The clouds rise. On Monday morning, the 29th day of October, 2012, I walked to an appointment and was overwhelmed with the beauty outside. The sun was not shining, but it also was not raining. Amazing! Some blue sky was peaking through the mostly cloudy, grey sky. The leaves! Oh my! The leaves, beautiful reds and gold, were brilliant in the semi-bright morning. All seemed right with the world.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning, 30 October, 2012. The rains came and the horrific storm, Sandy, ripped up the Eastern coast of the United States. As I looked outside at the tree, the leaves were still and very green. I was surprised to see no Fall color from my chair. Most impressive, though, was how still the leaves were. What a contrast to the news coming across the TV screen, what the East coast people are still experiencing. Contrasts!
I can’t help but contemplate the Alexander Technique and the study of stimulus and response and how the application of it’s principles works in the grey, wet, and sometimes ominous environment. First, AWARENESS. Another day of rain and grey and my tendency is that I want to crawl back into my warm cacoon and sleep a little or even lots longer. Next, INHIBITION. This step in pausing, creates space to contemplate whether I’ll curl up and sleep or move forward. In this moment, I also remember that Monday was not rainy and I wrote about how gorgeous it was outside, with leaves of brilliant colors. I even picked up a couple of leaves, one red and one golden, to remind me of Fall’s beautiful gifts. I look out again and leaves are moving slightly as rain bounces off. Of course, it’s time to decide to move forward with the day. It’s time to direct energy forward and up the spine, to allow the breath of life to enter my lungs. Finally, the third step, DIRECTION, giving orders to myself. The words of Handel’s MESSIAH come to mind, “Arise, shine, for they light has come…” I chuckle and realize that there is much to be learned and discovered as I move into the new day. Each day there is more to learn about my authentic self. Each day brings new adventure and new challenges. Each breath brings a new possibility and the chance of new and renewed inspriration. For some the challenge is more than others, but it is still worth making the effort of being aware and living consciously.
I contemplate the plight of many friends and family in the New York City, New Jersey area. As a friend said, “New Yorkers are strong, yes, and we will come out of this a little stronger.” Indeed, they are and will. Experience has shown that Americans, in genereal, are very good at taking care of each other when the chips are down and chaos has errupted. Those of us not directly affected, however, feel helpless in these situations. Perhaps in our feelings of helplessness we can endeavor to pause, appreciate those around us and strive even more to live and appreciate each moment for what it is. A GIFT! The clouds raise, sun peaks through, the rainbow appears and the breath of life flows into us to move positively into our world to do what we can.