When I was about 20, I went to a party with a university friend. The party was being given by a man who lived in the house that formerly belonged to a famous Medium in Indianapolis. The house had been constructed in a way to make it possible to throw voices and have them sound like they were coming from another room, among other parlor tricks. The Medium was apparently very successful in the 1930s, and counted a young Walt Disney among her clients. Over the years he gave her many animation cels that were framed and hanging in the house. All that alone was enough to get the two of us interested in going to the party - but the other caveat was that when the current homeowner had had enough wine, "odd" things started happening in the house. So we went, two kids on a mission to who-knows-what.
What I remember most is the distracted drive back to campus, as my friend and I tried to process what we’d seen (it's lucky we made it). We then sat in the car and talked for several hours in disbelief, until we felt like we could return to our dorms and actually go to sleep. The experience opened my young mind, for certain, to the possibility that there is more to this world than we can see with the naked eye.
I think that learning to be open to things we can sense but not see at a fairly young age is what led me eventually to both Alexander Technique training and Reiki energy healing. I have a lot of trust in the power of things unseen, and in the energy that connects us all as living beings – people, plants, animals and what may lie beyond our human understanding. In Alexander Technique we talk a lot about “felt sense,” which is both tactile through touch as well as the quiet understanding that comes when we really listen to and sense one another’s best selves.
Actors use this “felt sense” daily on the stage – at least they do if they are good at their craft. Anyone who is constantly thinking of their next response (or how they want to say their next line) is not really listening to and/or sensing what their conversational partner is communicating with their whole self. How we respond can vary greatly depending on our attention level – how present are we to the current situation? Are we listening to what’s going on “under” the words?
I love attuning people to the possibility of personal growth in this area. I love working on the felt sense, and on being present to one another. The Alexander principles help me daily to be aware, to pause, and then to sense carefully the direction in which my responses will go forth. It’s a great joy to share this with others in private lessons, and particularly in classes for actors. I have a new series of actor classes starting on November 21 in Decatur, GA. Come and join me and see what it’s all about.