A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".
Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.
Walking in the Air was my piece, the piece, my masterpiece. It was the one I played over and over and over again, memorizing every note, every detail, every tick of the metronome until it was perfect. George Winston was my muse and I would listen to his version of the song endlessly - endlessly - until I had it down exactly.
I had an upcoming piano recital in which I'd be playing this glorious song and I was nervous. Although I had memorized it in and out, front and back, I got lost in my anxiety and I couldn't remember anything. The notes blurred on the page and in my memory.
The experience was so bad that I quit studying piano. To be specific, I quit because of the feedback my piano teacher gave me. Instead of encouraging me to continue and move on after my stumble, she told me I wasn't practicing enough, that I wasn't dedicated enough. That maybe I was too interested in boys and not interested enough in this.
Those aren't the words you need to hear when you already feel terrible.
For anyone who has ever stumbled, or who may stumble into the coming year with goals and resolutions that may not work out just as you hoped, I feel you. I know. I get it.
Whatever your failures, your mishaps, your errors- embrace them, learn from them, move on and around them, but do not, I beg you, do not give up.
You will look back years from now and wonder what could have been. You will think too much time has passed and too much energy has been lost and you will wish you had tried harder the first time. You will see all the opportunity you tiptoed around because of fear, of failure, of worry.
Everyone fails. It's one of the greatest gifts in life, failure. It is a teacher, a guide, a lesson. It is the first step on a courageous path of trying, trying, trying and, yes, eventually succeeding.
That's the secret. That's it. Just keep trying.
This is my last post for the year, friends. I always give myself a little time off around this time of year to unwind. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break if you need it, too.
And remember, be kind with whatever resolutions and goals you're setting for this new year. Believe in yourself and give yourself time. You've got this.
Here's my favorite version of Walking in the Air by George Winston, if you care to listen. And here's another version that my friend Noah calls "mean" (in a good way) because it's just a little bit rougher and tougher around the edges, while still being incredibly beautiful.