My student troupe! Choreographing a “steampunk” piece is really hard because uhhh there isn’t much basis for comparison. I am happy with how this piece came together – especially because many of the funny stuff (well, I thought it was funny) was not originally choreographed but arose out of the stuff my students were doing. This was a big experiment in loosey-goosey choreography (among other things): setting a framework for people to be spontaneous/improvise rather than choreographing every step (given that we are drunken airship pirates, loosey-goosey is pretty appropriate). I think they really pulled it off!! I am actually performing WITH them this weekend at a steampunk convention (the original reason for the creation of this set) — I usually don’t perform with them because I like students to have their own special space, but we are going to be missing somebody and rather than restage the whole thing I’m just going to jump in. Hopefully I will do as good a job.
Archive for the ‘General’ Category
I recently read Discomfort Zone: How to Master the Universe on Zen Habits, one of my favorite internet watchamacallits. I’ve been thinking of uncomfortable but good idea things I’ve done somewhat recently.
A big (and ongoing, let’s be honest) one is learning to eat vegetables. Basically I just shoved stuff in my face as fast as I could to minimize the amount of time it spent on my taste buds and eventually I became OK with it. I find that it’s much easier for me to eat meals that are all plants. Cheese is a plant, right? There has been this great snowball effect where the less I eat refined/fatty/salty stuff, the less I crave them, and the better my diet gets…for the most part. Step 2 is taming my anything goes weekends. We’ll get there.
More recently: I’ve been getting up IN THE MORNING to work out. WHAAAAAAT this is an unexpected development. The gym I’ve been going to has 7am training and I’ve been going to it.
The trick is to pack everything up the night before and sleep in your gym clothes. That way, the ONLY reason you “can’t” go is because “you’re too damn lazy” which is at least a little more difficult to justify. And talk about discomfort — waking up in the dark, stumbling out into the cold just to lift some weights? It’s a warehouse gym (ie not super insulated) and last week the weights were so cold we had to put our gloves on just to hold them (there was talk of knitting dumbbell cozies). But then I’m done with the workout and on with my day! It’s not quite a habit yet so it’s still a struggle – which is why I told the trainer I planned to come on the regular, another motivator.
I’ve been noticing a lot of discomfort in my arting. I haven’t really been pleased with anything I’ve done – hence the lack of videos. My one “rule” that I have is I don’t HAVE to post a video, which somewhat reduces the pressure of creating for YouTube. The downside is if I’m trying new things and they are dumb, no videos.
Part of it is letting people in on the process, I guess. This has elements that I like, but I took such a convoluted route (and covered over things that would have been better) that I don’t even want you to know how it started. It is interesting to me how there is a real sense of discomfort and tension when your creating isn’t going well; in my case I feel like I’m just repeatedly hitting a wall and not getting anywhere. My theory is that if I keep bouncing along I’ll eventually find a way through, like in Labyrinth where it turns out there was a passage all along, “you just ain’t seein’ ‘em.”
It might sound silly, but when I get stressed about my arts and crafting (HIGH STAKES GAME!) I remind myself about how I eat spinach now. If I can eat a bunch of leaves, a fate worse than death, I can probably also deal with some shitty arts.
But there is nothing filled in!
I was going to post something earlier – so this just doesn’t turn into a Wordless Wednesday blog – but then I got sick AGAIN. The only logical conclusion I can draw is the universe is telling me I have to sit down and catch up on Breaking Bad. I have trouble watching too much TV because it feels like a waste of time – as opposed to screwing around on the internet, which is a great use of time – so I only really do it when I’m sick/really lazy. Anyway, I watched like 3/4 of season 2 yesterday. I guess I should get back to it, lest I hinder my recovery.
Part of me wanted to create some artsy fartsy year review but it seemed too forced given how the year in fact went. A lot of great things happened and some not so great stuff but, at the risk of being totes cliche, I learned a lot so it was worth it (I guess?).
I used to read Tarot pretty regularly (Robin Wood was my jam) but I drifted away from the whole thing – except I could never talk myself into parting with my Osho Zen deck. I am consistently surprised at the answers I receive and I like this deck in particular because the cards on based on Zen concepts, so even though I don’t do quote unquote fortune telling I love having the deck for meditative purposes. Plus I swear it’s in my MIND
I requested a thought to hold as I entered 2013 and was presented with New Vision. I won’t give you all the deets and back story from my life because it’s long and none of your beeswax ( ) so just trust me when I say that this could not be a more perfect message. I actually laughed when I flipped the card over.
When you open up to the ultimate, immediately it pours into you. You are no longer an ordinary human being – you have transcended. Your insight has become the insight of the whole existence. Now you are no longer separate – you have found your roots.
Otherwise, ordinarily, everybody is moving without roots, not knowing from where their heart goes on receiving energy, not knowing who goes on breathing in them, not knowing the life juice that is running inside them. It is not the body, it is not the mind – it is something transcendental to all duality, that is called bhagavat – the bhagavat in the ten directions ….
Your inner being, when it opens, first experiences two directions: the height, the depth. And then slowly, slowly, as this becomes your established situation, you start looking around, spreading into all other eight directions. And once you have attained to the point where your height and your depth meet, then you can look around to the very circumference of the universe. Then your consciousness starts unfolding in all ten directions, but the road has been one.
Osho Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt Chapter 9
The figure on this card is being born anew, emerging from his earthbound roots and growing wings to fly into the unbounded. The geometric shapes around the body of the figure show the many dimensions of life simultaneously available to him. The square represents the physical, the manifest, the known. The circle represents the unmanifest, the spirit, pure space. And the triangle symbolizes the threefold nature of the universe: manifest, unmanifest, and the human being who contains both.
Now you are presented with an opportunity to see life in all its dimensions, from the depths to the heights. They exist together, and when we come to know from experience that the dark and the difficult are needed as much as the light and easy, then we begin to have a very different perspective on the world. By allowing all of life’s colors to penetrate us, we become more integrated.
Wishing you many new visions in 2013.
Contrary to the supposed natural order of things, my previous self was apparently much smarter than my current self. Almost 2 years ago I posted a little fill-in planner thing that keeps track of your daily goals, the idea being you color in the shape if you achieved that thing so you can visually track how things are going. This is similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s chain method. I used to do something similar (crossing the days off on the calendar) but it doesn’t really work when you have several small, daily goals. What if I did some and not others? I should at least get partial credit (in my perhaps too-nice-to-myself opinion).
I downloaded the planner from my own site, lolz, and am looking forward to coloring in some SHAPES
The important thing with daily small goals is that they are in fact small, easy to accomplish each day, and will benefit you in the long run. This is for the pebbles that become the mountain.
Current Daily Goals:
- Push-up and plank sequence – I am working towards a real push-up and I want to extend my plank sequence to more than a minute per side (I do front, side, front, other side) and I want to get up to full extension (I currently plank on my forearms). Push-ups: like 3 minutes, right now I am working on just lowering myself to the ground per my trainer’s suggestion; Planks: currently 4 minutes. 7 minute total. I may or may not do this as part of my regular workout, depending on what’s on the docket for that day.
- Stretching – I don’t know that I will ever get to the splits. I’ve never been flexible – even as a kid I never went through that Gumby phase that everybody else seemed to have. But, it certainly doesn’t hurt to stretch. For now I’ll be using this sequence but it will probably change as necessary. This sequence is currently a 7 minute total but the idea is to extend your time in the stretches. I will probably incorporate this sequence into my dance class cool-down.
- Foam rolling – depending on the day I may do this as part of my regular workout, but if I haven’t lifted that day I will take 10ish minutes to do it at home.
- Doodling/noodling – as you may have gathered from my whining, I’ve been lazy-pants with the arting and miss it. So I will doodle every day. It may be a full-blown page, it may be a zentangle-type thing, it may be little collages…doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something. I will put this at a 5 minute minimum but can be extended. I may adjust this to include writing as well but for now I’ll stick to stick figures.
- Meditating – this will be the most difficult and probably the most important. I’ve been trying to get into a regular practice for, like, my entire life. I used to go to a regular group in college but never kept it up. Recently I attended open sitting at a local center on a weekly basis but for some reason I fell out of that too. My current goal is 10 minutes a day at home, with a bonus if I go to the center (something about the group situation/energy in the room really helps ground me – I can sit for the whole hour there but struggle at home). I will have to get myself gold star stickers for that, I think.
These are totally doable, especially considering two or three of them will probably be incorporated into other stuff I’m already doing. Once I get into the habit, extending the times will be easy.
Ideally each planner page is a different month but I don’t like waiting for the “perfect time to start” – there is no such thing – so I am starting RIGHT NOW actually I started before I wrote this post that’s how I got the idea.
(two posts in two days?? don’t get used to it – my staycation will be over soon!)