DON'T HOLD BACK !
I just saw a photo of myself. . .
And the judgement starts.
I should have smiled, opened my eyes, posed better, what was I wearing?!!!!
The usual trickle of judgement when a photo is put in front of me. Did I see the other 22 people in the picture? Of course I did. And they all looked lovely, so took up 1% of my attention. The 99% goes into the judgement of me.
I bet no one else in the world does that! I bet everyone reading this is so magnanimous and generous that their full attention is shared equally with every soul smiling, waving and posing. Not just focusing on the self, negatively or positively.
Sure we’re all like that. We are most interested in who we know, and who do we know better than ourselves. It may be a fine photo, but if there is something to observe, we are often more absorbed in a negative focus than positive.
So a regular raison d’etre for someone to come to Alexander lessons with me is posture. The initial conversation goes something like this.
“So why have you come to Alexander work at this time?”
“I heard this is good for posture. I saw a photo of me at a wedding recently and my shoulders are very rounded”
"So is your goal to improve your posture or to look good in photos?"
Have a think about this question.
Which resonates more with you? Looking good or improving posture? Could one help the other?
If you want to look good you could learn to pose better in those moments the camera is on you. But addressing your posture is what will take care of those round shoulders for your life, right?
Improving posture may be noble or a right answer but it holds little in flavour and commitment. Wanting to look good, or move well or be out of pain, have better goal commitments. Wanting to show off your dance moves or look good in a suit are timely goals that might just get you to commit.
So how do we relate to improving posture?
Sit up straight, pull shoulders back and hold. Is that how you do it?
Are you breathing freely? Does it hurt? How long can you be like that?
If it was that easy to improve your posture you wouldn’t be reading this.
Posture is NOT just sitting straight or posing for a photo. Your posture is how your body is in everything you do. Your posture is effected by how you feel and how you communicate. It may not be what you think you are communicating. Remember 90% of communication is nonverbal.
Posture is not something you act or that is separate to you. Posture is you. It is every move you make. Your posture reflects your thoughts and feelings, even if you are unaware of your body and what it says to the world.
The traditional sit up straight is a short term held posture that is often followed by a collapse into slump. What is the straight posture saying? What does the slump say? How is this a sustainable practice?
Now they say fake it till you make it. And that in itself is a practice.
What if posture was a game you could play to discover something new about yourself? What if you used playing with HOW your body moves, or sits or stands to be a game to redefine or understand posture? Why don’t we take back the word posture and let it be lived, make it alive?
This juicy flesh that lives on our bones can display thoughts, tell a story, whether you are acting or not. What is your story in this moment? Our bodies can move subtly when we apply our focus to little things.
Invite yourself to think up. Think about your head and the size of it and how it could float to the sky led by your two ears, if you let it. What does your torso want to do when you think about your head floating up? Do you notice your legs with this thought?
Give yourself some time to let your body follow the thought.
Does that change how your body moves, how your body feels?
Let us bring life to the word and acts of posture and see what we learn about ourselves. Let one thought lead and see how your body follows the thought. Let your body surprise you as it moves through different postures. Play. You can’t get posture “wrong”. That is a matter for interpretation. If you are dissatisfied with your current posture, play in a new way to invite something different. Invent and visit new postures and listen to your body for information, not your head.
Let me know how you get on.
Don’t Hold Back
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.