Will I ever get used to this particular roller coaster ride?Yesterday in Alexander Technique teacher training I took the right leg of a co-trainee and placed it down on the table. Then I lifted it up and bent her knee to place the leg back on the table. I did it well. I did it smoothly. And right after, I promptly burst into tears. Tom, my trainer asked what the matter was, if anything was wrong. I shook my head no.
Why the tears? Moving a leg is something that for sure will become prosaic and automatic. Why was this time such an emotional release for me? Maybe because I was so thrilled that, petite me, I managed to lift so well a large leg? I cannot do so without being well set up. I just do not have the strength. I would hurt myself pretty quickly if I made an attempt with poor use of self. So it was a real victory for me. I went to the other side and did the same thing with her left leg. It didn’t go as well as this is my weaker side. But it was okay.
I have just started reading Not to ‘Do’ — the account by Fiona Robb of her lessons with Margaret Goldie, taken while the author was in training herself, to become a teacher of the Alexander Technique. This book resonates greatly with me. Here is something Ms. Robb noted that blew me away as I am experiencing exactly this: “When she was speaking about getting out of the chair, she said that I was not to think about it–I was not to think about what the teacher was asking me to do–the key was to let it happen. I realised that I could not do this. I was anxious about it, not believing that anything would happen unless I made it happen, and disturbed on seeing how much effort I was making.”
I read this last passage out to Tom (who had lent me the book) before the class. So we had an impromptu, serious discussion about all this. Now he has said the same thing to me many, many times with different words. I have read similar statements by Walter Carrington and by Patrick Macdonald. A big click happened when I read this particular passage. Yesterday, during my chair turns, I tried to just let it happen. I tried not to think about it. I tried to put my anxiety aside. I was pretty successful.
So all in all I had a pretty amazing class. Tom kept congratulating me. I shrugged it off (“whatever…”) as I was trying to hide how thrilled I was. So I gave him a little smile. And then I went off to go shopping…an attempt to regularize my day. While I did my stuff, I was very conscious of trying to go up with every step I took.