Do you ever have those conversations with yourself when you are saying “I don’t want to do this”…. washing up / commute to work / paperwork and yet you are doing it? Yes you are actually doing it. Your hands are in the washing-up water / you are driving your car or sitting on the train / you are writing letters and numbers.
Many of us end up in a loop when we fight reality in this way. The effect of thinking one thing and doing another = tension.
What can you do about this situation? There are a few choices:
- accept and acknowledge it.
- complain and repeat.
- consciously release the tension.
- stop and do something you’d rather do.
- make peace with your thoughts, get your thinking and your actions in line with each other.
Let’s look at option number 5. How might you go about making peace with your thoughts? Have you thought about what motivates you to do the washing-up?
I can understand that you might rather be reading, relaxing, crafting or socialising, so why are you washing up? Is it because you enjoy having clean plates to eat off? Is it because you like your kitchen to be organised? Is it because you want to complete this task before you move onto something else?
When we see what the value is of doing what we are doing, we can get our mind and body in harmony with our actions. We can wholeheartedly get behind our actions when we are clear what values they serve for us (in this example) – hygiene, order or completion. The tension is free to dissipate and we can put that energy to better use doing exactly what we are doing right now.
These two aren’t arguing with themselves. They look like they are saying ‘Yes” to this activity and are fully engaged in the experience. The squat is a perfect example of a natural and efficient movement, which uses the least amount of effort required for the job in hand.
Say “Yes” to reality and get fully with what you are choosing to do.
Lucy Ascham is an Alexander Technique teacher who enjoys washing-up when she does it. She enjoys her commute to work – either a walk upstairs to her Teaching Room, a short car journey to the Therapy Room Sheffield or the train journey to Manchester Bodywise through the gorgeous Hope Valley.