Unlock Your Mind To Learn

Last week I did something unexpected. I went to a dance class. My friends invited me to go, and since they were so enthusiastic about it I reluctantly accepted the invitation.  
I grew up dancing ballet; however, I always felt like the clumsy one compared to my sister who had her arms and legs doing the right things at the right time.
On the way there, I felt nervous and a little excited. I was thinking of the people I might meet. I imagined them being nervous too. That helped a little bit. Initially, we learned the basic steps of a Charleston. I had no idea that was what I was going to learn. Rock step here, triple step there. I counted and messed up. When we started to pair up my mind went blank. It was like what we had just practiced didn’t happen. I looked at my feet. Luckily we had to shift partners often, so my missteps was only subjected to the same guy for a few minutes. Somewhere in this process of changing partners every few minutes I lost myself and my feet started to move the right way. I laughed and had fun. I stopped trying so hard and being tense. I became open to learning. As I went home that night, I thought of one of my favorite quotes:
“The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.”      -Shunryu Suzuki
This is a quote that helped me last year in my golf game too. There was something in my swing I thought I could never change. When I became open to learning about it, it changed. And with the change, I stopped having pain in my left shoulder. Funny how the things in our swings (or life) we hold onto can stop us from swinging free and having fun!
This week I’m going to dance class again. I’m going to be nervous again: I’m sure of it. But I’m going to accept it and move my feet. Keep going. Eventually I might learn the dance. At the very least, it is a possibility.
Keep swingin’,