Today’s post is from Char Brooks. No relation. And while we’re on the topic, “Uncle Mel” isn’t really my uncle either.
But that’s not the point. The point is actually: super interesting piece. Yay, Char! And thank you!
If it works for Havi…
I ordered the Shiva Nata Starter Kit within a month of finding Havi’s blog. I figured “hey, if Dance of Shiva works for Havi — it’ll work for me”.
Honestly, I hardly read the sales page — just trusted that it would be a great tool.
I downloaded the material and almost instantly lost interest.
Too complicated! Why would I want to do something so frustrating — especially when it wasn’t going to necessarily improve my body? And this looks way too time consuming for me — humpf!
What I thought I wanted
I wanted to multi-task: improve my fitness, mind, spirit and bring emotional balance into my life.
But where I was coming from initially was that I wanted my results — all of them — easily and quickly.
In pursuit of my goal to figure this out right now, I jumped into the practice session rather than taking the sessions in order. It totally confused me, so I stuck the DVD in the drawer and decided to journal about wanting to learn this, but being so turned off at the same time.
I never actually got to the journaling — I didn’t want to think this through at all. Instead I brewed on it while walking the dogs and throughout my day — what was that all about anyway?!
That’s when I realized that I really didn’t want to be challenged. Wow — who knew? Wonder where else that applies in my life … hmmmm.
Realizing that was my first epiphany.
Epiphany number two: the slavedriver
Andrey said that if you don’t understand the movements right away, “be quiet, repeat it and go slowly to understand”. He then went on to say that he was sure we’d find some encouraging results. I replayed that section about 3 times — I knew it was something I needed to hear.
At that moment I had another epiphany.
One thing that I’ve struggled with my whole life is this “hurry up and get it done” slavedriver within me. That voice says “get this right now, start practicing already and let’s get on with it!”
The slavedriver perspective worked for law school. It worked during a huge health crisis. It worked as a caregiver to a certain extent and it often worked while raising kids as a single parent.
But as I get older, that “hurry up and get it done” method doesn’t work nearly as well as it once did. In fact, that mentality causes a lot of frustration and pain.
What I learned is that I won’t accomplish any of my objectives at this time in my life — improving my fitness, calming my mind, encouraging my free spirit or developing more emotional awareness — by hurrying.
A foreign language
Dance of Shiva is more like a slow steady study of life. Andrey says that through working with this material we will create new neural pathways — which translates to me as possibly creating different ways of approaching my life.
I want to be less reactive to the situations around me.
Less reactive and more reflective.
I find Andrey’s idea of going slowly to control the frustration with the learning process a good fit for me.
I know I’ve got some pretty ingrained patterns that aren’t working for me, so the promise of developing some new ways of looking at things is both exciting and scary. Using the body and the breath in an unfamiliar way to learn seems like a great challenge.
So. I’ve practiced yoga for twenty five years and love it.
But I’m not really in an active learning phase — if someone names a posture to me, I can do it or some variation of it. I’ve even become creative with my own personal practice, creating my own intuitive flow. The language of yoga is not unfamiliar to me.
Dance of Shiva, on the other hand, is a foreign language.
It is all new — I’m starting from scratch. Andrey suggests looking at the basic movements like the alphabet — that you can arrange them all kinds of ways and they are somewhat arbitrary at first — but they’ll make sense after a while.
Another epiphany here — I can learn a new way of communicating with myself.
It’s a slow process — but that’s okay
I may be learning the alphabet here — the basic movements — for a very long time. Or maybe not. Who knows?
What I do know though is that now I’m willing to do this. After having this material sitting around for over a year and being turned off because of the cover which looked way too complicated, I realize how judgmental I was.
I just wasn’t ready to open up to this material then — and that’s okay too. But judging too quickly is a pattern that I’m also familiar with — and willing to take a look at using Dance of Shiva as the language of change.
I’m only three days into this — and I’ve spent a total of maybe 45 minutes — but that’s a lot of learning for just getting through the introduction — for the first time.
Slow goes it for me — and I like it that way.
So long slavedriver!!!
Mmmmm. I totally appreciate Char’s honesty and clarity. As well as her ability to recognize which of her own patterns were getting in the way of her desire to interact with those patterns.
Big stuff. Really, really useful.
Speaking as someone who bought the DVD and then didn’t even take the plastic off for almost six months … it totally makes sense to me! Perspective. It’s awesome.