Saturday, May 25, 2013

Taking Life Seriously...or Not!...with Alexander Technique

THE F.M. ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE, LIFE AND DEATH:
"TOO SERIOUS TO BE SERIOUS ABOUT."
~ A PLAY ~

This is a seriously not-so-serious "real-life", "real-time" application of the Alexander Technique.
Shall we play?  :)

FIRST, I STOP.  NOTICE. OBSERVE WHAT IS HERE IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT....

I am realizing that yesterday was an interesting day for me.  I remember that I wrote a "serious" blogpost about death in the morning, and in the afternoon I started thinking seriously about my habit of taking life "too seriously"!  I remember my initial reactions to the idea: first, agreement to the idea, then gratitude for becoming aware of it (again).

I now realize that my next reaction was to take the idea of being too serious really seriously, and I immediately proceeded to DO SOMETHING about it!  I decided to investigate and figure out how to stop taking life so seriously. (I realize you might be laughing by this point - please be my guest! Oh, and you can also laugh at my picture. ;)

I thought about it a lot, and I asked other people for their thoughts on the topic, and for any suggestions for how to take life less seriously.  A few suggestions were helpful, but most of them weren't really, even though they were fun at the time.  I certainly didn't find myself taking life less seriously just from thinking about it!

Today, I notice that the idea is still very present in my mind, and I am obviously continuing to think about it.  But I notice that I'm thinking about it differently now.  Interestingly, I find myself questioning the initial assumption that it is true that I take life too seriously.  "Is that true?" I ask myself (ala the inquiry work of Byron Katie).  But I stop myself when I realize that I'm starting to take myself too seriously in that direction....so I simply....

OPEN UP TO WONDERING...

As I notice that I am questioning, wondering, and doubting, I open up to the possibility that maybe it's not absolutely true.  (What?! Could it be?!  Could I actually be in balance, at least some of the time?!!?)  In fact, I find plenty of examples in my day-to-day life of not taking things seriously at all.  And I have certainly been reproached many many times for not taking things seriously "enough"!

What does it mean, anyway, to take life too seriously?

Ok, I'm getting the idea....  I'm still taking this topic too seriously.  Time to stop again!
I'm starting to drop the thought, drop the questioning, and I'm getting seriously tired of thinking about it...

ENOUGH REACTING, ME!  

(Aha!!  Here comes the famous Alexander "NO"!  I was wondering how long it was going to take before my application of the Technique was going to become more apparent! :)

NO! NO MORE REACTING!

I refuse to react any more to the idea that I take life too seriously!  SO THERE!  HA!!

Instead, I realize that I AM FREE (Thanking God!!  Saved from my over-thinking-over-serious mind at last, by the BIGGER MIND riding in galantly on a beautiful white horse!! I'm SAVED!!  HALLELUJAH!!!  Do you hear the rising chorus, by the way?)

ok, I seem to be on a roll. Let's continue on, rolling on down this lovely green hill, shall we?
So, what's next?

Alexander Technique classical directions, here we come!!

Because I'm now aware again that I am in fact free, I choose to think: "MY NECK IS FREE!"

(uh-oh, danger...Mr. Serious Doubt asks:  
Sure, but is it seriously free, or is this just a joke, or is it only partially true, or not really, 
or is it only a sort-of self-delusion trap, 
because all the muscles can't really be free
in other words....is it really truly free? )

My utterly not-serious (yet very serious) response: 
Do I really CARE?  NO!  I am now CAREFREE!!  HA!!

I'm just happy because I am able to think this lovely thought, and I know that thinking it and loving the thought and being open to the possibility that it might be true is fantastic and feels great, and I can actually believe in it because I've worked it out with beautiful logic plenty of times before, to good results, for both myself and my students...  Therefore, I'm going to leave this doubt aside and continue on my merry way in good faith!)

YES!!!  (That's the not-so-famous Alexander "YES", by the way)  
ONWARDS! NO MORE HESITATION!  AIM!

THE NECK IS FREE
THE HEAD AIMS FORWARD AND UP
THE TORSO LENGTHENS AND WIDENS, EXPANDS....
(ETC. ETC. ETC. ad infinitum)

drumroll....
taking a bow....
laughing and saying THANK YOU for Being Here Now
smiling

NOW, REPEAT!
(but only if you're serious about it...
because if you're not, just go ahead and enjoy your free, expansive Self however you wish!
Bye!)




p.s. Comments welcome, as always!  Seriously!  I mean it!  ;)

*stopsign image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net, by artur84

10 comments:

  1. Hi jennifer,
    i got annoyed due to my comments were removed by , nebraska alexander teacher 2 days back.

    Alexander teachers and students know about what is right and wrong.
    Serious students try to do the right thing analysing present condition of wrong thing.

    Love the wrong direction of body , so that we can spend more time to analyse and to do the right direction.

    We can make right direction of the body to wrong direction
    and vice versa.

    Accepting the present condition, by seeing with minds eye and analysing it whether it is right or wrong, and directing the energy towards right direction is effortless.

    Analyse the present angles of the body with in the body and inrelation to the space , and prevent to do bad angles and directions.

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    1. Rajesh, thank you for your comments! I replied to them on the previous blogpost about AT and death.
      Since the present post is about seriousness/non-seriousness, I will point out that yes, "Serious students try to do the right thing"; but for me, the "right thing" is to give myself the freedom to stop trying to do it so seriously. ;)
      Otherwise, I agree with you (see my other comments on previous post). Let's aim forward and up while remembering what you say: "It is effortless," and perhaps just as care-free as serious.
      All best to you! Jennifer

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  2. Wonderful, joyful inquisitiveness, Jennifer, as ever from you! Thank you for playing with 'being too serious' in such a way that was seriously non-serious! And now, having written that word so many times, it seems just a sound, and one that contains 'seer' (yes, you) and sounds more like the name, Sirius - the brightest star in one of the brightest constellations.... Nothing or everything serious about that then! ;-) Thank you for pointing out the balance between serious and 'the-word-that-hasn't-yet-really-been-invented'....yes, serious mustn't become a label; it's only a passing thing in any of us when needed. And as for its opposite, Thesaurus only has 'flippant, silly, happy, light'....think there's a new word needed! Folk can't complain about anyone being 'over serious' when there isn't even a decent word to go for! Although I do like 'light'.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Annie, I love this - the sound of Sirius.... the brightest star! After all, my violin/harpsichord duo is called "Adastra", which means 'to the stars'!
      Currently, I like "carefree" and "light" as complements (not opposites) to "serious" - yes, as a way to find balance. I definitely don't want to get rid of "serious"....after all, there is a beautiful, peaceful,sacred calm to holy gravity! And you know what happens when we ignore or fight or deny gravity... It's definitely no fun to be un-grounded. Let's aim to be carefree in our Sirius-ness, haha!
      Let's all keep shining out that Light, friends! :)

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  3. Hehehehe. Nice one. Yep, I go into overly serious mode too.

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  4. Great post! Both light hearted and funny, I really enjoyed it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kevin! I had fun writing it, as you could see! :)

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  5. Jennifer, I love this post. And you! I laughed a lot while reading this post and it reminded me of our many sessions of laughter ("are you actually teaching in there????") together in Cinci.

    Hugs!

    d

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  6. Ah, yes, I think that was my husband's question from the other side of the studio door, since it sounded more like a party during our lessons (especially along with your sister) than "serious" work! I love you, too, and am grateful that our paths in life come together when they do. Hugs! :)

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Your comments are welcomed with an open mind and heart.