(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.)