Franis (dialoguers) wrote,


Suspension is not inhibition in the Freudian sense. It's not a hangup, to feel embarrassed or self-conscious. People aren't used to using the skill of suspension without their inhibitions. It takes subtracting the policing part of judging themselves.

I don't think that using suspension "too often" is self-denial. Self-denial has the element of self-judgment.

Suspension as a deliberate action is a way to recognize and subtract one's own dominant routine - not to replace it with something that is "right" as people seem to want to do when they judge. That works best if you aren't substituting a "new and better" habit in it's place. Suspend and pay attention to see what happens. Who you are and what to do next will both be answered as you perceive with a fresh, renewed sensory ability that doesn't have the habitual routine in the way.

What happens when you actually suspend? Your proprioceptive ability pops out. This is true if you're doing Dialogue while using proprioception of thought, or doing Alexander Technique and using actual proprioception of balance and effort.

So, once you've got that proprioception into gear - make it work for you. Turn it on what you suspended (without the urge to "fix" what's wrong or bad,) and you'll see the workings of the routine for what it is. If what you did before to "fix" it didn't really work so well, try something new. Make a move in a new direction or conduct an experiment by assuming a new attitude of thinking, and your proprioceptive sense will work to tell you what really is happening - to the best of its' ability. Your sense of location and effort that is physical proprioceptive sense gives you relative feedback. Sometimes you will even make a discovery or get an insight.

I've seen it happen quite a bit like this in many, many people.

I noticed during Dialogue groups, when people first discover the idea of suspension - they stop talking. They seem to be busy asking themselves, "WHY do I want to say this? Where does this urge to say this come from in me?" Then after awhile, these people start talking again, at first more deliberately, but then their sense of humor comes out. Their fear of public speaking goes away.

Wonder if the process of suspension needs an additional skill? As it is so handy to be able to make a move in a new direction physically using Alexander's sense of Primary Control - how a little knowledge of living anatomy can be so useful.

The way that would work for Dialogue would be a form of pro-active movement too, perhaps the skill of forward thinking. To put this into practice, exercising a skill of memory would also be handy. You need this skill so you do not forget what you thought needed to be said while you were listening to other people talking.

To use suspension proactively, a necessary skill for Dialogue (for me) has become the ability to hang on to a thread of meaning past many people speaking. Perhaps what you thought of saying will be said by another person.

This takes practice. You would realize you want to say something. You would suspend talking about it for a moment; listen to see if someone else is going to say it for you. Then if nobody has brought up that direction of the subject, it can be said. Because you've suspended, you can choose the most effective moment for it to be said. This has a much different effectiveness for communication than just blurting something out whenever it comes to mind. Try it in your next conversation!
Tags: alexander technique, dialogue

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