Sunday, February 17, 2013

W06.07 Guest Post From Véronique Druesne in Reply to My Case Study...


I love reading this letter - I have several times. It is full of such courage, such hope - I am sure there are Alexander Technique teachers out there who will be inspired by Véronique's story below.  She includes some startling and hopeful news about how things have been shifting and changing since she started this online course, so if you are feeling like it is all a little too overwhelming, take encouragement from the experiences of Véronique…

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Dear Jeremy,

I needed someone to kick me into wakefulness and there you came, slowly but surely, with your daily insights into your own emotional world and how you go about it. I never thought it was dark, it was always engaging, enlightening - maybe people too close to you were that, too close, when you are more detached it might be easier not to be upset.

Emotionally I also like to speak freely, not to everyone on Facebook like yourself, so i'm not sure how emotionally undoing in a blog would be, live for everyone to see, but I do like the suggestion and I will certainly see how this might open up in the future for me. It's a scary suggestion but i can see a big potential in it. I like the idea of mentors and I think this is where i have been stuck for a while. So I don't know where this is going but I bought "What is Love" online and i'm looking forward to see what journey that will lead into.

I have a tendency to procrastinate, like a lot of people and I must say since I am reading your blog (In my own mind, I call you Mr Motivator!) you are after getting right under my skin and I'm starting to feel guilty when I sit and watch a film when I could be writing my blog, etc. Your words resonate with me all day and my head actually hurts from all the thinking going on. Your ideas are super challenging and I'm just loving it.

So what is going on so far, I'm still figuring out what my niche might be and that's no easy tasks so I will call that work in progress and for now I'll stay with a horizontal niche, neck pain, back pain and posture related issues until such time as my research and thinking lead me to a smaller vertical niche (I do believe trying to be everything to everyone is not the way to go, tried it, does not work!).

I come from a very narrow self belief that I can't write and decided, with your encouragement that if I say I'm the one saying I can't write, can I not just as easily say I can write? So I started writing a blog, slowly but surely the blog is now part of my website, my website has gone from 2 little pages to 6 pages + the blog. I have written two articles and a press release, I got a PR agency to publicize the press release (about 4 articles in all local papers) which is not so easy for me, as I find attention quite daunting. Cork is a very small city (I come from big anonymous Paris) everyone knows everyone and being in the papers here means everyone will see it, but it helps to think I'm not selling me, I'm selling a service. So I'm getting a lot of attention, people are talking to me in the street, "you're the girl in the paper, I don't know what you do but I want to come to your classes…" it's quite funny really. Letting go of "what will the neighbors think" sort of attitude for a "let's see what happens next" and changing the "I can't" with "I can" has been a very interesting exercise which am I looking forward to explore some more in myself and maybe with my students?

So for the first time an evening class, starting in February was full with some people going on to my mailing list for next classes. Which is a first, usually september classes fill up but later on in the year, they are harder to fill. I have also put up my prices for one to ones and for evening classes and the evening classes are doing good (even at the higher price, I think it says something to people to value your own work). So I'm thinking more evening classes as you said with themes for the future and build on that.

Over the last few months one to one lesson have got less and less table work and more activity work lead by the student, a lot more questioning what the person is actually thinking and a lot more fun in the lessons! I have a new person coming in tomorrow and I think for the first time I'm actually not going to even take the table out and let's see what happens. (so I did that today and no table work whatsoever, and she booked in for another so it can't have been all bad. I've been under the illusion that if I don't give them the experience of a Table Turn they won't come back, I'm learning, I'm learning…)

Yes I have been a "good girl" I have been scared of the Alexander Police, even mentioning the word posture can cause such a riot and they are so many politics within the AT world with this is "the right way of teaching" nonsense. I'm interested in all aspects of how the work is taught, always have been, and  I have had the chance to meet some fantastic teachers from all over the world and with very different approaches, yet all sticking to principle it seems to me. The work is fascinating and the idea of developing my own method, in time is very appealing, exploring new and different ways with my students is a challenge I look forward to and getting rid of my Alexander's "right way" or "good girl" way of teaching is definitely a must for me. I'm intrigued about my going deeper, not sure how, at the moment, it will need exploration and thought and I'm sure I'll find a way, my way. As it has been said before, thank you for making me think of the unthinkable and actually opening up a whole new big scary journey… bring it on.

Véronique,
the muddled-headed wombat.

TOMORROW: What is A Back-End Business for Alexander Technique Teachers?

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