Every day brings more changes – more news and closures imposed on us from the Government, schools closing and life as we have known it changing before our eyes. Many of us and our loved ones are not able to see each other in person in the way we would ideally like. This is tough.
There is a lot we cannot change – and it’s important not to fight or argue with that which we cannot change. This is a waste of our energy, and only makes us more tense, which prolongs our feelings of helplessness.
Accept that which we cannot change from the Serenity Prayer:
… grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
What does choice look like?
Stop and think for a moment, what do you have any choice about right now? What you do, think or say. Fundamentally the things we can choose are our thoughts, movements, words and actions. Our thoughts often lead us a merry dance as we are whipped into some chaotic disaster movie, drip-fed by bad news or wishing that life was different to how it actually is. That’s not just me is it?
I have chosen not to watch the news. This has been my practice for a number of years now, and I am definitely happier for it. I still manage to hear the headlines on the radio, read some news in newspapers and to be honest I am kept abreast of things by having conversations with people I meet on a daily basis. I cannot do much about the fires in Australia and the fighting in Syria, these are not mine to change. What I can change is the part of life which is mine to attend to – Me – so that I can be in the best and fullest shape possible, to contribute to you all.
My work starts with me.
Isn’t that rather selfish, I hear you ask? With a somewhat terrified look in your eye and a sharp intake of breath!!
Perhaps. Yet I am my own responsibility. If i am not attending to my mind, my health and my behaviour – who else can do that job for me?
Marshall B Rosenberg, the founder of Nonviolent Communication called it selfful – or self-full.
If we don’t attend to ourselves and only think about others – we soon give more than we have and end up depleted, ill and resentful. That’s not just me, is it? Do you know this one?
There are many activities, places or work, schools and shops which are closing. We have no say in much of this. What we do have some say in, is how we can look after our mind, emotions, and body at this time. We can take care of how we speak, what we say and how we treat ourselves and other people.
Would you like to explore your thinking for a moment?
There is no need to move at this stage. Please bring the spotlight of your inner attention to see how you are standing – can you bring the light of your awareness to your feet and their contact with the ground? Can you notice the space around your body – You as the centre of your lived-experience? Can you simply notice that you are breathable – air comes and goes, in and out, of you, all by itself? Notice your chest moving as the air comes in and out.
This is a good place to start. Choosing these three things to notice – connection with the ground, being the centre of yourself and asking yourself IF you are breathable.
You don’t need to force air in and out like a bellows. The delicate and subtle nature of our united mind-body-emotions enjoy a delicate and subtle approach (this helps us tiptoe around the Fight-Flight mechanism).
As long as I’m well, I’m going to carry on working, offering what I have to offer
It may not seem much in the face of so much change and disruption. And I know from some tricky years and experiences, that attending to myself, one thought at a time, one conscious movement at a time, and one constructive action at a time – there is a drip-drip effect and increasingly positive results.
One thought may not change the landscape that much, but over a day, these drips start to gather into a puddle. Over a week, the puddle grows to a pond and after a few months – we are able to swim in a new landscape and a very new and supportive experience.
Today I gave a lesson whilst walking in the park. We stopped to think and refocus on our process, not just on getting the route mapped and done. We were sitting and talking when we heard a woodpecker in this tree. Sadly, we couldn’t see it, but even the art of looking up at it, was a cause to notice how we moved our eyes, head and neck – without putting the crick in it!
I am offering online work and know this can be a challenge for some of you to imagine how your usual Alexander lesson could possibly work online. If you are unsure – I’m happy to show you how we can respond and adapt the teaching pedagogy without losing any of the principles or benefits.
Although my teaching is, of course, informed by the hands-on work I do, touch is only one form of communication. We have others. We can still think for ourselves. We can reinforce our intentions. We can think in conscious and constructive ways. We can retrain our attention, brain and energy to flow better.
Did you know that Alexander himself did not initially touch people? He talked and wrote and even had some people who learned by correspondence! Yes, it can be done.
In America a few teachers have been pioneering online lessons for 10 years, one or two work exclusively in this way, because it works and is effective at helping people reach their health goals!
Over the last 2 years I have worked with people on Skype and found it to be effective. This weekend I shall be doing further, specific studies with the American teachers to hone my technology skills and get the latest from them.
I am aware that many of you may be scared, anxious and fearful about what is happening and what the future may hold. You are not alone – please get in touch and ask for help. I’m happy to offer a free 15 minute phone consultation and see if I’m the best person to help you manage your thoughts, emotions and body now.
Constructive Conscious Thought for Today:
Let my eyes lead my head, and my head lead my body. Smoothly, like spreading butter on a hot cross bun. No jumping ahead, no skidding – simply notice what you are looking at and let your gaze move smoothly to another object, receiving all the colours, edges and forms en route.
With best wishes, Lucy