Sunday, August 06, 2006

Beginner's mind...and humility

A couple weeks ago I told you that I started taking a martial arts class, and that I am in love. That's still true, but I have to tell you, it is humbling to be the new kid in class.

I went to my third class last Wednesday. Master Michael is wonderful and patient and kind. The other students are generous and understanding and willing to be helpful. I worked with Mark and Chuck. Both of them gave me great help.

At the end of the class, I felt discouraged. I don't really know why. I am getting it. My form is improving, albeit slowly. I guess what I experienced was a prison of my own making. I was hard on myself.

But what do I expect? It was only the third class, for crying out loud.

You see, I am not used to being the new kid. I am used to being the one that others come to for help. I am used to being the one who knows what is going on. I am used to being the teacher and coach.

I gotta tell much as part of me doesn't like being the newbie and not having it all together, this is a very important part of the learning curve for me. Being humble without shame is so important. Just because I can't do it all yet (humble in my limitations) doesn't mean there is something wrong with me (shame).

Being and doing are happening simultaneously and continuously to each of us. When our performance (doing) has not yet reached mastery, that is no reflection on our personal worth (being). At times, we need to improve our actions (as in developing beginner's form at martial arts into something more precise, or even in becoming kinder in interactions with others), yet we still deserve to receive positive strokes for who we are--our essence.

When is the last time you were a beginner? Have you had a recent experience of humility? Were you tempted to fall into shame? Whether you fell into the pit, climbed the mountain, or walked the razor's edge between humility and shame, tell me about it. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

PS - All the pictures are mine taken by me.

PPS - The little girl in the kennel got in there by herself, sat and played for a long time, and got out by herself. No one put her there against her will. As for her crying, I don't remember now why she did, but it passed as quickly as it came on. I think she was tired.


Cowtown Pattie said...

My grandsons love to play in their dogs' in-house kennel. Now that the boys are getting larger and the dogs older, the combo doesn't work quite as well LOL.

I hate being the newbie. I am a confessed controller.

Wanda Tucker said...

Glad to know that other kids like to play in the kennel, too. I think it makes them feel safe in there. You know--boundaries.

Yeah, it's tough to be in control when you're a newbie. That's for sure.

Michelle O'Neil said...

I started taking piano lessons almost a year ago. It is frustrating because I know I could do so much better if I only had the time to practice! Every week I have to stop myself from apologizing to my teacher.

Sometimes I don't think it is worth the stress I put upon myself? I'm toying with taking a breather from it for a while, even though I do love it when I finally master a piece.

Wanda Tucker said...

Oh, yes...practice! When I was a kid I took accordian lessons and I hated to practice. I had a terrible time getting the practice in. Now, I like to think that if I had the time, I would practice my Eskabo. Fortunately, mental practice helps some.

I hope you won't take a break. You are moving forward, truly--even if it may not feel like it.

I admire you for taking up a new instrument. The world needs more music.

Jenny Rough said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm always the beginninger or the newbie (new marriage, new writing career, new city etc.). I'd love to switch shoes and be a mentor for once!

Wanda Tucker said...

Your time is coming, Jenny. You will be if you aren't already!