Clothes washed, dried, folded and returned to closets and drawers, all while composing a blog post, writing Pelotonia donation thank you notes, reading student assignments, finishing up today’s class preparations, and making travel plans for a September Pittsburgh trip.

And while a busy day benefits from a few minutes (or more) of Constructive Rest, we cannot remove ourselves from the day’s business for very long. That leaves us with the challenge of being at ease even in the midst of crossing off items on the To-Do List.

This is the very place where the practice of Alexander Technique principles are to be  practiced and applied, right in the middle of it all.

Example:  I’m standing at the open washing machine, trying to get the last little squidge of detergent out of the bottle. To that end (End-Gaining, indeed!), I catch myself leaning my entire body to the side, along with the over-turned bottle, as if shifting my weight will coax out the last dribbles. I’m uncomfortable. This is when I could mentally slap myself on the wrist, but no. Instead, it’s a rueful laugh, and back to weight on both feet.  Now at ease, I can wait for the remains of the detergent bottle to empty.

Learning the Alexander Technique is not about acquiring perfect posture, or flawless Use of Self. No. It’s about observing Self, and either choosing to continue as we are, or to make a new choice for how we wish to respond and react to the present moment.




Watermelon Salad


Here’s a delicious and light salad, a mouthful of summer, and so refreshing. I wasn’t too sure about the watermelon/tomato combo when the plate arrived at the table, but was won over with the first bite. Mike and I were staying at The White Oak Inn, following his completion of Saturday’s 100-mile Pelotonia bicycle tour.

Ingredients: watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, mint, feta cheese crumbles, vinaigrette, salad greens

Innkeeper, Yvonne, chopped up the watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumbers into good-sized cubes, adding chopped basil leaves, and just a hint of mint. She added the feta crumbles last. Toss with vinaigrette. Yvonne’s was balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little bit of lime juice. I’ll be using Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing this evening, served on a bed of greens.

In the study of the Alexander Technique, Thinking in Activity is a time-honored practice for integrating AT principles into daily life. Cooking and teaching are the two activities in which I can most readily apply the principles, experiencing ease and comfort in my body, and peace of mind to boot! In part it’s because in these two pursuits, I give myself permission to be fully present, and immersed in the task at hand, whether it be slicing watermelon or assisting a student in their exploration of a particular habit of use.

Wishing for you refreshment and presence this day—