Learning as the leaves fall

autumn leaves falling against a black backgroundToday the first leaves are falling. Just been out for a walk with the dog and caught a leaf – a habit since childhood as my mother told me it would grant me a wish.

The leaves on the trees still look mainly green; those on the ground, over 50 shades of brown.

It’s a time when we are caught between things – summer and winter, up and down, hot and cold, and for me there is a sense of stretch between ‘old me/new me’ too.

I can still remember an autumn over 15 years ago when I lived in Nottingham. One day I looked up and all the trees had turned colour. Literally for me it happened over night as I had been too absorbed in what I was doing – so it appeared they were one day green, and the next day I noticed, brown. There was no time then to experience the change from one thing to another. Now its the transition that most fascinates me.

I’ve been trying to walk ‘better’ – well, with more alignment and less tension. I’m talking Alexander technique classes (who knew one could get sitting, lying down and walking oh so very wrong!?) and enjoying being present as I walk as an alternative to using it as a space to dream and plan. Alexander technique tips for walking include:

  • Let your eye line be level with the horizon. Don’t keep looking down at the floor – not only is it boring, it displaces your head forwards on top of your spine and puts you out of balance. The rest of your body then has to compensate. It’s amazing how little you need to look down.
  • Use your peripheral vision. Don’t glaze over, or tunnel vision in on one thing. My teacher suggests softening your vision and looking from the back of your head – sound odd but I find it really useful.
  • Keep a sense of the space all around you – beneath your feet, above your head, in front, to the sides and behind you.
  • The intension is to fall up – move forward whilst releasing down and falling up. Apparently ‘when we release our true and aligned body weight towards the centre of the earth, it stimulates postural reflexes that send us up against gravity – we ‘fall up’ in an easy and free way’.

I’m still a way off ‘falling up’ yet I reckon, but the new me has an intension to try and learn how, and I’m watching the ‘change’ in me as I do so.

In fact, I’m watching quite a few changes in things the ‘new me’ is working towards. Giving myself bit of time and space to explore what I want to do and why, rather than just rushing off to the next thing without considering its purpose. Having a determination to go deeper with things that interest me, rather than just surface skim enough to blag my way through. And giving myself time to look up and really notice things.

Like the leaves, changing colour.

Photo by  oddsock and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.




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