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Lara

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About Lara

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    Resident Paella Expert
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    druid
  1. I hope I'll feel better soon. We're leaving tomorrow, to the pyrenees, and I hope we'll have a nice time there. At least, it's a change of environment for the better. Sleep depends. She has nights when she'll sleep 3 or even 4 hours in a row, and wake up only 2 or 3 times, but then she easily gets back into her 1 hour wake-up pattern and it gets harder every time. I hope she'll get better during the summer, because in september I'm going back to work full time and I'm not sure I will be able to handle it if I keep getting 4-5 hours of sleep at night. Thank you guys, for your words, and your time. It always makes me feel better when I come and pour everything in here, because you always have a nice gesture. Enjoy your summer!
  2. It looks like that's what's happening. I hope I'll feel better in a few more days, because I'm really not enjoying any of this. That is great advice. I am sure that despite not getting into music college, they had an awesome time in my class. I managed to make a tight team, they're all close friends, and they're all trying to keep their flute playing going on although not on a professional level. But I'm also aware of how it looks from the outside, from the point of view of those other teachers that may look at me and think "she gets no one into college, that's not a good teacher". And I appear to be quite sensitive to other people's opinions recently That's what I try to say to myself. But then I look at my flute, or at my reading/writing projects, or go into the kitchen to cook something healthy, and I do nothing in the end, because I feel I lack the physical strength to do any of that. A lot of it might be mental, but there's also something wrong with my body. I do feel very tired.
  3. This would make sense, because really, I was in a very good routine. I know I've been depressed and it's been hard, but this feels different. It's like everything is wrong, like there's no hope, that anything will change. I can be objective and see it's all false. But still I just want to lie down, waste my time, and feel bad about every aspect of my life. I hope that since we're going to spend the next two months away, the change of scenarios will help, and that I'll be in a better place when I get back to work in september, when I'll also start therapy again (fingers crossed that I can get an appointment). Oh, I know so many musicians, not just flutists, that are lousy players and yet they succeeded to get the very same job I have... I guess they were lucky, but it doesn't help to my state of mind right now, because I align myself with them and think maybe I didn't deserve it either. It doesn't help, either, that after 10 years of work here, I had several students ready for university level, and things went totally wrong: one of them was harassed at her high school by her teachers about music not being the right career for her, she got anxiety attacks, her jaw got blocked, never played well again; another one was convinced by her father that music wasn't right for her, she quit; another one got his flute stolen right before his entry exams and had no money to buy another one until a year later; another one has a weird pain in her arms due to bad exercising advice, can't lift her arms without pain, so no more playing the flute; another one got so depressed after a year with my substitute that she didn't want to follow with her music studies... These were all brilliant students, beautiful players, A grades and honour degrees every year, and well, nothing came out of it. And I know nothing of this is my responsibility, but it makes me think I might not be such a good teacher if after 10 years I only got 1 student into college, instead of 1 every couple of years, like many of my colleagues teaching violin or piano. Sorry for the rant, it has been around my mind for a few days. Thank you very much for your nice words. I know I will get through this. I have to. I don't want to live like this. It's awful.
  4. I’m in a dark place right now. Things went awry a couple of weeks ago. I was doing fine. I was meditating, journaling, doing yoga and the WHM, and walking barefoot, and playing my flute. Baby steps, good attitude. I had this thought that this crisis I’m going through is a great opportunity to get some things better, to get to enjoy life more, to build that self I’d like to be. Then one of my boyfriend’s student came to his class with covid and didn't say he was sick, and he passed it on to my boyfriend, who passed it to the kid, and then to me. The kid had a really hard time, and we had to go twice to the ER because she couldn’t get air through her throat due to inflammation. I was calm about it because I knew the reason it was happening and I knew it wasn't serious and that she would be ok in a couple of days, but as a result of this adventure, I spent 22 hours without any sleep and it cracked me. When they were better, I was the one sick, and I haven’t fully recovered. I feel tired all the time and my mind has taken a very dark switch. I feel I should not bother with anything, because anyway I’m not capable or worthy. At work, things are getting better, there are lots of good things coming, and the only part of it I can think of is “this will mean more meetings, less personal time, more problems to organise my life, and anyway I won’t have any good ideas and they will not want me there”. With my colleagues it’s all about “they don’t like me, they think I’m not a good teacher, they think I’m weird”, when sincerely it is the opposite with most of them. With music practice is all about “I’m trying to get better again, why? Isn’t it clear after all these years that I’m never going to play the way I want to? Is it not clear that I am not talented enough and that I should settle once and forever?” I want to eat healthier to feel better, but I feel like I have no willpower to change anything, and in the background there’s the thought that anyway it won’t help, that my body is screwed for good. I had one hypoglycemia recently, it wasn’t fun. But I keep eating things that damage my body. Why to try. Nothing is going to change. That’s my overall feeling on every aspect of my life. I ditched my last therapist because she wasn’t being helpful at all. I met one at the children’s park, and since we’re getting close because the kids usually play together, I asked her to recommend me someone, and told her about my recent bad experiences with therapists. She gave me a phone, I called, the woman is too busy, she’ll call me in september and we’ll try to set an appointment. Does anyone know if this is related to covid? Because really, I was doing fine. Things were getting better, I was looking forward our holidays in the Pyrenees, I had switched to mantra meditation and it was having such great effects on me*, and suddenly it's like every aspect of my life is shitty, and I know is not true, but I have this fatigue, and this feeling that everything is wrong with me. * After a few days, my automatic negative inner talk had began to change. It's not that I was consciously doing anything, I wasn't arguing with any of my thoughts, there were just new positive thoughts that were running on automatic too. Like: I have time to go for a walk now, but I'm tired, and I have to have breakfast first or otherwise I'll feel sick and too tired and so on, and suddenly, without me having even time to argue or dismiss the thought, another came in "you're stronger that you think. You can go take that walk in the country and then come and have a nice breakfast". And I was so perplex that I did what it said. (This was all before covid)
  5. Hi, Elastigirl, no, I haven't checked recently. I remember an e-mail, not long ago, regarding an update, but my thought was "oh, no, new videos" I didn't know that you can choose the length now, so I'll take a look to see if it can fit in my schedule. I've taken a look at those programs. I opened a couple of them, and they included only a couple of exercises a day, no equipment, so I'm thinking it could work for me. Thank you girls! Have a nice day!
  6. Hi, I'm looking for a recommendation. I'd like to ask if anybody knows about some bodyweight beginner program that is straightforward and not very long (around 20 minutes per workout) and with minimal or no equipment needed. I own GMB's Integral Strength and Parallettes 1, which I enjoyed a few years ago when I was way more active physically. But althought they're great programs, I don't have the time right now to go through the endless videos and variations to try, and assessments and all. I'd like something simple: do this x times x sets, something that will help me get started so later I can get back to other activities I used to enjoy. Thanks, guys!
  7. To be honest, I don't know, and I don't care anymore. It feels like it happened ages ago. Things are better. More or less. We've been sick lately, which means less sleep, less personal time, and so on. But I'm feeling better inside my mind. I've been reading. Books that made me think. I decided to change my attitude. Towards life, people, everything. It came to a point it was obvious the problem was me. And not just for the past couple of years. I mean for way longer. I've examined my life, my career, what makes me who I am (well, it's still in process). I've thought of my career mistakes, the turns where I could have moved in some other direction... I'm changing things, I'm growing up. Above all, attitude. I feel like I have a purpose now, to live life in a different, deeper, more intense and open way. Thank you for asking. I haven't been here for ages, and it feels warm and nice to log in and find that you took the time to send a message *hugs*
  8. I'm going through a rough time again. It all started, like in november, when I got sick. I caught a cold, and then another one, and then Wolvie caught a bad one and spent a week sleeping even worse than usual, and then she passed it on to me, and then all my routines and everything went to hell. Also, she's in a totally new stage. It's like someone had switched on the next level. The very same week she became 20 months old, we had to start dealing with tantrums, fears, and the worst part for me: separation anxiety. Tantrums are not that difficult to manage, and are usually short and related to hunger or need to sleep; fears are a bit weird, but understandable. But separation anxiety, I can't deal with it. It's hard. It's not only that I hear "mamá, mamá" like 1500 times a day, it's that her not being with me means crying and probably a whole tantrum. I'm sitting by her side, and if I get up to go to the bathroom, or to switch on the lights, she will be crying. If I'm not in the same room, she's screaming, calling me, or crying. And it doesn't matter if I take her with me to wherever I go, she wants 100% attention, which means that I won't be able to do anything (cooking, tiding up, groceries shopping...) without a cry as a background. And of course, we're still sleeping like shit. Right now, I'm writing to this, while my boyfriend is with Wolvie in the next room, and all the time I'm here I'm listening to her crying and her "mamá, mamá". It's fatiguing, and it drowns my patience quickly. I don't feel I have any direction, or purpose. And I don't have energy to do the things that would make me feel better. I've arrived to that point where my only question is "why even bother". I feel I'm becoming a bitter person. Not that bad yet that it's affecting my external life, my job, or how I treat people, but in my head it's awful. I'm resentful, and I can only see the bad side of people. I usually use sundays to recharge, because it's the only day we can both take care of Wolvie, and no one works, but lately, there's been no recess. Boyfriend wanted to go out with friends, which means that on sunday he will want to sleep, and he's probably sick because they ate crap. Next weekend is his birthday and he wants to celebrate, so people will come home, which means more cooking, more cleaning, no rest. And this past weekend was the weirdest: one of my boyfriend's uncle died. Of covid. Because covid doesn't exist, so why to bother using masks. And vaccines are all made to put crap into your body. This said by someone that had spent 40 years smoking around 20 cigarettes a day, and that was 40 kilos overweight. In my opinion, all the crap that could be put into his body was already there. Well, the thing is, he died 2 weeks before his birthday, and his wife wanted to celebrate it. I can understand that she would like to honor him somehow on his birthday, in the privacy of her home. However, I find it weird, and even creepy, that she chose to call the whole family, around 25 people for a birthday party. 25 people in a room, celebrating the birthday of someone that died of covid. Nope, she hasn't stop crying yet.
  9. As I wrote the other day, I had began a post about how my career developped and in how many ways I’ve never felt like I was a good musician. I wrote about all the things that went wrong, and about my lack of aptitudes and talent, and how all of that has always left me feeling I was a poor musician, but today, suddenly, this thought came to my mind, that I could see my story in the exact opposite way. Here: I didn’t have an ear for music, but I built it through effort and practice. I didn’t have a good sense of rhythm, but I built it through effort and practice. I wasn’t a natural, but I worked. I had these terrible teachers for most of my career, speciall during the early years, and yet, I learnt. I wasn't good enough or had the money to get into some fancy college, but I bought books, and read them, and applied what I had learnt. Nobody ever supported me. Not at home, not my teachers. Those who talked to me were all about taking the idea of being a professional musician out of my mind. But I persisted. When studying in Paris, and faced with an easier or a more difficult path, I chose the difficult one. When in my former job, I had to face awful colleagues and work harassment, and fell down completely, I got up on my feet again. At my 40’s, instead of thinking, ok, the parade has passed by, let's leave it here, I decided to contact an international soloist and began taking lessons with him. Yes, I’ve struggled. I’ve spent 30 years of my life struggling, fighting against myself and my insecurities, fighting this instrument I find so damn difficult to play. All the odds were against me, and nevertheless, here I am. And now, a new stage. I have to be humble and accept where I am. Only from the place I am, I can grow.
  10. I've been thinking on what could have changed. I've spent months doing the work, and some things were different, but not that much different. I mean, what the guy describes in the book is an amazing experience where you're just one with the music and it flows without effort by itself. I wasn't experiencing that. At all. I was more relaxed, and I had stopped fighting with getting things "right". But that's all. I think that on one side, maybe I'm reaping the work from these past months, but as days go by, I see more clearly, and I'm guessing that the key here was to finally accept my real level of playing, and focusing on building from there, not from what my past playing has been. I feel a bit down, but at the same time it feels like a release.
  11. Lara

    The search

    What a curious expression. Thank you for explaining it to me. I had no clue about where did that come from.
  12. Lara

    The search

    Thanks! I never expected such a crisis, to be honest. I knew some things would change, and I knew having a kid would change me, but I wasn't prepared for all this turmoil.
  13. Effortless mastery. I think the way my music career developed has a lot to do with my doubts regarding purpose, and also with the loss of my spiritual side. But I’ll start solely on the musical side, and what the effortless mastery practice has brought into light. I began writing a long post yesterday on how my career developed, but sincerely, it can be summed up into two main points: · A huge feeling of not belonging. I never had real musical qualities as a child, such as a good ear, or good rhythm, those were things that I developed as I practiced, but I always felt like I wasn’t the real thing. · A progressive strangement from music itself to focus almost exclusively into technique, because I never seemed to be good enough. This has led me to build a career mainly on insecurities and a feeling of inadequacy, with a few bright spots. When the effortless mastery book came to me, I wasn’t ready for it. What the guy was talking about there were my very own thoughts and feelings, but I wasn’t willing to change. Then Wolvie was born, I stopped having time to practice, and put myself instead to re-read the book, and take notes, and reflect on all those things that resonated so strongly with me. Then I began playing again, and I followed his plan. I stopped fighting and began to play in a more relaxed way, but I had a lot of trouble with focusing on “the space”, as he calls it. Later on, I realised that I had unconsciously been avoiding one of the necessary steps: understanding which was my actual level of playing. I finally got the courage to do it, and realised that I can only play effortlessly, I have only mastered, the repertoire going up to my 4th or 5th year of studies. Given that my formal training lasted for about 14 years, this was quite a depressing and humbling result, and I’ve spent the past weeks discouraged and feeling I have no reasons to keep going. How many years would I need to invest now, to be able to master and play effortlessly the repertoire that goes up to professional level? I was thinking, I’m 45 years old, I don’t have the energy, I’m old, what for, do I really want to go through all that again? Then yesterday everything just… I don’t know. Changed? I did what I do everyday: breathing, relaxation, affirmations… But when I began to warm up, something was different. I was IN “the space”. Every note I played sounded like the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I continued with scales, and they were coming out with such an ease, and were so beautifully played I enjoyed them as ever. Then I played the two lines I’m working on, and there! Music! Sometimes they sounded shy and sweet, then I repeated and a totally different character would come out, affirmative and serein. And it wasn’t ME. Like he always says in the book, the music was playing itself, without me doing anything. The experience was so intense, I needed to stop, sit down, and cry a bit. Then I took the flute again, and decided to try Taktakishvili. I had been working on that piece for a whole year, a couple of years ago, and I never mastered it. It was clean, and fast, and technically good, but despite the intrinsic beauty of the piece, it always sounded dull when I played it. I couldn’t make it sound the way I knew it could sound. So yesterday I began playing and… technically it was a mess. The difficulty of the piece is several years ahead of my actual effortless level, so there were wrong notes, missed passages, awful sound, disasterous articulation… but in the middle of that mess, there was music! So much of it! It finally sounded the way I wanted, and it was just coming out without me thinking anything. It was just happening. There was joy, and drama, and action, and such freshness, and I thought at the end that it someone had listened to me playing like that, they would have said “wow, what a ride!” I took the flute again this morning. I couldn’t find the place again. I was relaxed, and content, and I could accept that it was not happening, and it feels a bit sad, of course, but if what I got yesterday is what I can really get from this work, that’s a game changer.
  14. Lara

    The search

    Thank you, WhiteGhost. That was a nice hug I don't know about other people, maybe you're right that all those mid-life crisis people experience might be a consequence of not having done the job. In my case, this is a huge crisis. I'm rethinking my whole life, and althought I'm trying to be nice with myself, sometimes is depressing to see how many opportunities I lost, or to think that might have completely missed what was the point. Anyway, as time goes by, I'm able to see this more as an opportunity rather than a depressive downhill. I feel less lost and more positive about which could be the outcomes of this turning point. By the way, I had never seen or heard that expression, "flying by the seat of your pants". Is it common?
  15. I’ll start with anger, because it seems to be the easiest subject to talk about right now. Probably because I’m feeling proud about how I’ve been managing it and because it’s apparently over. It began a while ago, I don’t know when, but I started to feel a lot of anger. And it was about Wolvie. I was getting angry easily, and for things that didn’t deserve such a reaction. It made me feel like crap afterwards, when strong emotions went away. Then one day, I had this epiphany. Wolvie was reeeally dirty from her painting, and I complained about laundry. And the moment I said it out loud, it stucked me: when in my life have I been angry about laundry? I’ve never cared. It never was a chore to take care of the laundry. Really. Why then all these strong emotions? And then I remembered who was angry about that. From then on, I began to observe my thoughts and reactions in those small moments of anger (that sometimes would pile up until I got enraged), and I made the discovery that those weren’t my words, nor my feelings. They were all my mom’s. I realised, not only that I was getting angry as some type of unconscious reaction to what was done to me back on the day, and that these were not my emotions, but also, that by keeping those words, expressions, etc. with me, I was blocking the way to experience things my own way. There was this coincidence that I listened to a podcast that week, an interview to a psychology researcher, where he explained what is anger, how it works, why it can even be addictive, and how to step down of it. It helped a lot to understand what I was going through. And this was the end of my rage bursts. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m being able to see Wolvie’s little mischiefs for what they are, and enjoy them rather than suffer them. Life has become lighter, and we enjoy better our time together.
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