Sunday, July 1, 2012

Waves of Change

Texture/Background 5

I am not compressing myself as I type is the direction that just manifested as I moved toward beginning this blog post.  So easy to become lost when catching up with email, Facebook, etal after having lost power at home due to nasty storms in this area Friday night.  Wishing that I could have again began my day with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean and Qi Gong in the surf but alas live moves on.

I have found that vacations at the beach is a wonderful opportunity for me to devote more time to all the pursuits in my life that nourish me.  Meditation, Qi Gong, exercise, music, and the Alexander Technique coupled with an environment that inspires hope and joy throughout the day.  Awed by the sheer immensity of the Ocean, I am invited back to the present moment.  How can I not be inspired to think "up" when the sky is so beautiful? How can I not be inspired to think "forward" when I have time to reflect, nourish, and be with the people who mean the most to me? Allowing the stress and strain of everyday life to float away, while allowing waves of reflection to fill my day.  How can I not think "Wide" when the horizon is nothing but life sustaining water? Not only the ocean of unimaginable width, but also of a length that spans between continents and is not "fixed" in a position?

As my arm reaches through the water, I notice my length as I swim.  Floating I sense my spine, subtly shifting and adjusting to the energy of the ocean moving about me.  My sense of the space about me heightened.  A space that is alive with energy and life forms I can not sense.  The ocean expands me as I respond to the moments of it's waves.  I like to stand in chest high water and while directing up allow my hands to float up as if I were playing the guitar. I have been playing with AT in the waves like this for years.

This past week, I have added the negative direction - I am not playing the guitar, as I play with my arms in this manner in the sea.  Part of the beauty of this experiment with bringing my arms up in the ocean is that due to the waves constantly pushing against and shifting my feet and torso, I can not being my hands up in a habitual manner.  The ocean's inhibition of my habitual use of this action is light, fun, and free.  After several days of this, I introduced the thought - I am playing the guitar, while bringing my hands up through the surf.   Just enjoying the possibilities and being open to this inquisitively playful experiment positively impacting how I actually do play the guitar.   Smiling, floating, and continuing to direct as the waves splash about me. Ahh, wishing I was back there now, but grateful for where I am.

In the  evening, when I approached my guitar I thought of how might I incorporate these experiments of movement in the ocean with how I bring my hands and arms to the guitar.  I found myself thinking, now how did that feel?  Laughing as I saw once again the trap we all fall into when applying the Alexander Technique, perhaps more clearly this time than ever before.  I do not need to access what the "freedom" felt like, but to access that thinking that led to this freedom.  To pause, inhibit, and then direct my thinking.  Currently my use of negative directions is bearing fruit.  I am finding that introducing the " traditional" AT directions, after the negative directions for instance - I am not compressing myself - offers a different and perhaps clearer path to my movement freedom.

The search terms I used in searching for a photo to accompany this post also turned up photos of ice.  Chuckling as I thought may my movements be like waves of freedom, not stuck in my habitual frozen patterns.  I wish this for all of you also.  How are you experimenting and introducing change with the Alexander Technique?


  1. Patrick,
    As always I am so thankful for your sense of wonder, your inquisitiveness, and the freedom you feel to laugh. Learning is made so much easier through that laughter, I believe. It requires us to let go of unreasonable expectations, opening the way to something much healthier.

    And although I live nowhere near an ocean anymore, your post reminds me to keep looking up at the incredibly beautiful hills that surround me where I live. There is a vastness there and an indescribable greenness that brings nothing but relief to me.

    Thank you!


  2. Thank you Erica. The sense of wonder and my innate curiosity nurtures my ability to learn. Never ever stop looking!