Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Viable Option
One of the things I love about Saturdays is that I can practice guitar either in the morning or the early afternoon while I am still fresh and focused. But there are those Saturdays when the duties of being a homeowner beckon and must be addressed. Today had me laying sod for five hours to restore the pieces of the yard that had been damaged when our oak tree fell down recently. Hot and hard work on this summery day.

A nap and some lovely time with my wife and granddaughter had me heading down to the basement at 9:30pm. Motivation was practically non-existent. I desired to curl up with a book, perhaps one on the Alexander Technique was my clever rationalization. But as I have done on so many nights before I was prepared to follow through with my practice, in spite of my motivation or desires. While I was taking a few moments sitting on a chair to clear my mind,  I thought of Sandra and one of the recurrent themes in her AT lessons with me.

There is always the option to not do the desired action which I am preparing to undertake. Sometimes choosing a different action or no action, thus finding ways to disrupt our habitual use of the self. I played with this thought, telling myself that it was an option to not practice. But this was just a small con game, I knew I would open the case and at the very least play through a few pieces. So I stayed with the thinking, giving myself permission to really make this an option. If I did then, in the future this choice would then be a viable one as I looked at how I use the self. Of course the thought "with commitment all the rules change" echoed in my mind. While I know the power of honoring commitments, this was not just an excuse to 'not practice,' but an exercise of another flavor.

So I choose to not practice tonight. Even though I had given myself the night off on Thursday and then had a wonderful practice last night. I stood and contemplated my body, allowing the spine to lengthen, shoulders widen, legs to connect with the planet. Though I was ready to go upstairs, I then choose to do an AT lie down and release the strain of the day. After a fifteen minute lie down I rose and was prepared to go upstairs. Suddenly I smiled and realized that I could make a new choice. I could  pick up my guitar and play a few notes. I began exploring C hijaz and then moved on to playing Livin' the Dream. A few minutes with the power pull offs in Steppin' Stones and then I completed a brief qualitative encounter with my guitar, music, and myself.

Now where is that AT book I've been reading ...

1 comment:

  1. This is a fitting beginning piece for this morning's teaching, landing as it does at the Beginning of the End of this year's Seattle spring AT project. Thank you, Patrick!