When I try too hard to remember choreography while I’m teaching, it eludes me. I cannot, in the moment I am trying, find what I know I already know.
I was having a mental block about a combination in another teacher’s class. I had done it the week before without any trouble at all. The more I tried, the worse it got---by focusing on what I couldn’t do, I created more of what I couldn’t do. The more I focused on that combination, the less room I had in my head for anything else, so I wasn’t getting the add-on choreography either. It was like a traffic jam in my head. I ended up creating confusion and mental blocks because that’s what I was focused on.
Anyway, I came back to class the next week and that combination was no longer a problem. I simply decided to let go of being perfect, relax and trust that I knew what I knew, without trying. (Trying really can be trying.) This created the space for what I already knew to surface.
We were watching “60 Minutes” and I was marveling about how Steve Jobs, in his relatively-modest-compared-to-his-wealth lifestyle, could be so not----what? I was trying to think of a word that I knew but couldn’t remember it. I knew the meaning of it was between presumptuous and ostentatious, but I couldn’t think of it. I knew it was in my brain, but I couldn’t find it. My husband and I were wracking our brains---“it’s like presumptuous, but that’s not it—it’s like ostentatious, but that’s not it either.” I finally decided I was going to run upstairs to use the thesaurus on my computer. I had given up—as I got up off my chair to go upstairs the word popped into my brain. As soon as I surrendered, there it was: pretentious. Letting go made room for the word to surface---my holding on to TRYING to remember the word blocked any chance of it coming to me. By letting go, I created a space to let what I already knew come through.
Sometimes we stumble toward the “right” answer (if there even is such a thing.)
This makes me think of the times that I have been so hysterical over trying to make something “right” that I prevented any rational thought from entering my brain. I created a huge wall where nothing could penetrate. I was frozen. But after the storm was over, it turned out that doing nothing worked out really well. What if, instead of getting crazy, I calmed down and realized that I had done all I could do and that, since I had no other ideas, maybe the “right” thing really was non-action?
What happens when the storm comes and you just let it rain? If you don’t know what to do, maybe the best thing to do is nothing. Maybe it’s best to just let it go, let it wash over you. Resisting too much can create more of what you are trying to resist—what you focus on is what you experience.
When we allow ourselves the space to make mistakes, we make fewer of them. We have unblocked the traffic jam in our heads. Allowing inner spaciousness is allowing flexibility of thought. We don’t realize how much we know. We know a lot.
Trust yourself. You know what to do.