The Balance of Quantity and Quality
After 5 weeks of inspiring music making in California, I am happy to be home to share my adventures and lessons with you! I have danced between the words 'quality', 'quantity' and 'balance' all summer, literally, physically and metaphorically. Inspired by the cool fog of Carmel, I experienced a great sense of inner joy that came from taking the time to evaluate the balance of 'quality versus quantity' in my life. These words accompanied my daily routine and became a theme and personal mantra for the summer. The result was a July filled with an abundance of exciting new experiences, and feelings of being very present in my activities with people around me.
I ran my first half-marathon in San Francisco and trained for 7 weeks with my attention tuned to the quality and balance of every step. This initially stemmed out of a fear of falling and potentially hurting myself, particularly since I didn't leave myself a lot of time to train. The quantity of the miles and hours it took to run the half-marathon was achieved through creating a moving meditation focused on quality in each moment. The resulting spring of momentum kept propelling me forward in a spirited and balanced manner. Learning how NOT to injure myself through paying attention to the quality of the movement, allowed me to transformed my fears into a truly joyous experience! Ironically, paying attention to the quality of the moment allowed for the quantity of 13 miles in 3 hours to occur, without injury, and in good time for a first race.
I wonder what other areas of life can hold such results from an application of attention?
After Carmel, I spent some much needed quality time with my mother who has Parkinson's disease, and found a completely different relationship with the word balance. Balance is not a metaphorical concept for her to try to achieve in life, but rather a literal entity which rules her success each day. The quantity of her movement and of her independence, is solely dependent upon the quality and connection of her balance in each moment. Gladly, she is having a renewed sense of spirit, even with these challenges!
Through participating in Awareness Through Movement lessons, we deepen this investigation of what quality really means. Fundamentally, the quantity of movement is inconsequential for the goals of our work. What I try to bring to my students, clients and to myself, is a renewed sense and value of the word quality, and ability to listen on a very deep neurological level to how that moves through the self, and through a life.
I share these thoughts with you as the summer wraps up and we all embark on a busy school year, season, and work schedule. I encourage you to take a moment and let yourself simmer on the balance between quality and quantity, and give yourself the gift of allowing quality to dance and shine in your life this year!