It’s easy for an artist to perform when everything appears to be going right. The audience loves the music, all the musicians are “on”, the technical stuff is working the way it’s supposed to, the space is sacred and beautiful, you feel totally loved and supported and as if by magic, you just fall into “the zone” and sing your little heart out.
As I said, it’s easy to perform when everything appears to be going right. But an artist needs to be an artist no matter what is happening within or around her. She signed up for a very particular kind of service — she’s there to help create a space for everyone where they can rest and remember their divinity. And when circumstances are not their best, this is where the mantra meets the road — the moment when the artist gets to walk the talk she spends all that time chanting about.
I recently had a tour date where things were not particularly “in the flow”. The details aren’t important, but suffice it to say, it was one of those fantastic life experiences that brings you to your knees. I was doing four events, back to back, in a very short space of time (which in itself is a really crazy thing to do). By the end of the first show, I was feeling frustrated and discouraged. By the end of event #2, things were not looking any better. My mind began coasting into a downward spiral. I was becoming edgy and judgmental. By event #3, I was hitting the gas for a full-out pity party, do not pass go, definitely do not collect $200.
And then a miracle happened.
My dear friend and fellow musician began modeling for me an attitude of positive thinking, optimism and fearlessness. I honestly don’t think he was aware of what he was doing – it’s simply who he is, by nature. After quietly listening to me rant and rave, he blew into my consciousness like a fresh wind after a rain. “What you need is a new strategy!” he exclaimed joyfully, and set about to inspire new ideas and a bright perspective. Almost instantly, I felt my spirits lift, and buoyed by possibilities and love, I stopped moping, shifted my focus, let go of my fears and opened my mind. I prayed to my Beloved … “help me, Lord, be an open vessel for Your Love. Help me get out of the way and be Your Light.” What followed was truly astonishing, and yet, of course, totally unremarkable. Literally, within moments, people were coming up to me, laughing and smiling, hugging me. Events #3 and #4 were peaceful, joyous, heart-opening, glorious, healing music experiences for everyone. As soon as I changed my thoughts and stopped resisting what was happening, meeting it with love and acceptance, I opened the door to grace. In that moment, nothing changed except my perception. And in that moment, everything changed.
Never doubt that one person can make a difference.
Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi writes in her book “Petals of Grace,” that “the worst as well as the best is in the mind; it is a matter of choice.” Within the short space of some 18 hours, I swam in the swamp of my discouragement and then soared on the wings of my Soul’s love. It was extraordinary to watch these aspects of my mind in action, close-up and side-by-side, and see so vividly and quickly the effects of my thoughts and feelings upon the people around me and what manifested as a result. We really do create our own heaven or hell. It is always a matter of choice. And what a choice!
I do not doubt that there will be other days when I will feel discouraged and anxious. It is an old habit, long-borne of many years, perhaps lifetimes, of giving the keys to my car to that part of me that feels limited and afraid. But at a certain point, the invitation from our Self comes to us again, perhaps for the millionth time, to step into our Greatness and courageously commit to being the Love We Are — despite whatever seems to be happening around us. There is a point when that invitation becomes utterly irresistible. When the choice to love and be love becomes a no-brainer. And we cannot help but run into Her arms, laughing with glee and the sweetest delight and wondering why in Heaven’s name we waited so long.
May your choices be blessed by the Light of Love, always, in all ways.