Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Meeting a Stimulus With Ease

When I arrived at my Alexander Technique class with David Jernigan, I noticed he had an iPhone with him.  As he was talking with the other student, I thought of F. M. Alexander's quote:

 You are not  here to do exercises, or to learn to do something right, but to get able to meet a stimulus that always puts you wrong and to learn to deal with it.
 I knew that I had something to work with tonight.  I think of myself as not being a photogenic person and can feel uncomfortable when my photo is being taken.  I suspected that to invite in the taking of photos during the act of playing a piece of music would provide me with a challenging stimulus. Then I would have an opportunity to see if I could respond with awareness rather than manifest a habitual pulling away.

I played Forget-Me-Knot and some photo's were taken.  Overall this did not bother me.  David did help to ground me by working with my legs.  Due to old basketball injuries that have compounded as I age, I tend to favor my right leg when I stand. By putting more of my weight on the right leg to support this keeps my left heel bone spur from bothering me.  Yet when David invited both feet to be supported by the planet, there was a greater sense of up and certainly a greater ease as I played.

Next came a video of me playing.  As the shooting began I did remember to find my hands and know that they were alive, to find my breath, and to hold my wish before I moved my hands to the guitar.  I've not seen the video, but know that the playing began poorly, David was too close to me, which is fine for an AT teacher, but with the video on, this was a bit much for to process.  I did continue to play and something shifted.  I was able to connect with David and the other student and the camera with eye contact which can be problematic when I play.  I sensed there good will and was able to allow this to support the act of music making, to come a little bit more alive and present.  This is huge progress and I look forward to continuing the process.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on meeting this new challenge to awaken freedom in your body, mind and playing! Terrific post and photo.