Wow, it’s amazing how the work we do in AT invites such a true acceptance of one’s being.
For this work can not be effective if perceived from a place of right and wrong.
If we believe our habit to be “wrong” - and, in doing so carry the label of our self as being wrong, not good enough, full of “can’t do it” and “why don’t I get it?” narratives - then we will struggle to feel or experience the freedom that is available.
And, when we approach ourselves slowly, with curiosity, and celebrate when we notice our habit appear, we create a window of opportunity to make a choice to let go, to undo, or simply not do the habit, and continue on towards the intended movement path/action/thought, or start over - whatever is desired.
Importantly, the conditions for this situation must be that of curiosity. Of self-kindness and exploration. If we were to judge ourselves for every time a limiting habit arose, we would be very miserable, for our habits are usually always with us, especially when we are just beginning to see them in a new light.
And, we tend to ebb and flow with ourselves and our life environments, and if we expect to be in a state of freedom or ease 100% of the time, we are setting up yet another angle of the "right" place to be.
When we embody a mindset of duality with right and wrong, we automatically create conditions where the choices available are very limited, giving the illusion that we simply can’t do the task at hand, or we only can do so within a certain constraint. When, in fact, we merely haven't shifted our attention.
We could instead pause and notice ourselves, accept or celebrate whatever we feel in that moment, and choose to ungrip in some way (mental, emotional, physical - all at once, one after the other!), and complete the task with a different quality of being.
With this different quality of being, we have an expanded perception of ourselves and our environment, and are less likely to go down the pathway of looped or stuck behavior and experiences. We can see more clearly that there are other pathways available, and we can become comfortable with the idea of doing something new or traversing into the unknown.
We simply have to choose to observe ourselves when we feel uncomfortable, and when our bodies are curling up with tension during a task or experience, we can decide that we won’t judge ourselves for “doing it wrong” or carrying the “I should know better” narrative. That type of thinking is, in fact, part of a tension pattern.
And when we pause and see the thought and feel the tightness, we can celebrate our noticing of it, open our hearts full of acceptance for the pattern that has served us in some form or another over time, and ungrip - even if just a little bit - to change the conditions of our being.
How do we "ungrip?" That’s where an AT lesson is useful. Alexander teachers give you tools for noticing yourself and what you’re doing, how to ungrip or shift your use, and then rediscover the innate support that lies not only all around us, but also within our very structures and essence. And from these new, expanded conditions, we can go forward and face life with more ease and grace.
Compassion, self-acceptance, and self-kindness are a key part of this process.