Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12/16/09 Quote- effortlessness, waiting, self-awareness

radiant effortlessnessImage by jhave2 via Flickr
From an article by Wayne Muller, "Effortlessness", in Unity Magazine, May/June 2003, pp. 4-6:
Deep within all things there is a natural rhythm, a music of opening and closing, expansion and contraction. Our heart, our lungs, the seasons, the oceans- all life expands and contracts, opens and closes, softens and hardens and then goes soft again. This potent opening and closing cannot be forced to happen, nor can it be stopped. It is simply the way of all things.
We need only remain clear and awake to listen for how things really are, to feel how the smallest changes of energy and attention move in us, in our relationships, in our work. We can learn to follow the spaces between things. Not to fight and push and cajole, but rather simply to wait until the true way reveals itself easily and clearly in this moment. 
My thoughts as I read this:
This seems to me a wonderful (and poetic) reminder of why it's so necessary for us, as music therapists (as any kind of therapists), to examine and to be aware of our own issues and motivations in our work. If we're not aware then we run the risk of "pushing, struggling and cajoling" our clients into getting better (behaving better, functioning better) instead of simply being with them and trusting that they will move forward at their pace. 

When I notice myself reacting in a session with a sense of urgency and "I must do something right now"  this passage reminds me: sometimes I just have to wait and be with my client(s) until s/he/the group is ready to move forward.

When I'm not willing to do that I know my focus has shifted to myself and to my own fear that I'm somehow not fulfilling this idealized (and delusional) notion that I have to be "the perfect therapist who can fix it all for her clients."

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Adelaide Dupont said...

None of us are perfect, but by being in the moment, we can touch something good and be there.

Muller puts it in a most poetic way.

Especially the parts about opening and closing, and fighting and pushing and cajoling.

His quote is very active; so many verbs!

There are lots of wonderful quotes about Simply Be: that place and that space.

Roia said...

There really are lots of quotes about presence, and they've all been helpful to me in my quest to settle down and *be* as a music therapist, instead of perpetually feeling I must *do*.

Thanks for your thoughts, Adelaide.

Lozzie Cap said...

I am reading backwards in your blog and thinking "I am so glad to meet someone who understands!"

Roia said...

Thanks for reading, Lozzie. It astonishes me that you're not practicing as a music therapist. All I can ask is why ever not? From what I'm reading in your blog, you truly have a wonderful gift!

Lozzie Cap said...

Ahhh Roia - well, the simple answer is that here in the UK, to register as a Music Therapist one quite rightly has to have the proper training, from an accredited and recognised training body.

However, the courses are lengthly and very expensive, and none are run near where I live. I have two young children, and they are my first priority.

But by far my biggest obstacle is that I do not read music, and do not feel the inclination to learn how to do so: I tried repeatedly when I was younger but the notes refused to stay static on the stave. It was like how dyslexics report letters failing to sit still on a printed page. I play exclusively (and quite efficiently I might add) by ear, and am a fab improvisor if I say so myself! In truth, I can hardly be anything else.

The Nordoff-Robbins Music Trust is the biggest MT charity here in the UK and for a couple of years now has been developing an MT qualifications that is aimed at people just like myself. NRMT has been instrumental in exploring the links between 'traditional' music therapy and the emerging discipline of Community Music Therapy. For many clients of trad music therapy, community music may well be the logical next step when therapy is over, and everyone seems to agree that fostering greater links between the therapeutic and the wider non-professional musical community-at-large is a GOOD thing.

Hopefully sometime within the next few years the MA course in Community Music Therapy will be introduced near enough to where I live for me to be able to take it.