A few years ago a visitor to an open studio at my home said to me
‘ You are a successful artist!’
I was really startled. ‘How do you work that out?’ I asked.
‘You have space around you’ he replied ‘and that’s my definition of success!’
His words struck me and come back now as I think about this blog about space. One of the core skills I think I have learned through Alexander Technique is developing spatial awareness.
Here are some definitions from the dictionary of SPACE –
- a continuous area or expanse which is free, available or unoccupied
- the dimensions of height, depth and width within which all things exist and move
- the physical universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere
- to become euphoric
- the freedom to live breathe and think in a way that suits one
- an interval of time
- the near vacuum extending between the planet and the stars
- a blank, gap, interval, opening
As an artist a blank piece of paper really excites me. It represents the potential to create – an opening that allows you to become a space traveller of sorts.
As a rider, spatial awareness and learning to think into the continuous expanse which is free, is my journey forward with my horse. Giving myself the spatial gift of time to move in this flow is my challenge.
As an Alexander Teacher I have started to think about the work as a loving relationship. The skills that one learns through the Alexander Technique, those of staying present to one’s self whilst in relationship, are a gift of love. One that for many of us, who were not brought up with the concept of ‘looking after one’s self’ is a challenge to learn.
When I give myself the gift of space that is a loving of my being in the physical universe, I interestingly give you the gift of space loving too. We both have the freedom to live and breathe and think.
A month ago I broke my fourth toe by stubbing it. Dah! A small bone and a seemingly silly injury, but it has stopped me in my tracks and I now see that as a good thing! The stopping has given me an interval of time to think, direct and meditate into a deeper space, beyond the everyday busy-ness business of self employment. I knew I needed some time out but wasn’t giving it to myself.
It is, I believe, when we allow ourselves to enter the euphoric dimensions of space within which all life exists that change occurs, magic happens, creativity arises and we unlock our full potential.
We habitually harden ourselves into an everyday reality where things may feel great, good, ok, stuck or downright terrible or a crazy roller coaster of frantic emotions and things to do that seem never ending and never changing.
As we let the mind expand into the timelessness of space our sense of reality, if not our reality, expands too and the potential to live opens up. This is a present moment awareness that has nothing to do with the trappings of success, but is the metaphorical success of having space around you that the visitor was talking about.
Coming soon, new audo – ‘Deep Space Thinking – Creativity and the Alexander Technique.’ Watch this space for more info! : )
Link to other Alexander Technique recordings here