One of my all time favorite writers on the planet is Paulo Coelho. If you've heard of the book, "The Alchemist," that's him, but don't worry, this isn't a book review. Coelho is a prolific writer and someone who's perspective has greatly influenced my own. His books bring about a clarity of spirit, a deep comfort for the present moment and insight into the more "magical" aspects of our world. You're going to have to read him to get the idea, but trust me, it's wonderful writing and any one who's a fan of my own "free advice" will easily recognize the influence. I bring Coelho into this blog today because one of his lines really struck me this week. It was one of those classic anxiety ridden moments full of self-doubt and deep, elusive sadness bursting with questions like, "Is this good enough, successful enough, meaningful enough, impactful enough? Am I enough?" And on and on and on...
From his book, The Aleph:
""Together we write the Book of Life, our every encounter determined by fate and our hands joined in the belief that we can make a difference in this world. Everyone contributes a word, a sentence, an image, but in the end it all makes sense: the happiness of one becomes the joy of all."
So it was this line that gave me pause at just the right moment and reminded me why this little house show project of ours exists. Every artist who has performed with us represents in some fashion the truth that, "the happiness of one becomes the joy of all." I would also say often that the reverse is often true, that the joy of all can easily become the happiness of one, or at least, lift another up. Our guests and fans participate too: every clap, conversation, tender smile and wholesome hug ripples in all directions.
So I just wanted to leave a little note of encouragement here for all our readers, fans, musicians and our community. What you do matters. Who are and who you are trying to become matters. Your voices matter, your stories, your talents and non-talents, even the mundane or day-to-day matters. Each day we engage in a variety of additions to this story that we all share. For some it may just be smile, or a song sung in the car with the windows down (or shower, come on, you know you love to sing Indee Killed the Pop Star tunes in the shower like me...) or any other variety of small, simple acts. Heck, even a "like" or positive comment on social media at the right time can mean the world to someone on the other side. I know, I've been there, scrolling my anxiety to death...
Never underestimate the value of your contribution, regardless of size. We can all benefit from working to counter balance self-doubt and consciously make the decision to dour best to stop downplaying our own significance or contributions to the world. This idea is not new or radical, it is explained so beautifully across so many traditions in thousands of forms. This time it was Paulo's book, next time it might be a smile from a stranger in Ikea...
What about you, how do you deal with that little voice that whispers, "...not good enough," ? If you have a story you'd like to share, let us know! We are always looking for more writers!
With loving kindness,
P.S. Our next show is 9/29 and you do not want to miss it! Both Anna Lester and the 502's are ROCKSTARS!