Have You Left Your Joy Behind?

I’m nervous!

You see I’m performing tonight for the first time in 10-years! Back in the day, I played my guitar and sang out in coffee shops, restaurants and small clubs a lot. And I loved it.

grease

I’m in the leather jacket, looking all Kinicki-like!

Music brings me joy. Or I suppose it’s more accurate to say that music awakens the joy that is already in me. I began playing guitar when I was 6 and have played on and off ever since – Wow, that’s 40-years! I performed in musicals starting out as the Captain of the Pinafore in 6th grade and ending with perhaps my crowning achievement, my role as Kinicki in Grease in a community theater performance… You know “Go greased lightnin’ rollin’ on down the line!”

(And as an interesting side note, I recently learned – through Facebook of course – that Dane Cook, the apparently somewhat famous comedian, was in the show. Is it bad that I didn’t know who Dane Cook was until I looked him up?)

But, as much as I love music, it’s interesting that it has always come and gone. I’ll play for a few years and then drop it. Play again for a while and then drop it.

And that’s just what happened about 10-years ago: Somewhere along the way, in between moving away from my musical “comfort zone” (where I knew all of the venue owners and could perform whenever I wanted) getting married, “settling down” and having a child, the performing dropped out of my life. I continued to play at home and invite friends over to jam for a while. But eventually even that stopped, and, for quite a few years, my guitar sat in its case, in a closet, untouched.

Why?

Playing music is something that brings me massive joy and lets that joy spread out into the world.

So why did I let it go? Why did I say “no” to my joy?

Well, as with any complex life experience there are number of factors. But at the very deepest level, I think it comes down to a core – and mostly unconscious – belief that I don’t deserve that much joy! I know it sounds sort of dramatic, but when I play music the joy can be almost overwhelming. And it lights up and activates any of the old, wounded places inside of me that have not been healed.

Aguitar-2nd my guess is that when I’ve chosen to move music to the back burner it’s because the places inside me that felt I didn’t deserve such joy were stronger than the parts of me that wanted that joy. My wounds won!

Now, it’s very interesting that for the past 3-days I have pulled the Hummingbird Medicine Card. And I shuffled the deck really well each day!

According to Jamie Sams – the creator of the Medicine Cards – Hummingbird is all about Joy! She writes.

“If Hummingbird is your personal medicine, you love life and its joys. Your presence brings joy to others. You join people in relationships which bring out the best in them… You move comfortably within a beautiful environment and help others taste the succulent nectar of life.”

That’s it. That’s exactly what I do when I’m playing music.

Does the fact that Hummingbird has flown into my cards for the past 3-days mean that I’m done leaving that part of me behind? Does it mean that I’m ready to reclaim my joy and my ability to fully share that joy with others?

We’ll see!

And what about you? Have you left some of your joy behind? Is there something you used to do that opened you to the flow of joy and allowed you to share joy with others?

What is it? Where has it gone?

Whatever “reason” you have for no longer doing it, get over it!

For the past 10-years, my “reason” for not playing music was my family. I felt the pressure to be “responsible” and, as my father used to say, to “Do the right thing.” And a part of me believed that being responsible meant giving up the things that bring me joy.

D’oh!

How could I ever be truly responsible for my family when I have turned my back to joy? How could I ever hope to model TRUE Abundance to my daughter if I’m not willing to embrace and share my joy with her and with others?

Sharing what you love, sharing the song in your heart – whether it’s music or art or healing or whatever – is one of the most challenging things you can ever do. But until you are willing to say YES to your joy and to the things that bring you joy and to the joy YOU BRING to the world, TRUE Abundance will continue to elude you.

You may have lots of money, but that money will be empty, for your heart will be closed to the true nature of this life, which is JOY!

So take some time to consider what you have left behind. And when you find it, take a baby step today to start bringing it back into your life!

If you feel like sharing, send me an email, or leave a comment over at the Evolving Times blog.

Oh, and the next time you hear a hummingbird, remember this, from the Medicine Cards:

“Follow sister Hummingbird and you will soon be filled with paroxysms of joy and experience a renewal of the magic of living.”

I have no idea what “Paroxysms” are but they sound pretty frickin’ good to me! I’ll take it!

Your partner in TRUE Abundance

Edward

PS. If you’re in the North Bay and want to come share in some of the joy tonight (Saturday) I’ll be performing at Infusions Tea Shop in Sebastopol from 7:00 – 9:00.

PPS. I’m getting ready to launch a new training course – The Money System Upgrade – later this month. But before I launch the group program, I’m going to work with a handful of private clients and take them through the Money Upgrade System, one-on-one, at an introductory price. If you’re interested in working with me and having me upgrade your Personal Energy Systems so they are aligned with TRUE Abundance, go check out the details here.

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    6 Responses to “Have You Left Your Joy Behind?”

    1. Liz on October 2nd, 2010 3:33 pm

      Edward, you’ve hit a raw nerve with me again! You’re starting to sound like my conscience

      I’ve had years on and off stage. I’d do it for a while and then stop, often for “logical” reasons like “I’m getting too old for this” or “it’s time I took a break to get a qualification that will give me a real job” (when all this fun is over).

      Real reason: exactly what you said. Somehow I struggled with the concept that having that much fun on stage and getting paid for it. There is a lot of work involved in rehearsing and getting the show up each night, but I enjoyed that work so it was all part of the fun. (Fun, fun… who mentioned fun … I’m sure there’s no reference to fun in any act of Parliament!)

      As well I came to professional performance full time in my 30s, after teaching students about good stage presentation when performing. (I never thought of myself seriously as a stage performer – too shy and not good enough.) Well, after a few years I decided to put my money where my mouth was and do it myself as a cocktail bar pianist. Life intervened to provide me with the opportunities: restaurant pianist, musical director for community theatre, head hunted to MD/arrange professional show, in the right place at the right time to country/rock keyboard player/arranger/backing vocalist (!!) to keyboards/MD with Australia’s premier touring concept show. Miracles do happen!

      The show took a break so I stopped to go study for a real job and try to be a sensible, responsible, settled down human being, helping others get their show biz careers happening. Frustrated with the outcome, I went back to show biz 1999 – 2007. When the star of our show died in 2005 I struggled (emotionally) to keep the band together with new lead. It was very hard for all of us and I walked away – again.

      The wounding is right. All the way back to my parents being dead against my even thinking that music was a career choice, regardless of clear talent for it. Parents did show biz amateur/semi-professional for the joy of it but gave up with increasing responsibility, despite their obvious talent and love of it. In fact generations of my family had showbiz “wounding” – obvious talent and love of performing somewhat satisfied by church choir and entertaining around the piano at home. Mum and Dad sang show tunes everywhere, even in traffic jams. The “smell of the greasepaint, roar of the crowd” was in our blood. But “don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington” (Noel Coward) was what they believed. “Nice” girls didn’t go into showbiz!

      One of my favourite things is to walk across a well used bare stage, feel the vibes from all the great people who have trodden the boards before me. Then witness the miracle of a show set up (ours was 5 hours), and after the show, pulled down and packed away, to bare stage again. Very Zen and at first challenging for a creative person. Performance is so ephemeral.

      I also learned that friends and neighbours love to have a “star” in their circle, to live their perception of my life (!) vicariously, to derive joy from knowing that I was doing what many of them would love to have done – “rock star”. (Still ROFLOL!) It took a while for me to realise this – they seemed to need me successful in showbiz to make their lives happier. I was so busy making “fun” into “work”, stamping out any sign of ego and joy, telling myself don’t get carried away, it’s just a job like any other job. No wonder I had to consciously remember to smile on stage!!

      After the death of my partner (the real star) the music died inside me. Bit by bit I isolated myself from anyone associated with our old life. I don’t even want to hear our show songs in shops, I don’t play the piano (unless I really need an emotional purge), my keyboard is mothballed, my original music locked away until I’ve finished the work of finishing the building, renovation, finance and administration work he left me, a big left-brain gig.

      Knowing that the unexpressed creative urge can turn self-destructive I’ve channelled my creativity into building and interior decorating. It’s a more permanent art form and very grounding. There is joy in starting the day in a bright pink kitchen and the sense of achievement from finishing a building project to award standard. (I’ve done 3 now.) I understand now that recognition and accolades for my work is important to me and I can accept the applause. That’s a start…

      Time for music will come around again. Edward, thankyou for confirming what I suspected about myself – not deserving joy, insulating my feelings, rationalising my choices. If and when the call comes again to get back into showbiz, even as a film composer/arranger/music producer (I am getting older) I’ll do it differently and enjoy the joy of the moment, the applause, the star status – not just the excellent teamwork, the analysing and perfecting of the show, the hard yakka (Oz slang for work).

      It had crossed my mind that I could coach others in the entertainment industry through their creative struggle phases. But that’s putting me back on the sidelines again, showing a lack of courage. Helping others has been 50 years of my life. Who knows what heights I could reach in my own right?

      My parents have gone now, I cannot hide behind my partner the star, my time is coming to shine in my own right, centre stage. Not sure what form it will take yet. When I have finished clearing away so much of the past (lots of trips to the tip!) I’ll know.

      Break a leg!

    2. Mary on October 2nd, 2010 11:10 am

      Funny I should read this today… I didn’t go to a party last night because I felt it was irresponsible to party when I’m unemployed, plus I had to get up early to pick up someone, next to impossible since I struggle to get up early, anyway.
      But, denying myself some entertainment for the sake of “doing the right thing” backfired on me. I got up in a bad mood, cursing myself, finding the day too hot, kind’a cold, coffee too weak, muffin too sweet, you get the picture. Suddenly I realized the trap I was in. Nothing was going to go right until I changed my perspective & realized that my life’s in need of balance: being unemployed’s more the reason to socialize, get out, meet people who may be the ones to get me the right situation out there. Most of all, having some fun, doing something I want, rather than what I must, will bring a better mood, more joyful outlook.

    3. Kaye on October 2nd, 2010 1:34 pm

      Edward,
      Thanks for sharing. Have a great time tonight. My favorite thing is also music, although because of my family history I’ve always been very shy about it. I am still somewhat active with it though, since it does seem to make me happy. It seems to me music is very powerful energetically, maybe is a reason why people “bury” it or it makes people uncomfortable, or they idealize and “otherize” people who are musical.

    4. Irene on October 2nd, 2010 8:08 pm

      Your article was so timely

      I am a visual artist painting in acrylics. Am in a very challenging financial situation, and for the last couple of years have only painted occasionally. My focus has been on finding a job and dealing with this enormous mountain of debt.

      I desperately want art to be a major source of income for me, yet I just keep looking for more jobs, which don’t bring me joy…a vicious cycle which I can’t seem to get out of.

      I have attributed this to lack of self confidence in my own talents, which may be only part of the problem. Your article has opened my eyes to a new way of looking at this situation.

      As I write this post, I am filled with a deep sense of “I don’t deserve this kind of happiness” I thought I had dealt with this unworthiness issue, but obviously it has very deep roots…. sigh….this clearing work seems neverending.

      I had just been wondering to myself why I haven’t painted in months, and your email appeared. Thank you for opening your heart on this matter. You have no idea how much this means to me.

      love and blessings
      Irene

    5. Catherine on October 3rd, 2010 4:31 pm

      Wow, your piece really spoke to me. I have a doctorate in music that I shelved 7 years ago to pursue something more lucrative on a full-time basis. I’m an organist/accompanist so my stage is in the church. I have lots of experience and am among the best. I have never considered music a legitimate career choice and always assumed that if I made a lot of money I would be working very hard and hating the job. I just got laid off from a corporate job making lots of money a year ago. I learned that I can indeed survive and flourish in corporate America and I have also learned that music can be a valid career choice especially for one with my talents and experience. I have been surviving on my musical talent for the last year and am now looking for full-time work that will complement my musical career and enable me to keep it going. I had left music behind ten years ago and my perspective was that I had gotten my “retirement gig” first and now I was going to get a real job and put some money away. A good strategy for wanting to make up for some lost time financially, but I think there is a healthier and more enabling way to frame this up in my mind that enables both my financial goals and my passion to be fulfilled.
      Thanks for your words,
      Catherine

    6. Idan on December 27th, 2010 12:25 pm

      Bob Proctor once said: “You provide service to earn money. Your job, how you spend your days is supposed to make you feel good!”

      I starting to find out more and more that what gives me joy is education.

      So much so that I’m going to open a site for parents and educators, without being neither.

      I hope that it will bring me joy, and be useful to others.

      Good luck getting out of the “role” you have adopted for yourself and becoming more true to yourself.

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