This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Tennis, is published in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the tennis technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
It is my observation that most of us live by the beliefs we acquired as children, and that we rely totally on the habits we’ve applied to mastering activities.
It is also my observation as an Alexander Technique teacher that most of us do not change these beliefs and habits unless they are causing problems in our lives – physical pain or emotional pain in relationships or in making a living.
What is the purpose of these habits and beliefs?
They are ingrained programmed responses for interpersonal interaction, and they allow us to do daily and specialized activities on automatic pilot.
The positive side to this is we interact or do an activity with very swift responses, so we don’t have to stop and figure out how to walk or ride a bicycle or play an instrument or respond to someone being cruel to us.
What is the negative side of being on automatic pilot in our interpersonal encounters or when we run or sing?
IF WE ARE PRIMED IN OUR INTERPERSONAL RESPONSES TO DEFAULT TO DEFENDING OURSELVES, THEN WE MAY FIND OURSELVES ATTACKING OTHERS ALL OF THE TIME, EVEN WHEN THEY’RE NOT ATTACKING US. IF WE USE AN ESTABLISHED RUNNING OR PIANO TECHNIQUE THAT DOES DAMAGE TO OUR BODIES, THEN WE’RE GETTING THE ACTIVITY DONE BUT DAMAGING THE BODY.
If our habits and beliefs cause ourselves and others emotional and/or physical pain, then like Original Sin, we nave no choice but to make a mess of our relationships, our activities, and our relationship to ourselves.
Are these destructive beliefs and habits easy to change?
Before you can change them, you have to become aware of them. My sense is that most people feel that how their relationships and their sport and their instrument playing techniques and their professions are going is how they should go. THAT’S LIFE, AND IT MAY NOT BE PRETTY, BUT IT’S REALITY, GOOD AND BAD.
So, our habits and beliefs whether they work or not, make going through the day very automatic and thoughtless, and EASY and predictable.
I’m using easy here in a way most people don’t define it.
If you play a violin with ease, it means to most people it is easy to play, that you can play the great repertoire with physical ease and facility.
But what about THIS definition of something being easy: Whatever it is you’re doing, whether you’re playing golf or talking to someone being cruel to you, you play golf or defend yourself on automatic pilot.
ISN’T DOING WHATEVER ON AUTOMATIC PILOT BY DEFINITION EASY, EVEN IF YOU’RE EMOTIONALLY OR PHYSICALLY SUFFERING FOR YOUR HABITS AND RESPONSES?
This I believe is why most people rarely go through transformational change in their beliefs and habits, no matter how destructive their programmed choices are.
What you have always done is easy and automatic and familiar, and has defined who you are to yourself and others.
If you decide to truly transform your interpersonal interactions, your beliefs about yourself, or your soccer or cello technique, then you have to accept life is going to be a bitch for a while as you choose to stop and choose a different way to do things or think/feel about yourself.
Can it be done? This is what this essay has been leading up to.
I know from personal experience in daily activities and posture and on the classical guitar it can be done. I DID IT WITH THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE.
Why was I able to change my general posture and general way of doing things and specific guitar technique with relative ease? Because these activities can be compartmentalized enough to not change my original beliefs.
Can we choose to fully replace original beliefs, the pre-verbal and just after learning a language beliefs, that we unconsciously choose to live our lives by on automatic pilot 24/7 for the rest of our lives?
I’m in the middle of asking myself that question and haven’t answered it.
Here’s where I am.
I am deeply aware of the choices I have made in my past about how I think/feel about myself, and how I respond to others. I am very aware of how poorly these beliefs’ responses have served me, but when push comes to shove, I still rely on them now. They seem to DO me, and when they do, I feel helpless. And afterwards I wonder what the hell just happened? I know better!
It is so so darn easy for me to defend myself (attack), because isn’t defending oneself an act of fighting for myself, an act of self love?
When you are primed 24/7 to defend yourself, you are teaching others you are always on the attack, so they preemptively attack you, and you get to justify your autopilot response.
So, I’m still nibbling away at the edges of the beliefs I’ve lived my interpersonal life by.
I have radically changed my spiritual beliefs, but these spiritual beliefs have not yet transformed my interpersonal interactions with myself and others in my daily life.
A huge part of my resistance to emotional transformation has to be a lifetime of investment in what I chose to believe about interacting with myself and others. I’ve come to believe that we’re all inherently good, all part of God, no matter how we act.
(This means everything I used to believe is not true! This is a frightening and incredibly exciting place to be.)
My new spiritual beliefs are all well and good when I’m by myself, but the moment I interact with others, since I’m automatically below consciousness primed to defend myself by attacking, I attack. This very old way of seeing others as potential enemies got me to this point alive, so it has more power than the Truth of God.
Can I return to Who I Am? Of course I can, but can I NOW?
Of course I can.
(to be continued)