Tiptoeing out of restrictions
The world is slowly but surely starting to wake up from a rather unique form of slumber. Global lockdowns are relaxing a little, dependent on the country and where each country sits with it all. Along with this comes something slightly different and strange: how do I manage this new freedom that, while more restricted than pre-2020, nevertheless feels both familiar and unfamiliar? What was normal before the Covid Crisis, now needs navigating. What’s it like to socialise more freely, make music with fewer distancing measures or even go to live concerts?
The benefits of nature and taking space
And what have we learned from just over a year of this very different human experience? The negatives are only too obvious and having written about them at length, I won’t go there now but what of the positives? I am hearing friends, family and colleagues talking more about nature, how much they love going for walks, how they are noticing that time spent in nature is calming and balancing, and how much they miss it when they don’t have it. I’ve noticed that the new highlight of the day might now be seeing the bluebells and primroses, the joy of hearing the cuckoo and the lark, seeing a deer in the woods or a beautiful sunset. The musicians I’ve worked with recently who have gone back to pre-2020 busyness, are mourning the loss of time and space and are noticing how it negatively impacts their life.
I gave myself a day off yesterday. I decided I wouldn’t look at emails or social media, listen to any radio, watch any television or even answer and make calls on my phone. It was intriguing. I felt liberated and calm, and noticed that I was relaxing in a very different way from normal. It was as if I was giving myself permission not to ‘measure up’ and to find a freer, more organic way of using my time. I rested a lot, went for walks and noticed that by the end of the day, I had actually achieved more in a very gentle way than I had for a while. I also felt so refreshed that it was as if I’d had a week’s holiday!
This calm and peace that comes from more spaciousness in our lives and the joy from little things like being in nature rebalances us, it gets us in touch with who we are, it takes us away from our anxious, panicky, agitated selves that always need to be doing and achieving. The more we can find that space and calm, let go and rebalance, the more we can carry that into both the practising and performing space. And when we do that, we give ourselves a real chance to express ourselves freely because nothing is getting in our way. We give ourselves the chance to be our best selves on stage.