Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.- Rumi
You came into this world perfect. A beautiful eternal soul incarnated in a body with endless choices and opportunities. As you grow up, your world becomes shaped by the beliefs and ideals of your parents, your schoolteachers, your friends, and your culture. Your reality exists based on your surroundings and what you’ve been taught. For those of us brave enough to venture out into the unknown, we discover the world we live in is far more massive and multifaceted than we ever imagined. Whether it’s delving into documentaries, blogs, books, or deciding to see the world for yourself first hand. Traveling abroad for me has been the most eye -opening and humbling experience of my life. My somewhat sheltered existence growing up in a small town made me hungry to see what else was out there. Discovering the idiosyncrasies of foreign cultures by immersing myself in their world has become one of my biggest passions. Remembering the sheer joy of the encouraged midday siesta nap in Southern Italy. Witnessing the amazing strength of the small Peruvian man as he hikes over a mile up a mountain just to tend to his crops in the cold rain. Getting a $9 massage on a Thai island beach after tasting not one, but three different home cooked dishes while lying in a hammock. Losing my luggage for three weeks followed by getting lost in the mountains of Cinque Terre. Getting kicked out of China. (yea that happened).
So many stories, smells, sights, and memories are now forever imprinted in my mind. I’m so grateful for my experiences and I love sharing my journeys with others so they realize they too, can explore this beautiful Earth. And while traveling solo like I most often do, I almost always end up meeting new people along the path. In my last trip to Peru, I met so many incredible people from over the world and learned so much about their lives. I also became the witness to how I present myself and how I tell my own story. I noticed how fully identified I am with my story which mostly revolves around my career. I place so much emphasis on my identity as a musician that I neglect so many other parts of who I am. I’m noticing the attachment I have to success has shielded me from so many other things that could fulfill me. We weave these intricate tapestries of the stories of our lives. We cling to these identities and patterns, and sometimes fail to remember who we really are. To really listen to the voice inside and ask yourself, “What do I really, really want? What makes my heart sing? What would I do if i could not fail? Whether it’s traveling or basket weaving, we have the gift of freewill to just decide to begin a new story. We are never locked into anything. Our lives are ours to live to the fullest.
“We wear our stories suction cupped to our face”- Collette Baron Reid
And while we’re at it, let’s talk about the bullshit concept of feeling like you SHOULD be or do something. Story time: I recently subbed for a fellow voice teacher and spent the day working with her students one on one. One lovely lady, let’s call her.. Flavia? sure!, came to her lesson exhausted from a day of work in the financial district doing some sort of right-brained-number crunching-smartie pants-big money job. I asked her how her day was and if she enjoyed her work. And with a shy smile she confessed to me how much she hated her job and with a shrug and an eye roll, she flippantly concluded, “that’s life!”. Um, no, it’s not. Oh boy did she just say that to the wrong person. Sorry Flavs, but its kinda my Earth mission to destroy this old paradigm. After her diatribe of limiting belief based excuses and some Mystic Babe-style gentle cajoling, I finally got her to admit to what she really wanted to do for a career. “I guess I’d be an interior designer. I’m good at that”. BAM! (Insert happy dance). Although it wasn’t my job to convince her to uproot her life to pursue her secret dream, it was my intention to plant a seed in her that would make her start to ask questions.
I’m awed by the freedom we have in this free-will universe, yet continually flummoxed by the people who choose to ignore it. Step out of the matrix for a hot minute and look at your life. Strip off your current labels and look at yourself as that beautiful soul that is the real you. What will enliven that inner creative genius inside of you? Always wanted to dabble in art? Go buy a camera and take a picture of a worm. Develop, frame and BOOM: Photographer. Go buy a pack of fava bean seeds and plant them in the ground. Woah! you’re a gardener! Buy a 10-class pack at your local yoga studio and commit to going once a week. Namaste yogi! I just recently decided that I am in fact, a writer. Writing this blog has blasted me wide open and I’m amazed at my ability to be so honest and real in these pages. It’s vulnerable and sometimes scary, but I feel like a whole new dimension has opened in my life. My intention now is to not get stuck in this new identity. I am choosing not to attach myself to my new label and insist on going with the flow. Although I do hope we find readers who enjoy it and are inspired by our truth, I have to do it for the sheer joy of just doing it. I have to do it FOR ME. Not for the outcome. This is my joy and I will try not to get in the way. So, please consider asking yourself these big questions. Be willing to be uncomfortable and dive deep. Who do you want to be? This is your life. You are limitless. How will you live it?