Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wanting vs Having

Over the last 2 years I've emphasised how important it is to visualize. The inner vision must be clear if we want to alter any present unsatisfactory results. In the mental sciences, it's often said that one must "have something before one can get something" - in other words, you must have it in the mental/spiritual world before it will manifest for you in the physical world.

Most of us fall into the trap of mentally "wanting" something as opposed to "having" it. If you think of your playing (or life) in terms of "wanting" to get better but don't ever see yourself playing or living in that way, then you are communicating to your subconscious mind that you don't "have" it - and that means, you probably won't get it on the physical plane.

If however, you visualize yourself playing the way you want to play regardless of the present circumstances, see it in the present tense, feel the sensations of playing well now, then you begin to "have" the idea. The subconscious mind will start to act on that image and help you create it on the physical plane.

Remember that our relationship with the guitar has been entrenched into the subconscious mind over many years. Changing the programming of the subconscious takes time and discipline - it's a muscle which must be exercised as any other.

For the next 90 days, when you wake up (before you read the news or talk to anyone), take 15 minutes to visualize how you really want to play. Make the image as detailed as possible - feel the strings with both hands, notice the lighting in the imagined room, listen to the sound, see the audience enjoying your playing, feel the fluidity of the hands and body, notice how good everything feels and how free it is.

Keep thinking about how well you are playing in this imagined scene. You can use affirmations as well such as - "My technique is fluid and effortless", "I'm playing with ease and beauty", etc. It might feel like a lie at first, but keep doing it regardless. You just need to get comfortable with this new idea.

Make sure you feel as if it is happening NOW - not in the future, but right NOW. I can't emphasise this enough. You have to feel and see the image NOW for the subconscious to "have" it. Do this same visualizing at night before bed. Remember to make the image as detailed as possible and feel how easy and beautiful your playing is in the NOW.

Also, use the amazing resource of youtube to watch great performers everyday. You don't have to watch many - even one or two favorite performances will do. Notice how the performer plays and imagine what that would feel like - again, in the NOW. Don't let your mind tell you "I can't do that" - just observe and imagine what it would feel like to play that way with your hands. During the day, let these thoughts simmer inside you. You don't have to force the thoughts - just let them come when they come and enjoy them while they last.

Lastly, have faith and expect what you imagine to begin to come. Look for results, but with patience. Ideas are mental seeds, and all seeds have a gestation period. The seed grows roots (the unseen part) before it grows into the tree (the seen part).

Do this mental work for 90 days - let's say until Jan 1, 2009. I guarantee you will start to see results if you are faithful. You will gain new insights, and notice techniques you've struggled with will suddenly start to come. This is the power of the subconscious mind. We really do create our world.

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