You are trying too hard!

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They say that you can’t escape from yourself but there’s also something about being away and leaving your routine completely behind that can provide a fresh perspective on your life and motivate you to do things differently. I’m definitely feeling inspired and full of creative energy to embark in some new adventures, which also happen to wonderfully coincide with the beginning of my new year.

As I’m stepping back into my life at home I’m doing my best to allow for a soft landing by not rushing into Doing but rather letting myself  follow my inner guidance, letting  my actions be inspired and informed by these new perspectives.

Today, I  took a meditation class with the intention of deepening my connection to that inner voice and to experience even more clarity about my path. As I was listing to the instructor guiding the meditation I realized that the best way I can achieve that blissful state of mindfulness is if I don’t try to focus too much on her instructions. I smiled to myself as I kept hearing my comedic 12 year old’s catch phrase, which he likes to throw at everything I say or do: “you’re trying too hard”.

So I experimented with just focusing softly on her voice but not trying to hold on too tight to every word I hear so I can let my attention rest on my breath, the sounds and sensations at the same time. I realized that I can use the external guidance as a comfortable support but really let myself follow my inner guidance. It felt so sweet.

Then it dawned on me that this idea really applies for movement improvisation as well, which to me is a form of meditation in of itself. The best verbally guided movement experience for me is when I hear the instructions but think about them as nothing more than a recommendation, a suggestion. When I don’t try to figure out if I’m “getting it right”. When I let the words of guidance exist in the background and give the left side of my brain a break.

I love watching what my body does with the permission to use verbal guidance this loosely. It’s as if the body has a mind of it’s own and things happen unexpectedly, second by second. It’s also wonderful to watch what happens when others use my verbal guidance and how each person takes it to a completely different place.  I also love the creative process of coming up with those instructions, but that’s a different story.

I’m aware that it is not always easy to give in to our movement impulses and to lose ourselves in that process because of our life-long habit of heavy reliance on structure and early training to always do things right and never take risks. I think this is the reason why improvising in a group with some verbal guidance is so great. It can give us enough structure to feel safe but also the freedom we need to connect to our true essence and explore who we really are. I’m inviting you to follow me more deeply in this satisfying journey and you’ll be hearing more about opportunities to do that soon.


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