Monday, May 2, 2011
When All Else Fails
When all else fails - do an Alexander Technique lie down. So simple and so powerful.
Many demands today and much was accomplished. Wanting to play but finding myself a bit overwhelmed after work, I had a moment of clarity which said - lie down.
With my paperback books underneath my occipital ridge, I began releasing into the floor. As my body slowly but steadily let go, my mind calmed. As my spine lengthened, my demand on myself to practice lessened. There is a reason I usually take Monday nights off from practicing, but I am juggling two additional evening activities this week and felt that it would be good to practice. As my shoulders widened I contemplated not just my body, but of letting go of practice anyhow. Calmly on the floor, sensing my body, and noticing my breath was slower and deeper.
Sitting on my stool with my guitar, I enjoyed the relative freedom that was now present in myself as a result of the lie down. Tuning and then playing through a Journeyman's Way Home - I decided that this would lay the framework for my practice tonight. To work as effortlessly as I can play Journeyman's. To play without concern; yet to be in the playing. To practice in such a way as to balance the difficult with grace. Moving onto Senseless Loss, I was able to play through with relative ease until I noticed a bit of chatter in my mind. Pausing to breath and renew my aim of effortless playing I began again, and then again. Enjoying the act of music making, keeping a sense of my length and width, I continued with this piece for another 15 minutes. Noticing my right arm was fatigued, I paused to write this.
Again and again I must approach my practice with a real beginning. No matter how many times I pick up the guitar, if I am not present when I do, something is lost. With a harmony in body and mind, my practice is efficient. And then, when I loose the harmony, will I begin again and establish the harmony, or plod through to the end? The choice is mine.