once more, with feeling
There are two concertos that are almost always set for orchestral auditions. I have been playing these concertos for about thirty five years. At a rough estimate I have practiced both of them for thousands and thousands of hours, maybe even the 'magical' 10 000 hours.
And that is just the concertos.
Having practiced a lot of ACT type thinking in the last six years, my awareness of these layers of ancient welded on thoughts has increased this time around. It is no surprise that the bulk of them are negative, critical and judgemental - words from teachers during lessons, words that colleagues and friends have said to me. They are compulsively repetitive thoughts that are products of my own mind and my years of struggling with confidence.
From an ACT perspective, this way of thinking is normal for all humans. Our minds have been bred for worry and negativity by evolution - the stream of fearful thoughts, and more importantly, the belief that the thoughts are true, that has kept the species alive long enough to procreate. As Kelly Wilson explains
'We're the children of the children of the children (and so forth) of the ones who played it safe and went back to the cave. As we evolved for millions of years in an unforgiving world, natural selection weeded out the brazen and the brash. Our ancestors, the ones who survived passed on the genetic material of which we are all made, were selected for their caution.'
Today I wrote down a few of these thoughts that popped into my head today as I was practicing this concerto. These are not new thoughts, and those that know me and care about me need not worry that I am unusually sad.
But seeing it written down like this, it is still a revelation to me that I am thinking these unhelpful thoughts.
It is uncomfortable seeing them all out there, and putting them out there for you to see, but when they are out there on the page, I am able to get some space from them and choose to disentagle from them.
And not give up.