Piggyback on established habits to find reconnection with yourself
In this series, we are creating space to reconnect with our humanity. We are taking this time to lift up what is beautiful and true about ourselves and we are discovering ways we can use that knowledge to enrich our lives and our music.
In part one, we acknowledged the magic of our existence and that the energy with which engage this world creatively, relationally, and functionally is rare. No, not rare, exactly. It is a completely unique expression. You are 1 in 108.2 billion. That, my friend, is something work leaning into.
Now that you’ve taken the VIA character strength assessment, you are experiencing some more clarity around how you are woven together. You’ve been seeing how your strengths show up organically in your days, in your perceptions, and in your creativity.
Our goal today is to look at our daily rhythms - what they actually are, not what we aspire toward, or wish they were - and find small pockets of time where we can reconnect with our hearts in a way that resonates with our truest selves.
So much of our days are spent doing the things that humans need to do. Making the bed, cooking food, driving, practicing, rehearsing… All the things. Most of us are just doing the next thing by being diligent, checking the boxes, and meeting our needs. This is how life goes, most of the time. For me, too.
In a culture that screams at us to work harder and do more, we are taught that our value is linked to our output, our achievement, and our performance. I want you to reclaim your personal value. If you can find moments where you honor your own precious humanity, you will find yourself more peaceful, more loving, and more joyful within the life you are living. Not to mention, you will be creating art from a place of nourished acceptance rather than drained, stressed-out fear.
Within our daily rhythm, we do create pockets of time for rest. Sometimes they’re spontaneous - like the 3 minutes you scroll Instagram before your rehearsal. Sometimes they’re more consistent - maybe reading for 20 minutes before bed, having a slow cup of coffee in the morning, or watching some Netflix with your friends on the couch.
A lot of these times of “rest”, if you’re like me, are kind of mindless. Scrolling. Consuming. Watching. Numbing. I am not here to tell you to cancel social media or throw your tv out.
What I would like to do, though, is help you piggyback a reconnection to self on top of a moment of rest you already find yourself doing. We aren’t looking to remove something, we are aiming to add something beneficial (and easy!) to your established rhythms.
Say that every time I eat lunch by myself, I immediately turn on a podcast to listen to. I could add a 3 minute guided meditation and then listen to the podcast.
Or, maybe every time I take a practice break, I check my email. I could add 60 seconds of stretching before I pick up my phone.
Each little choice, 30 seconds to a minute or two, is a touchpoint with your heart.
For Christmas, I got my husband and me these bracelets that you can touch and they send a vibration to the paired bracelet. Whenever we think about each other we touch it and the partner receives the message that they are loved.
These short personal reconnection moments are kind of like that. Our own heart vibrations to remind us that we are loved.
Some ideas of short, simple ways to reconnect with your heart could be:
Belly breathing - deep breathing helps you drop back into your body, it stimulates the vagus nerve and activates your parasympathetic nervous system, and allows you to feel a sense of calm and restoration.
Gratitude - offering a voice of thanks to the planet for her beauty, to a friend for a kind word, to a musician for a performance that stirred your heart, to yourself for a quality within you that is lovely. You will start to see your life from a place of abundance and see that you are an integral piece of that abundance.
Listening - closing your eyes and listening to the sounds around you. The murmur of conversation in the room, the sound of the wind outside, a door opening, a dog across the street barking, your breath, your heartbeat.
Our daily rhythms can add moments of heart connection. For your journal, I invite you to consider the following questions:
Where can you find small pockets of time to honor your humanity? Look for the times you take for rest and add to them a small touchpoint that feeds your spirit.
Based on your VIA character strengths, brainstorm a list of 10 activities you can do that take less than three minutes. If you appreciate beauty, look at the clouds. If you are curious, ask someone a thoughtful question. If you are kind, brighten someone’s day with a coffee. Because this list is based on how you are beautifully wired, you’ll easily uncover ways that reconnect you with your own humanity.
The practice of connecting and nurturing the self happens in small moments throughout the day. Give yourself this simple gift and watch how your creativity blooms.
Next Steps and Additional Resources
Here at The Musician's Mindset, we have some incredible resources for developing and implementing mindset practices that will transform how you perform on stage.
Founder of The Musician's Mindset
Katie is dedicated to helping musicians overcome stage fright and believe in their own unique artistic voice. She believes live classical music is a powerful antidote for the division, pain, and loneliness pervasive in the culture and strives to support all artists to confidently share their work with the world. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, three kiddos, a dog, a snake, and a goldfish named Orca.