Do you sometimes feel like this? So many things to do and so little time… This year I made several New Year’s resolutions and none of them were related to work. Rather, I set to spend more time with friends, bring more joy into my cooking (so that it doesn’t always feel like a chore), go on an actual holiday, etc., etc. Put simply, I want to bring more pleasure and joy into my life. But how do I do that while accomplishing all the things I want to accomplish?
You may not know this about me but I am a freaking ninja at worrying. :) I’ve been honing that skill for years without even knowing it and it wasn’t until my late twenties that I started to understand and learn to work with my mind in order for it not to get constantly hijacked by negative thoughts and worries.
When I was about 20 years old, I remember starting to feel really nervous when playing concerts. I was in my second year of college and just landed quite a prestigious trial in an orchestra in Prague. Around that time I distinctly remember my teacher coming to me before my college recital and announcing that the husband of the first oboe player from said orchestra, also an oboist themselves, was in the audience and really interested to hear me. I don’t even know how I finished the performance, I was so freaked out.
These past two weeks have been a little bit hectic. Following the worsening situation around travel, I decided to change my flights to an earlier date and go to Czechia for nearly the whole month of December. Really lucky, I know. :) What I didn’t expect was, first of all, how much of a toll traveling would take on me (my flight got rescheduled to 5:30 am which meant waking up at 3 😱) and secondly, how much I’d miss my routines and space.
Let's talk about weight loss. Just kidding. But since I got your attention... It’s been more than a year and a half since I gathered enough courage to open a Facebook group especially for musicians, something that’s been on my radar for several months prior. As time went on, I’ve really started to love hanging out there and interacting with people. But even with something as useful as Wellbeing for Musicians (it’s not like I’m marketing cigarettes there), it can become a bit obsessive.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of teaching a Musicians’ Yoga workshop at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Yoga was a real revelation for me as a student, a total game-changer in fact, so I was really excited to be able to share some of the things I’ve learnt with students myself and perhaps even make it easier for them to understand what specific tools would help them as musicians and why (something that took me years to find out).
I don’t know about you but the start of work in September hit me like a truck. It went from pandemic - literally no work, to a very mild pandemic schedule, to the summer holiday, to pretty much business as usual. I feel like I’ve only just been able to find my feet juggling a full-time job with my passion for yoga and helping musicians.
This past spring, I started to have this nagging pain in the front of my left shoulder. It started small at first. I thought, let’s wait and see if it goes away. It didn’t. In fact it only kept getting worse for several weeks until I finally decided to book a GP appointment to have it checked.
I can’t believe it’s been seven years since I got my current job in Birmingham. I was fresh out of college having had only two months between my final recital and the start of my job and frankly I just couldn’t believe my luck. Those two months between my finishing college and coming to England were perhaps the most blissful summer that I can remember. I was in for a rude awakening though.
I have a lot of respect for people whose work consists mainly of teaching music. It’s a very demanding type of work that requires lots of energy and concentration. When I used to teach at a music school, I’d be completely wiped out at the end of the working day. And sure, it got better as I gained more experience but I was still pretty tired.