It’s been an awesome summer for me so far. I feel so lucky to live in San Diego, aka Paradise. I don’t feel like traveling much because everything I want, everything I need is right here. SUPER lucky!
What’s been on my mind lately is living life in the sweet spot. For me, the sweet spot is all about getting maximum results from minimal effort. We could call it “optimal performance level.” But I’m referring to all-around life, not just those intense performance moments.
When on vacation, are you focused on vacation? When presenting, are you focused on making the connection with the audience? When drumming, are you focused on drumming?
The sweet spot is about NOT multi-tasking. The sweet spot is about living in the moment. That can be a challenge for someone who spins lots of plates.
But I’ve found evidence of the benefits of laser-beam focus on ONE project, ONE technique, ONE in-the-moment experience, ONE relationship at a time.
Working Out :: I went running with a friend and the San Diego Track Club a couple of weeks ago. We had 8 long hills to climb.
I remembered my days in high school cross country, running hills, and I could hear Coach Westbrook yelling “Your arms are pulling levers!” “Your arms are pulling levers!”
In cross country, we would video-tape our running form and study the details. We would ask questions: Why are my feet knocking out to the side with every lift? Why are my shoulders moving up and down so much? Why am I hunched over like Igor?
There is a simple mind-set technique for running up hills. Basically, use your arms for momentum. They carry very little weight. If you focus on your legs, you’ll be pulling an anvil. You’ve got to move your arms from the top of your head to the side of your hips, in parallel planes to the side of your body.
And only focus on the arms pulling levers. Do not waver the focus, or the rhythm will break.
I tested this two weeks ago, and it totally worked.
Snorkeling :: A big group of friends and I went snorkeling in La Jolla on Saturday. My boyfriend taught us a technique for going deeper underwater to see the cooler stuff like lobsters.
The idea is that you just focus sticking your legs straight into the air. The higher they go, the lower you’ll sink.
The first few times I tried, I would wave my arms, kick my legs, wiggle my hips to try to go lower, worry about running out of breath, and worry about sharks eating me.
As soon as I dropped every other thought, and focused on ONLY sticking my legs high and straight into the air, I did it!
Horse Race :: We went to the horse races a week ago. I thought it would be a boring afternoon, but I quickly realized that anything is exciting when there’s money on the line.
The pack of horses running around the track is really a beautiful site. Their bodies are toned, they move with grace, they are loyal to their jockey.
How many aspects to the race can the jockey and horse focus on? Other horses creeping in from all sides, the dust getting kicked up, the crowd watching, short-term memories of traveling to the track, smells, sights, sounds…
As beautiful and graceful the horses looked from afar, I couldn’t help but think that maybe after all the training and intensity leading up to the race… Maybe all they focus on in-the-moment is putting one leg in front of the other… Not sure.
Group Facilitation :: There are SO many things to think about while facilitating a group in therapy.
The therapeutic goals and objectives, behavioral responses, assessment and information gathering prior to the session, relationship with the decision-maker (parent and/or administrator), our own musicianship, creating a safe space for others to express themselves, what to say next, non-verbal communication received from participants, and the list goes on.
What do YOU focus on when facilitating a group? How do YOU find the sweet spot?