Tag Archives: Plans

My Stage Name is Gypsy: A Lesson in Inspiration (& the New WOW)

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?”

“No.”

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.”

Preach, Gypsy!

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?

oxoxoxo

Brenda

 

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Pity Parties (and the New WOW)

Someone once said that having a pity party was like crying on the devil’s shoulder.

ICK.

That’s a visual image that always stopped me in my tracks.  However, pithy sayings aren’t enough when a full-blown expression of WOE IS ME wells up and wants to win my day.

How inconvenient that our Word of the Week was DELIGHT!  I received further insight into why that word in the Greek means “pliable.”

If you’re not flexible, you can’t find delight in ANYTHING.  

In both my professional and personal lives, I like to write out scripts.  For my wedding reception, I had every speech and song plugged into a spreadsheet timed to the minute. (Control freak much?) Never a fan of “winging it” I write out presentations word for word and practice them until they sound extemporaneous.

My mantra (said first by Ben Franklin): If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

But what about my best laid plans blow up all around me????  (Or you?)

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I had splurged for what I thought was going to be an amazing Christmas gift for my four most favorite people in the world.  Before hitting the purchase button, I checked with both parties to make sure the event date worked for them.  I had such a vision of an evening filled with friendship and laughter!  Nothing delights me more than a well-chosen present! Yippee!

Without going into the complete details, life had other plans.

For one of the couples it involved triple-bypass surgery. (!)  For the other, a nasty, ill-timed virus rendering her bedridden for a week.

Now I KNOW that everyone’s health is way more important than my planned outing.  I really know this.  I knew this so well that in the days leading up to said failed event, I didn’t even acknowledge that I was disappointed.

Until, out of the blue, I burst into tears. Full blown pity party ensued.

It was quite a juicy sob. And then, I felt remarkably better!

Just knowing how you SHOULD feel doesn’t mean you feel that way.  And, as my friend Roseann is famous for saying:  Your feelings aren’t right or wrong; they’re just the way you feel.

Suppressing my disappointment – and failing to acknowledge it – only made me irritable and cranky in all the other areas of my life.  When I finally admitted to myself that I was disappointed, I could LET GO and even be glad that those tickets were going to be enjoyed by other people.  My inability to shake MY idea of how things were going to happen kept me unable to just let life FLOW.

We’ve all got boiling water in our lives.  It’s how we RESPOND to it that makes or breaks us.

The lessen hear for me wasn’t to have the perfect response, but to allow myself to be HONEST about what I was feeling, ’cause until that happened I wasn’t getting ANY release.

Nothing changed.  But how I FELT about it changed.

Here are my closing thoughts on DELIGHT (and softness) – and the New WOW:

And thankfully, my sisters and brothers are all on the mend!

Here’s to holding close those who hold that special place in our heart this week.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

 

 

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