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Mindful : February 2017
Musical Flow Having grown up playing the violin, I learned first-hand that music can be one of the best con- ditions for creating flow, whether playing in a small string or jazz ensemble or large orchestra. Learning the skills, in this case, practicing music to proficiency is important for flow to arise—we 1 Don’t beat yourself up Not surprisingly, as any musician can attest, we can become our own worst enemies, from berating ourselves when rehearsing to getting performance anxiety to beating ourselves up for flubbing a performance. The more we fall into these habit loops, the more we practice failure instead of success. 2 Take it slow Focusing and carefully learn- ing how to play new pieces from the beginning can feel tedious at first, but it’s the key to learning the proper technique and mechanics of the music. Rushing to play an entire movement of a piece without mastering all of its parts first can be a sign of restlessness or even laziness. 3 Don’t take it personally When we mess up, learning to drop the errors as soon as they come up helps us not compound them by analyzing what we did or wondering if anyone noticed. This prevents a slip up from becoming a major trip up (or worse). 4 Quality over quantity Learning to stop when we’re tired or not focused is key. Often our ego says to keep going so we can boast to our- selves and our fellow musi- cians that we’ve practiced six hours that day. This also applies to not feeling guilty if we are “supposed” to practice a cer tain number of hours. Be a Mindful Musician GUIDELINES Adapted from “The Psychological Benefits From Reconceptualizing Music Making As Mindfulness Practice,” by Matt Steinfeld and Judson Brewer. Music can be a powerful instrument for shedding your ego and tapping into flow. 76 mindful February 2017 insight AD PASSIONATE ABOUT BRINGING MINDFULNESS INTO ORGANIZATIONS? Potential Project is a global leader in bringing mindfulness to organizations. We are based in over 25 countries and provide corporate based mindfulness training for Accenture, Microsoft, Genentech, Ingersoll Rand, Lego and many more in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Our Corporate Based Mindfulness Training programs deliver high performance, job satisfaction and mental effectiveness. We are expanding in North America and looking for mindfulness trainers with a corporate back- ground, excellent facilitation skills and a longstanding mindfulness practice. We are espe- cially looking for qualified candidates in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal. If you are interested in joining us, please visit our website www.potentialproject.com for more information or e-mail us directly at