What a great effort learning to drive seems at first: remembering which pedal is where; knowing what gear is next and how to find it without making a ghastly crunching noise; remembering to check the mirror, indicate before turning, etc, blah. Yet, after a while, you master the various combined skills and it’s no longer difficult. You reach the stage where you can do it all without anxiety - and even think of other things as well.
So ‘natural’ does driving become, in fact, that occasionally you may realise you can’t remember driving the last few miles; you just seem to be here. Freaky.
Were you actually unconscious during this ‘blank’ time? Well that can’t be right. Or do you believe you were driving ‘subconsciously’, somehow? You may have had your mind ‘on other things’, or apparently nothing at all, but you were still (literally and figuratively) in the driving seat. If a child had run into the road, chances are you’d have reacted pretty sharpish. On some level, even if you can’t remember the journey (which most often happens if you’re so familiar with the route you’ve been able to kind of ‘tune out’), you were still acting consciously; sending messages to your muscles to steer, accelerate, brake, etc., in the right sequences.
The Alexander Technique isn’t just about sitting or standing ‘right’. Like driving, it involves learning how to do several things at once; except that unlike driving a car, you can apply these new reasoning skills to 'driving yourself' in all your activities. Over time, even the most mundane activity may become easier and, dare I say, more enjoyable.
Having Alexander lessons and studying the work is incredibly rewarding. If it sounds like too much faff to challenge your thinking and change the way you do things - trust me, it’s well worth the effort.
We all tend to tootle along believing we’re doing OK, and we probably are; but we could always do better. The Alexander Technique teaches you to notice what’s really going on and make better, constructive choices about… well, just about everything. It can help you get to where you want to go - and even beyond that.