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A New Pedagogy

The ease of creating comes from being able to move. However, most of ourselves find instead, paralysis.

Would you buy that the teachers that we have venerated have mostly gotten in our way--have denied our own unique learning processes, have left us frustrated and feeling inadequate, but often diving in anyway, in much pain and with much fear of failure?

Unless we have naturally excelled at something, most of us have eventually left our attempts behind, all thrown to the wayside--if I had a dollar as a piano teacher for every time someone told me that they wished they'd kept on playing, but that they were no good--that it was their one regret...

I would dare to say that even those of us who excel at something feel mediocre and at odds with what we do, but we struggle through it and give the appearance that all is well. Of course, there are exceptions, (at least the appearance of them). I once read a book dedicated to the experience of several concert pianists, and I was so suprised that they had struggled, when from the outside they made it look so easy.

However, I am addressing those of you who were born an artist, but slowly watched those dreams become buried, who haven't traveled the road of their true passions--leaving those roads for the artists who you feel somehow deserve it, or were born for it.

I am here to say that in the afternoon of my life, that all of it has not been in vain. We need not blame the teachers, but rather take back our power to follow our heart's desire, and move into the 'work' of our lives that most resonates with our Soul. No one but you can know what that is. However, we are usually too afraid that we will fail, so, we don't even begin to explore that part of us. We continue doing what makes sense. We believe the labels we have put on ourselves and others. We think we've been defined and that's that.

This blog is to make you think.

Do you know your heart's desires?

I didn't. I knew what I thought I should be doing. I knew what I was pretty good at, and what paths were logical to follow, that would make sense in the world as I understood it. I was too afraid to admit what I was really drawn to, because I probably couldn't do it. It sounded too silly and impractical.

But now I know that I don't understand this world at all. Bottom pretty much drops out when you no longer have a basis for believing anything! All the possibilities...

If you don't know what you desire, never fear. It is hard to know what you love when you have so many opposing beliefs.

As you become more attuned with your true self, and the force of love, you are led. No, the heart doesn't just lead you to become Mother Teresa, unless that is what you want-- but rather it leads you to the joy of your being. Maybe it is to enjoy time with your kids more, (definitely one for me) maybe it is to take up dancing (try Zumba!) or something craftier--painting anyone? It may be to finally learn that instrument, to assemble an engine, or just to make something grow. Maybe it is simply to heal, or to find peace. It can be anything--yes, anything. HINT: What makes you tick? What do you care about more than anything? What makes you feel alive?

Keep in mind that the possibilities of doing/working in this world are here to help us deal with our insane minds--to keep us busy so to speak--only we've turned this gift of doing against ourselves-rather our minds have, designating who gets what, and why we can't have it too.

The New Pedagogy: Pedagogy as related to Soul/Life-work

When I was a young piano student, I remember picking repertoire with my teacher. He was a wonderfully intense concert pianist with a little yapper dog named Bach for short. I say was, because he has since passed on, leaving his legacy in my hands.

You might think that I should honor the dead, and I do, but not in the way you might expect. This man was one of my greatest teachers, but not because he taught me to play the piano, or introduced me to a world of music, but because he taught me to struggle.

He taught me to lift my fingers "ever higher!", even when it didn't feel good. He taught me to play louder even when my body cried out against it. He taught me that tension meant passion! You have to suffer to succeed! He made me practice hours and hours a day. He taught me to fight to be the best. He made me cry in the piano boot camp sessions. Other times he offered me donuts.

And now I see he was the best teacher I could have ever hoped for. He was just what I needed on my specific journey. You see, it never was about learning the piano for me-that was just a side-effect.

Really, it was a concentrated experience that would show me my exact view of the world, all of my limiting beliefs, all of my fears, all of my feelings of inadequacy--right there in the task of learning to play the piano. It would teach me far more than how to convincingly play a melody. It would be a relationship that showed me my exact and very simplistic and sinister perception of my world: the prison of my mind.

And the biggest surprise! In the end the piano would become my solace, a wise-old friend that I could never see before, because I felt so harassed by him. I realize that all the while this foe was imparting to me my dearest wisdom! He was my own personal Yoda.

As for my old piano teacher, he only echoed my own personal narrative. He was the voice inside my head, projected out into my experience. It sounds simplisitc, but this relationship is all I need to really see to understand anything about myself, as it is holographic to every other detail of my life!--it is also the key to my new found freedom, which becomes holographic as well.

Yes, my piano and I will play together long into my golden years, an he will be my biggest ally, because he helps me to focus my mind in the present, as he and I contend with less and less appearances of the demon critic that I'd allowed to ride with us for so many years--as I become more attuned with the force:) of love of self--and less like the demanding teacher.

Who could be your hidden Yoda? HINT: Who or what torments you the most? What do you resist the most?

More Flexibility, Following Your Bliss Anyway:

What I find is that learning an art form often weeds out many whose gifts might appear a little differently from what is 'desirable'. Perhaps little Amy's biggest gift at the piano would be a soft legato tone-without the fire and brimstone. Why should she not partake? I think she should, if it makes her happy. Who am I to take her into the future and shoot her down by telling her she doesn't have what it takes. Maybe I don't have what it takes to be a teacher.

My argument here is that much joy that we have in the learning process is taken away as soon as we begin. That is why most of us quit. We are told or made to feel like we don't have what it takes--and with our own added fears and story, we have no chance. Our unique process is often denied and overridden, as we are steered away from what we love.

Methods that were devised as ways of making learning easier, become our biggest obstacles, because all flexibility and exploration is lost. There is no rooting around for techniques that feel authentic and easy--there is the aim for the student/creator to please and copy--to assume unnatural poses that hinder more than help. Only the do-er can know this, but often they have no idea what ease feels like, and so they retain what feels hard.

If my mother hadn't been so determined for me to practice, I know I would have quit, because the soul connection and curiosity I had in the beginning was mostly lost in feelings of inadequacy and competition. It hurt to play. It always felt hard.

Fortunately I've realized that this experience was only helping me to reinforce this kind of a process in every aspect of my experience--until everything felt hard--also known as paralysis.

The good news was that in the undoing, in the recovery, this is where you find the ability to move again, and the joy is splendid, because you can find the gifts and the ease that comes from a contrasting experience!

Conclusion:

What I am asking you to think about here, is when it was that you lost your power to someone who appeared to have more knowledge than you--to have some hallowed skill or knowledge base that you revered, but that felt you had not.

When has your own unique process of learning been denied for a one-size-fits-all approach; when was it that your heart's desire became your worst nightmare and you left it behind? When was it that you quit or never began? How long have you been carrying your story? And are you happy at the road that you've traveled, staying clear of the paths with too much risk, or that you were sure you'd never weather.

Freedom from the mind, and the mind of others: this is where the journey takes on a different hue.

Success is moving past the mind and the voices that say you can't and you shouldn't, that you'll never amount to anything--and moving to this place: the place where you reclaim your power, where you thank all of your many teachers, keep what it is that they have given you that SERVES you, and LET GO of what doesn't serve you.

Of course, then it becomes your own responsibility of continuing to let go of the nefarious teacher inside of you that wants and thinks you will fail.

It takes discipline to love yourself. Let me repeat. It takes discipline to love yourself.

If you could do one thing today that would lead you back to yourself, it would be to realize that you are still on your creative path--you've never left it, only needed to experience it all before you could decide what does and doesn't feel good, and then in this moment, see what feels good.

Pick the songs you want to play, so to speak, and feel the titillating excitement of feeling the music that you love stirring in your hands--even if it is New Age music (which is a bit of a no-no in the hob-snobbery of the classical music world--and for good reason-so much beautiful classical music to feed our souls going to the grave--see David Garrett for an artist reviving it).

Respect your process. Learn by undoing and doing again in a joyful way. Let your body be your guide. If it isn't feeling good, find another way. Trust that what feels good will guide you further than any feeling that you should or shouldn't!

Dear Creators,

Find that EVERY aspect of life is reflected in your ability to create following your heart's desire. Know that there is no destination, but that it is all in working through this process of moving past the mass consciousness, the absolutes, the dictates of your own difficult mind that want you to fail, to unearth the part of you who already knows how to do, to be, and to have.

I extend this as a new pedagogy--one that works closer, and in a unique way with each participant, to aim for a more balanced experience, tuning with the desire of the heart, and freeing up the do-er, by freeing up his mind. A flexible mind is a happy mind.

Happy creating, happy exploring, and happy living and loving!

Comments

  1. Wow!!! Thank you for this! You said exactly what I needed to hear in this moment. I love this "New Pedagogy"! You not only write beautifully, but your words fill me with hope...there is a way to connect with my wholeness, the mind does not have the final word.

    Brillian! Brilliant! Brilliant!

    Thank you mentioning David Garrett, such a brilliant violinist! Pretty hot too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Once again, thank you for sharing your brilliance.

    :)

    ReplyDelete

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