School's in session.
My son Bodhi is learning to play “Let it Be” on the piano right now, but I’m the one getting schooled. He’s been working on this piece for weeks, approaching the piano with enthusiasm-- at first. At a very tweeny 12 years old, Bodhi frustrates quickly but knows he needs to spend 20 minutes practicing, so he switches to a piece he knows well-- "Bohemian Rhapsody"--and then plays around with scales to pass the time. Eventually he returns to McCartney’s masterpiece, always juuuust before the 20 minutes is up. I’m always nearby, listening, saying lame things like “Oh, I’d love to hear more of that one.” I know enough by now not to interfere too much in his process.
What amazes me is that the next time Bodhi practices "Let it Be," it’s exponentially better than the time before. This is true even though he plays this piece the least. Bodhi’s Juilliard-trained teacher Beth admits that this happens with her too. She can’t explain it. She doesn’t really even try. At first, this annoys me. Then it gets me thinking more deeply about how we define effort. About how so many of us feel like we need to push so hard to “make” things happen. And about how there's always another way (dare I say a better one?) to get the job done.
What kind of magic might unfold if you simply
put in your work and then
let it be?
I dare you to try it. Once you do, please drop me an email and share your learnings!
Laurie Shiers is an LA -based writer, coach and experience junky on a quest to find meaning in the mayhem.