The Alexander Technique, plastic bags and inhibition!
14th, October, 2013
What does enjoyment of life, plastic bags and inhibition have in common? A hippie of course that loves her dog and uses the Alexander Technique…and let me tell you a little more about that!
Determined to feed my dog a healthy diet I give her a number of things to eat including chicken wings, boiled rice and minced raw veggies. I put portion sizes of these meals into plastic bags and then into the freezer. I take the meals out on a daily basis for her majesty the dog and have a growing pile of rinsed bags by the end of the week. I have an old icecream tub just for those used bags (double choc chip of course…is there any other kind?) which is probably a health hazard as it sits there on the worksurface by the sink festering!! EDIT – I now do them daily!
So, at the weekend these bags need a good soapy wash and as almost all hippies know it’s a JOB to wash plastic bags! They need scrubbing and then rinsing inside and out and of course (as all obsessive plastic bag washers know) once they are hung out to dry will never dry completely unless having dried on one side are turned inside out for the other side to dry. Quite an event!
However, having seen photos of seabirds dead from eating plastic bags, and various sea creatures wrapped up in plastic, and knowing there is an island of plastic floating somewhere on the planet I want to do my part.
So, at one time I would wash these bags as quickly as possible and wrinkly hands and aching limbs always followed. I never wanted to repeat the process either. I applied the rule that many of us follow i.e. “I’ve started so I’ll finish”. Until I decided to DO IT DIFFERENTLY and apply the Alexander Technique to the whole process!
So, how did I apply The Alexander Technique to plastic bag washing and more importantly how on earth can washing plastic bags be enjoyable? I guess this enjoyment of life comes with every moment that I “allow” the process that Alexander called “inhibition” into my life. I do not find it an easy process though the pleasure it brings time and time again spurs me on to continue doing it. This inhibition is so simple to do and all it requires is stopping! Stopping my usual habit of rushing through the task and making a choice to take time out from it! The day I applied inhibition to my plastic bag chore began with just a few moments 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 bags 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 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!
With practising the Alexander Technique I continue to experience these mindful events on a regular basis and they never fail to enhance my experience of life and I see things I would otherwise miss if I did not stop my habitual way of doing things. 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