Tag Archives: BE-ing

Time to Receive and Nourish

Skills Incubator

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.

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!

Photo from banglatv.ca