Darcy Kistler, retiring from the New York City ballet tells of Balanchine’s early message to her. Just dance. Don’t think. Kistler adds, “He knew people better than anybody. He probably thought that I was an overthinker. Maybe he didn’t want me to get in my own way.” (NYTimes, Arts, 6/27/2010)
The quote follows along with last week’s post; another great example of strategic allocation of attention.
Sometimes it’s best to not pay attention to what we are thinking. Why? Because our self-talk, even if it’s instructional or positive rather than negative, can interfere with the flow of our instincts, movement and action. Being ”in the zone” is a form of detachment; a state of mind where we are focused in the moment, mostly in our right brain, paying no attention to what’s going on in our left brain. We allocate attention to now, rather than to our thoughts about past, present, future, evaluation, information, or instruction.
For example, rather than thinking as I start to write this post, “Does this article make sense? I wonder if anyone else is interested in strategic allocation of attention. Maybe this is boring,” I just write without thought at the moment, in the same way tennis player Rafael Nadal just serves without thinking. He thought before the game started and he will think later after the game is over, but during the game Nadal, like many other successful athletes, are only "now" in their head. Later I will go back, and move into instructional mode and action. “ Stick to one concept Judy.” “The post needs more white space.” “Add some links.”
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