“My Head (Engine) Leads & My Torso (Carriages) Follow

“My head (engine) leads and my torso (carriages) follow”

‘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.


Follow the link to a much-loved YouTube 2 minute video of Wallace and Gromit and The Wrong Trousers

“My head (engine) leads and my torso (carriages) follow”

As I was thinking about the title for this – The Wrong Trousers, I immediately thought of the Aardman Animation film with Wallace and Gromit.  Please watch this if you don’t already know it.

Then read this, and watch it again.  Go please.  Watch it once, then come back…

There are so many clever elements to this – when we see Wallace in the automated trousers, they have no ability to bend at the knees and he is walked by them straight-legged across the room.  It looks very stiff and of course, doesn’t allow for much freedom, subtlety or ease in the knees.

Have you ever had trousers like that?  In the past, I have been tempted more than once by great looking jeans, which were too tight for sitting in, cycling in, or being able to bend down comfortably in.  They dictated to me what I could or could not do.  Do you know the ones I mean?  Have you got any of these still in your wardrobe?

Last year, I vowed never to get clothes in this category again.  Good looking, but uncomfortable is not a route I wish to take any more.

Some trousers can be too big and baggy and over-long too.  If your trousers slip down from your pelvis and you have to cinch yourself tightly with a belt, this can be unhelpful.  There is a trend for young men to ‘not wear a belt’ and they have to develop a very wide legged walk to stop their trousers falling off them completely.  Many skinny jeans (even with lycra) can be so tight that they stop a body from bending at the top of the legs where our hip joints are and force people to bend at the top of the jeans where we have a mythical ‘waist’ but no particular joint… (this way Danger lies!!)

In the video, Gromit starts to make his way up along the carriages – his head leads and his body stays long – he doesn’t scrunch and stretch like a caterpillar might (or you or me).

The bit I love best is when the track runs out and he pick up a box of spares and lays down some new track, one section at a time.

This speaks to me of what we are doing with our brains when we are trying to change a habit.  We need to change the signals so we take a different path.  It is a brand new one for us, we literally need to send new thoughts ahead of us so we can lay new neurones down and create the new path.  This needs a fair amount of repetition before it becomes a reliable new route.

At the end of the video section – Gromit comes to a full stop and the money lands in one hand/paw, a bottle in the other followed by the penguin.  Then Wallace skids in last – everything in its right place and in the right order!

This speaks to something like the way we are designed to move – with our head leading, the torso following and the limbs helping us move where we want to go.

We need to choose which track we go on, or we’ll just end up doing the familiar route again and again.  

We deliberately need to lay new track ahead of us, so we can build a new route for us to travel on.

With practice, over time, this path will become a road and then a motorway and become the new and easiest route to take.

If we are lead by our feelings and what feels good, or what feels right to us – we are simply repeating what we already know.  Feelings can be unreliable.  Reasoning is more reliable.

This is why practicing conscious constructive thoughts every day can help you on your chosen track.

Who wants a ticket to ride?

Thank you to everyone who sends me emails and messages about these daily emails and how they are inspiring and informing you.  Please keep them coming.

Written by Lucy Ascham, Body & Soul Energy Expert

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