Spring Is The Time To Awaken

Spring is the time to awaken!  This has been an amazing year, would you agree?  Who would have guessed that general outdoor communication would be with our eyes only!  Masks do that.  And have you noticed that it is harder to hear the attendant at the post office too?  Either I am going deaf, or I never noticed how much hearing has to do with reading lips. I have renewed appreciation for the senses…our sight, our hearing, our smell, our touch.

We have been particularly alerted to smell this year, as the first symptom to notice whether we have contracted Covid.   Smell is definitely a sense I take for granted, (although being a foodie, I know that smell is a huge factor for the enjoyment of food.  Just think of a time when you had a cold and couldn’t smell anything!).   

I put breath in the smell category too.  Like when you smell bread baking, and take a deep wiff of the amazing and tantalizing aroma that fills the air, or the delight of apples and cinnamon simmering on the stove.  Or going outside in the middle of winter, and feeling breath deep into the lungs, then taking in the smells all around. 

One of the gifts I have received this year has been the ability to go out into the woods and walk.  I particularly remember one Autumn day when the falling leaves on the maple trees were bright yellow/orange, creating a canopy of beauty through which to move.  That gift of nature mended an otherwise dulled state of being, having been essentially trapped in the house for months with little respite. The sounds were poignant too.  My feet walking on the grass, then stepping onto a branch, hearing the little snap of the twigs.  Illuminated sound, taking in the totality of the day, myself breathing, walking, feeling air in the lungs, moving to the rhythm of my own walking. 

These things have been greatly heightened for me in this year of Covid.  My mother likes to remind me that “every cloud has a silver lining”, and I do appreciate her willingness to see the bright side of life.  I have definitely felt more, sensed more, become more aware as the days and months have slowly turned.  And isn’t this truly the gift that expanded awareness brings? 

This is why we meditate, and why we “work on ourselves” in Alexander-speak.  After more than 30 years of applying The Alexander Technique for my own well being, and in helping others discover change as well, I can truly say it has been a treasure to connect with the body-mind-being so continuously.  Waking up our senses and waking up our expanded awareness is a moment by moment  Odyssey that brings so much satisfaction.   

Recently, I found interest in the activity of simply walking from my kitchen into the living room and back (yes, pacing has become the new normal!).  But something happened in my sensory mechanism that doesn’t usually happen for me.  I was breathing and walking, and allowing my legs to swing down into the knees from a slightly different place, deeper into the hip joints somehow.  My breath was filling into my back, and arms were perfectly coordinated.  It was a sensory experience,
not habitual. I felt like something had shifted and my consciousness was fluid and free, as though I was almost outside of myself.  Very psychedelic, yet at the same time totally beautiful, normal.  

We talk about how habit is formed in the Alexander Technique. It happens over time, where the experience of use is modified and then creates neuro-pathways in the brain that tend to repeat based on recent, not long term experience.  So what feels normal is not based on early movement experience, but instead on habitual, created patterns.

The good news, however, is that the brain is flexible, and new neuro-pathways can be created and freer movement can be re-learned. This is the basis of the AT and why this study is so useful in the long term, for finding a better, more free and balanced coordination. As many AT teachers say, the Alexander Technique is a skill for life!

What will you call in this Spring, to Begin Anew?

Add Some Self-Forgiveness

Have you wondered why sometimes your thinking, buzzing mind goes over and over the same material from the past? In not such a kind light? I mean, not in your favor?

This is what the psychologists call “negative self talk”. Some of us have it worse than others. I am one who has not, even into my sixth decade, busted that issue. As a matter of fact, my picky long term memory is so well marinated, that I can call up even the tiniest little memory of something that happened long ago, maybe even a momentary exchange, and I warp it around until I am the one who caused the problem. Insane! I know.

But what would it FEEL like in your soul-being, if you could let these memories be what they are…experiences from your past, that have the value of teaching you, guiding you mostly to what you really want, instead of some perceived failure, resentment, self-condemnation? What if you could ACTUALLY give yourself a dose of self-forgiveness instead?

I recommend it. Not that I do this myself! Because none of us are all-good or all bad. As you allow that forgiveness for yourself, something quite beautiful opens. A space between your past and your future, otherwise known as the “present moment”, or NOW. From here you can release and begin again. Anew. With an open heart.

Imagine all the sleepless nights, the waking up at 3 am and ruminating, that would end. Imagine actually letting the past be holy. Why do I say that? As you see people, ideas, memories as part of your evolutionary movement, you open your mind to compassion, first for yourself, and then as a whole-hearted person who is thereby freed of the torment of judgment and criticism.

Life gets a lot simpler. You don’t have to second-guess yourself. You don’t have to try so hard to be right, or good, or not bad. This is a powerful medicine. It means that you can greet your experiences with warmth, appreciation, and generosity. You don’t have to play small, or stifle your voice. You can be a beacon. You can shine light, and shine YOUR light!

I hope this helps. I will be speaking more about this subject in upcoming Blog posts. Meanwhile, send yourself some love. Really. You are amazing…

Diane

Add Some Self- Love

Here is my Valentine for you!

I don’t know why I love Valentine’s Day so much! It is a “hallmark” holiday for sure, but the intent is so pure and sweet, and other-focused that it really makes my heart sing.

I start thinking about everyone I know who needs a little tenderness. The lonely souls who live alone, who maybe lost a loved one. The others who live alone and LOVE it, because they cherish their alone time.

For them, I would suggest to take the extra care for themselves that is ofter thought to come from a sweetheart…buy some flowers for yourself, make a yummie dinner and sit down with a glass of your favorite beverage. Go to the gourmet food store and buy the unusual fruits or vegetables and wake up your palate.

Now my mother’s generation used to know how to do “pampering yourself”. I always found that phrase funny, but it is essentially the same thing that I am talking about here. A bath, a spa treatment, hair…(at 90, my mother still goes to the hairdresser once a week to get a wash and fix). Beautiful.

I didn’t do any of that. Perhaps a mani/pedi for an important event. I could learn from my mother!

So what do you do for yourself to shower yourself with care? It could be carving out 20 minutes in the morning to meditate and write in a journal. Or, it could be creating a good boundary with housemates, around tv and music, and instead use the time for yourself at the end of the day to plan the day ahead. I place all of this in the self-care category.

Caring for yourself is really non-negotiable, even for yourself. Don’t let these little rituals slip away because there is “no time” or “I’ll get to it later”. There is no later. Today is the time to begin. These self-care ideas are very inexpensive too; they just take time and thoughtfulness about your own needs.

So let Valentine’s Day be a reminder that you matter, that your needs matter, that performing small acts for yourself will definitely make you a better, happier person because you care, with love.

Diane

Are you Living a Committed Life?

What is commitment? Your deep desires unfolding in a rich and powerful way, with or without obstacles along the way. Commitment is allowing the dream to BE with you as much as your consciousness can allow. It is saying “yes” to yourself, your visions and dreams. AND it is saying “no” to what no longer serves you along the way. This is because as humans living this reality, there are countless obstacles taking up your time, your money, your energy, your HOPE even, and the energetic drain becomes unbearable over time.

Have you ever started out with a great idea, a vision of what you could accomplish or manifest, and then let all of the other tasks and “to-dos” take over your delicate creation? I know I have. And this is very frustrating in the short term, very debilitating in the long term, because it wears away at the edges of your hope and trust that you can actually accomplish the desires of your heart.

Well, worry no more. There is a way to not be taken off track from realizing your dreams. But you need some support along the way; a system for which to stay on track, as WELL as to track your progress, or else you will get lost on the path. This is what Life Coaching actually is!

Life Coaching and Business Mentoring, if you want that too, are the way to keep your steady gaze forward onto what you really want, not what others expect for you or want for you instead. Your precious life matters. Your vision, dreams, and your heart’s desires are the most valuable and important focus that you can ever create. It is you realizing your gifts and talents, and becoming the person who leads from your gifts.

I am here to be your confidant and cheerleader, sometimes hand holder, so that you don’t get lost along the way. Sign up for a Clarity Breakthrough Session today, and you will have me in your court. Yay!

Diane L. Sussman, Author, Speaker, Holistic Life and Business Coach and Teacher of the Alexander Technique.

I can’t wait to meet you, find out about your visions and dreams for your life and business! Diane