“Performance is not about getting your act together but about opening up to the energy of the audience and the music. And letting it sing in your unique voice.” ~ The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
When I came upon this quote. I stopped. Literally stopped. Something resonated with me on many levels. It resonated to me as a musician, a parent, and a therapist. Surprisingly, it isn’t the word “performance” that made me stop. It was the phrase “open up to the energy”. Yes, I know all things are energy at some level. But, what does it mean to open to energy?
As a musician, I can attest to many different energies during a performance. Often it is nervous energy. Judgmental energy is flowing (is my pitch correct, how is my phrasing, etc.) There is also the focus or lack there of by the audience. When I open to the energy of the audience and the music, the nervousness fades away. It becomes more a sharing.
As a parent, I know the energy emitted from my child affects the type of energy with which I need to respond. The way the energy presents itself has changed as she has grown. As much as don’t want to admit it, there are times I have not been open to the moment and the energy my child is presenting. Yet, when we are in the moment (when I am open), it is amazing what happens and the memories that are created.
As a music therapist working with older adults and young children, I am very aware of the energy they present for a session. Often I have to shift plans to better meet the needs of the clients energy. I also must be aware of what energy is necessary for the clients to meet their goals. Here openness means being aware of what is needed.
This time of year can be full of lots of high, fast, and loud energy which can drain our personal energy reserves. For me to be effective in my various roles, I need to open my awareness to my energy. Taking time for proper food, drink, rest, and exercise can help keep my energy from crashing. It means saying no to some things. It means being patient with myself.
How do you open up to energy during a busy time of year without burning out? Please share it in the comments below.