This week in the midst of teaching and performing, I had the rare experience of being overwhelmed by love. A love so powerful I could hardly breathe. Part of me wanted to run away from its overpowering presence, but the other part convinced me to sit down and learn.
Why was I so terrified to experience this love? Simple—it asks me to change. This love challenges how I hold my heart. This love challenges my own sense of worthiness and raises the bar of who I can grow to become.
Like many children, I learned how to close my heart to protect myself. As a young cellist, I was filled with insecurity and fear over so many things. Yet my ego was strong enough to push forward and excel, but not refined enough to relax, examine, and be okay with who I was and the work that I needed to do.
It wasn’t until I learned how to meditate that I found a way to relax my heart. I learned how to quiet the obnoxious inner critic that so enjoyed finding faults in everything (including myself!). I began to relax the grip of insecurity around my ego and experience who I truly am. It was then that I could truly hear the love that music had to offer.
All greatly inspired music has at its core a common essence of love, expressed uniquely. Great composers wrote often from their own experience of divine love. How can I say that with certainty? First, from the few clues that the composers such as Handel, Beethoven and Brahms have left in their letters (check out Talks With Great Composers). Secondly, from the genuine inner experience that their music has given me and countless others. There is no end to what you can discover with enough energetic receptivity and willingness.
What do you listen for?
If you allow yourself to experience inspired music to its fullest, you will be amazed at what you discover from even the simplest of pieces. How music connects us to a deeper, divine experience within ourselves is a great mystery, but most important is the genuine experience.
Does everyone perceive love in music? Of course not, and that’s just fine. Music functions on so many different levels that everyone has something to listen for. The music critic, professional, amateur and untrained ear all have unique experiences.
But only you can say for sure whether you are experiencing something higher from music.
For those of us who have the ability to perceive that vibration of love in our music, we have a mission: to share that love as bravely as we can. Not with clingy attachment or desire, but with highly energetic radiance and power.
It’s such a joy to share this universal love with the 200 musicians I work with every week, from young beginners to trained professionals.
For the sharing of that love is the true essence of teaching, directing and performing. My actions are simply empty without it.
My challenge for you this month:
- Open your heart with guidance and discrimination. Use caution when opening, but don’t let fear shut you down.
- Keep constant company with greatly inspired music – whatever uplifts your consciousness.
- Listen for love. And when you find it, share it with your words, your notes, your heart, your eyes and your kindness.
This is a practice—not a performance. If you don’t get it immediately, have the patience to do the work to find that love. Nothing else compares.