Patience is not one of my virtues, at least in terms of patience with myself. I can be endlessly patient with my students as they learn the skills of dynamic non-interference, thinking with the whole self, and new co-ordination. With my own self, and particularly with a long and arduous recovery, my impatience tempts end-gaining, frustration and despair. I am wired for speed and mobility, not for the slug-paced slog of recovery from a serious injury.
My daily graphs of pain, mobility, flexion, mood and sleep are indicating, despite my rattling impatience, that the trends spell progress. Evidence in being able to walk to work, with a frustratingly slow pace and much care, also indicates progress. Previous to injury, I walked to work easily in 12 minutes. Currently, the walk plods along requiring about 40 minutes. Impatience demonstrates itself with a sense of narrowing myself and a general pulling down. Thinking my Alexander directions changes my experience to one of appreciating that I couldn’t walk at all a few months ago. For some moments, I even enjoy my experience, which is a rare gift these days.
Incremental progress in recovery does add up eventually (hear my impatience?) and tips over into the proverbial corner to increased function and mobility. Learning the Alexander Technique involves incremental progress that also tips over into a new sense of conscious control of the self. After 22 years of teaching the Alexander Technique, I guess I should know about patience.