Live In Response, Not In Reaction

My Alexander Technique students usually want out of their pain as fast as possible. If they have a sore neck or tight shoulders of a gimpy knee, they want a fix pronto.

But these pains are only symptoms for what is really going on — a refusal to accept reality.

When we accept what is, we don’t rush. We don’t get impatient. We don’t get frustrated. And we don’t lie. And when we don’t do these bad things, we don’t feel guilt and shame.

I want my students to accept that the pain they feel when they type at a computer or when they walk down the block or when they sit in a chair is primarily a symptom of a lack of coordinated use of the self. When you’re moving elegantly, most of these pains don’t occur. But you can only move elegantly when you accept reality and stop rushing and trying to immediately fix things.

David Gorman writes: “What did happen when I actually inhibited my monstrously powerful habitual urge to react to the feelings of the symptom was very, very different than I expected. After a moment of intense awareness of narrowness and restriction (during which I had to choose again not to react), an expansion filled me up and the strain and tension disappeared.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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