I risk, therefore I fail (sometimes)

I am one of the most fearful, cautious people I know. Or at least I used to be.  It is thus odd to me that the art I do is all about risk: I improvise, trust my intuition, go with my gut. During my “free play” improvisations things come out which surprise me–and it sometimes feels so uncomfortable to not know where I am going.

As a teacher, I feel compelled to offer students an opportunity to take risks in a safe, encouraging environment. My own experience has shown that a willingness to go off the well-trodden path can often lead to discoveries that can change the course of one’s artistic direction and experience. Rather than try to lead people where I think they should go , I try to encourage them to trust themselves, to use the exercises and techniques I offer as jumping off points; I try to help them find their own WAY.  Sometimes I underestimate the need for people to have more structure; sometimes I overestimate peoples’ ability to deal with discomfort. In taking my own risks as a teacher, I am bound to fail sometimes.

Failure. Ah, my worst fear. Or is it?  I think about the word…then feel the feelings, then think again..and I start to smile. I start to laugh!! Ah, how ridiculous. I am a wonderfully imperfect human teacher trying to help other people relax into themselves and I am worried about failure?

Back to risk. I will continue to risk being human–to experiment, to try new things, even if they don’t ultimately pan out.  If I don’t follow my own heart, trust my own WAY, then I can offer very little to any one else.

I really do feel the fear and do it anyway.  Teaching, making art, living life—it is all one big trust walk and I am so happy to be in the thick of it.

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