The thing about having a dream, or even just setting a big goal, is that it can stop you in your tracks. You freeze.
“I don’t know if I could ever do that!”
“That just seems unrealistic. How am I ever going to start?”
The voice that you hear finds every possible doubt that lingers in the energy of your thoughts, (and that’s all that your thoughts are, after all).
The result is that you stay motionless. Motivation deserts you as you look across the dream chasm, unable to move.
“I’ll never manage that. I just don’t have the talent.”
We give ourselves plenty of justification why that particular goal or vision is too unattainable and how we should just stay where we are. Often when our psyche seeks safety and comfort it prefers staying put and not moving at all.
“I can’t really change this relationship, I should just stay where I am.”
But beware of the shoulds. Mike Dooley often talks about the ‘cursed hows’. Well I’m talking about the ‘loathsome shoulds’.
There is a really good way to tackle them and to move from inaction to action. To render the ‘loathsome shoulds’ impotent.
Through doing the practice.
Doing the practice is making the small steps without worrying about the big G-O-A-L.
Put your helmet on and start doing the thing that will begin to shape the dream. It’s not the final dream vision itself, but the fuel that will run the engine to get there.
If it’s writing, then write. If it’s building a website, then start working with code. If it’s fashion, then start drawing designs.
I always tell people who I work with that when you practice you are not on stage. Practice isn’t the performance. You don’t have to look good and you don’t have to impress anyone or gain approval.
You are practicing, pure and simple.
Work out the kinks, find your voice, play with the line and see where it takes you.
Doing the practice builds your discipline and gives you a path. Don’t look for the top of the mountain yet. Watch your feet and find the footholds in front of you.
This isn’t being busy for busy’s sake, or spinning your wheels to give you the illusion that you are working. This is building a habit of practice that will carry you almost unnoticeably forward with a quiet certainty.
Each day moving.
Each day doing the practice.
Taking a circle of drummers through transformation is a life changing event.
The circle gives us equanimity and clarity. It allows us open communication and connection.
Not sitting behind desks or standing in lines; instead a limitless path.
Now take the circle and twist it in on itself to give a spiral. Allow the drummers to overlap each other as they play.
Hear the overlap, the fields of rhythm. Plant a starting rhythm at the centre point of the spiral and let it travel outwards along the curve from player to player and drum to drum.
Once the rhythm is breathing by itself take the spiral on a journey, let it move and spin.
Feel the rhythms sweeping from the centre to the edges and let the momentum build and the energy rise.
Let the spiral expand like a galaxy and unfold out into the room. Keep playing and listening.
When the expansion is complete join the ends together and bring everyone on back to the circle of one.
Connect together and breathe.
When we organise sounds with silence we have the beginnings of rhythm.
The nature of the spaces between the sounds will determine a regular rhythm or something we would describe as arrhythmic. Something that we describe as rhythmic would have a certain degree of predictability about it, it wouldn’t feel unexpected as it unfolded.
Sounds played with a recognisable periodicity create a cycle that feels balanced and a movement that engages us into a groove. Rhythm played in this way is infectious and satisfying.
Our connection to rhythm comes from our physiology. We move and function through a series of balanced actions that flow and cycle in regular rhythms. From our heartbeat and our breathing to the way we walk and move. Our arms and legs swing with balanced motion and we can create changes in pace through rhythmic shifts.
When we are healthy and well we are harmonically rhythmic beings.
Just imagine how unpredictable our existence would be if our organs and muscles worked in an uncoordinated almost random fashion as they functioned. Life would be a struggle to say the least.
The world around us is a rhythmic symphony. On a subatomic level everything vibrates at its own rate. This vibration is rhythm and the universe vibrates in rhythmic harmony.
On a wider level the tides, moons, seasons, and sunsets follows a balanced set of cycles. We may have labelled them with our own classes of measurement but by their nature they follow broad rhythmic patterns. The universe is polyrhythmic.
The rhythms around us and within us affect us in three important ways:
Physiologically – As the rhythms within your body change you experience the physiological effects of that change. An increase in heart rhythm will trigger a series of corresponding change to breathing rate and other organic cycles as they change with it.
Psychologically – The brain generates its own rhythmic patterns of activity as brain waves. Typically grouped into four classes: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta they correspond to different levels of brain activity from high to low. By immersing yourself in a particular rhythmic stimulus it is possible to change your brain state as the wave cycles shift to match the stimulus. This is how many relaxation audio programmes work.
Behaviourally – From the rhythmic lulling of a baby to the aggressive drums of war rhythm can cause us to alter our behaviour patterns. Equally powerful are the trance rhythms of the shaman which can shift our state of consciousness and awareness.
We can explain the power of rhythm through a phenomenon known as entrainment. If you take some time to observe couples walking through a park or city centre you will see its effect. As people walk side by side you will notice that their steps fall into a synchronous rhythm.
It’s difficult to walk next to someone and pace with a different rhythmic cycle.
Entrainment happens when two rhythmic events are close to each other, there is a coming together and a matching of rhythms or vibrations. It is the nature of harmonic rhythm and explains how easy it is to get absorbed by rhythms and grooves. As an audience we can feel the pull of the time and entrain to it.
By creating specific rhythms to lower brain waves and physical rhythmic rates we can use rhythmic entrainment as a therapeutic tool to entrain a more relaxed state into the mind and body of the listening audience.
We can use rhythm to create harmony and to create relaxed and effective states of being in ourselves, in others and in the world.
Everyday the media is full of new stories that demonstrates even more the depths that people will sink to in their time on our planet.
I’m not going to list them. That will just reinforce my experience of them, the laws of attraction happen in both directions both positive and negative. I’m out to change my experience of them.
From violence to peace. From fear to love. From hatred to compassion.
I’ve decided that I will only allow in those things that I want. That means news, that means stories online and in print. I’m only open to the vibration of the things that I want.
Vibrating With The Laws of Attraction
This is how it works, it’s a rule… a law. An event happens. It’s reported across all the media channels across the globe. We consume it, it surrounds us.
We worry. ‘That’s terrible,’ we say. We huddle together in fear at the outside world and scary circumstances.
We send out vibrations of that experience and more of those kind of experiences resonate and begin to happen. On a global scale we can attract the vibrations of some serious shit thanks to all those lovely laws of attraction.
Good news is, we can also attract some vibrations of some awesome good.
Good is what we want. It’s not a judgement, it’s just what each of us wants.
I said you can attract it and I mean it.
Think about it. What consumes you each day? What are you surrounded by? Stories of things getting worse?
Self fulfilling prophecies for you to enjoy.
It’s just temporary. Don’t think that because you’ve had a lifetime of bringing what you don’t want that you have to stick with it. It’s just an indicator.
Change thanks to the laws of attraction
Now you can change it. You can take control by only allowing what you want into your thoughts and into your experience. Become a creator and not just a reactor.
You could even go one step further. I had an idea on this, one of those ideas that fills me with hope.
I want us to turn off the news. I want us to globally agree to take a day off from reporting and observing what is happening in the world of circumstances. When we catalogue what is, we get more what is. Information overload.
Instead we turn off the news. We can make it a global holiday, a day away from generating vibrations of what we don’t want. Because not everyone knows how to do this and get back the control of their life.
We turn off the news, let the journalists spend some time with their families or their hobbies.
We breath in the relief of no new atrocities. We don’t experience them, they are not there.
And then the next day we fill the newspapers of stories that nothing went wrong.
Rinse and repeat until we get better at it.
I’m a masher and my work is a mash-up.
There are so many strands to include, sometimes I don’t even know what I do. In fact, there are definitely people at my work who don’t really get what I do.
So I try to work with the key themes that I find cropping up often.
You might be the same and want to ask yourself: ‘What are your themes?’
If you are anything like me then your multi-stranded themes can give you the edge in the workplace and in your business. Instead of a grey-scale worker, you are a kaleidoscope. Instead of pursuing a single discipline you’re a masher.
Here are some of the things that I’ve worked at:
Drummer, Recording Artist, Jazz Improvisor, Coach, Mentor, Education Consultant, Performer, Studio Owner, Producer, Blogger, Composer, Author, Publisher, Web Designer, Writer, Teacher Trainer, Educator, Workshop Leader, Group Facilitator
Now, whenever I’m in new networking situations, I’ve started revealing more and more about the range of things that I can do.
I used to move from one group to the next adjusting the persona that I projected out and trying to fit in by editing my history and accommodating who was around me.
It’s tricky to do, especially when each person asks you: ‘So what do you do?’
But there is a way of finding a number of themes that incorporate all of your skills and passions and allows others to connect with you.
It’s actually okay if no-one actually understands what you do.
I want to celebrate that I did web design for an international charity and worked as a band technician on the Jools Holland Show. The skills that I offer allowed me to spend six weeks writing songs at a local hospice and to also write and publish several books.
The days of the single job title and linear career path are over and the future belongs instead to those with a sense of their own themes.
My themes now are improvisation, play and creativity and how we can use them in our personal and work lives to find greater freedom, happiness and energy.