In an effort to try and keep myself centered with all my usual methods having to be halted, I have begun meditating. Not extensively, just 3 minutes a day to sort of refocus my mind and keep myself out of the “dark place” as much as I can.
I’ve found it beneficial to the anxiety I’ve been feeling in increasing measure since being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and also while trying to find a doctor that can tell me what else is wrong with me. It helps me to remind myself of the good things in life. That I may not have control of anything whatsoever, but that I’m alive and that is something. It helps remind me that I’m not alone in this fight, but that other wonderful people fight similar battles as me, and if they can fight so can I.
The other day, the person who leads the little sessions made a comment about the importance of beginnings. The irony of the timing was not lost on me, and I loved what he had to say. He mentioned that in meditation, the further people get along in it, the more difficulties they can find in focusing their minds. The way they remedy that is by remembering what it was like to be a beginner. To go back to when they didn’t know what to expect, when everything was new.
It’s like that in ballet. Sometimes you get past the “beginner’s rut” and start to get the hang of it all and you find yourself getting discouraged. You feel like you hit these plateaus and can’t get any farther. You start to doubt and struggle in a new way, thinking you’re not advancing fast enough or that the others around you are so much better than you. That you’ll never be that.
But you have to remind yourself of what it was to be a beginner. Of course when everything is new you’ll see improvement more often. It’s logical. Similar to babies seeming to grow so fast since there are so many milestones to be reached in the first few years. It can give the appearance that they don’t grow as much as they get older, but really it just isn’t as visible. Part of the growth comes in the enduring, sticking it out and not giving in or making rash decisions just to feel like something is happening.
Take a second. Remind yourself of what it was like to begin. When everything was new and exciting and also terrifying. Don’t forget how far you’ve come, and set goals for things still ahead, even if it’s something as seemingly simple as committing to a certain amount of classes a week or holding a releve passe for x amount of seconds.
This is what you dreamed of. You’re living it. It’s reality. Don’t let yourself forget how magical it al really is. ❤️
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.