While listening to one of several radio interviews with Charles Duhigg , author of The Power of Habit, I recognized much of what I have learned through incorporating the Alexander Technique deeply in my life
Each time I have heard him, however, I have felt a little “unease” with the emphasis that the title gives to his work--habit. This time as I listened, I realized that my unease was perhaps coming from an incongruity between the title of his book and his message.
It seems to me that what he really cares about is the power of process—that it is possible to respond to habits in freedom rather than compulsion.
And, in my newly acquired copy of his work, that is exactly what he says at the end of the prologue. “We now know why habits emerge, how they change, and the science behind their mechanics. We know how to break them into parts and rebuild them to our specifications…..Transforming a habit isn’t necessarily easy or quick. It isn’t always simple. But it is possible. And we understand how.”
How elegantly the process of using the Alexander Technique matches some of what I have read already! The great gift of the Alexander Technique is its offer of a process that can be deeply integrated into every moment of life—creating the cue to make the choice you want, the specific response to the cue, and the reward of a more and more responsive coordination.
I wonder if the book would have gotten the same “buzz” if it was called “The Power of Process.” We do have a way of responding to what we might think we don’t want – i.e. habit. (remembering that some of our habits, like tying our shoes, are very handy to have).
Yet what we need is beyond that—it is the Yes beyond our current idea of habits—the “yes” of a Constructive process.