“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” Kahlil Gibran
I read an article the other day that was giving advice on media, promoting yourself and making the most of what you do.
Within it, the article suggested I should answer the question – why do I do what I do?
In truth, there was never really a plan, music just kind of came up and bit me on the bum. Having had a musical childhood I had long left all playing behind, however after a life changing event, I found myself burdened with a wealth of feelings that just had to be expressed through music.
As I child I had played a number of instruments including piano and cello, however I was feeling the need to sing. Since I was unlikely to get hold of a piano in South Goa, I decided to pick up a guitar.
Using it mainly for note reference at first, I found myself writing a number of songs that helped me to make sense of how I was feeling. I had never thought of using these songs in any way other than therapeutically for myself and in fact would hide away at the back of my house to quietly sing so that no one would hear me.
When a friend (who played and sang) discovered that I had written a few songs, he encouraged me to sing them to him so that he could back me with guitar. I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling of how I felt when I sang him the first few songs. I felt so embarrassed, my heart was racing, sounds in the room seemed to be heightened and when I had finished I wanted nothing more than to disappear. Seems crazy looking back that sharing some music with someone could cause such anxiety. The desire for approval was huge. I felt like I was sharing such an intimate part of myself.
Luckily (whilst I don’t know what he actually thought) he patiently smiled and came up with a guitar part, gently encouraging me to feel more confident in what I was singing.
I don’t know if he ever realised what an important moment that was for me – the slightest reaction in the wrong direction and I could have very easily refused to sing in front of anyone again.
It is only with time that I have realised just how many defenses and barriers I had up against presenting who I am to the world. Always worried that I was not good enough, I spent much of my time presenting what I thought people wanted to see.
Musically, I seem to have this overwhelming desire to achieve a feeling in me. This feeling comes from writing and playing my own songs and will only come about when I relax, open my heart and allow every bit of me to flow.
Interestingly, when I am in this space it doesn’t seem to matter whether anyone else actually likes what I do!
It is the desire for this feeling that has pushed me to get over my nerves, get over my insecurities and follow my passion. Like a drug addiction, it has often felt like there is no other option. Yet what is different and so much more beautiful, is that the more I play, the more the vibration of the music helps me to relax, the more I reach the feeling I want to reach. In fact the feeling grows and grows getting bigger and bigger, reaching new heights I never thought possible. It reminds me of a picture of a cyclone as it gains speed, yet the music (and image) works in a positive way, infiltrating all that surrounds it, capturing, lifting and softening.
This ever expanding musical cyclone has taken over me and my life and in so doing has helped me to soften as a person, trust and feel confident in who I am and what life has to bring.
Before I got onto the musical path I was running a healing and music centre, with my main practice being Reiki and healing. Music and healing have become one in the same to me. Creativity and passion – the human spirit.
So with that in mind, I find myself writing the same thing I wrote at the end of my last blog:
Maybe our creative passions are there to teach us and help us in everyday life, as much as they are for us to gain joy? Maybe they need to be seen as a critical part of who we are as opposed to a luxury for the talented few? How would life be if we all managed to get over our fears and follow our passions?