Spring 2018 Music Notes

Catherine Shrubshall Musician

Welcome dear readers to the emergence of Spring! Already this year we have borne witness to the passing of two eminent people, one a comedian and the other a scientist – both very necessary in our troubled world….and we’ve had the joy of the winter Olympics too. I have felt incredibly inspired by the life stories of both Messers Dodd and Hawkin, and also the elite athletes who conduct their lives with such disciplined focus….and I find myself wondering how they manage their not-so-productive days? So as I’m sitting with you now, wherever you are reading this, let’s ponder on how we can achieve great things too. Looking back to my January notes, I’m hoping that your New Year manifestation programme is moving forward at a steady rate of knots, without too many hindrances. As we all well know, life has a way of throwing curve balls to us, and our best intentions are often challenged….however, I am happy to report I have some healthy new habit changes shuffling rather pleasingly in to place! Here are a few of my highlights…..

The “women in business course” has been an eye-opener to some aspects of me that I thought were well and truly hidden away, and has shown up areas of professional life that I’ve managed to dodge very efficiently to date. I had no notion of the truculent teenager lurking in my brain, just waiting for the opportunity to kibosh the session on spreadsheets and financial planning. Appalling! My sudden attack of resistance and narcolepsy was just oh, so unhelpful. Thank goodness for the sugar rush and emotional comfort from a couple of necessary bourbon biscuits in the break, and the sharing of feelings of being overwhelmed with fellow participants – both of which revived me. I even caught myself sitting up smartly, and inwardly digesting the next part of the day’s session….and somehow I’d managed to ditch the defensiveness that wasn’t serving me at all well. Maybe it was the amazing energy of the women entrepreneurs that rubbed off on me.

Joyfully humming along with the melody for “I’m beginning to see the light” (thank you Duke Ellington) I began to see “rainbows in my wine” (at Harry’s Bar) and to feel that I was starting to deal constructively with my negative patterns. Oh, but no, not so fast! There it was… the irritating youth welling up in me again as I contemplated the update of my website pages, whilst organising a quirky yet confusing new project within it. What’s going on? Where’s Pollyanna when you need her! Thankfully my plea to be saved was heard by my perky and wise web designer, by suggesting a beautiful art deco venue for our appointment – with plenty of cake and cappuccini too (more sugar rushing). Yes – it’s obvious really, I’m an artistic type who needs to keep creative about those tasks that don’t come quite so naturally to me, and ensure that I build in a treat (or three), or some time out when the proverbial road gets rocky. Sitting alone for hours in an uninspiring location with a list of seemingly unsurpassable technical administration tasks is just not the way forward for me – with ANYTHING! Not rocket science, but suddenly I had clarity about how to get myself in to the right mood, and that it is ALL possible. Referring back to the Olympics for a moment, each one of the contenders has a team of people around them making sure they are optimising their potential in order to be at peak performance – so, using that model approach, I am having to learn to reach out to ask for help from those more technically minded than myself. On reflection, I realised that I have mentors all around me and that I just hadn’t noticed (though the offer of more mentors will always be appreciated – a girl can never have too many of these!)

So where does the energy come from to do all of this? – to be totally honest, Winter always takes its toll with SAD….so I’m just about clawing my way back into the light. However, I have been focussing on self-care. Small shifts do affect change and habits are hard to break – it’s important to ensure they are good ones! And so using alarms and Apps on my iPhone, the daily aim to practise this practice is getting done, and hey presto, my inner teenager is becoming tamed. So, back to news of my energy levels.…the worthy causes have also taken a little more of a back seat, freeing up some vital energy reserves….which reminds me, I do owe an enormous thank you to the lovely folk at St Michael’s Church – they left Fiona and myself with the lovely Jonathan (and his collection of microphones) for a magical afternoon of recording in the Church last month – and of course there was cake and, joy of joys, heating too! I’ll let you know when the aural results hit my website.

In conclusion: as well as prioritising my projects (which I promised myself back in February), I am starting to look after myself – mind, body and spirit – taking more breaks to walk in nature, to breathe and meditate and notice the sun shining as Spring takes hold. Apologies if you witnessed the spectacle of me skipping down Thorpe High Street – especially if you’re the unfortunate person I pranced in to last week! …Sorry!

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