Heart on fire, Mind on Ice - Flight or flight are not the only options

Uncategorized Mar 04, 2021

“Where’s the old A?!”



I will never forget my high school softball coach shouting this at me down the first base line.



The spring breeze picked up dirt and swirled it around me as I sulked back to the dugout. Strikeout after strikeout after strikeout. Where was the old A? (Everyone growing up called me A). I wanted to know too.



Just the weekend prior I had hit it out of the park, literally. We had played a tournament - three back to back games on a Saturday with a team that wasn’t in our league. It wouldn’t be on our league record. In my mind, that meant it didn’t count.



So what did I do? I laughed and cheered with my teammates in the dugout. I didn’t’ think. I felt loose. I walked up to the plate and I hit. I hit like I did in the batting cages - even better. I had fun and when I was at the plate my head was empty.



All that was there was me and the ball, and boy did we connect.



A week later walking up to the plate wasn’t even walking. It was tip toeing on a thousand invisible eggshells. My head was crowded - thoughts about the un-hittable pitcher, about what my mom might think, about how this really counted, the boy I liked watching from the bleachers, the time I struck out before, on and on and on.



Not only was my head packed full of cacophony, my body was tense. I was tight, closed, small, deep in “control it” and “don’t mess it up”. I was shaky. I missed the ball every time.



So when my coach shouted, “Where’s the old A?!” it seared into my chest. It was truth cutting through the noise. Where was she?



She wasn’t even the old A, she was the real A. And the real A had left the building.



I was experiencing what one of my teachers calls the “performance gap”. Something I’ve danced with, navigated, learned with, failed with and grown with my entire life. Whether it’s been up at the plate or sitting in an orchestra, I know the gap.



It’s the gap between what I’m capable of and what I actually do.



It’s the gap between what I can do in a batting cage and what I do up to bat in a game. It’s the gap between how I play in the practice room and how I play in a concert. It’s the gap between what I know in my heart and what I actually say in that important conversation. It’s the gap between practice and performance. This is the gap.



The gap blocks the truth in a painful way. And what is always calling the shots when the gap prevails?



My dear old friend, Fight or Flight.



Fight or Flight is my body and mind’s response to protect me from danger. It gives me that Spidey sense walking at night and once upon a time helped me climb out of a burning car while I was a bloody injured mess.



I love my fight or flight. When it’s needed, it always has my back.



However, uninvited, unneeded and overbearing - Fight or Flight can pin me into an illusion of fear and box my soul if I let it.



This is what happened when I struck out multiple times that day. This is what happened when my body shook and my auditions plummeted. This is what happens when I skirt around the words I want to say and hide instead.



When Fight or Flight takes over in these moments of uncertainty, it convinces me with my mind and body that there are only two options. I can either fight and white knuckle it through with brute force, or, I can flee the scene mentally or physically.



Neither are pleasant, neither are what I want, and neither are true. The only certain thing when Fight or Flight is at the helm in these moments is the Gap.


The times in my life when there’s no gap at all - that’s the money. That’s the real A. That’s the girl at the plate in the tournament. That’s flow-state.



As I look at my life and the times where things fell into place, magic occurred, that home run was hit, that concert was amazing, that relationship took flight - there was no gap.



What I can do and what I actually did were the same.



These no-gap events in my life have taught me one very valuable lesson:



There are other options besides fight or flight.



Just because fight or flight shows up to the party doesn’t mean I have to let it in. I don’t need to hand over the mic. I’ve got options.



I’ve experienced them throughout the entirety of my life and these other options are what I’m interested in. These are what I seek. This is how I want to live - No gap, just truth.



So, how do I keep the mic?

What is my portal to these no-gap moments?

How do I choose these in the moments of uncertainty?



Heart on fire, Mind on Ice.


“Hearts on fire, minds on ice” has been a mantra in my life since day one. It’s something my parents would say to us on repeat.



Born in their college marching bands days, it was a way to access the zone during a performance. My siblings and I would chirp it away as kids following their lead.



At the time I didn’t fully realize the scope of what I was chirping. I knew it was something that really helped me.



Now as an adult, I experience just how profound it was. Anytime “the real A” stays put and flourishes - my heart is on fire and my mind is on ice.



Heart on fire


Heart on fire means staying tapped into my why. It's allowing myself to enjoy and care about what I’m doing. It’s the soul, it’s the passion.



For me, this is where creativity and love flows from. It comes from my relaxed and free heart that’s on fire for something - usually the joy of expressing and being who I actually am and what I can actually do.



Heart on fire requires vulnerability, which is why Fight or Flight can show up in an attempt to shield it. Heart on fire releases the shield and opens my potential.



Heart on fire is a deep allowance of what I care about doing well. It's knowing why it matters. It’s where my unique gifts live and can fuel them in a sea of craziness and uncertainty that is part of showing up fully in life.



Mind on ice


Mind on ice is like a glass bottom boat in this choppy sea of fully living. I can see past all of the big waves that rock the boat, clear and calm to the beautiful wonder and truth waiting underneath.



Mind on ice is smooth and singular focused. No thoughts can latch onto ice. Rather, it’s a plane of calm emptiness. This is when it’s just me and the music, just me and the ball.



The noise of the external silences when my mind is on ice. It’s a commitment and choice to not think, and instead to be.



From this state of being, focus and freedom, there is no Gap.



There is truth and flow.



This is where the magic is.



With the combination of heart on fire and mind on ice, what I can do and what I actually do are the same.



There is only “the real A”.



After nearly thirty years (what?!) of experiencing both of strikeouts and hits, a life that I have deemed a class, I now call upon this state when I want it. It’s a practice that works.



Turns out I have been a lifelong mantra queen without realizing it! The only difference is, I use them more purposefully every day.



Heart on fire, mind on ice is a loving command. A command of my powerful mind and my powerful heart to align, to be and allow who I am and what I’m capable of to shine.



Heart on fire, mind on ice lets me keep the mic.



It’s my portal to actually doing and being what I’m capable of.



It’s a portal that’s available to you too.



Are there moments in your life where there was a gap between what you did and what you can actually do?



Have there been moments where you soared in your potential?



What’s present in the fire in your heart?



What thoughts can slip away on the sacred ice of your mind?



There are other options besides fight or flight.


Heart on fire, mind on ice.


Keep your mic.


Keep you.



Accessing the land of “no-gap” in the choppy sea of showing up is a practice and it’s a practice that I live and breathe by. The ability to “not think”, stoke the fire and keep your mic are all by-products of mindfulness, conscious creation and integral parts of how I teach and coach my clients.



If you’d like to hone this skill for yourself or for a child by way of the piano, I teach this in Mindful Music lessons! Reply to this email or reach out to me here for more details. I would love to make music and gap closing magic with you!



And, if you’d like to learn this practice and close the gap in all parts of your life, book a free call with me here! I am accepting 1:1 clients for mindful empowerment and life design would love to connect with you in creating your version of ‘Heart on fire, ‘mind on ice’.



Each and every moment is an opportunity to learn, to start again, to take another breath and to choose again.



Keep your mic.


Close your gaps.


Heart on fire, mind on ice.




Fight or flight are not the only options.


Flow state and “the real you” await.


What you can do and what you actually do can be the same!




In truth, flow and letting the gaps go,

⭐️ Adrienne



P.S. Know someone who wants to create more mindfulness in their life? Send them this email and lets vibrate higher together!


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