Dear Musical Friends,
I’m writing this message on the day that Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States of America.
I know that some of my readers may be celebrating this unexpected turn of events, but I must admit that I was not expecting this result in the least. In fact, I was quite shocked when I woke up to the news this morning, since I really wasn’t able to conceive of the possibility before today.
I had thought about not expressing my reaction to the news in this newsletter, but my concept of the work that I do is so interwoven with all aspects of who I am – emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, musical – that it was just natural to start writing about the reality of the day as I am experiencing it, because who I am in this moment affects everything that I do, and everything that I teach…. and who I am affects every note that I play.
Whenever I can, I do my best to simplify; in fact, I like to call the Alexander Technique a “subtraction” technique, because we are learning how to do less and less of what is unnecessary.
While the polling results were coming in last night, I noticed my attitude becoming increasingly negative, tense, and reactive, while my neck and shoulders became increasingly tight, my chest narrowed, and my breathing became shallow.
If you were happy about the numbers coming in, you probably noticed a mind-body change in a positive direction.
This morning, I awoke to the news, and realized that my life – and the life of all Americans and humans on this planet – are being affected by these current events.
I quickly realized – even more strongly than usual – that the work we are doing here with The Art of Freedom and the Alexander Technique is of the utmost importance, not only to ourselves, but to everyone on the planet. There is no time to waste with mindlessness….
No matter how we are feeling, we must remember that NOW is the only time that is real, and we need to seize this moment with all of the power we have, to pay attention to reality and realize our freedom to choose our responses to what we find here, for the greater good.
We can react to the current conditions with FEAR – by cringing, thinking negative thoughts, getting tight or collapsing, and making ourselves small by repeating the thoughts that make us shrink – or we can choose to STOP, rise above the situation, and aim to love unconditionally.
Can we accept reality, and grow up and out in the face of it?
Can we realize our freedom to choose our responses, and take responsibility for our actions?
We are musicians. What we do is incredibly important. Through music, we can pour our whole being – body, mind, heart, and soul – into something that is beyond words and has the power to touch, move, and heal souls.
We musicians need to pay attention to HOW we are making music. By paying attention to our own Ease, we can open and love and share what we have with others who may be very different from us, and we can in so doing sow love where there is hatred and fear.
It’s our choice how we respond to the current conditions, and the choice is a very simple one: fear and pain, or love and ease?
In finding my ease, I help you find yours.
F.M. Alexander said, “Mine is a method for the control of human reaction.”
And NOW is the time to practice. NOW. And NOW. And NOW. Again.
p.s. Please share this post if you’re a musician who cares about helping the world. I’d also love to hear your comments below!