…the true self if always in motion like music, a river of life, changing, moving, failing, suffering, learning, shining. – Brenda Ueland
Over the past six months I have been working with two friends on a series of events. One of those friends, Sarah Abell, is a relationship coach, author and journalist.
One of the many benefits of working with Sarah is that she is a great writer. She takes my stumbling attempts at the copy we need to promote our events and turns them into elegant, flowing words that create a mood and convey what we want to share with our clients beautifully.
She has also come up with some wonderful names for our offerings.
Our next event is called “True You Masterclass”.
When she made the suggestion, I liked it, approved it, and moved on with all the other tasks that needed to be done to make the workshop happen.
One day I went downstairs and saw the postcards we had printed to promote the event. And I remembered: For many years, when people asked me why I studied the ITM Alexander Technique, why I loved it so much and why I was willing to travel halfway around the world to have ITM lessons I would say:
“I love it because when I have lessons I feel like I become more of myself”.
I would get blank stares. And over time I stopped talking about it quite so much. I never included it in my copy to promote courses or classes. It seemed too vague, too airy fairy.
For over twenty years I have watched what happens when people stop moving in ways that don’t serve them.
In a very simple, practical way, when people get clear on the movements they actually need to make in order to sit, walk, talk, miraculous changes happen.
Almost without exception what emerges is peace, clarity and comfort. People often report loosing a feeling of “self consciousness”. They claim to feel more connected to the other people in the room. They delight at how much easier and enjoyable even the simple tasks of daily life can be. When I am teaching in a group of beginners a comment that comes up often is that the person having the lesson starts to glow.
This has led me to believe that our “true self” is something wonderful. We are all inherently loving, compassionate, creative, intelligent and joyful. And perhaps all we need to “do” is to stop doing the stuff that gets in the way of expressing that truth.
I think this is partly what F.M Alexander meant when he said that the Alexander Technique is about realising all of our potential.
People like Sarah are facilitating a cultural conversation about “authenticity”. She comes from a different perspective then our ITM classes where our focus is on thinking and movement.
Sarah explores how we can be true to ourselves in our relationships.
Her life story gave her a heartbreaking reason to pursue that interest. It comes from a deep place of wanting to connect with other human beings. She has had the courage and conviction to pursue that need and share what she has learned with others. That too, seems to be a hallmark of our “true self”: when we tap into what is true for us and commit to that truth, we can more easily share and connect with others.
Sarah is a shining example of how we can find meaning and purpose by facing the most painful circumstances of our life with honesty and clarity.
The fact that as a culture we are talking and thinking about authenticity is significant. I think many of us are wanting to be more of our “true selves”. And I think their are many wonderful process out there to support us in that quest.
In our workshop we will be looking at how to express more of your true self through the way you dress, the way you move and the way you relate to others. But really, it is a perspective you can take on any part of your life.
So I feel things have come full circle for me. That I have moved from blank stares to a colleague suggesting the name “True You Masterclass” as a way to describe the work I offer.
And I might start using it more myself again to talk about what I do.