Re-energizing Your Career without Going Faster

A couple weeks ago, we held a dance festival in Santa Fe. I got the opportunity to take a drum class with two amazing drum teachers, Mabiba Baegne and Fred Simpson. As a dancer, I know the importance of having a tight drum ensemble, so every once in a while I brush up my drumming skills to practice the art myself. 


Another great Dundun Dance teacher, Soriba, who teaches at the Railyard Performance Center

Another great Dundun Dance teacher, Soriba, who teaches at the Railyard Performance Center

Because we were all varying levels, we started off drumming the same rhythm together as a class. Then we branched off to playing two separate rhythms simultaneously. Finally we reached the point where we could divide the class into three different rhythm sections and play together. I think we did pretty well, but we definitely weren't good enough to play for a dance class. 


After drumming for a while with the three sections, Mabiba explained that we were going to try and pick up the pace a little bit. She explained that we were going to go just a LITTLE bit faster, not a LOT faster, but that we were going to put more energy into it (apparently we were listless drummers).


"Rechauffement (literally 'heating up/warming' in French) is when the drummers put more energy into the music. A lot of people get it wrong by thinking that it just means go faster and faster, but that's not necessarily it. Rechauffement means giving the music energy," Mabiba told us.


This explained a lot. My mom, as the dance teacher, gets frustrated when the drummers aren't putting energy into the music and so she gives them the signal "pick it up!" (arms dramatically pretending to lift a heavy object). Sometimes they get it, but sometimes they just start drumming faster. 


It clicked in my mind that I'm trying to figure out "rechauffement" in my own life. I'm trying to pick up the energy, without speeding up. I can't go a lot faster than I've been going (having a toddler, launching my book, working as a transportation planner), but I need to change my relationship to work to make it fun and energizing again. 


I come back to something my accupuncturist said, "You do everything in first gear. You need to figure out how to shift into second or third gear so that you can keep going as fast but not be wearing out as much." I haven't quite figured out how to do this yet, but I'm open to suggestions if anyone has some! Have you experienced re-energizing without going faster or just doing more? Please tell me how you did it!