I often remind students to build awareness and thought “in front” of an action. It is important to inhibit the normal response to carrying out an activity BEFORE it happens, then think and re-direct into a better balance knowing what the intention is, and THEN do the action from this better situation. As you will see below, the sequence of events is important.
A student in my teacher training class had a major “ah ha” moment during a class discussion. She realized what had happened when she was learning to drive a car. She thought she needed to get the car moving and then figure out where she was going --- in other words she stepped on the gas pedal BEFORE she started steering the car. The result of this sequence of events was 9 accidents. I hope these were just fender benders.
I also like the example of someone trying to make a ball curve once you have thrown it directly straight ahead. It is too late to do anything about it. The curve has to be in the spin of the ball from the very beginning. It has to be in the intention of the toss. Once you have released the ball from your hand it is obviously difficult to redirect it. How many times have you thrown a ball and then tried to steer it through cheering and yelling, as if the ball could make it’s own choice in mid-air. Very funny!
Another example of thinking before acting is one I love to watch and one I often think of: the sport of Curling. Curling involves a large, round, flat stone slid on ice toward a goal. The team members scurry around the stone adjusting the trajectory by sweeping the ice. The sweepers have some control over the direction and distance the stone travels, and the intention and thought are there from the beginning of the movement.
· starting to sing and then searching for the pitch (like listening to oneself and then deciding if it is the correct note).
· jumping in the air and then deciding where your feet should land (focusing only on getting into the air).
· getting out of the chair and then looking for your feet and connection to and being on the ground (needing to stay connected to the whole all of the time).
· swinging a golf club, hitting the ball, and then thinking of the how far away the hole is.
I’m sure you can think of your own examples. I’d love to hear them.
Please send me your examples via email here: firstname.lastname@example.org