Little Boxes

Back to the third principle of Deep Hum Dancers:

Life is constant change, both externally and internally, … bits and pieces of the rest of the universe are constantly moving in and out of our “selves” bringing new information and insight and helping us grow into more connected beings.”

In Dancing the Deep Hum (DDH) I say:

Everything is constantly changing.  There is no such thing as an unchanging individual!  How we hate this!  We are   constantly trying to tie ourselves down, trying to find out “who we are”.  We crave doing self revealing questionnaires like the Myer Brigs tests, the Enneagram, horoscopes, and the four dancer types, etc., that tell us who we are.

[And then there are the quizzes on Facebook!  What Disney character are you, etc.  We all know that these quizzes are written by people with no specific knowledge of how to ask questions that will lead to relevant results, and yet we still take the quizzes!]

Is this an attempt to find an anchor in this constant change?  It can be useful, helpful — I always found doing Tarot readings for myself to be helpful in the moment — but we must be careful to keep it from being a box that doesn’t allow change.  “I’m this way because my horoscope says so.   I can’t help it.  You just have to live with that.”  Or, “You are an Aquarius.  That’s why you’re the way you are.”  I hate that! (DDH p 84)

Oh, so I guess I also hate the thought that I might not be allowed to change, as much as the idea that everything changes!  An understandable contradiction.

And in truth, most of the long term (legitimate, not Facebook!) systems of structuring and labeling behavior types have in them a built in concept of the personality as something that changes, but we often see only the “types” and ignore the aspect of change.

In the field of education we find these labels to be very useful, to a point.  The “point” is where we make them a fence or wall rather than a tool for growth and change.

As a teacher I often note that a particular child is a strong visual, or auditory, or kinesthetic learner.  This is good because I know how to best gear my teaching to this child.

But it also tells me something else.  It tells me what learning styles I need to help this child strengthen so that she will be able to learn from all the different modalities, not just her strongest one.   Over time the relative strength of our different modalities shifts as we learn more about using them.

Sometimes I think that in our new enthusiasm to find ways to reach children who are not strong visual learners (the modality our schools have most often taught from in the past), we forget that we also need to help them become more skilled in visual learning; and even more often we forget to help our visual learners become more skilled auditory and kinesthetic learners!  The strongest learner is the one who can use all of these modalities.  I teach piano and it’s very clear that a pianist needs to be able in all these learning styles.

But it is also true for everything else we do even if it is not as obvious.

We need to be able to “think” with every cell, every muscle of our bodies! (How?  Go to InterPlay.org)

So, while we are striving to find out “who” we are, we need to remember that tomorrow we might be someone who is just a little different from the person we were yesterday.  We are constantly changing and we need to embrace that change and be excited about the endless possibilities of who we will be next.

Next week, stereotyping.  Putting others in a box.

My book, Dancing the Deep Hum, speaks about how to cope with constant change as well as many other things.  You can learn more about the book and my other writings at www.deephum.com.  You can purchase Dancing the Deep Hum online at Lulu.com, Amazon, or Powells, or order it from your local bookstore.

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