The song inside you
“Don’t go with your song still inside you“, advises the theme song of a film I saw Sunday, called either The Shift or Ambition to Meaning, depending on who you ask or where you look!
The song runs during the closing credits, and was filmed on location at a place I’ve spent many happy days. Asilomar Conference Center on the Monterey coast in California is exactly as beautiful, stark and exotic as it appears in the video. I love that, towards the end, they filmed all the other guests at the facility singing along, and then the staff, too. How great! There’s another video at the same link which contains a wonderful meditative piano piece, with even more stunning photos of the place.
After watching the film, I felt as if I’d spent a day at Asilomar, not just the two hours it took to watch. This was the highlight for me, revisiting a place where I was very happy and experienced remarkable openings. I have a coffee mug I bought there which says “A place where lives are changed“. Indeed. I’ll say that our lives are perfect in every moment, and don’t “need” to change, but there are times and places when the desire comes bubbling forth, and a profound shift takes place.
Although I had no idea who Dr. Wayne Dyer was when I attended conferences and trainings at Asilomar some years ago, I have since heard him speak in person and on television, and have read several of his books. The film centers around a documentary being made about him, sort of a “film within a film”. I find I’m generally in agreement with about 70% of his philosophy; it rose to about 80% in this particular presentation. I don’t resonate with some of his notions about “ego” or about “service”. I know there are those who feel that a little Dyer goes a long way. Still, if I allow myself to hear the message, and suspend judgment, I can appreciate his sincerity. Since he chose Asilomar as the place to put his life philosophy on film, he must be doing something right! 😉
The song is presented by the very laid-back jazz quartet Ethan Lipton and his Orchestra. There is a tongue-in-cheek, whimsical quality to it, as in much of Lipton’s music, but it contains a very profound message, and really sums up the entire movie. The place, the music, and the message began to merge for me as I revisited old feelings and realized how far I’ve come in so many ways; yet have become more essentially “me” each year.
One conference stands out as particularly poignant. I’d been at Asilomar for three days of the week-long program. When I arrived, I very much still had “my song inside” me. “No one wants to hear MY song”, I thought. “It’s not particularly unique, or relevant, or tuneful.” I won’t go into all the specifics, but by the end of that particular day, I had discovered that the voice saying those things covered up the authentic me—the one with the amazing “voice”. Any time we put ourselves down, or say we’re less than or not enough, is actually a blunted form of (and here’s Dr. Dyer’s word!) “ego”. A façade had formed to protect our authentic selves from harm for one reason or another (or five, or 622) over the years. When we were born, I was told, the universe was delighted with us, and we with ourselves. We had to “learn” to hold a different opinion, and that “learning” could be “unlearned”.
By the end of my week there, I had actual “fans” for my “song”! I haven’t kept silent since. 😀
Obviously the phrase “the song inside you” is a metaphor; it can refer to any kind of gift you want to share and develop from who you really are. In my case, it did involve music. Little bits of music had “leaked out” during my childhood and teen years; I was never completely without it. As I grew in confidence, I stepped into my music, rather than just letting it seep through my façade.
Now, as much of my work is in Arts Administration, I feel I am allowing out more and more of “the song inside”. I get to actually perform music—that’s almost a physical need at this point—as well as use my natural leadership ability (which I didn’t know I had!) to facilitate Arts experiences for others, both as performers and audiences.
The song in the film gives us a gentle warning: “Don’t GO with your song still inside you”; it says. I see the word “go”, in this context, in many ways—from going out the door, today, to the final “going”, the one where we leave this earthly flesh behind.
However you wish to interpret it, I wish for you, and for me, that we continue to discover the ongoing song, and allow it to come forth, strongly, beautifully; with passion and purpose.