Pardon me. Your attitude is showing. Airplane pilots need to maintain constant vigilance. Their motto is “fly the plane;” no matter what the conditions, inside or out, “fly the plane.” A pilot whom I know, a certain Dr. Fitzpatrick, recalled a time when the cockpit of his small private plane contained a large dog spewing projectile vomit over him, the cockpit, his wife, and his young daughter. In flight. His job, despite the onboard disruption, didn’t change: Fly the plane. One big help to Fitzpatrick and pilots everywhere is an instrument on the panel right in front of them called “Attitude.” Not “Altitude,” there’s another instrument for that, the Altimeter, but “Attitude.” It is a gauge with a fixed horizontal line across it with the real time position of the aircraft’s wings floating actively atop the fixed horizontal line. When the aircraft is flying at level the lines converge. If the right wing dips the divergence between horizontal and the lower right wing appears on the instrument and a pilot can correct if necessary. Attitude is angle. Yes. Attitude is angle. Are you wittingly or unwittingly giving attitude, giving angle? If so what is that saying about you? You might be surprised.
When we think about the future we lean forward. If we think about the past, we lean back. Current studies show that. But what if we are ambivalent, distrustful, dubious? You might lean forward, you might lean back, but you’ll definitely lean toward the side, incline your head like a curious puppy, or entirely displace its alignment with the spine. You can envision that. Some people do it rather skillfully. But to the person you’d like to help, or the person whose help you’d like, it sends the wrong message. To either of those individuals or to others, you might want to be demonstrating your levelheadedness, your lack of attitude, your ability to fly the plane in all conditions.
In the study of Alexander Technique you’ll learn that and a lot more. You’ll learn not only levelheadedness, but also the inspiration for it and the directions for maintaining it. Let the neck be free, in order for the head to go forward and up, in order for the back to lengthen and widen, according to F. M. Alexander, father of the eponymous technique. You’ll find that you won’t need to portray levelheadedness; you’ll learn to embody it. Whether it’s a spewing dog or a spewing boss, your attitude can remain consistent with your goal: Fly the plane, be mindful of your own little craft. People are going to notice, not your attitude, but your poise. Oh, they might say, you mean that levelheaded lady who applied just yesterday. I’d like to know more about her. A teensy bit better you might say, than, oh, that lady from yesterday with the attitude. Why bother? Be mindful. Your attitude is telling a story. You just might like it to tell the story of your own choosing. Get with it. Fly the plane.