When you are faced with a problem, it seems obvious to seek help to solve it. If your problem is a broken leg, for example, you would go to the hospital. If your problem is a difficulty in speaking French, you go to a teacher and have lessons.
But what if the thing that’s bugging you isn’t as clear-cut as that? What if you’ve tried all kinds of doctors, therapists, teachers and experts, and nothing really helped? What if your problem isn’t medical, and it isn’t a lack of knowledge. What if it is somethiing else?
Sometimes, we need to take a deep breath and acknowledge the hidden problem that lies at the heart of our difficulties: that we may ourselves, on some level, be the person holding us back.
This is at the heart of my own story. When I began to experience discomfort in my arms when I used the computer or played music, I followed all the obvious routes. I went to the GP, the specialist, the physio, the osteopath… They couldn’t find anything medically wrong with me, and none of them were able to offer lasting relief.
So I tried fancy office chairs, ergonomic computer keyboards, spongy mouse pads… They didn’t really help, either. And at the back of my mind was the lingering thought that the problems I was experiencing were originating closer to home. I began to suspect that my problem wasn’t so much what I was doing, as the way I was doing it.
It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it
My experience, and that of many of my students, is that the way we go about our daily activities can sometimes get us into trouble. We use too much effort, or we put effort into the wrong places. Sometimes we know we’re doing it, but often we don’t. And either way, it can seem practically impossible to stop.