“I Let go of a broken heart, I let go to an open heart, I let go of my broken dreams, I let go to the mystery.”
(One Step Closer To You, Michael Franti)
Going down to Byron to Bluesfest this year changed my life. It really put things in perspective for me like nothing else. Some people that I have told this to since this have laughed and shrugged it off as a little bit of an exaggerated comment, but it’s the truth. His performance on Friday night literally changed my life.
Before I go into my Byron epiphany, firstly, I just want to say that if I was drinking down there, there is a good chance that I would have missed this lesson or at least forgotten it on the night. Secondly, it’s funny to look back at how I used to be so self-conscious about dancing sober and now to looking at myself on the weekend – Damn Woman! Mmm Mmm, I was shakin’ it non-stop! & It felt so liberating to be able to be that person who could.
How my life changed in Byron on Friday night…
Michael Franti. The dude is incredible, I was watching his performance and from the beginning I was so completely in awe of the passion that he and his band had for their music. He was just so fucking into his job. So committed to his purpose and the music that supported that purpose. Just seeing someone like that, with my own two eyes, really validated what I want for my own life, on so many levels.
To lay in some context, before I went down to Byron, I had dinner with a person (that I have a lot of respect and love for) who was telling me about his life. He was tired and unhappy and he was talking about how he was chained to his job until he ‘was able’ to retire 5 years later. ‘When I save enough, then I will be happy,’ he said. ‘I’m responsible to my family and to the community’. All this, done in the name of ‘responsibility’ he said. The truth is his identity of himself was such that he would rather be ‘responsible’ than be free. He would rather be responsible than be happy.
Then to compare that and see a man like Michael Franti being who he wanted to be, now, and in every way, it made me believe in a better way. Here is a man that has dedicated his life to a purpose, he is truly living it and more than that, he looks like he is having so much damn fun doing it!
Here is a man that had 5000 people all letting go of their worries and jumping around like crazy for at least a couple of hours. Then, I saw that same crowd walk home together and spontaneously strangers would spark into one of the songs they just heard and sing together. That is power. That is purpose.
In the past three months I have gone through a lot of realisations and I feel that hellosundaymorning is my life’s purpose. Even if it is small now, I feel like we are making a bit of a difference. I feel so good when people tell me that it makes them think about their own actions around drinking. It has only happened a dozen or so times so far and each time, it really fills me up. It makes me believe.
I feel so fortunate to work in a job that supports my purpose and so grateful to have people around me that support that too. I just want to say that I realise that that person I had dinner with (before I went to blues) might have never had similar support, so his life ended up the way it did.
But, for me, I believe in a better way. Relative to people like Michael Franti, I may be at the busking at shopping centre stage of my career, playing two notes on an old recorder, but I’m really enjoying it for what it is. One crazy adventure.