I had just gotten my most recent immunizations and my body was feeling it. Soreness and tiredness were predominant and the mind following along and taking cues from the body. Soon my mind started producing a familiar thought: doubt.
Thoughts started arriving about the future. I was scheduled to perform music as a band leader for 8 hours that day and i didn’t feel like I was in a position to bring much joy to others through music, much less experience it myself. I began to notice more doubt themed thoughts such as “who was I to be performing music when there are so many better musicians out there.”
I could see where this was all going and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to think myself out of thinking, so I went to my secret strategy of going outside to take a walk near some trees. I looked at the blue sky and wind through the trees and slowly started to gain some perspective. I realized and accepted that my body was sore and my mind was producing lots of unhelpful thoughts. I remembered the words of one meditation who invited acceptance by saying “it’s like this, it’s like this.” I next had an intuitive knowing that what was needed was compassion or being a friend to myself. I began to respond to my fearful thoughts by admitting that my mind and body were in discomfort and began to wish myself positive thoughts.
I remembered my intention of my love for music and my genuine wish to share it for mine and others benefit. I also reminded myself that I had practiced and put lots of hours in my life towards music and that I could do it. I basically was acting as my own coach and friend. This action was needed to meet the strong negativity that my mind has been producing. One teacher said that compassion is a verb, and this conscious action of being an inner advocate was the action I was using. As my teacher said, compassion isn’t a “one and done”but needs to be a continual practice. As I began to play music and at the set break I needed to take some moments on my own to take a breath and continue sending good wishes and kindness to myself.
The end of the day came after hours of music and I reflected on how I felt. My body didn’t feel the discomfort it has earlier, and my mind wasn’t producing the rapid negative thoughts. As usual, compassion, or self kindness care saved the day. I am currently working with people to share practices just like this, so please reach out if I can be of service. This practice is all helpful, from work, to family, to sports. Sending good wishes to you and keep in touch !