Yesterday Carol (my career counselor) and I were talking about the mind’s terrain and how it is I can ground myself; what can I do in the morning, what can I do to check in through the day to bring myself back to a centered space. What will work best for a highly sensitive person, one who is easily overstimulated by this busy, dizzy world?
I didn’t know the answer. Sometimes yoga, sometimes meditation, but by and large, I am an incredibly undisciplined practitioner, so neither of these are my go to’s. That goes the same for other physical activity. The most harmonizing and readily doable is walking. I go in spits and spurts with everything else. When I do it, it is certainly wonderful, but when I don’t, I feel pressure, shame and I feel like a bad human being who will never learn her lessons properly. It is not part of my comfort habit; it is not something that as of yet evokes good feelings in any consistent way when I think about it. I believe it is still possible, it just isn’t where I am and I need to learn to live with who and where I am. Where am I, then? What do I have every day access to that I have little to no shame surrounding it like grotesque smog settling into the skyline?
This morning I realized, music. Music! By goddess, I just wrote a thank-you to music last night. That is one very very important aspect of my life. It was such a constant, being in choirs and performing until grade 11 and then I put it aside for “more important things.” And I’ve been struggling for years with frustration about letting this fall to the wayside, but it isn’t fully true. I just haven’t been looking at it in the right way. It is present in some form, every day. There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where there has been no music that I can think of!
I have very out of shape vocal chords, it is true. I haven’t performed publicly in such a long time that I could foresee myself passing out if I were to step on a stage, but I have access to music everywhere at any time. It’s there for me to hum, to tra la la silently, out loud, in whatever way I like.
I don’t have to travel to get it, I don’t even need money. I can sing along with my rumbling stomach, I can do it in the midst of a fit of tears. I can dance along or stand stock still. I can share it with friends in the same room or share from across the globe.
I can sing my grocery lists, I can perform a beauteous ballad to my toilet bowl. And there is the ever popular shower concert that I and many others have the privilege and pleasure to perform whenever we need a good cleaning. There are simply no restrictions. I can sing this whole blog if it suits me.
There is no need to be so literal; there is no need to strut about and show-off on the streets, “Look at me, look at me, I am singing! You don’t have the guts to do it!” I don’t need the disapproval anymore than I need the approval. There are no permission forms out there to be filled out. I don’t have to sound like anything or anyone.
I really don’t need permission from you and you and you to love what I love. I don’t need agreement on the issue. And even though I care far too much what other people are thinking of me or that they aren’t thinking about me at all, I simply cannot afford to care so much that it keeps me from my love.
Again, I say thank-you to music. You are my meditation, you are my jazzed up zazzy oom- pah, you are my kite in the sky. You are there if I need you in the greasy sludge, stuck inside my defensive ego mind.
I can carry my dream of everyone on the streets bursting into song and dance, singing about everything, anything, being gleeful and corny. Ever so over the top…because that is who we can be, and that is what we need sometimes.
I can imagine the pavement as a spontaneous campfire, and everyone around it singing quietly by the glow, harmonizing the crackled wood songs of many collective youths coming from everywhere, no one caring if everyone’s tunes and tones don’t match because they go together.
I don’t care about this huge problem and that huge problem right now, because the fretting and the worrying and the obsessing make for a very noisy mind. I am exhausted and broken by other’s expectations of me, and me trying to toss pristine and perfect love’s creations out the window. I am tired of comparing, I am tired of feeling inferior to everyone and everything. I am tired of feeling lonely, rejected, scared, thinking and thinking about what I can say and do to be better. How I can change to be more likable, be the better me, meet new people, not have them leave, when everything I need is really already here.
I am trying to drag everything I think I want and need from out there into me. I am listening to voice after voice after voice scold and pressure and shame and put down and judge. I am not listening to beautiful music. I am not listening to myself. After all of this struggle, all of this efforting, grasping, trying, chasing, fighting, angering, defending, dressing up and down and all around the towning, I want to give it all up and just be wrapped in song.
I don’t want to fight, I don’t want to try and control, I don’t want to have so many days feel like the same sad sack trudge through mediocrity.
I would tell Carol today that music is my goddess, buddha, my Leanna’s Leanna. Being great has nothing to do with it. Greatness is not on the ground; being is. That is a constant. I can fly to terrific heights, I can plummet to near death into a giant pit. These are parts of life and I appreciate them, but I need to start in and come back to the centre.
When I die, I want nothing more than to go out in peace, in balance, not with a bang or a whimper, but in a lovely, lovely harmony-hum.
*This picture may look morose, but I am not sad. I am resting and calm. I thought it the the most fitting picture I have for this blog, to reflect a gentler me that I appreciate.