Today is recital day! This is my first professional recital in quite a while, and I have both anticipated (the new, stronger version of me) and dreaded (the me that wrote my last post) it. I am ready. All of the preparation is complete, all of the advertising is out, and now I simply am watching the clock, relaxing, and reviewing the tiny details for my own peace of mind. It promises to be quite an evening. I have selected works from many of Benjamin Britten‘s song cycles and chamber works. Sounds easy? Ummm…no.
To the singers that read this: Have you ever come across a composer that you just get? One whose music falls into place, feels comfortable, and is worth every challenge it presents in order to prepare it? Britten is definitely one of mine. While the music is demanding to both the intellect and the voice, it has such grace in its writing that I am compelled to get lost in its intricate design. In other words, I am swept away by it!
Now, back to the topic I have been steeping for a few days. In listening to Truth Transforms (Unity.fm, with Rev. Gaylon McDowell), I came across an episode entitled ‘Put Your Dream to the Test’. This episode was based on a book of similar title, Put Your Dream to the Test by John Maxwell. In the episode, there were ten questions presented for consideration as I move forward in my dream of restoring my career. The first few were fairly simple: Specifically and simply define your dream, do you have the support team to move toward it, are you passionate about this dream, etc.
A couple more probing questions struck me:
Does your dream compel you to right action toward it, or does it push you?
My answer: Generally, it pulls me! In his discussion of the question, Rev. McDowell mentioned that there may be times when it does feel tiring (see last post), futile, or even ridiculous (I paraphrase). However, a majority of the time I spend in thought on the subject of this restructuring of my career leaves me breathless with excitement. So, yes, it does compel me. Moving on…
Do you have the tenacity to follow through? Are you unstoppable when it comes to your dream’s fulfillment, and are you willing to be unreasonable in its pursuit?
My answer: Ummm…
There was a time when that was the case. I was annoyingly so. However, I became selfish in its pursuit, and the isolation I created got the best of me (see one of my other posts for more on that). Then, something… broke. I became increasingly resentful of this talent, and proceeded to sabotage myself into quite an uncomfortable state.
Here is the trouble with dreams, which can easily be equated with callings: when one develops, as is stated in the episode, these dreams are a tap on the heart from the Universe, and require action. They can begin subtly, but after being ignored can become ‘Cosmic 2x4s’ in their insistence on recognition. Unexplored dreams lead to many of the common ailments from which I have suffered in the past (aside from the occasional return of some depression, the other issues have been resolved, thankfully).
So, the quest now begins to seek out the point at which I lost my tenacity and to seek healthy ways to restore it. I do not simply want to have a dream and wait for it to show up. I am willing to do whatever it takes… whatever the sacrifice… to bring this dream to full life! That said, let me explain: I have quite a pleasant life, the quality of which I enjoy immensely. So, in my tenacious pursuit of this dream, living a happy life will be a priority. I have lived the life of the suffering singer, and do not wish to relive that. I learned and grew from it, but it is not part of the design in my new world. Maintaining the wonderful relationships I have with Warren, my friends, and my community at large will be vital components of this career process.
So, living this dream will require of me strength, tenacity, a willingness to be unreasonable, a solid team of support (everyone needs a hand along the way), and a series of healthy choices that fully support my mission. Is this a list I can manage? Absolutely. I fully trust that this rebirth is mine to have, and I need simply to walk in that belief (notice the ‘walking’ part: Belief with action is nothing…sounds sort of like a Bible verse I once read…). I have formulated a new daily meditational mantra:
God has already answered my prayers and made my desires available to me; I need to simply walk the path before me.
Will I stumble off the path? Maybe. Will poor choices pull me off course? Indeed. Will my tenacity return (minus the annoying part)? Yes, it continues to manifest. Am I willing to be the cause in the matter of my life, using the Divine Guidance within me as a compass? Finally, and proudly so, I can answer yes…
Have you questioned your dreams? Have you thought them unattainable? Have you surrendered? I would highly recommend this exercise presented by Rev. McDowell. With honest responses to the questions, whole worlds may open to you!
Next stop, Britten! Cheers!