When someone asks you “What do you want?” there is a split second, unconscious reaction, where your heart and mind immediately connect and you know. Then the heart disconnects and the mind turns on- “What if I hurt this person?” “What will this mean to my reputation?” “Am I really worth that?” While these questions are running through your brain, the split second decision you’ve already unconsciously made begins to be diluted and masked by fears and conditions- If I hadn’t done that, then I could ask for this- If she were stronger then I could tell her- If I were better qualified then I’d tell them what I’m worth.
This can come up in love, in friendship, in the work place, really anywhere that you’ve invested time and emotional energy. At the beginning of 2018, I made up my mind to go on tour, my first solo-tour as a Servant of Love, sharing the album of the same name. In order for this to align, it required many things- a sense of clarity, focus, and saying exactly what I was choosing Here are a few of them:
- I choose to only commit my time to tasks in alignment with my mission
- I choose to be financially supported by only these vocations, and to ask my community for support whenever I need it, without fear or pride
- I choose to live with gratitude and humility as this process unfolds, unattached to any result, living with no expectation
- I choose to surrender to the Divine purpose, and serve love
As the months unfolded, scarcities that had enlisted unnecessary fear turned into abundances that required necessary joy. A former love sent forth an opportunity and said “I think you’d be great for this- go for it”. A month later I was getting paid to wear funny hats, play my saxophone, and take pre-K children to Imagination Station (a place where art is learning, and learning is fun). The library received a grant to purchase several thousands of dollars worth of musical recording equipment to start the “Live @ Teen Central” program- meaning my job now is to go to schools and put on musical demonstrations for teens, help them record their own demos, and then invite them to monthly live shows performed by local musicians at the Teen Library’s recording studio. I began to get paid as the saxman for SA Youth, a beautiful nonprofit that serves underprivileged youth in San Antonio, and inspire musical expression in kids from 8-15. San Antonio Sound Garden executed a luncheon with top industry leaders that had been postponed for 5 months, the catalyst for the season of abundance we are now approaching.
All of this, and I was still short of money. I started a Kickstarter campaign and within 11 days had over $2,200 raised for my journey West. Any moment of doubt throughout it all was washed away by tsunami waves of Divine affirmation and generosity. I asked for EXACTLY what I wanted, and received EXACTLY what I needed.
There are countless stories from tour of this happening, and still I let myself get frustrated, saddened by loneliness or exhaustion or expectation. Towards the end of the road, the money, I was playing in Sedona, AZ. Sequestered from the majority of the audience, two ladies came into the sanctuary room where I played to keep me company. One came up to me and said “I see Yoganandaji in you. He is strong in you.” Tears welled up in my eyes (they do so again now) as I swallowed yet again my foolish pride- “How did you know? I just came from His home yesterday…” – “Of course you did. I just felt it, His presence comes through you.” I looked upon the visage of Paramahansa Yogananda, watching over me on the sanctuary altar, and glassy-eyed smiled at the woman. Another angel to send me on my way…
…I have been home now for six weeks. I have realized that there is no more dreams coming true, but rather living the truth of my dreams. I am doing that now as a musician, taking my saxophone with me everywhere I go and sharing my soul. I’m earning over 80% of my income just from playing music, and the other 20% I’m getting paid to learn how to produce music and prepare for the “Live @ Teen Central” with the Library. I spend my days meditating, crafting emails to potential collaborators, updating websites (like this one) and social media, practicing my music, establishing my business credibility, and building community. It’s really as beautiful as it sounds.
And yet the closer I get to the true essence, the more the shadow plays. I am forced again and again and again to check my mission against the reality that presents itself. These voices of “What if I hurt this person?” “What will this mean to my reputation?” “Am I really worth that?” all return even louder than before. Then that split-second decision returns and says “Thank you for these reminders. I am not worried anymore. I am doing it. I have said EXACTLY what I want, and now I’m going to live it.”
Here’s a prayer that serves the same purpose, that was Divinely inspired on my trip to the Grand Canyon:
(Repeat each line 3x before going on)
Thank you for choosing me
What will you have me do next through You?
YOU move me a level up
When fear comes, I replace him with You
Take me in Your arms, I let go
I’m ready, You are with me