I am curious how many of us are conscious about disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed with evidence. That is one dictionary definition of critical thinking. I will admit that until now I have not really given the subject much thought. My suspicion is that most of us sometimes approach problem solving with such disciplined thinking and yet, sometimes we apply it not at all. The Alexander Technique totally facilitates and encourages the act of critical thinking. In our practice of mind-body awareness we learn to pause before barreling into habitual reactions to life’s challenges. By slowing down our reaction times we then are afforded time, especially at critical moments, to think in a clear and rational manner. To me, this slowing-down opportunity is the paramount outcome of practicing the technique. Time and again in my writing and teaching I emphasize the value of learning to insert the pause and then conscious breath into our daily habits.
The experience this week of actually exploring “critical thinking” has already been enlightening. Several times when I have paused before progressing on some path, usually mental, I have asked myself if I am considering the angles of the subject rationally and with an open mind. The result, at this juncture, has been a huge pause in my reaction and of course, then my breath comes flooding in. Interesting, isn’t it, how critical thinking requires us to practice stopping and stopping allows breath to refesh us? Once again we experience one huge chain of events towards uniting the whole of our being inside and out.
I will continue on, this week, pausing and noticing if, as issues come to my attention, I am barreling down the road of habit or if I am able to apply a new habit of conscious, critical thought and problem solving. Then, perhaps I will let a bit of creativity from last week’s exploration creep into the solution as well_ all the time allowing the breath of life to renew and energize.
What would happen in your day if you pause and allow conscious critical thinking and creativity to influence your day and week. Pause, breathe, and find out!