11/11/2017 0 Comments
Notice and be in the question - while on stage and in the car on the way home! Be attuned to Self and "tune it out"!!
So how did mindfulness play a role in performances this season? I paid attention to the question which decided to visit - what is the role of compartmentalizing when performing? Discerning the difference between compartmentalizing for a moment, by choice ....OR by accident - in order to distract and run from pain.
A little background - through my passion as a Life Coach I've been reading, integrating and reflecting on the connection between mindfulness practice and the courage to be vulnerable and authentic...to show up and be seen (Brene Brown). To take 100% responsibility for my thoughts, feelings and actions...to recover & repair when I make mistakes!!! To be brave and sit in the discomfort of vulnerability and turn toward painful emotions - knowing they will roll through me, providing insight and wisdom. Knowing that I have support while in that process. To be loving and kind when I'm disappointed in myself or others.To be deeply attuned to my purpose and core values...and to the essence underneath us all.
To show up to be seen in my personal and professional life.
Last week at CPO was amazing for me - I experienced ease and joy while playing, listening, counting - all at the same time ....sprinkled on top were creative hits of colour and dynamics...stories of hope, forgiveness and acceptance...attuned to colleagues and able to connect/anticipate from the "knowing place". Felt 35, on fire and at ease...was in Flow. Its been awhile - so I decided to investigate...
So here I am giggling at another paradox (of course)! How to be deeply attuned to Self and "tune it out" in order to perform well? To be IN the question - what do I need to be aware of right now to perform well?
I and many colleagues have performed with the flu, migraines, burning physical pain...through break ups and divorce, bullying, worry about children, disappointment, death of loved ones...
I make an authentic choice - I must have the skill of deep focus (mindfulness) in order to perform well, so I put "life" in a box (with a pretty, sparkly bow) set it aside..."for now". When I'm off stage, I look at it, process it and let it settle in & integrate before taking Kind Loving Action...toward myself and others. These "life" experiences expand my Artistic soul and once integrated, bring authenticity, depth and empathic character development to performances.
Sometimes I'm not as aware of the deep internal, psycho-physical response as I'd like... the sheer volume on stage at times....of being too close to a colleague...can't see, can't hear... many times I find out that I'm annoyed "too late"...a snap, a sarcastic remark...then its about humility, apology and recovery in the moment - and a sense of humour!
If I'm the middle of hot flash and the flute is slipping off my face - my fingers swollen with the heat and sluggish...the panic and grasping ensues....I need my awareness (and Lorna's voice) to get me back on track while in the performance - to make a joke, let it go - no stories!!! and get back to the moment...knowing that it will pass. Resilience & Recovery!
The Loving, kind feeling of my authentic voice has a sensation to it deep in the belly, a spaciousness around the back of my heart and a tingle down my spine...my internal response to authenticity with grace (unmerited gifts). Loving kind Action is a slow smile, an authentic compliment, compassionate, connecting choices, an eye-eye exchange.
In my experience, the external response to my authentic voice has varied from rejoicing, to acceptance, to full on resistance. My challenge is to accept, with grace, what is...not fixing or convincing...but with resilience, with patience (not "impatience stretched to its limit") and faith.
In the meantime, its all about self care. We can only be truly generous when our own well is filled - we give away the overflow. I cocoon, read, journal, draw, nurture a coffee, light a candle or incense, walk outside, play with the dogs, call a friend...anything with water and epsom salts....let it wash away....and the empowered choice to practice mindfulness and the flute :)
If you wish to explore this further in your own life with me as your Life & Music Coach, I offer a 20 minute free consultation.
Mindfulness is simply the practice of being aware. Mindfulness meditation coming soon.
11/6/2017 2 Comments
Well I am once again in a place of deep gratitude and humility as I reflect on the last 6 days of 50th birthday celebrations.
I was quite daunted at the prospect of turning 50 without my children or family in town....and that I am single...is not where I thought I'd be at this time of my life!
What transpired this last week was deeply transformative.
I had a few days off from CPO/U of C last week, before my birthday and those empty days loomed large. Typically, I'd use the time to create something new...a balm for the soul...or fill up the schedule. I decided to try something else. I turned toward the fear of the all consuming loneliness. I sat facing it until it dissipated. I felt very vulnerable and really wanted to reach out to friends and family to ease the discomfort. I didn't. I listened deeply to the still small voice inside which provided strength in the midst of the struggle. I left the days open for grace to fill. I felt strong and calm...and very silly (as per usual).
I nurtured myself with kindness, compassion, faith and trust that all is well. I found peace there.
This is what/who showed up: Parents, brother and his family as well as my daughters were attentive. Wonderful support from coaching colleagues. Spent time with girlfriends every day - Dog walks, breakfasts and lunches....after concert shenanigans with CPO colleagues on Fri - and many many silly laughs in rehearsals (thank you Karl for allowing that space!)...wonderful dinner party on Saturday as well as thoughtful, kind video from UC students and quiet time with another friend last night.
The beauty and grace of internal and external validation leaves me in awe once again. I am so deeply grateful for my life, just as it is. Blessings and peace to you all.
Gwen is a professional musician, teacher, workshop facilitator, administrator and Life Coach...mother, daughter, dog lover & Wild Woman!