Step 7: NOW
And then it came to him. This was just a different kind of coyote blue — trying to look into the future too far was ruining his balance. He had to focus on right now and eventually he would learn what he needed to know when the future got to him.
And this is why I love the mindfulness that is Argentine tango. Just like Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh teaches (and apparently “Zen Master” Christopher Moore), there is only now.
Magic happens when two dancers can meet each other in that “now moment.” I’ve found that this requires a vigilant presentness on my part. Not only is there only this step and this partner but also this step with this partner. What I mean is that with every tanda, I must wipe clean all expectations for my new partner, not just in comparison to my last partner but in comparison to the last time I danced with this same person. A clean slate.
I’ve talked/coached this same “presentness,” this Yogi Parenting, many times here and offline. How can we release all of the baggage of the future and the past with our kids? When the tantrum is unfolding in the present, is my mind jumping ahead to my 16-year old who’s running away from home? Or, is my mind re-living what would have happened had I sassed my grandmother the way my daughter is doing? Can I meet my presently 8-year old where she really is right now — upset because she’s tired and frustrated that her bike’s tires are flat?
The magic happens in the now moment. That’s where life is.