Sunday, February 24, 2013

W08.07 Guest Post From Annie Turner in Reply to My Case Study...

Annie replies to my Case Study about her, and begins with an apology, which I was tempted to edit out until I read her second paragraph and thought “Oh, maybe she intended that this time.” Anyway, Annie was not late so I have no idea why she feels this need to apologise, but my guess is that once she figures that out, she will be making more money...

Good luck Annie - we believe in you.


Hello Jeremy,

I am aware this has taken far too long to get to you, and for that I apologise hugely. It is not from lack of thinking, planning, ‘inner writing’, excited realisations, heart-racing optimism - all those have been with me all week, but from time became directed towards unexpected family and personal events that arose just after you posted your wonderful feedback and advice.

The first thing to say is that something feels a bit like a stiff-neck I have noticed for a long, long time, and I know about it, and I watch it happen over and over, the time has really come to free it. My ‘stiff neck’ in this instance? I am aware that pretty well every letter I have ever sent, every email, every phone call, begins with “I apologise for taking so long to.....” When is this way of being going to stop, I ask myself? And what is it about?

The second thing is, you are so right... “so strap yourself in as you join Annie and me hurtling off the cliff of reasonable behaviour into the vast blue sky of waiting possibilities…” It’s been hard to write when flying so fast and the thoughts and ideas are whooshing by at such great speed! But it’s great to be off that cliff!

When I read your words about me on my cell phone I was fueled with such excitement and joy that I could barely order the coffee I wanted whilst on a journey up to see family. The loss of a dear relative had had me otherwise engaged the day before, so it was only your message asking me if you had been ‘too tough’ that alerted me to find your posts! But how glad I was to be able to read them both together; I don’t think I could have contained the excitement whilst waiting for the second one! Too tough? Not at all - I felt like I was falling into a soft landing mat having been airborne for years and years, not daring to land in case it was all wrong.

I could sense clearly how much there is to do - and how wonderful that is. I could sense the affirmation that everything that has spun around in my head for years and years now needs to come out. And I could see the reasons for the always taking so long... Too much going on.... Dissipated energy use.... Doing it all myself... Lack of focus.... And, I am sure, lack of discipline....

With many of these I have no idea what to do about it - yet - but I can also see the energy in them all - I have to admit that I prefer to be a busy, experiencing, learning, doing-lots kind of person - life is such a gift! And I feel an ok-ness with that, and I can sense it is something I already use manyfold in my work. But it’s time to clear up the ‘how’ I do so much, and to make more appropriate choices for now; there is so much to allow out around my teaching now and many things will have to take a rest!

My days include teaching, music, singing, dance, art, photography, writing, reading, family, friends, environmental work, my home and it’s land - building a stone circle and labyrinth... But time to clarify what actually happens and what happens only in my mind! And that includes the book I have sitting on the ‘tip of my tongue’...

I am finding it hard to put into words all that I thought as I read your words, Jeremy, but maybe it’s time to be honest and just admit that I cried. I cried with relief; it was as if you had reached down into the jumble of everything inside and, whether through intuition or actual seeing, you pulled out the essence from deep inside - the very things that mean the most to me about this work, but have not had the courage to release. I have felt pretty much all of it for a long time, but there was all the Who me? Write a book? Go on the radio? Even TV? Become well known? Have people flocking to my door?  Inviting me to their door? Seeing me? Actually seeing me? And hearing me? The amazing thing was that I felt seen and heard when I read your words, and the world didn’t end when that happened, in fact it started! It was like I had finally dared hand in the papers and they had came back without the crosses I dreaded. (I always had many more crosses than ticks in school. And there’s a blog in one of those stories!)

In the days since reading your words, despite having been busy with family events, I have always thinking about the responses firing off in my head, and heart, about what to do now.... I can’t wait to get started - and so why don’t I? There always seems to be something else to sort out and I feel frustrated at this. So I am going to sit with the frustration and find where it germinates, find what it ‘gives’ me - ‘takes’ from me being more appropriate, of course. Currently my mind is full of plans, my days are full of ‘crisis management’, and 2% of what needs doing is being done. And note, I am not talking non-doing here, I am talking not getting it done! It’s time to inhibit not-doing!

I am sad I didn’t get my thoughts down earlier when they were so clear, but I didn’t so there we go. I will just cover some of the points briefly -

Drivers - money. Yes, ‘briefly’??? Oh dear; yes, that spoke volumes, didn’t it! I have never yet made even just enough money from my teaching. I was on benefits for most of my teaching life until now. I have many times ‘blamed’ the Alexander Technique for being too hard to explain and not earning me enough money....which slid very quickly into me clearly not being a good enough explainer/teacher. Crazy thinking. I have tried everything from selling me, to not selling me, to selling the AT, to selling me as an AT teacher, to selling both hidden in other things....and on and on. That was a long 28 years! The change came two years ago when I stopped selling anything and simply became and shared Me. Now I can see I can begin sharing that in a businesslike way! And the big change now?... Yes, I want to, and feel I deserve to, earn a good living from this work. My fees are going up and I am now playing with a new plan for something along the lines of your Pro-course; asking my students for a commitment to learning. I also realise just how much I do for free! I don’t factor in the time I give in preparing, in assisting, in talking about the work on the phone and socially - a more professional approach needed I think. I never stop working in fact - time to start charging!

I love the term ‘Human Potentiality’ - and tried it in a conversation yesterday to great effect! Yes, having thought I had no niche type of working, I find I have a very definite one, and I am so pleased! Of course it will ever change and grow, as may the title, but I feel a sense of definition at last. I also have new ideas for logos, art-work, names and so forth.

I see how Cornwall can still be a real bonus and not restrictive at all - yes, books and blogs travel! And if I might use “back pain is a mental problem”, I might well...thank you!

The “I can’t”s...? It might seem that I use ‘lack of time’ as a screen for my ‘I can’ts’, but I am not sure; I really feel I can, with enough time in each day! Yes, I feel a natural nervousness with all the usual ‘am I good enoughs’ of being a human being, and lots of those ‘what ifs’, but I just let them be; I don’t know any successful person who doesn’t still feel those! I have even spoken in front of 5,000 people at conferences in the past (not about AT), and the idea of getting up and out there doesn’t bring up the more common, “Not for me!” But I do have this issue with time - I don’t seem to be able to accomplish even 50% of what most people seem to. But the only thing to do about ‘issues’ is to address them, so address this one I am - and you may be amazed if I blog it! Because it seems to me that Time is the only reason I am not living the life you pulled out of the muddle and I re-cognised as my purpose, Jeremy. (And yes, turning my prolific Facebook posts into a productive blog instead is number one! Blush!)

Thank you again, Jeremy, and to everyone on this fascinating journey - I am learning so much and loving every minute of it.

Annie - another muddle-headed being!
(Veronique, there is a flight from Cork to Cornwall; I think we need to use it!)

TOMORROW: A week digging down on the reasons you tell your Self you can not do, what in your heart you know you can.

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