Preparing my mind and body for my first live acoustic rock performance experience tonight as part of a trio. Beautiful warm weather here in northern California, and this morning I read these words from Iyanla Vanzant:

I have learned to look at my life as an observer. I stand back, look at what happened, and focus my attention on the place where the wound was inflicted. I do not look at who inflicted the wound or how it was inflicted. That it was inflicted is the essence of healing. Find what your wound is, where the wound is being played out in your life, and heal it. Only by doing the work on ourselves that is required to heal mental, emotional, and psychological wounds can we ever hope to be whole in our spirits. I chose to do the healing work because I didn’t want to be mad anymore. I didn’t want to cry anymore. I wanted to heal so that I would have something to celebrate – myself.

from Yesterday, I Cried by Iyanla Vanzant

I felt deep in my soul a renewed calling that I must tell my story. Not just for myself, but for others. Not just this part of the story, but my whole story. It’s all I’ve been trying to do, and now I know it needs to be done.

I got my hair cut this morning, and this afternoon I went to a shopping mall for the first time in probably a year and a half. Ever since my “professional” clothing  liberation, I’ve noticed that just about two things work every day for me – a T shirt (cute and fitted) and yoga pants. I find myself doing yoga in the middle of the day, or going on hikes to clear my mind, and I don’t have to fuss around with changing outfits, shoes, etc. I am just me, without accoutrement.

But for tonight’s performance, I notice my brain kicking into the habitual pattern of what a performance means. First of all I am listening to audio of our rehearsals, in preparation. That’s fine. It gets the juices flowing. I also notice how I’m critiquing my own playing, saying things like, “Who the HELL do I think I am to do this kind of playing in public??” and “Why was I so excited about this again?? People will LAUGH at me!” and “I haven’t practiced nearly enough for this!”. Then I take a deep breath and laugh at the tendency of my mind to go down this well-worn path of criticism, self-doubt, and fear.

I also got into the old reflex of doing some retail therapy in advance of an event. I found that I hadn’t been missing much by not being at the mall. I tried on a pile of clothes, and walked out with two tops. I suspect I might be returning one of them. The T-shirt that my brother bought me – white with a subtle grey peace sign and small sequins – might just be perfect.

Such fun to become the observer of one’s life, and just to notice everything. Give it a try!