Why I quit a job I loved to learn The Alexander Technique
I have always been passionate about what I do. From my 20's onwards I worked in the arts, making beautiful life-changing connections between the public and creativity. Day to day my work included a huge amount of working with inspiring people, setting up pioneering partnerships with organisations like The Royal Opera House, and Punchdrunk Theatre Company, commissioning exciting artists and projects, managing arts festivals, exhibitions and events, as well as speaking at conferences and working as a consultant to support many arts organisations to work in better ways with the public. I worked with a 100's of organisations during this time including The Audience Agency, Sadlers Wells, Studio 3 Arts, Kenwood House and The Royal Parks. On the whole I loved it. It always excited me. But the other side was that it was exhausting and I never seemed to find the time to get into a groove when it came to self-care. Not that self-care was such a phrase at that time. I was aware I just never had much TIME.
And did I mention, I also had back-pain. And sciatic pain. And actually a wierd kind of crushing pain in my left rib-cage. And I really hated Sundays, cos they were the days of the week I was most likely to be relaxing and as my slowest days they really reminded me how much pain I was still feeling.
The saddest thing about pain is you get used to it - especially if you're BUSY. It feels like you don't have a choice. I had been to the doctors and they had offered me what they could, some sessions with a physio, strong medication but that was really as far as it went and I still had the pain and wasn't into the idea of a life on painkillers.
In amongst the frequent evenings and weekends working as well as playing, I would try out things that might help me. It was hard to do this because well you'd rather forget about it but a voice inside me kept me going, and looking outwards.
This led me to - January 2015 when I took a 6 week group class at City Lit in The Alexander Technique class. It was in the second week of doing an activity about how different states of mind play out in how you move around that a penny (well actually it was more like several million pounds) dropped.
During those 6 weeks I learnt actions I could take to help myself, rather than feeling so reliant on medical professionals; this was a rare glimpse of freedom for me after consulting so many professionals who didn’t seem able to understand how this was affecting my life.
This was a turning point for me, and I knew I had to pursue it. Somehow I made the room and found the extra income to fit in the teacher training course which is over 1600 hours of study over three years with a fee similar to a degree. When I look back I’m still 100% impressed with myself that I made it happen, but hey that’s what happens when you find the thing that’s most important for you. I trained at City Alexander Technique School in London under the incredible teachers Brita Forsstrom, Kamal Thapen and Antonella Cavallone and am a registered and insured member of The Society of Alexander Technique teachers.
The Technique is a skill you can be taught, which is made up of basic principles, about how your body should function well. Many people, including me before, walk around so busy with other things that we are largely unaware of how we are moving and how to adjust ourselves for the better. The effect of this drips into everything we think and do. For example,
Oh it’s nothing, I’m just getting old. It hurts me to bend. I don’t do that class anymore, my knees hurt too much. etc!
The Alexander Technique unlocks the intelligence of our bodies. You are great and you are wise! I absolutely promise you. Life does not need to be as hard as it has been. You can learn new ways of doing things and your body feels better for it. We become less dragged down and can get on with the job of living well, this time with more energy and more resilience.
The Alexander Technique is also completely inclusive; anyone of any fitness or health level can do it. It will complement your whole life, improving how you move, age and exercise. I have always had a passion for sharing knowledge and being able to teach this skill feels like my greatest honour.
As a result of learning the Technique for myself, I now run two businesses, as well as living on a small holding in Kent with my partner, cat and 6 lively chickens! I have been able to horse ride, swim, canoe, sit in the theatre, go on a picnic again without feeling any pain. I love to read, to grow plants and vegetables, to make stuff, to collaborate with other teachers in the world of wellness and to keep creating the world for myself that I was too pained to have in my 20’s. More animals and hopefully small people are also in our future plans. The Alexander Technique keeps on giving – and leaves me more able to pursue the things I love without getting burnt out. I have more energy than ever before and no fear anymore of pain, I know what to do if it ever comes calling and it doesn’t worry me at all.
Please take how you’re feeling seriously, you deserve to feel like this too. If you would like a conversation about what The Alexander Technique could do for you please arrange a discovery call with me today.
Stand up for your future
The Alexander Technique
Image: This is me horse-riding in Santorini in 2019, for the first time in nearly 15 years. Back pain free 🙂