Change Your Mind
Over the past few decades I have attended drum circles in all kinds of situations.
In side, out side, fair weather and foul.
Full moon and the dark of it,
warm weather and cold – even in the rain.
Every time it has been different,
each time the very process of the Drum Circle itself
changes the environment and the people.
The Drum circle
(when done correctly)
alters one’s perspective,
mood and more down to the very quick of the soul.
I attended a Drum Circle in a hotel some years ago.
The place was packed and the should roared down the halls.
As I approached
(the place was just starting to pick up)
I heard a drummer exiting the room say:
“I just don’t feel it tonight”.
I had to stop and re-collect myself.
When approaching a Circle of this kind
I tend to go through a process where I re-focus
“who I am” to “what I need to be”.
Perhaps a good term would be to “psych myself up”,
but that doesn’t really cover it.
Basically I “change my mind”.
Those of us who have been doing this a while
tend to be what I call “energy workers”.
We have learned over the years
this kind of thing depends a great deal
on your mind set
and how you focus yourself
– even in the worst of times
we have to learn how to alter one’s state of thought,
banish ill will and focus on the sound,
and the intent of what you are doing.
The hardest thing to do is to change your own mind.
When working a circle of drummers
(each drummer is doing this – hopefully)
we are focusing the best intent,
the greatest will to make the circle “sing”.
The comment “I just don’t feel it tonight”
told me a lot about the person I was passing.
The drummer/dancer was expecting
the “real work” should be done for them:
expecting to be seduced by the circle
into making a good space for the drummers to drum
and dancers to dance.
I paused to re-collect myself and took a breath.
The friend I was with seemed troubled:
“What’s the matter?” she asked.
I centered and grounded in a breath,
lifted my heart and smiled.
“Nothing” I reassured her.
“Nothing at all”.
I set aside my presumptions and preconceptions;
shed my grief and concern
and entered the room with a light heart
and focused on the rhythm.
It was chaotic: no down beat,
no clear rhythm:
it sounded like rain.
After I got settled,
I began by re-enforcing the down beat
(of what there was)
and started to mold myself into
a Focused Intent of Support
listened for a rhythm which a few were agreeing
with and added to that.
The circle began to strengthen.
I lead by following
and added my strength to theirs.
The Drum Circle smoothed out
and expanded into music.
The lessons I have learned in the drum circle
I have worked into daily living.
We are responsible for our own beat,
responsible for our own mood and temperament.
If you just don’t feel it:
change your mind.