“I am at one with my tool”
‘People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures’, said FM Alexander.
Information and knowledge are useful. Putting these into action is even more useful. Committing to doing this thinking-in-activity one, three, or ten times a day – then you’ll really start to notice the benefits.
As many of you know, one of Alexander’s major discoveries about us mammals is that the relationship between the head and spine govern the coordination of the rest of us. Yes – all of us! Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – we don’t separate – its all one thing – our Self.
new tyres for my bike – I wanted to show you the bunting,
getting photos from my phone onto this email seems to
involve too many stages for my liking!
“I am at one with my tool”
Any well read folk, especially Buddhists, reading this may note my allusion to the more famous quote:
Chop Wood, Carry Water
Chop Wood, Carry Water”
My version is
“After the VE celebrations
Chop vegetables, Carry potatoes”
I am expecting VE Day to be somewhat of a highlight during my lockdown experience. My street and WhatsApp neighbours are gathering some socially distanced commemorations. We will be having a Street party – sitting in our own gardens drinking tea in the afternoon. Meanwhile on our road there is a timed trial, like the Tour de France – we will have the Armthorpe Ascent for either cycling or running up.
As my bike has chosen this day to go for its annual service, I shall be running.
So on Wednesday I took my bike up the steep hill, just for fun. I don’t know the gradient, but I do know that I am not used to such an ascent for a prolonged period of 2 minutes 32 seconds! I was pulling so hard at one point and my front wheel left the ground – was I, Lucy Ascham, doing a wheelie?! Oh yes!
Is this good cycling technique – erm no. Probably better to keep both wheels on the ground if possible. I was having a moment of Trying To Get There, rather than Just Being Here. I am very human! When we are under stress or strain – it is certainly harder to keep this refined thinking going consistently.
I was rather chuffed with myself for keeping on going.
And I started to renew my thoughts to stay connected, free neck, long back, feet going down as my head releases up. Upwards and onwards… for myself, and my bike and my journey.
So on Friday I will run for as long as my long femurs will carry me. I have not been training so expect my heart and lungs will find this a nice challenge. I shall do it with as much poise and grace as I can muster. I will intend to look after myself as I go. As best I can. If my son joins in, I may find my competitive streak, as well as my encouraging skills.
We are encouraged to festoon our houses and gardens and front walls with bunting – I LOVE BUNTING.
Bunting is one of my favourite things. I am always cheered by bunting. I hang bunting on my tent whenever we go camping.
There is a suggestion that we display something from WWII as a commemoration of our connection to this period in history – personal and public. I have decided not to spent any time trying to master PowerPoint at this stage. I have decided to send yesterday’s email to the street historian and see if they will add it to the commemorative book.
So on Saturday after all this excitement, I expect I will be chopping vegetables and carrying potatoes – between the fridge and the pan. Truth be told, this is a mini-highlight for me anyway. I have a good sharp knife and a lovely curvey edged Steiner-inspired chopping board. I have done my meal plan for the week and Saturday is salad and potato day! Just like it was when I was a child.
Whenever I’m chopping veg, I am very aware of where my fingers are. The more I am able to stay aware of the bigger picture – my support from the ground, my gaze is not fixed/unseeing but alive and smoothly moveable, and I am in the centre of myself (neither leaning forwards or backwards). Then I am in a better overall state to attend to the detail of chopping.
I think of the knife as being an extension of my hand and fingers. The tip of the knife is the end of my nervous system. This way I know exactly what is going on all the way along the blade. I rarely cut my fingers.
This is a great tip for you whatever your tool is – gardening, a musical instrument or walking stick – make it part of you and in your mind, include it in your nervous system so that you are in control of yourself, it and your extended connection to the environment.
I look forward to hearing how you get on with this one.