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Hi there!

Welcome to my brand new blog! As this is my first ever post I wanted to introduce myself and really explain why I do what I do. I've always been interested in creating things - from my first crayon drawing made on my parents' living room coffee table to my interest in drama at school and soon to my passion for music, learning and teaching. The thing was that as I grew up I noticed that as I followed my heart and went with a career in music something began to creep in to my creating and music making that I couldn't control. What started out as a desire to 'go pro' and 'up my game' quickly turned into me taking things far too seriously without realising I had any option. Somehow I got the idea that my wellbeing depended on my music and that pushing myself physically and mentally would make me feel better. Whenever I played well - I thought I was OK. If something went badly, I thought I was at risk. I pushed and pushed to work my way through instrumental grade exams at school and started preparing for university and music college auditions, but by the time I was in my early 20s I found myself on a performance course in a German music college hating the violin and feeling emotionally destroyed by the pressures I found myself under. I was also in a great deal of physical pain from overuse. Thankfully, I never quite became suicidal or spiralled into addiction, but I got close. I was low and felt totally isolated. I had always been taught by my parents that books could teach you anything, so I started hunting around for information and ways to improve my situation. After about a decade of searching and exploring performance psychology, meditation, yoga, Alexander Technique, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, NLP, hypnosis body mapping and all sorts of other goodies that seemed to help in the short term, I stumbled across something that changed everything. Now before I go any further I know how that might sound - I found the secret I was looking for. 'Yeah right' I hear you cry. But this was quite different. I ended up working with an executive coach and best-selling author who showed me a simple, innocuous little trick of the mind that when I first heard about it I just scoffed. I figured I'd heard about the mind before and that what he was saying was nothing new. How wrong I was. What he told me about was the Inside-Out understanding. The fact that the entire human experience is created by Thought. Nothing is felt that isn't thought. Now that's an understanding of the human mind that turns traditional performance psychology on its head. We're usually told something very different. I continued working with this coach for some time, and soon started looking for other musicians who were talking about this inside-out understanding thing that had changed my life. Seeing the implications of the IO understanding had helped transform me from a nervous, anxious wreck to a far more grounded, self-assured and happy musician. Surely, I thought, there were other musicians doing this. I searched and searched and only found a handful of musicians, or performers who even knew about it. Most of those in the know seemed to be coaches or business people. I did find a coach who was talking about this with elite sportspeople, and he really encouraged me to share what I had discovered with the audience I knew the most about. But at the time there were no books about this understanding specifically aimed at performers or musicians. So this is why I find myself writing this to you. I want to build a community of musicians and other 'performers', and I use the term very loosely, to help them get back in touch with their innate wellbeing and capacity for excellence. If I can help you in any way please do get in touch, but for now, I wish you well. Speak soon! Nick Bottini

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