“Nothing happens until something moves.“
~ Albert Einstein
How do you keep your momentum up? What’s your relationship to inertia? When is the best time to ‘press pause’?
You have probably heard the old saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” One of the primary foundations of physics is the first law of motion. A body in motion tends to keep moving while an object at rest prefers to stay that way.
Life is full of things that need to be done, and if we are not careful things fall apart when we drop the ball. That’s why people are so comfortable with routines, they help us to stay in the flow so that things get handled without too much decision making fatigue.
But there can be a downside to routines as well. I would imagine that you know what it feels like to be “stuck in a rut.” Like so many things in this world, finding a balance is key. My astrological sign is Libra, so my symbol is the scales. It’s no surprise that balance would be one of my overarching metaphors.
When it comes to achieving your goals in life, like learning something new, developing a fitness program, or completing a writing project, it’s smart to look at your routines and carve out a little niche in your schedule where you can make regular and steady progress.
Learning and creating is like playing with sand at the beach. You mix a little bit at a time with water and keep dropping it into place and before you know it you have a castle. The trick is to not stop before you’ve got something to show for it, otherwise, the waves may come in and wash it all away.
Even the most meticulously designed routine can benefit from an occasional pattern interrupt in order to keep things fresh and in perspective. A good routine can be like a box, where you have to get outside of it once in a while in order to see the big picture.
There have been times in my life where things were structured right down to the minute. Even now, during the school year with my daughter going into sixth grade, life revolves around pick up and drop off and there’s no need for an alarm clock because my eyes pop open at 6:30 in the morning without fail.
During my ‘salad years’ as a freewheeling twenty-something, I prided myself on having no fixed schedule whatsoever. Life was an endless sequence of festivities and recreation, and ‘going with the flow’ was my watchword. Somehow I got by with no visible means of support, and while those years certainly contributed to my life experience and philosophical outlook, they did little in terms of my overall long-term stability.
Nowadays I wear a watch. In fact, I feel naked when my wrist is bare. And while at one point I was known for being chronically late, (or not showing up at all), these days punctuality is effortless and I generally show up on-time. Temporal awareness has become ingrained in my DNA and with it the knowledge of just how fleeting time is.
The real question in the dance of inertia is how do you keep up with your routines and responsibilities when you intentionally unplug? You’re probably well acquainted with the ‘out of the office’ vacation email autoresponder, (I have one set right now). And there’s always the option of our either getting ahead of everything before a break, or simply pausing things altogether.
For me, life may lead far from my office and my normal schedule might come to a halt, but Mondays arrive without fail, completely ignoring the ebb and flow of my world. And while I’m sometimes tempted to skip this newsletter for a week, it’s a combination of the fear of inertia and the responsibility to my readers and members that drive me to get it done, wherever I might be.
Whenever I’m tempted to drop the ball for a week or quit altogether, the universe will spur me along by putting someone in my path who randomly reminds me that this is one of the only newsletters that they read without fail. I’m grateful for the replies I get every week from folks who appreciate my writing, and I’m called to serve our Dance First members by keeping up the big list of their workshops and events that appear below. Plus it’s fun to write and I love spotlighting one of our members each week!
Last week I was in a café in Melbourne Australia where I was visiting my older daughter, this week I’m sitting on the patio of our villa atRancho la Puerta in Baja Mexico where I’m teaching parents about Analog Awareness and kids how to DJ with vinyl for Family Week. My secret sauce to spinning up this newsletter on-the-fly is my MacBook’s dictation feature, so in effect, I’m simply talking to you!
It’s good practice because I love to spend time on the road and out on the high frontier, so keeping up with you via this weekly letter has to fit into my flow wherever I might go. I know that a lot of our dedicated Dance First member/facilitators are constantly on the move as well, so pondering the peculiarities of a life in motion is par for the course.
I suppose the dance of inertia is all about maintaining your forward motion without going so fast that you lose your grip on the things that matter. Like a juggler riding a unicycle, keeping three balls in the air is easy, but add one more and it all comes crashing down. Pressing pause on purpose is one thing, but grinding to a halt is another. It’s more fun to find the middle ground and learn the art of living present.
May your week be in balance and your life filled with light!
Much love till next week,
Dance First Member Spotlight: Sarah Davies and her upcoming online Dance Your Art Out webinar series!
This week’s Dance First Members Spotlight shines on UK-based Sarah Davies, a dynamic movement leader and creative artist who lives in the progressive East Sussex community of Forest Row. She has an inspiring series of online Dance Your Art Out webinars coming up that you can sign up for right away!
After Gabrielle Roth’s death in 2012 she continued to work with withKathy Altman, Lori Saltzman and Andrea Juhan as they formedOpen Floor International and joined the group of Founding Members. She’s apprenticed with Andrea Juhan to teach Libido, while developing the ‘Art in Motion’ department of Open Floor.
Sarah has a unique background and skillset to bring to the table for her upcoming Open Floor Art in Motion online 10-month webinar series entitled “Dance Your Art Out. ” As a graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Fine Art with Sculpture she went on to work as a sculptors assistant for an environmental arts organization, carving stone, weaving willow and facilitating public art community events.
Later on, in 1994 she moved to London and was awarded a two year residency at the Florence Trust Studios where she further developed her Fine Art practice. In 1999 she went to London’s Metropolitan University to complete a part-time Master of Arts (MA) in Digital Moving Image (Animation). During this period she also learned computer skills and was continually struck by “how computer use renders the user immobile and hunched up. ” For her and and her colleagues, prolonged use meant that “we squint and strain and get repetitive stress injury, all the while celebrating movement on the screen.”
Sarah says, “I’m interested in relationships and presence. I’m fascinated in the creative process and in bringing this into my movement classes. I’m exploring how to be in the world, how to be in the now, with my family, as an artist and the art of living everyday as well as I can.”
Her dedication to the practice is inspiring, and she’s worked hard to get it off the ground in her home town. “ I hired the village hall on the only time slot available on Friday mornings. The classes I’d been to in London were all evening classes, so dancing in the morning was a concept to me and amazingly, people came . They didn’t always come, twice I was on my own, twice just one person, but usually five or six or seven people. Several times I planned to announced that I’d stop the class and each time someone would speak before me and say something complimentary, like they’d been looking forward to it all week, which then would have made it seem rude to announce it was ending. So, I continued, and along with support of a few key individuals the class started to grow. As it grew it became easier for new people to join, it felt more substantial and the community-within-a-community was established.”
From these humble beginnings she now hosts a ‘Saturday Night Sweat’ which has grown into a huge group in a huge glorious venue, of The Gym at Michael Hall School. She also holds a monthlyWomen Only Full Moon Dance in London with co-facilitators Nikki Ashley and Julie Rose.
Learn more about Sarah Davies and book your spot in her global 10-month Dance Your Art Out webinar series that starts on September 26th today.
Thanks for all your creative work Sarah and much appreciation for your somatic spirit!