I have a tendency to rush things. I rush when I am uncomfortable or unsure, when I think I am being efficient, and when I just want to get through the day. I have rushed all sorts of things, including things I enjoy like a chocolate truffle, an amazing kiss, or a hug from a friend. I never gave my rushing much thought until I began to learn ice dancing. Both of my coaches have scolded me for rushing the steps.
I began to pay more attention to rushing, first to improve my skating. There is a subtle difference between anticipating and rushing, but when you cross the line, all sorts of things can go wrong. For a while, I used the mantra “let the steps come to you,” to remind myself to slow down and allow the music and the flow of the dance come together. The more I have been able to allow myself to just dance, the better I have become at ice dancing.
One of the gifts of learning to ice dance is the recognition that many of the lessons I learn as a dancer, I also need to practice in my everyday life. I began to notice how my rushing effected my life, both past and present.
I rushed to become friends–I rushed to be liked and trusted as well as to like and trust–before I even knew if there should be a friendship–if this was a safe person or if the relationship was a good thing. On numerous occasions, I found myself in awkward and uncomfortable situations because I rushed.
I have rushed to get tasks completed, even when I have had extra time to pay attention. My penchant to hurry things along has caused a variety of calamities. Rushing has prevented me from experiencing the present moment and what it may have to offer.
The Benefits of Slowing Down
Where my rushing has hurt the most is at home, with those I love the most and in the little day to day things we do to show our love and create a soft place for our family to land. I have slowed down, some, and have found the same joy in allowing my heart to unfurl much as my slowing down enough to experience the merging of the music and my dancing on ice.