‘T ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It), the famous song by Melvin “Sy” Oliver and James “Trummy” Young, was first recorded in 1939 and was sung by, among many others, Ella Fitzgerald.
I was struck how these words describe very well one of the main ideas behind the Alexander Technique – that it is not so much what we do, but rather how we do it that is important!
So often we blame a certain activity or situation for our aches, pains or stress. But perhaps it is not actually working at the computer, driving on I95 or meeting with our boss, for instance, that causes the problems. Rather it’s how we use ourselves (our bodies, our minds, consciously and subconsciously) as we work at the computer, as we drive or meet with the boss!
So next time you blame a certain activity, or person or situation, for your pain or stress, I ask you to consider how you approach that activity, how you react to that particular person or situation. Are you behaving and responding unconsciously – just reacting in your habitual way? Or are you acting with awareness, with poise and intention?
Now although this means we can’t so easily play the blame game anymore, the great thing is it means we can be in control. And the Alexander Technique can, quite wonderfully, teach us how!
(You have to wait until just after the 1 minute mark to hear Ella sing!)