I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung. -- Rabindranath Tagore
The authentic voice, the true voice, the wee voice. You may name it whatever you may would like. As I wrote before: "It is your inner compass. And it isn't necessarily a voice at all - but rather a form of communication that transcends language. It more closely aligned with music than words, as touched on in this resonance post."
This is the follow-up post to Exceptional People are Exceptionally Themselves:
"A nice definition of an awakened person: a person who no longer marches to the drums of society, a person who dances to the tune of the music that springs up from within." -- Anthony De Mello, Awareness.
Of course, that leads to the next question(s) and the next post: Uh, what tune is that - why don't I hear squat? Or, ah that tune, you mean that little ditty matters?
"The problem with our become-a-leader-30-days craze is that what worked for [Jack] Welch or [Lee] Iocacca is not readily transferable, nor are the secrets of their successes easily passed on in a book...I think you had to be Lee [Iocacca] in order to be like Lee; I don't think you could be Lee through study." - David Halberstam, "The Greatness That Cannot Be Taught", Fast Company, September 2004.
Isn't it curious that the title of that article is called "The Greatness That Cannot Be Taught". As I observe successful people the most consistent pattern I've noted is that exceptional people are exceptionally themselves.
Of General Matthew Bunker Ridgway, Halberstam writes: "He did what he did because to do anything else would have been less than who he was." Bingo.
I'll stick with the metaphor of the authentic voice as an internal tune. Imagine that you yourself - or your mind - is the tuning fork. Discovering more about tuning forks, Wikipedia tells us:
When [a tuning fork is] struck, it gives out a very faint note which is barely audible unless held right up to the ear. For this reason, it is generally struck and then pressed down on a solid surface such as a desk which acts as a soundboard and greatly amplifies the note.
In my Awareness Mondays post I will be giving out a myriad of techniques and practices that may prove to be good sounding boards for your own wee tune and serve to amplify it. Not all of them may click or work for you, but be open to experimentation.
What most experts and gurus will share with you is the music they hear when they press their own tuning fork to a sounding board. It's their tune, not yours. So Awareness Mondays and the companion email list (subscribe at awareness-practice-subscribe at yahoogroups dot com) are about is sharing ideas for effective sounding boards.
This whole topic seems to abound around mid-life or whenever we are making a transition or coming on inflection points or we just notice that something seems off or we feel we're in a rut or a creative slump. But it seems a shame to wait until any of these times to be exceptional and to accentuate ourselves.
In a recent email referring to mid-life (or existential) crisis, someone shares: I don't know what's going on, I thought I was so in-tune.
You are in tune. Listen to the tune. Don't use societal expectations, cultural norms, your parents' expectations, your partner's expectations, TV, the country club, or the Fortune 100 as sounding boards.
[This is outside the scope of this post, but adult human development is normal. Growth is natural. Suppressing growth is what hurts. "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." - Richard Bach]
If you don't believe that your tune can be heard or is even worth amplifying, all I ask is that you give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Let's say I'm no expert, but...
"Think of me as a fellow patient in the same hospital who, having been admitted a little earlier, could give some advice." - C.S. Lewis