By Vivian Choi
In regard to being able to work in a field one is passionate about, a performing musician’s profession can be thought of as one of the luckiest and most fulfilling. It is, however, not without its difficulties, especially with respect to job security. Many work on a freelance basis and often feel that they are at the mercy of agents and organizers. “It’s feast or famine,” as a colleague once described it, and it can at times be demoralizing.
Musician Dorothy came to me precisely because of the stress caused by her uncertain work situation. There were times when she would be busy traveling, juggling her work and home life, while at other times she would be waiting in vain for promised calls from people in charge.
We began tapping as she described a recent ordeal. “My life circumstances are controlled by people in power, especially men!” she said, sounding enraged. Her SUD level rose to an 8, so we focused on that and tapped on statements such as “I’m not in control,” “these men/people are in control,” and “my self-worth is going up and down.” The SUD level came down very quickly to a 2.
I then asked her who those people (men) in power were, those who had made her so miserable. She mentioned a couple of teacher figures from her past, the worst one being her professor during her conservatoire years.
I suggested she have a conversation with him. Just thinking about it brought her SUD rating to an anxious 7, so we tapped that down to a 2 for her to be calm enough to “invite” him over for a talk.
Dorothy visualized the scenario and narrated in vivid detail. The professor (an old school, Eastern European maestro whom she described as despotic) entered the room and sat in the rocking chair that was placed there. He looked frail and was wearing a blue suit. Dorothy saw herself in casual clothes including a jeans skirt, and she felt she was dressed inappropriately for the meeting.
To add insult to injury, the professor could not remember who she was! She felt that she had always been insignificant and an “inconvenience” to him. She became really angry and her SUD level shot up to a 10. We tapped that down to a 2 before she proceeded to remind him who she was and to have a conversation.
For the first time, Dorothy felt she could say to him what she did not dare say as a student. She told him that the endless, tedious technical stuff he made her play had bored and demotivated her so much that, for the first time in her life, she did not want to play. There was no musical content in the assignments. It was a struggle to practice.
The professor, in turn, told her that he expected her to respond to those exercises, and that it wasn’t his job to make it work for her. She should just accept his method without any questioning or explanations.
On hearing this, Dorothy felt sad (SUD = 6), so we tapped as she talked about how it was a waste of time, how he made her feel she was not good enough to be a professional.
As we continued tapping, her words changed to how much she actually loved and was fascinated by music. Eventually, she exclaimed, “But he couldn’t snuff it out!” The tapping clearly facilitated a shift, at which point we paused and did a quick coherence to settle and reinforce this.
The conversation then ensued rather heatedly. Dorothy asked the professor why he never said that it was not working out, and commented on his arrogance in being a well-known teacher. He became irate and told her about discipline, doing the work or dropping it. At last, she told him she was leaving, not music, but as his student.
She added that what he said was not divine truth. She WAS motivated and DID have will power, and DID play professionally in her current life. At that point, I decided to round up the session with part of a Matrix Reimprinting protocol.
I asked Dorothy to take her younger self (her ECHO) to a new (imaginary) teacher. She got quiet and described him (yes, it was a man) as in his 40s: “He is very kind, and really excited about what he teaches. He is easy to connect with as a person; his teaching is more interactive. He explains and encourages.” At that point, Dorothy felt she wanted to hug her younger self. We then observed the new classroom color and texture—a golden softness—and we took that in with a reimprinting process.
As we wrapped up, commenting on her former professor, Dorothy added, “It’s his problem.”
She messaged me later to say it was a great session, that she’d had an amazing experience, and felt we “rewrote history.”
The one session would not be able to solve Dorothy’s job situation for good, but the imaginary conversation she had might impact how she presents herself in front of the “people in power” she meets at interviews and auditions. She might now find it easier to speak up for herself. At the end of the visualized conversation, she had clearly turned the tables by telling her former professor that she was leaving. She chose not to suffer any longer from a situation that clearly did not suit her and to feel helpless about it. She then sought the right teacher; she took charge of creating her own experiences and outcomes. That new state of mind could gradually affect her outer circumstances.
Vivian is a pianist and teacher who is passionate about inner work. She uses EFT, Matrix Reimprinting, and Imagework to help fellow creatives, and has run EFT workshops for music and drama students.