Posts for Tag : alexander technique

The Encyclopaedia of Ease E – H

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 …

E

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 transcend ex’ease!

Eventualitease – This too shall pass

Ecologease – Realising that making eco choices are easier than expected and good for the planet too

F

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!

How to be a Flop by Kirsten Harris
Copyright

Fattease – Being comfortable in your own body and nice to yourself right now, whatever shape or size you come in. Also skinnease. 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…

Seed Spirits by Kirsten Harris
Copyright

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 familease in the form of buddease!

Zoned and Boned by Kirsten Harris
Copyright
Me and Maise easing out in semi supine. Best of buddies.

G

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!

Slump by Kirsten Harris
Copyright

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!

H

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.

If Wishes Were Horses by Kirsten Harris
Black and White Print Available
Copyright

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…

copyright Kirsten Harris, 25/6/2019

Part 1 here

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – for downloadable lessons in Alexander Technique and Skype lessons for anyone wanting help with creativity, teaching ideas or a bit of unblocking into ease. Get in touch…

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – for prints and paintings

Share Button

The Encyclopaedia of Ease A – E

Do you know your a, b, c’ease?

Welcome to the Encyclopaedia of Ease…

A

Anatomease – An easier way to live in your body by knowing the bones and joints and having a clear understanding of how you co-ordinate and move.

Anxietease – An easing of anxiety by deciding that feelings of anxiety and excitement are quite similar and that worry is never productive. Choosing happy loving thoughts wherever possible instead. Aka stress puppease!

Stress Puppy by Kirsten Harris
Copyright

Alexander Techease – A group of people who live their life applying and teaching the deep space ease principles of Alexander Technique.

Artease – A state of well being from which ideas flow, ideas which often just appear especially when thinking about balance or are lying in semi supine. Also an arty person possibly covered in paint, carrying an instrument or wearing loose clothing, often drawn to studying the Alexander Technique.

Awarenessease – falling into a blissful state as though floating free. This delicious state can be easily brought about by having the hands of skilled Alexander Techease placed on your head, neck or back in the course of a lesson. Can also be found in your own space by easing out.

I Feel Like I am Floating by Kirsten Harris
Copyright

Achillease Heal – knowing that owning and loving your weak spots is strength in disguise.

B

Buddease – A feeling of happiness and joy in the easy going company of friendly people. Knowing that what we think about each other affects each others well-being so choosing inclusive thoughts knowing we are all connected and therein lies freedom.

Boobease – A feeling of utter relief at the end of the day when you undo your bra!

Babease – Realising you are no longer and possibly never were a ‘babe’ and really don’t care. Also includes the perfection of very small humanoids especially when peacefully sleeping or chuckling.

Brease – Realising there is magic in the air, breathing out and letting life be a breeze! Ah ha!

C

Creativitease – Allowing creativity to emerge by knowing that everyone and everything is creative as creativity is a living quality.

Complexetease and Challengease – Life is sometimes a bit tricky so choosing to get back into your back as a way of unravelling and sorting out stuff aka getting zoned!

Zoned by Kirsten Harris
Copyright

D

Doggease – Canine chums who easily give unconditional love and friendship, always happy to see you, go for a walk or get zoned with you. The best kind of friends.

Dailease – A decision to choose ease on a daily basis doing everyday stuff. Also the name of my blog, The Daily Ease. Why not join for more Alexander Technique brilliancease!

Danceease – putting on funky music and having a boogie in your front room not caring what you look like. Very freeing to combine with boobease, see above! Dancease can also be done with familiease, kiddease, laddease, lassease, mummease, daddies and doggease! But kittease will probably object!

Difficultease – interesting times to practice ease, for instance when administering a pills to objectionable kittease!

E

Exercisease – letting go of thinking you have to do exercise for exercise sake and instead just incorporating exercise into your everyday life by simply being active, doing what you love, helping others and looking after the planet. Easy Peasy!

Ease – absence of difficulty or effort!

More of these nonsensease coming soon ….

Forward and up!

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – downloadable lessons in the Alexander Technique. Also Skype.

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – prints and original artworks

Copyright Kirsten Harris 24/6/2019

Share Button

I Like Myself!

I taught Alexander Technique to university students on a drama degree course for about ten years.

One day I was teaching how our thinking affects the way we feel and therefore move and act and how this happens instantly. I used a really simple example, working with the words ‘I like myself,’ asking the students to say multiple times with different expressions in their voice ‘I like myself!’ To really get into saying the words with passion and feeling, conviction  and matter of factness. To convince themselves and each other that ’I like myself!’ 

(Why don’t you try it now out loud. Some students found this task easy, others found it harder, habitual learned discontent, self doubt and negative self image getting in the way of being easily able to say ‘I like myself.’ Does that sound familiar?)

We all seemed to grow as human beings. We grew in energy and tonality in our voices. Joy and ease started to fill the room. We were all bouncy and up! I asked the students to say ‘I like myself’ to each other and notice how it felt in relationship, smiling and looking into each others eyes.

Your whole self believes and wants to believe the words ‘I like myself’, so for those who struggle with the words, lie to yourself until it becomes the truth! It will! Repetition will create change.

I then asked the students to change the words to ‘I don’t like myself!’ It was a pretty instantaneous collapse into a horrible feeling of being de-energised, like falling into a downward pit of grim emotionality and lack of energy physically. Everyone recognised the feeling as a place they sometimes inhabit, a place of unhappiness.

We shifted back to ‘I like myself’ and the energy in the room changed just as quickly back to being up, open, spacious, lively, animated, connected and free. An interesting discussion emerged into what we had noticed and how this simple bit of self talk might affect our lives. It was a fun class with a serious point and grounded in Alexander awareness.

Later that day I was called aside by a staff member and sternly told that my job was NOT to teach the students to like themselves! I was dumbfounded! 

To me one of the premises of the Alexander Technique is finding our innate well being – which I could argue is a liking of our self in so many ways. I remember my first teacher giving me the words ‘I let my neck be free’ and feeling a remarkable release into a better state of being. It felt like a miracle and a revelation and a door opening to the power of thought in hitherto unimaginable ways. And so simple. Something I could think about on my own.

My thought for this class was to strengthen the students’ understanding of Alexander directions and of course liking yourself is a jolly good basis for being an actor. And as a simple kindly human condition liking yourself seems to be a pretty good starting place too!

I looked at the tension getting close to fury that my colleague at the university was displaying as she told me off and realised that teaching ‘I like myself’ had hit a nerve with her. I was empowering the students! Wow! I politely disagreed, explained the class to her and that I truly believe the world is a better place when we like ourselves, for then we like each other too! 

‘No-one ever suffered by being too kind to themselves!’ – Robert Holden

www.kirstenharris.co.uk

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

Copyright Kirsten Harris 2019

Share Button

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)

Share Button

BALLS!

Balls!

I am feeling frustrated!

I recently broke my toe. I don’t know for sure as the NHS don’t X-ray toes (Fair enough!?) Since the injury I have been getting intermittent pins and needles in my arm. I KNOW this is connected to the toe being out of whack, it makes total sense to me as I have never had this condition before. I am one whole being, living in a mobile muscly body suit after all. The injured toe is effecting all of me!  But tell that to a doctor or nurse. NO, I am told, the arm is not connected to the foot! That I am wrong! This is a complete nonsense to me! Of course the arm is connected to the foot!

So this morning I have decided BALLS! 

It is 6 weeks on, so any break is healed enough, I hope, for me to manipulate my foot myself with a golf ball and hopefully push or release the bone back into place. Frustration is leading to me feeling a bit like someone resorting to pulling their own tooth out! My arm has got really painful, whilst still being totally mobile. I just KNOW the pain is coming from something being off in the foot!

So, while I am playing with my ball (wish me luck) I thought I would share this with you…

This is something I do with my Alexander Technique students as a fun demo that everything IS CONNECTED! 

No Science expinations but it works. Try it out! 

  • First stand up and try and touch your toes with straight legs. This is a measurement of how flexible you are, that’s all. And it really doesn’t matter whether you can touch your toes or not. It’s just for comparison later. 
  • Then sit down and take a golf ball and roll it under one foot only for a while. Massage the underside of the foot.
  • Then stand up and look at the arm on the side that you have been rolling the ball. Your arm will (probably) look longer!
  • Then try touching your feet again. You will (probably) be more flexible.
  • Repeat on other foot. 

How do you feel after massaging your feet?

It is EASY, FREE THERAPY FOR THE WHOLE BODY! Keep a golf ball handy for a little bit of daily ease! 

PS. The horsy expression NO FOOT NO HORSE has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks, as I have been unable to drive to work or even draw!

(My apologies if I have offended anyone in the medical profession with this blog, absolutely no offence intended. I do however, find the lack of whole person, whole body, ‘holistic’ thinking frustrating! And whilst I understand financial constraints and totally appreciate the NHS, I wonder if an X-ray on an injured foot would give a road map for recovery for patients. The foot is a complicated structure, and how we use it impacts the balance of the whole body. Oh to be a millionaire footballer, I am sure my toe would be important!) 

Share Button

The Perfect Circle – A Lesson from Art History to Apply to Riding

Four Winds Medicine Wheel. Print available at www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

In his book Lives of the Artists, Georgio Vasari (1511 – 1574) recounts a story about the artist Giotto (1267 – 1337). He tells how the Pope was commissioning art and sent messengers throughout Italy to bring back samples or artist’s work. When the messenger visited Giotto’s studio, Giotto took a brush and keeping his arm close to his side painted a perfect circle in red paint with one brush stroke. The messenger thought he was being made a fool of. However when he recounted the ease with which Giotto had painted the perfect circle the Pope commissioned Giotto, recognising mastery. 

Whilst teaching in Japan, I took lessons in Japanese brush painting. One of the tasks my teacher had me repeat many times was to paint the Enso, the Zen Circle. The circle is painted as one brushstroke to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. It is a training in one’s ability to be whole in the present moment. The quality of the circle is altered by the quality of one’s presence. 

If you are a rider I would like to challenge you to pick up a brush and paint a circle. Can you paint a circle freely and with ease? I would suggest that the circles that you ride (if you ride circles) will reveal themselves to you in the circle you paint! 

Circles symbolise wholeness, infinity, eternity, time and timelessness, movement, the rhythm of life, unity, harmony, relationships, breath, Earth and our being in the Universe, connection…

By riding circles we have a way to connect to a wholeness within ourselves and our horse (or not!)

Why not give yourself and your horse a break for a bit to train your mind. If you cannot think or paint a perfect circle I don’t think it is possible to ride a perfect one! What do your circles look like? Practise painting circles with both hands. 

Good luck!

I am practicing my Zen circles…

LINKS –

Horsy prints and other artwork www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk 

For media downloads including Walking With Your Horse www.kirstenharris.co.uk

Share Button

Spaced Out!

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

Some musings

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

The Journey by Kirsten Harris
Available as a black and white print
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk


Share Button

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

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

To Earth We Return

To Earth We Return by Kirsten Harris

 

It takes a long time for a tree to grow, but only a short time to chop one down!

A friend from India told me that in her culture when a tree is chopped down 6 more are planted. How very wise.

 

  • A good thought is like a seed planted… ‘I let my neck be free’
  • Trust is the earth in which it grows… ‘So my head can release in a forwards & upwards direction’
  • Time works it’s magic … ‘In such a way as my back lengthens and widens’
  • We are the guardians … ‘Allowing widening across my upper arms, knees forwards and away…’

 

Feet on the ground, head in the air, heart open

 

A local farmer said to me the other day –

‘To farm well we must treat the land as though it is ours forever, even though I will only be custodian to it for a short time, I must act now for the future and look after this land.’

 

Last summer I painted huge canvases about dream seeding, painting outside in my garden, watching planes fly overhead wondering ‘Where are you going, why are you going? How could leave such beauty in search for something else?’

 

We seem to be a culture obsessed with time, time is money, hurry up, rush rush, no time right now, time for a holiday, bucket list, gotta go, what’s the time? I’m late!

 

I worry about the future of our planet when everyone is in such a hurry, consuming at high speed. How much plastic gets used on just one flight, let alone fuel? Our ancestors did not leave a horrible messy footprint on the planet, this is our recent legacy.

 

I resolved last summer to keep upping my game to the best of my ability to plant trees. Habitats for creatures, lungs for all, to earth we return …

 

So I continue to make art to plant woodlands, turning pieces of paper back into trees. That is a kind of alchemy, a desire to create magic, one artists attempt to give back to the earth.

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Prints available

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

Body Magic – download

Breathe – download

Walking With Your Horse – download

 

Link to Messages from Trees blog here

 

The Guardians by Kirsten Harris

 

Share Button

Messages from Trees

In Nature We find Ourselves, drawing by Kirsten Harris

 

Messages from Trees

  • Breathe deeply of me I am the lungs of the world, my health and yours are one
  • Let your spine flow upwards and your limbs flow freely outwards in the sky
  • Life will shape you and sculpt you as you grow, it’s 100 percent OK to be you
  • Allow yourself to be ‘rooted’ in the earth
  • Feel your connection to all things, all life is one
  • Observe in all directions
  • The more you observe the more you will see
  • The light and seasons are always changing and you with it, you too are seasons of light
  • Though you were once but a seed you are a mighty presence and still growing
  • Be shelter and safety, warmth and home for others
  • You too are a guardian of the planet
  • Be kind, and let your kindness spread like a canopy
  • Sometimes the winds of life will be strong, you can endure
  • Transformation is inevitable
  • Find truth in being present to where you are
  • Lie on your back under my canopy and let your imagination fly
  • Trees are Life

 

I am on a tree planting mission!

 

*******************

Hand signed and titled black and white prints are available of my artwork for trees.

I am offering free postage worldwide if you purchase more than one print. There are many more on my website. All the prints are black and white despite my dodgy photography! : )

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Art

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

FB – Kirsten Harris Art

FB – The Daily Ease Alexander Technique

 

The Whisper of Trees by Kirsten Harris

Horse Landscape by Kirsten Harris

The Old Horse Chestnut Tree by Kirsten Harris

Horses and the Tree of Life by Kirsten Harris

My Alexander Technique inspired colouring book  with words

A Walk in the Wood LINK HERE

 

LINK HERE

Each page is accompanied by hopefully inspiring Alexander Technique text

 

Share Button

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

Once Upon a Time …

The Old Horse Chestnut Tree by Kirsten Harris, Pen on paper

 

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the frozen lands of Scotland, a young woman found herself trapped in a dark and terrifyingly lonely forest. Sharp, searing thorns ripped at her back, pulling her this way and that, completely stopping her from moving.  She was lost, stuck, scared and in horrendous pain. The harder she tried to break free from the fearsome binding wilderness the more it entangled her. She tried everything, even ignoring and suppressing the pain it inflicted, but it just gripped her tighter and tighter. She felt utterly lost.

 

One day whilst trapped in the forest she met a witch, who was really a wise woman in disguise. The witch spoke to the girl and gave her a very strange message – She told the girl to keep saying ‘I let my neck be free’ no matter what!

‘What strange words!’ thought the girl. ‘I let my neck be free!’ Oh well if that is her best magic spell I better give it a go –  I have absolutely nothing to lose and you never know it might work!’

 

Days passed and the girl kept saying ‘I let my neck be free’ to herself over and over and over.

 

One day a beautiful shining magical sword appeared before her.

‘Pick me up and use me, I am the transformational sword of your thinking’ it whispered.

As she picked it up the girl thought she could see a tiny glimmer of light through the thick gnarled impenetrable branches of the forest.

 

She realised in order to reach the light she had to use the sword to get through the entangled forest, cutting through the twigs and branches one by one. Not only that, but she had to go deeper into the painful knotted wood and not be frightened of its fearsome voice and cry, but to listen to it, to face it with courage.

 

She picked up the sword with her mind’s eye, and started to use her thinking to cut pathways. Her body was the forest and her rapier like mind her way to free it from the painful strangle. She had to trust that her mind was brilliant enough for the task ahead. She came upon dead end after dead end. Dark places engulfed her, but she had no choice but to be brave and patient and keep moving forward into her thinking. The girl started to see the pain as her friend, a friend that was calling for her attention, guiding her mind as to where to travel.

 

‘Come into me’, it shouted, ‘step into this pain in your neck, let your neck be free, travel through this howling in your back, bare the darkness and see what happens. Keep stepping forward into my call for only then will I allow the light to appear. I cannot shout any louder for you to hear me. Pay attention, I am your friend in disguise.’

 

She stopped struggling staying still and quiet allowing her mind to be free in the darkness. Any desire to move or run away from the pain she learned to ignore, instead she wrapped her mind around it, exploring, spiralling, mentally dancing with the pain, letting her consciousness be it, feel it, find its story.  Her tenacity started to pay off and slowly over time a clearing emerged in the forest that was full of light and shimmering beauty. The pain had disappeared in that place, and then the next and the next …

 

Little by little she started to find a path out of the entangled forest as she learned to follow and play in the the branches of her nervous system, finding a wonder world, a labyrinth of stillness, possibility, light and illumination.

 

The girl was uncovering her own enchanted tree in the magical forest of life. It was not the scary place the pain had made her think it was.

 

Pain had become her transformation and her salvation and she learned to thank it for the kindness its voice was really presenting and all that it was teaching her.

 

**********************

This is my story, my journey with the Alexander Technique as a 24 year old.

 

Share Button

How to Be a Flop!

How To Be A Flop, Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

Instead of a ‘how to be a success’ blog I thought I would write one about how to be a flop! Let’s take some pressure off and hopefully make life a little easier. It’s really much easier being a flop after all!

 

So, what if it was absolutely OK to be a flop at work, at home or at school? What if being a flop is actually a way to achieve more success? What if people actually saw your flopping as wonderful self care! A little bit of daily ease!

 

So when the pressure gets just too much why not just give up for a bit and let yourself flop over. Sitting on a chair is the easiest way. Simply let yourself hang out for a bit with your head between your legs and let go.  People will probably ask you if you are ok but that’s ok. It feels good being floppy, quite a relief really. So don’t worry what you look like, go ahead, flop!

 

Let your neck be free so your head can really hang…

Surrender the weight of your head to give your neck and back a wonderful releasing stretch…

Let the weight of your arms hang heavily, freeing your shoulder muscles and stretching the connective tissue around the shoulder blades, an area that can get really tight…

Let yourself breathe out, big sighing out breaths easing the ribs…

Let go and give up being an upright person for a bit and enjoy the view from between your legs!

 

Congratulations you are now a flop!

If you have a cat or a dog they will probably want to lick your face as you are now at their level and they think that is very exciting. Just a mini hazard of your new found flopdom.

 

STRANGE BUT TRUE – if you imagine looking up your nose, you will get more of a releasing stretch on the back of your neck!

 

It feels great being a flop. Really it’s a giant relief to take time out for a minute or two.

 

When you want to come up again, think about rebuilding the spine slowly from the bottom up … like a tower block … vertebrae by vertebrae…one bone at a time … one on top of the other … leaving your head until last so that it can find its balance point on the two rockers on the base of your skull.

 

I recommend you let yourself be a flop at least once a day. It really is jolly good for your daily ease!

 

With love

Kirsten

 

The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods Colouring Book with Alexander Technique inspired words is now HALF PRICE, ON SALE Here

Usually £10 reduced to £5 plus postage LINK Here

Please email me if you are interested to buy kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

Share Button

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

 

Share Button

Happy Hibernating

Polar Bears, Watercolour by Kirsten Harris

 

‘Winter, a time for hibernation.’  The familiar warm tones of David Attenborough’s voice over … an idea begins to form. Teaching Alexander Technique at school, as we approach the shortest day of the year, we talked a little about hibernation before a semi supine session, likening our constructive rest as being a 20 minute hibernation for humans. A time to snuggle up and drop deep inside, like a bear in a cave, finding our own inner place. A quiet cosy at home place that is really necessary to access in the long cold dark winter months here in Scotland. 

 

The bear in a cave analogy worked well with the 11- 13 year olds on many levels. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for the children to settle, being easily distracted by each other. ‘The bears are popping their heads out of the caves again!’ 

 

I asked them to think about the long bones of the body as passages and caverns of their inner cave, the head being the entrance and to begin to explore the depth and design of their hibernating place before letting their thoughts come to settle by the warm glow of their hearts. To enjoy resting by the flames of the inner fire that is keeping them warm and cosy and safe.  Aware simply of this beautiful warmth and their breathing, taking a bit of time out from the world, from school. No need to do anything, winter can go on without you for now.

 

A deep sense of ease and peace was palpable in the room. 

 

One child commented that every time a thought about the outside world popped into her head she imagined putting it on a leaf and letting it float downstream on the river outside her cave. Nothing from the outside was to come in as she hibernated.  Beautiful!

 

‘Slowly spring emerges and hibernation is over.’ David Attenborough’s voice over is in my inner ear again …

 

After your 20 minutes human hibernation let spring emerge slowly. Know that your muscles will be more springy as they have had a chance to release into length on the floor. You will be in better shape, physically, mentally, emotionally. Move with a yawn, yawn with a stretch, enjoy exploring your surroundings anew after your hibernation, refreshed and more at ease after your rest …

 

This winter I invite your daily ease to be 20 minutes inner hibernation in semi supine. Take time out to settle by the fire of your inner cave and perhaps give your self a mind’s eye bear hug for a year well done!

 

Happy hibernating

Love 

Kirsten 

 

For a voice over to encourage your inner hibernation in semi supine, here are links to my recordings –

Body Magic

Breathe

 

Share Button

The Daily Ease

I gave my blog the title The Daily Ease as a reminder to make time for a daily ease.

 

What does a daily ease mean to you?

 

  • lying down in consecutive rest aka semi supine
  • going for a walk
  • turning your phone off for a time
  • stopping to look, listen and be the appreciative life
  • consciously doing a big sighing out breath and letting go
  • letting go and letting god and reminding yourself to trust
  • smiling
  • drinking a glass of water
  • a yawn and a stretch
  • something else? many ease ideas available …

 

There is something very powerful about making a conscious choice to prioritise a daily ease for yourself. A mini mini mini break! A moment or minutes to stop and be the ease. It is really as easy as letting your neck be free …

 

This week seems particularly poignant for me to let go and let god, to, as Einstein said, decide that it is a friendly Universe. Decide that things are happening for me and not against me.

 

So I chose all of the above as my daily ease today but in particular to TRUST the process. Anything for an easier life!

 

Ahhhhhh ………. Ease!

 

********************

 

My downloadable lessons –

Body Magic

Breathe

Walking with Your Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

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?

 

*******

 

Body Magic, constructive rest link here

 

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

www.kirstenharrisart.com

Share Button

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

 

Share Button

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

 

Share Button

Finding my Inner FUP IT!

Sometimes life is challenging to say the least. People behave in ways that surprise and bewilder … our bodies alter and falter …. loved ones die … loneliness and anxiety can descend upon us like a cloud… to name a few. 

 

In the core of all of this what do you say to yourself to recalibrate, re-member, put yourself back together and walk forward tall and proud with your head in the air, feet on the ground and heart open? How do you find your inner peace? How do you keep on keeping on?

 

These thee words that have been guiding lights to me for years –  Forward and Up – shortened to FUP  or FUP IT! A little bit of devil may care combined with a direction which is for me the only way to go … forwards and upwards!  An Alexander Technique direction or thought that actually co-ordinates the structure too. 

 

So, today a short blog wishing you forward and up into a fupping great week!

 

The last couple of weeks I have struggled to maintain my fupness for a variety of reasons that all came at once, but this morning I decided to make a Tee shirt with this slogan, simply because it makes me smile and I am feeling my inner FUP IT rekindle by doing it.

 

FUP IT is so much more positive and powerful than the traditional four lettered expression!

 

So, FUP IT, it’s Monday … and though things may pull me down or push me over or cause me to doubt or falter, Fup it and Fup you too, I’m not staying there! Are you?

Have a great week.

 

Forward and Up!

Love Kirsten 

 

Link to tee shirt hereFUP IT! Forward and UP… Tee shirt! by Kirsten Harris 

 

Share Button

The Weird Wonderful World of Alexander Technique 

‘Trust, The Gold Thread’ by Kirsten Harris

Gold, Copper and Oil on Canvas, 100 x 150 cm

 

I thought about calling this blog ‘Why the Alexander Technique is Weird’ or ‘Are Alexander Teachers Weirdos?’ Both titles make me smile!  Before you think I am completely weird I do have some thoughts on the use of the word for our wonderful work. So here goes – some musings on the weird wonderful world of Alexander Technique …

 

The word weird’s modern meaning is quite recent and is very different from it’s original Old English meaning. Weird or Wyrd originally meant fate, fortune, chance, destiny, literally that which comes into being.  

 

It referred to the Fates of Greek and Roman myths, three Goddess spinners. These three sisters had different tasks, Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured its allotted length and Atropos cut if off with her shears. They are the Goddesses of our destiny.

 

The change of meaning of weird, to strange, odd, different, supernatural, spooky came about when Shakespeare picked up on this wyrd word, that had fallen out of use in England but was still used in Scotland, naming the three witches in Macbeth, The Weird Sisters.

 

So why is Alexander Technique weird?

 

If we take the original meaning of the word weird then the Alexander Technique is indeed weird. I believe Alexander Technique has a great influence on our destiny, our fate and that which comes into being in our lives. To me Alexander Technique is all about fully embodying our own being and deepening our understanding of our own unique weird wonderful selves, whilst allowing that which is the destiny of our balance to operate for us.  

 

When we are in balance, life simply goes better! Weird but true! 

 

I think it is why Alexander Technique teachers may occasionally seem like weirdos to the outside world! We get really excited about the discovery that Alexander called ‘primary control’. It is perhaps a bit weird to be so excited about the head, neck, back relationship, but we are!  Dressage riders will understand our fascination.

(Do book a lesson with a teacher and find out why we are so passionate!)

 

So, as we learn to pay attention to how we do what we do, especially in relationship to the balance of our heads, we learn to be more ‘at one’ with our own life, more at ease with ourselves. This in turn I believe effects our destiny – our responses change, allowing balance to emerge and thus what happens to us changes too.  

 

Life in it’s originality is very weird and very wonderful. It is forever coming into being. 

 

Learning the paradigms contained within the Alexander Technique we start to become the conscious spinners and weavers of our own cloth, our own matter, the material that is out body and our life on earth.

 

We learn to untangle the knotted threads of our life within and without to weave a more beautiful harmonious flowing ‘silken pattern’ for ourselves to live in.

 

We find we are connected to the whole, the elements. We learn to get out of our way to let our individual thread of experience be a connection to a truth that is greater than ourselves.  Alexander Technique is I believe one path to enlightenment. It is both simple and difficult at the same time.

 

The fabric of our life spirals within the structure of the mobile muscly body suit in which we live and move and breathe. 

 

Learning the Universal Truths taught through the Alexander Technique we learn to stand in our own nakedness. No need to hide ourselves in a clumsy mantle, a cloak of doubt or fear.

 

The way we use our entire selves effects our functioning. As we open and free ourselves, we unravel a magic carpet on which to fly, a beautiful tapestry unfolds spreading out before us.  We learn how to be in the great spinning wheel of movement. The art of many things is revealed to us. We learn to trust ourselves and be open to the vulnerability and aliveness of our being. In the vulnerability of our innate balance we find an inner strength that we can call home.

 

Our vulnerability becomes our strength. That is a bit weird in itself, but oh so amazing!

We learn to spin our cloth of gold through our thoughts, awareness and direction. 

 

In learning to change our habits and let go of that which is tangled, atrophied or stuck, we sometimes, like the goddess Atropos, need to pick up the metaphorical shears and cut the chains that bind and hold us.  We learn to simply stop in order to let go!  You could say that weirdly, learning the Alexander Technique helps us learn to cut the crap!

 

We all live in a weird world these days. A world where the world wide web weaves us into connections and relationships hitherto impossible.  It is a fabric of unwoven and interwoven possibility.

 

We can embrace the weirdness of wonderful relationships with people whom we have never met and may never meet and who none the less bring threads of pure gold into our lives. We learn to stand tall owning a voice in the (virtual) world so we can learn and grow together, connecting with each other, being the change, looking after what matters! 

 

In many ways the web has let us as a population become more in charge of our own destiny than ever before. We hopefully can learn how to use it well and make a difference. I have heard it said that people who use social media a lot are weird. I disagree. If connecting across the planet in an instant is weird then weird is great. Weird is coming into being. Weird is being open to chance, synchronicity and connections from all over the world. 

 

One could argue another weird aspect of the Alexander Technique is that it impassions people from so many different walks of life – scientists, doctors, musicians, actors, athletes, equestrians, dancers, sufferers of pain conditions, educationalists, entrepreneurs, mathematicians, self improvers and like me artists …

 

I would argue that this is because fate and destiny are interwoven in the teachings of the Alexander Technique, a learning which is on the one hand down to earth, bony, structural, a scientifically quantifiable technique endorsed by the British Medical Journal and on the other other hand invites us into the world of the mysterious, spiritual, psychic and intuitive. A world of possibilities.

So here’s a big thumbs up to the wonderful weird Alexander Technique! I love it!

 

(Big thank you to Devon based Alexander Technique teacher Jenny Quick, whom I have only met via the weird wise web but feel a lovely sense of connection to. Thank you Jenny for telling me you were ‘celebrating weird’ with your student. This led me to look up the etymology of the word and inspired a blog.)

Share Button

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

Share Button

How do you make decisions?

How do you make decisions?

 

Ever since I started working with the Alexander Technique as a stressed out ex art student, I realised that this technique is an amazing tool for decision making. It is a tool that I have used ever since that has not only informed my art but made my life better too.

 

Yesterday in a conversation with a friend, who seems to have been going round and round in circles over-analysing the same situation for months but never making a decision, I shared my process in the hope that it might give her a useful tool, and so I share it here curious if this works for you too.

 

The wonderful life transforming direction ‘I let my neck be free’ is a barometer for me. If my neck is not free, why not? What is it about the situation, thought, person etc that my ‘true’ self is not happy with. An instant neck tightening (a bit like a dog putting his hackles up) is giving me information about my emotional (psychco-physical) reaction to a situation.  My job is to notice. If I ignore and proceed anyway it usually takes me out of the flow and gets me into trouble in some form or another!

 

If my neck is free I am in the flow and I can proceed.

If my neck is not free, it is like an amber light, slow down, stop, recalibrate the thinking. Notice what I am thinking and feeling.

 

If I need a yes/no answer I ask my heart – ‘Is it in my/the highest interest to do this?’

If the answer is ‘Yes’ I get a nice warm melty feel in my neck and heart area.  If the answer is ‘No’, my body hardens or tightens in some way. Easy peasy. Decision made. My response – ability allows me to take responsibility for my decision and my choices.

 

Of course I am not discounting analysing data and facts etc, I just know for me I would get stuck in my head doing that as my only way to move forward. I have to feel whether something is right. If my neck is tight it is not right, If my heart is soft and my neck is free and easy, decision made … forward flow.

Horsemanship has a word for it – Feel.

 

When I am in the flow there are no wrong decisions, just a life lived with an open heart.

 

How about you? How do you make decisions?

 

‘If Wishes Were Horses’

by Kirsten Harris

 

This drawing and others in the series exploring lightness and freedom are available as Limited Edition hand signed, titled and numbered black and white prints via my website www.kirstenharrisart.com

A4 £20 / $28

A3 £30 / $48

Free postage worldwide if you purchase more than one print.

 

 

 

Share Button

Why the Alexander Technique can be Likened to Farting!

OMG!’ Oil on Canvas, by Kirsten Harris

 

Apologies to the easily offended, but I am likening the Alexander Technique to farting in this blog. Call it British humour or bad humour, but a girls gotta amuse herself somehow! Anyway, I am not talking about bad smells or feeling embarrassed, I am talking about something that is entirely natural. Farting is natural. No one choses to fart or makes themselves fart, it just happens. Or as we say in Britain ‘Even the Queen farts!’

 

So, this blog is about natural freedom, the bodies natural abilities. The poise that Alexander Technique seeks is a natural state. A state of suspended animation a bit like floating in water. It is not something you do or make happen.

 

You can not hold onto water to float in it. You can’t grab at the water or put yourself into a posture to find buoyancy. You will drown if you do this. You have to let go. You have to trust. Let yourself breathe out. Allow. Let go and go for it. Float. Go with the flow. Know that the next breath will find you.

 

Poise is letting our predominantly watery bodies float in space, so that we are free to move and live with ease and balance. Poise is a natural state of being. Poise is as illusive as it is addictive! We happen upon it, and we lose it again. Poise is a life times adventure in being.

 

Too often for my liking the word posture is associated with the Alexander Technique. Truthfully I think it is a misleading and inaccurate word. Posture suggests a position, something you do and hold, somewhat forced. Posture is like grabbing at the water. That is never going to work. As soon as you try to hold onto water it’s essence will slip through your fingers. You are just left with wet hands, a surface experience of what is.

 

Why would Alexander Technique teachers be so passionate about this job with a strange name if we were teaching posture?  Boring!

 

We are seekers of something mysterious, eternal and natural – a freedom that is, in it’s essence, nothing. Like water, you can’t hold onto that freedom. This is why it is hard to explain the wonders of the Alexander Technique. It is why people say you have to experience it. Alexander Technique takes us closer to the mysteries of being. It is just one way to seek truth, a rather wonderful way.

 

You can’t really explain floating in water. You have to be in the water, be of the water. You have to find the state of mind – let go of fear of drowning, that allows you to let go and trust the water will support you. Trust that floating and moving in water or up into space on dry land is a natural state of being. Perhaps it really is letting go of a fear of death that allows us to live freely.

(Ah, the inadequacy of words! So much to say so hard to say it!)

 

So on that note, I will raise the tone and share a verse my late, much loved Uncle Ken of Worsall Farm in Wiltshire, used to say to us as children to make us laugh! This is best read in the broadest of broad Wiltshire accents –

 

‘Where ever you be

Let your farts go free

For the want of a fart

Was the death of me!’

 

     

OMG … Kirsten Harris, I can’t believe you wrote about farting!

 

 

 

Share Button

If You Want to Set a Goal Don’t Tell The Devil!

New Years Day, Tinto Hill, South Lanarkshire, Scotland

 

I was listening to the philosopher Alan Watts (1915 – 1973) on You Tube and he came out with a fantastic line that resonated for the new year – ‘If you want to set a goal don’t tell the devil!’ In other words don’t let anyone know what that big goal is, let alone the devil in you!

 

If you make a big goal and announce it to your self you are very less likely to achieve it. The wee devil sitting on your shoulder will listen and do all it can to trip you up. I know I have heard myself declare a goal and even at the time there’s a voice inside going ‘really!?’

 

So, you have to trick that devilish side of your own entirely normal human nature and make any goals appear small and stupidly simple. Not really goals at all!  For example if fitness is your goal don’t say ‘I am going to get really fit this year’, simply go for a walk today, do a few stretches right now. If not drinking is your new years resolution – just don’t drink today, don’t declare you’re not drinking ever again, or having a dry January, you probably won’t achieve it. If you want to be more creative, do it now. A drawing starts with one line. So simple. A blog with the first sentence. Don’t set yourself the goal of creating a masterpiece, how scary.

 

You get the idea? Make change one small step at a time or the devil will have fun proving you wrong and disrupting your big plan. It makes sense to me.

 

When I first started teaching a very wise friend said to me – ‘Don’t be disheartened if folk sign up to your evening classes and only a few stalwarts finish the course. Don’t take it personally or think it reflects on your teaching. Their higher self signs up for the class thinking self improvement is a wonderful idea, the lower self will look out of the window after a couple of weeks and think ‘it is too dark tonight, too chilly out there, there is a something good on the telly, missing one class won’t matter!’

If the lower self wins once, the game is on the way to being lost, the devil has hung you on his noose and it will just get tighter. Perhaps that’s the reason there are so many millions of pounds wasted in unused gym memberships, or drawers full of unused art materials. The world is full of unacted upon good intention.

 

(On the subject of gyms, personally I think they are a bit immoral: grown adults running on treadmills when there are so many folk needing help in the world and surely at the very least those treadmills and machines could produce electricity to power the gyms! Don’t shoot me gym lovers, perhaps it’s my wee devil just having a rant!)

 

So, my new years resolution is to make changes one teeny tiny step at a time, and from an Alexander Technique point of view that’s one thought at a time. I am keeping my goals easy – ‘I let my neck be free!’ The devil ain’t catching me out!

 

Share Button

Alexander’s Story (a truly terrible verse)

ALEXANDER’S STORY (via a truly terrible verse)

 

This is the story of The Alexander Technique
Named after the founder. It’s fabulous! Unique!
Its extraordinary brilliance is worldwide recognised
Even applauded in the Nobel Prize

 

Alexander discovered a useful thing
For those who want to act, dance, sing
Ride a horse, swim, run, kick a ball
His technique will help you all!

 

Or just ‘To be more easily me!’
Alexander Technique will set you free
It’s simple to learn, to self apply
A skill to use from today ’til you die

 

This story I share is all about you
A two legged (tottering biped) I hope to renew
With knowledge and power and confident ease
A story of  freedom like the birds and the bees

 

So without any further ado
Let me introduce our teacher to you
Frederick Mathias Alexander, it would be his fate
To be in the hall of fame – those who made Australia great!

 

Our adventure begins across the sea
Our hero’s on stage ‘To be or not to be?’
But his comic shows of the English bard
In Oz were straining, speaking was hard

 

As he recited his voice got hoarse
He consulted the doctors, but just felt worse
‘We’ve looked, examined, we all agree
There’s nothing wrong in your throat to see!’

 

His neck was sore, his voice no more
His theatre dream becoming a chore!
They wrung their hands and said ‘Oh dear!
With you at the top of your acting career!’

 

‘This is no good, I’ll have to find
My own solution! I’ll use my mind
I’ve dealt with snakes and spiders wild
Rode young farm horses since a child

I don’t accept the doctor’s verdict
When up to now my voice has been perfect!’

 

He set up three way mirrors and saw
That as he spoke there was a flaw!
His head pulled back, his chest was raised
It made his voice sound weak and crazed!

 

He lost his tone when he talked like this
‘I must be seeing what doctors miss!’
A Eureka moment! Fate! Yippee
He’d found the mechanism to set man free!

 

It wasn’t hard, surprisingly easy
To feel so great, light and breezy
He’d leave Oz now and go and seek
His fortune in London with his technique

 

He’d spread the word, he’d write a book
And bit by bit the world would look
And say ‘Cor Blimey, what the heck
All I have to do is free my neck!’

 

‘My natural balance is just there
Walking, standing, I am light as air
No stress, no strain, no aching back
My natural rhythm’s back on track!’

 

But first a way to pay his trip
Across the Ocean on a ship
A hundred years ago or more
To sail from Oz to UK shore

 

‘What shall I do to make the course?
I know what, I’ll back a horse
I’ll bet on one that’s nice and free
And surely that will pay for me

 

If it moves with ease and grace
It’s bound to have a striding pace
Good carriage will show inner poise
‘Forward, forward – ATTABOY!’

 

Alexander London went
His passage paid, his money spent!
He made his way to the West End Theatre
To be a pioneering holistic teacher

 

Actors he taught, they paid his wage
He helped them free their breath on stage
And very soon his technique was known
Among the leading lights of town

 

Actors, writers, famous intellectuals
Said ‘Alexander you must go clinical
Doctor’s must be sensible
And adopt your amazing human principle!’

 

‘We are all excited to extol
The incredible virtues of your primary control!
Somehow Alexander, you’ve uncovered
What up to now has been undiscovered!

 

You’ve found the body’s guiding relation
That must be true for all creation!’
‘You’ve taught us how to be elastic
We really do now feel fantastic!’

 

But doctors are a sceptic lot
And though many loved him, others did not
They could not believe that it could be true
When he said – ‘Less is better than to do!’

 

And this is why the techniques still quite a hidden thing
Actors and musicians learn it, to better act or sing
Or those who may have hurt their back
Will find a teacher to get back on track

 

Dressage riders, that’s horse ballet
Or pupils of ‘The art of Swimming’, use it everyday
And a few cool schools teach the Alexander Technique
And find that kids learn better, a kind of thinking power peak!

 

So if you too want to learn with less stress and strain
Find it frustrating to try hard and end gain
Ache a bit, don’t feel quite right?
Find an Alexander teacher – there’s change in sight!

 

 

More Alexander Technique stuff –

The Daily Ease Colouring Book – purchase book

Body Magic – purchase download

Breathe – purchase download

Walking with your Horse – purchase download

 

Join my blog – link to side of post

or try out my free Alexander inspired creativity course – link below

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR LOVE KIRSTEN XXX

Share Button

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.

 

www.kirstenharris.co.uk

Lessons and workshops available

Media downloads on my website

or join my blog

Chimps, Oil on Canvas by Kirsten Harris

www.kirstenharrisart.com

 

Share Button

Is it useful learning Alexander Technique at School and if so, why?

Every now and then I check in with the school children I teach to find out what they are learning from Alexander Technique. Here are some answers from class –

 

‘It is useful learning Alexander Technique at school because it teaches me how to go from really hyper to really relaxed quickly. It helps me stay calm and not react. When I do sports and things it helps me not get aches and pains. It also keeps me calm for exams, because I can switch off nervousness and get focussed instead.’ Alisia, age 13

 

‘My mum’s started to say my posture is better and I notice in the mirror I am not slouching.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘It trains your mind whilst you are still learning so you can get into good habits while you are still young.’ Anna, age 13

 

‘It’s changing habits for the younger generation, so that they don’t inherit the previous generations flaws. It is good to start at a young age at high school because we then have guidance as to what will benefit you most, what is right for you, which makes it easier to live a day to day life.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘Alexander Technique helps you let go. It gives you another perspective. So it is not so stressful dealing with annoying people at school, or people who find you annoying.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘It slows everything down and helps you appreciate every second. You notice everything, all the senses and sounds. Maisie, age 14

 

‘School is stressful and when you do Alexander Technique it helps you remember how calm and open you can be.’  Esme, age 13

 

‘If you have done Alexander Technque in a room in the school and then you go back into it another time the room reminds you to feel calm. That is why it is good doing it in school.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘You feel more responsible for your body and you get the gist of how it works more. That makes you feel safer and more comfortable.’ Marie age 14

 

‘I find I concentrate more after Alexander Technique and stay focussed in class. I find  am kinder and nicer to people after doing Alexander Technique.’ Xander age 13

 

‘It is tiring and busy at school. Alexander Technique gives you half a period to put things into perspective and think about keeping yourself healthy. It doesn’t take long in Alexander Technique but it helps it make possible all the things we have to do. I get better results when I take a break and gather my thoughts.  Xander age 13

 

‘It helps you concentrate. It helps you learn a different way of learning.’ Mika, age 14

 

‘It’s fun learning about your body.’ Lucy, age 14

 

‘It teaches you awareness, it helps you pay attention and listen to your body and be in the moment. It helps you let go and unwind.’ Dominic, age 14

 

‘It makes me think about things I’ve never thought about before about my body. It makes me aware of myself which is useful because it makes me more interested in how I am.’ Stephanie, age 15

 

‘I think Alexander Technique helps you mentally and physically. For example, if you have aches – people don’t realise that it is yourself that is making it happen!

It makes you self aware with your interactions with other people and your interactions with yourself. It makes you strong minded or strong willed enough to stand your ground when you are confronted with people or situations that can be tricky or difficult to deal with, especially at school when there is the stress of peer pressure.’ Hannah, age 16

 

‘It helps me be less reactive. You become more open minded to new ideas and different ideas, rather than saying ‘no that won’t work.’ You don’t jump to conclusions as easily. Esme, age 13

 

‘It helps you be more comfortable with your decisions.’ Dominic, age 14

 

‘I helps with your confidence speaking to people, you look and feel more confident.’ Mika, age 15

 

‘When I open up my body, I open up my mind’ Xander, age 13

 

If you are interested in Alexander Technique for your children, here are two things that I have produced that may be of interest

 

Body Magic, audio download for semi supine

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods, a colouring story book

 

 

Share Button

Alexander Technique Drawings

Page from The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Wood Colouring Book

 

I have been slowly working away creating images that hopefully express Alexander Technique in a fun way. A task that I find exceedingly challenging, but very engaging.

 

One teacher, who phoned to ask to use one of my cartoons to promote her work within the BBC, said ‘the Alexander Technique needs more images with a sharp wit like these.’ Amazing feedback!

 

Another teacher said I was wasting my time making art to promote our work!

 

An interesting difference of opinion.  I love Alexander Technique and how it can so simply and profoundly transform peoples lives. If I can do a wee bit to bring it into peoples field of attention via a cartoon or a verse or something else, yippee! To me that attempt is not a waste of time.

 

What do you think?

 

I plan to make more Alexander Technique inspired cartoons and drawings next year and I want to plant trees, to do my bit for this beautiful planet we live on!

 

This year I made an Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book for children and adults. All profits will be used to plant trees.The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods,  link here!

 

It is the sort of thing as a child I know I would have loved, and I think would have given me a ‘heads up’ on some useful thinking …

 

fullsizeoutput_15f1

‘Hedgehog – Feeling a Bit Prickly!’

detail from ‘The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods’

 

Kirsten Harris 001

‘News – Skeleton Slumps at Screen!’

FB logo for The Daily Ease – Alexander Technique.

 

 

Share Button

Hard Cheese!

Hard Cheese! by Kirsten Harris

 

Thirty three vertebrae

Support the body through the day

They’re your inner building bricks

Stack them well, let’s not be thick!

 

Disease, perhaps a lack of ease?

A painful back and hips and knees?

Our thirty-three spinal bones

Give support – a snake-like home

 

A slumping spine becomes C-shaped

Oh messed up human, misshaped  ape!

Don’t curl the spine and squash the heart

That’s never clever for a start!

 

Between the vertebrae are discs

Slumping puts these discs at risk

Those squishy sponges separate

The bone from bone – so they don’t grate

 

When you’re young they’re full and squishy

Later on they may get iffy

Worn down, thin and hard like cheese

Think up, spine long, before they freeze

 

Your discs are spongy spacing strips

Between the bones. Don’t slump! They’ll slip!

And then you’ll end up feeling bad

In dreadful pain, just like my dad

 

Ease out enough before you’re forty

Risky discs won’t be so naughty

Lie down and rest on a hard floor

Chill out and let your discs restore

 

Lie down, take time: semi-supine

Expands and balances your spine

Allow each sponge to rehydrate

It’s only seventeen minutes to wait!

 

(The spine is made up of 7 cerivcal, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 fused sacral and 3/5 coccygeal vertebrae)

 

kirsten harris semi supine 001

I am interested in presenting the Alexander Technique in ways that children will hopefully enjoy and remember. I don’t claim to be the worlds greatest poet, far from it! However, a rhyme can be a quick and easy way of presenting information to discuss. It always seems to engage the teenagers I work with. They particularly remember the words ‘hard cheese’ when I teach this bit of anatomy.

 

The late Don Burton used the description of hard cheese to describe the change of consistency that occurs in intervertebral discs as we get older. I have stolen his description as a title and idea for this verse. Thank you Don, for your continued inspiration!

 

More stuff from me –
I have recently made an Alexander Technique colouring book CLICK HERE.

 

You don’t need to be into colouring to buy this. It is a teaching resource – an artists perspective on the Alexander Technique.

The colouring in bit just adds another dimension of interactivity and interest.

All profits will be used to plant trees.

 

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods Colouring Story Book

CLICK LINK HERE TO SEE SAMPLE PAGE
Free postage in the UK
Email me for international postage – kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

Body Magic – Link to audio for semi supine to help you take care of yourself.

Breathe link to audio lessons

 

COLOURING BOOK KH-1         BodyMagic_mobile

Spiral_mobile

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

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

 

 

 

Share Button

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!

 

 

Facebook – The Daily Ease Alexander Technique
www.kirstenharris.co.uk
www.kirstenharrisart.com
Don’t forget to subscribe at the top of the page so you don’t miss out on more fun posts from The Daily Ease!

Share Button

Humphrey!

I see with joy that a collage I made twenty odd years ago was in STAT news this month. Thank you Jamie, I love that you kept it so long! The quirky title –  ‘Because she had always been interested in animal rights she decided to free her neck!’

 

Seeing it again inspired me to share this mad cartoon …from a collection of daft verses and cartoons compiled over the years!

Those of you who signed up for my free creativity course will have come across one called Tongue Tied.

 

I have a new idea that combines art and Alexander Technique, the two loves of my life!

So today I publicly setting my intention and direction for the next few weeks  – to produce an Alexander Technique inspired colouring book in time for Christmas!

Cartoons and drawings to colour in yourself and verses that hopefully teach something wonderful in a fun way.

Suitable for children and adults too!

 

I have been listening to what the children I teach say they would like ….

The Daily Ease, Colouring Book!

An AT teaching and learning tool!

 

Please let me know if you are interested in my new project ….

Pencils are sharped and pens are at the ready to start drawing!

I will do it for my pupils anyway … but you might be interested too?

 

Oh and I will be exhibiting and selling all the original drawings during the Edinburgh Festival this August so I had better get busy.  …. Do get in touch if you are in Edinburgh or interested in being kept in the loop about the colouring book…

 

Hope you like ‘Humphrey’ – poem, drawing and pun! : )

 

email -kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

www.kirstenharrisart.com

www.kirstenharris.co.uk

EPSON MFP image

 

fullsizeoutput_112d

The collage done 20 years ago …

inspired by Alexander Technique.

 

Share Button

‘Doing Alexander Technique at School is Legendary!’

‘Doing Alexander Technique at school is legendary and you’re a legend Miss!’

Or so I was informed by a seventeen year old at the high school where I teach Alexander Technique yesterday!

‘Oh, that sounds good! Is it? No-one has ever called me that, in fact I am not entirely sure I know what legendary and being a legend means. We didn’t use that expression when I was at school.’

 

‘It is very good Miss, not everyone is a legend!’ (They proceeded to tell me which teachers were legends and which were not, but that is classified information!)

 

So here is the definition of why doing Alexander Technique at school is legendary from a  group of high school students in Scotland  –

 

‘A legend is laid back, cool, understands people, treats everyone equally and is confident but not cocky.’

‘A legend doesn’t make people feel bad about themselves.’

‘If you persist with Alexander Technique it helps you to become more of a legend as you treat people with more understanding. You notice things about other people that you wouldn’t notice before which makes you more understanding and able to relate to others which makes you more of a legend.’

‘You have to be in a group of people to establish whether someone is a legend.’

‘Having Alexander Technique body awareness allows you to be more individual and you don’t care what other think. Legends don’t care what others think, and often have some  quirky personality trait or thing that makes them stand out.’

‘Taking innovative, creative, fun time to do Alexander Technique is legendary. A legend would do that.’

‘A legend is kind, and does kind things for others.’

‘You are not necessarily a legend in everyone’s eyes.’

‘Doing Alexander Technique at school sets you apart from other people because it is distinctive and not mainstream. People don’t know what it is and that is legendary. Yoga is like Starbucks, it is mainstream of the health industry – like a caramel frappuccino. Alexander Technique is legendary, like a quadruple espresso, getting you high on life!’

 

So now you know  – Alexander Technique is legendary!

 

I love my job!

a1 001

Things you might like

Body Magic, audio download for semi supine, as pictured – CLICK HERE

An Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book – CLICK HERE

Share Button

101 Life Lessons from my Dog

101 Life Lessons from my Dog

by Kirsten Harris

 

1. Have a good stretch and yawn first thing in the morning. It feels great.

 

2. If there is a human being about lie on your back and get your tummy tickled. Tickling is happy.

 

3. Morning grooming sessions make you feel good for the day. Nobody likes a smelly dog.

Especially look after your feet. You can’t walk without them.

 

5. Eat your food with gusto and pure pleasure.

 

6. Drink plenty of water.

 

7. Be totally delighted to see your friends. Greet them with enthusiasm and joy.

 

8. Be fascinated by the sights, sounds and smells around you. The best things in life really are free.

 

9. Playing or going for a walk with someone is better than on your own. Run for Fun.

 

10. If you need to howl. Do it!

 

11. Smile and wag your tail a lot, it will keep your back free. Dance like a dog everyday.

 

12. It is OK to have a snooze in the day time. Dogs loves it when you lie on the floor. Be more dog and rest inbetween activity. It’s good for your back.

 

13. Get some training. Practise makes perfect. Being skilled is pure pleasure for you and the people around you.

 

14. It is possible to be totally relaxed and alert at the same time. Alexander Technique’s constructive rest (semi-supine) is the human equivalent of your dog sleeping with one eye open.

 

15. Worry Less. Muddy floors can be cleaned. Enjoy getting muddy feet in the first place.

 

16. Dont compare yourself with the other bitches! Be accepting.

 

17. It feels good to give and get strokes from others. Give and receive praise.

 

18. Make yourself pant breathlessly from having fun in the world at least once a day.

 

19. ‘NO!’ is a really important word. Use it.

 

20. Go outside several times a day to refresh yourself.

 

21 Have boundaries. Your space is your space, protect it from invaders.

 

22. Don’t pick fights. Stand up for yourself if necessary. Don’t cower, but exiting fast or going around something to avoid confrontation is often the best strategy. Fighting doesn’t occur if you know how to look after yourself.

 

23. Commitment brings joy.

 

24. Trust your instincts.

 

25. Everyday is an adventure. Going on trips is an adventure. Trust the unknown. Dogs never know what you have planned.

 

26. Ball games are fun.

 

27. Have a sense of humour and be a bit naughty sometimes.

 

28. Bugs, flies, moths and bees are fascinating.

 

29. Staying a dancing hands length away from being captured is a good game.

 

30. Have your own space, where you find peace and ease.

 

31. Sofas are great but sometimes it really is more comfortable to lie on the floor.

Rolling around on the floor is really really good too.

 

32. Different dogs have different energy levels and personalities. They are all loveable. Accept yourself.

 

33. Develop your listening skills.

 

34. Sitting at someone else’s feet is a mark of respect.

 

35 Be aware.

 

36. A little treat for a job well done makes life flow and brings happiness and joy.

 

37. Keep a little treat ‘up your sleeve’ at all times, you never know when you might need a reward.

 

38 Be loyal and honest. Dogs don’t lie.

 

39 A good companion and friend is the best thing in the world.

 

40. Walking everyday keeps you in good shape.

 

41. Some humans make better leaders than others and get more respect.

 

42. Slippers are great.

 

43. Toys that squeak must be destroyed as fast as possible.

 

44 It is important to respect cows, sheep and horses, but it is OK to chase crows out of the garden.

 

45 Some ‘cats’ are weird and need assessing before approaching.

 

46. Humans are a bit slow and clumsy but are generally nice and like to be loved

 

47. Humans that spend too long on the computer are boring and missing out on great opportunities for adventures and walks.

 

48. Humans don’t like arse licking.

 

49 Don’t chase cars.

 

50. Always look for the most comfortable place to sit. Sit nicely.

 

51 Find a favourite relaxation spot outside to watch the world go by.

 

52. Dogs are happy when you are happy. Be happy

 

53 The countryside is freer than the city. The beach is fantastic!

 

54. You can communicate with everyone, even if you don’t speak the same language. Be friendly to strangers.

 

55. Don’t hurt people. People don’t like being bitten.

 

56. Don’t steal other people’s stuff. Slippers are fair game!

 

57. Trust people unless they hurt you. Then refuse to go near them.

 

58. Breathe out deeply with contented pleasure when letting go into rest.

 

59. Explore your surroundings with new eyes and enthusiasm everyday. It is full of wonder and delight.

 

60. Respect the environment. Don’t ‘shit’ in someone else’s paradise. If you do, clear up the mess.

 

61. It is possible to be poised in activity. The eyes lead the body follows, watch a dog catch a ball, it will teach you how the body is co-ordinated.

 

62. It is OK to drop the ball.

 

63. Don’t worry. If you think it’s a dog’s life, be more dog.

 

64. Get messy. Use your body. Explore. Get your feet wet. Run into the sea. Dig in the earth. Enjoy Life.

 

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

 

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 behaviour 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.Love is unconditional.

 

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 …

Why not join my mailing list for more blogs and drawings ..

 

Link to my art website – http://www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

 

UPCOMING ART EXHIBITOIN – SEA AND THE CITY, DUNDAS GALLERY, DUNDAS STREET, EDINBURGH 26 – 30 APRIL 2017 10am – 6pm.

(Maisie will be meeting and greeting visitors to the exhibition!)

 

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

IMG_6236

101 Life Lessons from my Dog – copyright Kirsten Harris, July 2016/March 2017

Share Button

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 ..

 

IMG_6236

101 Life Lessons from my Dog – Copyright Kirsten Harris 2017

 

 

65 Life Lessons from My Dog

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

The Naughty Step!

 

I had to share this insight from a teenager …..

 

Yesterday, during a constructive rest session requested by one of the teenage boys at the high school where I teach Alexander Technique, 17 year old Harry quipped-

 

‘Semi-supine is like a productive version of the naughty step!

When I was little I would be made to sit on the naughty step … I was always all hunched up, elbows on my knee, in a rage … ‘

 

‘Lying down doing Alexander Technique is giving me time out to think about what I have done during the day, the bad decisions I have made and let them go. Yup, it is like the productive version of the naughty step!’

 

He continued –

 

‘I have had some great epiphanies in semi-supine – like where I have been going wrong and just by taking time out I get an idea about how to do it and when I go back to it it works … like learning a difficult piece on the guitar, suddenly I can do it… You wouldn’t think time out this way would be productive, but it really is!’

 

Out of the mouth of babes!

Constructive rest – the productive naughty step!

 

Here is a link to a constructive rest download – enjoy time out on the ‘productive naughty step!’ CLICK NOW

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

What’s Your Daily Ease?

COVER DOC(42)

The Daily Ease by Kirsten Harris

 

What’s your daily ease?

A little bit of semi supine, when you have a sore back or are feeling prickly like the little hedgehog…

Spending time in the garden, contemplating how life grows up…up…up…

A hand on a friends back…lending a hand.. making connections.. the bliss of having an Alexander Technique lesson….

Noticing nature colour… awakening the senses to the play of light on life…

Sitting back to back with your friend…listening to each others perfect breath…

Listening to life moving back in your back…

Quiet as a mouse meditating on a leaf…

Opening like a sunflower in consecutive rest…

Stretching…opening out… ahhhh

Leaping over stuff…magically learning to fly….

Transforming like a butterfly…. transformation available moment by moment…

Wise owl, listening….

Little honey bee….finding the nectar in life…

Sunshine…Radiating love and strength…

Balancing on your own unique leaf….oooh scary…..thinking big…being brave…

Having a direction for the day…

Forward and up….

Ease the day! Love the daily ease x

 

Illustration from the front cover of The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar...available here

 

 

 

Share Button

65 Life Lessons from My Dog

65 Life Lessons from My Dog

by Kirsten Harris

 

1. Have a good stretch and yawn first thing in the morning. It feels great.

 

2. If there is a human being about lie on your back and get your tummy tickled. Tickling is happy.

 

3. Morning grooming sessions make you feel good for the day. Nobody likes a smelly dog.

Especially look after your feet. You can’t walk without them.

 

5. Eat your food with gusto and pure pleasure.

 

6. Drink plenty of water.

 

7. Be totally delighted to see your friends. Greet them with enthusiasm and joy.

 

8. Be fascinated by the sights, sounds and smells around you. The best things in life really are free.

 

9. Playing or going for a walk with someone is better than on your own. Run for Fun.

 

10. If you need to howl. Do it!

 

11. Smile and wag your tail a lot, it will keep your back free. Dance like a dog everyday.

 

12. It is OK to have a snooze in the day time. Dogs loves it when you lie on the floor. Be more dog and rest inbetween activity. It’s good for your back.

 

13. Get some training. Practise makes perfect. Being skilled is pure pleasure for you and the people around you.

 

14. It is possible to be totally relaxed and alert at the same time. Alexander Technique’s constructive rest (semi-supine) is the human equivalent of your dog sleeping with one eye open.

 

15. Worry Less. Muddy floors can be cleaned. Enjoy getting muddy feet in the first place.

 

16. Dont compare yourself with the other bitches! Be accepting.

 

17. It feels good to give and get strokes from others. Give and receive praise.

 

18. Make yourself pant breathlessly from having fun in the world at least once a day.

 

19. ‘NO!’  is a really important word. Use it.

 

20. Go outside several times a day to refresh yourself.

 

21 Have boundaries. Your space is your space, protect it from invaders.

 

22. Don’t pick fights. Stand up for yourself if necessary. Don’t cower, but exiting fast or going around something to avoid confrontation is often the best strategy. Fighting doesn’t occur if you know how to look after yourself.

 

23. Commitment brings joy.

 

24. Trust your instincts.

 

25. Everyday is an adventure. Going on trips is an adventure. Trust the unknown. Dogs never know what you have planned.

 

26. Ball games are fun.

 

27. Have a sense of humour and be a bit naughty sometimes.

 

28. Bugs, flies, moths and bees are fascinating.

 

29. Staying a dancing hands length away from being captured is a good game.

 

30. Have your own space, where you find peace and ease.

 

31. Sofas are great but sometimes it really is more comfortable to lie on the floor. Rolling around on the floor is really really good too.

 

32.  Different dogs have different energy levels and personalities. They are all loveable. Accept yourself.

 

33. Develop your listening skills.

 

34. Sitting at someone else’s feet is a mark of respect.

 

35 Be aware.

 

36. A little treat for a job well done makes life flow and brings happiness and joy.

 

37. Keep a little treat ‘up your sleeve’ at all times, you never know when you might need a reward.

 

38 Be loyal and honest. Dogs don’t lie.

 

39 A good companion and friend is the best thing in the world.

 

40. Walking everyday keeps you in good shape.

 

41. Some humans make better leaders than others and get more respect.

 

42. Slippers are great.

 

43. Toys that squeak must be destroyed as fast as possible.

 

44 It is important to respect cows, sheep and horses, but it is OK to chase crows out of the garden.

 

45 Some ‘cats’ are weird and need assessing before approaching.

 

46. Humans are a bit slow and clumsy but are generally nice and like to be loved

 

47. Humans that spend too long on the computer are boring and missing out on great opportunities for adventures and walks.

 

48. Humans don’t like arse licking.

 

49 Don’t chase cars.

 

50. Always look for the most comfortable place to sit. Sit nicely.

 

51 Find a favourite relaxation spot outside to watch the world go by.

 

52. Dogs are happy when you are happy. Be happy

 

53 The countryside is freer than the city.

 

54. You can communicate with everyone, even if you don’t speak the same language. Be friendly to strangers.

 

55. Don’t hurt people. People don’t like being bitten.

 

56. Don’t steal other people’s stuff. Slippers are fair game!

 

57. Trust people unless they hurt you. Then refuse to go near them.

 

58. Breathe out deeply with contented pleasure when letting go into rest.

 

59. Explore your surroundings with new eyes and enthusiasm everyday. It is full of wonder and delight.

 

60. Respect the environment. Don’t ‘shit’ in someone else’s paradise. If you do, clear up the mess.

 

61. It is possible to be poised in activity. The eyes lead the body follows, watch a dog catch a ball, it will teach you how the body is co-ordinated.

 

62. It is OK to drop the ball.

 

63. Don’t worry. If you think it’s a dog’s life, be more dog.

 

64. Get messy. Use your body. Explore. Get your feet wet. Run into the sea. Dig in the earth. Enjoy Life.

 

65. Love is unconditional.

 

(65 Life Lessons from my Dog – copyright Kirsten Harris July 2016)

 

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

 

 

Share Button

Permission to Stop

I took Maisie my crazy cockerpoo for a  walk past the Stopping Permitted sign again today and couldn’t resit another lie down. Big blue skies, cold ground, whacky windmills! The weight of a surprised alert dog. A mad magic moment…

IMG_6672

Stopping is permitted…

Really Permission to stop… right here, right now! You don’t have to do much to stop!

 

Lie on the floor in the office, the living room, outside! Really why not? (Social inhibitions? Not enough time? Laziness… ha ha, well thats a good one!)

 

We make excuses not to stop!

Not to take time out, let go, do nothing, non do!

 

Do I mean – not thinking? quieting the mind? meditation, mindfulness…??

 

NO not really! Just simply permission to stop in your body for a while.

Permission to lie down and do nothing.

Permission to let go and let god!

 

The rest will take care of itself and YOU!

You may be amazed what magic occurs when you let go in semi supine for a while…

 

If you need some inspiration for letting go, check out Body Magic media download

here

 

or Breathe – here

 

I dare you, don’t do something – lie down!

 

http://www.kirstenharris.co.uk/

Share Button

Don’t just slump there – Ease out!

Don’t just slump there – Ease out!

Don’t just do something – Stop!

If you are reading this you may well be slumping, crouched over your phone or computer

Ease out a bit

Lie down in semi supine for a few minutes

a slump book 025

Time out to tune in! Who knows what inspiring ‘radio’ waves you may receive.

And if you need a little inspiration and encouragement have a listen to

the download of Body Magic on my website

as you let yourself stop!

click here

http://www.kirstenharris.co.uk/cddownloads.html

Share Button

Kids quotes on Alexander Technique

When we let go we get more energy – Lola age 12

 

Semi supine uncrumples you – Mia age 14

 

If everyone did the Alexander Technique there would be no more wars because everyone would be controlled and calm and in the right mind.’ Jack age 15

 

The Alexander Technique is a peaceful science – Kier age 14

 

The Alexander Technique is a relaxative! – Sean age 12

 

Semi supine makes you feel happier and be confident with your body. Mia age 14

 

Semi supine feels like it will help you cope. Victor age 13

 

If you’re depressed and you think ‘forward and up’ you may feel a bit better. It’s also a good position to think. For example if you have two periods of maths it’s really good to think’ forward and u’p so my back isn’t sore and my neck doesn’t get cramp. Victor Age 13

 

Semi supine makes me feel more ready to do stuff – Lola age 12

 

Semi supine takes your mind off worries. – Lucy age 15

 

It’s more than just lieing on the ground because my brain feels more ready to learn, less resistant. Saskia – age 12

 

Resting in semi supine empties my mind, it’s time to process so I can take more in – Anna age 17

 

Things you might like –

Alexander Technique inspired colouring book – Click here

Body Magic, Audio for letting go in semi supine – Click here

 

 

 

Share Button