We live in a world where we everything is constantly moving, and busier is almost always deemed better. We end up with individuals over-committed, over-worked, and unhappy. Saying “no” is often frowned upon – but why? In our dance department students are constantly injured or sick, and often it is the same students over and over.
What is happening to encourage individuals that they must do everything, be always busy, never be still, and do anything but recuperate?
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for that question. I DO, however, have a brief story about something I chose not to do. At the end of last semester I was asked to be in a piece choreographed by a fellow graduate colleague. Towards the beginning of the second week of this semester, I quickly realized how much anxiety built up when trying to fit in time to rehearse for this piece in my already continuously-growing busy schedule. After much debate in my head, and discussions with some very helpful friends/colleagues, I ultimately decided to back out of the piece. Telling the choreographer was one of the most difficult conversations I have ever had with a peer, but I immediately felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
Sometimes you just have to say you can’t do something. It doesn’t matter the reason. OK, the reason kind of does matter – ultimately your decision needs to be made on what is best for you. That’s the realization I came to with the help of my friends: I needed to make the right decision for myself, not the decision based on what I thought others were going to think of me. “No Judgement.” A colleague I share my office with says that quite frequently. At first I just thought it was a little quirk, but after a few days I understood how important hearing those two words can be. So often we judge ourselves, judge others, and feel judged. Observe yourself with No Judgement, be aware of yourself.