Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Singing a Song of Courage

I used to compose music. I was passionate, imaginative, inspired and deliberate. The ballads came quickly, with words and chords that complimented each other like chocolate and whipped cream. For awhile I was the prodigy of the neighborhood.
Why didn’t I move forward with my music?
Well, for starters, I was only 8 years old and my concert hall was simply my back yard.

It was glorious really. I sat in my swing, rising up and down with a motion only limited by the rhythm of the chains that yanked me back to earth with each arc of energy. While I hit the high notes I rose into the air enough to see the white pebbles that covered the roof of my house, and catch a glimpse of the bird’s nest in the pepper tree not far from the fort I had built out of chenille bedspreads and wooden clothespins.

It was my domain. My little sound stage, I thought the acoustics were fantastic and the possibilities endless.

I remember feeling like I was the only one in the world as I pieced together lyrics and codas, crescendos and repeat verses, finally enjoying that wonderful sensation of carrying the final note up to the clouds and out to the stars. My little songs might have been good, but most likely they were something only my parents listened to from the privacy of the back door, pleased and laughing at the same time.

So why talk about my swingset symphonies? Because it illustrates something that most of us probably did as children but wouldn’t dare do as adults. That is to explore something with abandon, confidence and purpose; to move forward without a thought of failure or criticism, letting our minds be our guide and silence the inner voices of counselors, parents, or jealous peers.

During our gatherings, we, as women with a desire to create friendships and solutions, gather to celebrate what it means to release our inner potential. Coinciding with the season of the release of white wines, we sip on Chardonnay and Riesling and hopefully find a new song in our hearts. One that returns us to our child-like desire to find the voice deep inside us that longs to create; to feel the quiver of excitement in our bellies when we know we’ve found something we love.

George Sheehan, an American physician, author and running enthusiast is quoted as saying, "Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be."

A modest statement of sorts its power lies in our ability to believe it. And that is often the hardest thing of all.

As women we are always nurturing others to believe in themselves. We urge our children to pursue their greatest dreams. We perpetuate the magical myths of our culture, like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy to lend faith and possibility to a world with too much reality. We create visualization techniques for our boyfriends, partners and husbands to send them out the door with a shield of self-love, set on a path of purpose.Yet, as we look in the mirror all we see is what we need to change, what has worn out, what isn’t remarkable. Those poisonous thoughts make what we WANT seem so very far away.

How can the idea of wine help us segue to a new sense of courage?

When a wine maker experiments with blending and making wine, he has a finite amount of valuable juice to work with; the result of a year of effort, expertise and revenue. But still, he has a dream. A dream that he can find that one flavor that expresses all the grape is meant to be. Something that when sipped, imparts a flood of aromas and flavors, unique and heady.

With flasks and barrels all around, he is ready and willing to mix with abandon and science to find that perfect glass. And, not unlike the effort it takes for us to do what we know we must to do to find what’s inside ourselves, he sprinkles in a little hope and courage along the way.

Today we challenge you to find your own mixing room of flavors, OR your own backyard concert hall of possibility. Go ahead, find your voice and find the inner courage to release all you can be and all you’re meant to be!