Living the Soulful Life
From the Mundane to The Miraculous
By Scott Kalechstein
“To funnel your expression of life through the narrowness of another’s
anticipated response is the beginning of death. There is another way.”
— Ken Carey,
The Third Millennium
I have lived a great deal of my life shining at half-wattage, letting my light flicker for fear of rejection. I have gradually baby-stepped my way towards diminishing the power this fear has had over me, and recently took a giant step in becoming my full incandescent Self.
I was at a weekend personal growth conference, and during the breaks I was strumming my guitar and offering songs to some of the people enjoying a taste of the outdoors. As people passed by I would selectively ask a few of them if they wanted to hear a song. I say ‘selectively’ because I noticed that only if a person gave me a welcoming smile and acknowledged my existence did I ask. The ones who didn’t make friendly eye contact I didn’t offer a song. Of course I told myself that I was just respecting their boundaries, but after a while it dawned on me that gently inquiring if a person wanted to hear a song was not exactly invading their space. Could it be that what was really holding me back was fear of rejection, cleverly masquerading as courtesy? It seemed so!
What was I so afraid of? The worst they could say was no. Perhaps when I shied away from reaching out to others it was my own self-rejection I was protecting myself from. Perhaps it wasn’t their response I was scared of but my own stories, stories about there being something wrong with me when someone did not respond the way I wanted.
I went home from that weekend courting a soul-penetrating inquiry: What have I lost while hiding my love and my gifts behind the fear of rejection? It was a powerful question, and with the answer came waves of grief. The truth was that I had missed out on countless moments of connection with others. I had missed a tremendous amount of joy, fun, and miraculous experiences hiding my light under a bushel for fear of what the neighbors would think.
My grief brought me naturally to an inner resolve to not let the fear of rejection put a dam between myself and my heart’s expression ever again.
Three days later I was feeling lonely and disconnected, emotions brought on by a conversation the likes of which can be heard at private pity parties worldwide: “I hate this mundane day! Why can’t my entire life be like the personal growth conferences I go to on weekends where I get to sing and connect with people? These weekdays of doing the business side of my work behind a computer are such a painful contrast. Where’s the fun? Where’s the magic? I hate this!”
A question from my higher self crashed the pity party: What can I do to get myself out of this space and into the sweet flow of love’s expression? Sometimes answers to these kinds of questions come in abstract subtleties. This time was different. Before fear and logic had a chance to talk me out of the outrageous instructions I was getting, I grabbed my guitar and headed to the beach to create my own middle-of-the-week personal growth seminar on how to let go of the fear of rejection and to create magic in any moment.
My assignment was to reach out to strangers and ask if they would like to hear a song. But before I could jump in, I needed some supportive healing energy flowing from me to my fear. I walked out onto the sand, strumming and singing soothing words to the part of me that was afraid. They went something like this: “You can do this, Jedi Scott. Trust the force and the love you’ve got. It’s no fun to hold it in, and we’re through with sufferin’. We’ll just offer up our songs, and taking risks will make us strong. We’ll be so busy making heart connections, who has the time for the fear of rejection?”
The people I nervously reached out to first were a couple who looked very much in love. I asked if they wanted to be serenaded and they said yes. Asking them only for their names, I made up a song in the moment about what I saw in their eyes and their countenances. They were deeply touched, and I felt energized by their appreciation.
Gaining momentum and courage, I approached other people less and less cautiously as I strolled down the sand. Almost everyone was accepting my offer, and musical moments of connection were opening hearts and spreading smiles all along the stretch of beach.
Eventually I came across two friends of mine who also love to sing. When I told them what I was up to we joined forces for a while, singing to strangers in three-part harmony. What an amazing afternoon I was having at the beach, five minutes away from my house, right in the middle of a ‘mundane’ week, with no spirituality conference in sight!
I even approached a collection of beer drinking teenagers hanging out after an afternoon of surfing. I asked them for a topic and made sure the song I created was funny and with the times. My improvisation was quite a hit, and they invited me to sit down with them. We talked about everything from their perceptions about what was happening in Iraq to how they were experiencing growing up in this culture. I was thrilled to have secured their trust and gained entry into their world and their authentic feelings.
One person I reached out to on my walk declined my offer. Checking in to my body to see if any feelings were hurt, I found her response stimulated nothing within me. No stories about her, no stories about myself, just a gentle acceptance. I took a deep breath and wished her a marvelous day, feeling quite free to focus my attention on the next encounter. What a celebration that was!
What I am discovering is that without the fear of rejection every moment is miraculous, and every encounter holy. I may not always have a guitar in hand, but I do always have my heart, and the ability to connect. I have found no joy so deep and fulfilling as when sticking my neck out to my fellow human beings and lifting the mundane into the miraculous.
“The universe has created in you not a demon or a fool but a magnificent,
luminous being. You share eternity’s creative power and all the wondrous beauty
of time. Should you fear the spontaneity that will reveal your beauty? Should
you fear the expression of your love?”
— Ken Carey, The Third Millennium
Scott Kalechstein, M.D.T. (Modern Day Troubadour) can be found sharing his musical, ministerial, speaking, and healing gifts with churches, conferences, businesses, and individuals around the world. To be placed on Scott’s e-mail list, send a hello to email@example.com , or visit http://www.scottsongs.com for more inspiration, laughter, song samples, and information.
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