Do you remember your first time?

Once upon a time, in my early 40’s, I was a professional musician.  I sang alto in an a capella quartet. We were the darlings of the nursing home circuit up and down the Front Range of Colorado, specializing in old time gospel.  I loved the music, I loved my fellow singers, and I loved that we were serving up musical joy.

Such professionals we were.  Every penny of our earnings went into buying more music and purchasing lessons with a specialist in group sound an hour’s drive away.  Not one of us took a penny home, but what a blast.

That quartet was a joyous connection for me.  We were together for three years; long enough for us to experience entrainment, that magical moment honed from years of rehearsal, when every musician’s breath synchs, bodies vibrate together, and hearts beat to the same rhythm.  You become music together.  You know it when it happens. 

But my musical career didn’t start there.

It started in 5th grade.

Our elementary school had a talent show and I was determined to sing on stage.  To bolster my self-confidence and perhaps to convince Mom that if two of her children would be on stage she had to say yes, I convinced my younger 3rd grade sister to sing with me.  We sang the Doris Day hit, Que Sera, Sera (Whatever will be will be).

I loved that song, so much fun to dance to.  Being the headstrong 5th grader that I was, it didn’t bother me that I didn’t actually know the words.  I liked the song, and figured it was OK to fill in the parts I didn’t know with something that rhymed.  And of course, I had to teach it to my little sister; she was clueless, poor dear.

Performance night

I remember the vast ocean of faces.  I bet there were fifty people there!!  Wow – we’re stars!  As we sang on stage, I was joyous.  I loved it.  When we got to my special substitute lyrics, the audience laughed. *  That made me feel great!  They liked it!  Singing on stage was for me!

When you experience using your gift in this world, it resonates.  Your heart is filled with joy.   Whenever I think about that moment, I remember connecting with the audience and responding to their laughter and applause.  Our joy fed each other.

Singing on stage was making happiness! 

That urge for performance followed me through my childhood and high school years.  Married young, I bought my guitar when my son was 2, and learned to play in the evenings after my little one was tucked away.  Except for a brief spurt of guitar lessons, my music development was in isolation.  My audience was the schefflera and the dog.

That’s why performing in the quartet was such a pivotal experience for me.  It reconnected me to the energetic exchange of being on stage.  After the quartet dissolved, I pursued careers in sales, training, and employee development, all leading to my current work as a professional career coach.

Reconnecting to my love of performing opens a new door in how I do my work.  Silly songs can be powerful teaching tools.  As I find new ways to help you reconnect to your creativity, I’m learning new ways to reconnect to my own gifts.  (This next year, expect to see fun new projects emerging!)

Your first dabble

And what about your first dabble with creative expression?  Take a moment to reconnect with that moment and reexperience the joyous feeling in your body.

Was it the first time you made words rhyme?  Perhaps it was the first time you dipped your brush into that luscious puddle of color, or when you learned to whittle.  Was it the feel of the fiber filtering through your fingers?  Maybe it happened when all the numbers clicked and suddenly the solution was obvious.

When was the first time you felt that surge of joy?

Think back.  Capture it.  Let it resonate in your body again.  Often.

This is your rocket fuel.

*Sadly, my sister was scarred by this experience.  It wasn’t until we were adults singing together in our church choir that I learned she thought everyone was laughing at her.  It was a very long time before she performed music in public again.

In retrospect though, it was the same sister that usurped my garden (click here), so I guess we’re even.  <wink>. Dreamkillers are equal opportunity.

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