Wayne Bennett the legendary Rugby League coach used the title of this blog for the title of his 2002 book. I suspect Wayne used the Dr Wayne Dyer quote for his inspiration;
“Don’t die with your music still in you. Don’t die with your purpose unfulfilled. Don’t die feeling as if your life has been wrong. Don’t let that happen to you!”
The danger of such a quotation is that we immediately think of grandiose things. The ‘music inside you’ is that Picasso painting just waiting to be released through your creative fingers – that Beethoven Sonata that is whispering in your head – the Ronaldo inspired kick curving into the top left corner of the soccer goal, or the Pulitzer Prize winning novel just waiting for a rainy day to be blasted out onto a keyboard.
Sure each of these is ‘music’ and Picasso, Beethoven, Ronaldo and Robert Frost (winner of four Pulitzer prizes) trusted their creative energy within. One of my often quoted beliefs is “Never buy an ‘if only’ T Shirt!” There is a sadness when you see someone come to the end of their life and those who knew them sigh and exclaim, “If only ….!”
New Year : So as we come to the edge of a new year I think there is great value in challenging and inviting ourselves to play our music anew for the gift and adventure that will be 2022.
YOUR music: Everyone has their music! Everyone has their unique dream, unique gift, unique story, unique presence. Everyone has a unique difference that only they can make. Like the uniqueness of a fingerprint or a shell, everyone has a unique contribution that only they can make. Often in these blogs I have spoken about our innate dignity. I love that word, ‘innate’. Innate means of one’s essence, of one’s core! Every person on this planet has a worth and a dignity that should cause us to bow before them in awe.
Of course life is a journey to know and believe what I have just said. Sadly too many never set out on that journey. Sadly too many do not even believe there is such a journey. Sadly too many spend their lives putting others down and attempting to rob their fellow Earth pilgrims of their birth right of nobility.
The music – your music will always begin simple and almost hidden. Your music will begin as a whispered dream, an inner ‘I would love to …’ and a tingle and energy that is uniquely yours. This simple almost silent whisper will invite a trust response and the trusting is a trusting of you; the deeper and deepest you. All music begins with a single simple melody line or story line or urge to express or a vague in the present moment dream. But all great ‘music’ begins this way. Your music may be linked to what you do but more probably to who you are.
The ordinary of your life: Your music will be played in the ordinary of YOUR life. How you mother, how you father, how you partner, how you trust, how you are present, how you forgive, how you create beauty, how you trust your deepest intuition, your fidelity, your story telling, your creativity, your humility and how you allow the inner energy to flow …all of these and more may be the form YOUR music takes.
Often you will struggle to believe that the energy that wants to bubble up from within you is yours and is unique. But if it is positive and of love and it builds the human family to be more, in small ways, even smaller ways or great ways – then it is a voice, YOUR voice and music and it needs to be heard.
And just as Beethoven did not just write ONE piece of music, nor Picasso one work of art nor Frost one script – so too, our music will take a millions forms but always with our unique thumbprint or style or touch. My sister in law is brilliant with small children and a great mother to her own children. My brothers both write beautifully – but are even better story tellers. My friend Martin makes a guitar sing and my mother Zena wrapped a love of nature around her like a string of pearls. Conor and Greg are great dads and Barry (one of my Religious Brothers) has all the hallmarks of a mystic.
Naming it: Don’t lose sleep trying to name your music; just trust that it is there. It is there and our life’s work is to daily, in small ways and great, dream and work to be our best selves. When we do – in some mysterious way our music will play. When we are striving to be our best selves our music will play and find its way from manuscript or draft and into life; it will be given birth, it will be freed to work its magic.
Sure, there is some value in ‘naming your music’ – this will assist us in developing and using our unique gift for our world. But the naming of is not the be all and end all. Focus rather on the listening to and for your unique whisper, focus rather on trusting your intuition, focus rather on the courage to step out and risk that which is truly, deeply and authentically you. When this happens the music inside you will play and play beautifully.
Not about perfection: Don’t wait for your music to be perfect, if you do you will never put quill to parchment. Don’t over think your trusting or listening to your whisper. Don’t second guess it nor force it. Just set out on the journey of being your best self, listen for and trust your inner gift and voice and love’s energy will do the rest.
March to your drumbeat: All about us there will be those who want us to march to their drums or popular drums but when we listen for and march to another’s drum we will struggle to truly hear our own whispered melody. Too many spend their lives focusing on the music around them or another’s music and never come to know their own unique melody – that which only THEIR spirit can play.
Silence: To embark upon this journey you will need to reach into your back pack of courage and trust and self belief. But before this you will need silence; your unique silence. You will need to find that self rhythm, that quiet space – YOUR way of being still and able to deeply listen to your inner music, your inner whisper – your dance. Some will meditate, some journal, some just sit, some run and some walk, some paint and some dive into creativity in its thousand forms. I do some of my best inner listening as I walk.
And don’t think that this music, your music, has an age to it. The hormonal teenager and the octogenarian with ever stiffening limbs both have a music that our world desperately needs to hear.
So as 2022 dawns lets not focus on Covid or politics or blame games or building walls. Let’s rather trust OUR unique inner music. Let’s sing our song every day of 2022. Let’s make our lives one continuous melody that brings hope and gifts joy. Let’s stare fear in the face and never allow it to trap our music inside us. It may be small, perhaps not even noticed by the passer by, perhaps not even noticed by those caught up in the rapid pace of life and ego battles, but let’s play our music and together contribute to the symphony which will be 2022.
Finally our music, no longer trapped inside, will gift our fragile and beautiful planet – our Earth community – and leave it a better and more just place for all. Don’t worry, as you whistle your tune, dance your dance, strut your stuff or create your masterpiece – however ordinary – there will be those who think you crazy. Better the crazed look of the love touched dreamer to the sadness of the ‘If only’ t-shirt wearer!
Happy new year!