Living effortlessly is not only more pleasurable, it is also more rewarding. Tijn Touber’s column.
In the past, when I spent a lot of time in the recording studio making records, I was often sent outside when Monique came in to do her vocals. My stress, which started first thing in the morning, drove everyone completely crazy.
‘Do you know the words by heart?’
‘What?! You don’t know them yet?’
‘Yes, yes, I do.’
‘Oh… But have you got into the feeling of it? I mean, do you understand what you’re singing?’
‘Yeeees, now please leave me alone!’
By the time we were in the studio, I would usually be so stressed out that I would have to go for a walk until the vocals had been recorded.
Monique didn’t worry. She almost never worried. She usually prepared by sitting at home relaxing in a chair, staring into space for half an hour. I would observe her, completely fascinated – that is, for as long as my overflowing work schedule and tight deadlines would allow. Often fighting the urge to ask her if she didn’t have anything better to do (like learn the words to the songs), I would ask her, ‘What exactly are you doing?’
‘Dreaming,’ she answered, before sinking happily back into her own world.
I have to admit that I was more than a little jealous of her ability to drift away like that. I couldn’t even sit for five minutes without feeling restless. What a waste of precious time!
I’m better now. I regularly sit staring into space. When people ask me what I’m doing I answer, ‘Meditating,’ before I slip happily back into my relaxed state. I now understand exactly what Monique was doing and why she could produce such beautiful vocals without seeming to put much effort into it.
Living effortlessly is not only more pleasurable, it is also more rewarding – with respect to quality as well as quantity.
These days I don’t learn everything by heart. When I sing the singing just happens. I prepare my readings as little as possible and am often pleasantly surprised by what comes out of my mouth. ‘Hey, that was a good point,’ I call out, ‘I’ll have to think about that one!’
The less the perspiration, the more the inspiration.
Creativity and modesty are related in many ways. A yogi friend of mine has just one goal, which he words very nicely: ‘To get out of the way.’