Fallacies of thought and logic that I’ve been guilty of:
- If something requires all of my attention, I must not be very good at it.
- If I give my full attention and fail, I will have no excuse. Avoiding the present gives me an out.
- If I fully enter the present moment, I will notice everything that is wrong. The house of cards that is my ego would not survive.
- Experts make it look easy. Therefore, the less present I am, the more expert I will appear.
- Therefore, I will pride myself on living in the past or future instead of in the moment.
I learned how to fear the present.
I have no idea where I picked these up. Perhaps it was because music and school came naturally to me as a child, and I liked the feeling of “easiness.” Sure, I focused my concentration when my ego was at stake, but rarely did so when I didn’t have to.
I prided myself in being more “talented” than others, but of course they began to evolve beyond me. Luckily, I learned how to pick them apart and find their flaws so I could salvage some self-esteem (not a good thing).
Thankfully, I finally evolved as well.
Now, it’s super easy to focus during a deep meditation or an inspired performance, because it feels SO GOOD. It would be so foolish to break the deep joy and connection to think about the future or past. But getting to the flow of inspired performance requires the right kind of effort.
Friday night I began to play solo Bach for new friends. I’ve played the G Major Prelude countless times in my life. The old habit to engage auto-pilot was tempting.
But right there in measure 5, I was suddenly struck with a new and very tangible thought:
The present is not something to fear. This moment, this phrase, is the gateway to hope and opportunity! This moment has never been done before! This is an adventure!
Instead of comparing and evaluating, I explored the new opportunities before me, one note after another.
The present is not something to be feared, it is something to celebrate!
Why hasn’t this been obvious before?
When I enter the present with an expanded awareness of a greater reality, it feels like leaning forward on the prow of a sailing ship, forging a new destiny with a reality of my own making. The power I felt that night and right now is real. It is optimism. It is hope.
I think I’m starting to get it.
The deeper into my own center I explore, the more joy and truth I find. Yes, I could be discouraged by how much work there is yet to do, but becoming more and more committed to the present brings an assurance of success to this incredible journey.