Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Where is Your Value? Can you see past your Ego to find it?

Today’s TinyBuddha blog got me thinking and reflecting about recent decisions I’ve made. Very recently, I got caught up in this conundrum of wanting to achieve success in something based on the happiness of an experience long ago.

Let me be more specific, when I was in high school (and middle school) I was very involved in the performing arts. I sang in the elite singing group, I was cast in major and minor roles in musical theatre and plays. I loved learning the dances, singing, helping build the set, and creating the aura of performing arts. I did everything I could and stayed involved through most of my pre-college career.

Recently, since my daughter has become more involved in the performing arts – it has made me want to participate again. It brought back the passion of dance, music and song. I joined the SGI-Phoenix United Colors of Kosen-Rufu dance group with my daughter in January. We would both go to practice (and even though she is only 4-years old) she would mimic the dancers with all her heart. Somewhere along the line, I confused my priorities. It became more about me learning the dance, than what it was originally intended to be (an outlet that both my daughter and I could share happily).

There’s not really anyone here to blame other than myself, I established unachievable priorities and lost sight of what was really important… spending time with my daughter dancing. When I lost sight of that objective, I also lost sight of my personal confidence. I began to compare myself to the other dancers (even though they had been dancing for over 7 months, I felt my 4 month commitment should compare). I set unreasonable goals because I thought (well if I could do this 10 years ago, why can’t I now?). Needless to say, I ended up realizing after a conversation with several people – my lacking confidence in myself, ultimately seemed to be rubbing off on everyone else.

So this week I’ve spent a lot of time, trying to figure out where I went wrong. Here’s what I’ve got: first, remembering why I joined the group to begin with: for my daughter and I to share something very special; two, comparing myself to others was very immature of me and three, bringing my lack of confidence and sharing it (unintentionally) was hindering the mission of the group. Finally, I realized that the performance and competition was never about me. (Duh! Right?) It was always about letting my daughter do something she loves: dance.

"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off." ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

So determining where to go from here, was what I thought about from the moment I realized my priorities had been skewed. First, I’m not quitting dance but I am removing myself from the competition mindset, this was an activity for me and my daughter to share.

I’m reminded of my daughter’s Disney movie called Lilo & Stitch. Lilo (a very young independent Hawaiian girl) says to her new pet (Stitch) after he is playing destructively… “Why don’t you make something instead?”

So I got to thinking and decided, yes that’s exactly what I’m going to do! I’m going to create a Future Division Performance Group Summer Camp. Ironically enough, I asked two people to help and within the hour – both people were onboard. That was my first signal that I was making the right decision. Second, I’ve spent the last few days coming up with ideas of how this production will be, it will be free to all SGI Future Division members (because my daughter and the youth are who I care about the most) and it will let my creative juices run free without the nagging feeling of competition. It is the truest commitment I can make to SGI, which brings me back to Lori’s quote today:

“What we must decide is how we are valuable rather than how valuable we are.” ~Edgar Z. Friedenberg