came into balance.

We swapped roles, to observe how it felt being the leaner and the leaned upon.  We noticed that it takes a real mental and physical decision to decide not to be leaned on, but to look after your own balance instead. And that decision brought with it poise and a feeling of happiness.

 

It was a wonderful physical metaphor and moment, because it was so clear to us both that it is by learning to look after ourselves we truly look after another. We both felt whole and complete. (I am looking forward to doing more experiments with this, and wanted to write this blog as much for myself as anything so as to not forget.)

 

So those lyrics, perhaps rewritten would be ‘don’t lean on me if you need a friend’,  let’s help each other stand in our own truth, balance and power instead, even if it takes a bit of sustained conscious psycho-physical ‘effort’, a bit of a push from ground level to think ourselves up!

 

I came out of that teaching situation thinking for the umpteenth time that the Alexander Technique is wonderful –  so simple and profound, an ongoing journey of self discovery.

 

(Funny that the song ‘Lean on Me’ was written by a man named Bill Withers!)

 

If you have never had an Alexander Technique lesson, I would recommend it as number 1 on your 2018 bucket list! Find a teacher in your area.

 

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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.

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Mind the Gap!

Mind the gap!

What does that mean to you?

 

I have been thinking about the gap, that space between one phase and another.

A place to fall or a place to float?

Actors call it ‘resting’ or ‘taking time out.’

From an Alexander Technique perspective that is constructive, but often the space between things, the gap, is an uncomfortable place for folk.

 

‘Mind the gap!’ The announcer says as you board the train about to embark on your journey to your next destination, the next commitment.

‘Mind the gap!’ In other words don’t fall into the space between where you are and where you want to go – stretch your self a little and take a purposeful step forward and up and onto the train, into the flow of your next direction. Be aware there is a space that you can fall into and it can hurt.

 

Mind the gap …

Think about the space between things …

The space between you and another, you and the environment, your thoughts and your movement …

(In horsemanship it is called the float. Floating in water aka Art of Swimming reveals the space in amazing ways too.)

 

There is a big gap above your head, the big up, the up that is up there, the up that takes us up, the space that supports us and eases us … Do you mind that gap?

There is magic there!

 

Folk often fall into the gap when something finishes.

One thing ends another has not started, a gap, OMG what am I going to do next? Scary Mary!

Suddenly there is no distraction, no other to bounce off. What is left is Me!

Oh! Now what?

Oh, I am not happy ..

Oh, I don’t like this …

Oh, this is boring …

Oh, um I have nothing to do ..

I am lonely …

 

The gap is vulnerable and about vulnerability.

I believe consciously allowing the gap transforms vulnerability to strength …

Inner Strength

Psycho-physical strength

It is anatomical

It is Alexander Technique

It is art

It is perhaps The Art!

 

My musician friend and I talked about the gap as the space between the in breath and the out breath

The moment of nothing

The pause

Conscious intention … Breathe …Flow

One creative project finishes another has not started. Mind the gap. A breather. You have given out,  pause,  it will flow in again.

 

My spiritual healer friend talked about the gap as meaning

Remember to Ground And Protect

 

Translated thus – Remember (mind – air) to ground (earth) and protect (fire and water).

Remember earth, air fire and water.

Mind the gap – good plan for planet earth methinks!

Look after you and the earth! It is the only thing to do.

Be in your element in the elements.

 

Do you mind the gap daily – the space between the ground and the top of your head, do you mind where you are in space so you don’t just get pulled down into the gap, the slump?

Do you regularly take moments to just be in the nothing, a dot in the void expanding.

 

As an artist minding the gap is to be aware of the space between me and the canvas ..

Between the intention and the artwork …

Between the idea and the blog …

An unknown series of events flowing when I commit to the journey unfolding …

Good, surprising, exhilarating, disastrous …Who knows?

Commit and find out … allowing a gap, space in your life to create, the paintbrush taking you forward …

 

The gap is the space between you and me aka the relationship, the us.

Do we need someone else to fill the gap or can we allow space?

What is happening in the gap? Is it a sweet spot or toxic?

 

How do we bridge the gap individually, at one, our awareness keen to the known and the unknown?

There are always pitfalls … face the fear and jump … let go and let god … let go and let good …. the sayings are many.

 

Letting go in semi supine, consciously resting, allowing bridges of consciousness to build is profound.

Stopping this way lets magical amazing planet earth help us find psycho – physical unity, our unique at oneness.

 

So, your intuition is saying, mind the gap, and you don’t!?

 

Falling into the gap can be disastrous and painful.

We can have an expectation that someone else is going to support us, love us, stop us falling through the gap, and they let us down, intentionally so sometimes.

We thought that we were on the same train and they railroad us.

Our expectation and reality did not match. There is a gap.

The man falls into a hole story comes to mind. We will fall into the same hole more than once.

So what?!

We learn eventually to make another choice.

 

And if it is disastrous and hurts, then definitely mind the gap. Ground and protect. Semi supine and recalibrate. Breathe. Create lush space for you, no invaders. Don’t fall deeper into the hole with thoughts like ‘I am not good enough, worthy enough, talented enough, likeable enough, no one cares anyway …’

 

Planet Earth supports us if we let it! The gap closes. Time heals. Stopping is wonderful. Wait a while on the platform another train will come along. This time you have more awareness.

 

The gap then becomes a positive resting place between the action.

A place to look after ourselves.

A gap year, a gap second ….  a gap 20 minutes?

Mind the gap, a conscious constructive pause in which to think, intend, move forward, direct your thinking, ease into the space all around ….

Time to chose, time to change.

Time to say No for a while to all that chatter ‘n’ stuff.

You can’t change and stay the same.

So you consciously Mind the Gap instead.

 

The gap can be an uncomfortable place mentally and physically. Not just falling into the gap – trust is required to jump over the gap onto the train and into the new journey and trust is also required to find the way into our inner glorious space radiating too.

Our space on this fine earth is a vulnerable place, but it is also a magical space.

 

We fill our space with so much stuffy stuff maybe because we don’t want to feel the space, be in the unknown, listen to the mysterious, feel the enormity, so stuff feels better than the gap. Chatty chatty busy busy human doings bumping into each other and falling into holes all over the place. Not just being OK right here right now. Resting in respect and awe.

Ease the Day more regularly … a practise for life. It’s body magic.

A bit of time out to learn to fall onto the ground consciously …aha, softer landings.

Falling and floating.

 

Easing out in our own amazing body magical and enjoy finding and filling the gaps and spaces so that when tricky sticky life circumstances, verbal attacks, harsh words, unmet expectations arrive, which they will, our innate balance and understanding of ease stops us tripping and frightened, falling quite so painfully into the gap.BodyMagic_mobile

 

Transformation is available –  recalibrate and mind the gap …with conscious light, illuminating magic.

 

More Body Magic click here

 

 

 

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Tongues!

Tongue Tied
by Kirsten Harris

 

Here’s a funny little question
That left unchecked will cause congestion
Let me ask you, ‘Where’s your tongue?’
Clamped to mouth’s roof you’ll be high strung!

 

It’s best to let your tongue go south
Resting in your lower mouth!
If yours is held and pressed up tight
You will never feel quite right!

 

Tongue Up’s part of the startle pattern
Best let it loose in the oral cavern
If it’s up, you’re stuck in fear
Let it rest! I hope that’s clear?

 

Up tongue’s reacting from a fright
Neck, shoulders, back become too tight
Horrid habit! Be aware
Down with tongues to clear the air

 

The tongue up habit clamps your jaw
At night your teeth you may well gnaw!
Your neck will tighten, your face will fix
This grimace habit is best to nix

 

Your shoulders seize, that clamps your lungs
All from an up held uptight tongue!
Tongue tied to the roof right now dispense
Immediately you’ll feel less tense

 

Just rest it in a ‘low jaw’ place
Think a smile and feel the space
Your tongue will widen when you smile
Your face will soften in a while

 

Breathing opens, energy increases
What do you notice when your tongue releases?
It may at first feel big, weird and wet …
Have you got the message yet?

 

The world will feel a better place
When tongue’s at rest in smiling face
Ask your friends ‘where is your tongue’
To change the habit is good fun

 

EPSON MFP image

Growl now if you’re a stress puppy?
I bet you’re habit is tongue ‘uppy!’
Family rows, disputes and fights?
Perhaps the family tongues not right

 

You’ll see it when friends thinking’s grim
Tongue up, jaw locked, tension within
‘Psychic glimpse’ of things not right?
Friends minds you’ll ‘read’ with this stress insight

 

The good news: things will change right now
With this wee gem of tongue know how
So down with tongues! You’ve heard me right
The tongue up habit’s just uptight!

 

 

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101 Life Lessons from My Dog – Part 2 (66 – 101)

66. Dogs are keenly aware if something different is going to happen … Putting shoes on to go out is a very exciting life event!

 

67. Watching the behaviours of others is interesting and gives insight! Your dog is watching you!

 

68. Think ahead! Forward planning can make life a lot easier. A dog won’t necessarily be caught just because that is what you want this very minute.

 

69. Give praise quickly. If it is a no, it is a no, if it is a yes, be quick with the praise too. Yes is the goal. Your no supports your yes! It’s anatomical!

 

70. Dogs can anticipate your next action. Maisie my Cockerpoo, puts the ball where she thinks I am going next, she is invariably correct. My dog is mind reading me!

 

71. Dogs are very good human trainers!

 

72. Let sleeping dogs lie. There is truth in old wisdom. It gives you peace.

 

73. Dogs understand body language.

 

74. Dogs love it when you rest your hand on them and think into the back of it. Bliss! Alexander Technique non doing ‘hands on’ are an excellent and effective way for calming down a manic, crazy dog … over time!

 

75. Who cares about the weather when you can go OUTSIDE!

 

76. Get more Grrrrrr …. stronger boundaries and grrrreater passion for life! Anger and hyper energy can be very useful!

 

77. Passion and obsession are not so different! …. Really keep your eye on your favourite ball!

 

78. If one person doesn’t want to play with you, don’t worry! Someone else will play with you.

 

79. Dogs bring energy and enthusiasm into the room. Whoo hoo! Live life with energy and enthusiasm.

 

80. Chasing a dog that doesn’t want to be caught is a waste of time!

 

81. If it is not working with the dog do something else, be creative … Creativity keeps life interesting.

 

82. Not everyone loves your dog. But all that matters is that you do. Trust your own judgement. Trust your own love! Everyone deserves love!

 

83. Some dogs are messier than other. It is just who they are. They are not trying to mess up your life on purpose!

 

84. Not all dogs want to be fawned over, some dogs just like their own space. Free choice! Don’t take it personally!

 

85. ‘Some dogs mothers are bigger than other dogs mothers!’ (misquoted from The Smiths). We are all different … YAY!

 

86. No matter how small you are or think you are, you are important! You are allowed to take up your space.

 

87. People really don’t like being barked at!

 

88. There are different kinds of bark. Use your bark only in the case of emergency when you really need to get someones attention.

 

89. Dogs have an opinion too. Allow others their opinion. You don’t have to agree.

 

90. People are wonderful and to be greeted with enthusiasm. Most people will respond back accordingly. The odd one won’t. Don’t take it personally, it is their problem not yours!

 

91. You don’t need words to communicate love.

 

92. Be kind! Kindness will be rewarded with loyalty and companionship.

 

93. Dogs don’t take your grumpy mood personally. Don’t take things personally.

 

94. What is your stuff is your stuff, what is their stuff is their stuff.

 

95. Dogs know how to give you space if you are in a bad mood and will go find somewhere to hang out in their own happy space. Give people space if they need it.

 

96. Find the warmest and most comfortable place to lie down and let go completely.

 

97. Take the ‘plunge’ – even if you have never tried to ‘swim’ before you might like it. And if not, the shore is not far away.

 

98. Innocent but slightly eccentric behaviour can be misinterpreted badly. Be your quirky unique self even if people do misunderstand you. Don’t stop doing what makes you happy just because folk don’t get it!

(My dog likes to tickle her inside leg on the shoe of anyone sitting cross legged. This involves lifting her leg as though she were a male dog about to pee. Maisie is doing her ballet moves for fun!)

 

99. Dogs change your perception of life … A lone man walking a dog on a path is a man taking his dog for a walk. A man walking alone on a path is a potential threat! (sorry guys!)

 

100. Dogs love to meet and greet. Dogs bring people together. Strangers will talk to a dog where they might be shy to talk to you.

 

101. Everyday is a new opportunity to enjoy chasing and catching the ball! People will start buying balls if they know there is passion, and come to visit just in order to share your passion with you!

 

My Motto after two and half years with a highly intelligent, hyperactive Cockerpoo affectionally known as Crazy Maisie is – ‘Be More Maisie!’

 

Animals can teach us daft humans a whole lot of life lessons …

 

 

 

 

Part 1 below ..

 

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101 Life Lessons from my Dog – Copyright Kirsten Harris 2017

 

 

65 Life Lessons from My Dog

 

 

 

 

 

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HELP! I’m a phone addict!

Scan 2

 

HELP! I’m a phone addict!

by Kirsten Harris

 

Calling mobile addicts anonymous…… I am an addict!

It’s my phone – it’s got a hold of me, and I can’t let it go!

 

Is it just me?

I am addicted to my mobile phone and it is time for me to get conscious about it!

 

 

I have read several blogs about text neck etc, but what about mobile addiction?

I am an addict!

 

My phone comes to bed with me, in the car, to the breakfast table, even to the loo! It would be true to say my phone goes every where with me! And if it goes missing in the depth of my handbag I panic! ‘OMG I’ve LOST my phone!’ No free neck in that moment!

My phone is checked ridiculously regularly. For what? It’s crazy! I am crazy!

 

Even in this little drawing of semi supine, the phone lies beside me. Albeit it gives the message OFF!

 

Recently I made a friend whose mobile had been stolen and who had decided to live life without one …just to see!

Wow! I was shocked to say the least! No texts! No messenger! No internet on the go! If we want to communicate we make a plan to meet and stick to it. Be there when we had agreed to… No ‘Are you still ok for today?’, ‘Running late’ or ‘Be there is 5!’ texts.

It feels totally liberating!

 

Why do we text nowadays to ask if the person is free to speak? Are we really THAT busy?

 

If I go out in my car without my phone I feel NAKED! VULNERABLE! Is the world really THAT scary? I live in rural Scotland for goodness sake!

 

So what am I going to do about it?

I know the answer is obvious – and it feels HORRIBLE! Practise some Alexander Technique inhibition. Practise saying NO to my phone. Practise leaving my phone in a drawer. Practise turning it off! Practise ignoring notifications, pings and buzzes that distract me, that feed my addiction….

 

But it might be something interesting!

And what if someone NEEDS me? What if there was an  EMERGENCY?

 

I notice as soon as I write these words, that ‘what if’ is loaded with fear….

What are the fears attached to my mobile phone addiction? Fear of missing out? Fear of loneliness? Fear of DISASTER?

 

I love my mobile phone. I love the fact the world is at my finger tips….but I definitely have a habit with it.

I think the distracting device is keeping my brain switched on too much. Keeping my ‘wired!’

Facebook congratulates for being responsive! I am responsive!

 

 

It is time for me to let go a bit more…

Be responsive in other ways…

Be balanced mobile-y…

Find a deeper inner connection without being constantly bounced out of my self by the demands of the now now now www connection…

Not allow my mobile devise to become divisive…

 

 

Be I not I phone!

 

There is absolutely no need for me to be clutching an amazing shiny communication system in one hand ALL THE TIME…Time to free up my hands…Not just hands free.

 

I have choices to communicate in other ways …go knock on a friends door… write a letter….say hello…go out more…pray…lie in constructive rest…paint..

 

By allowing more NO to the wonderland distractions of my mobile I can allow my attention to direct inwards…Be more fully present…be more in my body moment by moment….connect to my creativity… the physical world…

 

 

My phone pulls me out of my deeper listening in an instant. Not so much responsive… more speedy and reactive!

 

I am about to start work towards a seascapes exhibition and I intuitively know that the brain waves to paint in my flow are different to the ones that are addicted to my phone.

 

It is time for some different moment by moment choices! It is time for me to find a balancing NO with my instant access web relationship and a YES to me and my painting.

 

How about you?

Am I the only addicted one out there?

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Why is it so EASY….?

Here is an experiment for you to easily activate right now….

Ask yourself questions starting with – Why is it so easy….

 

Why is it so easy for my to be organised?

Why is it so easy for me to be healthy?

Why is it so easy for me to manifest abundance?

Why is it so easy for me to enjoy my life?

Why is it so easy to be creative?…

 

The brain is a problem solving mechanism.

It looks for solutions to the problems we set it.

Yet we ask ourselves daft and dumb questions such as

 

Why do I never have any money?

Why am I so weak willed?

Why is my social life rubbish?

Why am I so fat?

Why am I so rubbish at art..etc.

 

Shifting the questions we ask ourselves to the positive is easy, fun and actually works.

I suggest choosing a question for today and see what happens…play with the easy question. I guarantee it will make you smile

For me today is Sunday and I want to really be organised to start a big painting first thing Monday morning in my studio.

So my question today is  – Why is it so easy for me to organise myself into the flow?

 

Enjoy your easy question and let me know how it goes

 

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Sometimes Life’s a Bit Complicated

Take it easy…

Sometimes life is just a bit complicated…

No need to get yourself in a tangle, in a pickle, worried…

You can figure it out…

Breathe…..

Moo if necessary!!!

 

 

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