Making music is up there with one of the most incredible experiences life has to offer. Like dance, it provides an open avenue for expression. Dancing seems to come easy to me, but singing and playing guitar is an ongoing journey of developing my skills, allowing myself to be where I am in my process, rejoicing in my successes, and embracing my mistakes. Growth is born out of an ongoing cycle of independent practice, jamming with friends, and occasional performances.
Recently, I was invited to perform at a benefit concert with three lovely friends who happen to be amazing musicians. I’ve been desiring more opportunities to be stretched as a musician, especially in the area of performance, so was pleased to accept. I love when my wishes are handed to me!
Our practices were fun and productive. We communicated well as we worked out the songs on our song list, so I was entering this situation with confidence.
Bam! Something happened at the performance… stage fright! All my confidence went tumbling down. I felt like a weak link in the group and began to wonder, “Will I ever get it?”.
Soon after that, I was hanging out with a friend who wasn’t aware of my internal struggles. She serendipitously suggested I read, Pronoia is the Antidote to Paranoia, by Rob Brezsny. Infused with her enthusiasm for the book, I didn’t waste time in acquiring a copy and immediately started to read.
Wow! Inspiration is what this book is all about! I was immediately captivated by the numerous insights and reminders of the miracles of life that range from how amazing it is that our planet exists, that our sun provides the perfect temperature for life, that we can breathe, eat, love, think, etc. Within the first ten pages of profound descriptions of the marvels of being alive, I found an antidote to my recent performance anxieties as the author discussed the gifts and blessings of our range of emotions:
Your capacity to experience emotions and passions and longings is one of your most precious endowments. You may not exult in the waves of anger or jealousy that sometimes ripple through you, but you’re glad you have the power to feel them. Your yearning for the impossible dream may feel shattering, but you relish being able to accommodate that much intensity. And as for the sensations that are more unambiguously positive, like a surge of courage in the face of an intriguing challenge or a surprising breakthrough with an intimate ally: They’re treasures beyond measure. Can I hear you shout hallelujah? (Pronoia is the Antidote to Paranoia, Rob Brezsny, Page 7)
Transformation! My misery was suddenly transmuted into joy and gratitude. I am blessed to have this life, to experience bliss and disappointment, to follow my interests and challenge myself, and to act upon my impossible dreams with courage, tenacity and excitement.
The beauty of living our impossible dream(s) is to get out and do it, make it happen, and to appreciate all the people who live the dream with us! Our journey is where the dazzle is!
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