Is there a way to avoid the emotional crash after holidays and big performances?
I’m having a conversation with my 9-year-old daughter who is SO bummed that Christmas is suddenly over. All her anticipation and preparation couldn’t lengthen the thrill of opening presents, just as performers can’t stretch out the applause and afterglow of a performance. Sooner or later we find ourselves back in our not-so-thrilling everyday existence.
But what if our normal existence was a little more extra-ordinary?
What if our baseline state was more elevated? So much so, that coming down from a “performance-high” wasn’t such a steep dive?
Chances are good that you’ve met someone in your lifetime that could find happiness under any circumstance. I’m not talking about blissful ignorance, denial, or ungrounded flightiness, but an unflappable temperament that to many seems almost impossible to maintain, much less achieve.
Years ago, I had no idea how to relate to these happy people. I thrived on intensity and critical judgment.
I thought that inner joy, like Santa Claus, was just a myth.
Resilient happiness and buoyancy…a sign of weakness.
But deep down, I really wanted the happiness that was always just out of reach during my successful early career. My yearning to reconnect with this elusive joy grew until at last I made the decision to find out for myself if lasting happiness was truly possible. I put myself in the company of veteran meditators of 30+ years who had developed in themselves the happiness that I so desperately wanted.
These past 18 years have brought a deeper joy than I had ever thought possible. I have met extraordinary humans with “superhero powers of happiness.” They shared their secrets freely with me, but I learned the most from just being around them, soaking up the practical habits and attitudes which lead to even-minded cheerfulness.
How was I supposed to know that inner joy was ACTUALLY thrilling (and even addicting)!
One of the secrets I learned: It’s not WHAT we enjoy (the presents, the applause), but HOW we enjoy them deep in ourselves.
One of the goals of Symphonic Meditation for Inspired Performance is to help musicians deepen their perception of enjoyment. WHERE does that perception of inspiration take place? Not in the outward senses or in the things themselves, but deep inside our hearts.
The long work is this: presents and acclaim can never give us lasting happiness. But enjoying from within without outward attachment allows us to cultivate that which is our birthright: an inner joy that nothing and no one can ever take away. A dynamic, sustained happiness that can always be found, even after the applause and presents are done.