Looking back at my “Annual Vision” for 2016, I said that I was to create some experiences.
But I actually didn’t create many of them because even though I used the word experience what I wrote down were not experiences but measurable goals. Don’t get me wrong, measurable goals are great. But I need to learn a different lesson, about focusing on the true experience and not what I think will give me that experience. I found that when I focus on the latter I lose touch with the former, and when the latter, or the process to produce the latter, fails to give me any of the former, I lose steam and whither.
When I focus on the experience, I’m open as to how it comes about. I am not disowning the how but instead of getting attached to the specifics I stay open and continuously explore.
For example, one of my goals was to be able to play the guitar faster, at a particular beats-per-minute tempo. But what I actually want is the experience of freely expressing myself through the guitar. Playing fast is part of that experience, but usually when I try to play fast I get this rushed feeling, a pressure to play accurately. That is not a freeing experience. I actually don’t exactly know what will give me that feeling of freedom. I know that I’ve been there sometimes while fooling around, when I feel no pressure to play something impressive. So this time I intend to focus on that experience and not on what gives me that experience.
So here is the list of what I intend for this year. I intend to experience:
- Being blessed to create music. The sense of everyone and everything desiring and conspiring to help me with my music. Time is of particular challenge — I want to experience everyone giving me all the time I need to work on my music.
- Loving my body. Enjoying looking in the mirror. Enjoying how I feel in my body. Being proud and grateful for the body I’m given, and how I’m taking care of it.
- The thrill of learning that someone resonated deeply with something I created. Music, videos or blog entries. The elation of learning that I am being understood, and am wanted to keep doing what I do.
- Confidence in my singing. Enjoying hearing my voice. Adoring how freely and flowingly I can sing any notes and phrases.
- Confidence in my guitar playing. Love how freely and flowingly I can play any phrases, both familiar and improvised. I feel free. The sensation that there is no distance between the phrases in my head and what I actually play. Fast notes feel like pouring out instead of speeding up.
Now, I realize that the list above is vague, especially because it’s hard to measure if I achieved them. It’s also true that since what I’m focusing on is the experience, it’s possible to experience them just by making them up in my mind. My body doesn’t need to change at all in order for me to experience the enjoyment, for example.
That’s sort of the point in this approach. Focus on the feeling first, and then let it lead the way in figuring out how to realize it externally. To that end I am experimenting with daily sessions to focus on these feelings to create them in my mind. Then I intend to track when these feelings surface from life events. I hope to use that as a guide to figure out what creates these experiences consistently.
It’s all an experiment, we’ll see how it goes. As always, I’ll report back with what I learn.