Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Interlude II : getting help

Oh what messy things feelings are!

Moods ebb and flow like the tides: high, then low and sometimes the king tides roll in. All that is consistent is the inconsistency. 5am as I look at the ceiling and wonder if I even want to begin this day...

If you think “Oh, Jeremy’s got it together and knows what he is doing” then you have me wrong. I am constantly in doubt: about my Self, my life, the direction I am going. I can get depressed and wonder if I am doing the right thing - then something wonderful happens, like it did this morning. It’s like magic.

I received two letters from AT teachers wondering what to do, and the knowledge that I have something to offer, that I could help, bought tears to my eyes. Tears of relief, of joy, of knowing I had some use. Perhaps you can’t imagine I would have such a reaction - but I believe when you live in our work, you live with incredible sensitivity. You develop the ability to expose your Self to your Self, and anyone who thinks they already have it figured out, is a person dead to growth. Hidden within every heart on this earth is a depth of sadness and joy that is incomprehensible until you start to know it.

Anyway, I will write about both these Teacher’s questions in a later blog post (one requested I keep the personal details confidential, which I will) but to-day’s interlude from my selling by AT Principles series I wanted to make this point:

You need people to help!

I need people to help me. You need people to help you. It seems so obvious, why bother saying it? Well, because we don’t. You give your self a thousand reasons why not to ask others to help - it is not fair to ask them, this is my decision, how can I trust them, they want too much money, they won’t really understand, I am too busy to study, I’ll do it next week, he will take advantage of me, I know it all anyway, I just have to do it. Your reasons to avoid support are as rich as your imagination.

In 2004 when my Alexander school was imploding - no new pupils coming, lots of concerns and complaints, money getting less: I really began to worry. I had a wife and two small children to support. I was in my 40’s with no other professional abilities. I lived in a country whose language I didn’t speak. It was a do or die moment. “Jerry” I thought to myself “You get this working or you face shame and ruin.”

So finally I sought help. Professional help in the form of a business consultant. I paid him $3,000 which (believe me) was a fortune for me then. Funny how desperation is the motivator of innovative action. Actually, he was the one who came up with the name “BodyChance.” He told me: You can’t call your company “Alexander Technique Associates”, it will scare half the population away.

Anyway - that story is available to read by contacting DIRECTION. Thanks to Paul Cook, who dug into his DIRECTION archives, here is the link to read it. Talking about support - Paul has a wonderful archive of materials: interviews, articles and videos all for AT teachers. Consider spending a little money to access that rich information (Full disclosure: no kickback to me!).

So - the question to keep asking: where do I get my support? Am I willing to pay professionals to give me that support? What am I willing to risk to move to another level in my practise, in my life? Keep that question alive, every day. And if you do act on it - what I have learnt, is that anything becomes possible.

Change happens, when you enlist support for it to happen.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this, Jeremy. One thing that has struck me so strongly, again and again along my path with AT, is how truly the same we all are. Blessings to you.

  2. Thank you Jennifer. Yes, it's about people, love and caring for others. So simple, so easy to forget.

  3. Thanks for this Jeremy. I'm a brand-new trainee teacher in a part-time program, working up the balls to move to a city where I can study full time.

    "What am I willing to give up?" That's an important one.


  4. Go for James - there is no better life than one spent in supporting others.


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