Bringing Balance to Your Life

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Reasoned Considerations

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A Ponder: Tidy up the present, and you’ll be ready for whatever the future throws at you.

By March 30th 2024

Quote by Bannister
Quote Bannister: Tidy up the present, and you’ll be ready for whatever the future throws at you.

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Keep it simple: where more is complication and less is simplicity (January 2024)

A simple beach
Illustration: Keep it simple!

Let’s face it: in the face of demand, we tend to add ‘more’. We concentrate more, we tense more, we try harder and so on.

Next time you ask yourself to concentrate, to concentrate more or to try harder, observe yourself. What is happening? What have you added to your behaviour? When you request others to concentrate, to concentrate more or to try harder, ow does their behaviour change? Have they added anything? Mmmm….!

Same illogical logic

Is this because we think and believe that more of the same behaviour, behaviour that obviously was not satisfactory either to us or to others, will yield a better outcome?

Now, if some behaviour did not work with less, why would it work and yield more with more of the same? Mmmm….! Strange logic, isn’t it?

Why would repeating more of the same help???

Even so, I can recognize myself here and maybe so do you!

Deciding to change

Not repeating more of the same will entail making a decision to change. Indeed, change is a decision. It is a moment in time, i.e. it is as quick as snapping our fingers.

Now, what might not be so quick is the length of time it might take us to get to the moment (which is quick) when we decide to change….

What I want you to know, is if you're going to have a breakthrough, when someone says it took 10 years to make a change, what you really find out, is that the change happened in a moment. It took you 10 years to get to the moment to say: 'Never again. I quit. Let's begin. I love you. I do. It's over.' (Tony Robbin)

I can recognize myself here as well, can you?

So, should we accept that our behaviour is illogical – and unreasoned –, wouldn’t it make sense to decide to change and avoid creating for ourselves complicated behaviours and ending with complications as we continue piling our behaviour(s) up?

Life experience has shown us we find it difficult to deal with too much… Do any of these ring a bell? Too stressed, too tense, too depressed, and so on?

We can harrumph all we want, and we do and we will. However, such deciding to change is down to us and only us. We are in charge.

Of course, we can get help on the way: we can read books, articles, blogs and we can work with someone.

Simplifying to move forward

Life is complex; our body is a wonder of simple complexity. Does all of the above have to be complex/complicated though?

Aren’t we the one complicating all of the above? If we are – and I am – we can learn how to change how we react to life’s events.

By changing our movement behaviours and by not piling more complications on ourselves – by stopping our interferences -, we bring simplicity into our lives.

When we stop piling up complications – i.e. our behaviour/movement reactions to anything – we simplify the way we react, we bring more freedom into our life at a mental and physical level.

In our own time – as it never is otherwise -, why not go a step further and do not let ourself be attached to ‘good and best results’. We might surprise ourselves at the outcomes of our patient, steady and industrious process. This will take time. And remember:

This may not be today, tomorrow, or the next day, but it will be (…)(FM Alexander)

Remember as well that though simple it is, easy it might not be.

More = complication, less = simplicity
More = complicated, less = simple

Showering and some of its challengs (February 2024)

picture of a shower
Illustration: Showering!

Do find yourself faced with the monumental idea of showering?

Are these your thoughts about showering?

Will I be able to shower? Will I manage to reach the shower head? Will I manage to reach the power unit to turn the shower on or off? It’s going to hurt but here we go.

When showering is one of many hurdles/Solutions that may be questionable

Showering is an everyday activity. Does it have to be one or one of the many hurdles you find yourself facing throughout your day? Sometimes it will and sometimes it may not have to be so.

The latter is true if you do not have an injury AND if it is one or several behaviours of yours that create(s) your issue(s).

Your problem will very likely lead you to consider some solutions such as: a)I could use a small stool in the shower; b)I could get out of the shower and turn it off at the mains.

Considering the first one immediately raises a few red flags as far as health and safety is concerned. The second one will work; it is, however, not very practical and the shower power unit will probably disagree with such a course of action in the long run.

I am stuck!

Let’s have a look today at a Wellbeing Improver who experiences pain in her right "shoulder" (i.e. her gleno-humeral joint) and can just about reach to put the shower on; this is an activity she cannot carry out with her left arm.

She concluded the telling of her everyday ordeal with “I am stuck”.

From being stuck to different ideas

We all find ourselves stuck several times a week. If we are the ones creating part or all of our problem, according to Albert Einstein

We cannot solve problems by thinking in the same way as when we create them.

This would entail thinking in a different way and, hence, changing something.

One of the first things that Wellbeing Improver mentioned was that she did not stick her chin up and put her head back, which was true.

My question was: why don’t you want to put your head back?

The indecisive answer was: it’s not the right thing to do?

So, the next question was: what is ‘right’ according to YOU?

The following next question was: “it is not the ‘right’ thing to do for whom?”

The answer was: ah, I made an assumption….

Further interaction

Shaking her ideas and working with a new realization, Wellbeing Improver was able to move her neck differently and incrementally felt the muscles of her neck relax.

She was also able to notice more movement in the whole neck.

Did our interaction change anything?

Wellbeing Improver noticed the following after our work together:

Her movement was clearly different in the activity of reaching for the shower head

Her movement was more fluid

She was able to reach quite high without being on her toes

It was almost like doing a lazy movement

And this is what she reported the following day:

Pain free showering - what bliss!! Thank you for the work we did, I really appreciate your kindness.

Making more time to have more time (March 2024)

Illustration: let's make time to have more time

In our busy lives we do not always put time aside to look after ourselves and after our well-being. Not having enough time may also be relative as we may – at times – create our businesss for… ( fill in the blank) whatever reason. As we are all aware of, this is neither a synonym nor a condition of efficiency and effectiveness.

The above also translates into how we live our movements in whatever activity we are performing. Efficiency and effectiveness require slowing down a bit but not in a any way anyone would notice if this is what you may be concerned about.

Pressed for time

How to find more time to move when we are constantly pressed for time? The phrase “pressed for time” provides a clue. When “pressed for time” we tend to do too many things at one single time.

It’s not a recipe for disaster and it gets us moving as we can all testify. However, is this the most efficient and effective way we could move? Are we free in our movements? Are we moving easily?

3 options to make time

Starting with a thought

So first thing first and the sentence: the poise of the head in relation with the body in movement is the key to freedom and ease of motion might have come to mind. Why not start here, with this thought, before going into our daily activities and see what this does? As a shepherd told me recently, whenever I have to climb up or down a bank with an animal, I think of the poise of my head and everything is easier even though I am no longer 20.

Thinking how to go about anything

Second, let’s not wing it or hoof it! Rather than ‘get into it’, let’s stop and think about how we are going to go about our activity. Indeed, the how will impact the quality of our movements even though it might not ‘solve’ everything at once. For example, a well-being Improver stated that it makes a difference to realize that she is walking with her legs and not her lower back. And it would, don’t you think?

Simply put,

thinking of performing an action shows up in the brain as if the action had actually been performed. (Roberts)
Separating activities

Third, let’s not conflate activities that do not need to be; let’s separate them. In a talking activity, for example, we can think and talk on the hoof. Or we can tease thinking and talking apart. When doing so, we give ourselves the time to think about what we want to say in response to something and THEN we can say it. In a way, this amounts to two activities: a) thinking what we want to say and then b) saying what we want to say. Proceeding in such a way gives us more poise, have us talk at a slower rate (which is good for people listening to us), gives us time to articulate what we want to say.

Possible positive outcomes

When we do this, when we do not ‘mush’ things, we have the very nice impression that we have more time to perform our activities. They also very often are freer and easier and more controlled, which goes a long way into use feeling that we are NOT, ‘pressed for time’. We move with a different rhythm and very likely do not waste so much energy. It could be interesting to check then whether we are “doing less” and whether we are less tired at the end of our day. Could we also be calmer?

You might also be interested in:

Merry dancing with more and less and less and more (December 2022)

Quote by Andreani (December 2022)

Everyday life

An Everyday Activity: Walking according to two Wellbeing Improvers (Jamuary 2024)

Illustration: People walking
Illustration: People walking!

Today, we are going to have a look at how two Wellbeing Improvers go about walking.

First Wellbeing Improver

Our first Wellbeing Improver is a teenager who wants to explore walking as she tires when she walks for a long time and ends up with back pains.

After walking to show us how she walks, Wellbeing Improver 1 stated that her “walk was normal”. This is congruent with the fact that whatever activity and however we perform said activity on a regular basis becomes familiar, correct and our norm – and very likely only ours.

Working with Wellbeing Improver 1 brought forward an interesting idea. She mentioned at some point that “her torso felt like a cage” and, while she was saying this, we could see that she was holding her breath. I put forward the idea that the rib cage moves. Wellbeing Improver knew her rib cage moved and was not fixed. However, saying it aloud, acknowledging it, and experiencing movement in her torso brought about a different way of breathing.

At the end of our session, when Wellbeing Improver 1 performed her activity once more: she noticed that her walk was more agreeable, 'a bit like when you come back from school and lie down on your bed and it feels good', 'it was less rigid, there was more flexibility'.

The observers noticed her stride was bigger and more fluid. Her walk was calmer, and she was calmer as well.

Second Wellbeing Improver

Wellbeing Improver 2 wanted to investigate walking as it's an activity he performs a lot.

The difference between his first and last walk was stunning. To start with, he walked head first, he walked in a jerky way, his legs did not go backwards, his arms were away from his body. While talking about what walking means for Wellbeing Improver. we discovered it mainly involved bending the shoulders and buttocks and that the joints involved the most were the ankles. We went over some anatomy facts and established his shoulders and buttocks were not involved as much as he thought in walking.

When asked to walk again and to the mirth of the observers, Wellbeing Improver could not move to start with as he was moving far less his shoulders forward: he was not lifting his feet and was shuffling and appeared seated while walking.

We did some more work together and when he waked at the end of our interaction he was no longer making little steps, he was more relaxed, he looked taller, he was not going forward while walking, his walk was easier and less difficult.

What was noticeable for both Wellbeing Improvers?

After both interactions, each Wellbeing Improvers demonstrated a more coordinated walk once they considered some other idea.

Though the head, neck and trunk (i.e. the body) does move, in the activity of walking, the body goes along for the ride and is carried by the lower limbs. Stopping something in the head/neck and or trunk had a positive outcome on the walking of both Wellbeing Improvers.

In both cases, there was less involved in the walking: the activity was simpler.

The Other End of the Lorgnette: Seeing Things Differently

February 2024

seeing things differently
Illustration 21 of seeing things differently


January 2024

Quote by Birger
Quote by Birger: The old path never grows old...

February 2024

Quote by Roberts
Quote Roberts: Thinking of performing an action shows up in the brain.

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Man's Supreme Inheritance, Alexander, FM [1910] 1996, Sixth edition reprinted with minor corrections December 2002, Mouritz.
This page was last modified on Mar 30 2024 9:52am