Let Your Passion be Your Guide

If you're like me, you've been fascinated and inspired by music your entire life, and you've had a burning desire to share your songs with everyone who would listen. You also began to believe somewhere along the way, you had no right to stand up and take your longing seriously. Your over-riding negative core thoughts included; 'Who do you think you are? How dare you want to write and sing your own songs.'; and 'There are already enough songs is the world, and it doesn't need you clogging up the airwaves.' These and a multitude of other such powerfully self-defeating thoughts have kept you from taking your creative passion seriously, long enough.

I finally allowed my longing to write a song win me over when I was in my late 30's. I really felt I might stop breathing if I didn't just step through my fear. So I sat down with my guitar and found the chords that sounded right with the melody I was hearing over and over in my head. Then I played those chords over and over until a chord progression emerged and it felt like a song was forming. Then I wrote the lyrics that were mumbling around in my head. I worked through the lines until it felt like the idea for the song was actually taking shape. I knew I had a song when I was ready to share it with my partner. Sharing my first song was one of the most thrilling feelings I've ever experienced, right up there with falling in love, and giving birth to my 3 children.

If you're like me, you too feel music stir the depths of your soul; you hear a familiar melody playing in your head but can't seem to place it; and you've uncovered a great lyric and just know it would be a great song. If you can identify with any of th above, chances are very good you have a song you need to write.

The road to sharing your song with the world may be a long one, but it will be an fulfilling one. Pick up your instrument, even if it's two sticks, and begin to let your song take shape.

I've used this simple technique of body scan meditation in many different circumstances: during stressful times, ie, pre-performance and coming down after a show, waiting in line-ups at airports, prepping to do an interview... I've also used it to help me focus my attention on the moment, especially when something wonderful is happening. This was the technique I used to bring myself back to earth and appreciate the fact I was sleeping in John Lennon's bed. This was what I did to wake up every inch of my body to be fully in that experience, so I could remember it, and be inspired to write this song.

Begin by noticing yourself breathing normally. Just breathe normally, in and out.

On each in-breath, bring your full attention to a specific area in your body. Notice any tension in this area, and on the out-breath, let that tension go. It's that simple, breathe in attention to an area of your body where there is tension, breathe out the tension.

Begin anywhere. You can start from one end of your body and go through to the other, or you can just go wherever you feel you need the most attention. Breathe in, and draw your attention to a specific area of your body. Scan for any tension. As you exhale, let that tension go. If you want to relax to get ready to do something, do this exercise with your eyes open. If you want to relax to go to sleep, do this exercise with your eyes closed.

This technique is versatile. Do it for a long time and go into the minutia of details in your body. I carry a lot of tension in my neck and I love to imagine every tiny muscle blossoming open in relaxation. Conversely, if you only have a moment, ie before your big show, focus your attention on that tension as you breathe in, and let it that tension go as you breathe out. I know, we do this naturally, (ie take a deep breath), but now you'll be making a choice to use your breath and you'll actually notice how it really works.

Breathing is the essence of human life. Without breathing, we don't last too long. Creative people, and that includes everyone, generally need to reminded of this fact. We actually need to breathe. Breathe. This is the first point of attention in every moment. Breathe. This is the awareness that brings us right into the moment. Breathe. When we are approaching actually doing something creative an activity we really love, Often it's hard to get into that space though. Simple exercise, start with something like breathing or meditation, and then try an exercise to get creative juices flowing, written the way I use it.

There are lots of online sites that offer more help to learn how to do body scans. Just type 'body scan meditation' in your search engine and see what you find.

Happy Breathing


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