the awful death in “getting it right”

I’m walking and it’s a cold day. Because it’s cold I’m walking in a different way than I would when it’s warm. There are subtle differences in my gait that come from being fluid and adapting to the current situation.

When I work with someone and we’re walking or doing some other movement, they’re often trying to find the right way to do it, to find the way to do it, as if there were only one way to move, only one way to be. As if their environment, their mood, their sleep, their worries, their life had no bearing on what they’re doing in that moment. There’s no life in that approach. That’s the awful death of “getting it right.” If you try to find the “right” way, the definitive way, which doesn’t exist, and you think you’ve found it, you’ll try to grab it and hold onto it. But that’s static. That’s life-less. The way is adaptable. The way is fluid. It’s not static; it’s not dead. It’s alive!

Many artists try to get things perfectly, to get them just the way they want them, but there’s so little life in that, especially for an artist who performs or whose art is ephemeral, like dance or playing music. It has to be fluid; it has to move. If you’re writing and you’re trying to find the exact “right” word before you go to the next word there’s no life anymore, there’s no flow. That’s true for your own body, in your movement, in the way you’re literally approaching life in a physical way. When you’re feeling joy you move differently than when you’re feeling frustration. Let go into fluidity. Let go into change. Each day will be different. Each moment will be fluid. There might be similarities, but it can’t be the same. You need to allow for life.

One thought on “the awful death in “getting it right”

  1. It’s a very good approach to helping to get our students beyond the right/wrong trap. An organically sensible way to sit when you are feeling sad or exhausted is going to be different than an organically sensible way to sit when you are feel lively and awake. And at the same time developing this underlying fluidity and support that comes with AT study can be there for us no matter how we are feeling and that is the beauty of AT as I see when finally a person understands that it has nothing to do with right positions or with being right and wrong. I like your writing. Bruce

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