Retraining: It takes the time it takes

When retraining and recovering from Musician’s Focal Dystonia, I could simply advise you to be patient, but this doesn’t really tell you anything.

Retraining requires more than just patience, because when you’re being patient it means that you are waiting for the outcome. You think about the outcome, want the outcome, you just choose to sit down and wait instead of running around. When you’re patient knowing that there’s no way to get there sooner, your focus is still on the thing you’re waiting for.

patienceWhen you’re retraining from focal dystonia, you need to focus on the process of retraining, rather than the outcome of playing that solo/gig/concerto/set.

When your fingers curl, and you can’t hold the key, be there for yourself. When you can’t pluck the sting, observe. When your lips get stiff and tense, monitor your muscles. Find the trigger of the symptom and let it happen if it needs to happen. It’s going to vanish with practise.

If you focus hard on the problem, if you hate it and want it to disappear, it gets stronger. It takes time to get better, but if you use that time for dreaming of what you used to be able to do on the instrument, or expecting yourself to play on your best level, you lengthen the journey.

Accept what you can do right now in this present moment, and make that your focus. Be in the now, and keep retraining, focussing on the process. It takes as much time as it takes.

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