Sunday, June 10, 2012
Alexander Technique and Life-Threatening Illness
This gives me pause.
There are so many things I would like to tell people with a life-threatening disease, people who are afraid, people who are suffering. To share all of my thoughts would take much more than the 45-60 minutes I'm likely to spend with my new student today, so I wonder what might be the most important things to share. Teaching the Alexander Technique, one can never be sure if a new student will resonate with this practice enough to come back for more lessons. Today may be the only lesson I teach this man. How can I help him the most in such a short period of time?
Well, as with any student, regardless of the conditions and circumstances, my primary role is to "practice what I preach". That means:
1. observe, notice, be aware of what comes to me through my senses, including my proprioceptive sense within, and including my thoughts and feelings
2. inhibit my reactions to these stimuli that come my way--from within myself and from without
3. "stick to principle", as Alexander said, and be clear of my own direction and the direction I wish for my student
4. do not endgain, focus on results, or care too much about outcomes; instead, enjoy the process
5. wait and allow and trust; let the right thing "do itself"
There are so many specific things I would like to share; I have a wealth of facts and information and thoughts that I would like my student to become aware of, which I know would help him. I need to inhibit my desire to share too much in one lesson, and trust that the right information will be transmitted in the best way, in the moment. Planning with too much detail never works for me; the circumstances always dictate what is needed, and I cannot predict the circumstances.
That said, I have plenty of specific ideas I'd like to share. For instance:
- how our fearful reactions to pain and suffering contribute to the cycle
- how our thoughts, emotions, and body are interconnected and inseparable
- how our essential being is Freedom, no matter what it feels like
- how if we remember and believe in this essential Freedom, our True Nature, we can use our thoughts constructively to create positive changes in our body, releasing us from the cage we put ourselves in with fearful thinking
- how important it is to release the muscles that are connected to the ribs, to allow for free breathing
- how essential the head-neck-torso relationship is to all other muscles, and therefore our breathing
- how important it is to accept--and LOVE--what is, for only in allowing and loving can we realize our true Freedom and find Joy, despite our circumstances
I am very much looking forward to witnessing my adventure today. I wonder where it will take me, and I wonder where it will take my student!
If you are an AT teacher reading this, I wonder how you might approach a first lesson with someone who has a life-threatening illness? And, if you're not a teacher, I wonder if you might have anything to add from your own experience and perspective?
Posted by Jennifer Roig-Francolí at 12:55 PM