In this series I’ll be presenting the qualities we experience in performance that go beyond the audible.
(including worry and anxiety)
Although fear can be heard in your sound from shaky hands or breath, some scientists say that the smell of fear is real and can be picked up by others. Believe it or not, researchers have found that chemical signals emitted by the body in sweat can trigger fear in the brains of others. There’s a reason why some musicians are not so fun to play with!
The good news is that the practice of meditation helps to reduce the reaction of fear in your body. Neuroscientists at Stanford University found that people who practiced meditation for eight weeks were more able to turn down the reactivity of the amygdala, the area of the brain associated with regulating emotions, including fear. Other researchers from Harvard found that mindfulness can physically reduce the number of neurons in this fear-triggering part of the brain.
As you start to meditate, you begin to notice space between your thoughts. By concentrating on these spaces, and not on the negative emotions elicited by fear-based thoughts, you begin to experience a state 0f non-fear that brings much needed relief.
As a child I spent a great deal of time in anxiety. I was tense around my older brother, afraid of any spontaneous attack. I worried about a killer swim practice and my raging coach who actually pulled me out the water by my hair. I played cello with fear of missing notes.
In fact, in the few times I found myself carefree, I slapped myself back to attention and found something to worry about. I didn’t want to be the one not paying attention.
Fear is not native to your sound, nor your being.
But when I learned to meditate, I finally recognized that fear and worry were foreign to my true nature. Yes, they could be helpful in saving my life, but didn’t need to be broadcasting day and night in my mind.
My breathing changed. My playing changed. My LIFE changed.
Come see how meditation can start to transform your experience with performance:
Sunday, September 11, 1pm-2:30pm Pacific Time