Thursday, 15 June 2017

Skating Toward Compassion

More on skating and learning to skate, aka a mini continuation of my previous post 'Old Dog, New Tricks.'

A patient teacher who excels on the ice, my husband has been on blades since a very young age.
I, however, am quite new.

What I have noticed when learning a physical skill (vs an intellectual one), is that it is easier to see where improvement is needed (as well as where ground has been gained) and to be nicer to myself along the way.

For example, I didn't have expectations to immediately know how to do cross-overs. I practiced, over and over, while holding the hubby's hand. On the ice, failure is easily accepted as a necessary by-product of getting better. Each incremental improvement is extremely gratifying and noted as a huge 'win.'

Through this process I recognized that I was not bringing the same compassion toward myself when doing intellectual improvements like writing. For some reason I used to expect every draft to be perfect and was disappointed when I would go back to the basics to re-work a section of dialogue or plot point.

As such, whenever I am hard on myself for 'not knowing' something in the realm of writing, I remember being on the ice and what it took to build those skills. Slowly, over time and with much patience, I have moved the compassion that I found there over to my intellectual (and emotional) growth.

By transferring my gentle inner 'ice-skating voice' to all parts of my life, I have experienced more joy along this journey called life.

- M

*M, such a excellent and lovely point made M. It would be helpful for me to remember the number of years it took as a dancer to get to a professional level and apply that same patience to my writing and directing skills. I wholeheartedly thank you for this one. J

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Maira Gall