This holiday season, the spirit of giving is everywhere. In comparison to all those who are able to get out holiday cards, cookies, and thoughtful gifts for everyone—I feel woefully behind and overwhelmed.

What I give bestMy wife is one of those amazing women who does all of these so incredibly well, and over the years I’ve discovered what I do best:

I give best through live performance.

Like at our choir’s Festival of Lights performance at the Grotto last Tuesday. Our choir was relaxed and prepared, able to confidently give a performance that incorporated unrehearsed nuances of timing that the highly reflective acoustic demanded.

But what did we give?

Most of all, we were able to offer the gift of tangible inspiration. We were able to open our hearts and offer the genuine experience of love, light, peace and joy through the resonance of our voices and our hearts.

Twenty years ago I had nothing to give.

I was completely out of balance, unable to enjoy any holiday orchestral performances. One measure of the Nutcracker would send me into a fit worthy of the meanest Scrooge. I was pushing too hard in all the wrong directions, looking for fulfillment not in myself, but in false freedoms that only kept me bound. I had nothing to give to the listeners. I was burned out, cynical, and looking for the next chance to escape the stress of my life.

So what do you do when you find yourself onstage but empty?

The answer is simple yet incredibly challenging: breathe deeply as often as you can remember to do so. During rests or in between pieces, withdraw your energy. Relax your body as deeply as possible before your next entrance. After the performance, recharge with sleep. Unplug and spend some time in quiet, no matter how briefly.

Use your first renewal of energy as an investment for more:

Find your place of inner peace. You need it. The world needs it.

Relax and open your heart. It is a treasure vault that has no limits. The gifts that manifest in the heart are too many too count, too large to measure. The heart has an unlimited wealth of energy and love.

Take whatever tiny gift you find right now in your heart and offer it upwards. Bless it with the positive energy that naturally rises up the spine towards the higher centers in the brain.

Finally, broadcast your gift out through your spiritual eye, the point between your eyebrows, the star of the East. This is the broadcasting station for your spirit. Focusing there will feel increasingly blissful.

Doing this will open the channels to the unlimited flow of energy and inspiration. It will enable you to decrease your stress while meeting increasing demands on your time and energy. Even a little practice of this will lead to noticeable improvement in your life and music.

My sincere wishes for a blessed holiday season filled with moments of magic!


What did you give when you gave your last performance?

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