Friday, February 10, 2012

The Challenge of Doing Less

Sometimes the solution to a problem is not doing more but doing less. But, Uggh! Why is not doing something so much harder than doing something? 

The whole "less is more philosophy" is certainly a principle I fully embrace in my choreography, but as I have been explaining in past blogs, it is something I have been struggling to embrace in my daily life.  And, now I see the same epidemic in nearly everyone around me. It seems everyone is doing too much and has a hard time accepting that not doing something is the healthier more balanced option.

For instance, a student came to me with an injury (the 3rd in a list of recent injuries) wondering what else she could do to help it heal.  I had to explain that her body wasn't hurting because it needed her to do more for it, but rather than it needed her to do less. To give it a rest and allow it to heal on its own.

But, when you are a busy bee (like this student and I are), you are used to taking an active role in all aspects of your life. Therefore, choosing to refrain or become passive is a tough pill to swallow.  If only there was a real "tough pill" to swallow!  That would be easier than suffering doing nothing at all.  Because then, at least, you would be doing something.

So, I asked her when she had time to rest. She said Saturday she had nothing. . . only three hours of rehearsal.  ONLY 3 hours of rehearsal?!? What is the world coming to that 3 hours of challenging dancing is nothing? 

You can't rush healing, whether it be physical, emotional or psychological. Yet, if you are like me you want a quick fix (or at least a guaranteed fix), like "take this supplement 3x a day and you will be better, do this stretch before and after each class and you will feel like new in approximately a day and half."  But, instead, the prescription is to stop, quiet yourself, listen and wait. 

Meditation is exactly this. The practice of doing less.

Next time you feel imbalanced ask yourself: Does this concern call for doing more or doing less?

Chances are the harder option (whether it be more or less) is probably the right one.


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