A recent conversation with an adult student got me thinking about being kinder to ourselves.
I was sharing the pre-performance shift I typically experience. Emerging out of the details. Leaning away from perfectionism. Embracing the excitement of sharing music with my audience.
In an attempt to explain it, I mentioned getting fatigued by the details.
“There’s probably a more positive way to phrase that,” I said. “But I’m really just a grump at heart. And I teach mindfulness!”
We had a good laugh. Then her face became reflective.
“I think mindfulness just means you’re more aware of your grumpiness,” she offered.
Acceptance. Non-judgement. Being kind to ourselves.
The tenets of mindfulness are so easy to forget.
I often remind myself that “mindfulness” translates in Sanskrit to “remember.” Our culture is so fast-paced. and We musicians are so busy. Being kind to ourselves gets lost in the shuffle.
My favorite way to remember self-kindness is to ask, “What do I need right now?”
It could be a glass of water. A deep breath. Moving my body. Joy. Inspiration. Facing that difficult conversation. A good cry.
Imagine it: Offering yourself what you need at any given moment. It’s a superpower right within our grasp.
Now imagine what would happen if you asked yourself what you need before a performance. In a practice session. During a busy teaching afternoon.
Would it make a difference?
Would offering yourself this kindness energize you, so that your gifts can shine more brightly?
Recently, my inner grump returned as I complained to a friend how tired I am all the time.
“You’re a working mom,” she reminded me.
Remembering. Being kind.
With much kindness to you,