The Call to Growth
Discomfort can be a wonderful thing. Boredom, frustration, un-ease. Often these feelings are signs, showing us where we are being called to grow.
I love to gig. And I gig a lot. I went from playing no solo shows this time last year (and having never gigged on my own before), to now approaching my 30th gig since I began gigging last November. But something is shifting. Nearly 30 gigs in, and I am feeling myself becoming so familiar to the songs I'm singing and the environments I'm singing in. And from the feeling of familiarity, I notice my attitude shifting. Naturally. 30 gigs is a lot! I find myself operating a little more on auto-pilot, and less consciously focused on what I am doing. At some gigs, the time doesn't fly as much as it used to. I've found myself a little less absorbed in the process. A little less in flow. And that's okay. It's totally natural. We're built to adapt for survival purposes. And in order for that sense of flow to happen for us when we're engaged in an activity, there needs to be an element of challenge. So when things don't feel as challenging...when the skill and challenge level meet eye to eye, it's easy to find ourselves less engaged.
Personally I find that these moments of discomfort and apathy that can arise from familiarity provide the greatest opportunity. Firstly, the greatest opportunity to realise just how far you've come in something. Reflecting back to the first lot of gigs I performed, I was nervous and full of self-doubt. To now be at a stage where I trust my abilities so much that I find myself tuning out...that's amazing! I am reminded of how far I have come when I compare then to now.
But most of all, I like to use shifts in attitude and feelings as an opportunity to identify where and how I can further grow. Feelings of apathy arise when you hit a plateau in growth. When something just isn't all that challenging for you anymore. Growth plays a big part in happiness. I know it plays a big part in my happiness anyway. I have a love for learning and a love for stretching myself to new limits and heights. So rather than just throwing in the towel on a job or project when boredom arises, I like to ask myself..."how can I further grow here?" In some situations, there might not being any room for further growth. Or at least no room for the kind of growth that you feel is important for yourself. I've found myself walking away from work, relationships, etc...not because there wasn't opportunity for growth, but because the kind of growth possible wasn't aligned with my soul. But with gigging, there's so much room for growth.
I know the songs well now. I am more confident with my guitar playing and singing live. So maybe the focus can be more about performance now? Learning more songs off by heart rather than relying so much on my iPad chord charts? I will say that the one thing I love about gigs is that you often play to such different crowds. And getting to sing for and meet beautiful new people warms my heart and feels like growth to me. Even when there's familiar faces stopping by from gig to gig, I am warmed by the fact that I feel apart of a community. There's always a way to re-frame anything. And always opportunity for growth.
But often when you don't feel as stretched in something and you are seeking new growth, it provides an opportunity to ask yourself..."where am I being called to grow in my life? What is calling me right now?". Sometimes it's less about looking right in front of you for answers as to how to keep growing, and more about thinking broadly to other things that might be calling you. In my case, the space that is freed up by feeling more comfortable with cover gigs can give way to other exciting projects calling me. With the time I save not having to practice as much as I used to for those gigs, I can honour other areas that I am being called to grow in.
The big thing calling my name right now is recording music. I believe that everything happens in divine timing. I thought I would record an EP last year, but since then I have written a stack of songs that I am yearning to record and share with others. And since then, my heart is less sold on the EP idea and more on the idea of a mini album. Or a long list of singles that end up forming an album. So many of my songs are short and sweet and mantra-like...and I think it would be amazing to have them come together to tell a story of my journey over the last few years in the form of an album. How special.
So, sometimes discomfort is a nudge to reflect and celebrate. Sometimes it's a call to further growth. Sometimes it's a ping to stretch yourself in new and different ways.
For me, I feel all of that. I am so proud of myself for what I have achieved in the last 6 months alone; let alone the journey that led to the last 6 months of gigging and music making. I feel the call to explore more ways I can grow with cover gigs. Maybe experimenting more with melody improvisation and performance skills. And I am feeling pinged to begin what may just be the most exciting creative project of my life so far. Recording my music. And creating everything that comes along with that. I have so many beautiful visions. For photos, music videos, vlogs, beautiful merchandise, shows, touring...so many things. I know that recording music is the next logical step. Although I am much more of a heart over rationality kind of gal. And to be honest, it's the thing calling my heart most right now too. The Divine is gently and playfully steering me there. When it's a matter of logic, heart and Divine - I can't ignore it.
I am so looking forward to creating and collaborating on a beautiful world of magic with the music and beautiful visuals and experiences that I will one day soon get to share with you. I feel that I have been training for this for many lifetimes. And I am so excited to share the next chapter with you.
Lots and lots of love to you,