I do love to forget this blog for years on end, but it hasn’t entirely escaped my psyche. I just read the previous posts and it’s interesting to see which way the wind was blowing my thoughts at random times. I think it also runs as a commentary on the things I became unable to do because of health problems by omission.
I stopped dancing, I stopped playing music of any kind over the last few years, didn’t really go out much at all for anything. I fell out of love with the things I have always loved. It’s been a lonely and soul destroying journey, and for the most part, I have come to realise self-imposed. What you think is what you get, which leads me to telling you about the thing which has changed my life… are you sitting comfortably?!
A year ago I went to a summer workshop and began my journey learning the Alexander Technique. It opened my eyes so wide I was almost blinded by the possibilities and went on to start training to be a teacher the following month. The school I go to is called the Interactive Teaching Method, because it is exactly that. It is a little different to some of the other ways the technique is taught, but I believe it serves the people engaged in it so much better as it is applied to everything in life, all movement and the way you think about it. I am simplifying gratuitously here, but it some ways it is very simple; a philosophy of movement in a way.
Other than the changes in pain levels I have noticed, it has become a way of life for me. Yes, I’m still suffering from the same debilitating joint problems, but now I know how to stop adding in things which make it worse, particularly extraneous muscular tension. This is no small thing, and being able to embrace ideas anew is really making a difference to the way I live. It still hurts when I play guitar or piano etc, so there’s no going back to the musician I used to be, but what makes us think we need to get back to anything when we are always changing fundamentally?
Every split second there are thousands of cells being replaced in my body – the whole lot over seven years in fact – so I am never the same as I have been at any time. My needs are different, my emotional state and my beliefs; everything is about forward momentum and incremental changes. My understanding of the ITM work is obviously in it’s infancy, so these observations will probably change in time, like everything else. Stay tuned if you want to know about that!
So I have played a little bit, danced (like no-one is watching of course) and really enjoyed singing amongst and for my friends. I do these things with joy, and more importantly without any agenda or expectations attached. I don’t even care that much when all this fun activity leaves me crippled for days or weeks afterwards – that’s part of the deal. This summer has been a liberating time in may ways, certainly not without some huge challenges, but quite wonderful none the less.
I’m adding the link to the ITM on my blog roll… anyone who thinks they have already reached their full potential in life need not apply.