We were lined up doing a kicking combination back and forth across the expansive dojang floor. It was our first exercise following the stretches, so I was still letting go of all those things that interfere and interrupt. Our Sabonim weaves in and out of our lines making small corrections, providing praise and encouragement.
I was expecting some sort of boost because he knows my classes have not been going well, but when he got round to me he said succinctly in my ear,
“Don’t lead with your head.”
I was a little irritated. It was not what I expected or wanted. Hadn’t realized that I was letting my head pull me along, which hurts my balance besides being a good way to get it knocked off.
But still, it’s good advice – along the lines of looking before leaping and thinking prior to speech – not simply a physical admonition (although that’s important) but a reminder to temper expectations and quiet those mental exertions which distract from the moment and frustrate our goals.