This week’s words of wisdom are “make it your own.”
I’ve recently started attending an aerobic fitness class called Zumba. In the beginning, it was like every other aerobics class I’ve ever tried. It further confirmed my lack of coordination, which I so graciously make up for with an abundance of clumsiness. Discouraged by this reality and my inability to imitate my teacher’s example, I was ready to give up. I remember walking into my 3rd class thinking, “Well, if I don’t get her technique down this time, I am quitting.” Just as this thought was going through my mind, my bubbly and enthusiastic Brazilian teacher caught my attention as she said something magical. She told the class not to worry about trying to get the moves down perfectly, but instead to focus on having a good time and “making it our own”. I’ll never forget the revelation that followed this carefree statement. “Make it your own”, what a wonderful concept! With it, I was able to allow the music to move me as I felt the beat, instead of concentrating so much on technique.
I left that class elated! I realized how much more satisfying life is when we make it our own. This little life lesson also revealed to me that, much like Zumba, you have to “make it your own” when it comes to art as well. When you are inspired by a work of art, an artist or a specific artistic technique, ask yourself what it is that drew you in. Once you are able to define that element, take it, adapt it, and make it your own! It does not have to be perfect, it just has to reflect YOU, for there is no greater art than the individuality each one of us brings to our creations.
Zumba’s own history is very inspirational and ties in perfectly with this topic, so here it is, from their own website:
“One day, celebrity fitness trainer, “Beto” Perez, walked into his aerobics class and realized he had forgotten his aerobics music. Thinking quickly, he grabbed whatever tapes he had in his backpack. Beto’s tapes were comprised of songs he loved, the traditional Latin salsa and merengue music he listened to all his life. Although it was a challenge to improvise a whole class on the spot using non-traditional aerobics music, Beto rose to the challenge and from this last-minute improvisation a revolutionary new concept in fitness was born – the Zumba Fitness-Party™ ! The class soon became the most popular class at his fitness facility.”
So go out there, find inspiration in the wonderful things this life has to offer, and don’t wait for the perfect opportunity or the perfect time, just grab something you love, modify it, adapt it and make it your own!