(From the archives: originally published 1/28/05)
"When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way. But usually, without being aware of it, we try to change something other than ourselves, we try to order things outside us. But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order. When you do things in the right way, at the right time, everything else will be organized. " -- Shunryu Suzuki (Japanese Zen Master)
When I read this quote, I saw the Alexander Technique. Our reaction to our environment is to be pulled in by it, losing our connection to our support - quite literally, the support our skeleton offers us. Much of the time, we are pushing ourselves out into the next moment, and falling off of our bones. Our muscles come into action, gripping to hold us up, while trying to move us at the same time.
- How often have you spoken only to wish you had taken time to think more fully about your response?
- How many times have you worried over something that never came to be?
- How often have we missed the mark, whether bowling, playing pool or golfing, not having taken the time to allow our body to coordinate with our eyes?
While I cannot say that everything in my life is existing in the right place, in the right way all of the time, when I slow down and come to a place with more stillness and presence, I can feel tension and pain ease in my body, I can enjoy a sunny day in the middle of winter, I can delight in my cat playing "hockey" with his bottle caps.
Perhaps our internal state is more a predictor of our quality of life in any given moment than our circumstances. How many times have you met someone who has things your wish for (a happy relationship, a beautiful home, physical health, artistic skill) and they are stressed and unsatisfied with their conditions.
Can you find a way to be present to whatever abundance there is in your life? Take 2 minutes now to find something in your immediate environment that reflects something you've created, or brought into your life that brings you pleasure, contentment or joy. What is it like in your body and mind now?
(Originally Posted at www.brookelieb.com 4/10/18)
N. BROOKE LIEB, Director of Teacher Certification since 2008, received her certification from ACAT in 1989, joined the faculty in 1992. Brooke has presented to 100s of people at numerous conferences, has taught at C. W. Post College, St. Rose College, Kutztown University, Pace University, The Actors Institute, The National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Dennison University, and Wagner College; and has made presentations for the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Scoliosis Foundation, and the Arthritis Foundation; Mercy College and Touro College, Departments of Physical Therapy; and Northern Westchester Hospital. Brooke maintains a teaching practice in NYC, specializing in working with people dealing with pain, back injuries and scoliosis; and performing artists. www.brookelieb.com