I was thinking about my New Year’s list of things to welcome in and I found myself inwardly saying ‘well, THIS has all been said before’, closely followed by a sigh and maybe even an eye-roll. It’s sometimes what I’ve said to myself before teaching, writing, speaking and creating. Someone has said it, thought it, created it, spoken it and done it before now and before me. I’ve even said it before. And it’s true. So if we’re all just repeating ourselves, what’s the point?
Then I had a thought as I was cleaning the bathroom (often when things strike me!!)… OF COURSE it has been said before and done before. This is how it WORKS. The gold is hiding right in front of us, right where we least expect it and in the repetition that we find so annoying. We have to CHOOSE it again and again, over and over, more than once. MANY, MANY times. This is what repetition is, it’s choosing again. It’s reminding ourselves and the world around us of what we’re working towards. It turns wishes into action, actions into habits and habits into results. And there’s no hot-wiring a way around it.
At the end of 2019 I spoke with some dancers about what we wanted to create for ourselves in 2020. A whole bunch of thoughts and dreams were thrown into the circle. I then asked how each dancer would TAKE ACTION towards the new things we each wanted to welcome into our own dance experience. This is where the conversation stalled for a minute. Now I make a habit of reminding pre-professional dancers that you cannot simply decide to be a dancer on January 1 and expect it to carry you through the year. You will have to choose it again as you walk into class on a Tuesday at 10.15am and again on a random Thursday as you yawn and walk into your 8.30am fitness session. You are going to have to make a million little choices that feed into the big one. And so it goes… you are going to have to CHOOSE anything, in this same way, many times over before it becomes true for you. And when it comes to thinking that someone else has said it or done it before – that was their journey, and this is yours. If it’s true for them already, it doesn’t mean it can’t also be true for you. Plus, it looks, sounds and feels different on all us (just like a pair of jeans would!!).
Back to my dancers and their circle of hopes and dreams for the New Year… I had a dancer jump in and say ‘but does that mean I HAVE to stretch EVERY DAY to become as flexible as I want’. To which I answered, ‘Nope, of course not’. And it’s true. You don’t have to do or repeat any of it. But then, as I said to the dancer in question and also to myself in the bathroom mirror as I contemplated New Year’s intentions, it depends on how much you want to see change.