On Being Wrong

#1 was (an exaggeration of)my habit, #2 was where the teacher put me on top of my sitz bones, upright, #3 was where I felt I was, being in #2. I call this space between #1 & #3 ‘the gap’ that is the bridge that is built over time in lessons, from the old debauched kinesthesia to the new integration and renewal of correct sensory appreciation to come to #2.

Early on during an Alexander Technique lesson, I realized I was wrong. I was looking in the mirror, and the reflection didn’t match how I felt. My perception was wrong, period. It was an impactful moment, in that instantly I asked myself: “What else am I wrong about?!” The ripples of that close recognition reached the distant shores of my consciousness, and it was a conjunction of mind and body realization. My body’s sensory mechanism was giving me inaccurate information: I was not where I thought I was. I was a dancer, a mover, somatically educated, and yet I was wrong! The evidence was looking back at me in the mirror. I knew my body’s mechanism needed updating and re-integration.

This was during first term of teacher training, and acknowledging wrongness was not a point of shame or humiliation. It was instead a point of acceptance and humility, and an opportunity to let go and allow deep changes in my bodymind.

My wrongness had to be visually demonstrated, via my body’s misinformation, for me to truly believe it; due to my kinesthetic proclivity. People could have told me till they were blue in the face about the habits I was carrying and what that meant, but the message wouldn’t have gotten through. It had to be physically manifested. You could say I was a kinesthetic mathematician — I needed the proof.

Remember, I wasn’t looking to be wrong, I wanted to prove myself right. And yet, that question within me — “What do I do now?” — took on some urgency because everything I thought I knew had burned itself out. I was stubborn, sure, but I also sought truth. I had been in the process of healing my spine from scoliosis since I was 14, and the intelligence inside me finally led to the Alexander Technique. It’s like the criminal who really wants to get caught. My wrongness led me to the right path, the direction I needed to take my spine: up and wide.

This wave still flows and allows me to see what’s ahead, granting me a moment of pause before I speak or act. It’s been five years now since that truth bomb went off, and I am still grateful for it. It’s allowed me to open up more, to go deeper in letting go of past assurances and habits, to shed even more stored memories in the tissue and brain. Living from the memories, is not as alive as living in the moment.