State of mind (Acceptance, Enjoyment, Enthusiasm)

One wisdom nugget from Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth that has stuck with me for years is his idea of three states of mind.  When things are at their worst- his example is changing a flat tire in poor weather- at least you can move past negative feelings to a place of acceptance and do what needs to be done.  When what you are doing is better than this you might even experience enjoyment, and above that you can be enthusiastic. 

I try to apply these mentalities to everything, and they work especially well in a gigging musician's life, even in the spectrum of one band playing a few identical-seeming shows.  Let's say things aren't going well, you can't hear very well and you have a cold, there is no one in the audience and you are hungry (just to take it to the next level).  You can at least feel acceptance and put your head down and play the gig.  Strangely once you realize this and stop feeling anger or resentment (or my personal favourite demon to wrestle with, entitlement), it is a lot easier to get to the level of enjoyment. And once you are accepting/enjoying these times of music-making, when things start going right, you might end up laughing with joy.

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