Image Credit: http://www.ejc2016.org/ website: are you coming to play in the Neatherlands?
Getting up every day to train your skill is a daily exercise of will power. If you’re deeply into the Flow Arts, you begin to habituate practice schedules, and like any discipline of thought, this reveals the ebbs and flows of your own energy, motivation and enthusiasm. Playing and persevering through all variations of these states of being helps to strengthen your willpower. As you begin to gain confidence in your capabilities, your ability to push through any difficult mindsets increases. Energy, motivation and enthusiasm change over time for everyone, even over the period of a day. As the practice becomes more complex over time, big skillz become harder to attain and require more time and effort. The larger the effort, the larger your reward.
We learn patience with ourselves, as we learn to forgive ourselves for our failures and create plans on how to face obstacles in the future. Sometimes we have to wait through injury to start again. Sometimes, we have to relearn ideas from the beginning, understanding that we learned a drill only on one direction or one side and now we must start from the beginning again on the other side.
The practice of Flow Arts is our movement meditation. Most of us have reached a state of flow at some point, and often, our practice is actually an attempt to reach this place again. It is a rare and precious state of mind, and difficult to reach, and to break through into a great flow mojo one must continue to practice continuously and thoroughly. Meditation itself actually increases will power, the bonus is, Flow Arts is an intrinsic motivating meditative system.
If you want to learn a lot more about willpower, check out this incredible talk.
Being part of the Flow Arts community means we learn to work with others. Creating spaces which we can all share and train together takes a small army of dedicated individuals, and many more to just show up. There are so many reasons this kind of collaboration is beneficial to our development as a healthy humans. Developing an act together takes dedication, willingness and partnership over a long periods of time. We have to learn to negotiate, communication and compromise in order to build something greater than ourselves. We must learn to put our egos aside and give everyone equal time on stage. To quote the above hyperlink, we learn how to “criticize ideas and not people”. We have to learn to allow others to make their own artistic decisions and include them in our vision.
Whether we are making a theatrical stage performance to a whole flow festival, we must succeed and fail together. Then you must learn how to make the most of those experiences, overcome the obstacles and do it again, only better.
On top of that, collaboration with your fellow artists and team mates is fundamental for bringing the community forward in a big way. The Flow Arts Institute, European Juggling Association and the International Juggling Association all attempt to create events for us, document the history of our experiences, create lessons and ideas and bring all of us together to learn from each other. All associations on the planet have their struggles together and learn from those ideas. Anyone reading this article benefits directly from the efforts of those associations work, now and from the past organizers. The most important thing we learn from our collaborations and associations is gratitude: the willingness to appreciate the efforts of those around us who do the work to better all of our experiences in these fields.