Deep Philosophical Thoughts for This Wednesday Morning

I am in a deep thinking kind of mood this morning.

Most of this mood is because my Mom is leaving today to go to her home. I am glad that she was here - we did lots of things that I would never have done on my own - and I am sad to see her going, but I know that it is time. Some of this mood is because I am in my last week of my fall break - only five days left before I have to go to work - and I don't feel ready to go back yet. The rest of this mood is because I am contemplating my new year's resolutions.

I had to write a short blurb about my theoretical orientation this morning. That kinda threw me for a loop because I don't often think about this topic. I identify as a humanist mostly - well, a humanist with behavioral and sensory integration tendencies. I do not practice from within any particular music therapy theoretical format, but I do use techniques from various frameworks when they are necessary. That question, however, started me thinking deeply about who I am as a music therapist and who I want to be in the future.

This isn't a bad thing to think about, and I tend to do this at the beginning of the school year. Once I drop Mom off at the airport, I'll probably think about this a bit more deeply because I will be trying to avoid thinking about missing her and the rest of my family. It will be a good distraction from other thoughts. At the moment, I am thinking about saying goodbye and not much else. I had to leave the questions about why and what I wanted to do in because I was having to think too much for this Wednesday morning.

After this afternoon, though, I will be in full-out resolution mode. I try to have a health goal, a personal goal, a social goal, and a professional goal every year. I did really well on my social and professional goals last year, but I didn't do so well on the health and personal goals. I will try to strengthen those two areas this year. When I am thinking about where I want to go in the future, I engage in a philosophical exercise that I like to call - nothing, anything, and blend.

Nothing, anything, blend.  I've led some self-care and visioning events in the past, and one of the exercises that I've learned to love is to think about what life will be like in five years if nothing changes. If you stay where you are, doing what you are doing, what will your life look like? The second thing to contemplate is what you would do if you had no barriers or boundaries - you woke up and had won a HUGE lottery - more money than you could ever imagine having. The last exercise here is to blend those two visions together. So, you would start a community music therapy center in your hometown? (That's my anything dream, by the way) How can you take a step towards that goal in your actual life the way it is right now? (For the purposes of this post, let me say that I really haven't made any strides towards that particular aspect of my anything dreams, but I've made significant inroads towards others...) 

This year, I want to travel somewhere to talk to other music therapists about music therapy. I don't know where I want to go, but I want to go somewhere. That may be my professional focus this year - travel and music therapy combined. Hmmm.

I find that I figure out my philosophy when I allow myself to dream. I wonder if the folks who devote their lives to philosophy do the same thing - think about the possibilities and then figure out their views on bigger things... I like to think about Camus, Plato, Dewey sitting in their thinking places and figuring out their ideas about the world.

So, how do I write up a philosophy? Step One: dream. Dream about the possibilities - what do you like? What do you not like? What can you change? What steps are needed to make those changes? Step Two: prioritize. What has to happen first. Step Three: make an action plan. Step Four: act on that action plan. Step Five: evaluate and start over again.

That's it. I think I'm out of things to think about and write about and dream about. See you tomorrow for Thoughtful Thursday - maybe I'll have my resolutions finished by then...maybe not.


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