“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” Leonardo Da Vinci.
Obviously the greatest challenge for the Relationship Artist is managing oneself… coming to terms with one’s sensitivities, one’s expectations of a partner; maintaining compassion for a partner’s position; maintaining control of the way one communicates. These tasks can be especially challenging when the Relationship Artist is ”sensitive,” stressed, frightened, or angry. It is then that the Relationship Artist must access a mind set, a commitment to transcend reflexive and reactive behaviors. This commitment to transcend reflex and reactivity represents one of the most important values for artists who wants to perform their skills at a high level.This challenge is similar to that of a young boxer who must learn how not to blink when a punch is coming at his face; or an opera singer who must relax her vocal instrument before hitting her first note in front of a thousand people; or a martial artist who must relax, breathe, and dispel tension when confronted by danger.; or airline pilots and parents who must communicate calmness and reassurance in uncertain situations where they might be expected to feel panicky. Similarly, a Relationship Artist must develop the ability and self-control to communicate love, compassion, and respect even when angry, hurt, or disappointed.
These behaviors are counter-reflexive and require great intention, commitment and practice in order to achieve mastery. The ability to develop these “counter reflexes” often distinguishes the “great” from the not-so-great, the artists from those of us simply struggling to go through the motions.