Positive Ways of Using this Mind-Body Connection
My father decided to tear down our deck on our house and build the same thing, same size with all new materials that won’t rot for at least another 25 years. Now, the deck is kind of gigantic and my pops is kind of old. At least, I didn’t realize he was “old” until the project was well-under way and I saw the toll it was taking on him. I visited home briefly this week for a slew of back to back wedding festivities of two friends and between the chaos of trying to be in a dozen places at once, I found myself taking time to be outside with Dad. He talked and talked and just gushed about the deck. The process, the materials, the time, the dimensions, the fancy solar lights….he LOVES this kind of work. He’s *kind of* obsessed with it.
And I’ve gotta say, if I had been born a boy, I would’ve been the carpenter’s apprentice. My grandfather and my dad started to build the house one year before I graced the world with my presence. The deck didn’t get some TLC until I was old enough to help out with some minor things. Both men always let me help, mostly with painting and gluing and sanding things. Bringing home and working on wood shop projects in 8th grade with my grandpa made me feel so close to him. Mostly because it was one of the few activities we did together side by side. He hunted a lot with the guys in his family and that simply wasn’t an acceptable girl thing to do in their opinion. Nonetheless, being creative and building things together with these men was something I really treasured. We’ve fixed bookshelves, built wall shelves, and Grandpa even taught me a little about his craft of caning chairs.
The difference between these carpenters I know and myself is that the wood-workers are always planning ahead.
And I am definitely not working from that mindset. My super quick pre-activity eval goes like so:
Does it sound like a good idea?
Could it be awesome?
Does it sound fun?
check, check, check! Ok, I go, let’s embark!
I enjoy work that makes me use my own body strength. That makes me feel like I’m working towards something, that I’m utilizing all that I have….my mind, my physical abilities, and my emotions. Doing these things with others, in the company of people who will share their time and thoughts together, is richly enjoyable and greatly motivating for me. The part that I struggle with on my own in these activities is working with the future benefits in mind. Making my efforts and work last for the longest amount of time is challenging for me to focus on.
I think I am different when it comes to learning tango. I am similar in keeping my attention to the present happenings but in this learning process, I am very mindful of trying my best to “do the job right”. I want to have a solid technique and a strong foundation within my own body so that I can do this for a longer period of time without wear and tear, injury, or neglecting some aspect of my well-being.
I don’t want tango to just be my hide-away, my refuge and place to call sanctuary. Instead, I want it to be an avenue to experience life, release what needs to be let go of, and allowed the opportunity to love myself and others.
I think this is why carpenters think so far ahead when they are working on something. They want their time and effort to produce a home that is more than a refuge. Or an object that surpasses its mere purpose. They need it to sustain itself and prevent injury and protect from other harmful things that are unexpected.
Through tango, I hope to gain a future that is emotionally wealthy, sturdy, welcomes change in positive ways, and flows with a living and active kind of love. I hope that my learning process and the effort and ease I have found in tango is investing in this kind of future.