Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Silencing the inner critic

One of my favorite things to do is to clean. I enjoy it because when I'm tidying (usually after supper) I put my head phones on while my husband watches the boys and I listen to music blaring from my iPod. The music silences my inner critic and it gives way to just a little room for personal imagination. I have envisioned great things for myself while scurrying about getting the dishes done and sweeping the errant pieces of cheerios I find daily off the bottom of my feet.

Music, for me, is the great equalizer. It lifts me out of the mundane chores at hand and propels me directly into the spotlight of my mind's eye where I long to be. Well, I long to be in that spotlight in reality, rather than just in my mind's eye. But I accept the temporarily satisfying facsimile thereof in my head and I rest for the moment in the middle of the spectrum of reality vs. fantasy, somewhere between excitement and boredom; success and failure. Hence the perceived "equality" between who I am and who I wish to be.

The fantasy may not be real but it bridges the gap between my wildest (and sometimes insane) dreams and the commonplace tasks of my household where I exist every day. So I plug those headphones into my ears, crank up the tunes and proceed to get jiggy with it.
Sometimes I am rocking out with Guns n Roses, killing it with Slash on a rendition of "Welcome to the Jungle" (which in my imagination it took me a year to learn, without anyone being aware that I was secretly learning it and which I debuted with the band in front of 20,000 screaming fans and all my surprised friends and family). Yes, I am that girl. I have a muffin top and deep, dark circles under my eyes but in my galley kitchen, while I am loading the dishwasher, I am on stage in front of the masses and I am kicking it old school.

I know that this is another way of rejecting myself. Pretending to be someone better than who I believe I am. Although, sometimes it's necessary to make believe and to have a little fun. And therein lies the quest - to find the balance in the act of imagining, or in my need to imagine in the first place.

I am most definitely on a path of reconnecting to the authentic and worthy lady within me who has been patiently waiting to emerge. Only lately, she's not so patient. She has grown weary of my constantly looking outside of myself (and to Guns n Roses) for validation because she has been calling out to me for so long to look within. And I have avoided listening to her.

However, sometimes when I seek to distract myself with reverie to quell my restless mind, my fingers will guide through the maze of options on the iPod as if they have a mind of their own and they will settle on a tune where fantasy is overshadowed by meaning. And the light of the lyrics of a long forgotten song will connect with me in such a way that illumination comes flooding in and I remember that it is okay to believe in myself again.

The other night, I found myself selecting a piece from the set list of the divine Ms. Bernadette Peters - a song I had heard many times before, from the musical "Sundays In The Park With George". And it suddenly hit me anew. This time, I wasn't performing it in my head. It was being sung to me and the message, received, was timely.

The lyrics are below.


Yours in the quest for bliss,
The Happiness Detective

Move On

Stop worrying where you're going-
Move on
If you can know where you're going
You've gone
Just keep moving on

I chose, and my world was shaken-
So what?
The choice may have been mistaken,
The choosing was not
You have to move on

Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you'll be-
Look at all the things you've done for me

Opened up my eyes,
Taught me how to see,
Notice every tree-

Understand the light-
Concentrate on now-

Move on
Move on

Stop worrying if your vision
Is new
Let others make that decision-
They usually do
You keep moving on

Look at what you've done,
Then at what you want,
Not at where you are,
What you'll be
Look at all the things
You gave to me
Let me give to you
Something in return
I would be so pleased...

The color of your hair
And the way it catches light

And the care
And the feeling
And the life
Moving on

We've always belonged

We will always belong

Just keep moving on
Anything you do
Let it come from you
Then it will be new
Give us more to see...

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