Speaking of exercise…. I’ve been doing some mental workouts lately. I’m not sure if it’s my age or the fact that my mind is free of all the crap that comes from working. It could be a by-product of the introspection that comes with new adventures, like blogging. I’ve had some of what Oprah calls “Ah-ha moments.”
Instead of seeing things as separate entities in my life, I am learning not to compartmentalize and see them as interconnected. For example: I was struggling to balance the time I invested in my writing with the time I needed to play my music. My creativity felt stretched to the max and I wished there were more hours in the day so that I could accomplish both. The two different endeavors were competing for my energy. Then, I wrote a story about a musician. The plot required that he perform a song that he wrote. So, I wrote the song. A big, bright lightbulb went off over my head! I don’t always have to do one or the other – They compliment each other.
Since I’ve been learning to play the fiddle, I have been afraid to pick up my guitar. Initially, I was retraining my brain to read music for the finger and string positions, which differ from one instrument to the other. I feared it would confuse me. But the urge to play my guitar was growing stronger, like a compulsion, to the point that I dreamed I was playing. So, I caved. I picked up the guitar. It was very emotional (a topic for a whole other blog) – like suddenly seeing a close friend with whom you’d lost all contact for several years. Surprisingly, playing one instrument enhanced the other. My overall musicality increased tenfold. Who knew? I can record a song on the guitar and then play the fiddle to it. I am accompanying myself – A one man band!
So, now, I am looking for areas in my life where things appear separate but are, in fact, parts of the same vision. It’s pretty cool.
Learning new things at this point in life teaches me so much more than the obvious. This whole music lesson thing, for example. I am forced to face my preconceived notions about myself while some ingrained habits are challenged on a regular basis. I am learning to quiet the perfectionist and be vulnerable. I am willing to fail at something in order to become better at it. People have said to me, “I could never do that.” Well, here’s the thing: You can. But you have to learn to say “I can do this,” even when you don’t really believe it. I dare you to tell me that’s not a lesson that can be transferred to situations in everyday life!
Carl Jung might call it synchronicity. Chinese philosophy might say it’s yin and yang. It changes the way I see things. On a small scale, the synergy between the things I do lessens the pressure I feel about getting them all done. But it also affects the way I see my connection to the rest of the world. There’s a certain rhythm to life, if you listen closely. Seeing the big picture helps me find my own tempo and be in harmony with the universe (no pun intended). Creativity flows not only from within, but from a bigger source. It’s pretty cool, if you’re open to it. Just listen…