I woke up Monday morning after the “super moon” the previous night and couldn’t stop thinking about the roller-coaster that is attachment: Expectation, getting hopes up, elation, disappointment, and over and over again. This is the human condition and a huge cause for suffering. How do we figure out how to gracefully ride the turbulent emotions? Do we remain forever pessimistic, making a practice of NOT getting our hopes up and thus never get disappointed?
It is quite a challenge to weather the ups and downs of the music business. To receive a bad review, to not get responses from talent buyers at venues, to have a cool show in a new town and just play for the bartender — perhaps we’ve all been in similar depressing situations in our own fields. And the flip-side – a sold out show, an opening slot for someone amazing, a great interview. This is an industry based on popular opinion – and to keep chins up and keep going when the going gets rough is a feat.
How can we cultivate non-attachment and still have goals and a big vision?
I watched a great video on Marie Forleo‘s life coaching blog about failure “4 Steps to Overcome a Devastating Setback” and one of the take-aways is that entrepreneurs tend to take more risks and thus suffer more failures than folks that don’t reach for their dreams or run their own businesses …
To grow a thick skin, a deep well, a strong foundation or a calm vessel for these stormy seas can take some practice. In 2009 I received my 200 hour yoga teacher certification from Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, WA. Yoga is really hot in the US right now and for good reason, but what a lot of yoga practitioners don’t realize is that yoga has “8 limbs” – not just the physical postures & stretching that you find in a typical studio or gym. In my training, we covered conscious breathing (pranayama) and meditation as ways to come into the present moment and cultivate mindfulness. Years before this training, I will never forget one of my first opening gig slots for the sweet & talented Ellis at the University of MN Duluth campus. Before the show, she excused herself from our chit chat to find a quiet spot to calm her mind, get into the zone and do some meditation. Smart cookie, that one! Meditation, the practice to get behind our thoughts, label our thoughts as THOUGHTS that are just passing through our “monkey minds” like clouds – a new one arising right behind the other – is an incredible skill to hone. To learn to breathe though emotional drama, fear, nerves & stage fright as well as sail through our attachments-to-a-desired=outcome is a boon for the performing musician, obviously!
Here is a nice blog post from my master yoga teacher, Tracy Weber about practicing mindfulness in the multitasking workplace and beyond: http://www.wholelifeyoga.com/blog/three-tips-for-practicing-mindfulness-in-a-multitasking-workplace/
* I also want to add that sometimes our monkey minds can spiral into a deafening roar and meditation & breath practices might not be the strong medicine we truly need – they may in fact scratch the wounds deeper. If you are suffering, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional – there is NO shame in asking for help.