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Breaking the cycle of "I can't"

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Do you get more if you are up? Dunno. I think so. I think when we are down, when we are negative, we send out vibes that are closed, dark, dreary. Yet, at the same time, I think it's natural that there is an ebb and flow of light and dark in our lives. It's all about balance, I think. Finding things to be grateful for. Feeling that we have a purpose in what we do or who we are. At least that's how I feel as an artist / teacher / composer / human.

If what I do or say or share is the catalyst for someone else's hope or inspiration, then my purpose is fulfilled in that moment. If I can witness to the process of someone else's journey, then my purpose is fulfilled in that moment. As I watch my students struggle with their doubts and programming, I see myself reflected in them. And that has been one of the greatest foundations to my healing from shyness. As I began to work with my first students, I began to see that I was not alone. That I was not an alien. That a great many people struggle with self-esteem and stage fright. That many people have had their voices silenced in profound ways.

One gentleman, when 7 or 8, was singing with his class in school. In front of everyone, the teacher told him that he couldn't sing and he should just mouth the words. Shamed in front of his peers, snickered at, sitting on the sidelines while everyone else participated in music he grew up to be someone who could not even sing happy birthday in a group of friends, or sing a hymn at church. And he is not alone. At seven years old, when the brain is still developing and vocal chords are not fully developed, some of my students were told they should not and could not sing.

Others experience silencing without direct application to singing. Perhaps they were consistently criticized at home. They were told that they were flawed. They were told, if they couldn't be perfect at something, they should not attempt it. They were not allowed to start and grow through a process of learning. Adult competency was expected of inaccurate, growing, innocent children. And of course those who were silenced carry that into adulthood and deny process, expecting themselves (and others) to show proficency instantly... thinking their lack of skill or lack of coordination means lack of talent.

I don't know where this harsh view of others came from, really. But we integrate all these messages and repeat them to ourselves on a daily basis. Who am I kidding, I can't learn to do this, I am too old, etc etc. Dr Wayne Dyer [ http://www.drwaynedyer.com/ ] has a new book out, called Excuses Begone where he talks about this issue. Julia Cameron, in The Artist's Way talks about identifying the blurts we tell ourselves, and turning them around. 

All I know is if you stick to it, if you are willing to keep going even when everything in you screams that you are useless, it's hopeless, you're too old, etc etc etc then you will come out the other side. You will rise above your programming. You will become the architect of your own life. You will learn to sing on key. You will write that book, that album, take that trip.

It will only be one step on a journey of thousands of steps.  But every step forward you take, shines a light for others. Gives hope to those struggling with the same things. Your positive forward motion creates a path for others to follow. Even if you never know you've been one of the catalysts for their evolution. And perhaps that is your purpose. To grow beyond what is safe and what is known. To challenge and explore your own final frontier. And find there is more in you and of you than you ever dreamed could be.

© 2009 V.L. Flawith. All Rights Reserved.


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