Monday, March 30, 2015

Changing Conditions

A smile can change the condition of the world. - Thich Nhat Hahn

I've always loved the above quote.  For years I had a calligraphy of it on a post card strategically placed so that I would be reminded of the simple power of a smile to change conditions for myself and others.  This was good for a man who took himself far too seriously.  Last week I stumbled upon the quote again, while taking a break from practicing.  When I returned to the guitar I smiled at her, hoping for improved results I suppose. 

While playing that day the thought arose - let your hands smile at the guitar.  Something must have shifted because I wrote this on a post-it and attached this to my music stand.  Today I was struggling with a section of the piece Senseless Loss that I hope to record on Wednesday.  Forgetting that the metronome is my friend, I was becoming frustrated.  I don't like wearing headphones listening to the beat, but I was working with simulating the conditions in which I will record.  Then I saw the post-it.

A bit of the tension in my hands dissolved, and that was when I knew I needed a break.  Hitting the floor for an Alexander Technique lie down, I let my body to unwind a bit.  I visualized the chord changes that were hanging me up.  Returning to the guitar with a smile in my hands I worked a bit more.  With a softer forgiving attitude this time.  Smiling as I noticed that the conditions of the world had changed.
Photo by istolethetv


  1. Great reminder. When I 'let my body smile with the dog' we have much better training sessions