Last night, as I was singing with my band and watching my fellow musicians in awe and wonder, I was again struck by the overwhelming feeling of bliss that I am fortunate enough to have on a regular basis. It dawns on me that this is an approach to life that I have cultivated over my lifetime.
Beginning first as a child when my mother continuously said to me, “Follow your bliss and the rest will work itself out.” Stellar advice honestly, and fifty years later I can attest to its effectiveness. Thanks Mom.
I’m not saying make a wish and all your dreams of riches and fame will come true; what I am saying is that when you do what you love to do you’re more likely to excel at it. You’ll be able to work with others who are best at it as well, and that sense of community, greatness, and wonder is just priceless. If this is what you devote your life to (because, let’s face it, your job takes the majority of your time, life force, energy, focus, thought, etc.) then your odds of being fulfilled and happy go up exponentially.
The beauty of having gone through hell (mostly of my own making) and coming out the other side is that I can fully, truly, and excitedly appreciate these moments. I am proud that the choices I make every day of what I spend my time on, who I spend it with, and what contributions I make to my world, my family, and myself add up to this; I LOVE MY LIFE. What a wonderful feeling.
Part of this cultivation, I believe, came after the great loss of my father Buddy Yochim (another story in itself). My father was like Indiana Jones to me and I hero-worshipped him from childhood. He was a charismatic Cajun boy who grew up in true poverty and became infamous, living an ambitious life only read about in adventure novels. He had very strong thoughts about my career and love interest choices (to say the least!) and like any family, we didn’t always agree. Once he was gone I found myself reassessing and I came to an honest place in my own ambitions regarding my career in music. A sense of clarity has come over me; a profound sense of my purpose.
I don’t make music and sing so that I may be famous or rich. I simply am made of it. I am music, I believe in music, I want to share it with people. That’s what I do and I’m really good at it because that’s what I’ve spent my life doing. But, to have a fame/riches agenda would change the conversation, would change the music itself to become disposable, junk food music. That’s not my job. I leave that up to those who wish to pursue such emptiness. So, I am left with the simple gift of doing what I truly love and modestly making my way. And since I’ve come to that realization my life has bloomed into a steady rhythm of joy. It sounds hippie frou- frou I know, but I swear by it. So, thanks Mom.
Here’s my advice to all of you; FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, and the rest will work itself out. I promise. Oh, and take your Magic Mix every day, hug strangers, eat your spinach, and tell people you love them all the time.
I love you.
photo by Vicky Sullivan, Rock the Lens Photograpphy