Sunday, February 4, 2018

Do We Really Know What the World Wants or Needs?

We have a tendency to think that what we’re working on and want to manifest is the only thing the world wants or needs.  It has to be because we’re inclined to want to do it.  Right?  But what about the things we don’t give a lot of credence to?  Does that mean the world can’t use them?

I remember one Sunday in New York City when I went to sing at an open mic.  I had attended this particular open mic many times so I knew the singers well.  However, Joe, who showed up occasionally, also came that Sunday.  Before the open mic started, we usually sat around chatting and sometimes talked about what we had prepared to sing.  I asked Joe what he was going to sing and he said, “When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob Bobbing Along.”  I was kind of surprised because this was a jazz and show tunes group.  I nodded and thought to myself, ‘this guy has got to get a new song book and bring himself up-to-date.’

Well, it comes time for Joe to sing and he’s not past the first verse when almost the entire room was singing along with him including ‘moi.’  Joe sits down and I said enthusiastically, “that was great.”  He asked, “you liked it?”  I said, “I did and I’m going to make note of this for future reference.”  Joe was shy but he seemed pleased with the reception he had received and I left, later, wondering what had happened and realizing I had learned something.  I had been concerned that Joe was going to come away feeling embarrassed by the song he had selected when, in reality, everyone loved the song he picked.  They liked it so much they wanted to be part of his performance.  And it worked wonderfully for Joe who probably never suspected the impact his selection would have on a room full of people.

When we think the world wants or needs something specific, we might want to give it what we have in mind, not realizing that the world could be seeking something else.  So, can we lighten up enough to let it all go and see where the chips fall?  Are we able to risk the chance to offer something we’re not sure will be accepted the way we would like it to be?  The issue, in this case, wasn’t the song Joe selected.  The issue was with me, the snob.  Joe didn’t hold back because the other singers would be performing newer or more popular songs.  His ‘knowing’ this was his right choice was all that was necessary. And it was what that room (world) of singers needed because people who perform at open mics have a tendency to be apprehensive about their performances.  Joe lightened up our world that day which was exactly what we needed.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Hang On and Never Give Up

While living in Portland, Oregon, I walked into a church service where the following lines were being sung over and over – “hold on just a little bit longer, everything is going to be alright.” 

It’s very easy to get caught up in the momentum when everyone is singing the same tune, swaying about and clapping their hands.  But what happens when the service is finished, fellowship and coffee time are over and we’re headed out the door?  How long can we carry forward the emotional impact and enthusiasm of words such as these before we start becoming discouraged and think, that while those were nice words and they made us feel good at the time, can we really trust the message?

How do we really know things are going to be alright?  We strive relentlessly towards our goals and, when we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, we start thinking we never will.  Questions like, “how long can we keep doing this without results,” or “maybe this isn’t what we’re supposed to be doing because if it was we should have gotten somewhere by now.” plague us.  It’s not easy holding on when we’re not even sure if we should anymore.

If we keep holding on is that enough?  Well, maybe not all of enough but some of enough.  If we can remember what started us in a certain direction to begin with and recapture the feelings we experienced at the time, then perhaps we will be able to change our dialogue.  If we truly believe that everything is in Divine Order, that we are guided by Divine Intelligence and that God has a purpose and plan for our lives which He placed within our hearts for the purpose of fulfillment, then we can hold on longer, even for dear life if needed, with the dogged determination that what we are striving for is what we should be doing.  It’s not all going to come to us at once but we can notice the incremental steps and be grateful for them as they eventually bring us face to face with the unlocked doors waiting for us to walk through and claim what we have been seeking and holding on for.

My advice – hold on a little bit longer.  A little bit longer might be tomorrow.

๐Ÿ’™ Marian

Monday, January 22, 2018

Make A Joyful Noise

As the saying goes, ‘music tames the savage beast,’ but what beast are we talking about – anger, despair, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness or a particularly big one that deals with a neglected and hungry immune system.

There’s a story by Bernie Siegel, famed cancer surgeon, author and lecturer, that goes as follows (paraphrased):

-               There was a young man who loved playing the violin so much he wanted to make this his career.  His family had other plans in mind for him, though, and wanted him to become lawyer.  Not wanting to disappoint them, he did as they wished.  Some years later, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given a year to live during which time he played the violin.  At the end of the year, his tumor was gone.

Engaging in music allows us the opportunity to be so completely absorbed in its rapture that we open ourselves up and let out that which does not serve us while bringing in that which does creating a space in which the music can come in and do its healing.

 In the above story, the man involved played for his own pleasure but any form of music by any group of persons can be utilized for the purpose of healing.  Group musical therapy is particularly helpful as those involved not only perform to bring forth what they need but they can help others who might not be at the stage of doing that for themselves.

Now, can we picture singers and performers in parks, subways, hospitals, retirement and nursing homes, people standing in long, slow moving lines while imagining all those feel good music bugs jumping from one person to another latching on and providing untold benefits to all willing to receive.

๐Ÿ™Œ Marian