Hillary Clinton and the Alexander Technique / by Ariel Carson

Whether you’re “with her” or not, that a woman has received the Democratic nomination for president is an undeniable watershed in the history of the United States.

However, as I watched her acceptance speech last week I found myself thinking what so many of her critics and supporters alike have mentioned: that she “lacks charisma.”

Regardless of whether or not you agree with every single political move she has ever made, she has an extremely impressive and expansive political career.

 So how is it possible that this is where my attention went while watching this speech?!

Our monkey mind likes shiny things. We often see only what’s right in front of us, what’s louder or faster than the rest. Persistent daily work often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. 

 Naturally I then thought of the Alexander Technique. Our work is not flashy, or loud. It is not a miracle cure. It is quiet persistent change from the inside out, from a person accepting responsibility for their habits of posture, coordination, and movement, and a willingness to go to new places in order to access new solutions for pain relief, ease in action, and poise in being.

There is a Zen saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

And there is an Alexander saying, “We free our necks, and then we free our necks again.”

We free our necks with a clear intention of where we want to go; think global, act local. We recognize our attraction to what is shiny, so that we can consciously re-focus again and again on the small steps we can take every day to achieve the big picture we hold in our imaginations.

This daily commitment to what may seem unremarkable from the outside is what ultimately over time shatters glass ceilings and makes the impossible, possible.