Life moves us to see and express the beauty of the universe, the beauty of ourselves. As human beings we are like fingers on a hand, individual and unique, but all moved by the life force of one heart. So although it looks as if we are in separate bodies, we are not isolated from each other. We all move from the source and substance of all life. Our minds can’t comprehend this, it is through our unconditioned heart that we allow ourselves complete freedom to create.
When I was young, I loved music, the violin in particular. So my parents bought me a half size violin and signed me up for lessons. If you’ve ever tried to play the violin or heard someone start to play, you know the painful sounds that one little person can force out of four strings. But it’s a funny thing how although I knew there were awkward sounds coming out, I could hear the potential of beautiful music, so I kept at it. Bless my parents for putting up with the noise and for hearing the potential as well. At least I think they did!
So as I took more lessons and practiced, I got better. On occasion a note actually sounded promising. There was joy in hearing the strings resonate with each other in unique sounds, and I strived to create more. But somewhere along the way, I picked up the idea that playing without mistakes was the most important thing. So practicing began to take on a quest for note perfection, no mistakes allowed. When I found myself in a very competitive music school, this drive for perfection intensified to the point that much of my self worth became dependent on how well I performed without making mistakes.
Needless to say, the joy of creating resonant sounds was pushed to the background as unimportant and useless. The underlying push was that I needed to perfect my playing so that I could get into a good orchestra to make money when I left school. Of course, there were many times of feeling great love and joy in the midst of all the music that surrounded me. And for many musicians this type of training was just right to fulfill their passion. But for me, the constant whisper (and sometimes yells) from teachers, peers, and society was translated by me that I wasn’t good enough. Whatever that arbitrary good enough was. Eventually playing violin lost its juice, and I dropped out of the classical music world.
By not fully listening to my heart, I see now how my mind created a standard that I couldn’t possibly reach. This caused much pain for me by spilling over into perceiving myself to not be good enough for anything. The truth is, I’m not designed to be a professional classical musician. That was a lovely idea that was born from my love of music, and it was its own journey that helped me grow in so many ways. But it took me a long time to hear the rather clear message that by following that one difficult path at all cost, I was squeezing out my own natural creative expression and coming up dry.
Now when I pick up the violin, simple melodies show up, I listen to the resonance of a single note, two notes together, loud, soft, gentle, whatever arises, whatever sounds. It may not make money, it may not be heard by anyone, it may not be valued by society, but it is authentic. Its source is the vast unconditioned movement of creativity from the heart. Every one of us has endless creativity ready to be birthed. May we all fully allow that movement to swallow us in its splendor and to share with each other its expression.