I was clicking through the audio files on my computer when a soft, sweet voice caught me by surprise! The timid and airy voice of my daughter drifted towards me.
“What in the world?” I wondered.
She was singing. Softly. She did not want to be heard. Yet, she had recorded her voice–on my phone, no less–so, on some level, I suppose, she did want to be heard. She merely did not want to be seen and heard in that moment. She was too embarrassed to sing in front of an audience, yet her heart held a song. So, in some quiet moment she had snuck away with my phone to record every raspy, airy sound that emitted from her heart. I wonder if she played it back and listened to it or if she pushed the phone aside afraid to hear the sound of her own voice.
You slip the recording device back in its proper place and you go on as if nothing ever happened. Until one day someone stumbles upon that sweet little creation and says, “that is beautiful.”
Heart work takes courage that most of us do not have. Mind work merely requires that you get it done. Heart work requires that you give yourself, that you be completely vulnerable to the process and the product. Heart work can’t be shrink-wrapped and set on the shelf. It’s custom-designed, one-of-a kind. There’s so much more at stake.
Maybe that’s why some of the most brilliantly creative people were (and are) also the most troubled. They give everything to their craft and risk getting nothing in return. The little girl who steals away to sing into her mother’s phone is afraid to take that risk. I wonder how many more little girls like her are out there…
One day we’ll either become better at our craft or brave enough that it doesn’t matter. Let’s keep working at it!
Daily Prompt: Overcome
Do you ever feel like a square peg in a round hole? While some people know early on what they are meant to do in life–the path is clear, the doors open–for others of us there is more uncertainty. I live with uncertainty, but occasionally I find myself among people smiling and talking to one another about the “work” they do and I listen as they go on with great certainty, as if it is their life, and I think…do I belong here? Is this work my life? Is this my life work? Square peg. Round hole.
Maybe you’ve been there? Unsure how your gifts and talents fit into the grand scheme of life and work? Those whose work is acceptable along traditional paths have no problems. If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a preacher or a teacher people approve and applaud you, but if you choose to be an artist, a musician or a writer people discourage you. “You can’t make any money doing that” a family member scoffed at my young dream dashing it against the rocks of cynicism leaving me adrift in a sea of uncertainty. Her words reflected the sentiment of so many others who are suspicious of those who choose untraditional paths. Yet what are we to do? Those of us who feel this pull to do something other than traditional work?
Tanzy says, be courageous! Put your gifts and talents to good use in spite of what others say. I think she’s right.
Happy Labor Day Monday!
Monday Mayhem: People Watching!
Get Busy Living!
Leadership. It’s a heavy word that carries the weight of expectation. It’s a word that’s been tossed around quite a bit lately as there are various expectations in regards to our country’s leadership. What does it mean, after all, to be a leader?
I find Drew Dudley’s take on leadership to be unique because he says each one of us has an opportunity to be a leader, but we also have a responsibility to acknowledge those leaders who’ve impacted us. So, “to whom much is given much is required”? Meaning, much is required of the leaders, but much is also required of those who are led! While leaders are often expected to work miracles while the masses passively reap the benefits of their leadership, no one wants to consider the responsibility of the masses. With all of the turmoil and hatred in the news right now I can’t help but wonder where is our responsibility in all of this–“we the people”?
Here’s the question of the day: How do we operationalize Dudley’s challenge to be “everyday leaders” in light of the crisis of leadership we currently face in this country?