FEATURED ARTICLE by Erica Quam
Every fall, a new season begins for coaches and teams. A new school year begins for teachers and students. Now in my life, a new quarter of yoga begins.
At the beginning of a new season, year, or quarter – it seems appropriate to go back to the basics. Start with the foundation. Yet some people believe they have to continually do something flashy, unique, and different to capture the attention of…whoever sits in their audience.
Is there a drawback to going back to basics? Can it be challenging to begin again? Especially in today’s world – we are all about the newest, the latest, the greatest.
How do you go back to something you already know and make it new, great, & interesting? Do people always go on autopilot and just go through the motions…because they assume they already know it? I believe it is all part of how you spin it.
“Shoshin” is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject. Keep that openness even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. Help people experience the elements that are fundamental to what you do with a fresh and new perspective.
We all are ever-changing. We aren’t the same as we were yesterday or who we will be tomorrow. We carry layers of our experiences with us through life and we continue to see things from our individual eyes.
As a swimmer, each season my coaches would talk about the importance of a good streamline at the beginning of the season. I’m glad that they did! Sure, there may have been a few seasons where that ‘streamline talk’ went in one ear and out the other. However, as I matured, I really began to “get it” at a deeper level. Those years of listening to the basics paid off and my streamline became more automatic and I was doing it properly with more precision.
The better you get at something, the more important the fundamentals become. Whether it’s a sport, coaching, a new hobby, parenting…whatever.
It’s always great to go back to the basics.
1. What is one thing in your life that you could revisit with a “beginner’s mind”?
2. What is something that you could make come alive for someone else…by going back to basics?