A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about being comfortable. ‘Better the Devil You Know’ talked about how easy it is to confuse comfortable with familiar, and how ‘comfortable’ is actually quite a complex idea. I got some great feedback pointing out that it is even more complex than that!
So, here are two more complexities for you to think about, with thanks to Imogen and Sonia:-
1. Is there genuinely a state of more comfortable? Yes. Of course. You can become wonderfully balanced, free and flexible in your movements. You can get rid of pain, stiffness, awkwardness and restriction.
Can an Alexander lesson leave you feeling genuinely more comfortable? Yes. Of course. Being very honest, those are the moments we all hope for in our lessons.
But they don’t happen to order. Sometimes we get the wonderful version. Sometimes we get the ‘really weird!!’ version. Sometimes we get both together. Being able to deal with flipping between the two versions, and being able to keep learning in either case, are important Alexander skills that you develop over time.
2. The second point is an ingrained pessimism about change. Whether it arises from fear, upbringing, cantankerousness, habit or plain stubbornness doesn’t really matter. Some people simply assume that the unknown must be bad.
However, students usually come to Alexander lessons because they want something to be different. This involves change, trying something new, taking a risk. If you are too busy fearing the unknown, you won’t change. And if you don’t change, you cannot improve. Not in a ‘back to basics’ Alexander technique sense.
So here is another old-fashioned saying for you to think about:-
“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”
When you try out your brand-new Alexander thinking, you don’t know if it’s going to work. You don’t know if you’re going to get ‘wonderful’ or ‘really weird’. But unless you take the risk, you’re never going to find out.
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