9. Stop worrying about how good you are and breathe your way into your best.
If your breathing is shallow, tight, and thin, you are more worried than relaxed. But bring to mind the memory of a deep, magical musical experience and feel how your breath becomes deeper and more relaxed. Your breath is your barometer. But just like yoga postures that help attain higher consciousness, use your breath to transition your focus from insecurities to a confidence that comes from a place deeper than the ego. Whenever you feel inner tension coming on, take a few minutes to breathe deeply, in through the nose, filling your entire lungs and relaxing into a soul assurance that lies within you. If you change your breathing, you change your consciousness.
10. Imagine the air that you breathe to be filled with energy, power, light.
You haven’t yet reached your fullest potential, not because you can’t, or aren’t worthy enough, or aren’t allowed to, but because you haven’t been breathing properly. When you breathe correctly with awareness, you begin to notice and feel subtle energies that greatly benefit your clarity of mind and focus. See the air around you as filled with limitless potential. As you breathe deeply, imagine the air satisfying a deep thirst within you. We all have the same air to breathe. Drink it in. Draw infinite power from the universe.
11: Bring Gratitude into the Simplest of Notes
Gratitude naturally feels good because it is an upward flow of energy. Start with something that you can sincerely feel grateful for, and then bring that awareness and feeling into your warmups and scales. As you sing or play, keep your focus not on the notes themselves, but rather on the genuine feeling within. Listen to how the notes themselves take on more beauty, more warmth, more depth. As you move on to more difficult pieces, keep your focus on the gratitude, but make sure to give yourself permission to miss notes. Any large shift of attention takes some getting used to, especially with music that hasn’t been completely internalized.
12. Create your Zen note.
Set aside a few minutes to do nothing but merge with one single note. Don’t try to control the sound coming out – let it be. Focus on the sound of it as it expands to fill the room. Be simply aware of the vibrations on all levels of sound and thought. Go deeper with each repetition, allowing yourself to experience even more that you thought possible. Allow yourself to be brought into inner stillness through the mesmerizing sound of your own voice or instrument.