When to Recall Your Reasons for Playing Guitar
It can be really tough to stick with things, trust me I know! It seems to be almost a curse at times that we desire so many things, behaviours and knowledge. With so many great activities to enjoy, places to see, foods to try and people to meet, it does beg the question: how can I still lead a rich life while also treating at least one or two of the activities that I enjoy, quite seriously?
While variety is indeed the spice of life, so also is the deep satisfaction, understanding and host of beneficial qualities that come from sticking with a meaningful pursuit through the good times and the bad… To reach a stage where you can look back and know that you have come a long way down a road that you once looked down, wondering if you could walk it. It is a unique feeling and also a wonderful one.
In my life there have been a lot of things that have come and gone which is natural of course. However of all of the things that I have taken seriously at some point in my life, three have stuck with me. Of those three, guitar and music have really been the number one vehicle for travelling furthest down any path and now that I am where I am, 11 years on and still going, it is a deeply satisfying experience and one that I love to share with people who would like support in following along.
Guitar tunes us in to an language- the language of music- which is universal it seems and deeply entrenched in us. Just watch a baby tilt its head and listen, fascinated by the sound of your guitar tinkering, for infinitely longer than it could continuously do anything else. Guitar also teaches us about ourselves.
Ever heard the saying, “How we do Anything is how we do Everything”?
How do we approach the guitar? Do we like a challenge or become easily frustrated, annoyed, sad or despondent? Do we allow ourselves to take something seriously over time or prefer to stick with what we know and do the same old familiar things? There’s no right or wrongs of course… just feedback.
If you want to stick with something, have your reasons ready for WHEN you need them
So what to do when all of a sudden, the way you feel about playing seems to have changed? When that passion or desire isn’t immediately there? Life will always be life and inevitable periods of busyness and chaos will try to derail the focus and momentum of just about anyone (has anyone asked Tommy Emmanuel if he ever hates to practice or play? I wonder).
Unfortunately, our minds are very adept at changing channels, in response to changing life circumstances. If we are not careful, we can become a bit too identified with this new channel which may be completely transitory, and we so easily forget what it felt like to be inspired and excited to learn. And then we can tell ourselves a story about how “I’m just not that into guitar anymore I guess”… But you are. Or at least the part of you that enjoys guitar still is! The problem? It is currently playing on a different channel and isn’t allowed to come forward. If you don’t try to conjure it up (and especially the feeling) you run the risk of giving up something great and getting off the path early, all because you needed to change channels for a while.
So if you have liked the idea of playing guitar for a long time and have found yourself coming back to it, or back to music, or even just back to reading about it or considering lessons, chances are that you will be able to do this easily. Try to bring up the parts of your mind that have this desire and enjoyment rather than hoping they one day spontaneously reappear! Keep your reasons fresh in your mind and the next time you find yourself switching channels to the ‘responsible self’ or the ‘indulgent self’ or the ‘doubtful self’ in response to some change in the rhythm of your life (pun definitely intended), just recall that soon enough you will bounce back enjoying music and the guitar.
All the very best with sticking to the path!