My students often mention how difficult it can be to calm the mind. They talk about mind-clutter, a jumble of thoughts racing around in the mind, and an inability to stop this.
When the mind is out of control, the body reflects its chaos. Muscles are stimulated into excess tension, and negative thought-patterns and moods are a likely result. The flight-fight-freeze (startle pattern) is also involved, and it can be hard to find a way out.
Have you ever experienced this? Maybe when you’re preparing for an audition, competition, or performance, which is when you know you really need to calm down and relax?
Alexander Technique is an excellent solution, but sometimes introducing Alexander Technique directions into your mind can seem like just adding more thoughts into the chaos, and it can start to get overwhelming.
When my students tell me about this, I like to compare the mind to a pond or a lake. When our thoughts are chaotic, racing, and unorganized, it’s like a rainstorm scattering the water and making a mess.
We can’t make the weather change, but can you imagine waiting for the storm to die down as you watch it? That’s easy. Eventually, the wind WILL begin to calm as you watch it, and the rain will slow to a drizzle… until the sun starts to come out and only a few little clouds pass by, releasing a few nourishing drops into the fields now and then.
Once the rain and wind have stopped, the pond lies perfectly still. All of this – the storm and the calm – is perfectly natural. Just watch it and wait for the calm. Don’t react, just observe. Don’t need it to stop right away, just be patient and notice how it changes, sometimes very subtly.
Now what happens if you drop one little pebble into a quiet pond? What happens if you drop one little thought into your mind?
A ripple effect happens, which reaches every part of the pond – every part of your body. One simple idea, clearly thought, is very powerful. No need to try to concentrate on many things at once.
A few years ago, I wrote a powerful blogpost on experiencing this process on my old Alexander Technique blog. I think of it often, so I’m going to copy it for you here in Mind-Clutter Part 2 – my next blogpost (subscribe to my blog in the right sidebar to make sure you don’t miss it). Enjoy!
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