I awoke today with a sense of new possibilities, and a renewed recognition that I need to take complete responsibility for creating the life I want. Sometimes that balance can be difficult, with so many commitments placing demands on our time. But, at the end of each day (and every moment during it), we are still at choice for how our time is spent. I have often allowed myself to feel a bit overwhelmed by all that’s going on in the world, and within my own life, and used that as a (perfectly valid) excuse to simply let go of trying to pursue any goals beyond the fulfillment of day-to-day requirements. Go to work, shop, do laundry, make dinner, pay bills, go to a board meeting, practice, write, maintain healthy relationships, maintain personal health and fitness, read and stay informed, have some kind of social life, take the time to just be... If I added nothing else to this list, it would still qualify as a pretty “full plate.” So why try to do more?
Each of us has to answer that question in our own way, based on our own desires, goals, talents or skills, and unique set of circumstances. There is no “one-size fits all” formula for happiness, just as here is no one definition for “success” or what that means to each of us. If I were to simply use a sense of over-all peace, gratitude and well-being as my measure, then it is safe to say I’m already quite successful. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I never experience frustration, sadness, anger, disappointment, unexpected challenges, and so on. But I don’t let these emotions or situations throw me off balance. I use the gifts of reason, compassion, patience, faith, openness, creativity, good will, love and forgiveness to respond to them in ways that will restore my true sense of self, my God-self. And maybe that’s enough, indeed.
But then there is... our PURPOSE, our true reason for being here in the first place. For me, that has always been music, above all else. And while I’ve had many wonderful and fun opportunities throughout the years to perform for many, many people, to support causes I believe in, to make four full-length albums and share countless songs written from the heart with the intention of inspiring or empowering others... there is still so much more I want to do, so many stories still needing to be told. As an activist, I believe music can be one of the highest forms of activism, of communicating messages that matter, of reaching and connecting with people at an emotional - even spiritual - level. Thus the journey must continue and expand.
Now it’s time for me to embrace the challenge of actually MASTERING the “business” side of things. I have studiously avoided going beyond the level of “dabbling” in this area for much too long, mainly for the reasons already cited. It feels like overwhelm, like I’m already at my tipping point just finding time to write any practice with any degree of consistency, so how on earth will I find time for THAT?! The answer is... I don’t know. But if we want that which we love and are called to do in life to ever be more than just a really cool hobby, we must step up to the plate and treat it like a business. There’s just no getting around it, no matter how busy we might already be. And that requires time, effort, learning, stepping outside our comfort zone...
For me – and really for any musician / artist / performer in today’s DIY market - that means doing things like developing a consistent presence on social media, using at least some of the many tools, websites and platforms available (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, and so on) to promote and share (my) music with a much wider audience than I’ve done previously. Hence this blog post. Rather than just think these thoughts, I decided I needed to MAKE TIME to write them out and SHARE them with whoever might read this, since these ideas apply in one form or another to anyone seeking a fuller expression of their own talents and passions, their own purpose.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress. And please share yours with me, if these ideas apply to you also.
I thought “What Are You Waiting For?”, a song from my 2009 album “Illumination”, was the best fit for this theme lyrically. Hope you enjoy! Now off to work. Make it a great day!