I am learning how to walk again, really.
With the help of the Alexander Technique and a gifted teacher, I am re-learning my body's natural way of moving. I wondered if I were crazy when I quietly observed that I don't know how to hold my body anymore. And, yet that thought lingered. Low and behold, a process and a teacher appeared.
I have been examining the idea, even dreaming, about what holds me up and how I respond to that. I envision a cord or string as if I am a puppet and moving at the puppeteer's whim, not mine. And how gliding through the water is such a very different experience. One that seems more natural and freeing for me. In the pool, there's a palpable balance between being buffered by the water (relaxing into it) and in control enough not so sink. The yin/yang of trust and being. Bridging the spiritual and physical. Living in two worlds. I identified it once in my journals as the place between being the vigilant mother and the innocent child. Again, one of those liminal spaces.
I am attempting to be like a toddler again, physically. Moving in my natural patterns and rhythms. Before I modeled others and felt so "pushed" in this culture.
At the beginning of a recent lesson, Jennifer asked me: "Where are you right now?" You can't imagine how I struggled to answer. I began to talk about how I felt, what I had left behind to attend the session, everything but where I was. She patiently would ask again until I answered very simply. I kept looking to give her the answer I thought she wanted (yes, I am a pleaser who seeks approval). This was an eye opener, revealing that I am usually more concerned about where I have been or my next destination, mentally or physically. I have rarely considered my literal placement – except when practicing yoga, swimming, meditating or worshiping in silence "How can you know how to get where you want to go if you don't know where you are?" she gently asked.
What a significant and profound concept. How can I know where I want to go if I don't know where I am right now even just physically? Or in the bigger questions of life.
We have also talked about taking the brakes off, another concept that really speaks to me. Specifically, freeing the joints to move without a metaphorical foot on the brake pedal. No wonder I get frustrated thinking I am getting nowhere. The brakes are the puppeteer's string I mentioned earlier and they are hard to unencumber, yet I am learning how to disengage by thinking/being rather than doing.
Wow, imagine where I could be by taking the brakes off and knowing where I am. Nothing more, nothing less.
• How present am I physically?
• Would I describe my movement as intentional, natural or free?
• Do I even remember what that feels like?
• Are my brakes on?
• If I could relax them, where would I be?