You know the adage "When the student is ready, the teacher appears?" That's just happened and I am certain it has before, but I was not so aware.
I have been wrestling with the idea that I fight myself. Mostly physically and I believe it is a root of fibromyalgia. But I know I do on other levels. I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. Sound familiar?
I mentioned it to my massage therapist/spiritual counselor and he asked me to stand the way I "see" that fighting. I did and it was very revealing. I looked like Kokopelli (the Native-American flute-playing figure) gone beserk. My hands and fingers curved inward, claw-like, my neck was headed toward my chest, my shoulders hunched, my glutes were tight and I stood pigeon-toed.
"You're turning that all on yourself," Gary said. I had not known it was so overt. I am grateful he asked me to demonstrate that pose, however exaggerated. It was a real eye-opener.
Fortunately the next day, I had scheduled a session with an Alexander Technique teacher. She is someone I know through Quaker circles and with whom I feel very comfortable. She had recently posted an explanation of the technique on facebook that really spoke to me of being more free in my movement. Apparently the originator, Frederick Matthias Alexander, spent ten years observing himself in the mirror – his body, how he moved, how he held it – and learned how to connect his mind and body, working them in tandem, and moving with as little energy as possible. That's what I want!
That first lesson, I discovered where movement in my hips originates: the joint, not the bone and not up top like we're taught, but deep down, midway between the hip and pubic bones. I also realized that I don't really use my knees and, when I use those joints, it makes movement so much freer. Of course, it was easy with Jennifer's gentle assistance, but it was also a revelation. Other epiphanies I've had in the two lessons are:
– My pelvis is part of my torso and belongs up, my legs hang down. That has opened so much space in my back. And I can make that happen simply by thinking it. It's not about doing.
– If my neck is free, everything is free.
– I should be aware of patterns, but not judge.
– I have the choice to STOP those patterns.
– If I unconsciously move from one thing to another seeking improvement of any kind, it will only be temporary until I become conscious of my patterns and choose to create new ones. Healthier ones.
I am smitten with this technique because I feel better, sleep like a log (which I haven't done in 10 years), am easier with myself and am making choices to move more freely in all aspects of my life.
It really is about more than just my body.
For so long, I lived in my brain, then discovered there were other places to reside, such as my heart and body. Now it's time to connect all three and find the harmony and balance I crave.
• Where is the resistance in my life? My body?
• How much do I contribute to it?
• Do I ever fight myself?
• How do I reverse that pattern?
• Are my mind and body connected or am I somewhat unconscious about them collaborating?