When my amazing dance instructor asked me to do a spot light dance at the upcoming anniversary party at the studio, some part of my being said yes before I had an opportunity to get in my head about it. We’ve been practicing a routine for a bit without a real ending. Recently, he suggested we end the routine with a move called the death drop. As one may imagine, as a newbie dancer, I was not over enthused with doing a move with this name but nonetheless, I am always up for a challenge and again agreed to his suggestion. The death drop entails me grabbing onto him and dropping backwards onto one bent leg while the other is pointing out, kinda a reverse plank of sorts. After practicing the move a few times, he noticed my leg was in the wrong spot and my core wasn’t engaged enough. When he tried to explain it to me, it might as well have been him trying to tell me how to build a nuclear bomb – it wasn’t happening. That is – until I looked down and physically saw my body.
You might be saying at this point, what the **ck does this have to do with anything. Just give me a sec, it’s a good one, I promise. While meditating today, I saw the similarities between this dilemma I was having in learning the death drop and life. We are creatures of habit which is beneficial for many parts of our life – we don’t have to think about how to eat or how to drive every time we do it, we learned back in the day and now we just know. For many of us we can multitask because we are doing many tasks on auto pilot because we have done them so many times. The challenge of this aspect of our nature is when we want to make change in our lives. Many times, we begin to notice that we don’t like the way we feel when we engage in a behavior that in the past served us well. We know we want to change but we have no idea how to do so.
This has become very apparent to me recently in the area of communication. Growing up I did not know how to communicate my needs or emotions. As I’ve started to become healthier and been striving towards engaging in healthier relationships, I find myself wanting to communicate on a much deeper level than I ever have before. However, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? I mean, that’s all fine and well that I want to communicate better but how do I get there when I have never done it before? The main things I find myself wanting to change or improve on are – 1) no gossiping, 2) speaking my needs, 3) communicating how I feel 4) not being negative and 5) being loving and compassionate while doing all these things. This requires me to constantly “look down” or rather review my patterns and make conscious efforts to change them. Ever the studious little nerd, I find myself using multiple methods and resources to aid me in this endeavor.
While “looking down” I have realized a few things - when I am nervous I still ramble, when other people still engage in these behaviors I haven’t gotten to a point yet where I can interject, when I am feeling aggravated I can find myself falling back into these old patterns, I can still be argumentative if someone pushes me, when people tell me what to do I instantly revolt against it. In short, it’s still a work in progress. I mean it took me 40 years to develop such shit communication patterns, so it might take me another 40 to break out of them (let’s hope not though – I am ever the optimist). The key is to be gentle with ourselves while we continue to screw up. Knowing there are no mistakes but only opportunities for us to learn. I mean, how else would I develop better skills if I wasn’t given the chance to have real life situations that stretched me to change? So, thanks to all the situations that trigger the shit out of me, got nothin but love for ya!
Love and light, Robin