I know there is so much I've already changed in myself.I know this because of music. I know there is so much more I can change in myself. That too, is because of music.
THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED
This change, is not just a change of one person. It starts with the transformation of one soul - mine. Like a game of dominos, the change in the soul, transforms my THOUGHT. The mind then transforms my WORDS, which are expressions of thought. Still, this is all change of only one person - me.
Then, something impossible happens... a change in my DEEDS or ACTIONS. This is the trigger point that starts affecting others. Incidentally, an ordinary person will only see music as a cure for boredom or a quick-fix for a bad day. In effect, so much more can happen if you allow music into your mind, your body, your nerves, your muscles, and your very Being.
What happens is a change in ACTION. In the past, if I felt the need to cure my stresses and frustrations, I used to seek external means; a friend to vent to/ unto, 2 hours instead of the predesigned one hour workout on the treadmill to induce mindless fatigue, a little more chocolate, one more drink, the list goes on.
And in the pit of my stomach, I know that these actions, no matter how loudly they seem to speak at the time they were indulged in, are totally silent in terms of the effects they have on my Being. On my muscles, on my nerves, on my body, on my mind. And worst of all, as a musician who was seperated from her art for so long, the effcts on my music suffered the most. This was my past.
BEING LOST TO BE FOUND
Chicken and egg situation really.With music now leading me for the last 3 years, I am changed. My ACTIONS have changed because my WORDS changed, because my THOUGHTS changed. And my thoughts changed because I was LISTENING to music. Not listening like a student learning the intricacies. Not listening like someone asked you to check out their new album. Listening to the point of being lost to be found.
By listening to music, I went beyond notes and lyrics, beyond Rasas and critiquing.
The epiphanic moment for me...the moment when music began affecting my actions was when my mind which had been conditioned for 8 years to THINK, finally made way for my heart to FEEL. That was the turning point. The point when the music led to changes in thought, word and finally, deed.
Now that I have experienced this life altering change, so many other areas of my life have stared seeing improvements.
1. I am more environmentally aware, more receptive to kindness, more trusting of others and more intuitive.
2. I've started reading people better and knowing when not to read them, which is equally important.
3. I've learnt to balance my own energies and I know what it takes to do these.
4. I find that I am able to "play" with my energies through music.
5. I consume less (not just food, but utilities, transport etc.) and tend to save rather than waste, even when the resources aren't paid for by me.
Such life-improvements cannot be measured into the dollars and cents - something that corporate organisations strive for, so that they can make sense of how valuable an mployee is to them. I say this having been an ambitious corporate employee myself prior to my pursuits in music.
SAPLING VS. TREE
The interesting thing about the change I am experiencing through music, is that I am only mid-way in it. I will only consider my change complete when I can give music back to other lives. And to get to the point of giving back to other lives, I need a combination of the correct proportions of music education, independence to express my art and most of all, the optimal avenue to seek excellence in music. Given my genre, it is obvious where geographically, this combination comes together. I have undoubtedly, had the pleasure of having that combination for some time. But a sapling cannot provide the shade that a fully grown tree is capable of giving. I've come past the stage of a seed, in my time in Chennai. And I am now a sapling. If I grow to adulthood, what I give will have value. We encourage our children to go past Form V and pursue degrees. We are proud of those who have fully explored their field of study, because they are reliable sources within their area of expertise! So why not see hwat the tree can do, rather than what a sapling can do?
THE VALUE OF GIVING BACK
Giving back is where the ACTION cascades down to other lives, enriching them. This is where ONE person's change affects others. The value of this to an organisation or to society, is not explicable on an employee evaluation form. But just because you cannot measure something, it does not mean it does not exist. Before emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence were recognised, only mental intelligence was measured.
And as we continue to overrate others for their extrinsic value, see where that has gotten us... A barrage of high-flying MBAs, who can't lead without pilfering, over-consuming, laundering and scandalising!
HEAD VS. HEART
The world needs HEART. Those HEAD years are over. We've used our HEAD years in the evolution of mankind, to consume the planet's resources, hoard tangibles for ourselves, lose our morals and waste our lives.
Music is my personal means to get out of the nexus mentioned above. To another, it may anything from skiing, to tailoring, to sculpting, to teaching, to curing the ill. But to me, it's music.
If not giving music to others (through performance, teaching, etc), I see no point to spending hours, days, months and years, perfecting an artform which is otherwise just an expression of the individual.
So, being in the mid-point of my transformation, I look up to the Lord and ask Him, "Dear God, please tell me if I can give back before I've finished the task you've assigned me. If I need to complete the journey of music before I can effectively give my music to others, please tell me what I should do. Don't leave me options, for I want it all. Don't leave me clues, for I am daft. Leave your message in music, for I listen to my heart everyday till I leave this place of music. Once I leave to revisit a corporate existance, Your voice will be muffled. So speak fast, speak to my heart. In my heart, I shall hear You and only when I've heard You, will I be able to transform thought into word, into deed."