She sat on an old wooden stool, smoke weaving around her jet black hair, as her voice captivated the entire room. Just a girl and her guitar, pouring her soul out to the world in a little pub on the island of Bali. She sang with such conviction – passion – understanding. I was mesmerized.

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I closed my eyes and imagined what it would feel like to be up there. I’ve always dreamed of playing the guitar with ease and grace. In unexpected moments throughout the day, this vision would nudge me closer to the first step. “Just pick it up. Move your hands. Listen to what you already know,” I heard from deep within.

Until recently, I was too afraid to begin. The thought of being a beginner, knowing the work that lies ahead, was so daunting. This seems to be a pattern for me. I want to go from point A to point B while bypassing the route in between. Doing the deeper work just didn’t seem all that appealing. Then I remembered…

It’s all about the journey. It always is.

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A few months ago, I took the first step. Walking into a little music shop downtown, I felt shivers all throughout my body. I knew it was a sign that something magical was going to take place. The store had a nostalgic feel, with instruments both old and new. I was greeted at the door by a sweet gray dog with one blue eye and one brown, who led me to the guitar section. I think he already knew why I was there. Not long after, I saw a little handwritten sign for an upcoming beginners guitar class. There it was…my sign.

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I immediately signed up before my nerves could tell me differently, and was ready to walk out of the store when the owner came to talk with me. He took a beautiful acoustic six-string off the wall and handed it to me. We sat down and spent a good half hour going through the basics. I was amazed. “Now you’re ready,” he said with a wink.

The following week, my son and I both began that guitar class, which has set in motion something I never thought possible for myself. “We’re all connected. We all breathe the same air. Now we will share the gift of music together,” the teacher said as we began the first lesson. I gained so much more than just a guitar lesson that day.

Last week I was in the music store again, and heard a woman from Austria saying to a man working in the store, “We don’t call it practice. We call it making music.” I stopped for a moment to breathe in the meaning of that simple yet profound statement. Rather than sitting to practice, I now approach every session as an opportunity to create music. It doesn’t have to sound “good” or make sense. All that matters is that it feels good to do it. Period. Nothing more. Nothing less.

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I now take this wisdom with me as I approach all of the things that life has to offer. Just begin. Don’t hold back. There’s so much wonder and beauty here for us. Sometimes, all we ever need to do is simply say “yes” and begin.

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Alia wore the Tree Circle Recycled Yoga Tank 

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2 Comments on Making Music

  1. Burnell Yow!
    January 19, 2016 at 7:49 am (8 years ago)

    May your musical journey continue to delight and enlighten you.

    • Alia
      January 29, 2016 at 2:58 am (8 years ago)

      Thank you, Burnell!


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