Like many mornings, the sun came up faithful today.
The sky was clear most of the day; truly beautiful—a golden autumn.
I spent hours reading about social entrepreneurship and profit versus nonprofit business. In the back of my mind as I read was a constant stream of music, anxiety, and magic.
One of the entrepreneurs interviewed in my reading mentioned the power of music in connecting with folks from all over the world. He said he received a level of celebrity in a small town in Guatemala after playing a Nicaraguan ballad on the guitar, which sealed the deal between his organization and the local businesses. Another young nonprofit entrepreneur spoke of the importance of listening to the needs of the people in the trenches of poverty who are trying to make ends meet—of hearing the specific requests of the farmers in small communities and equipping them with the tools to address their problems rather than prescribing tactics that go against their practices or sensibilities. It really seems so much comes down to listening to and sharing stories, for all the sterility I imagine lives within the corporate sector. I am forced to rethink the story I have been telling myself about the business world.
Life seems to revolve around stories—the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we choose to expose ourselves to, and sometimes the ones we don’t. Stories shape our thinking patterns, relationships, lifestyles, aspirations…whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all embodying stories. Sometimes I think that’s where my anxiety comes from—I am embodying too many stories at once, some of them positive and some of them negative. My body can’t hold all these worlds, all these perspectives, and I hum with the dissonance of it all.
After these revelations, I started thinking about magic. A magician encapsulates mystery and captivates the imagination because they disrupt all our narratives in unison: we, as the audience, are simultaneously served an unbelievable story.
This brings me to another story (though according to my computer’s thesaurus, a synonym for “story” is “untruth” or “fib”): the idea that we all have magic inside us, a seed of a tale sequestered deep inside which may run contrary to largely accepted societal stories. For all my speculations, it seems that tapping into our individual magic is the ultimate source of empowerment.
Which brings me to today’s major discovery: if I do not actively work against the myriad of narratives crowded in my tired skull and imagine a story for myself that I want to live, I will be slave to the whims of whatever muses exist inside my brain, and will always be tortured by the alternative realities intruding into my thoughts.
Yet again, I circle back around to the concept of faith, and having faith in the process of growth and healing. Every day that goes by, I banish a few more whispers which infiltrate my internal monologue. Every day, I choose to push myself and breathe through discomfort. Every day, I make conscious efforts to seek connection with others rather than withdrawing deeper into myself (which is probably one of my deepest, darkest temptations).
Maybe my new narrative is faith in myself. We’ll see how the sun comes up tomorrow.