How heavy is a glass of water? If you hold it in your hand with your arm outstretched for a minute, that’s doable. However, if you had to hold it in that exact position for an hour or a whole day, that would be a whole different animal. I personally couldn’t do it. It’s not the weight that matters – what matters is how long you try to hold it. And in each of these instances, the weight of the water and glass never changes; it was simply that the longer one tries to hold it, the heavier it feels.
How many times during the day do we experience doing just this? We don’t do it by holding a glass of water; instead we do it by holding onto our thoughts during the day or even throughout a whole week. We keep ourselves stuck in our comfort zones even thought we often dislike being there. It is easier to embrace the familiar than it is to have to step out, take a risk and some type of action. You create your own inner turmoil, your inner state of mind minute by minute. It’s up to you to change your thoughts, feel the fear and do it anyway, or you can become embroiled in the thinking mind that allows you to fear what might happen, or creates the thought that you can’t handle whatever life puts in your path. This is crazy making and scatters your energy. It’s the dichotomy of most performers. You can’t understand why you didn’t get the job, but at the same time feel inferior or not good enough.
Thoughts are things. What we think does come to pass. So be careful what you wish for. When you talk to yourself on the inside, do you often say “Oh, I hope I don’t screw up that coloratura or rhythmic passage, forget the words or mess up that high note, as you go into an audition or performance? I can almost guarantee that you will get what you last thought, happily helped along by the unconstructive language you used when you talked to yourself internally. It is what you choose to do with your thinking mind about that feeling that counts. All parts of you are affected by your choice.
We have a mind/spirit- body/form connection. What the mind/spirit thinks, the body/form feels. Here’s an example: It’s a beautiful, bright, warm spring day. The weather is perfect; there is just a slight breeze. The flowers and trees are all blooming; the grass is green. But when you were getting yourself together to go out, you were having a bad hair day so you feel grumpy all day in spite of the beautiful weather and surroundings. Instead of letting go of that particular emotional feeling, you allowed it to color your whole day and may have missed opportunities because you weren’t available to notice them. Here’s another scenario: You didn’t get much sleep, had a bad night of tossing and turning and woke up exhausted and groggy and you have a really important audition coming up. You’re having a hard time getting over that feeling. You shower and step into one size smaller dress pants with ease because you have been exercising and have lost 7 lbs. That makes you wake up and feel really good about the prospects for that day. You haven’t noticed that outside there is a torrential rain storm and you have to walk quite a way in it to get to transportation. However, because you have carried that ecstatic and very happy feeling of being able to get into a smaller size, it has colored your day so the rain doesn’t bother your outlook a bit as you move through the heavy downpour on to your important audition. So you see it all has to do with your mind/spirit – body/form connection. Thoughts are things, and only we can choose to change how we think; only we have the capacity to change our minds when we want to.
You have to take the time to be aware of the consciousness of both your mind/spirit thought and how quickly your bodily form can assimilate and act physically to make that thought happen. It’s as if you actually had two people inside of you. And often you try to achieve what your mind/spirit has envisioned or has been inspired to accomplish, faster than your body is able to physically make it happen. Our mind/spirit seems to race ahead because it is not restrained by the body. Now that you know this, your job is to start noticing how this inner process works for you. Take the time to figure out how to put these two “inner parts” in sync with one another in a way that actually works for you as you understand that even thought they work in tandem, the mind/spirit can almost instantaneously experience the beginning, middle and end of a physical task while the body/form has to learn the task by implementing a slow, careful muscle memory process over a period of time and do it by repetition until it becomes the habit.
It’s like learning to sing. The mind/spirit get’s what the teacher is explaining immediately but because the body needs time to figure out how to do what is asked physically, and then practice what the mind/spirit has already accomplished, there is a time lag between the two. This creates frustration and a misunderstanding of why you can imagine it but can’t do it physically at the same speed as your understanding of it. Your body, because it moves in real time, needs the process of doing a particular activity over and over again until there is a strong muscle memory built to match what the mind/spirit has created as the end goal. If you don’t proceed in this manner, you often increase the chances of becoming frustrated and perhaps develop inefficient and ineffective physical habits that create tension and other unhealthy pattern s because you become impatient with how slowly your body is in accomplishing the physical side of the task. Know this is the truth. And because as we all know by now, you each are internally wired differently, getting these two “parts’ to work together will allow each of you to move at your own individual pace.
Studies have shown that relaxed muscles react faster and that you are able to see and access the situation more quickly when allowing yourself the belief that your mind/spirit moves much more quickly to a conclusion than your body/form can physically follow. When you take the time to allow the catch-up between the two to happen, you feel no pressure and are not afraid to fail as you put your vocal technique to the test; your self-esteem is never on the line, you don’t lose your motivation. You simply allow your body to move at its own pace to catch up with what your mind/spirit has already accomplished without all the stress and struggle.
Here are a few thoughts to help you balance your mind/spirit and your body/form:
- Accept that some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue.
- Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
- Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
- Nobody cares if you can’t dance well, just get up and dance.
- Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
- When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
- You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
- Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
- And last but not least, a truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Thoughts are things that affect your body. Have a great day by allowing your body/form the proper time to catch up with what your mind/spirit has already achieved. And know that someone has thought about you………I did.
This newsletter was created because of the queries from several of you. So let me know how you feel about this subject. Had you ever thought about the different speeds between what the mind/spirit thinks and how differently the body/form works to accomplish that task? Science is wonderful and I hope it helps you better understand the why’s of so many things in life, so you never forget how we as humans work and have more compassion for yourself and others.