A Spontaneous Moment of Glory
I am a musician. It is my greatest passion. Unfortunately, my chronic health situation has led me to relinquish the way I used to express this passion through performance. My body just can’t handle the stress. But I still play and sing daily (when energy permits), and record and post on-line now and then.
I love to go to live concerts when I can and recently I had the opportunity to hear a wonderful pianist/composer by the name of Alexandra Streliski. Her style is introspective, emotional, soothing, and fits well with me. I was a bit anxious about going as I never know how my body is going to be on any given day and particularly in the winter when going out at night is an effort. But every time I had an anxious thought, I would repeat the mantra I fortuitously picked out of Matt Kahn’s card deck that morning: “Only the best opportunities come to be whether I envision them or not.”
Luckily, it turned out to be one of my better days and I enjoyed the show very much. At the very end of her performance Alexandra came back out for an encore and instead of sitting down at the piano, she asked the audience if someone would like to come up and play one of her tunes or anything else. For many long minutes, no one got up. She tried to entice us to be brave; a brief applause started when a woman got up but, false alarm, she was heading to the exit rather than to the stage. Suddenly, my heart started beating very fast. It felt like my body knew before my conscious mind did that I was going to go up there. I told my heart “no, no, we’re not doing this, no way” and it slowed again. A few more moments go by and still no one is getting up and my heart starts up again. So finally I jump up and head down to the stage to thunderous applause (there was palpable relief in the audience that finally the tension of waiting was released by a willing participant).
Alexandra greets me, asks my name and introduces me to the audience. I sit down (my heart beating normally by then) and do what I do every day at home; I take a deep breath, put my fingers on the keyboard and let them loose to improvise and let the music come through. The atmosphere in the concert hall was already amazing from the entire performance we had witnessed so I rode that wave and the sounds were gorgeous (and the amplified concert grand as well!). It ended soon enough, I got up and took a bow as I had done many times as a performer back then and in a daze turned to our host who congratulated me and led me to go back off the stage. The entire audience of 1,500 people were on their feet applauding, this time not my courage, but my music. I got a standing ovation!
I had previously never played for such a huge audience. As I reached the stairs to get off the stage, I stopped for a moment and looked up at the people and took it in. The feeling was unlike anything I had ever experienced; I felt fully received, appreciated, valued, and love was just pouring into my heart. I took another bow, this time, a true heartfelt one of authentic gratitude. Afterwards, Alexandra did play an encore and the concert ended. People were coming up to me to congratulate me. I felt like a star! I felt inside me the light that I am and the bliss of allowing it to shine.
It occurred to me later that all those years ago as a performer, I had to struggle to gain the joy and success that a performance brings; hours of work every day to learn the pieces (I played classical music then), the anxiety before the concert (I usually wanted to die and would promise myself that I would never do it again), the mind focus it took to stay centred enough to play all the notes correctly and the pressure of getting them “right” and all that for a brief moment of joyful bliss afterwards. It would take months and months to prepare for an hour long concert. So much effort and work. And here, I received the same sense of accomplishment and success with such ease! No anxiety beforehand (only a brief bout of fear), no difficulty concentrating (presence was with me), no wrong notes as it was all improvised, and no planning other than to get there. What a gift from the universe. To me, that was what I consider a fifth dimensional way of shining my light…. easy, effortless, spontaneous.
As I lay awake that night (pretty much all night after that kind of excitement), I contemplated whether this was a sign from the universe showing me my path, perhaps back to sharing my music live. And yet, when I envisioned doing that, the familiar sense of pressure and anxiety came over me and it didn’t feel right. So I came back to the here and now and I take this event as purely a gift of the moment. I don’t need to re-live it by performing again elsewhere. I have that feeling of satiated bliss which I can come back to anytime I need to revisit my worthiness. All I have to “do” is be present for Life to show me the next step and to leap when that is what is called for.
I could never have predicted such an amazing opportunity (yet I allowed it by repeating that only the best opportunities come to be) and I am so glad that I overcame the fear and took the leap… right up onto the stage! A moment I will cherish forever more!
(An added note: a few days before this epic expansion, I was in a heavy contraction where I felt extremely discouraged and negative about myself and my life and yet facing these emotions allowed me to surrender control of my small self to an extent I hadn’t experienced before. I believe this surrender allowed my energy to flow and expand like it did that night).