Quiet and Height

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on February 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Although I can’t yet admit to being grateful in any way for the serious injury that has required so much attention, time, endurance and resilience, I am recognizing positive outcomes.  Being forced to relative stillness has resulted in hearing my own internal noise, and thus to a new skill-set in requesting quiet in an Alexander fashion.

Before injury, I ran most mornings to hear my own noise and to disperse that chatter into motion.  I also ran to hear the morning birdsongs, to view trees and foliage through the seasons, and to allow a creative approach to my teaching day.  Running balanced my emotional levels and resulted in a calm sense of well-being.  Movement provided stillness.

It has been a deeply challenging adjustment to remain emotionally balanced during a year of high pain levels and dramatically reduced mobility.  All of my previous coping skills were removed, and I was left with my own noise, as well as with extreme pain and frustrating mobility limitations.

Now I am seeing how this experience has presented an incredible opportunity to respond to my internal chatter with a newly urgent and continuous request for quiet.  This has not only augmented my teaching skills, but also made me far more patient and tolerant of students who struggle with doing too much, chattering internally, and coping with the challenges that pain and injury bring to daily life.  I know the struggle experientially now, and have a hard won compassion.

I went for my annual physical exam this week.  I was thrilled and surprised that my height had increased by half an inch! My PT, Heidi, says that this height increase is due to an expansion and lengthening in my back.  So, with all the good work I am doing to recover, old habits existent previous to injury have relinquished their grip.  Recovery work has resulted  in an overall improvement in springing up from the ground, allowing lengthening and widening.

I have been forced into quieting and learned new coping skills.  Recovery from injury has resulted in old structural patterns shifting to a more elastic mode.  With the help of many people, and the skills of the Alexander Technique, I have made the best of a deeply difficult year.  I can’t run (yet) , but I can walk, and I have new tools to quiet for further possibilities.