Friday, December 21, 2012

Have We Become Too Soft? Or...My Most Recent Brain Dump


(I got a new Canon Elph for an early Christmas present and these lucky students were some of my initial victims! I love the color capture of this little camera; the studio has never looked truer to its self in any other photo.)

In the photo above, it's funny to see these few students all clustered toward the back of the studio. What's really interesting to know is that they had no idea that they were working so closely together and that eventually some of them got so close that I waited breathlessly for them to crash.

They have no idea they are so close, because in my classes no one is watching anyone else. Everyone is totally absorbed by their own experience.

And from class to class, the experience can be so very different. I am always exploring new ways to help them explore their bodies, minds, and hearts.

For this reason, I say that I have the bravest students EVER!

This work we do has many rewards but it is also difficult.

And difficult is not very popular these days.

We are even taught by a lot of woo woo/wishy washy "spirituality" out there that if it's hard, then it must be wrong. That things that are meant to be come easily.

NOT!

I am a believer in the opposite: that something worth your time is something worth a lot of effort, a lot of hard work, a lot of the old blood, sweat, and tears. (If I sound at all Klingon there, it's because I am most definitely part Klingon...duh...)

I have been thinking a lot about this issue lately.

I have been thinking a lot about our cultural obsession with comfort and I wonder what it is doing to us and not just on a physical level (though here is some good thinking about that) but on a spiritual level -- the level where honor and commitment and integrity are born.

Matthew Fox wrote a book called The Reinvention of Work in which he asserted that bored individuals become violent individuals, and we become bored by work that doesn't challenge us, too much nonsensical busy, and too much free time.

Sound familiar?

I have been thinking, too, about our approach toward self-care.

Has any culture at any time ever been so focused on "self-care?"  Has any culture at any other time ever had the TERM "self-care?!" Maybe the Romans but look at what happened to them...

And rest? How do we need so much damn rest? Very few of us work physically anymore but we certainly think that sitting around and lounging is uber important.

What most of us need is a change of activity, which is really how you rejuvenate the body AND the mind.

All of this and more has been swirling around in my mind...

What do you think about the issue of "soft?" Do you yourself feel like you've gotten this way? Do you expect too little now that you no longer expect too much?  Where is the balance?