Rule No.1: Know thyself.
Some people just know what their passion is in life, be that writer, artist, inventor or whatever. I reckon they are really lucky people. Me? I never quite knew. Mind you, upon reflection, I was always searching.
Or rather, I like to look upon it in the following way: the Universe was always leading me to a point in time and space where I could become aware of the gifts I held within my soul.
Those gifts were as a poet and musician; I could write poetry as song with melody, meter and with lyrics that could touch other people and make them feel good. And to top it off, I had the ability to sing and perform these songs on stage with guitar and harmonica. Wow! That was an amazing revelation. And at the same time, rather scary. I knew this realisation would set the course of my life until its very end.
Why did things have to happen this way instead of me knowing my gifts and purpose from the start? Simply put: I had quite a few things to learn before I reached that point in time where I was ready to write my songs. And one of the important things I had to learn was how to know my soul. Now that might seem like a strange idea but keep reading and you’ll understand what I mean a little later.
As a child I learnt a few things very quickly. One was from my grade 5 teacher that I couldn’t sing and that I had no musical talent whatsoever. I recall that particular teacher pointing their finger at me and saying for all to hear, “there’s a musical fool at the end of this finger”. I had the thought to retort,“which end?” but wasn’t brave enough to say it!
A little later I learnt that I was never really over the moon about doing a regular job. I do believe I’m not alone with that snippet of wisdom. My time surfing had taught me that “job transition” always seemed to be more fun!
Because I always felt that life should be fun, and amazing and an adventure and that I should be doing something with my life that was full of joy.
Bob Marley puts it a different way in the song “Get Up, Stand Up” with the following lyrics:
“Most people think great God will come from the sky
Take away everything and make everybody feel high
But if you know what life is worth
You would look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
You stand up for your right, yeah”
Another thing I knew about myself was that I enjoyed learning. I’d learnt heaps through all my different jobs, travelling to many wild & exotic places overseas and also at University.
Life had led me to undertake doctorate studies. It was here that I began reading across a huge range of topics – philosophy, psychology, politics and education to name but a few. I went to lectures with pre-eminent environmentalists. And I’d seen through my travels, and learnt in books and papers about the problems of our world. I must say it became rather depressing after awhile to learn about yet another problem. The worst thing was that I felt totally powerless to make any type of difference. The problems seemed too big. And at the same time spending my life in academia didn’t feel right for me.
Rule No.2: Keep learning.
At one stage I read a book called “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”. It is an account of the history of the North American Indians and it moved me deeply. I decided to look at the contribution that indigenous peoples of the world could make to environmental education. This choice made me turn towards the traditional teachers and healers within these communities. Or in other words, it made me begin reading about shamans and Shamanism. And its here that I made my first link to rock music. You probably made it as soon as I wrote the word “shaman” because of Jim Morrison and the Doors or perhaps through Marc Bolan and T-Rex. But I didn’t make that particular link until later in my PhD experience. I still had much more to learn but at least now I knew what I had to learn – and that was about shamans, about music and about me.
I’m going to leave you here. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my first ever blog. I’d be over the moon if you’ve enjoyed my story so far and sent me a message…and I’d be smiling for a week if you pressed the “share” button!
Thanks for taking the time. Catch you soon.