“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
What made you happy when you were young? For me it was bike riding, playing games, writing, photography, music and reading. And I loved singing even though I sang out of tune.
In my thirties I took my first singing class ever called The Reluctant Singer. Within a few lessons I was singing Plaisur d’Amor, in French – a language I didn’t speak, singing in a higher range than I thought possible. The teacher believed whole-heartedly anyone could sing, and so I believed I could also.
The class ended and that was that. Until many years later I found a tape of the lessons I’d forgotten about. I didn’t even recognize my own voice. “Whose that?” I asked my husband. “That’s you!” I burst out crying. How had I not let that sweet voice out of me in almost thirty years. I’d taken other singing classes over the years, but the teachers wanted me to sing in a lower range and they focused more on what I couldn’t do, rather than on what I could do. I never flew quite so high with my voice again. And then I stopped trying.
Why do we stop doing what we love? We don’t have the time, money, energy, talent, equipment, or confidence. We’re intimated, critical, out of shape, too old, we don’t want to fail. We need to stop denying ourselves the pleasures we deserve, lighten up, learn to play again, and be silly. Play and creativity deserve a place on our calendars, a commitment we keep the same way we would any important appointment. Because without the balance of doing something fun and creative, even for short time each day, life becomes unbalanced and far too serious.
I remember feeling so alive after those first singing lessons, like my soul and heart were aligned with the whole world. I was in the flow and everything seemed possible. I want to feel that way again. From this moment on I’m going to commit to a more fun, creative, balanced life.
What about you?
Let’s come alive to our fullest potential.
And have fun doing it.