I love to dance. I look back on my years of ballroom dancing fondly and don't regret a moment, nor a dollar, I spent on my most favorite sport in the world. The world of dance.
I learned to follow and I was shown how to lead but I am a follower at heart. So that is when I danced my "best".
When you invest that much time and money in something, your teacher will try to help you improve your skills by continuing to introduce new steps and technique into the mix. When learning a dance routine, the follower should know their part inside and out, with or without their partner. So you have to start concentrating. That is when I ran into trouble.
Some dance lessons were better than others. The lessons where I relaxed, had fun and just followed the lead of my instructor were filled with laughter and good hearted fun.
Then there were the ones where I was frustrated with myself because I couldn't learn or remember my part. I stopped running on autopilot and started thinking.
"You are thinking too much!" was my instructor's light hearted comment as he nudged me out of my head and into the moment and just let his lead, muscle memory and the beat of the music wash over me and let the dance flow.
Every time I started thinking too much, nothing came easy, it showed in my shoulders. They would inch up, I would stop breathing and everything tensed.
"Remember to breath" was another tip my instructor continued to tell me when he could feel my concentration levels take me out of the dance zone and into my head.
Keep your shoulders down.
Stop thinking so much.
Three simple lessons I learned from dancing. Three simple tips which work off the dance floor just as well.
I have been over thinking things an awful lot lately. Too much alone-time can do that to a person. Add that to the flaw in my personality that believes I am personally responsible for all that goes wrong for all those whose lives abut mine and it is a toxic mixture.
I am having a hard time making decisions that involve a second party at the moment.
Ask me to commit to something a week in advance and I shut down. Call me up and ask me to meet for coffee and I'm there. Setting up an appointment that requires two willing parties and me as mediator and I start sweating buckets. Suggest an elusive "maybe sometime next month" message and I'm all over that.
Commitments that fall on the days I normally mow the grass and wash my hair send me into a frenzy. Close all access by road to our home, so my Fence Guy cannot come fix my fence, and block me in so I can't make it to my blood donation appointment, and I am over the moon because I "have" to stay home and not share my evening with anyone else.
Tell me I have to make muffins and bring them, and a family photo to a reunion and I forget how to look up a recipe and think I need to get my family together to update our last family picture (from 2009). "This is too much work!!" my loud inner voice screams in my ear. And I shut down.
I do well when I don't have time to over-think. Set a date, a place and a time and I'll be there. Give me a day to make a batch of muffins and I'll have the job done within the hour.
"You are thinking too much!"
Yesterday morning, I woke up full of doubts over an upcoming trip. I checked into various options. Should I cancel or revise or find a substitute traveller? I polled the masses. Then I called the one who instilled the doubt in my mind to start with. And what was I told? "I think we should just go with 'Plan A' ".
What? It is that simple? Just do what we had planned all along?!
Yes, I am thinking too much. I will try to lower my shoulders, breathe deeply and just dance in the moment.
I'll let you know how it goes...