Sweet Spot

I feel uneasy when I’m overwhelmed in some way, emotionally, physically, or mentally. I feel uncomfortable when there are suddenly more things to do than usual or something isn’t going the way I want it to. But, I think these feelings are the perfect place to set a new rhythm.

I had these feelings when I first tried to play a song on the drums. I was stressed thinking about how to do so many things at once: how I was supposed to use my eyes and brain to look at and process notes, my ears to listen to myself at the same time as the song from my headphones, and each of my hands and feet to hold and hit and step on different things at different times but all coordinated and at the right times…

I learned to split it up and practice in sections, sections of the song or sections split using only one hand and then the other. I learned to also get familiar with what the song is supposed to sound like. Then, I could be clear on what each part of my body should be doing or what it was contributing to the song. I wouldn’t get stuck thinking about each thing happening separately because I could switch my focus to following a rhythm, or grooving.

In this switch, the attention fades from all the things I have to do and instead falls on the bigger thing that is happening, which is the song. Somehow each thing is getting done without me worrying about each thing when I’m focused on what I know I want the song to sound like.

I experience something similar on trips, in the planning as well as the traveling. I’ve done it enough times to know that I want to enjoy each trip rather than worry about everything I need to plan and make sure each plan doesn’t mess up. So, same goes for everything else we’re trying to do, because groove doesn’t happen when we’re focused on not messing up.

We often get pulled in multiple directions to differing extents of discomfort trying to figure out our days, our work, our relationships, or our future. But, that’s exactly where we can find our groove: this idea of tension, but being in it out or out of it is the difference between tension that causes us to snap or tension that propels us forward. It’s the sweet spot between over-doing and under-doing, between rushing into something and holding ourselves back. It’s the push for boldness when we start getting too comfortable, or the surrender to rest when we feel like we’re just striving.

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