We must risk delight...
We must have the stubbornness
to accept gladness
in the ruthless furnace of this world…
We must admit that there will be music
- Jack Gilbert, “A Brief for the Defense.”
There are certain fundamental things that make us human, that keep us going, that provide joy and gladness even in the darkest of times. Everyone has the right to be delighted. All is right with our souls, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, when these elements are present.
I’m noticing this every day in the teaching of piano lessons to my students online. The connection that we have as humans - adult to child, adult to adult, teacher to student, teacher to parent, even, is amplified by the music making. I can tell, simply by watching my student’s body language, that they feel better at the end of their lessons. It’s interesting to see them arrive all wiggly at the bench, then physically calm as the lesson progresses.
Brushing your Aura
This exercise is about waking up your felt sense, or, in other words, about experiencing yourself as a unified being, mind and body.
- Standing, shake out your body from head to toe.
- Using a cupped or flat hand, pat yourself all over - front, back, arms, legs, head, feet.
- Massage a bit where you know your muscles get tight.
- Feel your feet on the floor and notice the sensations in your body.
- Now, from the ground up, take both your hands and “fluff up your aura” - bring your hands up through the air a few inches away from your body as if you were fluffing up your hair. Work up your body, front and back, legs and arms, until you get to your head.
- Do the same thing on the way down, “brushing” any tension you find into the ground.
- Stand quietly and notice how you feel.