Monday, February 17, 2014

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy Your Excitement

          I wanted to write a blog about how to enjoy our own excitement. Hopefully it would help me work thru some issues I have pertaining to why my stomach ties up in paralyzing knots when I'm to do basically anything besides performing or playing music. Whenever I'm engaged in one of those activities, my nerves are still there, but they only feel intensified towards my goal. Things feel stronger; I feel things more strongly; I feel stronger, in all ways of interpretation.



          From all my lessons in music from my many excellent teachers, it has been revealed to me that when we are afraid, we are simply experiencing a sensation that really is excitement. Even this simple reframing did wonders for me. Performing and playing music always seemed to feel good, even before I was particularly good at it. Some of others aspects of my life, however, hardly ever seemed to feel good. Like figuring out how to work an entertainment system...



          This is obviously something that everyone experiences; self-doubt, being unsure. This is the natural experience that some of us have to moments of importance or greatness. I was an absolute mess as a test taker; I still am. Last year, when I reenrolled in university to complete my math requirement, I lost sleep constantly on nights before tests. It's unfortunate, however, that so many people equate moments of nervousness before great events as crippling anxieties. This is quintessentially having someone judge you according to a strict criteria. Fortunately for me, playing bass cannot be judged according to a strict criteria.

          Fortunately for us, life cannot be judged that way either. If we can learn to appreciate and even love our fear, it can be channeled towards our heightened selves. Like preworkout.

          Great events are opportunities to be great; we all know this. But nervousness is our body revealing to itself that is it ready to be great. These nervous feelings leave us excited, which is anticipation to be at the state of a most heightened awareness. I write a lot about being mindful and being in the moment; this is exactly what excitement precludes, if we let it. If we let our energy flow thru, it can fill us with the right stuff for what is to come. I believe that our body intelligence surpasses that of our mind's and in this case, I believe we should trust our bodies.

          When I think of my greatest moments, there are always sickening moments of nervousness followed by my follow thru. And with practice it has become a habit loop for me; feel nervous, enjoy it, feel relaxed, feel heightened.



           It all comes back to reacting to what our bodies tells us. We cannot ignore how feel beneath the surface, because this can be our greatest indicator. Like every other positive lesson I glean, I am much better at taking advantage of these feelings in my musical life. Nevertheless, I am striving towards responding to that sickly nervous feeling in my stomach with feelings of love and readiness. Bring it on.


          always keep turning up,
benjamin



2 comments:

  1. Sweeeet blog! Vulnerability: sounds like truth and feels like courage! Got me thinking how intense this must be for musicians like yourself. So, the Indigo Girls changed my life at the tender age of 18. Their music was the beginning of me shifting my small, town perspective of life. Game changer. Saw them live for the first time in 1992 in College Station,TX at Texas A&M University. I've seen them play many, many times over the years. However, seeing you with them at Mishawaka last year was phenomenal! Your stage presence is sooooooooo electrifying with you smiling all the time! You genuinely seem like you're having the time of your life out there. It's so heartwarming.

    And are you kidding me! I've been in Colorado for 13 years and finally Red Rocks this summer! Are you in on that tour? I sure hope so. Did you love Mishawaka or what? Man, that venue was beautiful. Thanks for sharing and being a positive ray of light. Warmly, Carmen

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  2. lindsay@snapdragonstudio.netOctober 12, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    WOW! I thought smiling at you throughout the whole show was fun (it actually made my weekend!) but reading your blog has impressed me beyond belief. Funny, extremely intelligent, a great writer and clearly spiritually connected. Oh, and duh, insanely gifted. I've gone through several major life events over the past few years, including a big one right now, and your words really resonated with me. I am right there with you. Gratitude all the way. So how is it that we're gonna be friends? I guess I'll have to take guitar lessons, which I've actually been wanting to do, but these short, stubby fingers have never been too good with the strings. My younger brother passed away recently and unexpectedly. He was a musician and I think it would be a great homage to him to learn how to play. Plus I love to sing, which you saw, so ... something to consider. It was a fun night at PCM. I hope you enjoyed it as much at I did!

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