I attended a 3-day intensive seminar last weekend. Thirty participants and yet I felt very alone when I really did wish to connect with others. If they were looking in my direction, I noticed they would very quickly avert their gaze, without saying a word, they had other people to connect with. This repeated itself again and again. Equally, I knew I had something to share during the seminar, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, perhaps because the very act of sharing all this was really difficult, or perhaps just really difficult in my mind, i.e. I was the one who was making it difficulty myself. I knew it was just a case of me lifting my arm and hand, if not once, then more times, of having the courage to do so and all would be well, until I was chosen to speak. As time went by I was aware this just kept repeating itself. I regretted not having taken the chance, of not having spoken without knowing what to say. I was aware of all of this during the seminar. I took part in the group exercises as everyone else but when it came to speaking alone, this as something else, perhaps it may not have been the right time, perhaps it was just too painful, all manner of reasons and yet I didn’t take the opportunity.
There may be many other reasons in the past of which I’m just not even aware, but I was aware that I wasn’t putting myself forward enough to do something I had intended to do, which merely involved me asking by holding up my hand, making myself known where I might not be. There was time and opportunity, but I allowed others to take their turn whilst I removed myself from making the decision to lift my hand. On another occasion I did tentatively successfully manage to lift my hand, yet in amongst others doing exactly the same, it was a fairly futile attempt, I should have persisted more.
If I trusted myself, the act of lifting my hand would have been so easy, what was so difficult about it? One thing was actually making the decision to lift my arm and hand, another was what would happen once my hand had been chosen, something which filled me with trepidation and quite clearly avoidance, but of course I was equally aware that this was something I could in fact do, if I was brave enough to do so. I was aware of all this going on at the time, and being aware, it would have been helpful to have done what I had intended to do.
Learning the Alexander Technique helps you to become aware of such habits of making ourselves smaller and shrinking in all sorts of circumstances during daily life, but also most particularly in those circumstances which are unfamiliar and which therefore require our utmost awareness and attention. In my mind initially what happened last weekend just wasn’t good enough for me personally or indeed in terms of the entire group, which involved indivuals in similar circumstances as part of a greater whole. However, I’m certain that it was in becoming aware of my habits, that this was indeed a very useful exercise in noticing what I was doing with myself that interfered with natural flow in what is an unfamiliar environment. This, for anyone involved in the Alexander Technique, provides a very useful lesson and gives me something to work on going forwards. Instead of constantly worrying, we do have the ability to stop, to direct ourselves and to do what we intend to do.
So, ahead of last weekend, I had actually made an appointment for this morning and it was here that I found myself able to say what I had intended to say, without unnecessary drama and without avoidance. Perhaps, another time, another workshop, I will in fact be able to share this in front of others, but for now I'm content that I shared it how I did.
Image courtesy of fotogestoeber / 123RF