Alexander Technique: Within You and Without
I’m fascinated by the backstory of the Alexander Technique, because the founder FM Alexander’s work and teaching was hastened by World War II. This was a time of willful destruction driven by wrong thinking — how could it not influence every theory and belief system that came of age in those dark days? And aren’t many kinds of wrong thinking still with us, in many ways?
This creates a unique context for AT: It addresses our automatic responses to stimuli that’s both internal and external. It’s both a tool and a skill that trains you to give yourself more time to do what you want to do, and affect your mind while checking your physicality in the task.
Habitual thinking, negative thinking and automatic responses, usually defensive in nature, are obstacles in this upward path. What’s ‘out there’ is a reflection of what’s within us, and it’s only possible to change the ‘out there’ by changing what’s inside.
That power to change is within each individual — no one can force another. People need to be accepted for who they are, and each person needs to handle his or her issues internally without projecting them onto others. We’ve all done it, of course, and we see the consequences. But we can own our own wounds and be empowered by the responsibility.
It’s not easy, but one effect of Alexander is gaining a better understanding the connection between (wrong) thinking and doing. You see your ‘debauched kinesthesia’ in the mirror, when what you feel where you are, is not what you see. I call it ‘the gap,’ and it shows you that your sensory mechanism has become faulty and needs re-wiring. As an adult you’ve acquired a way of doing things that may not even really be your way; it reflects the influence of many other people that you’ve encountered.
This process is a way to see yourself as YOURSELF more clearly, and to take responsibility for using yourself more compassionately.
If we are to take things in a more humane direction, each of us holds the power to sway the direction of the whole. Negativity matters; holding onto thoughts and ways that no longer serve one’s best and most loving interest gives power to the negative side, to dark and inhumane practices.
So, addressing your habits and accepting the power within you to add to the humane and compassionate side is a way to tip the world into a more loving society. Love and Intelligence are the fabric of the universe, so to use one’s intelligence to uncover the wounds of the heart is using yourself in the right way; you are your own savior.
I am present to help you uncover the beauty within you, to see what love can bring in your life and, discover how you can empower yourself.
copyright: Cate McNider 2017 ~The Listening Body®