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Quote of the Week 9/19/11

by Ellen on September 20th, 2011

“Dare to let it feel wrong. Take a chance on letting me give you an experience that you don’t think is right. When you walk out of this room you can always go back to what feels right. But right now, you’re allowing both of us the luxury to make a mistake.” ~Judith Leibowitz

I love this quote because it reminds us that it’s okay to make mistakes, to be wrong. I love the idea of daring to be wrong, since so much of our culture revolves around being right. When we start a new job or learn a new skill, we want to be good at it. We don’t want to make a mistake since we’re trying to prove ourselves, and often to people we’ve just met at that. But Ms. Leibowitz’s quote reminds us that an Alexander lesson is a positive and supportive place, where teacher and student can both dare to be as wrong as they like.

In a lesson, there is no such thing as “wrong” or “right,” there is simply “different,” and this judgement-free atmosphere gives us the luxury, as she puts it, to make mistakes without worrying about the consequences. Because what consequences are there in a lesson, really? What’s the worst that could happen? You feel strange. Maybe you fall over because you’re not used to moving a certain way. You bump up against a mental habit you didn’t know you had and find yourself thinking surprising things. In a lesson, all that is okay. You can use the time to sort yourself out, figure out who you are now, and how that might be different from who you were when you walked in. And when the lesson is over it’s okay to go back to your old habits, to do what makes you comfortable. Just give the new experiences room to introduce themselves, and then do with them whatever you wish.

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