My piano teacher said, “Music communicates in many ways. What if you composed a melody where your music goes down the scale from higher to lower notes? In most of your songs, melodies ascend.”
How could I do this? That evening I struggled to compose a descending melody. Without a point of reference, or awareness of an example, it’s difficult to create new music.
This morning I heard a descending melody on the radio. I never heard the descending melody in the song until my piano teacher asked her question. When we pause and pay attention to what we experience, we raise our awareness in the present moment. If we increase awareness in one part of life, we elevate attention in other parts as well.
We may be bothered by a problem. “Let go of it. Get over it,” our friends advise. We may fear the result of letting go so we continue to do something that is inconsistent with what we want to achieve. However, if we are prepared for change, I suggest that we let go of our fear of letting go, and rely on our values and abilities to take us to a result we desire.
We may feel misplaced in life or work. Activities that previously satisfied, no longer do. We wonder, “Where am I headed? How can I feel better?” Our initial reaction might be to rush to a solution to eliminate feelings of misplacement. However, rather than focus on quick fixes, I suggest that when we feel misplaced we prepare ourselves for a future that is beyond our current thinking and present frame of reference. To reach this future we can begin by discovering who we are at our core, our authentic self. We then live in accord with our discovered core being. When we live true to who we are, we are able to trust that we will arrive at a future that supports our being, our authentic self.
I’m a starter. When I read, I place a bookmark where I’ve left off. “I’ll finish later,” I tell myself. Sometimes I do. Often I don’t. Bookmarks wag from my unfinished reading like my first grade teacher’s tongue when she admonished, “Tisk, tisk, Richard, put some gasoline in your tank.” I wish I had my current wisdom back then to tell Mrs. Higgins, “I love the rush of a new idea. My work will be completed in it’s own time.”
We are inspired with creative energy when we divert ourselves from what we attempt to accomplish. I experienced inspiration when I got up from the piano, where I struggled to compose music, and prepared to walk to the co-op to pick up evening dinner. As I headed out the door, an idea landed. I dropped my grocery list and returned to the piano. Song lyrics jelled in my mind. Since inspiration may be fleeting, I wanted to capture my idea before it was lost.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.