Have you ever had the experience of hearing a kind word or honest affirmation from a friend and feeling your whole body melt with relief? When I’m teaching, I’m forever amazed at the relationship between kindness, curiosity, and time.
Time seems to fall right into place when we are curious. It’s not too slow, not too fast, but just right. When we rush, it’s a usually either boredom and disconnection, or fear.
Recently I had a student who is in a marching band ask for help in how to play the snare drum. All they needed was a little more time to explore how to hold the sticks more loosely, so they could play a rapid beat with less effort. We enjoyed the exploration, but it brought up alot of feelings for my student. She had literally felt hopeless about herself, frankly, because the band leader didn’t actually know how to teach her, or just wasn’t curious enough about the problem. She felt so encouraged just to find out that she was capable of learning!
Even though I have been teaching for 20 years, I am not above needing affirmation from others either. If I get even a little bit of encouragement I can last a whole year! But…why try to last a whole year? Why not put yourself in the position of getting that kind of support every month? Or even every week? Most real leaders I know get lots of help and support, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to take the risks they do.
A little kindness goes a long way – so why not have alot of it? I’ve discovered that I need about 150% more help than I thought I did! That’s why I started the Experimenters Union for Alexander Technique and other Somatics teachers.
Honest kindness and encouragement are especially important when it comes to learning and change. The honesty part is the hardest, because we have to admit we don’t know, and we have to share challenging observations with each other. We have to be honest about what we perceive about each other. Recognizing and changing harmful habits of thinking and moving is my business, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a student or colleague feel shame while learning something new. I can totally relate. I remember so well when I was the same way. Sometimes I’d cry while working with my teacher because I felt I should already have known what they were teaching me. To be revealed in not knowing something is particularly vulnerable! Yet how can we grow, adapt, and innovate without being vulnerable? Especially now, during this dreadful COVID time, when everything is changing faster than we can handle.
That’s why anyone in a leadership position – which every teacher is in – needs to have a support system that includes kindness and honest feedback. Feedback gives us the reality check that we long for – was that as weird as I thought it was? Am I doing something funny with my arm when I make that movement?
Learning something new is one of the greatest and most healing pleasures on earth. Don’t let feelings of vulnerability rob you of it! Learning something new about your own body especially is the best! If you need support for healing your relationship to your body and learning, I hope you’ll try a Mobilignment class (no two classes are alike, so no one will be any better at it than you are) or free consultation.
If you are an embodiment innovator trying to take your business online and want a rigorous yet kind facilitated mastermind experience, I hope you will book an interview to either join the January group (almost full!!) or be placed on the waiting list for the next one.
1) Weekly Mobilignment™ classes:
Dancers at heart of all ages and abilities – come exercise your neuro-plasticity to it’s utmost with mindful movement! Book a spot in the Monday & Wednesday Mobilignment™ class here.
2) Facilitated Mastermind for online embodiment innovators:
Do you want to jump-start your online business and learn Mobilignment™ practices in the process? My DOUBLE VALUE 6 MONTH FACILITATED MASTERMIND focusing on fluid & playful embodiment online, business clarity, and financial abundance for online educators is filling up fast. I am committed to a diversity of modalities (Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Yoga, or any Somatic practice) because I think different takes on the body-mind connection help us discover larger truths and expand our creativity in our chosen modality as well.
You can sign up for a free interview here. The November cohort is full, but there are still 3 spots open in the January one. This could be the honest yet kind and supportive encouragement that you have been longing for! We will challenge you with kindness.
4) Need to re-juvinate your body but still struggling financially during this dreadful pandema-recession? Check out my YOUTUBE CHANNEL.