When a visit to the bank turned into a call from the jungle
October 20, 2017
Kind Grandparents offered to start some savings for my daughter, so I went to the bank to open an account for her.
I had to have a meeting with the bank manager to go through all the forms. During the conversation he had to pop out of the room to get another form.
When he’d gone I noticed I had been curling my toes very tightly for a while. This came as quite a shock as I know this is a sign of fear. The founder of the Alexander Technique, FM Alexander was an actor and one of the earliest discoveries that he made was that he used to grip his toes when performing on stage and that indicated he was nervous to be there.
It is part of the startle reflex along with widening eyes, holding breath and tensing other parts of the body. It’s an important evolutionary tool for when we feel fear. It allows the fight or flight response to kick in and very useful when you’re in the jungle hiding from lions. It’s not so useful when you’re sitting with a bank manager.
I had no idea that I was fearful of the situation but my body was telling me otherwise. Perhaps it was due to my being out of that corporate environment for so long having not worked in an office for over a year. Perhaps there was a feeling that I was being tested, although there was no reason for me to think that. Whatever the reason I was pleased I had spotted it and was able to come back to my breath and relax a bit before he came back in the room. I felt like this let my guard down and we actually had a nice chat after that.
Have a think about what your body is telling you next time you are in a new or strange situation. Next take a moment to undo any extra tension you are holding. Then notice if this changes your interaction and outlook to the scenario. You ma be surprised at what you learn.