I just read an email from a friend of mine, who while recovering from one kind of cancer found out she had a mass on her kidney and had to undergo additional surgery, fear and pain. The email contained the good news that the kidney mass was benign. But my friend’s description of the anxiety, doubt and physical pain associated with the ordeal was honest, deep and dark. It caught me off guard as I read this email in my office, while in work mode.
Then I remembered my friend is a professional writer. She doesn’t know how to be anything but honest. The feelings she expressed obliterated the distractions of my office/workday/tasks and immediately re-focused my attention to the essence of what mattered.
I’ve written hundreds of songs and I’ve been fortunate that many have been recorded, with some becoming hits. And while many of my songs are well crafted, the songs that became hits have one thing common. They all came from an honest, emotional place. I’ve never been successful with clever or contrived, although I’ve tried. Believe me I’ve tried! Emotional expression helps us re-focus our attention to the essence of what matters.
I stumbled into my current career as a musical team building facilitator when I realized that writing songs with groups enables participants to naturally tap into an emotional place and focus, or re-focus, attention to what matters most in an organization. There’s something about music that disables inhibition and enables honest communication. Great things happen, when we’re all ‘feeling’ it together, whether as audience members at a concert, or co-creating with team building through song.