Just now I read a new blog entry by Susie on her blog “Conductor”, which reminded of the blog that’s been in writing in my head for a couple of weeks. http://www.susie-mallett.org/2012/04/joy-in-natural-world.html (Thanks, Susie:-))
Before I really get going, I would like to apologize in advanced about bringing more and more yoga into my blog writing. My partner and me are a bit over 2 weeks away from starting the first part of our yoga teacher training. We had to do some reading to prepare us for the tasks at hand. Naturally, it’s been part of our conversations lately and part of where my mind nowadays takes me. CE has for years been a steady occupier of my mind, which means the produce of my thinking has become quite interesting. BTW once I am done preparing for yoga, the books Peto wrote in German are next. I am curious to see, if I can find any overlap (the more I read the yoga books, the more I suspect to find that overlap).
During the last couple of weekends I have challenged myself physically more extreme then I have before. I run a ten kilometer run and hiked up and down a mountain for 12k (which took us 5h!!). I am not just telling you that to show off (and yes, a bit of ego is always in it as I am very proud of what I have done) but also to highlight the light-bulb moments that came with it. I pushed myself hard and I suspected I would spend the rest of the day resting on the couch or napping. But no, quite contrary, both those days I ended up cleaning everything on my list (my usual Sundays chores), going for more walks and more. Yes, I felt the physical tiredness of pushing myself but I also felt the mental power I gained through it. I suddenly had more energy then before and happy to be tired but still enjoying life.
I think, I gained what the yogis call “Prana”, which means in rough translation “life-force”. The yogis believe that some things steal our life-force and some give it to us. Yoga itself is considered to give us life-force, exercise is, spending happy moments doing whatever we like to do. In general, it doesn’t have to do with things that cost us energy like moving and exercising but more what brings us joy; It’s quite a bit of bliss those moments when you are exhausted e.g. playing a 24h Volleyball tournament or whatever you fancy and feeling every muscle in your body, but when you are glad you did it and be proud of your achievements.
I have seen that little twinkle of refreshed life, flashing up in my client’s eyes – and I think that’s the moment I enjoy most as a conductor. Yes, it could have been just a booth of endorphins but I choose to think there is more. There is perspective for the future and there is appreciation for the now. Without trying to sound all mushy but there is some sort of peace.
One of my biggest pet-peeve with people working/caring for children with disabilities (usually the non-verbal once) is the overused phrase: "He/she is just tired". And yes, sometimes that’s what they are and yes sometimes medication does not help, but I dare to say that quite often they are just bored. Something that would steal anyone’s “life-force” and maybe it is a reminder for us to work a bit harder on avoiding that and strengthen the things that bring life-force activity, sense of achievement, sharing enjoyment and feel connected with friends and family, feeling good about oneself and lots more. Interesting how much it sounds like CE or the things I think about planning a session.
I always remember a mother complaining to me how more alive their son was, when he got home after a six hour intensive session. That he would move around more trying to do stuff (yes, quite often it was “naughty stuff” but quite often that’s not a bad thing either). I remember that I didn’t quite know what to say, as I was mentally and physical exhausted of trying to keep that child active throughout whole day and didn’t understand why he wasn’t feeling like I was. My instincts told me that this kind of non-tiredness is not a bad thing. And now I know that this is stuff that's most important.
Developing as conductor means to be able to express ones ideas, thoughts and explain reasons, even instincts, better. I’m getting there slowly and I am pretty sure that I would have something important to say to this mom and expanding my teaching on a greater level.