I love to watch dance competitions on television. They are so inspiring and wonderful. But, one thing that bothers me is that in just about every song, the dancers are performing a play whose meaning is very clear. And that’s fine from time to time. Music is always a story of some kind. But sometimes when I watch a dance, I want to decide on my own what the story is. I want to let the music along with the movement of the dancers inspire a story within me.
I want to have my own story.
Sometimes, I will have a client who leaves in the middle of a class. My automatic reaction is, oh, no, what did I do wrong? It must have been something I said/did/danced. After all these years I can realize that there are many reasons (not having anything to do with me) why a person might leave a class.
We all make up stories about what’s happening in our lives. Some are true but some are simply not.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a bad morning and afterwards I had to go to the bank. I was experiencing blowback from my misguided attempt to “help” a situation. I had inadvertently lit the fuse of a social powder keg. I really felt terrible about it.
So I was at the bank standing at a newly hired teller’s window. She said that she was using someone else’s station and that she had to take a little time to do my transaction. This was fine with me – I needed to take a breath anyway. As I was standing with my forehead in my hand, I became aware that the teller again apologized because it was not her regular window. I realized that she thought I was aggravated by her slowness (which I hadn’t even noticed). Her perception was not true at all and I hastened to tell her to take as long as she needed, adding that I had just had a difficult morning and was not in a hurry.
This made me realize that often we read into others’ behavior what is not there at all. The difficulty, the negative judgment, the feelings of inadequacy are all in our own minds. We have created a reaction of defensiveness toward another person or about a situation, which is entirely unnecessary.
There is nothing to defend. We are not being judged at all. We are, in fact, judging ourselves and projecting that judgment onto someone else.
We are making up a story.
When you leave a space in your mind for, “Well, I don’t know.” Or “Let’s see.” Or “I’ll ASK,” you are opening a space for something new to come into your mind. When you decide not to decide about what just happened, you give yourself a new path. You have increased your ability to perceive something different (and maybe wonderful) by about 100%. Yes, sometimes a duck is a duck and a cigar is a cigar, but not always.
Create the space for your own story based, not on fear or defensiveness, but on intuition and inspiration.
What story are you dancing to today?