In the teachings, it has been brought out that most of us arise in the morning and ask (internally) “how do I feel?” If we come up with a certain picture of miserable, sad, tired, anxious, and many other lower states, then we proceed to act that way. The result comes down to drawing a conclusion that the day as been ruined and will continue that way for who knows how long—perhaps until somebody else comes along and changes it for us. When we do this, we tend to actualize that attitude in everything we do that day. So in viewing the larger picture we woke up “feeling” and then began to “act” and the “feeling” then became our unconscious motivation for the day.
If you take the first letter of each word of “feel”, “act” and “think”, it spells “fat”.
It was suggested that when we find ourselves in a less advantageous state, we can reverse that acronym to “TAF”. That means: 1. think how I would like to feel, 2. begin to act that way (for at least 30 minutes) and then see what happens.
Check this link “Think – Act – Feel – An Idea to Work On”.
In using this exercise I discovered it works.
After practicing piano intensely for hours and days, I realized on the day of the concert that I was overwhelmed. I had practiced so much that the tunes were running together, and I couldn’t remember all the designated intros and endings. I decided that I didn’t want to take those trepidations with me to the job, so I proceeded to use the “TAF” exercise. When previously trying the exercise, I’ve always had trouble coming up with enough feeling words and consequently dropped the experiment.
So I began with:
“Think”- how would I like to feel?
Accomplished came to mind and a picture began to form.
–I could see that even though it was new and different, I still have had a lot of experience.
Adventurous then came to mind – since it was jazz, I wanted to risk improvising on the melodies even if they weren’t to my ideal.
Confidence – Well, I wasn’t feeling confident, but how had I acted when I had felt confident in the past. A picture of a walk and attitude came to mind and I sure could fake that for a bit.
Next came “Free” Ah, I thought, I could be free to experience being ignored, rejected, disapproved of and feelings of inferiority for just one night.
I decided that I would also be free to not use disclaimers as to why I might not do well—after all, if I did that, I was only setting myself up for failure. People don’t’ want to hear all that “drivel” anyway.
Next came “light hearted” I have watched people be light hearted when things seemed important and serious; and they always made those situations easier to handle and sometimes they even turned into funny—I wanted to see the see the fun and humor in the game.
I then remembered that I was “privileged” to get to play with a wonderful horn player and an exciting drummer.
I also saw the I was listening to the “ideal makers” I was trying to fit an imaginary picture in the mind of playing everything perfect without a miss—impossible—why not just let it be—let happen what would happen. Every gig I ever played had always turned out fine up to this one, why should it be any different? Listening to the “ideal makers” or those that make every little detail “important” can be like a disease—I get “ill at ease” if I buy into the suggestion of “importance” and the anxiety it creates in me has no value as I never play well when I’m anxious.
By the time I was through the trepidations disappeared. I walked through the house as I was getting ready with a walk of confidence and acted like the picture I had been thinking of. What was the result? It was a delightful and memorable experience with freedom to play, an enthusiastic audience, an impressed employer and a potential for future gigs. I expressed joy and an appreciation for all Life.
Yes, I now remember that it isn’t the “thinking” of the teachings that transforms—it also needs the “action” which creates the form and the result has a lot better chance of being to my advantage.