I was brought to Aleš by an old acquaintance of mine, pain in the neck region of the spine. I knew it was the result of scoliosis, but since doctors taught me at a young age that scoliosis is an incurable disease, I kind of came to terms with it. Until the pain became literally unbearable. I will never forget the day when I wrote to Marjan Ogorevac in tears because of the pain and asked him if he could recommend a good chiropractor. It was short and concise: “Vesna, I think the AEQ method® created by Aleš Ernst would be what you need.” It’s been nine months, and I know today that it was the best advice I’ve ever been given in my 44 years of life. Because since then, my life has turned upside down. Or rather, it started to get back on my feet, as it had been upside down almost since when I was born. The worst thing is that I was not even aware of it. I believed my scoliosis was a hereditary disease that had nothing to do with my way of feeling, thinking, and acting. Supposedly, my spine became curved at a young age due to hereditary factors, rapid growth, and carrying a heavy school bag. Physiotherapists also told me to be active in sports, but if the pain is too severe, taking some analgesics here and there is not a sin. But never even a single word about the connection with emotions or, God forbid, traumas.
That’s why I was all the more surprised when Aleš presented me with this kind of connection between trauma, mind, muscles, and bones. I absorbed his every word with interest, and a new world began to open before me. The best thing about his explanation was that he could prove every claim with the playful ease characteristic of his rhetoric. No mysticism, no groping in the fog; with Aleš, every ”why” has its own ”because”. If you decide to assemble a puzzle according to the AEQ method, you can be sure that all the missing pieces are just waiting for you to find them. But it’s up to you if you reach out to grab them. And even after just a few visits, it dawned on me how messed up my life’s puzzle was; the pieces were everywhere except where they were supposed to be. I began to see the bigger picture through our conversations, a picture that had been hidden from me before. The only thing warning me of its existence was pain.
The events in my childhood that led to my suffering from scoliosis became clear to me. I began to see the mechanisms I developed to maintain the state I was in. I started to understand pretty much all the more or less painful situations I have found myself in throughout the years and the relationships I entangled myself in. With the active therapies and daily AEQ exercises, my muscles, which have been contracted for decades due to sensory motor amnesia, slowly began to relax. When my muscles were relaxing, so were my suppressed emotions. In practice, this meant crying, crying, and even more crying. Since I was actively involved in alternative methods even before I knew Aleš, the crying did not scare me. I welcomed it, especially because it was always “safe” to do so under Aleš’s guidance. Unlike before, I understood every tear, I understood what caused it and why. I find this incredibly important because it gives you the feeling of control. And it was the latter that I was missing for the longest time when going through alternative medicine – going into the depths of your shadows and maintaining control while doing so, having a clear goal in front of you, and having all the required knowledge and understanding of how to reach it.
It wasn’t always easy to defeat the resistance that appeared whenever I decided to think, feel and act outside my old patterns. It wasn’t easy because I often found it easier to look away than to look into my own darkness. But even though it was difficult, it was, in its own way, spontaneous and unavoidable. Because after a few months of performing AEQ exercises, I began feeling my body and gradually felt my true needs and desires. I started to slowly and carefully remove my mask. First in front of myself and later in front of others. The more I fixed my emotional and mental world, the more my outer life improved as a result. Some people distanced themselves, others I distanced myself. I dropped many of my responsibilities because I realized they never brought me joy. Happiness became a new acquaintance, and I hope we will someday become best friends. I now know that you cannot rely on the stars, karma, destiny, or luck. Where I will invest my attention, time, and energy is where the fruits of my labor will grow, and its growth will be directly proportional to the amount invested.
Looking back, I now see that performing AEQ exercises actually teaches me something much larger and more important. It teaches me to perform life. That way, I am more attentive to my movement and everything I do. And I do it with awareness and feeling, with the right measure, without haste, and never by force. I learned how much more beautiful and easier life can be if you know how to find balance and stay in it. I learned to think before I act and to weigh the options before I make a decision. I finally learned to drop the burdens I put on myself for decades and not feel guilty for doing it. And most of all, I learned to listen to my body, which is always talking. When it warns me now – very rarely, but nevertheless – with pain, I still somehow understand what it wants to tell me. Because I understand, I can accept the matter and then also change it.
Aleš, I am eternally grateful to you for showing me how AEQ exercises can help you bring order to your worlds: emotional, mental, and physical. I now know that we can begin talking about true freedom only when all three are orderly.
Vesna Žist, Naples, Italy