During this practice you will listen to a varied range of musical selections (Up tempo, slow tempo, music without words, music with touching lyrics, etc). It is important to choose a wide range of music so that you can feel how different music genres affect you. Choose a minimum of about fifteen minutes of music or four different musical selections.
You can either sit or stand during this exercise. Indeed you can also sit part of the time and stand for other parts. Whatever suits you best. It is only important that you do not do any one activity to the point of getting tired. You are meant to be free with your body and your thinking, relaxed, and in an free form frame of mind.
Your main task is to simply let go of your everyday frame of mind, close your eyes, and surrender to the music and the moment.
1) Begin the musical selections and either sit or stand.
2) Move with the music.
You can move your head, neck, arms, and torso, in any manner you like. Be chaotic if you wish, or be fairly still. You can scrunch up all of your muscles and then quickly release them as you relax more fully, or you can scrunch up just a few of your muscles and then release them. Whatever you do is OK. Allow yourself to be transported to a new space and time.
Be as you wish. Playful, light, somber, delicately aware. The main idea is simply to know that you have many different choices of how you can be at any one given moment in time. Let go of your everyday constraints and let the music move you.
Important questions to ask yourself and take notes on when you are done
How do different selections of music alter your mood?
What are the physiological shifts you detect in yourself as you shift into different moods?
For instance, you might find that you move your head most with some music, and with other music you might find that you choose to mainly move your chest or your pelvis.
How does your breathing change from selection to selection?
How can you purposefully create these physiological shifts without the music playing? What would you need to do?
Possible Additional Activities
a) Develop an “I am” statement and make this statement at the beginning of each musical selection, and once or twice while the music is playing.
Notice if the different kinds of music changes the way your statement feels to you, and the meaning it has.
Here is how to develop an “I am” statement:
Make believe that you have already achieved the results of something you would like to work on during the course of this Practice, and make a statement that describes how your feel, and experience “life” and yourself having ALREADY achieved the results you desire. For instance, if you are wanting to lose weight you might say, “I am healthy, maintaining an optimal body weight, and feeling good about myself.”
It is very important that you make an “I am” statement that gives you the mental image and emotional feeling of how you look and feel having ALREADY accomplished your goal, rather than using negative terms that describe how you do NOT want to be. An incorrectly formulated “I am” statement would be “I am no longer overweight and I feel good about myself.” In the same way, a successful athlete would NOT say to herself “I am no longer missing field goals during the important moments of a game.” Instead, state what you ARE doing, having already accomplished your goal, “I am making my field goals during the important moments of a game.” It is important to keep your “I am” statement simple. In general, the simpler the better.
b) Imagine yourself having a conversation with a significant other, while the music is playing.
How does the music affect the conversation?
You can also have this conversation with yourself and notice how the music affects your internal dialogue.