Thursday, August 9, 2012
Sleeping on Sandwiches - Day 22
Sleeping on Sandwiches - Day 21
The Posture Police Blotter was on hiatus for awhile and I've revived it with a daily blog that is running from June 20 through September 22. This daily edition has a different focus to it and the gem in all of this is that what I'm going to be writing and what I've written about posture and the Alexander Technique are all related. Follow along and learn how!
Back to Blogging - A Chaos Theory
I took a fairly long hiatus from what I was calling a daily blog. One of my reasons for writing this summer edition of the Posture Police was to give myself a daily public forum in which I would hold myself accountable for my choices and actions in regards to resolving some family difficulties, all the while keeping the content thought-provoking, at times humorous, and of course related to the main topic at hand - The Alexander Technique.
I took a break because I opened myself up to the unknown. I took my head out of the sand (freed my neck, of course!) and focused fully on challenges that I had been ignoring, putting off, thinking they would resolve themselves or weren't such a big deal. I didn't exactly have an agenda, but I think that I thought that everything would go more smoothly and become easier once I started really being present and addressing matters head-on. I was surprised (and not surprised) to find that upon opening myself up to forward motion and change, all sorts of unexpected stuff started to come up - fears from the past that I'd nearly forgotten about, oddly timed hindrances to accomplishing goals in making our home more pleasant and liveable, and generally feeling like the bedrock of my life as I've know it for the past several years was shifting and opening up a sea of uncertainty. It was all so jarring, that I felt a public forum wasn't really the best place to be sorting things out or even reporting.
I am grateful that I'm taking the time to face my family and myself head-on, perhaps in a way that I never have before. I feel that I have a clearer understanding as to what our problems are and who is contributing to them in what ways at what times. I feel uneasy, but I'm starting to feel more confident feeling uneasy and uncertain and would not trade it back in for feeling stuck. I keep wanting to kick myself for having not been more receptive and insightful sooner, but if everything does happen at the "right" time, then there is no better time than now and waiting longer would be even worse. I'm continuing to swim in the sea of uncertainty and my goal is to stay focused on my and my family's priorities, while not "end-gaining" for a particular outcome.
In June, I attended the yearly American Society for the Alexander Technique annual conference, which was here in NYC this year. My friend, Dawn Shalhoup, ran a workshop there on marketing for Alexander Technique teachers. She's a PR and Marketing expert and I arranged for her to do the workshop as I thought that her style would particularly resonate with Alexander Technique teachers. One exercise that she asked us to do was to jot down three positive and negative attributes about ourselves. I wrote the same three for both categories as I saw the three items that I chose as potential strengths and weaknesses in different situations. One attribute that I noted for myself was "tolerance of chaos".
In a positive sense, I seek out challenging situations and projects. Studying the Alexander Technique successfully involves tolerating a great deal of change and allowing yourself to feel temporarily discombobulated or wrong in order to then rediscover a more natural balance. I have invited these types of changes again and again, even though they were difficult to handle at times. I lived abroad for three years, which was very disorienting at first, but I eventually felt very much at home. I remember at camp sitting on a platform fifty feet up in a tree next to a counselor who told me that it was my turn to zip down the zipline and I went. Others hemmed and hawed for awhile or cried. I went for it instantly without saying a word. I lept to it so quickly that the two campers at the bottom who were making the knot in the zipline that would prevent me from crashing face-first into a tree, were looking off in the other direction and got their act together just in time to barely catch me.
When I answered that question in the workshop, I was thinking that the negative aspect of this tendency of mine to tolerate chaos is that I sometimes tolerate a chaotic situation that is problematic and do nothing about it. I was thinking about my situation with my family. Now reconsidering back on what I was thinking, I disagree with myself. I wasn't tolerating chaos in the situation with my family. I was tolerating stagnation and avoiding the chaos, disorientation, and anguish that would arise from dealing with the problems head-on. It was easy to think chaos because things seemed really disorganized - our stuff, our scheduling . . . but it wasn't chaos. It was a lack of coherency and a huge, heavy lid on a pot that's turned up to high on the stove. When the lid came off, that's when the chaos began to bubble over. I'm learning more about the nature of chaos and how it can be a crucial step in finding a resolution.
I will also add that another sign that things are headed in a healthier direction is that even amidst all of this chaos, my back and shoulders have never felt wider and I clearly feel the support and elasticity of my own back.