This morning I met with someone about my Transform Your Performance online course, which is built on the foundation of inner resonance and our tangible joy of music.
On the way home, I was listening to a story of St. Francis and Perfect Joy. As St. Francis and Brother Leo walk through a bitter winter storm, St. Francis explains that perfect joy comes not by enjoying all the good and virtuous things in life or doing highly beneficial things for humanity, but in keeping cheerfulness and patience even in the midst of horrendous slings and insults.
YES! What a perfect correlation to the Perfect Joy in musical performance—an inner experience so profound that no matter what the response, no matter what the review, no matter what people say or think about you, your joy continues to resonate within. In this presence of tangible joy, inspiration or the transcendent in your performance, YOU SIMPLY DON’T CARE what others think or say—they can’t take it away.
It isn’t that you become oblivious and unresponsive to mistakes or imperfections, for you still possess keen discrimination in the midst of joy (it won’t turn you a blithering idiot). In fact, perfect joy lifts you into the wisest and highest expression of yourself.
It takes great courage to dive inside to cultivate this genuine experience within yourself, but this is what we are all here on earth to do. Whether we call it personal growth, character building, spiritual development, or self-improvement, it’s all the same idea: become the highest expression of ourselves.
You will be tested—but everything great gets tested! Our little ego retaliates when someone pushes the buttons of our insecurities, but once we begin our own inner journey (St Francis calls it “self-conquest”), those buttons begin to melt away.
But what does perfect joy and “self-conquest” feel like? Is it all about suffering more to become a better person? Is it just humbleness and an overwhelming sense of boredom?
Absolutely not. The perfect joy that exists for all of us is one of DYNAMIC inner enjoyment. An inner joy from deep within that comes without any necessary outward stimulus. A fulfillment that is FAR BEYOND the fleeting enjoyments of life. A powerful presence that helps us inwardly rise above the many levels of suffering we all face.
Is this perfect joy only for Christians? Absolutely not! This joy is universal, and comes without dogma. This perfect joy is yours to discover.
I’m hoping that these words can capture a little of the potential we all have. The nature of perfect joy is to share itself: through words, music, or any expression we choose. Know that this is the joy of the road ahead.
It is real. It is for you.