Examples of thinking changes


At the time of writing I am 80% over my ME.
One of the key ways I have over come the illness is to change my thinking patterns.
Today I played with Essex Samba Band. I have no rythmn and very little sense of tone and I am therefore not an ideal member of the band but my wife loves it and since I have started I have loved playing too. Today was my first public performance on bottom surdo (drum). We played at an open air venue and I was really surprised how different the surdo sounded. Normally we practice in a hall and earplugs are essential due to the volume!
Since we were in the open air I made an extra effort to hit the surdo hard. I have my right hand in a plaster cast after being knocked off my motorbike so I had to do the whole performance with my left hand and I was very aware how tired it was. When I got home I tried to drink a glass of water and I was amazed at how badly it was shaking and at one point I felt in danger of dropping it.
This time last year I would have thought of it as follows:
“Boy my arm was tired but I got through the gig. I bet it will complain for a couple of days now. I wonder if it is too much for me to be doing this. Still it was great fun and I achieved something good today”.
Now today what I think is as follows:
“Boy my arm was tired today. That’s an interesting response to drinking the water. Still this was my first performance and I was hitting the drum hard. My muscles will develop as I keep playing with the band. I wonder if I will spot the improvement at the next gig.”
Two quite different approaches I am sure you will agree. The first one accepts my limitations but is still fairly positive. The second one sees me looking forward to my next gig and seeing myself having improved.
The first approach is of someone accepting a situation and remaining positive but it is no wonder I didn’t improve for 14 years. The second approach accepts my current condition but gives key suggestions to my “unconscious” mind about what I want from it. IE Continued muscle development and improved play.
There is no cost involved in thinking the two different approaches so why take the first approach when I can take the second?
It is worth noting that it really grated with me when I wrote “I have no rhythm and very little sense of tone”. I don’t like thinking such things any more. I am aware that, that thought is a limiting belief. It does not allow for the fact that I might improve in the future. Especially if I practice and look for ways of improving. In the past I have been poor on rhythm and tone but I was rather young when I was seriously trying to practice Saxophone and then guitar. I have since heard lots of good tips.
Also now that I am playing a drum I have discovered I am quite good at visually matching what the other bottom surdo player plays. I am also discovering that some of the drum patterns are becoming automatic and I just seem to sense what I need to be playing. These are all good signs that my sense of rhythm is improving and I can see a time in the future when I might even feel I can say confidently that I can play a drum in rhythm.
A thought I have thought quite happily for 20 or more years I now find to be quite wrong.  I am still in the habit of thinking it but I then get an uncomfortable feeling and the desire to make the thought something that was true in the past but now has potential for improvement.

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