Sounding like yourself

Two musical events for me yesterday: my combo rehearsal and Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, JD Blair, and Derico Watson at Berklee School of Music. The latter, 2 virtuoso bass players and 2 amazing percussionists, demonstrated energy, experimentation, creative inclusion of the audience, and remarkable unspoken communication among themselves. My combo – not so much. Some of us have played together for 2 years – rank amateurs. Yesterday, a new drummer joined us: we are piano, bass, trombone, and Bari sax. We all listened to each other, but none of us  quite followed the tunes’ form, so there were  conflicting cues, frustration, and much verbal communication. We kept at it, and actually improved some over the 90 minutes. My sax teacher has me working on the basics: chords and scales. Don’t worry about the improv, it will come. I do angst about the improv, constantly criticizing myself.  I hate it when people criticize themselves. I left the Berklee concert, thinking that these musicians sound like no one else and they are unafraid. I certainly sound like no one else.

What do I extract from these experiences for the health team’s journey? 1. Listening isn’t enough, there needs to be a solid frame and 2. Sounding like yourself is good enough. The frame for a health journey comes from the person at the center of care. If listening to each other still feels confusing or disjointed, revert to listening only to the person at the center. Every health journey is unique-some polished, some not. The choices we make work out or don’t. Harping on being right or being good doesn’t help us move forward.

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