I find maintaining a sense of balance to be an ongoing challenge. When I was much younger, I could spend hours practicing without worrying about the vicissitudes of life getting in the way. These days it very often makes more sense to opt for getting more rest. I make better decisions and everything in my life seems better when I am well rested. I have also learned and teach my students that practicing consistently works best for staying in shape and maintaining a healthy way of playing one’s instrument.
A sense of balance can be affected by overwhelming numbers of emails, working long hours, daily household chores and even your own internal pressure to reach a sought after level in your technique. Being out of balance will affect your health and your relationships. In this time of incredible disruption to live music performing, it has become uniquely possible to weigh the pros and cons of performing music professionally outside of the confines of those performing institutions. When the lights are back on in concert halls, orchestra managements and music directors may find a very different attitude put forth by their musician work force.
Your own internal pressures can be a significant source of throwing your life out of balance. This is an excellent area in which to begin your work of restoring calm in your life. It was my experience having worked with several teachers over the years who were a product of “old-school” training earlier in the 20th century that the priority of mind-body-spirit connection in playing one’s instrument held absolutely no importance. Those of us who were brought up this way have bravely navigated a new way of practicing our art for our own health and pleasure as well as for the benefit of our students. Words such as “no pain, no gain” or directives from violin teachers that shame students into not using shoulder rests have hopefully fallen by the wayside. I think we know intuitively that it is necessary to say “no” at times even when it is uncomfortable to do so. However, saying “no” to your own internal impulses is hard work and requires deep soul searching.
When I created this card deck, I spent some time studying oracle card decks by authors such as Doreen Virtue and Colette Baron-Reid. I also studied a variety of other lesser known decks with shamanic practitioner, Joyce St. Germaine who uses oracle decks when she works with clients. My deck, Inspiration for Violinists, is not specifically a divination card deck but I wanted it to cover a range of both life and musical issues. Colette Baron-Reid uses ally and challenger readings for the themes and images in her card decks. Upright and reverse readings also exist in rune casting. I think that there is even an aspect of reversal in the I Ching. Including these alternate/reverse readings creates an interesting paradox. Sometimes the ally doesn’t feel like what you want and counterintuitively, the challenger offers comfort. This is the only card in my deck in which I encourage the reader to consider reversal but it is possible to use any of the cards this way.
The Dali-esque warped image implies for me a schedule that is way out of balance. Perhaps your schedule is in order and the reverse reading for you would represent everything in life being in order but questioning whether this is your true soul path. My sense is that the “back to normal” after the pandemic, won’t be anything like 2019. I’m ok with this having done a lot of soul searching and weighing of pros and cons over the past 14 months. Right now I’m feeling a tendency to sit on the edge of my seat, waiting to be called to perform or go out on adventures with my friends. It feels like anything could happen at any time. Or, nothing could happen while watching as the rest of the world returns to socializing, traveling, going out for nights on the town. Will there be a roaring 2020’s?