Today I took class again with Ka-Ron Brown Lehman. We were a smaller group than usual, with many people still making their way home from holiday-related travel. So that meant those of us who showed up got wonderfully intense corrections on the intricate forms of modern dance.
And boy, did I feel exactly like I've made hundreds of people feel in my Pilates classes. I did as best as I could to make my body contract here or there while rising and stretching here and there, only to hear "No, not like that."
It went like this:
Ka-Ron: Just contract there, with your pelvis.
Ka-Ron: But don't collapse there. Lift your ribs.
Ka-Ron: And then lift your elbows. Not there. There. And look down.
Stacy: Like this?
Ka-Ron: No. Wait. Watch me.
And so we worked.
Toward the end of the class, I got the best correction of all.
Ka-Ron: Don't work so hard.
Stacy: I know. It's kind of my thing.
Ka-Ron: I know. I can see that.
Here is why we should each have a practice in which we feel safe enough to put ourselves in the hands of a master teacher. It doesn't matter if it is a writing class or a yoga class or a dance class or a bridge class. We reveal ourselves, our true selves, all the time. So what Ka-Ron told me is the the same thing my first editor at Viking told me.
Don't work so hard.
That does not mean don't show up. That does not mean don't practice your craft. In my case, that does not mean slouch around with your body or your words. What it means for me is to let my voice breath. To let my movement breath. To trust in the flow. Trust my voice. Smile.
It is a wonderful, wonderful thing to allow yourself to be seen by people who are conspiring for you to be successful and have strategies to get you there.
Thanks, Ka-Ron, for reminding me today of the thing I needed to hear most. And thanks to my body for reminding my brain that if I ease into things and find the natural energy of movement -- the path with the smile and the breath -- the end result will be glorious.