Let it be

We are generally taught that ambition is a positive thing, and that we should work hard to overcome all obstacles to our dreams.  Indeed, determination and persistence prove to be awesome allies as we stumble through life; those who are not deterred by petty interruptions or objections are often those who come out on top.

On the other hand, we can take the go-gettum attitude too seriously, and wind up on the blind side.  This is not because ambition fails, but because it can hide from us the holistic truth.  Consider, therefore, the benefit of another practice, one especially fostered by the teachings of the Alexander Technique.  So often our energy is pushing forward, reaching not only mentally but physically toward our objective.  Do you recognize that forward press in yourself?  Do you catch yourself straining to see, or hear, or get there?  Are your shoulders tensed in anticipation, do you peer intently ahead, is your forehead often the leading part of your body and movement?

If (like me!) you realize your interface with the world is characterized by this grasping, consider the opposite approach.  If you know that to everything there is a season; if you trust that you are loved and lovable; if you are willing to discover life as much as to shape it, then try relaxing back into yourself and allowing the world to come to you.  Instead of straining to get, take a deep breath, put ambition aside, and experience the calm of centered being that does not grasp but easily receives.  In this place, you can use your senses to full effect; you can not only listen, but hear; not only see, but perceive.  You are the center of your world, so isn’t it best to act the part? 

Especially when stumped or struggling, try this subtle physical and mental shift.  Pull your consciousness back in to yourself, cease the forward push, and in quiet self-possession, let life in.  The practice restores health and vitality, stimulates creativity and compassion, and – most importantly – balances ambition with proper, even nourishing humility.


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