Just had a FaceTime chat with my good friend and mentor, Bill (Dr. William Conable). He reminded me of the importance of finding a balance between giving and receiving. This may sound like I am referring to the holidays and gifts, but I’m thinking about energy and the balance we need in daily life. With all the running around we do in NYC, we can easily find ourselves overextended.
Sometimes, through generosity, we give out more than we take in. I’ve known many actors to give and give to their scene partner, but forget to make time to receive. This is almost always the case for parents; they love their children but they need some care for themselves, too.
With Alexander Technique, we can move and breathe with a greater sense of space. But we don’t want to get caught in a pattern of over-extending. When we think UP and OUT, we undo tension in order to expand into the 3-dimensional space; legs freeing to the ground, back freeing into the space behind us. Right now as you read this, you can experience your capacity for openness and expansion. The cue is “I have space”. But if you feel tired instead of energized, you may be in need of more receiving.
Remember our basic cue, “where’s the floor?” – notice the floor beneath your feet. As you cooperate with gravity to release or “land” on the ground, let that down elicit UP. Sense the upward flow of rebound or buoyancy throughout your whole body.
Now go further with receiving some grounding energy. Let yourself receive even more upward energy but of another kind. It can be sensed as the persistent “hum” or “stream of warmth” from the ground. Some people can visualize a warm red energy that flows up through our bones as deep as the marrow. Others can simply sense the support of the firm ground. The more we can trust that support, the more we can receive support. The cue is “I have support”. Take in, absorb, replenish your energy. Generosity and expansion can be joyful and freeing when we also accept support.