It’s 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon. The perfect time for a nap.

Returning to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 15 hours after last night’s applause had died away, I sobered to the next phase of my challenge:

Can I tap into Inspired Performance on a sleepy Sunday afternoon?

Sure, it’s easy to feel inspiration and surging energy on a Saturday night at the peak of the weekend. But how about when half the world is home watching a game, starting on the weekend’s homework, or relishing the few remaining hours of rest?

The pervasive low-key vibrations of this sunny Sunday afternoon were hard to shake as I made my way onstage 25 minutes before downbeat.

I found myself falling into old patterns of thought.

“Just get through this. No reason to get yourself all hyped up for just a matinee. Ride the casual wave. Save your energy. Don’t stand out.”

I had all the reasons in the world not to give this afternoon my all: I led choir rehearsal this morning at 8am, and had no chance to sleep in.

And then I remembered: I’m charting new territory.

So with a determination to prove or disprove my theory on tuning into inspiration at any given moment, I got to work.

The first thing I needed was energy. Unfortunately for me, caffeine does NOT work well in my body, so that was out of the question.

But I’m thankful that I’ve at least learned this from 20 years of yoga and meditation:

The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.

This wouldn’t be much of an experiment if I didn’t engage, so I willed myself to do something I’ve never done before: I consciously raised my energy above the accepted norm.

I was able to do this using the tools of affirmation, discipline, and mental focus. Simply by choosing to have a higher energy set me off on the right foot.

During the concerto (which was again, amazing!) I meditated backstage for 15 minutes. Did I want to do it? Not at first.

I found myself yawning frequently.

But I kept going with the meditation. Just the simple act of perseverance shifted my energy to the next level.

By the time we went on for the Mendelssohn, I again found myself in the zone of dynamic stillness, deep perception, and uplifted energy, willing to enter the flow.

I willfully kept myself open for inspiration.

And then there it was. All throughout the Scottish Symphony, the joy of the music surged through and all around me. Any lingering fuzzy consciousness had been replaced by a joyous focus and expanded awareness that I’m hoping could be felt by the packed hall.

Even as I write this, I again feel the lingering resonance of this afternoon’s inspiration.

So I leave you to turn in for the night, before the challenge of tomorrow:

Can I tap into inspiration even after a full Monday of rehearsals and teaching?
The Sunday Matinee Challenge

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