COVID-19 update: Since our studio is directly out of our home & run by the two of us, we are able to safely create & fulfill your orders.

only itself...

Posted by on

Stories of the ocean are comforting to me right now. impartial reflection of what is… with an ebb and flow that is governed by the moon.

Today I was prickly – this is a word we use around here instead of irritable, cranky, irksome, or pissy. Kind of like a scratch from a cactus when you bump up against it. No lasting damage, but immediately annoying.

So. I was prickly. Woke up that way.

Every now and then when this happens it’s tempting to blame it on too much salt, not enough sleep, to give in to the drama and assume, Well – that is just how the day is going to go

Usually though, it’s far more interesting to say, I’m feeling this way right now, but I like to think I have a choice around the matter…

Unwilling to give over my entire day, I opted for the latter.

It didn’t quite work as I’d planned. Mainly because of relentless honesty, continual introspection, and irrefutable science.

This is what is required of me as I continue my long journey of mastering a practice that is about the how of doing

It’s not enough to integrate the technique into my own living, I have to embody it at every moment when teaching… because if I don’t, the information I communicate is counter to my intent.

And that matters.

The process towards a certification is taking far longer than I assumed it would, and yet… the longer a technique or belief is tested, through diverse circumstances and varying levels of difficulty, less is known and more is understood. It's the way of a life long learner. 

Two complicated hip surgeries, three moves across the country, a change of name and a new career, the beginning of a new company, all during the midst of a partner’s malicious divorce process… and now a global pandemic… have offered me ample opportunity to test the how of doing anything with ease, authenticity, and humor. 

Brian has graciously agreed to be my student as my mentor observes via video. After last week’s lesson, it became clear that it was time for me to set aside a few words I’d grown rather accustomed to… 

teach, coach, help, focus

These are powerful words that do good in the world. Ones I've stood by whole life - proud to use. But a word is more than its dictionary-approved meaning. It holds personal associations. Over time, a wonderful word can become burdened by experience, causing unintended responses not only when it’s spoken or heard, but even when it’s thought...

It’s the power of language. And I've found in my training of this particular technique that the way we talk to ourselves and the words we use with ourselves and with one another have consequences in how our bodies (spirits/minds/whole self) respond. 

I’ve already challenged many words in my vocabulary these past few years, opting to either put them out with the recycling or in the boot tray by the door – there if I want them, but completely out of the way if I don’t… should, job, family, right, wrong, agree to disagree, compromise, make space for, truth

A lot of my beliefs, concepts, and cultural definitions have been challenged in this process and it's refreshing to know how elastic vocabulary is, that there is an ebb and flow to meaning and perspective, and that I get to choose my words… 

Words have always been my way into and out, my way through... and so having the agency to let some go and embrace new ones is a refreshing challenge.

My last lesson revealed that I was fully embodying the technique until the moment I stepped in to teach… to help… to coach… After a week of unraveling why this suddenly unearthed itself and how I might shift language and my perceptions, I was ready to play with some new ideas in today's lesson…

It worked. Giving up these well-meaning words that had eroded over time offered an immediate shift… taking me to a new level of understanding not just of the technique, but of larger concepts… 

Redefining how we can be together when we have different pieces of information and are at different sensitivities of awareness...

What it means that nothing is ever wrong or in need of fixing in a lesson...

The power language holds in shared spaces - especially from those that are guiding... 

It was wonderful.

And a reminder that a dedicated practice is very much like the sea... it meets you where you are. Always. It reflects back a reality that is unbiased, momentary and true. 

There is deep comfort in that, even when it's something I don't always want to see... 

always in motion (and in deep gratitude for big nature), 


p.s. as asked in a comment below, it's the Alexander Technique - via Alexander Technique International - with Cathy Madden as my mentor - I was introduced to her work in 1995 in the MFA professional actor training at the University of Washington, along with the work of Robyn Hunt and Steve Pearson - influenced by Tadashi Suzuki and Shogo Ohta, Japanese directors/artists- it's all of the same vein... aesthetic and principle that has been the foundation of my work with body, text, and voice, both professionally and personally

← Older Post Newer Post →


  • great joy received from your message

    Donna on
  • Intriguing and satisfying prose. Am humbled when writer’s words linger on . . . May I inquire what is the certification and/or process you’re pursuing?

    Linda on
  • your thoughts bring such peace…and ideas…thank you.

    melinda w sowder on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published