Chapter 4 | Focus With Tea

bench at the side of a pond

Focus - Intention - Attention - Expectation


The above 4 words were milling around in my head all weekend, I even wrote them down and I made myself stop every time I did something, for example, make myself a cup of tea. My first rule was, only one thing at a time. Thus, I focus on preparing my cup of tea, always a beautiful mug (it had to feel nice in my hand), not too much milk, not too little… dark fudge being the perfect colour. I drink Rooibos Tea mostly which can be nice and strong (whereas I really dislike strong black tea).

Then I sit down, with nothing else, not even my phone and I drink my tea. I look out over the pond and thoughts come and thoughts go, I find solutions, I find insight, I rest. These cups of tea give me a moment to sync my mind and thoughts before I enter a task. I would therefore say my intentions during these moments are to ‘rest’ or ‘to be calm’ and to start to calibrate the Suz-engine (through emotion and physical body) to create/produce/teach/learn. I consolidate on what is already there and open up for what is about to come… I would imagine that you could call this centring or anchoring oneself.

After my tea, I then decide on what I will next put my attention to. That also means getting rid of all distractions and allocating time, space and props. This bit is very important, because ‘being distracted’ is the new norm, some people also refer to that as ‘being bored’. What are my expectations? These get managed in sections. For example today I wanted to get all the bedlinen done – I stripped, washed and made beds.

The reason for this timing, was of course because my husband was home to offer a helping hand and who knows, maybe he can be self-reliant next week to do the bed himself!! (😊)……A fresh start. Then I taught my online class. What did I expect of my class today? From myself and from the participants? Well, this part is really the part that makes me excited, I came to a realisation this weekend, a realisation that I think might help me throughout my life. When I had to switch to online classes, I tried to keep the ‘joy’ and the ‘fun’ that we usually experience in the ‘real life classes’ for the Studio. People spend endless amounts of money on creating spaces, atmospheres, music systems, smells, props, visual delights etc. Music is a huge one for classes, especially for the ‘shallow divers, the tropical fish’. ‘Deep sea divers’ need less colour and music for their purpose (by the way if you know what I am referring to in this last phrase then you are a deep sea diver, an endurance racer, a long distance runner… you will get what I say… you are used to training and to pushing yourself without frills and distraction, you need every inch of focus and all of your energy to stay on course, to get your job done and to stay safe).

The thing I have realised is that I cannot create the atmosphere in people’s homes or training spaces – they have to create that for themselves. They have to take on the responsibility to organise their props, music etc. or they need to be self-reliant and understand that these sessions go beyond being entertained or having fun (that might be a spontaneous bonus!). They need to go back to what their focus is, what their intention is, how they will harness their attention and what they expect from themselves out of the session.

Surely when we say we want to feel less stiff, then we need to put all our attention on how we mobilise our joints, which by itself is so complex to do properly especially when you start. To release stiffness, you need to work with your breath, with your body weight, focus on how and where you execute forces; you need to find the ‘tipping point’ of ‘just enough’ for ‘just long enough’ and ‘just hard enough’ to be efficient. Thinking about this now, how the hell can we listen to music, crack jokes and get this process right? I am wondering about efficiency in the light of so much peripheral. What, really, is the purpose of a class? Absolutely, for some people, it genuinely is to have some fun – I also want one of those classes a week, however that would be my reward week, for having done my stuff properly throughout the week. I will treat that as I treat having a packet of cheese puffs (I bloody love them) on a Friday night! I experienced such a relief when I realised the above, I am sorry if that was obvious to all of you, I only really ‘got it’ over the weekend.

I am not there to entertain – I have said that so many times – but teaching online, literally for the first time, challenged me right up close and personal. Will people still sign up for the classes when there are fewer goody bags? Well that is the test, is it not. My focus is to work, to use my energy and time, with people who want to work deep, and meaningfully, consequentially; people who bring their brain, soul and bodies to the classes, people who are fine-tuning their self-reliance. That means being accountable to themselves and others who believe in the exchange of equal energy. That means managing their expectations based on what they put in… and to expect set-backs as part of life too. My intention is to prepare well, to structure well, to ensure the atmosphere in which I teach and breath is the best version of myself, without distractions. To believe in myself and my method, and to continue to learn through applying myself fully. My expectation is to feel nourished and satisfied, satisfied because I have done my best, nourished because I was grounded enough to connect with the people and the energy they brought to the class. I feel I can do this now, I know that I am learning, I am reflecting daily, I am improving on my time management and I am greatly improving on making things simple, at times to go right back to the basics and to have confidence that that will be enough. Enough on all levels.

Today, I experienced ‘a light flight’ in ‘complete stillness’… I would love to be able to experience that again. I will test my ingredients and my protocol. Namaste.

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