ACCEPTANCE VS. EXPECTATIONS

Being able to accept an unexpected change in what has happened on stage or a lesson isn’t always easy.  This could be a technical mistake; it could be another musician playing something you weren’t wanting or expecting; or something in the setup of the evening…sound or equipment related. But a calm mind can allow you to uncouple your expectations of a moment from what’s often happening – which is very often much BETTER than you perceive.

AWARENESS AND PRESENCE

It’s very easy to get caught in the weeds when you’re in intense situations, and fail to understand how the ‘now’ is affecting people’s impression of what has happened or what will happen. This is the ‘fog of performance’ that many people describe. As you become more mindful of the momentary impulses that are guiding your music making, you’ll gain almost an ‘out of body’ awareness of the music as it’s happening.

ENJOYMENT & SATISFACTION

So often we think of performance as a high-stress display entirely for the enjoyment of the audience. It doesn’t need to be. As you become more mindful of the music you’re actually making, instead of being focused on what you expected to happen, or living through the audience, you’ll start to engage with your own music making…giving you reason to not only enjoy the process, but to create even more connective music.

REAL STORIES

“BARRY”

Often my students come to their lessons feeling anxious and irritable from their day, whatever is was that they experienced. It could be from public transportation taking too long, someone at work who got on their nerves, the weather not being how they wanted it to be. Situations obviously and understandably effect us and how we go on with our days. We carry these weights with us where we go it’s important to clear that weight as soon as they arrive at their lesson.

With regards to my students, I can often feel when they enter my studio whether or not the lesson is going to go smoothly.

Just yesterday, one of my students… let’s call him Barry… came to his lesson feeling a little off. I noticed that there was a little uneasiness about him when he arrived, so I offered to guide him in a fifteen minute meditation before the class. I was surprised when he said yes.

Only after we had the meditation did he tell me that he felt SO much better than when he arrived. I was surprised and asked him about the changes. He then stated that when he arrived at my building, he had felt out of place about his appearance, surroundings and felt like people were judging him as he spoke with security. He said he wanted to run away due to this. It’s amazing the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us.

At this point he didn’t need reassurance about this but I felt it necessary and helpful to explain to Barry how I see him. As a kind, grounded person with a wonderful open smile and warm demeanor. We often believe thoughts that come our way and then our thoughts trigger emotions which in turn, trigger reactions. His perception of the situation was in fact, not reality. Barry realized this to be true following the meditation and said that he felt so at ease and content and now we have decided to insert a fifteen minute meditation into our weekly lessons.

“SUE”

Not only is meditation a wonderful tool for unlocking creativity, it is also extremely helpful in improving your quality of sleep. Less stress equals more happiness. It is also believed that meditation improves blood pressure and lowers blood cholesterol.
Writing my facts down, I’m reminded of a woman whom I met while singing at a wedding a few years ago. I was fresh out of a ten day silent retreat and found that strangers would come up to me and strike up a conversation and interestingly, it would become a spiritual conversation. This one lady, we will call her Sue… came up to me to talk about my performance as I was leaving the venue. She had noticed a peacefulness about me and I felt compelled to share my experience with her… We exchanged our business cards and said our goodbyes. She was inspired and wrote to me a few weeks later.

Here is her email.

Hi Annie,

Sue here. We met at so and so’s wedding just as you were heading home. I hope you have been well and are making time for meditation.

After our conversation I decided to meditate more consistently – every morning. And coincidently I was invited to a New Years celebration in a Hindu temple where I met a man who gives blessings to every soul that he has encountered but never prays for himself, I liked that and now I start my meditation with good wishes for others.

Since meeting you, I have brought my heart rate down from 73 beats a minute to 60 beats a minute. At first the effect lasted a couple of hours but now it is staying there all day. I am amazed that my mind can do that so quickly.

Thanks Annie for your help and for your beautiful music,

Sue

Meditation VIDEOS