It started as an entry-level position, transcribing raw uncut video footage for a television production company, Monday through Friday, eight hours per day. Having no dreams or aspirations to forge a career in television, it was just helpful to have a job that paid my bills as I finished my last year of Alexander Technique teacher training.
My friend recommended me to the hiring manager, which got me in the door, but the interview went well too. Grounded through my sit bones, and the contact of my feet on the floor, allowing the chair to support me, my breath moved calmly and freely. Staying open through my shoulder girdle, and long through my spine, I did not sink down or collapse into my low back and abdomen. Voice clear, eyes bright and open, I connected with the supervisor in an alert but relaxed way. These were my Alexander Technique skills in action.
I was hired.
Sitting at a desk transcribing raw footage is neither creatively nor mentally challenging, but as anyone who sits at a desk for eight hours a day can tell you, it can be rather draining nonetheless. The Alexander Technique kept my neck, back, and wrists healthy. No repetitive strain injuries for this girl! In an effort to prevent the dreaded Pudding Brain (where it feels as though your mind turns to mush after hours of staring at a computer screen), I had little tricks to help me stay present and mindful throughout the day: stand up every half hour, get a glass of water, use the restroom, or just do a lap up and down the hallway.
Learning to carry and support yourself well, with grace and confidence, inspires people to feel more confident about you. Prioritizing the organization of your musculoskeletal system to find greater coherence and efficiency, can improve organizational skills as a whole. Through a daily practice of gaining more conscious facility over your body-breath-mind, you become more stable and dependable for others around you. The cultivation of my inner style began to be reflected in my outer style, as I paid more attention to dressing well. And the sense of “releasing up” taught by the Alexander Technique, contributed to being more upbeat in my workplace interactions. So even though I had no previous experience in post-production, these invaluable Alexander Technique skills directly and indirectly led to me being promoted after a few months, and again a few months after that.
Alexander Technique has also helped me gain comfort with the unknown. Bringing unconscious habits of posture into awareness in order to learn a new coordination requires you to go places you’ve never been before. So even though I had to learn a whole new technical skill set as my responsibility within the company increased, this did not intimidate me (not much anyway). Unafraid of the unknown, I was willing to learn new skills, and ask questions.
Ultimately I finished my three-year Alexander teacher certification program, and left the production company to start my private practice. Teaching the Alexander Technique is incredibly fulfilling, and I am grateful every day that I get to share the work with my students. So though I have no regrets about leaving the world of television, I’m happy to have the tools in my pocket to move forward and up in the world wherever I choose to go.