Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lie Down and Find Myself

                                    Photo by James Landry

Tonight was one of those nights I knew I needed an AT lie down before practicing.  My body tired from the long months of work, ready to let go into vacation mode, but I still have one more day to tend to my professional duties.  Wrapping up details, completing reports, leaving instructions, and anticipating the unknown.  But now refreshed from my lie down, my energy is flowing and I'll report to practice.

There is that part of me, present daily to be dealt with - my resistance.  The best way I know to deal with my resistance, is to ask for help and to move onto the task at hand.  How many of thousands of times have I pushed out of bed to go to work.  I treat my practice the same.  In desperate times, invoking my  two times to practice rule - when I want to and when I don't want to.  The respite from demands on myself offered by the lie down is nourishing and energizing, not in any way giving into the resistance.  Rather it is a method of preparing myself for a quality beginning.

When I sat on my stool, my body was ready to receive my guitar and to take as fresh a look as possible at how I play.  Beginning with an exercise dealing with accents and the right hand, I enjoyed the simple act of playing notes.  The sound drawing me into the moment, my listening deepening as I shifted the accent between the thumb and various fingers.  Such joy to be found when I am using myself well, and working in a way to improve overall.  From there I played through Gathered Hearts and then Stepping Stones.  Taking time to stay connected with myself as I played, keeping the AT directions alive with my thinking.  As I worked on the power pull-off section of SS, I wondered why I do not always begin with a lie down?  A very good question indeed.

Pausing and marveling at how this simple action, also known as active rest, can be so restorative and generative.  My muscles lengthened, my Qi flowing, and my mind quieted.  A very simple and powerful practice.  And now back to the guitar.

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