I’m currently reading a very interesting book by Dr. Joe Dispenza, called “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”.
Feeling inspired, I just had to put the book down to jot down some of my thoughts. The last thing I read before putting it down was:
“When one holds a dream [an ideal] independent of the environment,
I love that sentence. But what gave me goosebumps and brought a few tears to my eyes was the bit about Gandhi and his dream to take India back from the British in the early 1900s.
As a child, Gandhi was one of my heroes – right up there with Nathan Milstein, the great violinist with whom I had the honor to study for a number of summers. I never met Gandhi, but I was changed by the movie about him, and I’ve watched it many times.
What suddenly brought the tears to my eyes when I was reading Dr. Dispenza’s book was the realization that one of the things that caused me to be so inspired by Gandhi was his unwavering commitment to a dream – to an ideal that seemed impossible, unrealistic, and nonsensical to most people at the time. It was his greatness as a human being – shown by “holding a dream independent of the environment” – that inspired me at a young age, even more than his message of non-violence.
Milstein, the quintessential musician, also held fast to an ideal; his own conception of music was more important than anything. His violin was always nearby as he experimented, lived, and breathed his music at all hours of the day. Milstein may not have been a saint (I witnessed plenty of egoic outbursts first-hand), but he certainly was an idealist, and as an artist he achieved true greatness, beyond a doubt.
I’ve always been an idealist, a dreamer, and a believer in my own potential greatness. That might sound unabashedly egotistical, arrogant, or worse. But it has always seemed to me that musicians – in fact, all artists – must be idealists open to the All-Possible, and that necessarily includes our fullest potential. After all, if we don’t believe in our full, immense, great potential, than how could we possibly aspire to be the best artist – or person – we can be?
There’s something called the “As if” principle (watch a great short video on this here), which suggests that we must act AS IF a future reality that we desire is already in existence. The book I’m reading makes the same point: that we must align our thoughts and our feelings so that they are in harmony with a clear future intention, if we are to manifest what we want to achieve into reality.
That all might sound pretty abstract, but how are you going to play that difficult passage in that difficult piece if you don’t believe you can do it before you can do it, and if you can’t hear it before playing it, or if you don’t have a clear idea of the phrasing and all the other nuances in the phrase you want before making any sound? How can you go on stage to perform in front of 1000 people if you can’t first imagine that it’s possible?
If you aspire to a flawless technical mastery and inspired musicianship, you must begin (yes, even before you have acquired the necessary skills)
by believing that you are capable of greatness.
I feel fortunate that my parents and most of my teachers never caused me to doubt whether I could achieve greatness in my life; even more, they helped me to believe that it was possible. I don’t think I’ve “let that go to my head”, but I’ve let the idea of my potential stay present in my body-mind-self as an enormous – great – infinite field of potential.
These days, I’m consciously working on clarifying future dreams so that I can bring them into reality. I don’t aspire to liberate a country or a people like Gandhi did (!), but…. why limit myself?
…and why limit YOURself??
What are YOUR dreams? What do you habitually think is impossible for you to achieve that you would like to achieve? Might it be possible for you to stop believing in the impossible, and open yourself up to the All-Possible instead? Why not open yourself up to your own potential greatness?
It’s not about ego. In fact, it’s very much about overcoming ego. There’s no other way that I know of to achieve true greatness than to have constructive, conscious control over oneself – and that implies over the ego.
It’s about the infinite nature of reality, and how we are not separate from the All-Possible in any way.
I highly recommend thinking seriously about how your thoughts and beliefs influence your experience of reality. I also highly recommend Dr. Dispenza’s book, if you are committed to your art – and, above all, to your own personal freedom.
I’d love to hear your comments on these ideas! What are you dreams? Are you committed to following them through, independent of your environment?? Let’s dream together…