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The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
Michelangelo

Shiva Nata is wonderful and inspiring. It’s also hugely difficult, frustrating and scary. Since I’ve had some stucknesses with my “practice” during the past few weeks, I’m going to share some of them here. My hope is that a) someone struggling with similar problems will notice they’re not alone with it, and b) I’d get some wonderful insighting about what to do.

I mean, I know what to do. Make it more difficult. Challenge yourself. Get completely lost in the pattern. Not rocket science (at least not that part).

For a hugely more in-depth Shiva Nata progress reportage, it’s worthwhile to visit James at Adventures of a Shivanaut – his vivid description of learning Shiva Nata has inspired me more times than I can remember. 🙂

Letting go of control

In Shiva Nata, the key is to push yourself to and beyond the limit where you completely mess up and make a fool of yourself. At least that’s what you need to do if you want to enjoy the fireworks of insightings flowing into your brain.

For me, the difficult part is that you need to let yourself go past the point where you know what you’re doing. The healthy, happy control freak who up until recently used to rule my life is not letting go that easily.

Whenever I don’t know what I’m doing, I freeze until I can figure out the next movement. I guess the more insighting-inspiring way of doing it would be to keep going and find yourself lost, but there is a strong resistance to that.

As I’m writing this, it reminds me of the blocks people often have with impro. When you’re in a sticky impro situation that promises conflict or other difficulties, the first instinct is to deflect the action, start talking about something else, or bring in a whole new storyline. In other words, to avoid the danger.

On one hand, it makes perfect sense, since we normally want to avoid conflict and difficulties. In impro, though, conflict and tension is what makes the drama interesting. In Shiva Nata, the difficulties are what makes the practice work.

And in both these situations, there is no actual real danger. Any danger or difficulty is imagined and perceived. You could argue that this is true in real life as well, but it is certainly the case in imagined dramatic worlds and a brain developing practice where the goal is to fail.

No real danger.

[taking a moment to reread what I wrote and realizing I might actually be making sense here.]

Thank you for stopping by – keep catching your own insightings!

Love,

Sari

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