Slow Attention- How Musicians See The World
“Our attention is one of our most important assets. What we focus our attention on becomes our reality…our attention is pulled in a million different directions. As a result, nothing gets enough attention. (move your attention) from one thing to the next more reluctantly, more slowly, at a more relaxed pace. As a result, things will start getting done. You’ll start to notice things more. You’ll be less stressed.” -Leo Babauta The Power of Less
The metaphysical rule about what we think of becomes our reality is hard to deny. Movies like The Secret have created a new interest in manifesting reality. The cells in our body respond to our thoughts. Imagine it. Creativity is literally at your physical fingertips.
Slowing down and noticing the world and our place in it is essential. Musicians are great at this. They are the the ones who notice, the chroniclers of humanity, a movement, a moment. Poets capture the essence of a flower, a day, a person in a few meaningful lines.
Musicians, despite their observer status, are also often frantic in their lifestyle. They move quickly from place to place for performances, where heart and soul, energy and enthusiasm are poured into a 3 hour block. Then it’s time to pack up and move on. Musicians, indeed, are transient humans.
In his book, Babauta encourages us to slow down. To give meaningful and undivided attention to just one thing, whether it’s eating, driving, or working. “We rush through our day, doing one mindless task after another, without taking the time to live life, to enjoy life, to relate to each other, to be human.” Babauta recommends rebelling against “fast food and fast life” in the segment of his book about slowing down to enjoy a meal.
Today, as you’re traveling, writing, recording, engineering, publicizing, practicing, or performing, consider slowing down just a little. Set up your amp and pedals with a little more love and care and attention. Shift your focus from fast to slow. Enjoy your music like a morsel of fine food or a glass of good wine. Love the place you are,whether it’s a bus, van, car, stage, studio or rehearsal space, and it will love you back.