We often …

We often know way more than we think we do. We’re often way stronger than we realize. We often don’t recognize something for what it is even when it’s staring us in the face.

We sound a bit slow to learn, don’t we? But allow me to interpret in a more positive perspective….we are smart. We are intelligent and have the capacity to forgive and the skill of problem-solving. So why, WHY, does it take us so damn long sometimes to figure things out or get our shit together?

For me, it’s like my brain is filled in with molasses every time I have to do math to give someone change. The calculation takes a while for me to do in my head and I could do it much faster if I wrote it down but I fear that would make me seem less smart. And then that anxiety builds which makes the calculation solving process even more delayed. It feels excruciating.

For me, it took 6 years to figure out how to interact with an old flame. It was up and down and all around….if our relationship was a roller-coaster, it would be the frikin King-da-ka. Or Sidewinder. Either way, a big mess of emotions. And I was not so quick to sort them out and discover a healthy relationship with that individual.

There are so many things that prevent us from DOING. From sorting, solving, planning. Effectively.

This happens in tango all the time. Anxiety, panic, the need to impress, nervousness, frustration, stress, self-consciousness, and general insecurity in the learning process are all things that hold us back from learning something new with a positive attitude (and kindness and compassion). These things are like walls, borders, limitations that block our way. And by golly, it’s irritating and taxing and drives us batty!

So how can we not only encourage the learning process in a healthy, positive way but also never stop or hinder it even when these thoughts and feelings and road blocks prevent us from going?

Still figuring this one out. But I suspect that it is different for each person. So…take some time and reflect. And PLEASE share your thoughts and enlighten this little tango girl, too!

Happy reflecting!

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One Response to We often …

  1. Steve McLain says:

    I’ve got to take a shot at this one. First I want to try to solve your math anxiety tipping problem and then see if I can relate that to tango. First let’s assume that you are in the US and the service was acceptable so you want to decide what percentage you are going to tip. If your income is not high I suggest either nothing or 10%. Nothing is completely acceptable if you aren’t earning more than a waitress or waiter (including their tips!). If you want to tip, 10% is fine because it will always be seen as acceptable by any waiter or waitress. You often hear the guideline of 20%. That is a fair amount to tip if you earn substantially more than a waiter or waitress. So let’s calculate a 10% tip. Look at the total bill and move the decimal point one place to the left. You are done. So if the bill is $36.29 move the decimal point to the left and you have $3.629, but let’s make it simpler and round that 3 up to 4, because let’s face it no once cares if you are tipping 10.0% vs. 11.0% (I used my calculator for that bit :-), and who wants to deal with change these days.

    All of the above is a long-winded way of saying we looked at a bill for $36.29 and calculated a $4 tip by taking our time and calmly moving the decimal point over to the left and rounding the number to one higher.

    How does this relate to learning tango? When you get anxious while trying to learn some new tango move, it’s like looking at all those numbers on the bill. They can make you dizzy and anxious. The solution is to pause and do something very basic. What is the basic fundamental thing in tango? Connection. Pause and connect with your partner. You take whatever amount of time it requires. It may be fast, it may be slow. It doesn’t matter because it doesn’t take you out of the dance. You can pause and connect as both a leader and a follower. Now you are ready to deal with all those numbers. Or not. Because all the little numbers are the embellishments, and the fancy moves. They are great fun to have in your dancing but they are not the core of tango. Connection is the core of tango and it lives in a quiet, calm place.

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