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1.the state of being inactive.Syn.  Dawdling, pottering, shilly-shallying

2.disinclination to activity. —Syn.  slowness, indolence, slothfulness

Webster’s New World Thesaurus was fairly upbeat with its ‘idleness’ entry until ‘indolence’ and ‘slothfulness’ made an appearance. Here we enter into the realm of judgment and the expectation that incessant activity and productiveness is a preferred mode of being.

Easter Sunday was a rare day of, yes, I’ll claim it, indolence.  The positive spin would be ‘rest.’  The massive and very dead ash tree along the Rt. 296 lane had finally been removed and Mike was tired.  Our social life found us happily out late the night before, celebrating the season with long-time friends.  The plan had been to hop in the car the next day and get ourselves to the hill, but after sitting on the back porch in perfect bliss with our morning coffees, we concluded a trip to the farm was altogether too much doing.

Or as my godson Lyle used to ask, when I picked him up from preschool and proceeded to run errands, ‘Diana, could we please stop going?’  Yes, Lyle, we could.  What a fine question.  We do not have to keep going.  Stopping is a very good idea.  Essential, really.

We live in a world with very few pauses, and I write this week to encourage the finding of spaces, moments, hours, even a day, to quit with going and doing.  This Easter Monday finds me refreshed* following a rare day of do-less-ness.  Wishing for you the same—-

*Thanks to Beth C. for her delightful uses of the word ‘refreshed.’  




Activism and the Alexander Technique


In earlier days of activismI marched the streets of New York City, chanting for the Nuclear Freeze Initiative. I served on a Columbia University board promoting a national peace education program. Closer to home, collaboration with others at the The Interfaith Center for Peace resulted in the creation of a mediation program for use in schools and churches.

Huzzah for me. And then…..I burned out.

There is a particular energy to activism consisting of equal parts fear and anger.  Not exactly the ideal emotional state, and certainly a burden on the body. Is it possible to be an activist and an Alexander Technique practitioner?

Here’s what I know so far. It’s hard. It’s possible.  A few recent opportunities:

  •  Observing my body’s startle pattern while marching past yelling bystanders at the Ohio Women’s March to the Columbus Statehouse.
  • Choosing to return to the balance of head-on-spine while attending a high energy start-up meeting of 600 for a local Indivisible chapter.
  • Noting (over and over again) my body in downward pull, usually while at the computer or phoning offices of elected officials. Once noted, choosing to ‘Think Up,’ and gently give myself some space.

Please wish me well, and may we all respond to current political and social realities with courtesy and kindness, resolve and commitment.