Find the edges
Recently I spent three weeks training with some of the most amazing people I have ever met, working on physical approaches to acting based on the work of Tadashi Suzuki. Here are a few of my insights regarding this amazing experience.
We begin each training session with the words “Ohayo Gozaimasu,” which means ‘Good Morning.”
We end each session with “Otsukare sama deshita,” which basically means “you’re tired, you deserve a rest.”
These two statements are the boundaries - the edges of the training session that is encompassed inside. Most of the exercises and disciplines involve very physically demanding work, and putting your body in extreme situations to see where the edges of your abilities lie. Most of the walks and marching also involve a stop, where you find stillness before initiating the next action. It is these moments that I am drawn to.
The stop is the place where you can see that things will begin again. Without the stop and stillness, it doesn’t have the same power. You can see the energy just waiting to begin - the potential in the stillness. Then when it begins you see the kinetic energy - it flows and moves and the simplicity and beauty of the motion is arresting.
Too often we look for continuous motion in our work and businesses. We fight to ensure that our business doesn’t fail, and that things just keep moving forever. We hope that things will just keep flowing, without stops. These last three weeks have taught me again to revel in those stops, and see the potential in the stillness. The end of something is not always a bad thing - it just let’s you find the edge. Once you find it, then you have something to push against. If you never stop, then you never know what you are fighting for.
So - focus on the stops. The beginnings and the ends. Look for the edges of the work you do, and see how you can stretch those boundaries to go farther and do more than you did last time. And when you are at an end, celebrate that moment because ‘you must be tired, you deserve a rest.’
Then, you can look forward to another beginning.
Happy New Year.