I want to talk about sinking in. I want to talk about breaks.
I want to talk about stuff that relates to the wisdom of the body.
I want to talk about productivity.
And how they're all connected.
Connected and overlapping...
Last Wednesday I went to the studio early before class to practice. I felt tired. So tired. I walked in the door and suddenly felt even more tired. I opened the curtains, opened the windows, turned on the fan. Still so sleepy. Sleepy all over. Quite obviously my body was trying to tell me something very important.
Take a break.
So, I did. I had to. There was actually no other choice.
I closed the curtains. And I lay on the floor. Rolled up skirt as my pillow. Hoodie as my blanket.
And I took a nap.
For a bit.
Then I got up, and I practiced. Because there was still time. Just the right amount.
An excerpt from my journal while in Jerez last year:
Monday, May 2, 2011
I'm not sure what happened, but things really started making sense today, now that it's almost time to go, and there are barely any classes going on because of cancellations for fiestas, tours, etc. etc.
Semana Santa just ended, today was Labor Day, and next week it's Fería, Ay!
Mercedes just got back from London and Wednesday leaves for Paris, Ay!
Patricia doesn't have to be in Sevilla but is off to perform in Morocco instead, Ay!
And La Chiqui, I have no idea what's going on there. I haven't seen her in weeks, Ay!
Ani tampoco because of her broken foot, but I hear we have class as usual on Wednesday...
The last two times I've come to Spain it's been during the springtime, and I always think to myself that I ought not come this time of year as I know it is full of dias festivos. But somehow, it's always when I end up coming.
Could it be that I actually come here seeking the dias festivos?
Could it be that I don't want to say that out loud because my American self feels she ought to be more "productive?"
Could it be that it's time for me to openly embrace them?
Perhaps so. Especially as they somehow actually seem to be helping my dancing. Somehow, and I'm guessing it must have a lot to do with simply time and letting things settle in as I haven't had many classes lately nor practiced all that much, but somehow steps are beginning to stick in my brain, and moves are starting to make sense to my body.
Around this time I had been silently freaking out about so many days off. It felt like weeks of hardly any classes. I even did some worrying about it while on vacation in Portugal with Diana. Worrying on vacation. Náo é bom.
But the breaks seemed to give stuff time to sink in.
The breaks seemed actually to have helped my dancing. I thought I wasn't being productive, but apparently I was, even though I didn't know it. But, I kind of did know it.
My body and brain were begging for them. Before there had been lots of blocks. Trying to cram so much in. Sometimes trying to get a little bit everything. Sometimes having no idea what to try to get. Sometimes just going to class and doing. But mostly going to class with a busy brain.
I found that the breaks were good.
Time to slow down.
Time to take it in.
Time to just be.
Did my body know? I think so. Even though I wouldn't really listen until I was forced to. Even though so often I still won't listen. Until I'm forced to. I do and don't. I go in and out. Not yet able or willing to completely embrace the idea.
So Spain I like. It's good for me. The many mandatory breaks. The holidays. The siesta. Lots of things are meant to go slowly there. Even if they don't in all parts and all places. The concept is present in the culture. I can feel it.
Eating. Tomando café. Visiting. Just sitting there. Taking time.
Taking time means I get descansos. And I can better respect my body's needs. And stuff sinks in. Which seemingly makes me more productive. And definitely makes me feel better.
None of this stuff is new. Just tonight I was reminded over and over again during yoga class. And I love Havi's approach at the Fluent Self. So, where do you notice this in your life? And how does it fit in with flamenco in your world? I want to hear from you, I do! Leave a comment here.
By the way, it's coming up. The Flamenco Tour. If you're interested in coming to Spain with me you can get the details here. (It's a fall trip!)