One thing I’ve learned is that giving people the benefit of the doubt works well to educate. Treat people as if they are smart, and they will rise to the occasion. This works even if they must build entirely new contexts and environments in which to park an entirely new genre of thinking ability.
Respect works wonders. This attitude came from my experience in first learning to write about Alexander Technique in 1980. Before anyone else I knew was doing so, there I was, sticking my neck out in a field where people said “it couldn’t be described.” It was definitely true that I needed some time to learn the craft of writing itself. But I was also attempting to describe a discipline that was subjective and mysterious. I wrote, and then I had people read it, and edited it again and again. Had over 400 people read and give me feedback on what I was doing. When people stopped pointing at the same spots in my writing, I figured I was done. It was very surprising how many people told me, “Well, *I* get what you’re saying, but would others?” They were imagining that the concepts were so new and so advanced that other people would not be able to understand.
I took this comment as a request to simplify what I was presenting. But as time marched on, people began to be able to understand easier what I had been saying all along. Essentially, the social climate changed.
The more people who give you feedback, the better. Listen up if they can articulate better ways HOW to say what you’re writing about. But don’t take their suggestions on what to do to “normalize” the content of what you’re writing. Write about what you know, tell your own story. Ignore their efforts to make what you say resemble what they already know about. Go ahead and be strange. The world will catch up to you eventually, even if you’re “ahead of your time.”
I’m not sure it’s possible to teach the Alexander Technique in eighteen minutes, but I’d be willing to attempt it. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, came up with the idea to make a mind map to help that happen. This actually came from a very successful class series. In only five days, pretty much everyone in this Alexander Technique class learned the ability to come up with their own experiments that worked to uncover their own habits of what they were up to. The most amazing part was they learned how to re-direct themselves to get out of the rut too! Not sure if this sketch will make any sense to someone who hasn’t been to my Alexander Technique class series or hasn’t had Alexander Technique lessons. But I”m willing to put it out there so I can find out what you might have to say about it.
Notice that blank spot under “priorities.” That’s where you fill in yours. Where it says, “What are you routines? That’s where you list your favorite habits. Love your habits, they’re just there to serve you well, (even if you don’t want them any more.)
Hey, if there’s anyone out there reading this, give me some comments on how this mind-map affects you. How does the content compare to what you know or have already learned about Alexander Technique? Talk to me.