Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer, when few books are read and profundity is scarce.

When the mind must dwell lightly upon passing thoughts, as a sparrow lands on a branch before it alights. Kids are calling. Work is fit in.

Every year at this time I write a blog post lamenting my shallow life. I'd like to reach deep and capture those few thoughts splashing around, but the sunblock does its job. I settle into moments, instead, and these morph late August into lists--of gym shoes, highlighters, and 4oz glue sticks, which have been a school supply requirement since Simon first put on a backpack, but which don't exist, you can't tell me they do.

A new phenomenon is claiming my insights and intuitions this time around, namely my job as personal trainer.

Before: Amy experiences her world, sees experiences as a writer does, processes them on paper.

Now: Amy meets with clients who tell her about their worlds. Ideas form and she walks them through some steps she hopes will help.

Whereas my intuition before helped me see an experience from a bird's eye view and later reflect, now I am wrapped into the world of another, in a way that feels way beyond a collection of exercises.

Before: the experience was the material, the writing a reflection.

Now: the person is the material, the session my reflection.

With four clients, I find my head is filled with their needs, and just as you suddenly see the model of your new car everywhere after you buy it, in my reading I think, Yes, this is good for her, wow, he'll really enjoy that.

Thankfully, I am able to reign in some of this, else I could get overrun. Writing ideas down for future reference helps, as does thinking one session at a time. For even though I think long-term for my clients, each session seems to dictate the next, and an injury thrown in can mean toss the plan altogether.

I like it. A lot. Some day I'll write about my very first client, who provided me an experience that threatened to have me quit before I even got going. This was an exception, I learned, and thankfully, after therapy (yes, it was that bad) and peer encouragement, I'm still here; my four clients since have been a joy.

Part of me laments this phase of different thinking--let's call it that--but there's something to this "active writing" that I'm doing. Instead of words moving themselves around on paper, movements do--their order, how I present them, their effectiveness and reception. It's the same process, really. I've always noticed this, as with my theatre work and teaching as well, but I enjoy it more in this form. It's not the exercise component per se, as I've never thoroughly enjoyed teaching large group classes. It's the one-on-one, coupled with the movement.

I've been reading up on Kung Fu lately--see, it's not all laundry and lists--particularly the practices of Sifu Shi Yan Ming. He calls the practice at USA Shaolin Temple "action meditation." The movements mean something.

Action meditation: that's what training feels like to me. It's a nice balance, actually. For me, the last several years have been about moving beyond thinking. I'd done a lot of thinking, and prided myself as an intellectual. But now, I need to plunge my hands deep into the world; this latest incarnation, so far, has been the best fit.

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