Isn’t that the point of every effort we expend, whether it’s work or play, self-improvement or self-punishment, relationship or isolation?
If I might paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Happy is as happy does.” Happy is the word we use to describe a certain quality or characteristics we see in ourselves and others.
My class today listed some observable characteristics of “happy”:
expansion spontaneity, freedom calm energy
movement and thinking are light, easy quietness in mind and body
freedom from resistance, drag, complications; less expenditure/waste of energy
seeing things without the thought “I need to do something about that”
Wouldn’t it be fair to say that “happy” is characterized by less effort? THAT is what the Alexander Technique makes possible. The reason to take Alexander lessons is to learn where you are unconsciously exerting excess effort, engaging resistance, tangling yourself up in being busy or thinking you need to “do” something about whatever. Once you learn how to stop doing that, you can start embodying the characteristics listed above.
When your thinking and movements are characterized by the qualities of “happy”, reaching for your coffee mug can be a joyful experience. Standing in line can feel like relief. Everyday movements can be a chance to lighten up.
You don’t need special circumstances to be happy. You don’t need Alexander lessons, either! But if you find yourself unable to access the observable characteristics of happiness, taking lessons is a great place to start 🙂