In my current dedication to effecting release of Chai, Bamboo and Watoto from dreary zoo conditions to much happier elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, I am doing everything possible from the means-whereby principle. As previously stated, the urgency for the elephants is great and can easily involve end-gaining. I want them released NOW if not sooner. How about today already?
Frustration, dismay, anger at the Zoo’s arrogance and callous disregard of the elephant’s misery could easily derail attending to the means-whereby. Meanwhile, the elephants suffer, and being effective in assisting their release has to be my priority. My anger won’t make a positive difference. The zoo doesn’t care about my anger, and the elephants only want freedom and ease in their lives.
Thus, I gave a benefit day of teaching. All students wrote their checks to the elephant campaign. My students were extraordinarily generous, and I had the wonderful opportunity to teach for a larger outcome. I encourage all Alexander teachers to consider giving a benefit day of teaching for whatever organization speaks to you as worthy of your time and energy. It is truly a win-win scenario.
Applying the means-whereby to a major campaign necessitates good use on many levels. Questions for myself include: how can I best offer my skills and interests to achieve the goal in mind? How can I use my current instrument of self for best outcome? Can I improve the use of my self to make the best contribution?
Given that the facts and details concerning the elephants cause me great emotional distress, how can I prioritize my response to be most effective? And, how do I help create conditions overall for successful outcome?
This is not about me, this is about finding the as yet unknown means-whereby for successful outcome to intention. The use of the self in a comprehensive campaign requires humility, willingness to learn, working with like minded others, acceptance of potential failure, attention to effective process, and a dedication to dynamically allowing new means to reveal themselves.
Just as in an Alexander lesson, in which the student learns a new and effortless response to the stimulus of being moved in and out of the chair, so in a larger context I am learning to allow dynamic effortlessness, surprising means, and a willingness to allow with intention and attention. I am learning the means of contribution, the limits of my urgency, and the conditions required for accomplishing desired outcome of elephant release from zoo to sanctuary.