Posted by: Marie | December 27, 2013

(909) Tuning into emotions

Post #909
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, August 2, 2012]

So, the tune-in and tune-out exercises at yesterday’s conscious business networking meeting went very well . . . it is amazing how beautiful the sound of an autoharp can be . . . and my friend was delighted to learn how to play her freshly-tuned instrument . . . she was surprised how easy it is to play now . . . she cracks me up! I’m just sad that she missed out on playing it for so many years just because of a simple reason . . . but, she has it now.

We did a group activity in the main “educational” part of the meeting . . . it is one that we’ve done before, but it is good to do it again since a refresher is always helpful . . .

She had us identify a distressing situation currently occurring in our lives. Then, she had us break into groups of two. We talked to our partner about the distressing situation, first from our “head space” where we are driven by our thoughts . . . then from our “home space”, which is down in our guts . . . for women, it is in the same area as our wombs are housed . . . (and I still get knocked for a loop when I am reminded that I have a womb . . . that is such a foreign concept to me . . . )

The situation I utilized is the conversation I’m planning to have with Edward about the dating thing . . .

(251)

Photo by Martin Chen

When I spoke from my head space, I said many of the things I have been writing in my journal entries . . . lots of limiting and fearful ideas . . .

When I switched to my home space (which causes me to be motivated by my emotions and desires), I found it easy to identify that my discomfort is coming from the idea of feeling obligated to hold the space for possibility for an infinite amount of time. Holding that space for a short period of time is not such a fearful idea . . . it is the idea that I must create and then hold that space forever and ever, even if there is never an end in sight, that is distressful for me.

That begs the question: What about holding that space of possibility for the longer term is uncomfortable for me? Why do I need to know that there will someday be an end to that holding of space . . . either because I manifest a romantic partner or because I’m able to shut down that desire/hope? Why do I need to know when that end will be?

That might be something to bring up with Edward . . . something to explore with his help . . .

What I want . . . what my fear and anxiety are asking for . . . is that there be a finite amount of time I have to live in that space of uncertainty . . . that I know, in advance, how long I must “hang on” . . .

Maybe, if I approach it from that direction, with that insight, I might find a way to create a tolerable state of uncertain possibility . . .

So . . . anyway . . . I met a new member of the group yesterday, and it turns out that she is a school guidance counselor. We talked for a minute after the meeting and I asked her if it would be okay for me to call her and ask for some advice on how best to work with Renee. She said that would be fine and she gave me her phone number . . . so, I’ll follow up with her . . .

————–

And, speaking of Renee, I had a lesson with her today . . .

After we said our hellos, I told her that I had checked out her favorite song . . . I showed her that I had printed out the lyrics . . . and I light-heartedly asked her what she likes most about the song . . .

I made sure that my approach was that of curiosity and not of heavy-handed judgment or fear . . .

At first, she shrugged . . . so I tossed out some examples (the beat? the words? the notes? the video?) and she then told me that she mostly liked the words. As she said that, I noticed that her eyes filled with tears . . .

I was hoping to get her to connect with that emotion because I would like to show her how to carry that emotion over into music . . .

I asked her to tell me what she liked about the words . . . were there any words that felt like they could be her own words . . . ??

No . . .

Is there a particular emotion she feels when she listens to it?

No . . .

If she could pick a color to assign to the sound of the music, what would it be? (She is so artistic . . . she draws and paints beautifully . . . I thought for sure a question about color would draw a meaningful response . . . )

She didn’t know . . .

If she could put her own music to the lyrics, would the music be loud or soft?

She shrugged.

I waited a moment, then I played a few major chords on the piano as I explained those chords create a happier sound . . . then I played a few minor chords as I explained those chords create a sadder or more thoughtful sound . . . and I asked her which chords better fit what she feels when she hears the song . . .

She said the minor chords were a better fit . . .

Ah, finally . . . a meaningful response!

Well, maybe there is meaning in her non-committal answers, but I’m afraid I don’t know how to pull out the meaning from them . . .

Anyway, we spent some time picking out some minor chords she thought would fit with her emotions . . . I asked her more about the song and the band and she started coming to life a bit more when she answered . . . I asked her if maybe she could paint or draw a picture the reflected her thoughts or emotions related to the song . . . she shrugged and said that maybe she could . . .

I cheered a little in my mind when she said she thought maybe she could . . . that’s a good sign, I think . . . it’s better than “I can’t” . . .

Working with her is like pulling teeth . . . I don’t know what I can say or what my attitude could be in order to more effectively work with her. She is smart, and so capable . . . I don’t know why she is so committed to this helpless act.

A bit later in the lesson, we were working on a piece of music in her lesson book. She is fully capable of playing it, but she hadn’t practiced it, so she was making some mistakes. Every time she would make a mistake, she would put her hands in her lap, sighs dramatically and slump her head down.

I asked her if she is aware that she isn’t supposed to know how to play the piece of music without mistakes without having practiced it . . . I told her that it is normal to make mistakes as we learn . . . and we just keep trying and trying . . . practicing and practicing . . . until we can play it well. That is the normal way of learning . . . it is okay to make mistakes as we learn . . .

I assured her that I will help her find her way through the learning process . . . that I’m not upset that she is making mistakes . . . I just would like for her to keep trying . . .

I’m finding that I have to push and push and push to get her to do anything . . .

I’ll push her to play the notes in one measure . . . because she says it is too hard to play two or three measures worth of notes . . . so we get one measure down, then another, then I ask her to play the two measures together . . . and she sighs and shrugs . . . I push her to try . . . she finally tries . . . and plays the two measures perfectly . . .

We work our way up to four consecutive measures, experiencing all kinds of drama along the way . . . but, of course, she can easily play the four measures together with no mistakes . . .

I find it hard to believe that she really doesn’t know she is capable of doing this stuff . . . I am convinced that the drama is an act . . . but why? What is her motivation for acting this way?

One time, she really dug in her heals and was refusing to try something new. I said to her, “I really need for you to keep trying because I can’t teach you anything if you aren’t willing to try . . . you have to keep trying.” I said it in a way that was encouraging and not critical . . . but I let her know that I wasn’t going to let her slack off . . .

But, I have to wonder . . . am I doing what is most effective? Do I need to draw a hard line and tell her to shape up or ship out? Is there a bigger goal here than trying to teach her how to play piano?

As I’m dealing with her, I think back to the times I’ve behaved that way with Edward. I try to put myself in Edward’s shoes . . .

However, when I behave that way with Edward, it is because I really believe I can’t do it. He is always so patient and he always encourages me so much. I think the difference between Renee and me is that I’m usually willing to try . . . or at least I want to . . . . and if I can’t do it, I want to look at why and then deal with whatever is in the way . . .

It feels to me that she doesn’t want to try . . . that she is very committed to being helpless because it works for her. I’m doubting that she wants to fulfill her potential . . .

Maybe the difference is mainly that she is younger . . . hormonal . . . confused . . .

How do I encourage her to try new stuff on the piano? To practice?

How do I keep her parents from pulling the plug before it would be appropriate to do so? How do I know when we’ve had enough?

Should I be tougher on her?

I just need some guidance on all that . . . I’m in over my head, I’m afraid . . . it feels like she is manipulating me . . . and that is not okay with me . . .

I’ll figure it out . . . but I might need some advice from people with greyer beards than mine . . .

————–

I also had a lesson with Sara (James and Cindy’s daughter) today . . . Cindy brought her . . . and we had a few minutes after the lesson to chat . . .

I know I said I wanted to keep the CASA stuff rather private right now, but I found that I really wanted to tell Cindy about it . . . so, I did.

So, that means I’ve told three people now . . . Edward, James, and Cindy . . . and, of course, Sara has heard it twice now, once as I’ve told each of her parents . . . LOL . . .

————–

This evening, I removed the note to my mystery reader that I had inserted into Post #600. My mystery reader hasn’t read any posts in the last three days. So, he hasn’t read my note. I’m feeling weird about having put it in there, so I removed it.

When George was at our conscious business networking group a few weeks ago, he invited us to attend a big seminar he is putting on this weekend. So, I’m thinking that, if my mystery reader is George, maybe he had to take a break this week to get ready for the seminar . . . and maybe he’ll pick back up next week . . .

But, of course, I don’t want to get my hopes up . . . my pessimistic side keeps piping up with: See, he’s done, he’s not coming back to finish, I’m never going to hear from him again . . . all this getting excited about the potential connection with him . . . of course it’s not going to happen . . . that’s the way life goes for me.

I guess we’ll see what time brings . . . with the mystery reader and with my own internal battles between hope and hopelessness . . .

(Deep, dramatic sigh)

Quotes 819


Responses

  1. I’d be interested to hear if the guidance counsellor gave you any worthwhile advice.

    • I’m guessing you already know the answer to your pondering . . . LOL


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