Are you busy? No, and I don’t want to be. The Alexander Technique and getting jobs done.
I know I am not on my own in often feeling like I need to get a job done as quickly as possible. When I need to rest, I don’t, and I tell myself “I’ve started so I’ll finish”. Even when I’m tired or aching and I know I should stop, I keep going. Often it is so that I get it over with and can do things I’d rather be doing. I’m pressurising myself to go faster, do it quicker, get it finished. I promise myself I will have a break afterwards or do the thing I really want to do later. I do this far less nowadays, but the habit, the possibility, is always there. My clients nod when I talk about it. It has become almost universal. Plus, no one has ever said to me “are you chilling out and relaxing?” No, they say “are you busy?” to which I say (nowadays), “No, and I don’t want to be.” I often get a rather strange look when I say that because it’s going against what is normally acceptable! However, I think we need to do things differently.
This pushing ourselves beyond tired and feeling like it’s important to cram in as much as possible is taking us away from ourselves. It’s become a bit too engrained and we humans are suffering for it. We are losing touch with the present moment, the joy of doing a task mindfully and discovering the ease with which our bodies can do things if we give it the opportunity. There’s no noticeable change in the speed with which the task is completed either, and all things become enjoyable.
There’s a simple Alexander principle which stops all of that pressure in its tracks. This process is so simple and so profound and all it requires is stopping! Stop your usual habit of rushing through a task and instead make a choice to regularly take time out from it! There’s more layers to it than that, but this is a way into it.
When I do this, the job becomes so much more joyful, richer and fulfilling. Recently, when I was washing the pots, I stopped and stood with my hands in the hot water, looking out at dawn breaking over my garden. I gave my body permission to release all the unnecessary effort I was making to wash the pots as quickly as possible and I just stood there with no agenda. Firstly I experienced that joyful effortless “physical” experience of releasing my habitual muscular tensions but secondly I got to experience the most fantastic dawn breaking across my garden and watched an Acer tree become a ball of fire.
I know I would have missed that moment had I been in my usual mode of “starting so I’ll finish” and instead I witnessed a breath taking event! I continued washing the pots with far more ease as I wasn’t trying to finish the job but take pleasure in every moment.
With practising the Alexander Technique I continue to experience these mindful events much of the time and it enhances my experience of life. I often see things I would otherwise miss in “rush” mode. I experience much more ease of movement and overall life is much more enjoyable and all I need to do is STOP. Why not book a lesson to learn how to bring these kinds of experiences into your life? Contact me?
Alexander Technique Teacher