Circular Breathing, Letting Go & Learning to Be A Boss At Life


Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the parallels between being a musician and learning skills, practice habits and mindsets etc. and how those can translate over to life skills. In all honesty, I've been hesitant about writing about this even though I've been busting at the seems to talk about it. So, I'm just gonna put this out there and see what happens.

There studies about how the brains of people who studied music as kids process differently than kids who didn’t. I've seen some of those studies which has made me look at my own practice habits and mindsets and how they’ve translated into life skills. I found a lot of parallels. A LOT of parallels. For example, let's take circular breathing.

Anyone who plays didgeridoo and has learned or are learning circular breathing can tell this is by far one of the most confounding skills to learn. It goes completely against the grain of everything we know about breathing normally and turns it on its head. When learning this skill, we get the mechanics of it but then start wrapping our minds around it and before we know is BAM, we are completely wrapped around the axle about how we think it should go. But when we can relax into it and just trust the process, suddenly we find that we've let go of any attachments and everything flows smoothly. This is how it worked for me and looking back on my experience, I see so many parallels between learning how to let go when playing an instrument and applying the same mindset concepts to real life. Learning this skill through circular breathing has not only taught me how to keep the drone going on a didgeridoo but also taught me how to let go of my attachments. Especially when it comes to working at my career and business building. 

To give you an example of that, I‘m really new at starting a business despite being a life long musician and so I'm learning a lot though reading books, watching videos and listening to podcasts to find guidance. But often times this has set up a struggle with ideas on how I think things should go. Then real life steps in with something I hadn’t thought of before and says “what about this?!” It’s at that point, where I can ether say “nah, I got this!” (which I don't) or let go of my ideas and embrace it and see where it goes. If I'm lucky enough to be paying attention, my training as a musician kicks in and points me in the direction of simply trying it without thinking too much about it. Most of the time, this has totally worked and I find a flow that I wouldn’t have otherwise found. As much as my sweet little ego wants to convince me otherwise, I find that flexing letting go muscles develops confidence and most important trust which then assists me in getting me down the road to my goals. Circular breathing is exactly like this – it teaches you to let go and let things flow the way they need to be successful.

It's exciting when things like this happen. You not only find the flow but also your confidence level and trust soars and there are lot fewer hang ups about your abilities. Suddenly, you feel like you could leap tall buildings in a single bound or high five the tallest trees or simply scream from the rooftops “I DID IT!! And so can you!” I can tell you that as an instructor and music coach, to watch this happen with students and clients is like pure magic. Everyone lights up like a Christmas tree! I'm by no means a master at this yet but the more I practice the art of letting go, the better everything gets.

Here are some other things circular breathing can teach: 

  • To focus on the work in front of me and not worry about how long it takes to learn something 
  • To stop thinking my way through things and simply enjoy the moment of learning 
  • To be patient (this one is especially a challenge) 
  • To be persistent and visualize and feel yourself getting it 
  • To not go after it once you do get it - circular breathing and life goals are like cats, you have to let them come to you sometimes.

I'm sure there's more but this is good for now.

So, what have been your moments where your musical experience has kicked in and translated to life stuff? Let us know your story because it’s in telling our stories that we can take joy in releasing what we know while helping others do the same. Also, let me know if you find this helpful in your practice of being a boss musician or life artist.

Y’all have an awesome weekend and stay amazing! 


PS: If you are looking to up your skills with didgeridoo, recording or Native American flute, I invite you to check out my lessons and workshops page. I have a variety of lessons and lesson packages available to fit what you need. As usual, if you have any questions, just shoot me an email. I'm happy to answer them. Thank you!

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