Our habits are the problem. And moving toward conscious change requires nothing more than awareness.
So the GAP: Literally, this is the space on the subway platform between you and the subway car you want to get on. Often the voice comes over the loudspeakers to "mind the gap". Good advise really! We don't want to fall into the gap as the doors are closing.
In Alexander Technique terms, the GAP is a metaphor for the space between. This is in fact the most creative space that you have available to you, in order to avoid falling into the same habits and patterns and behaviors as before.
The habit is your default. It could be your anxiety, your negative thoughts, your habitual movement into the chair that keeps your back tight and your shoulders creeping up to your ears, in other words the rote ways of doing things that keep you stuck and not being free.
Because isn't what we really want just basic freedom? Freedom to move beautifully like we did as little children, free to be spontaneous, and not worry about falling?
Free is the opposite of STUCK.
So how can we get UNSTUCK? First and foremost, you have to notice what is actually in front of you. Wake up to the present environment. See the options available to you. DO you want to make the same choice as before? Where has it gotten you? What would you want instead? What would be different if, through new awareness, you pause in that moment of the GAP and re-direct yourself to a different outcome?
In AT, we are always bringing conscious awareness to the body/mind, and then possibly making a new and better choice for how to move.
The same applies to our emotional and mental choices. In fact, the physical and the emotional/mental realms are the same. As you can "mind the GAP" mentally, there will be a definite change to your physical well being. No question.
So let's use an example...
The train is coming, and you are late. So you are thinking about the place you have to get to, and when you and everyone else steps onto the train, you forget to look down, and fall into the GAP. OUCH. Now, let's go back to that moment again. The train in coming and you PAUSE for a moment and notice the space between the platform and the train, and see that it is a little bigger than normal. You direct yourself upward, shift onto the standing leg and bend your other hip, knee and ankle, landing gracefully on the foot and the rest is easy. You go to your seat and continue in your reverie.
Such a rote exercise that we do every day, right? (Or maybe you have to get into your car instead, so vary the metaphor for our purposes here). Your awareness in that moment is everything. It is the difference between ease and injury. It is the difference, in the long run, in keeping your body/mind fluid and free. It brings a youthful energy into your life, as you bring awareness to what is right in front of you.
We are confronted by these moments all day, every day. The GAP is the pause between, when you simply bring all of yourself to the present moment, and allow your consciousness to expand. to take in the whole of your environment, so that you can be present to your life in a holistic way.
In fact, it is really the little things that bring beauty and freedom back to you. It is a practice of awareness that you can choose to do, gathering more and more elements for a life well lived each and every day.
Now, as the holidays are approaching, think about how you can use the GAP to keep the stress down, and the enjoyment high. I think of self awareness as and art. You deserve all this beauty in your life!