For the last step in an Afro-Indian dance class, we all shook our butts as best we could. After class, a woman who had sat out for the last 75 minutes asked me how we do it. I said, “we practice.” She replied, “But the moves are so confusing. How do you even get started?” It’s a decent question, but one that a child can answer. I told her, “You try. You just start.” Here’s the longer answer:
1. Sitting out is not helping to build your skill set. Her fear of looking foolish and being the most “green” student in the class had taken over her ability to learn something she’s interested in. This is ego and mind-trickery wasting her time.
2. Advanced people love beginners. (That is, IF it’s a mixed level class!) To be advanced, you’ve spent many years learning the skill and you love it. It’s likely you love to share it, talk about it, read about it. (Have you ever been to a party of yogis?!?) Logically, when you try something new, everyone will respect your effort and be happy to have a new member of their community.
3. “I don’t suck; I’m just new at this.” It’s time to get thicker skin, Southern California! If anyone gives you a hard time, stand up for yourself and have a sense of humor about your limitations. Commit to learning what you want, no matter what. We are all beginners at something. That’s how to keep life- and yourself- interesting.
The flowers pictured have grown up with nuclear radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi accident of 2011. Despite their conditions, they persevered and are arguably more interesting and amazing than their counterparts grown elsewhere. (I don’t know who deserves the credit for these great photos.)