When I recently hit an emotional sink hole, I decided to make a plan to get inspiration flowing again.
Sometimes all you need is something happy to anticipate to jump-start your joy.
Music activates something deep inside of me and, in the last decade or so, finding music I liked that was compatible with my partner’s limited my concert-going. Silly, actually. I could have made solo plans – but I was always hoping to cultivate “together moments.”
As a result, my love for old school R & B went on the back burner.
Getting back to making a happy plan, as fate would have it, an alert that the Isley Brothers would perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg – just an hour away – made my heart jump.
For as long as I have loved music, the Isley’s have spoken deeply to my soul. Ronald Isley’s voice goes right to the core of my heart. Even covers of other peoples’ songs, like Summer Breeze (Seals and Crofts) or Hello, It’s Me (Todd Rundgren) get transported to an entirely new level by his vocals.
Instead of mulling it over, I clicked and purchased tickets. (This is also part of my new way of life. #JustDoIt.) Since it was a Sunday night concert, I made plans to arrive in the city on Saturday, discover St. Pete and enjoy.
Yippee! Rather than moping and dwelling on the past (which is unproductive, because I am not going backward), I had a date on the calendar to inspire me.
So let me cut to the chase about Gypsy. My excellent, third-row seats had me almost levitating with joy. I began chattering with my left and right seat neighbors, warning them that when “Who’s That Lady?” or “Fight the Power” was performed, I may begin annoyingly screaming and step on their toes from dancing.
I hate those type of people at concerts, but I knew I might be one of them for this one.
The lady to the right was dressed to the nines in a sparkly black jacket and rhinestones on her glasses. We discussed the Isley songbook and which were our favorites (hers, Summer Breeze; mine, Let Me Know.)
I said, “What’s your name?”
She said, “Gypsy.”
Hmmmmmm, I thought. That’s cool.
After talking some more, I felt it wouldn’t be too intrusive to ask a follow-up question.
“Is Gypsy a nickname or your given name?”
“It’s my stage name.”
A stage name! How exciting! She’s a performer!
“Oh wonderful!” I exclaimed. “Are you a singer? Or an actress?”
I looked at her quizzically. She replied,
“My real name is Shirley, but I say Gypsy is my stage name because all the world is a stage.”
I learned that when she is at work or church, she goes by “Shirley.”
But when she is out with her man for a romantic night – or whenever she wants to put on a sparkly hat and her alter-persona, she’s Gypsy.
She inspired me!
All the world IS a stage that should be embraced as an opportunity to show up and give it all you’ve got.
(I did tell Gypsy that I have recently given up performing at life because it was simply exhausting, but that I loved the idea of living as the world being MY stage.)
Gypsy may never perform on a literal stage or receive a standing ovation – but she sure is a star.
I’m so glad she shined on me.
All that and the band threw a rose to me!
As we close out INSPIRATION as our Word of the Week, never forget that the world is your stage. And make a happy plan to jump-start your joy!
Goosebumps! What does AUTHENTICITY mean to YOU?
For me, it is continuing to strip away the layers I created to numb and protect myself from what I have feared. Whether avoiding a confrontation or walking on eggshells to avoid angry outbursts from others – it’s time to drop the facade and just BE.
How about you?