When we arrive somewhere we fall into a heap. Especially after a long journey. We manage to do the same thing when we get in and out of a chair. We make all the effort we think we need to and upon arriving at standing or sitting we congratulate ourselves by giving up and collapsing. This of course leads to fixing. When we have something to do, something to engage with we really don’t arrive in the same way. For instance, when we are looking out at something that engages our vision there is a much higher likelihood that we won’t arrive in a heap and fix. If we use our attention then it becomes a lot harder to fix. If you’re at a public event be it a stadium, theatre or something along those lines then you are (if it’s not boring) going to be paying attention.
Without that outward attention widening and taking in all the information around you, our perspectives become narrow and limited. If we want to feel more then we need to take in what’s going on around us. It can be really easy to fix the eyes on one spot. After all it’s what we do when we watch tv or any screen for too long.
This form of concentration is all to easily replicated when we go to pass awareness around the body. It becomes “hard to concentrate” when asking for our directions with the eyes open. It feels easier with the eyes closed. If you’re lying down in semi supine I don’t think it matters too much. But when you are sitting, standing or doing anything else you really are cutting out extra information. Yes it’s harder to concentrate, but that’s because you’re not meant to. Concentration is a form of fixing. Fixing our attention. Alexander Technique requires us to juggle it.
“All together. One after the other” FM Alexander
We can keep our attention on one area if it’s particularly in bad shape. But you do this at detriment to the rest of the body. And most bad habits that we get into are a result of our coordination instead of a specific part. We need to take a holistic view of the body, instead of blaming and praising specific parts.
For that to happen you must widen your field of view. And you won’t always have a competitive game to watch or compelling performance to witness. So you have to pay attention. Don’t let your eyes fix even if there isn’t much to look at. Even if your facing a blank wall. Keep it moving. Try to notice small details about your environment and if anything changes. Ask questions that you normally wouldn’t. When you notice yourself stiffen and start to fix, give yourself time to acknowledge that this is something you don’t want. That it’s something not to do. Never arrive.
Hi, I'm Edward Fisher and I believe that everyone can have a life free from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and many other musculoskeletal pain related conditions. I recovered from slipped discs and sciatica. I spent 10 months being unable to walk. After 3 months of Alexander Technique I was walking again. Now I show others how to overcome their own pain related conditions for themselves.
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