‘If only the neighbor’s dog would stop barking, this would be the perfect neighborhood.’
‘If only there were more hours in the day, I could get everything done.’
I am relinquishing these and other perfection thoughts. Life gets missed in the pursuit of perfection, and as an Alexander Technique teacher, that includes giving up the unattainable perfect use of oneself.
Mr. Alexander gave us a tool, a practice, a ‘procedure’ for the business of relinquishment. He called it Inhibition, and I had the opportunity to teach Inhibition to Denison University students this month, while filling in for a colleague on sabbatical. The old adage is true, what we figure out how to teach, we learn much better for ourselves.
This is what I learned. I have a choice. I can continue with habitual thought patterns or I can stop. Quit. Desist. Refrain. Demur. Respectfully decline. Aver.
When relinquishing perfection, we get to receive the beauty surrounding us, like the fronds of garden grasses shaking slightly in the breeze or the quiet enveloping the studio after the roar of rain on the roof, or the titmouse perched on the front porch drainpipe, his white breast bright against the crab apple’s gnarly branches, dark with wetness.
No strife. Just kindly refraining. Lightly choosing. As Mr. Alexander discovered, when we practice Inhibition, our physical self changes as well. Having stopped for this moment the pursuit of perfection, the body lengthens and widens, more fully inhabiting the chair, the office, the world.
May your day be graced with moments of full presence and peaceful poise.