Sunday, February 28, 2021

That does not mean what you think it means.

When students ask, "What is the one thing I can do to improve my performance?", I immediately respond with, "Love yourself". 

This has nothing to do with the post. It's just pretty.

This is easily one of the most misinterpreted pieces of advice because the naysayers respond with, "How selfish! Thinking about yourself all the time...ugh."

That's not what that means.

It means that you approve of yourself, right now, as you are. Yes, even with that [insert item that you or others think makes you unworthy], you approve of yourself.

It means that you know you are the only you in existence--which means you also recognize that each person you meet is the only person like that in existence, with their own unique set of life experiences. The You in You sees the Them in Them.

It means that any skill you wish to develop is entirely up to you, and you get to pick how to develop it or not, and that privilege of choice is only for those who are alive, which you are right now. This makes you un-eff-with-able, and when you know that you move about the earth differently.

It means that because you know all this, and because you enjoy your own company (because you like you, a prerequisite to loving yourself), you will do what it takes at your own pace with what you have as best you can to achieve whatever you want to achieve. And your life is evidence of whether you are on track or not...a life path you can alter at any time because you are alive right now and you get to make choices that favor your future because you're the boss of your life like that. 

You don't have to make a big deal out of realizing you need to adjust some things. You didn't waste time; don't fall into that mental trap. You are going to make mistakes, for the rest of your life. You're learning. Life is Learning. And so when you grow,  you adapt. No need to attach labels of coulda-woulda-shoulda.

If you find that you have been hurt or you are hurting yourself in the process of learning and living, it is natural to take a time-out in the form of therapy/hospital/sabbatical/vacation/weekend drive/woodworking/retreat-setting. Again, the "What will people think?"/"What have I done with my life?" thoughts, though seemingly natural, are imposed upon you by a society that expects you to act in certain ways and do certain things that often have nothing to do with your health and well-being. Rent the cabin in the woods and write and heal.

This is loving yourself. 

When you love yourself, you become the fiercest piano player known to humankind because you are, through this instrument, transmitting The Real You or at least The You You Choose Deliberately to Transmit. Excellent technique and solid understanding of music theory help make the transmission truer and truer as you study and mature as an artist. And since you are the only you in existence, we get to hear an evolution-of-understanding made manifest that will never come again--ever. You are not a carbon copy of someone else.

And that's the whole point of being a musician--to share your voice your way through the instrument you pick.

And the Youness of the expression is what makes you a legend. There is only one Ray Manzarek.

We teach this.

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