In an online course I signed up for on “Clearing” both practical and psychological clutter, the author instructed that “this is more about practicing how-to ‘not do’ in order to allow the emotional stuckness and resisting patterns (that are encoded in the clutter) to soften, and bubble up, and release.” She goes on to discuss how the reactive part of the brain needs to disengage for lasting change to occur, and to empathize with the slow/repetitive nature of the small shifts/work she encourages daily.
How coincidental this invitation should coincide with my AT practice and intent to work with others in this manner!
In work with my students this month I have noticed two important shifts. First, I am taking more time to sense how they are in their bodies and inviting them to do the same vs. offering suggestions without their contextual awareness. I am both quite sensitive but also analytical and directive, and most of my lessons are less than 30 minutes long. Taking time for AT in addition to clarinet study is challenging, but sometimes it really is the priority. Slowing down to notice and feel with students nets good results where their incorporation of new ideas and organization is concerned, and takes less time than I think it might. Words like “allow”, “consider”, “explore”, and “let” are becoming more commonplace in my communication with them. I’m encouraging small shifts to be revisited during the lesson, and for the student to follow through in home practice or other situations using FM Alexander’s directions.
I am grateful for the invitation of Shawn Copeland to work with him at our first meeting – Deb Chodacki and I were just talking this week about his intuitiveness and patience in AT work and in general. It is nice to be reminded there is time for this work going forward and a slow drip approach is ok: I look forward to exploring additional training options after getting one son off to college in the fall!