1.04.2013

Don't Throw Out The Baby With The Bathwater


I have a tendency to either go all out or not at all. When trying something I jump in with both feet, forget everything else and make that my one and only focus.  That may work for some people but I've learned that I can't sustain that kind of intensity. The "focus" part is ok, but it's the "forget everything else" that gets me in trouble.
It's been a journey for me to learn to trust myself. I know that whatever new endeavor I embark on I bring with me valuable experience, perspective and interpretation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that things come easily to me. There are plenty of empty blanks to fill, dots to connect and lessons to learn. Sure there are. Otherwise why would I bother to be interested in learning or progressing on such endeavor? Of course I'm speaking specifically about dance but this could apply to just about anything.
It's all part of the journey of being a life long student. To continually learn, grow, and mature in a subject, humility is of utmost importance. On the other hand, if you are a life long student and have had good teachers, you're not exactly a blank slate anymore. You've obviously already picked up some knowledge and experience along the way. We have both sides within us. Balance is crucial.
I've recently had the amazing privilege of delving deeper into my dance education. My thought early on was to discard everything previously learned and start fresh. Well, thankfully I caught that mistake on time. Yes it's challenging to turn off your body's automatic response when instructed to move differently than you have for years. Yes it's hard to correct bad habits and approach a familiar dance through a new perspective. But at the same time, you realize that this new education along with your background and your particular collection of skills and experiences will yield your very own interpretation. Your very own voice. 
My suggestion to you is simple but not always easy. Keep the balance. When revising, correcting or learning something new, keep the good stuff. Bring your unique voice with you yet still approach the new lesson openly and with humility. 
Keep the baby just throw out the bathwater.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! You and I have a lot in common. There's a lot of power behind that 'all or nothing' mentality. Sometimes it spurs us to great things, sometimes it is self-destructive. Interesting that you caught yourself in the act. I'll have to think of you the next time I get stuck in that rut. Thanks for sharing your experiences, and happy new year!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ananke. I absolutely agree re: how powerful 'all or nothing' is. I think, sometimes, I wouldn't have done any of the things I was afraid of trying if I hadn't had that mentality. I just have to be careful not to lose myself.
      Thank you so much for reading/commenting. Happy New Year to you as well!

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