Friday, May 7, 2010

Moving Within the Eye of the Storm

(Toby is the sniff-iest cat ever. I think he was a puppy in a previous life.)

I have this framed quote in my orange writing room:

Discipline is remembering what you want.

I think that the first part suffices:

Discipline is remembering.

As I've been writing about, I have been feeling out of balance. I am struggling to find a way to be writer/teacher/dancer, and lately, the solutions have been proving rather illusive.

We all have this same struggle in our lives in different and varied ways, and it's ongoing, morphing along the way. Perhaps you are struggling to balance wife/daughter/painter or mother/head of household/yogini.

We get so caught up in the struggle that we forget.

We forget that we have basic needs, and that if we meet those needs, things tend to fall in place or at least, things feel a bit less chaotic.

For many of us, the most basic need is some form of prayer or meditation. My prayer and meditation both come most naturally to me while dancing, but the dance has to be one of simultaneous focus and freedom. My ego has to be set aside.

I find stillness within movement -- the eye of my own hurricane, if you will.

In my quest to be the Most Amazing Teacher Ever, I have not been meeting this basic need. Eventually, this will degrade the quality of my teaching, not to mention the overall quality of my life.

So the other day, I remembered.

I remembered to Just Dance.

I went downstairs and put on a guided movement CD by Gabrielle Roth, and I noticed all these amazing things.

First, I noticed how important it was that I keep my eyes closed. The second I opened my eyes, I could see my body and my internal dialogue would start up. "Oh, that's a 'good' move...oh, wait, that looks silly...oh, I need to do more thigh isolation work..."

Having my eyes open when I am working on choreography is one thing, but this reminded me how much time I spend being critical of my body and its movements and how much I need to nurture a less self-conscious approach.

Second, even with my eyes closed, my monkey mind was Busy. I would get a few seconds of direct experience of heart and body and then my brain would chime in with some running commentary.

Of course, this is the work of meditation.

And this is why remembering is the truest discipline. I must remember day to day why this meditation is important. I must remember that it heals me. I must remember that I am worth the time and the effort. I must remember that this form of dance is the most important form of all.

What have you done for yourself lately? (To paraphrase Ms. Jackson.)


Jennifer said...

Oh yes, remembering is the focus of my prayers, almost daily...
Remembering who I am.

When I forget, life falls apart again and nothing makes sense.

Those lies I was talking about on Tuesday....I'm thinking that I tell them to help me make up for forgetting

Christiana Spiritguide said...

Keeping your eyes closed...Yep. You will notice that I have mine closed a LOT during our yogadance classes....this is when I am most feeling the freedom of the dance. I am not thinking, or analyzing, I just AM.

This is very important.

We must be vigilant in our remembering to BE.

Sandy Dempsey said...

remembering to just write and read without purpose, for no one but me...thanks for the reminder.

Heather Plett said...

Hmmm... this is a good question. I'm trying REALLY hard to find space in my life for myself these days, but it isn't always easy. Thankfully, hubby is doing much better and is starting to worry about me so he's sending me out of the house for dates with myself at bookstores, etc. This weekend, I'm determined to make a trip to the labyrinth. And thank God it's biking season!

Megan Matthieson said...

One of the things I do for myself is ...Not take the dog with me on my walk. I know this sounds 'not nice', but I listen to music and sort of dance my walk. It's a creative time for myself. I often think of blog posts or whatever. And I don't want to pick up any shit. :)

Megan Potter said...

What have I done for myself lately?

I think I may be beginning to feel the lack of this. I'm becoming more and more aware that doing "nothing" and time wasting (like silly novels and TV watching) are not the same as doing for yourself.

New Question: What does my Self want to have done for it?

Oh wait, my head just answered that, I think I'm going to the Butterfly conservatory this weekend!


Carolynn said...

Oh, I like this. I've written it down. For me, it will serve as a trigger when I reach for the bag of potato chips, that I want to be in better physical shape.

What have I done for myself lately? I've given myself the space to just be with whatever is going on for me right now. Without judging or feeling that I have to rush my way through it. Being gentle, loving, & kind to myself.


Laura said...

beautifully written Christine...the art of remembering, the soul returning again and again, coming home...this is the discipline, the practice that nourishes us all.