In recent months my dad has taken to playing his keyboard in the park. He finds a shady tree and knocks out tunes to his heart’s content. Not having to worry about “keeping it down” for the neighbours – it’s a place for him to play freely.
Dad’s lizard brain would argue he needs to be at a certain level to play music in public or better still, it would like him to stay at home. After all, it wants to protect him from possible judgment or worse, ridicule. “What will people think?”
Dad tells me he wrestles with his lizard brain every time he sets out. Despite all the times he’s gone to the park and had fun, the voices of doubt and uncertainty still try to keep him home.
He’s only experienced kindness and appreciation from those who walk by, and often other “play-at-home-musos” stop to chat, wanting to know more, wanting to know how.
My dad tells me that his next goal is to play on Queen Street (Auckland city’s main street). He figures if he can play there, he could play anywhere.
On New Year’s Eve, we were discussing courage and particularly those acts that the lizard brain tries to steer us clear of lest we embarrass ourselves. And we noted how it’s people like my dad who step out and do things even though the lizard brain is screaming “They’re going to make fun of you!”, who inspire us the most.
I’ve decided my word for 2023 is courage. And here’s my theme – do stuff that’s embarrassing.
I want to encourage you to do more “embarrassing” stuff too. I reckon each of us will find joy beyond our wildest dreams hiding there and that our joy will inspire others to do the same.
“We regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do.” Mark Twain
Photo by Mathieu LOBSTEIN on Unsplash
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