Today, I feel the need to celebrate some of my life's successes. Why? Because life isn't just about aiming relentlessly forward and up into the future, it's also about appreciating and feeling gratitude for what is behind us and for what we have overcome. Our back is a very important support for our body - just as our past is a support for our present. Another reason I'm going to look at some of my own successes today (and this really isn't about boasting or pretending I'm better than I am, trust me), is because when we're feeling down and suffering from a bout of low self-esteem (like I am today), it can be helpful to remember that we are in fact capable of fantastic things. And, who knows, maybe the successes I've had in my life could serve to inspire you to do something that you think is impossible, too.
Some of the successes in my life that stand out for me as pretty miraculous:
|Teaching in my studio|
|Japanese temari ball|
3. Two weeks before I was scheduled to graduate from my AT training course, I walked out of the class, ready to quit (for personal reasons). Making the decision to leave and acting on that was as much a landmark success for me as going back the week after and finishing the course to receive my teaching certificate. That certificate was earned "with sweat and blood", and I am SO glad that I was able to finish!
|During our research study with surgeons|
|Carnegie Hall, NYC|
6. I've always hated running. I could never understand why anyone would want to run - after all, most of the people I see running around the neighborhoods look like they're about to die! But something in me was curious enough about why so many people love running to actually try it out for myself. I wasn't looking for a book at the library, but I found a great one on running for beginners, by accident. I took it home and decided to follow the 13-week program. I could barely run for 30 seconds at the outset, but at the end of the program (just a few weeks ago), I could run for an hour without stopping. To me, this has been a major achievement, and the biggest reward has been that my faith in my own capacity for self-discipline has skyrocketed. It really seems like I've achieved the impossible with this one!
|I love running!|
7. And last (but not least) for this list today... When my first son was about 1 year old, I accidentally found a book at the library (yes, another library-related success!) called, "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day". I thought the title was so preposterous that I checked out the book and read it. I decided to try out the system, and it worked....miraculously. My first son was trained in (just over) a day, and the second one was trained in three hours. This success doesn't have anything directly to do with AT, because I hadn't even started taking lessons yet. But, it's a testimony to finding a system, trusting it, being open to the possibility that it could work, putting aside doubts, and following the steps, one at a time. No end-gaining, just following the means-whereby. The Alexander Technique just adds words and awareness to something we can all do: inhibit and direct, allowing things to happen as intended. And it also adds in the kinesthetic experience of the teacher's hands to give us even more support and clarity of direction. It's extremely difficult to aim forward and up on our own, without the supportive and encouraging guidance of a teacher or a good system.
So, please forgive me if you find this post arrogant or boastful. There's a wonderful quote I found today, "What others think of you is none of your business," so you are certainly free to think of me whatever you like, because that's none of my business! The benefit to me is that I feel much better now, after remembering all of these successes and writing them down, than I did earlier this morning. Even my headache is gone! (Of course, that may be because of the ibuprofen... ;)
Thanks for reading! NOW, I would LOVE to hear about YOUR successes, too! Do you have a success you'd like to share, in which you achieved the "impossible"? Related to the Alexander Technique or not? Whether you choose to write about it here or not, I know you have just as many or more than I do in your own life. It's worth thinking about and looking for them. Even the tiniest things can be HUGE. (There's one more success that I didn't mention, but I think might be worth mentioning, because it was a tiny-HUGE thing: when getting ready for the surgeon study, I had to watch a video of minimally invasive surgery, and I did NOT faint!! I had to keep telling myself, "Don't faint, Jennifer! You need to watch this, or the study will fall apart and it will never happen and this is really important... don't faint! don't faint! inhibit! aim! forward and up!!!" Yes, you can laugh - I'm laughing, myself! But, the important thing is: I didn't faint. :)
...oh, yes...and one of the best ones I really want to mention...just remembered:
I'm finally able to listen to my own music and think, "Yes, it's good enough...for me." That one is really big. Here, have a listen! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prrGTRIkVKE
p.s. Read about my latest milestone related to finding my voice with AT, Sept. 6th http://balanceandharmonyat.blogspot.com/2013/09/finding-my-voice-with-alexander.html
* Dog on Toilet image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net