There are themes that keep coming back to the table – the power of Doing is one of them.
One of the privileges of teaching Egyptian Dance (and the perks that come attached to it) to women from all over the world is the awareness of the things that unite us. Although each culture has its own peculiar limitative and empowering points, in the end we´re all human. What unites us is more powerful – and prevalent – than what separates us.
I teach large groups of students in international events as well as in private On Line Courses.Independently of the venue, one thing´s for sure: I realize most of us are scared of doing.
– What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if I discover things about myself that will shake me, or others, to the core? What if?
We find excuses to postpone; we invent lack of time, health, energy, focus, stamina, whatever our self sabotage mechanisms can produce in order to refuse putting our hands in the mud. Literally. Mud being everything we know we want to do – the same things that will bring us face to face with our potential and our limits.
When what we´ve proposed to do is personal – as is the case of every artistic endeavour -, the tought gets even tougher. If the task is personal, the result will be personal and you see where this is going. Who wants to have her/his ego pinched and, eventually, destroyed?
The thing is: to be creative you have to leave your ego in the toilet. Leave it there, next to the toilet paper, so you can launch yourself into your work without the pressure to please your ego. You have to get ready for criticism, doubt, indifference, animosity. You have to be open to failure, whatever that means, as well as success. And watch out: failure likes to dress up like success and vice-versa. Sometimes, you´re convinced you found failure and you found success; other times, you´re sure you found success and you found plain old bullshit. It´s relative. Don´t complicate. Life is complicated enough for you, me and the rest of us.
Screw it! Damn perfection and excuses. Just do it! Do it rough, if necessary. Do it awful, totally wrong, upside down, terribly. But do it. Give it your all, right now, even if right now all you have to offer is nothing.
Showing up to do things is not only the way of turning ideas into materialized realities but the only path for learning. If you want to learn something – really learn it -, do it. There´s no better school, or more humbling tool, than this.
Dreaming is easy – it´s the materializing of the dream that costs an ego or two. No wonder so many people are afraid to try the waters and check how far they can go. Especially women, the ones who are still judged more for their looks than for their intelligence; more for their ability to conform to society´s rules than to their potential for pioneer, innovative projects. We avoid DOING as cats avoid water.
So I insist with my students: give me something awful, if necessary, but by God!, give me something! The result may not be perfect – perfection doesn´t exist – but it´s more often than not fantastic. And always a progress of a visible or an invisible sort.
Doing, despite the results, is also rewarded. I call it the Saturn bonus: when we show up, consistently, to do our job, come rain or come shine, inspired or uninspired, confident or feeling like s2#T%&$#, Saturn comes along and rewards us. It leaves a cappuccino – organic beans, almond milk, deluxe caramel sauce – and a slice of lemon pie, the best, by our side. It pours new ideas where there were none; it instills us with the passion we thought we´d lost; it brings back The Muses, the strength and the purpose to make things happen.
Greatness is not a circumstance but a way of being, this I´ve said and wrote several times. Saturn has just whispered in my ear: greatness is the ability to show up and do whatever we´ve proposed to do, offering our best at the present moment, dettached from the results, brave in the midst of the desert.
When in doubt, DO IT. Do it right, do it wonder*fully, do it terribly. Do it.