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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Studio Focus: Environment

Last month we focused on posture. This month I would like to focus on environment. All kinds of environment.

I like the story that Dr. Suzuki tells about his foster son, Koji Toyoda, who is now the head of the Suzuki world-wide organization after Dr. Suzuki's death in 1998. When Dr. Suzuki brought young Koji into the home after the war when Koji was a young child, Koji had some bad manners and habits. Dr. Suzuki’s family complained about this, and Dr. Suzuki called a family meeting to talk about how the family could refrain from scolding and complaining and instead focus on improving the family’s own behaviors as role models and examples. The family turned its attention to its own individual contributions to the family environment, and the atmosphere changed as a result. Relationships in the home became more pleasant and agreeable. The negative focus on Koji turned aside in favor of a positive focus on behaving well and pleasantly as a family. And young Koji responded himself in a positive way as a result.

It is easy for us to focus on things that we do not like, and, as a result of this negative focus, we find it easy to continue to make a litany of complaints, because the adage is true that we get what we look for. If we are looking for negative, then we will find negative. However, if we can teach ourselves how to look for positive rather than negative, we might be able to turn the environment in a different direction. Certainly we will build a more positive experience.

So this month let us think about placing an emphasis or turning our focus to building a more positive home and studio practice, teaching, and learning experience for everyone. Let us start by acknowledging how much we treasure each other and our relationships with each other. We can do this by making a list of all the parties involved in our teaching and learning relationship and thinking of ways to show our appreciation. Is it a short note of thanks, a little card that says we are thinking of each other, a small gift, a hug, a few choice words of love? What can we do this week to express how much we care about each other?

I hope you will comment below about your plans and ideas to put this focus into practice in the coming week.

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----


© 2016 by Paula E. Bird

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