Weird with Freda “Getting ready for something that isn’t going to happen”


The Alexander Technique is one way in which to claim more conscious choice over our destiny, by practicing awareness of our thought and movement patterns.


It’s Thursday morning with Freda.

“How are you this morning?”
“I feel half asleep.”
“Let’s go for a little zing”

My sense for today is to find ways to enliven whilst alleviating tension.

(On the theme of weird…. I have been working with a young woman, who in moments of unfamiliar, says “Weird!”

I like this.
We celebrate moments of weird.

Originally it derives from an expression of far deeper meaning and potential.

Power to control fate …. from the old English…. “wyrd”. Thanks to my colleague, Kirsten Harris for bringing this too my attention.

Back to Freda.

I share these thoughts with her and she enjoys the thought of being thoroughly “weird”! 

I place a folded Blanket behind back…. Her eyes widen.

“On a scale of 0-10 how weird is this?”
Customary long pause.

“Why is that such a difficult question to answer?”  she mock-grumbles.
Her face creases and crumples with determination.

“About a 4”

I’m happy with 4
I don’t want extremes of anything as these could be disruptive for her frail frame and uncertain balance.

In a previous session she had such a big shift and release of muscular  tension that when she stood up, she was momentarily off balance.

She continues.
“Yesterday, on a scale of 0-10, I was functioning at about level 0-2
I didn’t know what day it was when I woke up. I was expecting my carer to help me dress, a caring staff member to review my care and I thought you were coming too”.

“I was busy getting ready for something that wasn’t going to happen!”

The pressure to drive forwards and at the other end of the scale, the temptation to give in and collapse.
The notion that we are pulled into one form or another of holding as a consequence of either extreme.
That with the Alexander technique, we aspire to a peaceful vitality that is not discharging energy in constant readiness for something that is not going to happen, but which is quietly poised and alert for each moment as it arises.

So much of drive is propelled by fear.
Fear of not having enough…. of missing the boat…. of being wrong….
in a fast moving world the pressure to keep up is hard to resist.
The understandable alternative is to become heavy with hopelessness and collapse into “what is the point?”

Each of these extremes, over a period of time…. drive and collapse…..brings its own noticeable mould…. shapes our form to the extent that it can slip, unnoticed, beneath the radar.
We accommodate at the expense of our energy, balance and coordination.
Patterns of thought that correspond with gesture.

Freda and I talk about the effect of getting ready for something that isn’t going to happen….. how it effects the quality of being from moment to moment.
“It wasn’t very nice”

We consider that perhaps there is a restful place of equilibrium between drive and collapse that is at peace and yet vital.

For some reason, talking with her about drive and collapse, awareness and quality of being brings us into intimate connection.

“I love your quality of being Freda”

She looks straight at me with her blue eyes. Wide awake. Thinking. “Up”