Awareness of Living: The Fs and the Big P

Wings Black Large by blangtv

Juicy f-words.

As I go through my life, creating, writing and developing ideas willy nilly, I was reminded by today’s Daily OM of a word I have come to accept – failure.

If we accept society’s narrow definition and use of the the words, “success” and “failure” we have one chance in every endeavor we attempt to be happy. If things don’t go the way we planned then it’s a failure. End of story, right?

Consciously I have redefined “success” for myself. Like my Body’s Way of moving, success is specific to what I want out of life. Interestingly, by redefining of “success” I didn’t alter my definition of “failure” at all. My definition of “failure” has evolved on it’s own.

Discomfort and Failure are signs of growth. If I’m not uncomfortable I’m probably not learning anything. If I haven’t failed, I certainly haven’t learned anything. From all the Ds and Fs I got in school until college, I should know everything!

Failure, Fear and Fight-or-Flight – my amygdala (the primal, instinctive part of the brain that kicks in when we’re “threatened”) couldn’t tell the difference for far too long.

During my movement practice out in the sumptuous spring morning, I found myself devoid of inspiration. Spine-pulsing, pleasure-sparking, joy-eliciting music and I found myself wandering aimlessly around my deck. At the time I thought to myself “mmm, ok, I’m not responding to the music the way I think I should, so just listen. Be with the music. Be in the music. Be part of the music.”

In retrospect (gotta love hindsight), I know now that I was running on a low hum of adrenaline. As much as I enjoyed dancing outside, I couldn’t truly be in the experience – I was uncomfortable and not comfortable with being uncomfortable. Snowball building…

Dancing with fear and failure is a release for me. I’ve stopped attempting to chase the fear away. Instead I invite fear to tell me its story. What brought it to me this time? Is its presence a new story or an old one? Is the story true? The most important aspect of this experience is not the process but the understanding that in being with fear I am no longer present. I have allowed myself to leave my body and get distracted by stories of the future created by my mind.

In terms of choreography I got nothin’ so that could be considered a failure. I didn’t get anything I can use for movement patterns by doing. In the being, I received information about myself and what I’m doing to develop choreography. Doing, doing and doing more doesn’t ever guarantee cool, fresh movement patterns. As often as not, it is while I’m just sitting and listening to the music that will bring something new. Being. Not a finished product, but honest inspiration.

Awareness gives me wings.

Fear is only a creation of my mind pulling my presence out from under me. Failure no longer troubles me. With its new definition as ‘an indication that it is time to stop DO-ing and BE’. It’s coming in through the back door. With this fresh awareness, why not begin my personal movement practice – or any movement practice with BE-ing?!

Wings, baby!

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