All tagged security blanket practicing

The Life-Changing Magic of Knowing What Your Mind is Full Of

Developing a mindfulness practice is kind of like learning to see the water we’re swimming in. Even more than that, it involves the discipline of assuming there is almost always more going on than we can see from deep inside our habitual mental and perceptual grooves. But I’m not going to lie: It ain’t always pretty. To those embarking on a mindfulness journey in the hopes that stress and anxiety will magically melt away I say: buyer beware! Seeing what your mind is full of can be a bit sobering at first. But it’s interesting what happens when just you keep looking. Instead of being tangled in reactivity, we begin to see: Oh, this is frustration…or anger, or worry, or judgment… Seeing that we are having a reaction — and not simply reacting, out of habit — gives us an opportunity to choose a response that is in line with our values and goals.

The Window of Tolerance in Practice and Performance

My take is that our playing would get better faster AND we’d be happier, if we got into our windows of tolerance first, and then practiced. In other words, rather than thinking of being in our window as the reward for having accomplished something, we can think of being in our window — feeling alert, grounded, focused, energized, calm — as a pre-condition for accomplishing something.

How mindfulness works

Quick recap: In Part 1, I described how I came to mindfulness practice and in Part 2, I talked about what mindfulness is and isn't. But you may be asking yourself why you should care. Great question. In this post, I'll talk a bit about how mindfulness works and why I think it can be so helpful for musicians.