Swimming through negativity

Keeping up with my workout schedule gets harder and harder during the cold season. Snow boots on today and full winter here in Bucharest. When I need a motivational speech to get out of the house for swimming I remind myself that I am doing this for my physical health and for my looks, but nothing gets me out of the house faster than remembering that my main reason to do this is my MENTAL HEALTH. When I am unwell I know I can allow myself to do whatever I feel like doing, except skipping workout. Not doing physical movement ends in depression, anxiety, pessimism, low energy level and sickness for me.

As a musician, there’s not a lot of physical activities that I do: I mostly make use of my thoughts and emotions. I have a very active mind and tend to think a lot so, moving the energy from my brain to my whole body is what I most need.  I’ve tried different types of physical activities, from yoga to jogging, fitness and aerobic and found out that cardio workouts are the best for me. However, two years ago I started having lower back pain and had to find an alternative to my usual workouts, in order to protect my spine. I just knew that, even though I am not a fan of sports, quitting any physical activity was not an option for me. Therefore, I started swimming: full cardio body workout PLUS it protects your back (besides some yoga postures, I can’t think of another sport which is gentile with such problems).

Swimming has become therapy for me. I love the feeling of floating in the water, letting go, following the flow and exploring. I feel supported by the universe and I can allow myself to release tension and just slide through the water. Plus, the calming hot shower afterwards just washes the trouble away. I’ve come to see this as a self-care ritual, and, instead of hurrying through it in order to leave faster, I am taking my time, tuning into my physical senses and enjoying every moment of it. For me swimming is different from other workouts that I’ve tried: when I am there, I actually enjoy it and I don’t feel any physical pain while doing it, which I also think is very important. Sports often become just one extra punishment that we give to ourselves.

However, most of the times I need to motivate myself to get out of the house, and the only thing that really convinces me is that this is one of the very few instruments for wellbeing that always works for me. When I try to skip it in order to do something else which is “very urgent” I remind myself that, on a long-term, nothing is more urgent than having a healthy state of mind and that, achieving this will help me accomplish much more of the “very urgent” tasks that I have.

Today’s motivational video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfh86dZyeso

What are your tips for keeping a healthy mental state? What is the one thing you NEED to do, no matter how bad you feel?

*This blog is intended to bring support to all of those struggling with the issues discussed. Please share in a comment! Together we learn & grow! ❤

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I have no talent for music

“I have no talent for music” is usually followed by “I have no musical ear”, “I have no sense of rhythm”, “I have no voice” and “My music teacher told me I suck”. Sometimes I also hear “I am too old for this”, “It’s too late for me to start playing an instrument” or “It’s too hard”. These lines started bothering me so much that I finally decided to take action and contribute a little to changing this limiting beliefs. I want to bring the joy of music into everyone’s life, so, next weekend I am organising a music workshop for adults. (If you are in Bucharest on the 2nd of February, check the Facebook event and come along: https://www.facebook.com/events/767011830344575/ ).

I’ve been teaching music for almost nine years now, I’ve worked with students between 2 y.o and 60 y.o, group lessons, private lessons, instrument lessons and musical education. During this period of time I’ve encountered only three students who seemed to lack abilities towards music: one was a 6 y.o boy who had a very unbalanced behaviour due to some family problems, and the other two were brother and sister and weren’t able to reproduce by voice very easy melodies (they weren’t very good with rhythm either, but were less off-track than they were when singing). In less than a year, with regular practice and a lot of encouragement, I’ve managed to bring all of them to an acceptable music level (sing in tune, keep the tempo, reproduce rhythm accurately, adjust in a music group). I also feel the need to mention what I’ve noticed in time: children who needed more practice time were usually the ones who had behaviour issues related to familly problems.

Somehow, telling this story to adults does not encourage them at all, and they always tend to think they are the exception…all of them!! When working with grown-ups, I always observe tension, which is reflected as stiffness and lack of mobility in their body, especially in the hands, when playing an instrument. Also, they are more self-aware than the children, are scared of making mistakes and making a fool of themselves, they want to control every move and understand everything.

I see music as the greatest gift that God gave to everyone. EVERYONE! I don’t know exactly when this domain has become so exclusive, who decided that you need to have some supernatural powers to sing or why they did this, but I know that, in the begining, music was accessible to everybody in the community. Nowadays, music and musicians are placed somewhere on a pedestal, and, instead of worshiping God through music, we worship the people who make music.

Now, I’m not saying everyone can persuade a musical career or be on a stage, but YOU CAN sing that song, YOU CAN have fun at karaoke with your friends, YOU CAN learn how to play an instrument, YOU CAN sing carols at Christmas time and YOU CAN relax after a long working day by playing your guitar. I define talent as a sum of natural abilities + work + dedicated time. You can always compensate one of the variables by adding extra effort where you feel you need it. But first, we need to work with our minds, feel free to try out this meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRaVIZPqelM.

MUSIC MAKES US HAPPIER, MORE BALANCED & RELAXES US! I look forward to seeing you Saturday and have some musical fun together! ❤

What is you experience with music? Do you think you don’t have talent? Have you ever met people who have no talent for music?

*This blog is intended to bring support to all of those struggling with the issues discussed. Please share in a comment! Together we learn & grow! ❤

❤

On ideas

I am starting 2019 wih an awareness about the need for action in my life. During the last months of 2018 a few great ideas have passed through my mind and very few got the chance to be born into the outside world.

One of those great ideas was this actual blog. I am thinking about it for a while, always prioritizing and telling myself all the time I will do it, or just trying to figure out how I will overcome some obstacles (the introduction I will write, the platform I will use, the photos, the format, the purpose, vulnerability and exposure etc.). The blog that “I will start soon” is not lonely, he spends time in my mind along with other great ideas that generate a wave of excitment in my whole being, but end up to be just thoughts.

This is an issue that has concerned me for a while and I am here to share some of my insights with you. I have come to realize that the excitment of new ideas fades fast if I keep postponing them. Therefore, it is important to do it as fast as possible, while I still feel that adrenaline rush that leads me to action. One of my resolutions for 2019 is that, when I prioritize, I will make sure to put that new idea on the top of today’s list, clear my schedule for it or work during night time for it.

Another way to make excitment and the urge for action dissapear for me is to talk a lot about my idea with everyone. This works in two directions: before I have even started doing it I have used most of the energy into discussions, or: I don’t receive a positive feed-back, get scared and doubt my capacity to do it or the value of my idea. There’s also a beautiful subtility in this scenario: if I talk about it and receive great feed-back my Ego feels validated and satisfied and doesn’t feel the need to put the thoughts into action anymore.

Last but not least, the longer an idea lingers in my head, the more I have time to scare myself not to do it or to think about the things that might not work. If you are like me, I reccomend this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCbiuP2CAqk&t=70s

I will end with a book suggestion for you: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Hope you enjoy her beautiful vision about creativity and ideas as much as I did.

*This blog is intended to bring support to all of those struggling with the issues discused. If you have any tips, resources or thoughts about putting ideas into action, please share in a comment! Together we learn & grow! 🙂

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