The Art of Hunkering!

28 10 2010

The following is an (unpaid) testimonial advertisement for the great art of hunkering.

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Rehearsals for the show I’m in are in full swing and it’s so much fun to get to partake in these passions of mine so regularly and with such wonderful, creative, talented, and energetic people. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always so much fun. The themes in the musical can be quite serious, and for a long time, the lingering emotions and headspace from the rehearsals would be carried with me into my daily life.

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That’s when my vocal coach introduced me to the technique of hunkering as a way to end my rehearsal session and leave the emotions and frustrations and worries in the room so it doesn’t come with me as I leave the rehearsal space.

Hunkering literally involves squatting down on your haunches by yourself at the end of a rehearsal and mentally congratulating yourself for the things you did brilliantly, giving yourself the one or two specific things you will work on for next time, and then letting the rest go by putting them into an invisible box, putting on the invisible lid, and placing it on a high invisible shelf in the room so that it can be taken down and opened only at the next rehearsal.

For me, this technique is valuable because it can be applied to every aspect of my life: at the end of a rehearsal, after a long day of class when I think I barely understood a thing, following a social situation when I wish I would have done things differently, after a day at the lab when nothing worked, or even at the end of a session at the gym when I feel like I wasted so much time being incredibly lazy, unmotivated, and weak.

The key for why this technique is so successful for me is because it forces me to learn to give myself credit for the things I do well.   I never really know how to do that.  The other trick with hunkering is that it breaks down all that you have to do into bite-sized pieces that you can focus on only those few pieces for the next little while.  Hunkering also works so well for me because it forces me to have a physical routine to represent the end of an event.

Now I know what you’re thinking – June, that’s all nice and dandy, but I’m not going to squat down after class or after work like a crazy person!  Well, you don’t have to physically squat down on your haunches (although that position is strangely comfortable); you could stand facing the wall for a minute instead if you want, or walk around the room while thinking, or do a yoga pose, or do whatever other physical routine you want that lets you find closure to whatever activity was going on.   For me, it gives me permission to cut all of the strands of webs that usually follow me around from one activity to the next, weighing me down and holding me back so that I can’t concentrate on the task at hand because I’m worrying so much about everything else.

So if you find yourself carrying your worries and frustrations with you, try the art of hunkering, and let me know how it works out for you!

If you act now, I’ll even throw in a lifetime guarantee of anxiolytic powers!

So don’t wait!  Try it today!

*Today’s ad was brought to you by the letter Om.*

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