“One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my life is to pay as much attention to the means of work as to its end … I have been always learning great lessons from that one principle, and it appears to me that all the secret of success is there, to pay as much attention to the means as to the end.”
A transition is the point where you change from one activity to another.
Choose an easy activity to work with first.
Practice the activity a few times in the actual situation or by play-acting the situation.
Using The Ready List both before we take action, and also during an activity, can help us to perform any activity much more effectively.
This can become our new habit.
The most amazing value of The Ready List is in its application to your daily activities. With “Begin Here with The Ready List” we were encouraging you to learn TRL by standing or sitting. Now it is time to take TRL and use it with any activities that you choose.
This work is increasingly popular in the performing arts and in sports and has been used regularly in these areas for many years. More and more it is now also being used in general education, with children aged three years up to young adult.
You can apply The Ready List to any area at all, any sort of occupation, profession or leisure activity plus to any activities in your daily and home life. If you are able to think, you can use The Ready List. If you practice enough, you might find that you can activate TRL through intention alone and that the instructions will take care of themselves. Then you no longer really need to even think about it.
A transition is simply the point where you change from one activity to another. Transition points are happening all the time. Some of them are very small. For example, as I type this text, I occasionally pause to think what I might write next. The transition point is the place where I stop writing. My fingers go from movement to stillness. Then I start to type again, and my fingers go from stillness into movement. That is another transition.
To experience a bigger transition, if you are sitting down to read this then maybe stand up. That is the transition between sitting and standing.
Now that you have become slightly familiar with The Ready List, you can start to practice it in the context of transitions. It is usually a good idea to pick something easy to start you off and to practice this a few times to get yourself into the zone. Try to avoid choosing anything that happens in a hectic situation at this point. Keep things as simple as possible to begin with or you might start to feel a little discouraged. You can soon work your way up to using The Ready List in stressful situations if you want to. In fact, most people seem to find that, if they practice in easy situations first, The Ready List often pops up, seemingly by itself, to quite unexpectedly divert the progress of more challenging experiences.
We are going to give you a practical example now but do remember that this is just our example; it is crucial that you find your own transition points to work with.
Every morning when I want to get out of bed I sit bolt upright, twist myself around and end up sitting on the edge of the bed. On a few occasions I have felt a twinge in my back at some point during this process and I have been advised to get out of bed differently to avoid a possible injury. I know that I should first draw up my knees and roll onto my side and drop my legs over the edge of the bed as I push myself up into a sitting position. The problem is that the first way is my habit, and I can never remember to try the second way.
I decide to use the movement of getting out of bed as my transition point to apply The Ready List. I lie on my bed and have a few goes of practicing getting up using The Ready List.
This is what I do when the thought to get out of bed occurs to me:
Practicing this procedure a few times is helpful as movement anchors learning. Actually making the movements while using The Ready List starts to create new neural pathways in my brain.
If I forget and jump out of bed in my old way, I do not bother myself about it. I simply lie down again and then get up differently. It only takes a few extra seconds of my time.
After a while of practicing this new activity, I find that I can compress The Ready List so that SEE, BREATHE, SOFT & TALL start to overlap and help each other. I notice that as I SEE, I also BREATHE in, and as I BREATHE out, I become SOFT & TALL.
After a while I decide that I also want to try applying The Ready List when I transition from sitting on the edge of the bed to standing.
... And find a teacher!
If you want to make The Ready List into your new habit, then you must practice it.
If you want to fast-track your progress, then find a teacher to help you. If there are no teachers available in your area then you can certainly find a teacher somewhere who will work with you online. However, we can't stress enough the importance of at least some face-to-face, hands-on lessons with a qualified Alexander Technique Teacher if that is at all possible for you.
Now that you have learned the steps of The Ready List it is time to bring that knowledge into your daily life.
Find out how here.
Download a .pdf file of all the instructions and information on this page concerning transitions: