The mind+body connection

by Jan 3, 2018

Mind+body connection is at the heart of creative ease and flow.

As a human being, your mind has the potential to be your greatest asset or greatest downfall, and everything in between. By learning to objectively observe your thoughts, your mental habits, and your ongoing mental chatter – both positive and negative, you can gain enormous insight around how you interact with both the world in general and your creativity in particular.

Hand in hand with gaining awareness of your mind and thoughts, developing a keen awareness and connection with your body – how it feels, how it moves, how it communicates to you – is key to gaining creative freedom in your creative pursuits.

In addition, by fully connecting to the physical body, you gain more ability to quieten and even disengage with the limiting mental chatter. By being aware of your physical body through your senses, if you really pay attention, you instantly gain access to your body’s intelligence and wisdom. By listening to this wisdom, and allowing yourself to be guided by it, you gain insight into natural and ease-ful ways of expressing your creative self.

Connecting with your physical body also gives you access to the current moment – the place of greatest creative power. How you interact with the current moment determines how you live your life within these moments.

So working towards a consistent awareness of both your mind AND body is of fundamental benefit in unlocking your creative confidence. With the two realms connected, you have access to your full mental and physical intelligence, and your natural self-expression can flow effortlessly.

The mind+body connection, and the power it brings to your creative self-expression, is at the heart of my ListenFeelPlay philosophy, and the holistic awareness of mind AND body is a critical element of being fully engaged and truly in a creative space.

Try this:

When you are involved with your creative pursuit, ask yourself how much you are in your mind, and how much you are in your body. Try to give a percentage – for example 75% in my mind versus 25% in my body. If you don’t know, observe yourself in action again, and look for your own balance of awareness between mind and body.

Then try a different balance – perhaps the opposite – so in this case 25% in your mind, 75% in your body…how does that feel? What happened?

Then, try to be 95% in your body and only 5% in your mind…and pay attention. What happened to your creativity? How did it feel?

By exploring different divisions of awareness between mind and body, you will gain objective insights into how this awareness plays into the success of your creativity. There is no right response. Experiment, gain objective insights into your own mind+body awareness, and pay attention to how it plays into the success of your self-expression.

Keep exploring and have fun with it.

Silver linings the second time around

Having performed the complete cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas in February 2020 with American pianist Kate Boyd, we had originally planned to perform the cycle again later that year. But of course, COVID had other plans for us and the soonest that we could rearrange for our second cycle was for 10-17 January 2023 – almost 3 years later.

With the first of these concerts now just a day away, I’ve been reflecting on the new opportunities that presented themselves because of the enforced ‘change of plans’, and the silver linings have been numerous and rather wonderful.

Building Confidence

Radio New Zealang Concert asked me for advice around confidence, and in particular if it can be built.

I believe it can.

You can read what I had to say about it all on their website: Confidence Tricks – some tips for musical performance.

Effort, Age and Survival  

It is over a month since my last blog post and with the 6 weeks that have passed, we are well and truly in mid-summer here in Central Otago.

I have been systematically working through the 10 Beethoven violin sonatas, regularly inspired by the awesome landscapes outside my window, and accompanied by my trusty sidekick – Coco the cat.

It turns out one of the biggest current challenges is physical fatigue.

A reset from the inside out

Having previously performed 6 of the 10 Beethoven violin sonatas more than 20 years ago, it has been a lovely process coming back to the familiar, as well as discovering the new. Primarily due to the work I have been doing over the last 2 years getting to the nitty-gritty of my performance philosophies, these incredibly pristine works of Beethoven are proving to be an absolute gift for me.

Where to from here?

The next three months are super exciting for me, with 3 concerts confirmed in Mid-Feb 2020 for the performance of all 10 Beethoven sonatas within three days…and all in my new gorgeous neighbourhood of Central Otago.

It’s quite possible that I am naïve to the full enormity of this project – but one thing is for sure, sinking my teeth into these works again is a true treat, and the magnitude of the project is just what I am now needing at this point in my life.

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