“When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.” ~Richard Harris
I remember the look on her face. She was exasperated.
She’d been waiting for me to do it right so that we could all move on with the choreography. But neither she nor my partner said a word. They just waited while I went to the opposite end of the room for the millionth time, and did the step / leap combination that was supposed to end up with a twist in the air, landing me in a pose in my partners arms. For the life of me, my body could not understand what my mind was telling it to do.
Doing things upside own are like that for me.
And they all knew that it was going to take time and repetition for the connection to be made.
Until that moment came, everyone was going to be frustrated – me, too. But it came as it always does, after a lot of practice, and I was able to fly and flip and land and feel the magic that one feels when mind, body, and spirit (aka “add the music that connects heaven and earth”) come together – when there is no more thought required to do something:
- when the musician is the music
- when the artist is the art
- when the dancer is the dance
- when the writer is the story
- when the surfer is the wave
Some people call it “being in” or “going with the flow.”
All I know is how it feels.
Before that moment comes I feel distracted by everything going on outside of me. I’m distracted by my thoughts and feelings, too. But when the shift happens, and whatever I’m doing becomes effortless, I feel heaven. Literally. I feel like I’ve stepped into an alternate universe, and everything I’m seeing, feeling, and hearing is perfectly beautiful.
For the first time in years I’m experiencing that disconnected feeling that comes while learning something new. It’s as humbling, challenging, and uncomfortable as that day (and many like it I might add) when I was waiting for my body to connect with my mind in the dance studio, learning new choreography.
I’m learning to drive my new little Beetle – a standard (shift).
At first I watched videos, then listened as people (every one of them, by the way ) held their hands out in front of them as if pressing two pedals (the gas and the clutch) and described the “play” and the “feel.” Then I got in and sat behind the wheel and got frustrated because I couldn’t understand what “play” meant. So, for weeks, I got rides to and from work as my car sat waiting for me.
Then, on Saturday, I got stranded. I couldn’t find a ride home. It was an awful feeling. My mom finally rescued me and I vowed to never let that happen again. So, on Sunday, the next day, I drove my car. And I did the same yesterday, Monday.
Slowly but surely, what everyone promised would happen is happening – I’m feeling my car become a part of me. The gap between mind and “body” is disappearing and I’m getting less and less anxious and more and more calm. I even took James and Kenny to the library before work and the field / playground after work.
There is no way around the doing involved in the “becoming” or “being” of life.
We can’t think our way to being.
We have to do things.
And that means dealing with the uncomfortable, albeit energizing and exciting new challenges and opportunities given or desired by us. It means repetition until there is no more awareness of thought in the moment of the doing.
There is no other way but through. (If you’ve found one, share with me.)
And that, my friends, is how growth, aka “a leap of faith” feels.