With the Alexander Technique, we work to identify habits and patterns which are at the root of our tensions. In order to change a pattern, it must first be acknowledged. Then, when you are faced with whatever triggers your usual response,instead of continuing on auto-pilot, thereby getting your usual result, you stop. There is always a tiny amount of time between the initial trigger and the response for you to say no. Then you can choose whether or not to continue. You can choose to allow a different outcome. It doesn’t matter what that is – the important thing is that you have allowed something different to happen. For only then can new options present themselves.
Now this does mean that we have to risk something unknown to us, but that something may well hold a key to our release from current tensions, as long as we let go of old, often unconscious, control patterns. The familiar may feel comfortable simply because we are used to it – we may be completely unaware that what feels comfortable may actually be damaging, or at best, unhelpful.
This is true of everything – physical movement, our ways of thinking, our belief systems, emotional responses. Taking responsibility for our lives, which inevitably challenges our old sense of self, is highly demanding. We find ourselves redefining our perception of self-worth, realising it is not found in what we do on a day to day level or how we live, but in how we view ourselves.
So many people in the world today are responding from deep wounds and fears. Some have lost hope. We can easily see where this has led us as a human race. Yet, again and again, we see people who respond to all this with courage and compassion, with flexibility, with the belief that we shape our own future – that, after all, if we want our lives to change, we must ourselves become the change we are seeking. We get to decide which side we are on – do we say no to our old patterns of response and allow new ways to present themselves or do we stay chained to our old habits?
Let’s be clear on this. There is no past, no future, only an eternal present. And it is only from this eternal present that we can acknowledge on both a personal and a human race level, scars which we carry from what we have experienced – leave these unresolved and we will continue to carry them.
Our every waking moment allows us to choose a new response. So the next time you are about to lose all conscious control as you fly into anger / fear / guilt or whatever else a trigger prompts you to do or feel, just stop. It’s that simple. Let the old way go, and see what happens. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it could be a lot of fun!