New Year’s New Wishes
The past five years (2013-2018) have been a growth spurt for me. But even in the last year (2017) I have slowly evolved from a person who saw courage mostly as a constant heavy-lifting act to something that can be quieter, gentler, even invisible. I tend to use grand acts of courage, internal listening and presence as references to challenges that new situations bring. In my heaviest “overworking phase” (2016), I was convinced that the same heavy-lifting that got me into The Juilliard School would be the same thing that would help me get through this school and my life onto the next level. I slowly realized that this is not true. When I moved to New York City and came into this community, my circumstances have changed. There are some things that I don’t need to do anymore. My Alexander teacher recently said to me, “You came here to learn to ‘not-do,’ and you’ve made a lot of progress.” As I walk through the last half of my training (I am in the last half of my third year then I’d have one more school year to go), my “goals” or rather, what I want out of my life are beginning to change before me as well:
1) Learn when saying “no” to working actually benefits the work: Another Alexander teacher said to me, “Growth is inhibition and direction.” To put it in layman’s terms, growth consists of legwork and rest. The legwork and the heavy-lifting (direction) are there to help me acquire the skills and build the muscles I need. The pausing and the rest (inhibition) are there to help the work get absorbed into my body, into the unconscious. I want to get better at navigating when I should use the time to do the work I need to do and when do I stop and sleep or go watch a movie or have coffee with someone.
2) Get better at finding creative ways in finding entry points into different material (plays, songs, poetry, etc.) that is exciting and juicy for me rather than prescriptive. It shifts the focus from being concerned about being correct and the need to be seen as “good” into being truthful, authentic and honest.
3) Exude the energy that I want from my surroundings. When I am tired, lacking in sleep and caught up with routine, clutter begins to accumulate in my mind and I begin to feel more impatient, easily irritable or more sensitive to things that with more rest I would have been able to let go of more easily. Carving out pockets of time within the day to meditate – and by that I mean breathing in and out or finding a pocket of stillness every day to pause – allows me time and gives me the strength to give my focus towards the work rather than the rabbit hole that my mind can take when it gets triggered.
REGINA DE VERA