Alexander Technique: Endgaining or present moment?
The bottom half of my parent’s enormous garden was always looked after by my Dad, and since he passed away it has gradually become neglected. The clematis took over the lilac tree and pulled it down, the saplings, brambles and bind weed invaded everywhere. It became a wildlife haven. However, it had to be tamed as it was invading the neighbours gardens too. We also had to tame a lot of the saplings before they became trees too wide and high to manage.
So, my husband, sister and I all converged on the unruly garden last Sunday. We started at different points and hacked our way towards each other. It reminded me a lot of the Sleeping beauty story. Eventually we began to see glimpses of each other through the undergrowth and despite the rain, we kept going and met in the middle. We were surrounded by devastation, sweaty and wet, but had a great feeling of achievement.
What I noticed fairly soon as I set to, was that I had my “end gaining” head on as I wanted to get the job done. I was doing everything at breakneck speed. Of course, it’s that mode I often bring to other tasks I don’t want to do, like pot washing for instance. So, I regularly stopped, and let go of my end gaining mode. I decided I would get done what I could without ending up aching all over for days to come in the process. I enjoyed listening to the water feature in the neighbours garden, the noises of the secateurs and other garden equipment, the feeling of the rain and sweat steadily soaking me through on that humid day, and the bird song.
I’ve been noticing when I get my “need to get this job over” attitude on and stopping, just for a moment, to let go of the need to do anything. Letting go of the tension I bring to that mode.
Do you have that kind of determination towards some jobs?
What would happen if you stopped, let go of that mind set, any tension associated with it?
Simply enjoy being in the present moment whilst you continue with the job without wishing it over?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
D Jane Clappison MSTAT
Alexander Technique Teacher