I was wrong. I used my body wrong.
Welcome Fiona. How do you know you have done wrong?
My body is telling me. I have neck tension, low back pain, and pains in my chest from coughing. I thought I knew what I was doing, but I must have forgotten, or put in too much effort, tried too hard.
Are these feelings familiar?
I suppose so, but I have not felt them for a while.
Are these some of your habits?
Yes. I am looking at habits all the time. I endeavour to be good and make changes but the pesky habits are very strong and sometimes overwhelming. It has been a few months since my last lesson.
What did you learn in your lesson?
I pulled my head back and down. I didn’t think I was. I was working on up and may have omitted the subtlety of forward. It has been an emotional time. I see now how I am reacting to my environment to protect myself. I know I am safe but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.
I tightened into my ribs, interfering with the natural flow and ease of my breath. I have had a cough for months. I have worked on it for small periods of time but the cough got in on me and has been hard to shift. I think it glued my ribs and sternum together.
My back hurts sometimes. I see now it is probably because I was pulling my head back and not letting myself flow forward as I moved. And I didn’t lie down when it hurt. I kept going.
So you are human and are busy with life.
Of course you pull your head back and down. It is a very common human reaction. You were doing it for twenty odd years before you found Alexander technique. Notice how you have grown since then. This is just a moment of relearning.
Life can be tough but please remember you are safe. Remember this often. It will help you let your neck muscles release so your head can go forward and up into movement.
What about my cough? I try to breathe through it, but the cough overcomes me.
A cough is tiring. It pulls your whole body together every time and can be quite violent. Focus on letting your breath fall past the tickles in your throat and the tightness that stimulates you. Be patient. You can breathe. You will find greater space in your chest and it will pass soon.
And the back?
Back pain can teach you a lot about how you are moving. It is a wonderful reminder to come back to yourself and mind how you move.
Yes. It does give me something to work with on the floor and in the park while walking. So what should I do?
Your penance homework reminder for this week is:
1. 10 free your necks, in every moment you choose to remember
2. 10 whispered ah’s, in 10 minutes work daily observing your breath
3. 10 semi supine sessions where you listen deeply to your whole self while supported by the floor. You are safe to let go as you cannot fall in this position.
This may seem like a lot of work for such little sin but it will reward you. Take your time and play with how and when you work with yourself. It is your work, about you, for you. You will do it your way. It is simply recognising too much work and getting out of the way.
How do you feel now?
Great having been listened to. You always know the truth Fiona. I think we all need a little help and direction from time to time. That’s why it’s important to have regular self time and lessons.
I may not always know the truth, but I can spot a mistruth, a barrier to ease and flow.
By listening deeply to yourself you will show yourself how valuable you are in any moment and how your choice to be free is important to you. It is compassion. Let your next lesson be not too far away. For we learn in every activity.
Thank you for being so honest here today. You will feel more whole and have less pain now you have listened to your body. By listening to your self you are supporting your self. You are loved.
Thank you Fiona for listening to me and refocusing my whole self. I am sorry for straying off the path of ease and making life hard for me again. Forgive me these habits as I promise to be more physically, mentally and emotionally gentle with myself. I will do less to protect myself with added tension. I will remind myself I am safe so I can free myself up to bend in the winds that come.
Fiona, you are forgiven.
Love Fiona x
The Art of Listening explored on March 4th. Sign up.
I am Fiona and I am exploring themes of meeting resistances and allowing ways through. The constant weeding, recognising the stuff that's in the way to live easier.