And I used to think people who would tell me that I could do all those things were obnoxious. I never gave them the satisfaction of reading their brochures with their cutesie titles. "Listen," I wanted to tell them, "I like myself the way I am. I can't juggle (draw, paint or whistle). I tried it, and I am just not good at it. So leave me alone!"
Well, people change don't they. A while back I decided I really wanted to learn to juggle, and so I suspended my beliefs about juggling for a while and gave it a real chance. It took me three weeks (I was a hard case), but it worked! Wow! Who would have ever thought it? I felt like juggling was a gift I had found for myself.
Now look what I've become, a "cutesie" brochure write. If you find me obnoxious, I will not blame you. But it you really want to juggle, I would ask that you trust me, suspend your beliefs, and be prepared to find there is a wonderful gift inside of you that you never knew was there.
Imagine a large "X" in front of you. You are going to throw the bags along these lines. (Juggling happens in straight lines, not circles. Remember that juggling is about Throwing. This means you do not have to concentrate on catching the bags. Your mind will do that for you. (Your brain is a lot smarter than you think.) This makes it only half the problem you thought it was, doesn't it?
There are three steps to juggling; each one is said out loud as it happens: THROW, WATCH (or WAIT), THROW.
Throw the bag from your right hand (or left hand) up along the "X" (saying "Throw" out loud) and watch it -- do nothing! (You do this because, as soon as that bag left your hand, your mind almost panicked. You have to give it something else to do before the next throw.) When you see the bag reach its highest point and start to fall towards you other hand, throw the other bag up in the air along the other side of the "X", saying "Throw" again. The catching will take care of itself. In fact, to take a suggestion fro Gelb and Buzan (see note at end), I would suggest you don't even try to catch them the first few times -- just let them drop. When you do catch them, you'll notice the second catch takes place long after the first one. Go ahead, try it and then come back.
How was it? If you are pretty normal, what you probably just did is throw one bag up in the air, pass the second bag over and throw it up with the same hand. Right? A lot of people do that. Don't worry. You still have a belief that juggling must somehow happen in a circle. This time just let go of that belief and let the process happen. Don't think about it; just follow the steps one at a time.
There, wasn't that better. When you have caught both bags, congratulations, you have just juggled. I'm not kidding. If you can juggle two bags, you can juggle three. When juggling three bags, there is really only one bag in the air at any one time.
You might get stuck for a time keeping these bags going, but I promise, if you hang in there, it will come eventually.
I urge you to practice for no more that five minutes at any one time. This will help you exercise patience and will prevent you from reinforcing mistakes when you are tired.
Practice to music. And stand next to a couch or bed to prevent having to bend down to pick up the bags each time.
If you are throwing the bags too far out away from you, stand in front of a wall and juggle.
Juggling makes that ordinary trip to the produce market a real adventure.
Take on new tricks. Throw one bag underneath your leg.
Take on new objects. Juggling clubs can be found in most toy or magic stores. These only look hard.
You can bring much joy to others with this new gift you have. They will wonder at you. (You know it's not magic, but they don't.) After a time, you can let your friends in on the secret an teach them the art of juggling.
After all, there is always room for another magician.
For an excellent and enriching guide to juggling and life, get the book Lessons from the Art of Juggling: How to Achieve Your Full Potential in Business, Learning, and Life, by Michael J. Gelb and Tony Buzan.