I often wonder how much change, refreshing and sharing of “new” material my students expect. This also brings me to swim around in the expectations I have around myself as a teacher. Am I falling victim to The Shoulds?
I go through periods where every class feels new to me. I cue it differently, I bring in a different way of moving through a familiar pattern, change the music or bring a routine with which they are unfamiliar. Inspiration is practically shooting out of my head like sparks!
Weeks like these two past, I feel as though I’m delivering more repetition and staying connected longer to a focus and playlist.
I’ve noticed that this in a pattern of mine. It shows up when I’m learning. Even when I’m sharing with my students, I’m still processing the new material I’m taking in outside of class or group practice.
The new material hasn’t found it’s place and I don’t know what to do with it yet.
This material can be books, an alternate movement philosophy, a theory of communication, a performance of movement or music that inspires me, specific continuing education, workshop material from another’s workshop or from reasearch done for my own, an additional movement endeavor (like learning to play tennis), conscious changes I intend to make, classes I’m taking, or something in my life that I’m going through.
In the past I would panic when I would come to realize that I’d been teaching the same thing the same way for longer than a couple of classes.
Then the light came on. First, I never teach the same thing the same way – it’s not realistically possible and I don’t attempt to. I may use the same music, focus and choreography but it is not the same experience.
Second, I have come to better understand the way I learn. My creative energy will naturally go to the background so that processing can take place. If I interfere with this, I get frankly crappy classes! I’m like a juggler who performs beautifully with 8 objects, but it’s the 9th that becomes the potato in the gears.
Third, what kind of energy am I sharing with my students? Does my scattered, distracted energy foster ease and trust?
Giving myself the time it takes to receive new information and time to let it settle is nourishing for myself and for my students. Being open to simply BE-ing in and with the material while the settling is going on is equally important for me. This gives me the opportunity to discover how to best use this juicy new “stuff”, as opposed to deciding ahead of time what I want to use the information for or defining before I begin, what the information is used for.
When I begin with an intention I find it more useful to be open to tweaking, adjusting or even changing my intention as I deepen my relationship with the material. Everything is energy including this information. How does this energy flow with the most ease for my purpose? How can my purpose be in relationship with the information energetically for a beneficial result? Sometimes it can’t and I have to let go. Maybe I’m not ready. Perhaps it just isn’t for me.
If I don’t take the time, I won’t know how this works. I may spend many frustrating hours when they might be curious hours instead. I’ve done the beating-my-head-against-the-wall of I-want-to-use-this-information.
When the material and my purpose or intention are an energetic match, there’s a flow even when there’s still a ton of work ahead before integration and embodiment. In this, the receiving becomes as nourishing as the end result.