A few years ago I started singing in our local church choir. I had been a visitor at this church for a few years and had imagined what it would be like if I were to sing with them. The whispering mother-voice in my mind would replay the phrase “You should sing in the choir.” or “You should play the piano more. You have such talent.” She did both – played the piano and sang in the choir. In some ways she was a remarkable role model, in others she was restricted in her own expression as was the way of the culture in those days. Turns out, she started studying the piano in her own way at age 69. She has now done 15 annual piano concerts in Las Vegas and is planning her next. Growing up in the 70’s in the small mid-size ND town of Jamestown, cultured music appreciation meant community concerts who presented various musical performers from “far away.” Or, for me, the night the Cowsills, the 70’s family group who came to our High School auditorium. I really wanted to go. After all, it was just across the street from where we lived. For some reason I was a wanna be as I just knew they were there and not in the audience. Sometimes groups would come to the big city of Bismarck and our church group organized a trip to some of these events like Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell and 3 Dog Night. Performers and those in the entertainment business seemed like another world far away from my own. Desires for performing budded within during those middle school years. For many reasons, these desires were unfulfilled and were filed as not that important.
I am reading Amy Poehler’s new book called “Yes, Please” and her highlights in growing her passion for performance and making people laugh. It started early as did her confidence. One event at a time, Amy Poehler tells her tales of life experiences that motivated her to write this unique and funny audio book. Despite the “Demons” of negative thinking she visualized her performing career and went into it with gusto and a positive spirit. She takes care in not underestimating the impact of the inner demons who are you; just in a strange voice whispering or shouting out all kinds of put downs and sarcasms one could only find in the mud pools of the dark mind. I was as reserved as she was “out there” yet I related to the desires for expressing myself in a creative way and wanting lots of love in my life. With today’s transparencies and medias it seems that everybody out there is hard at work being an impressive person and are at varying phases in this pursuit. Impressive to me is thought about with a positive spin. I have observed in my many years as a therapist that most people want to feel good about what they do, who they are with and what they want and along the way there is inevitable messiness.
Today,we sang the song called “My Prayer”. This is one of those powerful songs sung by Andre Botticelli and Celine Dion. Unfortunately, we had a small turnout and had to create something beautiful with 8 voices….9 with the choir director. We pulled it off as I imagined the duet by the artists joining us in my fantasy. Interestingly, during the children’s sermon, the pastor posed the question to the kids: “Does anyone want to sing a song?” A young teenager who happened to be the pastor’s daughter got up, took off her jacket, revealing a snazzy black top with cut out sleeves that sparkled which incidentally matched with the silver sparkles of black boots. She started to sing and it was may I say magical? What was amazing was the moment. It wasn’t a star being born moment yet it had the feel of that. She was expressing herself and you could feel it. This felt bigger than an audition or an amazed Simon Cowell reacting to a performance on America’s Got Talent. That’s the way the mind can work – with comparisons and expectations. That demon mind can live here. This event appeared to me to bypass all these old ways of thinking and celebrated the authenticity of the gift of self expression…. something that was lost in me for so long. I enjoyed imagining myself at that age doing something similar and it made my heart sing. Now, that’s impressive.
Let’s return to the business of finding love, self acceptance and expression of our own gifts and talents however diverse they may be. I resisted artistic expression because I believed I wasn’t all that good and had been told that in various ways throughout my life. Consequently I avoided any search or effort to develop these talents while minimizing any positive impacts for these pursuits. This was easy to do in this work focused world. I simply just worked a lot and gave lip service to the importance of creative pursuits. In this same church service, the pastor opened the sermon up with the story of her own disappointments in “‘Being” recalling her love of just wanting to sing out loud as a child, joining various choirs and eventually un-joining them as events unfolded in her life that discouraged her from singing; from doing what she had originally loved to do. ‘I stopped singing.” The words hit me personally and sounded oddly familiar. I had desires and a love of singing and dancing and if I have to be honest, the fantasy of mastering the balance beam. If I had to honest again I would include well known writer and author. I imagined myself at a young age being asked to sing and dance, actually stepping out (in a prepared way) and looking good. Looking good because it was genuine not because of it’s “talent”. Looking fantastic because it was celebration of the “inner ding” as Louise Hay has coined it. At a meeting one day, Louise happened to hear these words: “If you’re willing to change your thinking, you can change your life.” For whatever reason she heard this with her Being and chose to do something about it. She went out and created a legacy of resources for healing and self acceptance. This inner ding is where power resides and I only wished I could have bottled some of it. Perhaps I did as it provided the muse for exploring my own creativity in writing this blog. Who knows? One thing we do know is that there are many beliefs that we carry within that keep us from that inner well-being and happiness; beliefs that need to seen and transformed into action.
Despite challenges we all have the capacity for seeking and recognizing that inner ding. Benefits do outweigh the costs so to speak. I encourage you to set the intention for this new year; that 2017 will provide opportunities to manifest positive experiences and paths to travel. The essential oil that I often suggest at these times is called Transform http://www.godesana.com/transform.asp?sponsorsite=newpath It is a unique blend of Sage, Balsam Fir, Black Spruce, Elemi, Clary Sage, Inula, Rockrose, Patchouli, Spikenard, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Sweet Marjoram, Pink Grapefruit and Rose Geranium. The frequency of these oils can help increase your own energies setting the stage for positive changes. I wish you well in your journey and appreciation for the synergy of today’s events.