Unexpected Lessons

It’s been just over a week since my first fans lesson.

I had been under the mistaken impression when I went home from 2 glorious hours of playing on the beach that my first lesson consisted of such technique elements as moving in hall plane and wall plane, turning and pivoting between planes, and using wrist rolls to transition.

Turns out I was wrong.

My first lesson was to stop thinking too much.  This is a universally accepted concept in flow arts: stop thinking too much and just let it flow.

My second lesson was that when you stop thinking too much, you can get some pretty unexpected results.

When we stop thinking too much, we let go of the stories we tell ourselves in our heads, the stories that explain our beings and our choices and help us validate our experience.  Here’s a story:  I came home from my lesson and didn’t take my fans out to practice for a whole week.  A couple of days during the week I spent out of the house, visiting people and running errands.  A good portion of time was spent cleaning my room, putting everything in order, and packing a duffle to go back to DandyLion’s place.  There was a day where we moved a couch, and a day where I battled some of my more obnoxious chronic symptoms like nausea and headaches.  And because I am totally excited about finally developing this new skill, I spent a fair amount of time thinking about how I wasn’t getting any practice, and all the reasons why, and all the things I had been doing instead of practicing.

And then I stopped thinking about the story of what lead to a week of no practice, and I started paying attention to the present, and giving myself permission to honestly examine each moment.

My next few lessons were based on what I observed next:

– I do not have the stamina to practice for an hour each day, no matter how much I tell myself stories about how that’s what I need to be doing.  I barely have the stamina for two 20 minute practice sessions in a day.  Expecting myself to suddenly adhere to a “perfect” training schedule is unrealistic right now.

– If I want to build up my strength and stamina, I need to honestly get serious about doing everything I can for my health.  Just coasting won’t cut it anymore, I need to start thriving.  That means taking my vitamin and supplements regularly and not cheating on my diet restrictions for the sake of instant gratification.

– I may not be able to jump-start my energy, or fast-track my training schedule, but that is ok, because this is now more than just being about learning a new skill, this is about using my love of flow arts and performance to help me reach one of my ultimate goals in life, a state of health where I can thrive and truly be capable of anything.


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