I have failed as a teacher to do lockdown! A daft thought of course but I haven’t taught anyone on zoom. I haven’t learned online. I haven’t been to a zoom party. I’ve barely turned on the TV to watch marvellous inspiring people be marvellous and inspire and as for the news, thats a no from me! It’s been my choice to minimise engaging with life through a screen.
But during the storm last weekend I put on Talking Pictures TV to watch old black and white movies whilst drawing and realised why I had made this choice as I found myself shouting at Steven Fry’s asking for money, many times repeated MIND advert, telling us that we are all going to have long term mental health problems!
‘No we are bleeping not! Stop casting a ridiculous negative spell on the entire nation you fool! I thought you were intelligent, don’t you know anything about thinking?!’ Sounding of course vaguely bonkers yelling at the TV, but the dog didn’t seem to mind!
I was telling the telly off because I truly believe it is essential to not tune into a negative or fearful consciousness. We are sold fear all over the place.
It strikes me, that this is where the Alexander Technique is particularly brilliant.
It teaches us to be able to separate our thinking to notice what is fear, with its accompanying turmoil and tension; what is love, with its accompanying joy and ease and what is creativity with it’s accompanying potential and beckoning journey.
At the beginning of this a friend said to me ‘I’m feeling frightened.’ My spontaneous response was ‘I’m feeling chickens.’ My creative voice took charge. I wasn’t about to buy into her fear to empathise and console and I wasn’t feeling love so I chose creativity instead. The creative voice said chickens, so chickens it was. When we listen to the creative voice it has an amazing tendency to surprise and delight.
I believe in life we always have this choice available! Creativity is a voice that lands unbidden and surprises us, ideas that arrive unannounced and waken us up. Inspiration is like breath, nourishing.
I believe if we allow ourselves to be fearful or absorb other peoples fear, we can’t hear the whispers of our own creativity. We get blocked. And sometimes stretching to loving a challenging situation can be difficult, but creativity is always there waiting. Can you imagine how brilliant it would be if we all believed in the magic and power of creativity? If we all learned to listen to our inner creative genius?
For me, lying in semi-supine aka constructive rest for a few minutes a day, and particularly in the vague moments, the unsure moments, the tired times to give time and space for a rest, allows not only all that negative stuff to subside but the door of creativity to swing open.
As the late great Alexander Technique teacher Don Burton often said with regards self care –
“If you don’t have to stand, sit! And if you don’t have to sit, lie down!’
PS. And when we listen to creativity love can find us. I truly love my two chickens, Bunty and Jinty, my lockdown heroines.
Title Illustration – Nineteen Corvids
‘Nineteen Corvids’ by Kirsten Harris