Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 2008 Tour

Our hosts in Beijing probably thought we were crazy, and perhaps sponsored by the Starbucks company, as we kept asking for Starbucks everywhere we went. We were elated to find a Starbucks at The Great Wall. Although, we really didn't need the caffeine to get our hearts pumping for the climb; that is one STEEP wall!

In another photo, Bill and Matt catch up on some practice at the Moscow airport. The lack of organization, space, and pretty much anything positive was ASTOUNDING at this airport. I've never been in such a chaotic, frenzied crush of confused & angry humanity than the security "line" at the Moscow airport. Although Moscow and it's people are amazing, I don't look forward to using this airport again.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Law of Attraction

Just wanted to jot down something I've been thinking about lately. This comes up all the time when I teach in one way or another, but, now that school is out for the summer, it gives me time to step back and reflect.

It has to do with "the law of attraction", "active visualization", call it what you will. A stream of books, films, cd's, have come out in recent years -"What the Bleep Do We Know", "The Secret", "The Law of Attraction", to name a few - all with basically the same message: laws of physics suggest that when we act, think and feel a certain way, we attract the very thing we are focused on. 

When I was a boy, learning to play the guitar, my teachers would get mildly frustrated with me. I would come into the lesson imitating a different player practically every week. I would see their picture on an album cover and copy the way their hands looked (which was rarely attractive), or do my best to sound just like them. And I became really good at it. When I look back on it, "pretending" was my own way of active visualization; I would copy something, and then let my playing adjust to the physical traits I was taking on. Not always brilliant results, but the self-training was extremely valuable. 

There are a couple of lessons here, I think. First, embrace a child's enthusiasm to pretend, especially when he/she is pretending with artistic projects. What child do you know who doesn't believe they are a great artist when they show you a crayon drawing?

Secondly, grownups should pretend more. We should give ourselves some regular time to let our imaginations out of the cage and go free.

I have had a saying floating around on my computer desktop for a couple of years now, and I'm finally beginning to realize how powerful and true it is, and rarely easy to do: "Act as Though I Am, and I Will Be".