The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten.
Reading this Oblique Strategy of Eno's today I first thought of the Alexander Technique. How easy it is to drift from action to action without considering how we are using ourselves. The relationship of the head and neck is the "most important thing" and even when one has experience with AT it is still easily forgotten. Why is this? Years of habit built up with a lack of awareness of how we move.
With focused active direction of our thinking before we act, change becomes possible. Over time the act of directing our thinking becomes a useful habit. As we experience ease and effectiveness in playing our instruments, injuries heal and our sound improves, the motivation to continue applying AT increases. But it all begins with waking up again and again and incorporating the technique.
Old habitual patterns of thinking and use lurk within our complex brains. With just a few mindless acts they awaken and the struggle continues. So I pause, inhibit my impulse to do, direct my thinking and either perform the action, do nothing, or make a fresh choice of doing something else. Lately this making a fresh choice has become a bit more difficult. I'm not sure why, perhaps I think I have arrived at some level of "good use" that is sufficient. Perhaps, a bit too much focus on the guitar and forgetting that how I do one thing is how I do everything. So if I inhibit and choose a different activity I'm still working with how I use myself and this will transfer to the guitar. Maybe it's time for a lie-down.
Photo by Ace Bonita