“My other hand is free”
‘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 action 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.
Playing ‘catch’ in the woods (photo by 10 year old boy-child)
“My other hand is free”
When we do something skilful, or particular, we usually pay a lot of attention to the activity, how to make it successful, the content and getting it done well.
Of course we do, right?
What else is there to be interested in?
I”m interested to know what I’m doing with all of me, and what I’m doing with some of the other parts which are on-stage but don’t have a speaking part in that moment.
Here is a recent picture of me throwing and catching a ball with my right hand.
So I’m most interested in what is going on with my left hand. I know my son has the camera, so I was telling it to be free, quiet and to leave it alone.
Today I’d like you to conduct a mini-experiment and see if you can do something mundane and everyday for you, and pay close attention to ‘the other hand’.
- What is the other hand doing?
- Is it mirroring the dominant hand?
- Are you tightening it and didn’t know you were?
- Are you using more effort than is strictly necessary?
I’m curious to hear what you notice about yourself and your other hand in this moment?
- Is this brand new information to you?
- Did you know you did this extra thing with your other hand?
- Is it helpful to continue doing this?
- Would you like to be able to stop doing it?
- Does the ‘extra thing’ stop if you ask it to?
Some people can train their hands to do very different things to each other – dancers, pianists, cellists, typists, machinists, ball players. What is it you do that mostly occupies one hand doing something specific and where the other hand could simply rest quietly?
“As I eat my soup with a spoon in one hand, the other hand can rest quietly on the table”, said Lucy.