That nothing good ever happens to me is a habit of mine. A habit of thought. (The fact that it is a self-fulfilling prophesy as well may be linked, but I will leave that for now.)
As you may know from previous posts, I have started at last to make a little money from the annex to my new home. Having failed to rent it in the normal way, I turned to Airbnb. While my first customers were here, I got an enquiry for a three-month booking. Woohoo! I accepted, but then, before confirmation I got a message: ‘I am in London this weekend, can I come and see it?’ My heart sank. That’s torn it, I thought. They will see that it is small and poky and miles from anywhere, and they won’t book. I was crestfallen and wanted to say ‘NO! You can’t come and see it!’ The place will be a tip (I thought). I emailed the lady in Shanghai and asked: I will be showing the flat on Monday. Please could you let Mr and Mrs Zhang know that I will be entering the property and ask them to please have it looking neat and tidy? They won’t (I thought). It will all be a hideous embarrassment. What was I thinking? I can’t do this. Everything I do is rubbish.
The Frenchwomen came. I went in with them. It looked fine. They seemed keen. They left again. I was certain it was the last I would see of them. It will have been too far from town, too suburban, too little. They don’t like me or any of my stuff, in other words. Reader, they have booked for three months. Now I am telling myself they will cancel… It seems too good to be true. Why? Why do I assume I am unworthy?
Yesterday there was a long thread on one of the AT groups on FB. Someone I know posted something to the effect of AT teachers thinking it was only the very experienced ‘gurus’ who were able to make a living. He said that anyone with a three-year training would be ahead of their pupils and able to offer something of value. And I wrote, thanking him for that and saying ‘I’m back to feeling ‘I can’t do this’ and needing a kick up the arse.’ Another teacher I don’t know posted a reply pointing out that ‘I can’t do this’ is also a habit. DOING!!!
Alexander Technique is ALL ABOUT habits. I recognized so many of my own during the training and after, and yet it never occurred to me that my miserable, pessimistic, defeatist habits may be just that. And while it may be instructive to understand how I came by such an unhelpful habit (and yes, I still really would like to know); it’s worth thinking about whether and how I could ‘just’ kick the habit.
Only I am pretty shit at kicking habits.