I thought I knew my life’s purpose until I quit doing what I thought was my purpose.
I decided to quit playing shows as a touring singer/songwriter about 2 years ago. I had come to a place where I was vacillating between depression and anxiety on a pretty regular basis. Although I was terrified at the thought of quitting and potentially letting a lot of people down (so many people who supported me financially and encouragingly throughout my career), it was clear to me that that was what I needed to do for my own soul’s well being. I had no idea what would come of it, really no clue. I was just tired. Exhausted and ready to not be feeling the way that I was. I have always loved singing for people and in my 20s, I grew to love sharing my songs, my art with people. So, why was I feeling such conflict doing the exact thing that I had always wanted to be doing? A quite confusing place to be. I thought that stopping playing shows would alleviate all of the pain, but over the following few months, I got even more depressed and was faced with terrifying feelings of not wanting to be in the world anymore. What I see now is that I was letting go of one of my deepest identities that I had lived with for so long. “A singer, a singer for the people!” Who was I without it? Who was I if I could no longer claim my identity as a touring and performing singer-songwriter? I quickly realized that I had been riding on waves of external validation for a long time and had little to none coming from within. This was a deeply painful reality to face. I got help through this transition from some counseling, friends, family and a life changing routine using Ayurvedic medicine.
I can’t express enough how drastically this one decision changed my life. The past 2 years have been a process of digging deep and exploring what is truly my purpose here on earth in this lifetime. It is much more than being a singer. In fact, I am still uncomfortable with the word performance. Because I feel strongly in my soul that I don’t want to perform. I want to just be me… In all that I do. I want to show up as real and raw as I am able whether on a stage, facilitating/leading groups, writing, being with my loved ones. No more hiding behind anything. I want to share my voice, my story and my heart through song, writing and the spoken word because that is what feels good to me right now. Actually, when I run my group workshops at drug and alcohol treatment centers, I ask that they not clap after I have played a song. I ask them to sit with it and feel into what emotions came to surface. Rather than clapping to dissipate the energy created, they share in their own words from their own hearts. It’s usually awkward (vulnerable) for everyone because it brings us from “performance” to experience. Many times after playing a song, I just sit there in silence until someone chooses to speak up - sometimes it’s a few minutes of silence. The energy is usually palpable. And it’s humbling!
Purpose is not what we do, but with what motivation we do it. Why do we create and share our gifts and talents and how do our hearts inform this act? What is underneath it all? How is our life experience lending itself to what we choose to do?
This will never stop for me. I will always be finding deeper purpose to life. That door has opened for me now and the stream of light flowing through will not allow it to shut. Share your purpose with me please! I want to know what drives you, what makes you excited!?
You are blessed and you are a blessing,
What is this thing with #HUSTLE? Why do we need to hashtag hustle? It doesn’t resonate with me.
Looking back on my own life, every time… EVERY SINGLE TIME I have surrendered to the moment when walking into something scary and unknown… Miracles have happened and there was no hustling about it. It was me being guided by my heart, spirit, source to where I needed to go.
I don’t want to force anything that’s not intended to be manifest. I want to stay open and surrender to the possibilities that flow into my life. Because those possibilities are wonderfully endless compared to my ego mind.
Example: God willing, at the end of October, I’ll have been sober 5 years straight. I woke many mornings feeling hungover, sick, throwing up and just really not well. Most of those mornings I felt an incredible amount of guilt for, yet again, not being able to control my alcohol intake. Nearly 5 years ago when I woke up still semi drunk and very hungover, the major (and possibly only) difference between that time and the times before was a sense of surrender. And then things began to happen to completely support me in this choice. The events that unfolded were just too magical and BIG for me to ignore. The Universe made it completely apparent that my decision to quit drinking was absolutely for the highest good and that I would be fully supported moving forward.
If you are hustling and feel like it’s working for you… I’d like to offer a moment for some introspection. Perhaps this is something you already do… One of my most beloved teachers, Marianne Williamson says (paraphrased), “We all go into meetings thinking, ‘What can I get out of this? How can I get what I need?’ What if instead, we said a silent prayer before these meetings asking for the highest good & outcome for everyone involved. How can I be of service to this highest good?” Which brings me to…
For as long as I remember, I’ve had a difficult time asking for what I need. I think this is a reflection of self worth and self value… Time, money and energy. In the past year or so, each time a situation is presented where I’m needing to put a monetary value on something I do, I get silent and ask God, “What is the monetary amount for the highest good for all parties involved?” The answer almost always immediately comes to me. I write it down and say thank you to God and then take action in confidence. God/Source/Universe always tells the truth because it comes from the heart. So far, every time I have done this - the other party has agreed to what I ask.
This has enabled me to come to a place where I do what I love for a living while receiving the financial support to continue and grow and expand.
So, why the hustle if it can be this easy? Why the hustle when I can trust that Great Spirit is in full support me and everyone around me?
The word hustle feels draining to me and that’s not intriguing to me. If you are hustlin’, how is it working out for you? What are you hoping to attain? And when you get there, will you be done hustling? Or will you keep pushing to get more?
*disclaimer: I have no idea what it’s like to be a parent and have a family to take care of. But if there ever came a day, I would hope to stay in this mindset to be an example for my children that they don’t have to push to make shit happen.