As an adult, I took up the sport of skiing. Watching the young children I saw barreling down the mountain without fear, I wanted be perfect out of the gate. Starting out, I was very apprehensive. It felt “funny” and I questioned whether I was doing it right. So I took a few lessons, where I learned some proper techniques and received encouragement.
And then I practiced. And practiced some more. And some more.
Sometimes, I would wipe out (fortunately, with nothing more than a bruised ego!), but I would get back up, shrug it off (maybe have a good chuckle) and continue my way down the mountain. But I began to trust my body. My instructor was right: leaning forward in my boots (which really felt funny when I started) will properly align my body, not make me fall on my face.
And one day, eureka! I didn’t have to think about what I was doing – I now trusted that my body instinctively knew what to do.
I now ski the beginner (green) trails with confidence and challenging myself with the intermediate (blue) runs. While I don’t expect to be tackling any black diamonds in the near future, doing so is no longer an impossible goal.
I see that same apprehension in our own students and seekers.
Many have read books or saw Phyllis Curott on television. Some have cautiously tried the exercises in her book. But because it may have felt “different”, they have feared that they are somehow doing it “wrong” and went no further.
Taking a workshop or class with Ara priestesses is one way to overcome that fear (as well as a way to meet fellow travelers). Just as I did with my skiing lessons, students in our basic skills courses get instructed in the how-to as well as the why-do, while receiving encouragement along the way.
But merely taking the classes is not enough. The information is nothing without experience. And, undoubtedly, some of that experience may be figurative wipe-outs, but you’ll get back up, and continue on. (They’re not “mistakes”, they are learning experiences. And if you think that one day they all miraculously disappear, girl/boy do experienced practitioners have some stories for you …). But other times that experience will be that aha! moment where you really get what your instructor was demonstrating with that initially funny feeling exercise.
So get out and practice. And practice some more. And some more.
And one day, eureka! You won’t have to think about what you are doing – your body, mind and spirit instinctively knows what to do. Then you’ll be circling with confidence.
~ by Elder Priestess Kirsten Rostedt