How much, and how often, do you think about the things that you’re doing?
Do you, for example, think about the act of walking as you go to work or to the shops? Or are you resolutely thinking about something else, and plugged into an iPod into the bargain?
Modern life seems to encourage us to keep motoring on to the next thing. And if, as FM Alexander notes you and I are like the vast majority of people, doing pretty much the same things each day, and thinking pretty much the same thoughts, it is very tempting to believe that we don’t need to think.* I mean, we know how to walk – don’t we?
But part of the reason why we have troubles with overdoing muscular effort, or just using the wrong muscles, in so many activities is that we’ve never really sat down and thought about what that activity actually requires.
What do you actually need to do to type on a keyboard? Use a mouse? Play a piano? Raise a teacup to your lips? Do you know?
For the next week, I want you to play and experiment. Pick an activity – something simple.
Spend a little bit of time each day thinking about that activity.
- What do you actually need to do to carry out that activity?
- Do you know what muscles or joints might be involved?
- Does what you need to do change depending n external circumstances (different keyboard, different mug, etc)?
Spend just five minutes a day thinking about the activity you’ve chosen. By the end of the week, I’m hoping that you’ll have formed a clear idea of what that activity actually involves. You may even have started checking that against the reality of what you actually do.
Give it a go. Play. Experiment. If you have time, email and let me know the results, or ask me a question if you need to. Because if you give it a go, and if FM is right, you’ll have just begun the first step in creating a new kind of versatility and control over your mind and body. And that sounds like a pretty good thing to have.
* FM Alexander, Man’s Supreme Inheritance in the IRDEAT complete edition, p.65.
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