Find your center within it
Hilary Hahn is doing another round of #100daysofpractice. Seeing her daily thoughts on her playing, performing, traveling, and just, existing is fascinating and inspiring.
On Day #8, she posted a backstage clip just 30 min before she went on to play with the Boston Symphony. And, she said something brilliant:
Adrenaline has co-opted my brain and I am taking my time to find my center within it. Performance excitement is powerful. It can go in a positive or a negative direction.
Of course, there are many very applicable things about performance "excitement" as she calls it here to observe. First of all, the use of that word! Excitement! She didn't call it performance anxiety, or stage fright, or any other combination of words that alone conjure up feelings of restlessness. She also said the excitement had "co-opted" her brain. Another sensible and likely intentional use of a word... the excitement is there, but so is the practice, the preparation, and the calm and confident version of herself. And then, "find my center within it."
And there it is.
Tiffany here, and this reminded me of an old blog post I wrote a few years ago that talked about not going into a marathon expecting not to be out of breath. That would seem ridiculous, right? Having the expectation of no stress, of no performance excitement, of not being out of breath while running is silly. It's not realistic.
But what IS realistic is imagining a practice of finding our center within it.
Things have felt hectic for me lately and I have lots of projects and responsibilities in the next 5 weeks especially. I recently wrote Ixi a message that said "Do you ever feel like your brain is a blender and the blender is on high?" 😂 (Thankfully she responded with a resounding, "Yes, 90% of the time" and made me feel slightly better.)
My goal this week?
Not to push the excitement away. Not to push the stress away. Not to push anything away. But instead, find my center within it.
What's the plan for this?
1. Take tiny steps toward completing the things on my list and give myself due credit for accomplishing those tiny steps.
2. Accept imperfection.
3. Take care of my body with nourishing food and time for movement - even if it's 10 minutes - and don't judge myself for not having more time.
4. Prioritize tiny moments of pause - even one deep breath.
5. Keep perspective. None of this is life or death. It's just me, wanting to create stuff.
I'm so thankful to have people in my circle that help remind me of these things. And, I hope we can be the same for all of you! We hope this inspires you to find your own calm this week!
Also, thanks Hilary Hahn. You're a true inspiration!