Unleashing Intuitive Music

image (the great B.B. King –creative commons license)

Music has been in my life as long as I can remember.    First as appreciator of music (diverse music in my household ranged from Credence Clearwater Revival to Vivaldi)  to  performer,  (classical pianist) to composer, and amateur noodler   (-a sometimes talentless noodler at that: violin, drums, recorder, guitar, kazoo –played at least with abandon and fun).

There are parallels in the expression and creation and participation of Music and the rest of life’s experiences;  to get in the right groove, to release the expression of your Soul, to connect to music, to get your joy-juice flowing, and to meet the moment in which great music REALLY happens,  you must LET GO of your desire to control, to be perfect, to be loved and you must live in the perfect moment UNLEASHED and unfettered.   This is true whether you want to play a violin concerto, do a jazz riff, talk to your best friend about a problem or bond with your husband.   And it’s true especially, when you awaken your OWN intuition and use it for help or joy in all these endeavors.

We can learn and study music in great depth, but this still doesn’t give us the heart-wings to soar with Handel unless we ditch the intellectual analysis and touch the MOMENT completely vulnerable, naked and joyously.  Music is a great metaphor for everything we do in life; relationship, work, art, love, money.  At some point we have to give up our fears of failure, our fear of acceptance, our desire to perfect or to live in our heads if we want to love other people, communicate with them, or express who we REALLY are through our art or daily living.    When you’re about to have a serious talk with your partner, you might feel just as heart-poundingly nervous as you would be if you’re about to play a Chopin Etude in front of a snarky audience (been there done that).  Each moment in which we need to express something fundamentally TRUE about ourselves,  our expression is  prone to be clouded by Egoic fear.  Will I be good enough? Will I be loved? How will I seem to others?  What if I fail? What if they don’t accept my song?      A piano teacher told me, “If you make a mistake, DO NOT STOP, keep playing!”  and that’s certainly true even if it’s about screwing up a conversation with your kids, making your boss mad or making a dumb choice.     Getting through that moment of fear and into the heart of the music itself is essential in our lives whether we play a musical instrument or just live in real life.

Playing an instrument can help you practice this “unleashing” and can help you open your intuitive sensibilities even more.   It doesn’t matter if this instrument is a 100 thousand dollar piano, an overturned plastic bucket, or your own beautiful voice.   Just grab the nearest noisemaker and go!   Here are some exercises:

  1. PLAY!  Just do it… and do it for yourself.  (Preferably by yourself at first)  – Enjoy the sound of your fingers on the piano keys, enjoy the noise your hands make on your over-turned bucket drum or on t he plucked strings of your guitar, open your mouth and sing.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not Eric Clapton right away, or if you can’t remember everything from your 3 years of  voice lessons and it absolutely doesn’t matter what ANYONE else thinks.   This is not a time for perfect. It’s a time for PLAY. And I mean PLAY…. kid play! It doesn’t matter what you sound like and it doesn’t matter what, if anything, you play. Just make some noise.   If you do this right, no matter who you are, you will entrain with the Universal rhythm of real music… the kind that makes YOU happy (the most important kind).
  2. Play along with your favourite song, the radio or a song you know already. Allow yourself to feel the freedom of going with a familiar groove.  Let yourself  feel the support of the band playing behind you – don’t you sound awesome?    Note.. .this is NOT the time for, “oh I can never be a musician, this is stupid, I don’t know all I need to know…”     give your brain a break. Music can be MEDITATION.
  3. Use your intuition!  When you play or noodle on your instrument notice the feelings, thoughts, visions or ideas that bubble up in your consciousness.  When you hear a certain piece of music… as yourself:   “What is this telling me?  What do I feel?  What is my real-self trying to tell me here?”  Your mind can be like a tarot deck. The images you see or things you feel might be clues for you in a significant problem in your life, an inspiration for the next step, or even a way to release energy that has been “stuck” in other areas.
  4. Be Free. Be UNLEASHED.

image (B.B. King photo: public domain)

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Listen to your “GUT” Part Two

snowy-snow3

Speaking of guts… the other day I was going outside in one of our early Spring snows and saw that a little trap-door to the crawl space under my stairs was open. I didn’t want any neighbourhood pets or kids to get in there so I went to shut it and got all the way down the steps when my “gut” said, “NO Don’T DO IT!” – I could see the steps, I could see the trap door, I knew it was only about 2 feet away, – what could possibly go wrong? I decided to take my chances with whatever snarling, one-eyed-purple-people-eater that could be down there and I ….

fell off the steps. Right into the snow. The snow had covered up the last step and I hit it half way on and half-way off — and over I went. Was this coincidence? Maybe. But I chock it up to instance 1,290,645 where I should have listened to my GUTS.

Listen to your “GUTS”

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Stephen Colbert was right.   Listen to your GUTS.

“That’s where truth comes from — the gut. Facts come from the brain — and some people think that makes facts better. But did you know you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your brain? You can look it up….Anyone can tell the news to you. I’m going to feel the news at you.” – Stephen Colbert

There is some compelling evidence that there is something to the relationship between “guts” and “feelings”  and that our enteric nervous system may be more closely linked to emotion that previously thought.   An article on Cognitive Daily, cites research done on Crohn’s Disease sufferers who have an increased nerve response from their gastroentestinal system and brain and how this related to their perception of movie clips in both active and silent phases of the disease. In the active phase of the disease, emotional responses were reported at higher levels than in the “silent” phase of the disease.

One of the primal signal locations for our sense of intuition is often located right in  the stomach.  “I have a gut feeling this is a bad idea.”  for example. This may be yeet another sign that the brain is sometimes aware of information that we aren’t consciously aware of in the moment.   Live Science cites a study done on participants asked to memorise pictures in periods of conscious fixation and also when they were thoroughly distracted.  The mind can retrieve data and spring it on us, seemingly bypassing conscious thought.

When you DO have a “gut feeling”  it pays to listen to your insticts.  That little nagging sense that tells you, “Don’t go that way!”  — harken to it.  The times in this life I’ve gotten myself in trouble it’s always been because I chose to ingore a nagging sense in my gut.   This applies to love, to business, to small, seemingly insignficant choices.

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers.