Seeing clearly takes stopping tot think

As ever, it’s stopping long enough to see that makes the difference. I’m sure I’m by no means the only one, but this morning I found myself reading something which actually meant quite the opposite to me of that which it really meant. Try as I might it made absolutely no sense whatsoever to me, both numbers and words made no sense.

After some pfaffing about obtaining extra details required for security purposes, I had to telephone my mobile provider again about this because as I read what I read, I thought I had somehow exceeded the usage under my account due to some stupid blunder I had made. I explained how I read things and they assured me I had not done so at all, in fact it was far better news than I had thought. I appreciated that the way in which I was reading things was not what it was saying, in spite of the fact that some of this text was highlighted to make it comprehendible. Yet again I found myself getting tangled up because I had got things round the ‘wrong’ way yet again, I had not fully understood things. I apologised for my mistake and they were very kind about it. I know it’s to do with my habits, I realised this when I eventually twigged what this actually did mean as opposed to what I thought it meant, the two are quite different. We can get things all tangled up as a result, yet it is how you see it that makes the difference. We may think or feel one thing when the opposite is indeed the case, something which FM Alexander termed “faulty sensory appreciation”.

Untangling all this demands increasing awareness, also patience, compassion, and much acceptance too. What’s the use of berating ourselves for such things, as I’ve mentioned before, rather seeing that how we’re experiencing things isn’t necessarily how things really are at their heart. I can learn from this for sure, to stop and think, not always jumping to the automatic conclusion that I have somehow made a mistake and am in the ‘wrong’. Today I’m grateful that this happened, it showed me that I can accept that reading what I did did not make sense to me at all, and yet now it does make sense. I was reading it from a different perspective, a perspective of somehow thinking I had made a mistake, that it was my responsibility, whereas I wasn’t being responsible for reading that all was well, that there was no reason to be concerned. Stopping long enough to see makes the difference. As ever, we can become aware of this and learn to gradually let this go, realising that this very much has to do with our unnecessary learned habits. Yet the way in which we learn this by means of the Alexander Technique might at first seem a little unfamiliar, since we are being taught by means of an indirect approach. Activities involved help us consider how we are doing them whilst very much thinking about the freedom in our neck, our true stature (as opposed to the one we’ve maybe erroneously convinced ourselves we have for the rest of our lives), the expansion throughout our thoracic area, our tidal breath, and generally doing things in a more thoughtful, constructive way; what we are doing is not as important as the way in which we do it.

Applying the Alexander Technique skills which I have, I was able to look at things differently and recognise that stopping is definitely a really useful skill to have. Above all, it provides us with space and time to observe, listen, think and and understand, when usually everyone and the world at large is on such an autopilot. As I discovered, we are even able to create such space around us to think things through when surrounded by auto pilot, it is up to us to do just that. We can feel under such pressure to sort things out immediately, straight away, and yet taking the time to observe how I was reading things as I was helped me far more than the actual outcome.

Getting things round the wrong way round doesn’t necessarily mean that no learning takes place, far from it at all, this is where the true learning lies. It’s very true when it comes to developing perspective, it’s stopping long enough to see that makes the difference. By seeing I clearly mean thinking, it is the ability to gradually change our perspective about things that helps us to see more clearly.

Image ID 56962916 by scyther5 courtesy of

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