Monthly Archives: February 2013

The long view

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In some of my more difficult periods of life, the issue of ‘time’ has been a pertinent point for me. At its worse, I would sit with clock in hand and watch the second hand turn round and at each 5 mins gone I would be momentarily relieved at being 5 mins nearer to death and I would be grateful that I would never have to endure that 5 mins again.

Though not quite as drastic as that normally (thankfully), the notion of ‘time’ has always been an issue for me. In true ‘dialectical’ fashion- I choose not to wear a wrist watch as it used to make things too much in my face… But equally I panic when I find myself in a room without a clock, as I feel like I am not grounded enough in reality… The unknowing is too difficult. I don’t like looking at the time on my mobile as the temptation to get distracted is increased!

But yesterday I realised that my issues with time are not just the length of time I need to endure, but also the perspective of time… Planning, dreaming, hoping… Taking a long term view. I find this tricky.

One reason is for the practical fact that none of us know how long we have on this earth. Life can end at an moment… And I don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that I have all the time in the world to do what I want to do… I might, but I might not.

The other reason is that historically I have not wanted to face the thought of life continuing… Though I may have coped with the 5 min issues, I have still found thinking in terms of months and years nigh on impossible. Even when I was in a ‘well phase’ the most I could summon up was planning my business for the academic year…

But now i find myself in a position where I need to think in the long term… Do I put myself in a position that in the short term is not a particularly good deal, but in the longer term it could pay dividends. The honest answer is, I just don’t know. This is a new skill that I’m being asked to use and I haven’t had much practise! I don’t know.

I am aware that one of my many weaknesses is my propensity of going for the short term gratification at the expense of the long view. I think often of the story of Jacob and Esau in the bible, where Esau, overwhelmed with hunger sells his birth right for a pot of stew. I have read that in the past and prayed, please God help me not to be like that- as I realise I see more of Esau in myself than Jacob.

Maybe this new opportunity is a chance to quieten the ‘Esau’ and strengthen the ‘Jacob’? Now that would be a character challenge for me!!!!

Thanks for listening.

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New blog

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For those who are interested, my business blog is now up and running. It chronicles the life of The Blossom Centre and will share articles and links on education, therapies and creativity.

Please do follow if you would like. It can be found at

http://www.theblossomcentre.wordpress.com

Thanks for listening.

Joy is …

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DBT focuses a lot on using all our senses- to soothe in distress and to create and bring value into life. Through this process I have discovered very clearly that I am a visual learner and more influenced by visual stimuli than currently any of the other senses. For years, I tried to deny this- I am a musician and I felt that I ‘should’ be an auditory learner… And for some reason I found this difficult to accept… Thankfully I’ve let go of those judgements…

As regular readers know, I am in a process of de-cluttering and beautifying my home- and absolutely loving it! On Saturday I had one of my sorting days with a dear friend. I had ordered these window stickers to brighten my view from the washing up bowl… They are gorgeous. The view is now even more beautiful than it was before and I have flowers in bloom all year round. Yay!

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Pushing through fear

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A little while back a dear friend wrote this post on his blog. http://muddykitchenfloor.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/procrastination-fear/

As he talked about his fears, I began to consider some of my own fears… And this happened to coincide with a time of stretching for me, so all three elements coincided in the synchronicity that is also known as life.

Some other special friends had asked me whether I wanted to play the piano and accompany their daughter for her woodwind exam, grade 7 for those familiar with ABRSM exams. I jumped at the opportunity. It would give a focus for piano practice… A lovely excuse to hang out with my friends… Possibly open up another income stream for me… A challenge… And also a little trip back through memory lane to my classical music training. I duly left their home with the sheet music in my grasp and a new assignment to tackle.

When I set to work on the piano… I couldn’t play it! It was just too difficult. I haven’t played this level of music for a very long time… I couldn’t do it… And I was faced with one of my most powerful inner fears and the aforementioned blog helped shine a light on this fear.

I find it hard to truly articulate the fear. It is not the fear of not being able to do something or that I will let people down per se… It is more the fear of not being able to overcome the fear, if that makes sense. As I sat staring at the music, I could recount numerous occasions where I had let the fear of not being able to do something completely paralyse me- and most of the incidents were educational and music related.

I realise that in many areas of life I am so fortunate to possess a fairly high natural ability. I took to the piano instinctively and progressed very rapidly… But when I hit the ceiling of my natural ability, I froze. As a teenager, I didn’t seem to posses the skills to push through the ceiling. So instead of practising and getting better- I didn’t think that even practise would be able to get me through… So in my self-protection mode, I didn’t practise… And that could be my excuse. The worse scenario would be that I would practise and practise and still not be able to do it… So I didn’t.

And in my log cabin some 25 years later- at my piano staring at this music, those fears came flooding back. I couldn’t play it- it was beyond my natural ability in this moment… And I was faced with a decision- what was I going to do about it? Revert to old behaviours and ‘give in’ or ‘run away’ or was I going to be able to tolerate the pain and push through. In that moment, I decided that I was going to work my butt off and not be beaten by dots on a page. I resolved that I would practise every day for however long it took and I was going to learn how to play these pieces. The temptation to go back to this family and say I couldn’t do it, was there- but I decided that I was not going to do that. If they said to me my playing wasn’t good enough, that was completely fine- but I wasn’t going to give up.

So in the recent snow and cold weather I would go to the piano, set my alarm and beaver away at this beautiful piece of music. And the most wonderful thing has happened… I improved and I can now virtually play both pieces and it feels such a sweet victory for myself. I have deconstructed every bar, phrase and chord… And my fingers are learning the new patterns… And I play with a smile on my face- because I can now do something that I initially couldn’t… Such joy.

I think every one else involved is happy… I hope to get some more work like this… And I will just have to hammer my way through each fear- bar by bar, phrase by phrase and chord by chord. A sweet sweet victory.

Thanks for listening.

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