Exploring different spaces


Taking risks, going into unknown spaces – both exciting and terrifying.    The rewards can be fantastic – the risks huge but worth it.

Being submerged in sound as if experiencing the creation of the music itself in process, doesn’t often present itself – but it did last week.    A raw and innovative band of musicians led a motley audience into and through the beams of the South Bank Centre along pump room walkways and immersed the unknowing in an unexpected experience of vision and sound.    This could have been scary and unnerving – instead it was inspirational and mind bending.   Everyone was wowed!

As we suddenly emerged from darkness into bright sunlight, the skyscape of London inspired – and breath flooded in.   We were level with the London Eye.

Inspiration – the breath of life.

Inspiration – the root of creativity.

Inspiration inspires us to finish what we’ve started – to go the last ten yards and win ……

We breathe out ….. the breath comes in …..




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Four things you need to know about you!

Let’s look at a typical week and see what happens:

1. It’s Monday morning. You’re about to set off for work. A feeling of ‘glum’ comes over you. A long week stretches ahead of you before the next weekend. So let’s get into work mode. Are you hunching your shoulders? Is your head disappearing into your neck – like a tortoise pulls its head into its shell when it’s defending itself? Are you putting on your ‘work’ armour in preparation for the challenges ahead? Is your head going down to the floor? This is your natural defence mechanism when facing uncertainty or pressure.

The ‘fight or flight’ reaction.

Your head is going down to the floor. You feel heavy and fed up. But what would happen if the crown of your head pushed gently upwards to the ceiling? You aren’t looking down at the floor anymore. You are looking a bit higher. You are growing upwards. Your head is now on top of your neck and spine. Your head seems lighter. There is a spring in your step.

Your Head balances on top of your spine between your ears and behind your eyes

2. You get to the office and go to your desk. Are you already thinking about the pile of emails waiting for you? Is your head poking forward towards the computer? Does it seem VERY heavy? Well, imagine that you’re holding 5 kilos of potatoes in front of you with arms outstretched – that would be very awkward and you wouldn’t be able to do that for very long without dropping them. Well, when you’re poking your head forward at the computer – that’s exactly what you’re doing!

Your head weighs five kilos (or five bags of sugar)

which is pretty heavy and if it’s poking forward and hanging down then your neck if having to hold on to it for grim death to stop it falling! Your neck begins to ache and your back hurts! You’re hunched over your computer longing for the end of the day. What would happen if the top of your head pushed gently up to the ceiling? It’s drawn upwards so you’re looking higher at the screen – your five kilos of head are floating on top of your neck/spine (your neck is simply an extension of your spine). You come more upright. You are no longer being drawn into the screen. You are simply looking at the screen.

You have taken charge of yourself and the computer!

3. Are you sitting comfortably? Or are you slumped in your chair? Let’s    find out.

Slide your hands under your ‘bum’. You will become aware of two bones – your ‘sitting bones’. Keeping your hands where they are, under the sitting bones, sit up straight in the conventional way – you will probably arch your back, stick your chest out and push your head backwards. When you do this, what happens to the sitting bones? Do they move and if so in what direction? Do this once or twice. You may notice the sitting bones moving backwards. So you’re now sitting on the tops of your thighs. Hard work! You feel tense.

Still keeping your hands under your sitting bones, now slump backwards to the back of the chair. Notice what happens to the sitting bones. You will probably notice that they move forwards this time. So you’re now sitting on your coccyx (ie on the bottom of your spine)! Not very comfortable!

Sitting bones are designed to be sat upon!

Roll forwards gently, hands still underneath you, and then roll back again two or three times, and you will find that you are now sitting on the sitting bones!

YOU are supporting yourself!

4. It’s the end of the week. Half an hour to go. You’ve cleared your intray. Then you notice your boss approaching. “Darn it!” You think. “I’ll be late leaving!” You’re fed up. Your head pushes down into your shoulders. Your shoulders tighten. Your breathing is restricted. What’s going to happen to your weekend plans? Is this you? Do you see your colleagues going through this scenario too? Or can your head push upwards gently and balance on top of the neck/spine so you can sit on your sitting bones, and breathe more easily. No matter what happens, the weekend will be fine.

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Synchronicity is the thing!

Have you ever had the experience of walking along a foreign street in some exotic country where you know no-one, and suddenly there crossing the street in front of you – you see someone you haven’t seen in years?

This has happened to me so many times.   Once in Paris – when a friend from university days suddenly magic’d in front of me as I walked along the Champs Elysee.   Then again in London when a friend from when I lived in Algeria saw me coming out of Ealing tube station.   And more recently someone I had lost touch with, who had worked with me in North Africa years ago sent me a message saying they’d found me on the internet!   Time and place synchronised – it’s as if time had stood still.

And then it moves on – like moving house.   You wait and wait, and seem to be motionless, and then suddenly there is the space in between and the old is gone and the new appears.

The waiting shows you the gaps between which otherwise you would not have seen.

I often think this when coming out of a tube station heaving with commuters.   You know your exit.   You could barge your way through the crowd.   Or be clearly focused where you want to go, and find the gaps between ….  synchronicity!


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To Blog or not to Blog…

To blog or not to blog, that is the question? Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them…..

I sit here pondering this question. Whether I blog (or not) is not a world shattering event. If I don’t blog nobody will know. If I do blog then maybe something insightful will emerge and float up to the surface like flotsam and jetsam come in on the tide – like jewels.

And I remember an occasion years ago walking along a vast golden beach – the tide so far out that it took forever to reach the waves. The sun was glorious.

We walked in a huge loop along the edge of the waves and swung up to the dunes and pine woods in the distance. There was driftwood and shells strewn on the surface of the sand. And then we saw a long curving timber lying there – windweathered and sea-beaten. It was almost covered by the sand. But there was a hole where once there had been a ship’s nail or rivet – just big enough to put my thumb through. I pulled and slowly this magnificent timber appeared like a ship’s sail – five feet or more in length. It was beautiful. It stood there gleaming in the sun.

I had found a treasure I could not leave behind.

There was a piece of old fisherman’s blue rope just long enough to tie through the hole. The three of us pulled and dragged this sail-shaped timber across the miles of sand to our starting point. Then I saw a rusty iron bar – it fitted in the hoop on the timber.

In triumph we put our booty in the car.

It has stood for almost twenty years. A standing stone, a beacon of steadfastness, endurance and strength and beauty that has seen the world and triumphed.

And I wonder at that chance happening on a golden beach – how strange that I found a jewel in the sand. Unexpectedly.

Sign up if you’d like more information about my intelligent movement courses

or go to www.suzanneduncanson.co.uk

til next time,


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Important people in my life

There have been four important people in my life.

Why are they important – because they all changed my life in some way.

The first was my headmaster at the local primary school.    I went there at the age of nine or ten having been unexpectedly taken from my posh private school and sent to the local school.    I was lost and confused.   He took me and some other kids and gave us extra tuition before school to help us pass the dreaded Eleven plus.     I just failed by a smidgen!    However he had given me self-belief.

The second was my English teacher, a wonderful man called Mr Valentine.    He saw that I was good at English and particularly writing and, knowing that I couldn’t go to senior school without Latin,  took it upon himself to teach me Latin.    This meant that I went to Secondary School, passed my exams and went to University special info.

The third was Muhammed Ali who has just died.     He was at the height of his powers then, and his brilliance in and out of the ring inspired me to think ‘big’.   ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’   touches my heart.    He was unique.

The fourth was the head of my Alexander training school – Misha Magidov.    He ran his school of twenty five students and half a  dozen teachers with a generosity of spirit and kindness that allowed us all to open our horizons and fly.

I am am lucky to have had these people in my life.

the first gave me opportunity.

the second gave me a future and confidence.

the third gave me inspiration.

the fourth gave me the power to change.

I am grateful that I can now pay tribute to them as wonderful, unique and original beings with rare gifts that  they shared with the world.

Go to my website if you want to know more about my Intelligent Movement courses.


’til next time,


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I’m really zinging today. It’s cold and miserable outside despite being the 1st June – where has that 20 degree sunshine of three days ago gone? But I’m still basking in it.

I know where I want to be, what I want to happen and the way is clear to the destination.     I have been enthused by the inspiration of people around me, a team of talented and crazy artists – who have been enthused by what I am doing in my courses and workshops.     When people who have had no idea what Alexander’s discoveries are, look in on a group of students exploring these discoveries – and start drawing what THEY see  – as people on the outside rather than from the steamy perspective of those inside the hothouse of the Alexander world.    Their freshness and excitement was palpable – and this added a vitality to the course that was in progress.

The students looked at themselves with new eyes,  there was a joy in what they were experiencing,  they grew in every sense of the word!    Their feet sprang up off the floor as they moved around the room partnering each other in groups of twos and threes.   There was a magic.

So I’m zinging!

And now the possibility of moving location is actualising itself.     This empowers all kinds of changes –  new people, new places, new ideas, new courses – the possibilities are infinite.

The ‘present’ is great – a vastness of space opens up allowing horizons to move away – I remember when I crossed the Sahara in a Renault 4 years ago, the silence, the space, the hugeness, the unchangingness of it, the beauty of being ‘there’ changed me forever.    That moment is NOW.    Enjoy.

’til next time.

For more about my courses go to my website www.suzanneduncanson.co.uk


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Do you ever get stuck?

You – feel hemmed in.    There’s no way out of the impasse.    What to do, where to go.    Just stagnate?

I was stuck last week – really stuck.    I had three choices.


I could either:

1.           DO WHAT I USUALLY DO.


3.            DO NOTHING.

I was fed up of doing what I usually do in this situation – which was to be paralysed into ineffectiveness so nothing changed.

Doing nothing wasn’t going to help either.

So I decided to TAKE ACTION.

1.        I asked for help.    I asked an opera singer to come and sing to me.

They chose an aria from La Boheme – an aria where the heroine is enjoying where she is while

still being clear about the way to get what she wants.


I made a few phone calls – things began to move in the way I wanted.

2.         I decided to CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER.

What about all that STUFF filling my wardrobe and drawers that I hadn’t worn for years or had

NEVER worn!

A happy couple of hours had me emptying drawers and filling up bin bags – down to the clothes

bank next morning, and back to admire all that SPACE.

More physical space meant more space in my head.    Really good work.


I went for a ‘Walk with me’ – a fabulous concept – you’re sent off with an iPad and headphones

on a walk through woods, ice houses and lakes with a soundtrack of words, and sounds –

children playing, music, waves pounding beaches…..

Then I heard John Hurt’s gravelly voice:


              “BOUNDARIES ARE DIFFICULT TO SEE.       



I realised that my invisible boundaries had vanished – my direction was clear.

I was no longer stuck.

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Are the doors closing before they’ve opened?

Are you afraid that just as the doors were opening for you and work opportunities were presenting themselves – you were seeing a bright future opening up before you, after years of hard work and study – the doors seem to be closing?     Your Phd is nearly finished but all that is at risk because pain is threatening to put everything on hold.

You have tried everything, all the experts, strong painkillers and there is no change.  Your life is being limited just as it was beginning.   Will you be able to enter the workplace at all?

This is the position some of my pupils find themselves in.   They ring me up wanting to find a solution, hoping that something can be done to sort them out.   I tell them I am not someone who ‘fixes’ things.  I am an educator – but if they some along to one of my groups or for a 121 – we can begin to find out what is going on that is getting in the way.

This was the situation that faced David, one of my students, some years ago.    He was in his final year at university – an artistic and very talented guy who was in severe pain.    So much so that that there was every chance that he would not complete his degree and would be unable to complete his portfolio for the finals.

He was in a bad way.   He rang me up wanting the problem to be fixed.   So he came for a series of lessons – I am an educator not a fixer!   He thought his future was in ruins.   He couldn’t see any other way of being than the way he had always been.

Gradually he saw that changing WAS a possibility and the doors swung open.    Many years later he is fulfilling his dreams – a success in his field and much in demand.    And WINDSURFING!   You should see the photo he sent me – a caption underneath saying ‘I never thought I would be doing this!

More on this later this week.

Why not visit my website www.suzanneduncanson.co.uk

Or come to one of my group courses – see above for info.

’til next time


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Perambulations and Ruminations

Hi Everyone,

As you can see from my website story it is very easy to get stuck in a habit.   I got stuck with the habit of ‘not seeing’.   I decided very early on in my life as a child ‘not to see’ – and that became a ‘habit’ that I was not aware of.   So years later I was still ‘not seeing’ – but I didn’t know that I had blinkers on so I didn’t know what I was missing.

And this was not only affecting my vision but my physical being too.   I was totally uncoordinated and clumsy.    I remember dropping a huge can of white paint in Princes Street in Edinburgh – which spread all over the road!  And that was typical of me at that time.    Freedom of movement was unknown to me.

It was only when I realised that there was a subconscious habit I needed to change in myself, and I began to explore the means whereby I could do this with Alexander’s discoveries that a whole world opened up for me.   I discovered that movement could be fun and fabulous.    I discovered that we are a psychophysical ‘self’.   I began to see in colour and in 3D (I hadn’t realised that I was only seeing in black and white up until then).    It’s only when we explore the unknown that we begin to see more clearly.

’til next time


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