When I am teaching or learning complex choreography, it helps me to break it up into pieces. So an eight count can be seen as two groups of four or I can accentuate in my mind the similarities of a combination and use that to organize it in my brain.
When I am successful in shifting my perception of the parts, rather than being overwhelmed by the whole, difficult choreography becomes easier and even friendlier. It’s friendlier because I have become familiar with it. I have made a code for myself that I can use to refine my movement.
While I would not describe myself as “organized” -- I am quite comfortable with cheerful disarray -- I find that if I can file and categorize anything in my mind, it’s as though a path has opened itself up to me. It clears things up and jettisons extraneous information.
The problem is that “filing” something under a certain category and reaching a level of understanding about it does not mean you have any control over it.
In the past, I was “stuck” in an unhealthy relationship. My friends and loved ones told me all the very good reasons to get out, NOW! And I agreed. I nodded my head and acknowledged that was the only sane thing to do. But I couldn’t follow through and leave the relationship until I was ready to believe that I deserved better. And that was something I had to do myself. The problem belonged in a working file because I am the only one who can effect a change in myself. Some people who loved me imagined that if they just talked to me hard enough and long enough, I would see myself as someone who deserved love.
That change had to come from within me, and yes, I could receive moral support, but that file belonged to me alone. I had to organize my thoughts and develop a code that I could live by to create a happy life. When I figured out who I was, and I could understand the bad patterns I had manifested, a new path opened up for me.
Knowing what is in your file and what isn’t (what you can control and what you can’t) is a huge lesson, not only for dealing with self-development but also for interaction with others. When we can look at troubled loved ones and see that they must own their life as they have created it, we allow those we love to find their own way – and their way is not necessarily ours.
I am not speaking of abandoning a person who is still working on a particular file, but we can mistakenly feel attached to someone else’s decisions, as if we have power to make everything all right. Instead, we can love, be connected, but drop the attachment.
This is especially true when my friends and I fret about our children. We have to constantly remind each other that they are grown and capable of making their own decisions. Of course, if we had the power to effect change in others, the world would be perfect – at least from our point of view!
I had to find my own way, and so does everyone I love.
I had to work on my own file – grateful for love, understanding, and support from others, but ultimately still on my own.
What file are you working on?
Photo by MaryEllen Hendricks