I bought myself a piano for Christmas. Well, it was a gift for "the family", but I bought it with the intention for me to play again. For me to practice again.
I'm really grateful my parents signed me up for lessons when I was just 6 or 7. I took lessons all the way through senior year. It was something I enjoyed, it was something I felt I was good at. That is, until the new kid in 3rd grade showed up. He was (and still is) a virtuoso, and he blew everyone away. I was a little shocked and a lot jealous at his ability to sit down and bang out tunes, fully memorized and emotive and fun.
My innermost third grader self knew: I'll never be that. I'm not a performer, and I'm not all that fun when I take something seriously. But if not to have fun, I really enjoy to play, for myself. I enjoy learning to play. And now that I'm just an adult in my own house, and with a keyboard that I can turn the volume down low or put in headphones--I can play for myself more than ever before.
As I start again in a mindful practice, I find it so helpful to be practicing something like an instrument along side mindfulness in the day-to-day. It is such a reminder of how to practice, and to feel the skills improve, and the muscle memory set in, and to know that everything about being a mindful, compassionate and grateful human also takes practice, and builds muscle memory, and it gets easier, though there will always be hard days in between.
My piano practice looks different from when I was a kid. I'm not taking lessons, and I'm selecting my own method books. I'm not preparing for a recital. It is now nearly impossible to play an entire song without some sort of distraction. Though that is frustrating, it is very akin to meditation in that way. And just like meditation, I am reminded to start again.
Do you have anything you practice that has a lot of method to it? Whether it's scales or athletic drills, there's a lot of value to repetition, to getting good at the basics, and to give a practice your full attention. Perhaps there is something you used to do that you could try again, or you want to learn something entirely new. There's no expectation to it, no one has to be born with skills in order to enjoy doing something, or even to become good at something.
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Still just me: Kaitlynn.