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Quote of the Month: April 2016

by Ellen on March 31st, 2016

“Even though [the student] could see that she looked better and understood that improved body use would improve her functioning, she was afraid of giving up a part of herself, however ‘negative.’”

~The Alexander Technique, by Judith Leibowitz and Bill Connington

Making change can be a very vulnerable experience in a lot of ways. Our conceptions of ‘self’ are based on habit and a feeling of normalcy, and anything other than that habit can often feel uncomfortable and somehow ‘not you.’ To make lasting changes, we have to travel from the familiar to the unknown, and most of us harbor at least a little bit of fear of the unknown. Stripping away layers of strongly-reinforced habits can leave us feeling scared, alone, and adrift, which can make us want to cling desperately to the habit out of a desire to feel like we at least know who we are. Add in to this our desire to be right and fear of being wrong, and moving into the unknown feels like an insurmountable terror. Better to stick with what we know of as our ‘self,’ even if that’s not the best place to be in the long run. And it is true that making these lasting changes requires giving up a piece of our conception of ‘self,’ and feeling like you have no idea who you are for a while. And yes, making change is going to result in a change in how you view yourself. But chances are, you’ll come out at the end feeling much happier with the newer you.

One of my favorite books about AT is called “Dare to be Wrong.” I love that phrase because it implies that there’s a strength in having no idea what you’re doing. Being wrong is a gutsy decision, one that requires taking the plunge and going for it regardless of how scared it might make you feel. So this month, let’s all play with the idea of daring to be wrong. Go further. Fail spectacularly. What’s the worst that could happen? Challenge yourself – I’ll do the same!

Forward and Up! is a Pittsburgh-based private practice offering quality instruction in the Alexander Technique in a positive and supportive environment.

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