As I sat in my office a couple of days ago, writing my April newsletter, there was a lingering nervousness in my body that I detected as a heightened awareness of my heart beating and extra tension in my neck and shoulders.
Each time I recognized this I consciously reminded myself that I was also free to notice ease, and I had a moment of relief.
The shock that was still manifesting itself in my body stemmed from earlier that afternoon when I walked into my office with my cat Puffkin.
I was about to do 10 minutes of Constructive Rest before resuming my work for the afternoon, when I saw a MASSIVE SPIDER on the floor, just next to my chair.
Even writing those words I sense the tension in me rising, and my heart beating faster!
Let’s just say I’m not a fan of spiders at the best of times.
And I’ve never seen one so big in any house anywhere before!
My screams, as I quickly got out of the room, brought my husband, Andy, running, and Puffkin looking rather surprised at my outburst!
Andy kindly and bravely removed the spider for me, and at my insistence also checked the whole room for me, just to make sure!!
Constructive Rest came next and it took me several minutes to calm down.
In fact, even several hours later, I was still feeling somewhat on edge. And yet I was able to use that feeling to as a reminder to come back to myself in the way we do in the Alexander Technique, giving myself a moment of recovery as my attention shifted toward ease. I guess I should count myself lucky to have had so many moments that day!!
And this is the thing.
In my moment of terror (yes, terror – unreasonable, and unwarranted, but that was my experience) I was not able to pause. My body did what it’s supposed to do at such moments – it got me out of there as quickly as possible!!
Only THEN was my conscious mind able to kick in so I could have some say in how I was responding. I could now use the mindful skills I’ve learned – the skills I teach and know so well – to help me recover more quickly. I started to move away from stress and toward ease.
This process can be applied to any situation – mostly not quite so dramatic, thankfully.
My students learned and discovered how to use these skills themselves in my online program that finished last week
We applied the process to physical activities like sitting, standing, walking, stretching, AND to anxiety about walking and falling, dealing with annoying automated phone calls, having difficult and emotionally charged conversations, and more!
As you can see, the scope is far-reaching.
Some of their biggest takeaways about what they learned were (in their words):
- The value of the pause!
- Being surprised and delighted to have an improved outlook on life.
- That the improvements they experienced were not “just” of a physical nature.
- The tremendous help with physical aches and pains.
- Broadened horizons to see that the principles they learned are not just applied to posture, movement and physical things, but to all sorts of situations!
- How the really simple techniques can change how we experience things, helping us be more mindful and present and have more enriching experiences.
- How the principles can apply in the smallest moments as well in our entire lives!
I couldn’t be more thrilled about their progress, the discoveries they made, AND how they were implementing and integrating what they had learned into their lives.
Update: My next online group coaching program – Foundations of Ease – beings on November 2, 2020.
I’d love you to be part of it, and experience the wonders of this simple, yet transformative approach for yourself.
It can help you deal with the stress of unwanted visitors, human and otherwise, too!