Last Thursday night, my energy was low after a day of record-breaking 100 degree heat, a full-on attack of fall allergies, and a couple of nights of disrupted sleep. I could barely summon the energy to go to my Texas 2-Step class, an activity I added to ‘cultivate pleasure’ as my friend had suggested to combat the stress of marital separation. I started to talk myself out of it, “Why don’t you just stay home. It would be easier?” I countered with remembering I’d paid for the six classes and part of me didn’t want to waste my money. But I also thought back to years ago when I took West Coast Swing lessons and had similar feelings.
Since I couldn’t get my husband to go, I ventured out on my own to take from a new instructor with people I didn’t know. I remember several classes where I thought that I was ‘in over my head.’ West Coast Swing is not an easy dance to learn and our instructor, Debbie did everything she could to break it down into understandable parts. She’d taught children, some with physical disabilities, so I thought surely she could teach me–since I can be ‘directionally challenged.’ One night of class was particularly hard; we didn’t have enough participants to have a separate beginner and intermediate class, so we were combined. I was struggling with the steps, having a hard time following the lead. At one point, I was so embarrassed by my errors, I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.
Debbie saw my frustration and came over to practice with me, saying, “I can tell you really want this. You’ll get it. Let me show you.” She practiced that step with me several times, my own private remedial instruction, and eventually I improved. That wasn’t the only hard night but I just kept showing up and trusting the process. Not only did the leader help me, but I found that if my energy level was low, being in the group gave me a source of energy.
At Thursday night’s lesson, our instructor, Shari commented that it seemed all her classes had less energy that day. She showed us the new steps and repeated them several times before we caught on. After class we’ve been going to practice at Loafers Beach Club where Thursday night is Western night. Our class is small with five participants, and only two of us could go to Loafers.
When we arrived the dance had been going for two hours and I felt my energy increase with the mood of that crowd. My classmate, John, said to me, “I’m glad you had the enthusiasm and stamina to come,” and I remembered how he’d rushed in from work just in time for our class.
No night of dancing is ever the same; Thursday night was the most fun I’d had in the nights we’d been going to the after-class practice and socializing. There were more guys to dance with and they played more of the songs I like. I left feeling my energy and my spirit had been boosted.
I hope I’ll keep remembering that sometimes it’s enough to Just Show Up. I don’t have to do things perfectly or have the right attitude. I just have to be faithfully present, whether it’s learning a new dance step, writing a book, or any other venture. One step forward can lead to more steps and the energy will follow.
Best to you in the week ahead as you find your path.
How About You?
In what situations have you talked yourself out of doing something you really wanted to do?
How could you Just Show Up and rely on the process?