Up & About with Patrick Pearson
Up & About with Patrick Pearson
Up & About The Alexander Technique Newsletter for Patrick Pearson MSTAT.
Issue No. 15 August t 2017 w w w . p e a r s o n - a l e x a n d e r t e c h n i q u e . c o . u k
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If it has a spine, it will always lead its action with its head!!!
Mind ........ the Gap? There’s an old adage that says, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!” I am the last person to want more complication than less, but when it comes to ourselves and the human condition, it is already massively complicated so avoiding that fact isn’t going to help. Here F M Alexander gave us an in-road, by stopping, freeing ourselves from obvious tension and then, as he did, ask the question “Is it something I’m doing?” followed by a mindful moment or more of observation which leads us to be able to observe more and raise other questions; “Is it something I’m thinking?”, “Is it something I’m feeling”, “What is my body wanting to do?”, and then experimenting with our directions to see what the changes might bring. So is this more than refined navel-gazing or wishful thinking?
The problem as I see it is this; that through conditioning, habit, external social pressures, media, friends, colleagues, etc etc, and from the fear of getting it wrong we, play safe based on what we think we know and then justify it to ourselves by some rationale. I call this, “Prawn-mayo sandwich” thinking. I can go to Tesco at lunchtime and buy a prawn-mayo sandwich. I then assert that the purpose of Tesco is to sell prawn-mayo sandwiches at lunchtime and test it by sending a group of people there between 12.00 and 14.00 to do the same, and lo, prawn mayo sandwiches at a sufficient percentage to bear out my argument. I can mostly disregard other outcomes because they are a minority, so by experimental analysis my assertion is upheld and so true.
The daftness of that is obvious but it is what we do. So the burning question is then, “Do we place limiters on what we may get from AT (and life as a whole) by the way we approach it?” “I’ve come for my posture.” “I’ve come to have my back pain fixed.” Some recent study I was doing touched on the difference between what goes on in the brain and how much we pick up through consciousness. Unreliable sensory appreciation! We’re Alexander people; obviously we all get that idea! Here’s the thing though; our consciousness and senses are a function of the brain. We learn to recognise what we see. Close our eyes and think of the same thing the brain lights up in the same way which lets in both memory and imagination. Therefore we can’t be truly sure that we see all that the eyes are looking at. We see and recognise based on what we already know so although this is genuinely one of the possibilities for us, it is a possibility, and there may be many, many more. Having been an ocean navigator in my lifetime, I began by study, then some simple supervised work at sea; then more demanding work supervised, until I was able to do it for myself.
The one thing that is true about this is that at some point I had to be willing to leave my homeland behind, out of sight, to discover somewhere new by setting a proposed course, making corrections, checking the process on the way, and to trust to the navigation to get me there and back again. It is the same when exploring possibilities through consciousness and potential within the scope of psychophysical unity, that it is important to challenge what we think and the process we use, and at some point we will need to give up on ideas we think are absolute in order to change positively. My recent studies suggested the human brain processes something like 400,000,000 bits of information every single second. Our consciousness clocks something like two thousand of those each second. That differential gap is huge. The possibility that our take on our own reality may be seriously skewed; “unreliable sensory appreciation” becomes masterly understatement.
So how do we navigate that vast ocean of neural wilderness? The tools are already there. Take a moment’s pause and free the neck! Question what process is being engaged; notice any attempt to confine it, inhibit that and see where it leads. Now the freedom that begins at the neck can run deeper. Have fun in this void as you learn to navigate it. Be watchful for it. Mind the gap! Always recommend a STAT qualified teacher!
Book: The Art of Swimming by Steven Shaw If you like the water (especially if you don’t but wish you did) this is a quite different approach to swimming and learning how to. Alexander skill is helpful but not essential to begin with. This book lays out the underlying philosophy of approaching physical activity and questioning the conventional wisdom regarding fitness. It then goes on to explain how. Clearly written and well worth the read. There is also a DVD available, and some info on-line about the Shaw method. I like it because it challenges misplaced notions that implicate the Alexander Technique as something passive. Do what you want to do...just keep the neck free while you do it! ....
Cards Payments I’m pleased to announce that with immediate effect, that I am able to accept payment by the majority of popular credit and debit cards, subject to the availability of a decent internet connection. Like a lot things technologically based it has had its share of teething troubles, but nothing insurmountable……while remaining patient and keeping a free neck of course!!????
For more from Patrick or to talk about how Alexander technique can help you, contact him via his page on the site
- Practitioner News (16)
About the Centre
The Centre for Integral Health was started in 2013 by director Ben Calder after studying Integral theory since 2011 and over 10 years of professional practice of kinesiology and Bowen fascia Release Technique, coupled with the desire to explore the application of the Integral Model in relation to health.read more