I had just taught a great lesson, and what was so great about it was that I was teaching my student how to be her own best teacher; and while teaching her that, I was teaching myself and getting really inspired.
But the really interesting thing occurred to me right AFTER the lesson, when I started wondering why I don’t work with myself – teaching myself the Alexander Technique – in the same way that I teach my students, and with the same kind of disciplined regularity.
That’s when I realized with more clarity than ever that there is a crucial distinction between learning with someone else teaching you, and working alone without a teacher.
So, why is it usually so much harder to teach oneself? Why is it so much easier to do this work with someone else?
The primary reason it’s more difficult is that we need to assume complete responsibility for ourselves when we’re alone. We need to muster up the courage, the desire, and the self-discipline to be both teacher AND “disciple” (student) of oneself. The student in us craves having a teacher telling us what to do and needs that; and the teacher within us needs to accept the directorship of the student, gently guiding the student-self with compassion, understanding, clarity, and strength.
The “self-teacher” needs to take responsibility for the “self-student”, and this is not an easy thing to master! To begin with, the desire and motivation to take on the task of self-teaching-learning needs to be extremely high. This is why people in pain or with major issues can sometimes make the most progress by themselves; they are highly motivated to change.
But what if the motivation to change is not very strong? Then the “self-student” becomes complacent and lazy, and doesn’t make the time to do the work. That’s not good news for the student who has no external teacher, because habit will always be around, waiting to catch us in a moment of mindlessness so that it can take us down where we do not want to go. This is why it’s best to have someone else teach you until you’re really fully “weaned” and ready to take on the big responsibility of all aspects of your own life. (Of course, how often your teacher teaches you is usually up to you.)
Happily, after today’s lesson, I realized that I can make it easier for myself. I realized that in a lesson, the teacher focuses on just a few things at a time, and the student then goes home with just a few things to keep in mind.
Why not do that for myself? Why not do that for YOURself? Why do we think we need to tackle everything at once, and improve everything all together?
In fact, making only one small change DOES change everything else, because everything is connected. Everything else WILL adjust itself. So… I think I can become a better teacher for myself if I only ask one or two things of myself each day… or even every few days… or every week.
What ONE thing can I focus on today, that would be easy for me to remember?
What ONE thing can you teach yourself today? Tell us in the comments box!
*Image courtesy of Supertrooper at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Two FREE E-Courses with expert tips for you
All Musicians: sign up here: http://jenniferrf1_1.gr8.com
String Players: sign up here: https://artoffreedom.leadpages.co/freestringsecourse/
If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
with news and tips for musicians. Use the box to the bottom right!
Please SHARE THIS POST – let’s spread inspiration all over the world together! 🙂