Practice Music Like You're Getting a Massage

Green tea steams beside the piano keys and I start the metronome. It's been months since I've practiced like this; early with the birds singing outside, counting 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4, feeling boredom creeping in and then finding a way to switch it up and keep going, eyes on the clock (two hour countdown). I set a goal for myself this year of practicing piano for 750 hours (averages about 2-3hrs/day) and I got so burned out after January that I had to go cold-turkey. I thought about giving up on the goal but day after day it eats me up and I've realized I "can't live with myself" knowing that I just gave up. I would be sabotaging my bigger goals and banging my head against a wall of regret...forever - and forever is just far too long to put up with those kinds of feelings. One of my most importnat "Core Desire Feelings" (check out The Desire Map if you don't know what I'm taking about is) is "proud" - it's very important to me that I feel proud of myself. So cut to the chase, I'm back at my piano with the timer going. Fingers twiddling around the keys, I had a realization: "You can beat yourself up OR you can give yourself a massage." In January, I set out to practice for 750 hours and I beat myself up each day trying to keep up. I was so focused on practice, I forgot about play. I could say, "I'm going to make myself practice for 750 hours so I get really good at piano." but wouldn't the world be a more fun place if instead I said, "This year, as a special treat for myself, I am carving out 750 hours of "me-time" that I can spend exploring & delighting in music." I've noticed (especially since instating my "Secret Garden Time" that it's easy for me to spend 2 hours every morning writing in my journal. It's because I view journaling as a relaxing pleasure, a special treat I give to myself each day that helps me relax and find clarity and track progress in life. It's like a massage for my soul. Why not see piano in that same light? So here we go again...750 hours but more fun this time,  right? // Cha

Cha WildeComment