I was standing at the sink this morning thinking that a happy life is found by converting perceived negatives into positives. Simple as that sounds it can sometimes be a big challenge to change one’s mind.
It then struck me that that is what the Alexander Technique is so brilliant at. It gives a simple doorway to change. That doorway first arrived in my life with the short oh so profound sentence ‘I let my neck be free!’
Try it out. You might be amazed what happens if you play with the thought ‘I let my neck be free’ instead of some of the other thoughts that might fill your mind.
The first time I heard the words life suddenly become a scene from a cartoon – light bulbs, birds chirping with delight, angels flying. I can remember the moment clearly! It was profound and wonderfully happy.
I let my neck be free! It still works for me.
PS I hope you like the pun in the title of the verse. One of the school children I taught years ago decided it was the perfect name for an Alexander Technique student!
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The word posture roots in the word post. A fixed place. A post in the ground! It also means to ‘take up an artificial mental position.’
Words are obviously useful to help us understand our living condition but can also get in the way of the freedom we seek. We can and do react unconsciously to words in a way that is not helpful.
The word posture to me is horrible word that is commonly used to fix things like bad backs and positions on a horse, and that’s exactly what the word does – fixes things ie fastens securely in a place or position, which is the opposite of freedom and movement, poise and balance that is the most delicious and desirable state of being.
I definitely don’t want to be a posture, I want to be free to move, to flow, to change, to experience.
In truth everything is moving all the time, within and without!
Our putting down of posts into the ground from the first huts has developed a built environment that no longer reflects the rhythms of the world. We have flattened and straightened a wiggly world! Largely confined within straight walls and sitting on badly designed furniture it is easy to see how our ability to sense the subtlety of movement has diminished.
In order to cure ourselves of our lack of well being, our aching backs, shoulders and necks we have become posture fixated instead of learning how to move in a moving world – to move and experience the subtlety of our freedom. The kinaesthetic sense (our ability to sense movement) has been described as our forgotten sense.
Simply sit or stand outside and watch for movement both within and without. We move in a moving world even when seemingly sitting or standing still! Everything moves all the time because we are alive and the natural world is alive.
So the question becomes am I alive to life not do I have good posture!
My advice is dump the word posture from your vocabulary and trust that being alive, expanding your senses in all directions on this incredibly beautiful wonderful planet is truly all you need to keep you balanced and free and moving forward with long graceful springy movement, an open heart and a sense of awe…
Develop your sense of movement awareness and see what happens…
The Encyclopaedia of Ease – finding ease in everyday words. Ease that you probably didn’t know was there. And now r… Roll your Rrrrrr’s in speech and movement.
R – or ah, or argh! Variations of Alexander Technique ‘whispered ah!’ Very useful stress release is the whispered ah!
Radishease – Not everyone is going to like everything. Knowing there are differencease in peoples tastes and sensibilitease. Me, I like radishes.
Relishease – Really enjoying the things you like. Goes well with garnishease and flourishease!
Ridiculousnessease – Having a sense of the absurd, which means you are probably enjoying the Encyclopaedia of Ease.
Rosease – Stopping to smell them – balance can be found by simply paying attention to your sensease. Also irisease – looking and smelling. S’easy really! Birdease works well too – closing your eyes and listening to them chirping.
Richease – Appreciating nature.
Receptivitease – Allowing the flow of abundance. It is all around you.
Recipease – Easy, tasty, healthy ones that you can prepare in minutes.
Ramasease – How on earth did they build the pyramids?
The Encyclopaedia of Ease – finding ease in existing words ‘psoas’ not to get bored! So now these two letters – N and O, very useful when used together for creating claritiease and boundarease. No is a small word, easy to pronounce but sometimes quite difficult to say and may require repeated practicease. No? Also the second movement of the spine.
Nastease – Being kind. Kindness is much underrated in societease, methinks. Be kind to each other, animals and nature.
Nicetease – Niceness, also underrated with wonderful qualitease. There’s a lovely feeling of ease being with nice people. Nicetease are the little things that make the world a better, easier place to live in, such as smiling and saying please, thank you, well done and other politenessease. Also old-fashionednessease such as having cups and saucers and setting the table to sitting down to eat.
Negativitease – There is a positive and negative charge in everything. Is your cup half full or half empty?
Nonsensencease – Getting to the end of this Encyclopaedia of Ease!
Newbease – Being new to the Alexander Technique and wondering what all the fuss is about!
Necessitease – Not running out of loo roll.
Opporunitease – Seeing ease is are all around you and learning to line up with it.
Orangease – Not wearing fake tan.
Officease – Sitting in balance at the computer.
Odditease – Knowing that you probably are one and not caring.
Oasease – Lying in semi-supine aka constructive rest and discovering an oasis of calm, tranquility, peace and loveliness waiting for you. Blissease beyond Blissease!
Part 2 of the Encyclopaedia of Ease. My easy peasy lemon squeasy encyclopaedia for an easier life! Written for anyone who likes messing about with words, Alexander Technique, meditation, law of attraction, mindfulness, the power of the mind and all sorts of brilliant stuff and nonsensease that make the world a better place. The Encyclopaedia of Ease for an easier way to be in a world full of complexitease and difficultease …
Ease – Absence of difficulty or effort. Make something unpleasant or intense less serious or severe (actual dictionary definitions)
Ex’ease – Realising you have had a lucky escape and letting go with love!
Effigease – Things to make to stick pins into if you can’t manage to transcendex’ease!
Eventualitease – This too shall pass
Ecologease – Realising that making eco choices are easier than expected and good for the planet too
Flopease – Letting go whilst sitting on a chair to release back, breathing, stress etc. If you have a dog it will probably want to lick your face at the same time. Yuk!
Fattease – Being comfortable in your own body and nice to yourself right now, whatever shape or size you come in. Alsoskinnease. The Alexander Technique words ‘I let my neck be free’ can help develop self love and self care. Try out the words ‘I like myself’ for size too.
Fairease – Keeping the enchantment of childhood alive throughout your life. Seeing the light and magic in all things…
Familiease – Letting the people we are related to do their own thing without habitual reactions rooted in childhood getting in the way. Knowing we can always find famileasein the form of buddease!
Generalatease – learning to avoid them!
Girlease – a group of women getting the hysterical giggles to the point of wetting their pantease about things that only girls would find funny!
Gravitease – learning to think up! Find Alexander Techease, they will teach you how!
Grumpease – having a good rant and feeling much better!
Greedease – Something we must all learn to do! We are all taking far too much from Mother Earth and not giving enough back. PLEASE Ease!
Hippease – Having juicy free mobile hips. Hip hip hooray. Also easy going people, often with long unkempt hair and a good attitude to life.
Horsease – a state of utter bliss aroused from being with, near or on horses, ponease and g g’ease! Smelling horses invokes this pleasure state too.
Hippocratease – Taking a bit of responsibility for your self by seeing disease as a lack of ease, and letting go of stress, tension and holding etc as one possible cure and a potential medicine, also stressease!
Herculease – Owning your unique and wonderful gifts, power and strengths! Being your true self. Also knowing you don’t need to be strong or the strong one all the time.
Hankease – Your mother was right, take one with you! Also solves the problem of finding a present for men! Useful if you get the gigglies with the girlies too.
More Encyclopaedia of Ease Coming Soon. Why not join my mailing list, The Daily Ease…
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?
I know I am! I must do this, I must do that!I must, must, must….cut the grass, wash up, earn money, be more fabulous, write a blog, build a platform, get fitter….fill in the blanks…..
It’s enough to drive a girl mad! The pressure I can put on myself, only serves to shorten and tighten me ultimately. Short breath, short muscles, short bursts of activity. In short!I must stop ‘musterbating’!
Stopping really is an art. Knowing when to stop, spotting the moment to put down the brushes, not to speak, not to react. Stop and chill… But do we ever really practise stopping and question what it means to stop. Consciously stopping in the moment for a breather, a moment of wonder, to just smile, to be grateful for simply being alive. I’m a master of ‘mustology’! But stopping… Stopping to let my neck be free, my shoulders drop? Stopping to tune in to how I am.
Stopping is an amazing way to take care of yourself!
Or stopping in a more full-stop kinda way, by laying down on the floor in semi- supine for 15 or so minutes. The amazing Alexander Technique position of mechanical advantage, that very quickly restores your muscles into a lengthened resting state and allows your intervertebral discs to rehydrate. The more often you rest in this way and do nothing the more you will get out of it! It’s the art of non-doing…
So guess what? I must go and lie on the floor NOW!