Retirement and the Alexander Technique

How do you retire if you have been self employed all your life? Truth is I’ve  never thought about retirement. Never ever!

Artists don’t retire and neither do Alexander Technique teachers. They just get better at their job! I’ve never had a so called ‘proper job’, with a trajectory and a pension, so this is the first time in my life that I have even considered the concept of retirement, which is probably completely normal for most people.

So what does the word retire mean? 

It means to draw back….

Hmm interesting… You step a horse back to gather his energy in order to go forward with more power, poise and spring. When you draw a bow back you are again gathering energy into focus, honing your aim. 

There is an Alexander Technique phrase – to think ‘back in your back’. It is a powerful thought and a decision to pause that can change how you react to things and thus how your life works out.  The demands of life can pull us forward and out of our embodied self, out of the support of our backs which can leave us in a reactive, exhausted and stressed state both physically and mentally.  ‘Back into your back’ is an invitation to real inner strength.

We are taught from an early age to keep going forward achieving on a path laid out before us from school all the way to retirement, when you can finally, apparently, reap the fruits of your labour and live life at a more enjoyable pace that suits you. 

So, thinking about this concept, I’ve decided I am going to retire now, to draw back into my power! The thought of early retirement makes me smile, it seems so ridiculous and brilliant at the same time. Retirement as drawing back to enjoy living better. Drawing back to liven my system like a horse about to really move forward into grace, feels like a great plan. It’s a change of attitude really. I’ve never considered that the word and implications of retirement might be so empowering. 

So, I’ve decided I want to be one of those ‘retired’ people who say ‘I don’t know how I ever had time to work I am having such a good life and more involved than ever, enjoying all sorts of meaningful things and making a difference!’

Illustration Title – The Magic Stop

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – downloadable Alexander Technique lessons

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – art and prints


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