Freedom to Change — 35 Comments

  1. Wonderful post – so much in it to reflect. I know the hazards of “trying” – whether it is to be someone other than whom I am or to accomplish something that feels effortful. It’s definitely a skill to relax into “what is” and let the next experience emerge. I like the freedom directives, both the term itself and the concept. I have lot to practice here!

    • Thank you so much, Judy! This is certainly a practice! As I tune into the language I use, both to myself and others, I am noticing how easy it is to slip into “I’m trying…” “I should…” “I have to…” – being mindful of the language we use towards ourselves changes a lot!

  2. I am one to get caught up in trying. In the past few years I have learned to release a lot. I have been able to learn to give myself permission (I am an innate giver) but my tension some times still lies in the receiving end of that permission. I don’t always take my own advice/permission. I am practicing though, and its becoming easier for me now that I know what it is that I am wanting to experience.

  3. I remember my husband having instruction on the AT while he was studying for his Master’s in Theater at UConn. Posture was a big part of his class, from what I remember. I love what you shared! I want to look into the AT more now.

    (Happy to have connected with you through Lousie’s FB group “Fabulous and Fearless”)

    • Improvements in posture are definitely a common outcome from work with the Alexander Technique, and indeed the reason many people choose to study it. How you get there, however, is all about freeing up, giving yourself choices, and releasing those things that don’t serve you well. AT allows us to have great posture by releasing tension, the opposite of how many people think of posture (holding yourself in a position).

      I do hope you will look into it!

      Thanks for connecting!

  4. How great is that — changing the way we move by changing the way we think about something. I love your example using “free”. It reminds me of Suzie Cheel changing her to-do list to a love-to list.

  5. I have studied the Alexander Technique for years and just find the whole process so profound. I love how it applies to every aspect of your life and once you do get that life is movement and full of our ability to consciously choose we are indeed liberated!

  6. This is a great post with so much to think about! I love the quote, “that change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not.” I will be thinking about this!

  7. Yes I love this, and I love Jenniferʻs descriptions of her discoveries about how she and her students respond physiologically to this language. It seems to me that the definition of trauma would be an experience in which you DONʻT have a choice, and that to think this way can profoundly change that physiological state in some way. My version was about possibilities, knowing I have possibilities. Because sometimes it really “feels” like you donʻt, and that feeling can be overwhelming and prevent you from exploring something that is ready and waiting to be explored. THanks so much for sharing this.

    • Glad you found it interesting. I think many of us, outside of what would be classified as “trauma” put limitations on ourselves all the time so that we “feel” we don’t have choices (possibilities, to use your word). As you say, it is VERY powerful to think that we do have freedom to choose.

  8. Change is one of those things that requires a desire and then a decision. And it makes perfect sense to me that we can’t change into something we are not. Interesting post. A lot of food for thought.

    Julieanne Case
    Always from the heart!

    Reconnecting you to your Original Blueprint, Your Essence, Your Joy| Healing you from the Inside Out |Reconnective Healing | The Reconnection| Reconnective Art |

    • I think you are right about desire and a decision. I think the before that decision (the choice) can take place there needs to be a recognition/acceptance/acknowledgement of what/where we are now, in the present moment.

  9. I understand Jennifer’s viewpoint from my exposure to The Option Method developed by Bruce DiMarsico and his student Frank Mosca, which posits that Happiness, Freedom and Beingness arise together to comprise our true nature. I agree with Jennifer in the interview that using big picture freedom as an AT direction is not an intention but a statement of TRUTH which, when one KNOWS it to be true is a transforming, liberating experience. Never thought of using it as an AT direction though. I can see how it would work well. David Gorman’s work also points in this direction.

  10. Listening to the tape again . . . I hope you will keep exploring this material about Freedom. RR suggests taking a short cut and eliminating the dialogue about freedom. In my experience it is a necessary step since this creates an understanding of the MEANING of the word freedom. Its a big concept and powerful.

    • Thanks so much for your comments, Christine. I find the application and ideas behind Freedom Directions to be fascinating. I continue to explore for myself and my students, and I’m sure this will feature in future blog posts! I tend to agree with you about including the dialog about freedom and of course the meaning of being free, though I’ve noticed even without that freedom directions tend to have a positive effect. I do feel, with more explanation and understanding, this is enhanced further. I had definitely put a somewhat narrow meaning onto the word free in directions – free of tension, free to move – which is very nice, but adding the element of free will has made a huge difference!

  11. I love this! Yes, we ALWAYS have choice – that is where change can come in once we realize this. Instead of “should” I always replace that one word in the sentence with “if I really wanted to I could” and that is huge. Thanks for this post!

  12. Yes I find myself doing this whilst working at the PC, “trying” to relax and not get tense. I think thats why mobile devices are so popular so you can really relax whilst using them! I have never tried the Alexander technique but I am very intrigued to know more 🙂 Jennyxxx

  13. Nondoing is so potent. Thanks for this practical example from everyday living. This is where we have the most freedom, I feel: in the preparation of a meal or the cleaning of a bathroom or the driving in rush hour traffic. Trying to get rid of tension is such a trap. Reminding ourselves that we are free to be however we are and do whatever we want however we want to do it — how radical! Great blog post.

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