Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for June, 2015

Take a Pause Before It is Necessary

After a wonderfully relaxing vacation, we decided to research the idea of “taking a pause” and the restorative benefits of such.   Found was a concise description of the idea of “pause” by Patricia Katz of Optimus Consulting which I share with you today. 

“Pausing restores perspective.

An elementary school principal has learned that, to regain her equilibrium after a challenging or upsetting experience, she needs to “…go and sit in the grade three classroom for a while and just see the goodness of kids and get rid of the bad scene that just happened.”

Pausing brings insight.

Pausing gives access to answers buried in the noise and commotion of everyday life. I recently quizzed a handful of colleagues about the pros and cons of a contract offer. One finally counseled, “You’ve got all the information there is to be had. If you’ll just be quiet with yourself, you’ll know what to do.” I was, and I did.

Pausing makes room for learning.

Learning leads to improvement. The U.S. Army follows each maneuver with a pause for an After Action Review. In the break from the action, they address three questions. What went well? Where did we mess up? What did we learn for next time? If you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over, a pause for an AAR could break the cycle.

Pausing sustains spirit, productivity and quality.

“You can’t just burn people out,” says a dot.com marketing vice president. “When you have a high priority, sprint as fast as you can. When it’s not urgent or critical, take a pause. If you work 20 hours a day, your product will be crap.”

Pausing carves out space for relationship.

If the only way I can get your attention is to scramble along beside you as you run your next race, I may not be there long. Relationships are neither built nor maintained on schedule at high speed.

They take time and space to evolve and mature.

Like a concert of all scherzo pieces who would lose it first the organist or the audience?

Pausing minimizes regret.

If your tongue is razor sharp and fast, words spoken in haste could cut another to the core. A pause between a thought and a comment could mean the difference between keeping friends and making amends.

Pausing promotes creative thought.

A writer observes, “Creative people have a talent for doing nothing. Sir Isaac Newton wasn’t running around with a clipboard and beeper when he discovered the law of gravity, but sitting under a tree, watching an apple fall.”

Pausing conserves energy.

A professional tennis coach counsels his players to give it their all when the ball is in play. However, as soon as the ball goes dead, during that walk back to their starting positions, they are to slow their breathing, quiet their movements, and still their minds. This conserves and rebuilds energy for the next demanding exchange.

Pauses come in all shapes and sizes.

A two minute break in the midst of a task. A short walk at lunch. An afternoon of ‘do nothing’ puttering. A long weekend at the cabin. A three week vacation in the mountains. A six month sabbatical.

What do pauses have in common?

  • A break in the action.
  • A change of pace.
  • A change of focus.
  • A distance from the commotion of the moment.

To develop the habit of pause, start small. In the midst of a frenzied day, stop. Step back. Take a moment. Take your pulse. Take a breath. Take a look. Tune in to yourself and tune in to your surroundings. It’s a small first step in a deeply satisfying direction.”  © 2005 Patricia Katz, Optimus Consulting, http://www.patkatz.com

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with David Jordan, media specialist are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

Cultivate the Discipline to Pause

“When we cultivate the discipline to pause, it becomes possible for us to make a choice that is outside our normal habit pattern. And it is in breaking through these entrained patterns that we can begin to experience a more liberated way of being. Gradually we become the freedom that we previously longed for.” Donna Farhi

Rest when your body says rest. 

Nourish your body wholeheartedly.

Have compassion for yourself.

Stop doing what drains you.

Nurture what inspires you.

Be vigilant with your time. 

Look for a deeper meaning. 

When you can see meaning in your experience of exhaustion or burnout, you’ll instantly feel lighter. Get curious about the lesson in this challenging time. When you do, you’ll feel a genuine appreciation for your experiences, knowing that you’ll grow and evolve as a result, and be able to contribute more fully to this world.

From David Jordan’s article, The Grand Pause of Summer, published in the June Pro-Motion Music E-Newsletter.  Visit www.promotionmusic.org to read more.  David Jordan, multi-media specialist, and Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, are the co-creators and performers of the organ and Multi-Media experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

The Mighty Ocean-Tone

The Mighty Ocean-Tone

From 1871-1873, Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century theologian, scholar, and hymn writer delivered several lectures in the Yale Lectures on Preaching series.  The lectures cover many topics other than preaching, including congregational singing and organs. Expressing the spiritual and ecclesial function of the organ in worship, Beecher provides the following metaphor:

“I am accustomed to think of a congregation with an organ as of a fleet of boats in the harbor, or on the waters.  The organ is the flood, and the people are the boats; and they are buoyed up and carried along upon its current as boats are borne upon the depths of the sea.  So, aside from mere musical reasons, there is this power that comes upon people, that encircles them, that fills them, this great, mighty ocean-tone; and that helps them to sing.”

So organists, put on your organ shoes, turn on the organ, and provide for your congregation the “great mighty ocean-tone” that fills their spirits, encircles them with power, and sets them free to sing God’s word.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, church and concert organist, with David Jordan, media specialist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

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