Alexander Technique in East Yorkshire

Anger and anxiety

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Toothache, chicken little, anxiety and the Alexander Technique

I don’t know when I decided not take any notice of TV news. Nor do I remember when I consciously avoided reading the daily papers, but it was before the days of the internet. I imagine I was in my late teens. I just didn’t want to know how bad things were.

As I therefore knew less about the world at large, I marvelled at how my maternal Grandmother kept up with current affairs. One phone call got me up to speed. I am sure it kept her keenly aware into her 90’s and also extremely grumpy.

Despite an aversion to bad news, I did develop a liking for the Scottish Post as they seemed to be more about good-news stories. Their cartoons like the mischievous Oor Wullie and the family life of The Broons made for a  hilarious treat. I  now love a very un-PC paper for its brain teasers and TV guide, but my love of newspapers and bad news in general (isn’t it almost always bad now) and current affairs, ends there.

Maybe you feel this sense that most news reports are bad news?

Nowadays I can’t avoid death, destruction, vandalism, global warming, not global warming, air quality, plastic floating islands, mass extinctions, deforestation, wars, starvation, discrimination and on and on. As a result, I find myself being pulled into a state of irritation and anxiety. Like a nagging tooth pain, for which there is no cure. The internet, and particularly social media, seem to have got to me in ways my paper/TV news avoidance could not. Perhaps a remote cave might help, but I enjoy being in and of the world. So, I can’t avoid knowing some of the heartbreaking news we are bombarded with from all sides, today.

At times I feel like Chicken Little, crying out that the sky is falling in. Except he discovered it wasn’t falling in, and that all was well. My conclusion is that we are finely balanced at a point where we don’t know whether the sky will fall in or not.

My news avoidance does not mean I don’t care. My nuclear family do try to save the planet in their small way. I am also grateful for the ordinary things in life and to the extraordinary people whose work brings light to my darkness and positive things into my awareness. The Alexander Technique, is as always a bedrock in my life, as it does help with this tooth pain and minimise my inner Chicken Little.

Here’s something Alexander-ish that’s helping me to calm my thoughts and accept all the messiness and uncertainty.

You might read and say the words and phrases, below, to yourself or

you can listen to me saying them via the MP3, available on You Tube.

These thoughts change how I feel. Each idea would describe learning the Alexander Technique or how it feels to be truly immersed in its effects. It helps settle my anxieties. Invite the words to work with you. It may help you too?

Find yourself a comfy spot. You may be laying down with your knees bent, head on books, or resting gently back on a chair.

In your comfy spot, do nothing, absolutely nothing. Give yourself permission to do nothing.

Sit dear heart and rest.

You may notice thoughts and feelings tossing you in all directions but observe them and let them be. Choose not to follow their path.

Let go of all the doing, trying and striving. Oh! The endless trying. Feels great to let it go, doesn’t it?

Be.

Be, here, doing nothing.

Begin to notice your breathing but don’t try to do anything with it. Open up the possibility of giving up control.

Be willing to not know where this is going.

No need to anticipate what will happen next. Just for a while be rudderless, no landmarks, nothing to guide the way. Nothing to achieve.

Stop.

Where you are going is unrecognisable. Yet part of you already knows you are not going anywhere. It will be such a non-event from here to there.

Trust.

Be still and wait. Feel how liberating the release of seeking is.

Let information come to you. Sounds, sights, sensations, vibrant life goes on.

Rest.

Release the habit of wanting to control, to know what will emerge. Decide not to do a single thing. Decide to be perfect just as you are.

Wait.

Wait without waiting for anything.

Nothing matters here in this void as nothing is matter. Permeate into this nothingness that is everything.

Nothing to seek as everything is already enough. Everything is here in the stillness.

No desire, just pure expanding awareness, deep in the ocean, where all is still.

Time ceases to be past, future or linear. This is outside time, yet time passes unpredictably. Rest in this limitless, timeless presence.

Rest.

As you move on with your day, presence is always there for you in the stillness. If you find yourself feeling anxious and agitated, remember:

The stillness is always present.

Sit dear heart and rest.

 

If you fancy finding out how learning the Alexander Technique is like this, book a session!

Jane Clappison

Tel:- 01759 307282

www.janeclappison.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

The Alexander Technique, mental movies, anger, stress…and change!

film-331553_1920 (Copy)For  years, mornings started with my own mental daily movie examining absolutely everything I had done the day before. I looked for mistakes rather than successes e.g. when I was dieting the movie was about food eaten, and spotting “mistakes” so I could lose more weight. Teaching session movies were about perceived faults and how I could improve them. Meetings with people were replayed to work out how I could do them “better!” This mental marathon happened before getting out of bed and meant I started off the day with an incredibly “wired” brain! It didn’t change anything that had happened and started the coming day with rules about how I should be different! No opportunity to be in the moment, flexible and go with the flow!

However, I have discovered a few Alexander Technique based steps which make these morning “replays” either non-existent or at least very much shorter and more positive! I’d like to share some of my experience with you!

“When you know better you do better.”  Maya Angelou

 

The change came in when I started to have Alexander Technique lessons. I learned to notice things in the present moment with no pressure. Over a few lessons I became less ridged in my thinking, less angry and anxious. I began to feel comfortable in my own skin, with my own emotions and thoughts. I began to know myself much more. I now understand that  I did my morning mental check (and maybe you do too) to “keep myself safe”. If you want to know more about struggling with unwanted thoughts, read The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris as he explains this kind of thinking in more detail.

Lessons taught me I didn’t, and don’t, have to vigilantly work out how to do things differently. I can make mistakes (and learn from them) and it’s ok. I can be loved for who I am exactly as I am! I am safe. This has not happened overnight. It has evolved over the last 27+ years! I learned to stop bracing myself and let my muscular armour soften and dissolve into a more fluid, responsive state.

However, old habits die hard! So, when I found myself replaying  the workshop I had taught at the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique AGM in 2016 I took a different approach to the one I might have done previously. I applied The Alexander Technique to it.

  • I noticed my thoughts from a place of curiosity –  “Oh, there are those thoughts again!”
  • I knew I didn’t have to change anything.
  • I became aware of where I was, what I was hearing, seeing and doing which released all sorts of tensions. I knew I was safe in that moment.
  • Knowing I didn’t have to change anything, and that I could just BE IN THE MOMENT also had the paradoxical effect of breaking the old pattern.
  • Then I applied further “Alexander Technique” in the form of invitation/s (directions) to my body – “Let my neck be free” and ” I invite my shoulders to do less and widen.”
  • Now I was feeling much more blissfully in the moment and could breath and know I didn’t need to change anything!

Joy (Copy)Some of these behaviours may be familiar? If you want to learn how to change tense muscles to responsive muscles, cyclical thoughts to ones that have choices, feel happier in your own skin being uniquely you…do get in touch! Contact me! Jane –  01759 307282