Allowing time when there’s too much time

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on November 11, 2023 in Uncategorized

Allowing time, even a macro-second, for a more overall elastic response is a familiar concept for Alexander students and teachers.  We learn to welcome a dynamic pause, even in the face of seeming urgency.  This skill begins with sitting and standing in a lesson and can proceed to all the activities of life.

“I have time” (to quiet, welcome new experience, spring up from the ground) takes on fresh meaning with a long term injury recovery. What I want to happen faster (full resumption of easy mobility) cannot be rushed.  All that is hurried is my mind, and a hurried mind is no help in problem solving.

We can go quickly without hurrying and go slowly without freezing.  There is no special value in a specific pace except for how pace best serves outcome. I have time to allow the pace that effectively serves a dynamic and quiet use of self. I have time not to pre-determine pace.

There are many adjustments required for a long recovery.  Early in injury, all is in chaos, routines and expectations are dashed, and a sense of self in the world is shaken. I wanted to either go faster or go to sleep. But I learned a larger time can be accommodated, a longer view of pace and possibility.

Once I allowed time to plan tasks and transport, previously unconsidered solutions arose.  Urgency became less important than overall co-ordination.

I have time to have time.  Undefined weeks/months of recovery steps yawn before me. Telling myself “I don’t have time for this!” does nothing to help my effective use.  I tighten, grip my limbs, furrow in worry. If, instead, I decide what I want, I can make choices that support that outcome.  My attention prioritizes how to proceed rather than just pushing onward.

I have time to allow full recovery and time to make choices that make full recovery possible.

I have time.


4 legs on wheels

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on November 3, 2023 in Uncategorized

A new injury means, what else, further learning, creative problem solving and extended curiosity.  Why waste a good crisis?

I recently fractured my foot in a quotidian manner. Stuff happens. While pain levels were nearly unnoticeable, distress for inactivity was high. Exploration of the world through thoughtful movement is my dedicated delight.

Medical recommendation for thorough bone healing: a minimum of 6 weeks with no weight bearing on the injured foot.  (Note:  I live in a 3rd floor walk-up and teach in a 2nd floor walk-up).

My primary intention was to safely resume in-person, hands-on teaching, as this engages all of me in a constructive manner.  The intention of safety included how to descend and ascend stairs.

A rolling stool allowed me to have hands available as well as safe indoor movement.  Crawling at home offered another safe option, as long as I allowed a lively, wide, breathing back to spring from my 4 limbs.

To descend and ascend stairs: arms and legs out of entire wide, breathing back as I scoot on my rear end up and down.  Sort of a reverse crawl.

Teaching lessons from a rolling stool has been fun, productive and enlivening overall. A new experience!

I now think of myself as a 4 legged creature on wheels.  From that moving, unfixed perspective, I am less distressed, more hopeful, ever curious and mobile despite injury restrictions.

Our conditions of self don’t have to be ideal for us to remain curious, elastic and thoughtful in activity.  As demands increase, we can rise to meet them with less tension and more curiosity.  This may not speed healing, but the journey holds more interest while healing occurs