HOW TO USE THE VIOLIN STRING PRINCIPLE 🎻
A mentor of mine told me: all advice is good advice sometimes. The key is knowing when the advice is applicable for you.
There is so much advice about attitude and how to approach going through a transformational process. But the thing is: what is going to be helpful for you depends on where you currently are.
If you tend to approach your health with all guns blazing, strictly following an austere diet, waking up early to exercise, meditating like clockwork . . . you may benefit from taking your foot off the gas.
On the other hand, if you tend to lack motivation, you struggle to stay consistent, you make excuses to “cheat” because “you’ve been good”, then you may benefit from a bit more focus.
We need to be firm enough but not over-gripping.
A few years ago, I heard the story of the violin virtuoso in relation to how we might show up to meditation. If the string is too taught, it breaks. If it’s too relaxed, it doesn’t play. In either case, no matter how talented the violinist is, in either scenario he can’t play beautiful music unless the strings are firm with some give, just right.
And of course, as the violinist plays, the strings give more and need to be retuned. So there's a cyclical nature to this quality.
In meditation, this might look like being rigid and trying too hard (thus defeating the purpose) on the one hand. Or being slouched, not really training your attention and perhaps falling asleep.
It’s helpful to ask yourself, in general, which of these categories do you fall into? Are you too tight? Too lax? Cycling in between?
It takes practice, iteration, and feedback to know yourself and learn how to motivate yourself just enough to keep make good decisions in the short term that’ll keep you moving toward a future that you want to live in without becoming a slave driver and risking ego backlash.
And no matter which category you fall into, everyone benefits from understanding healing cycles. And alternative periods of focus on health with period of relaxation, when the cycle completes.