You Don’t Have To Be Perfect…

The concepts of “good and bad,” “right and wrong, or “the best and not good enough”… these concepts and their duality truly keep us disconnected from self, from each other, from LovE, from joy.

I had such a powerful experience of this duality while playing a festival the other night. It’s wild how my performances lately have been major catalysts for a deeper understanding of my emotional and mental conditioning.

You’d be amazed at the thoughts that spin through my head before I go onstage, especially when there are multiple artists performing in a festival setting.

“I have to be the best.”
“They are so talented, which means, competition.”
“No one cares that I’m here. They are here to see everyone else.”

I mean, the list can go on and on.

I haven’t been in a festival type of situation in a while, so I haven’t rubbed up against this part of “me” and it was VERY uncomfortable. My body tenses, I feel isolated and lonely, I feel angry, sad, scared… all the things. I start to focus on doing it “right” instead of joy, flow, ease, connection and expression. It’s an incredibly painful experience, actually.

As I was waiting and anticipating going on stage, I heard music coming from the dressing room next door, music that spoke to my soul. There were horns and this bad ass groove permeating through the walls that I couldn’t help but move my body to. So, to distract myself and switch focus, I went to investigate. I asked if I could take a peek inside and they swung open the door for me to do so. I crouched down, trying not to be too intrusive and allowed myself to enjoy the beauty of what was being created in front of me. There was so much joy in the air, that I was moved to tears.

In that moment, I was reminded of why I do what I do… to create, to feel, to move others into their hearts, to connect with source and all that exists, to feel bliss.
The innocence inside of me was awakened and I was reminded that I DO , in fact, LovE what I do.

Sometimes, all the trauma and expectation that has been interwoven into this pure joy and LovE for music and creation, takes me on a journey of forgetfulness.

I wish I could say I went out on stage and performed from that pure place, but I didn’t, at least fully. There was still so much noise in my head when I walked out in front of thousands of people. However, about 4 songs into our set, I dropped into presence and everything about the energy shifted. What was a bit of a quiet, faraway crowd became enthralled, we connected.

In fact, since this realization, all of my shows have felt much more connected and joyful!

There’s SO MUCH CONDITIONING for me around “being the best” or “good” in order to receive LovE. I’ve worked through many layers of this, but life is presenting me with an even deeper layer to unravel.

I share this current moment experience because I know I’m not the only one who experiences this deep conditioning. Even though my situation may be unique, the core of the conditioning runs through us all.

I’ve always LovEd the quote, “and now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” But, truthfully, it’s deeper and more expanded than “good.” I’d prefer to believe that now that I don’t have to be good, I can be whole, vibrant, truthful, connected, joyful… I can be the “me” that exists under all the conditioning. The “me” that is connected to all that is. The “me” that is connected to joy!

More than ever I am understanding that my energy is powerful. When I am in my joy, it spills out onto all that are witness to it. It opens another level of connection that isn’t fully available when I’m in judgment. Judgment can be preset, I’m not shaming myself for it being there or trying to force it away, but it can’t be running the show. When it runs the show, joy fades into the background and a different energy is at play.

I’m truly grateful for this uncomfortable experience. It pointed me in the direction of my soul. And, I’m so happy I was reminded of the bliss of music and creation.

Where in your life do you need this reminder? Can you sense a different experience, a different world for yourself past the conditioning? What kind of connection is possible when you step away from judgment and instead, choose joy? How different might your life look? Something to ponder…

I LovE you.


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  • Hey LeAnn,
    your words are on point and most likely resonate with a lot of people that feel something to the extent of “this can’t be all” or “am I a product of external perception rather than being a real me?”. Every thinking human being crosses that road one day, whether induced by trauma, loss of a loved one or just the unconscious mind working its ways.

    Did you know that buddhist teachers refer to the thinking mind as a sense, like hearing and seeing, or a “supersense”? We know that our senses have a very limited perception range of the thing called world or universe. And no one would blame himself for impaired eyesight due to exhaustion, right? But with the mind and its quirks, we do it all the time. Its called “racing mind” syndrome. If you understand the concept, like a cookbook being a concept for good meals, achieving your goal is like preparing and executing the cooking process. But as you know, sometimes the result is tastier than other times. It’s fine as long as you’re in the now, the moment and let go of results oriented thinking. Being able to show myself, my 6th sense, the stop sign is a great recipe. Does it always work? Of course not. Requires practice too, like cooking, working out and what not.

    Finally I wanted to say thank you for your performance of “How do I live” before Oscars night, amazing. It really touched my heart and I’m really experienced at hiding my emotions and feelings. But as I said, your “new version” was another level. My heart thanks you!

    I hope you stay on course with mindfulness meditation, it’s the only reason I’m still alive being able to write this wall of text. I know society doesn’t like “freaks” of this sort. Well, I think they’re afraid if their own rocky road. It’s easier to consume the temptation of distraction.

    Anyway, keep the posts going and bless you, Marian

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