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Creatures of Habit


Creatures of Habit

Claire Coveney

We are creatures of habit. We want to know how things are going to be and how we relate to them. A great idea as it can make us feel safe, helps us know where we are, to feel supported. 

When I get up in the morning I have a pretty regular pattern of things I tend to do, open the curtains, unload the dishwasher, feed the cat, put the kettle on, get the kids breakfast... I like this order it means I can ensure things happen and everything goes smoothly so that we all get out of the house to get to school and to work on time. There's a lot to do and it's busy.

But what if things go wrong? What happens if something changes? The dishwasher hasn't been put on, the cat has brought in a mouse (an unfortunately regular event in our house!), we've run out of milk ... ahh!! 

It's so easy in these situations to get stressed, angry, tense, agitated. We worry that we will be late, we rush, racing ahead to the next moment...

That's where the power to pause comes in so that we can look at what is happening now, rationally and reasonably. Accept what is happening in our situation both externally and within us. It then gives a choice about how we react. Maybe I have to wash a few dishes, perhaps try my tea black for a change; and the mouse!! Well I have time to work that one out!
In The Alexander Technique we practice this pause in everyday movements and activities, we practice being in this moment so that in the more difficult situations that life presents us we can hopefully make a better choice and find a new way.