When my daughter, Annette, then approximately seven, hit on a great idea for practicing the cello, she could think of nothing else. For hours she’d sit in her room, working out this idea, and all her talk about it dominated our weekly lessons.
I was torn. Many other skills were being neglected or forgotten, and I tried not to think about these.
My ego was involved. Colleagues occasionally listened to her playing and evaluated it, so I was worried about what they’d think of my teaching.
I knew this was irrelevant to her learning. Bolstered by my own experience with cello practice, when I’d been totally absorbed in one discovery or another, I could gradually let go of my ego-centered concerns. This liberated both Annette and me to simply observe where she traveled and also to enjoy the journey.