Have you ever uttered these words? Either out loud or in the quiet of your own heart and mind and soul?
I said it out loud to my first dulcimer teacher. His response, "When will you be a musician?"
Oh, that was a good question! And in that moment I knew that the only answer was, "Now."
When those words burst out of my mouth in 1995 it was not a frivolous declaration. It was an expression of a heartfelt desire that had been simmering inside of me for a long time. I knew that music in general was something I needed in my life. As a youngster, I learned to play the piano. I was never very good at it, but I could sit and play for hours, losing all track of time ... a sure sign that I was on the right track.
When I first heard the hammered dulcimer at age 17 I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this instrument in particular was something I needed in my life. It grabbed ahold of me. I knew I had to play it! But there were so many excuses to keep me from doing it ... where would I get such an instrument? who would teach me to play it? what was that thing called, anyway? I didn't see or hear another one for years! I was sure there was a more "normal" instrument out there that would satisfy my itch.
It turns out that insistent little voice inside of me ... you will play that instrument ... would not be satisfied until I listened and took action. Since joining the dulcimer community, I have met many players and have heard some form of my story over and over. For many of us, there's only one way to describe it .... playing the hammered dulcimer is our heart's delight.
Yet, we hesitate to call ourselves "musicians". What is keeping us back? I suspect it is fear ... fear that we are not good enough.
But what if we were to consider our heart's desire as a simple statement of who we already are? Let's change our vocabulary. "I AM a Musician!" Go ahead. Say it out loud. There's no judgement here. It's simply a statement of fact, a declaration of who you are at your core.
Now, there is another fact to consider, and it is this. There will always be somebody better skilled than you are on your instrument AND there will always be somebody who is less skilled than you are.
That's right. We are all on this big continuum, stretching from here to infinity ... each one of us making progress at our own speed. We raise the bar. We set goals. We practice. We plateau for a while. We have 'aha' moments. We move ahead again. There's always something to aspire to!
When will YOU be a musician? Put yourself on that continuum TODAY. I give you permission.
As an aside: I have been practicing yoga intermittently all of my adult life. The yoga tradition offers a formula for realizing your heart's desires. For more on this deep subject, here's an article from Yoga International. Inspired Intention