Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Finding the treasure of Experience!

 Hi All, Pete here typing....
Have you ever been on a treasure hunt?  Someone gives you clues and you piece your way to the final prize? 

This past Christmas morning I created a small treasure hunt for our kids, Leah (7) and Sam (4).  I had wrapped a package for both and inside there was a short, handwritten clue.  Each clue led them to a new destination with another clue that then led to the next location.  After several clues, they finally came to a box and inside was their present.  The present wasn’t any more special or unique than any other of the “hundreds” of presents they received that morning.   However, they both still comment on the “treasure hunt” present and the adventure of searching for and finally finding the present!  Why is that, because we are beings who FEEL and EXPERIENCE life.  We love to experience things, more than simply get things.  The experience is how the vibrancy of life gets to move through us.  This is nothing new to any of us, we’ve all gotten something only to have it lose its luster over time.  But lately I’m being reminded of that truth over and over again.

This weekend Anne and I drove to Los Angeles to audition for NBC’s The Voice, a reality TV show.  Several things came up as we even began the process of signing up to audition.  First of all, Anne and I haven’t had a TV in our home since 1999.  Second, we aren’t well known for our current list of popular cover tunes that are an essential part of the program.    And third, with the thousands of performers auditioning, it’s highly unlikely we’d gain a second audition let alone make it to the final round of appearing on the show.  Then why do it?  Why go through all the trouble of lining up babysitters, finding a place to stay, sitting in a car for 10 hours, eating Wholefoods’ sushi?  Because we knew this was an opportunity for us to experience our own belief in ourselves.  To experience our own sense of worthiness.  How?  The entire audition process, the 4 hours of waiting, the 45 seconds of singing, the kind rejection at the end were all chances for us to EXPERIENCE our own self worth!   To witness that worthiness does not come from outside of us but from within.  It’s one thing to know that truth in your mind, and something completely different to experience that truth!  This is why we speak so highly of stepping out of your comfort zones, because it affords you a chance to get to know the truth about what you think and believe about yourself.  What are the thoughts and stories you tell yourself?  These are the very structures your life is built upon.  How do you examine them?  By stepping outside of the story you’re telling (all the stuff you name as you, I am this, I do this, I am good at…) and taking a look around. 

The day after we auditioned for The Voice, we drove an hour east to a beautiful town surrounded by mountains outside of LA.  There we sang for a man in advance stages of Parkinson’s.  We’d been invited to sing for him by his family.   So we sang and shared stories of our adventures and inspirations for our songs while his family and friends gathered around this man and each other to weep, clap and sing along with us.  This shared EXPERIENCE was a profound mixture of love, sadness, joy and acceptance one that I know I will cherish for many years.  Their courage to step outside of their comfort zones, to be vulnerable with us and to weep, afforded them the experience of a love and connection that few people are willing to break their hearts open with!  Incidentally, they asked us to sing Anne’s song, “Wide Open” twice.  It was the song we sang at our audition the day before and contains the lines:

“I’m gonna lay my burdens down. 
I’m gonna fly with no excuses. 
I’m gonna break this heart in two. 
Break it wide open, a heart wide open, I’m gonna try!”

Thank you for supporting our journey!  Thank you for having the courage to keep showing up in your own life!  As we care for our own path, so it becomes impossible not to show up and care for others’ as well.

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