I DON’T NEED YOUR VALIDATION CAUSE HONEY I’M PURE MAGIC
PSA: Everyone in the world needs to read Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I can’t even begin to explain how transformative it has been for me. The basis of the book is about the spiritual connection between purpose and creativity and I’ve discovered so many jewels that have allowed me to be more receptive to what the universe has to give. It’s fucking amazeballs!
I won’t give you a mind-numbing palaver on everything I’ve learned, but I will pass one nugget of goodness along, artist dates. Artist dates are dates where you take your inner artist child out for a couple of hours to do something out of their/your comfort zone. It’s alone time on steroids. Aside from doing something you normally wouldn’t do, the beauty of artist dates is that they allow you to experience things and draw personal conclusions without the noise of other people to shape your thoughts. You start to develop a solid and sound point of view. The more I have taken myself out on these dates the more I have been able to see windows of opportunities to do really amazing things for myself and for others. I credit it to finally being able to peel back all the layers suffocating my voice. It wasn’t a discovery I was expecting to find, but I'm happy that I did.
Fast forward a week or two and enter how I ended up at one of Anita Baker’s farewell concerts. I was doing the daily scrub of my inbox and came across a Groupon e-blast promoting an Erykah Badu and Nas concert. As soon as I saw it my instincts told me that a concert would be the perfect artist date. The show was in Atlanta and I was already flying there for my grandmother's birthday. Perfect, right? Wrong. The show was one week after my scheduled trip and true I could have simply changed my flight, but the purpose of going to Atlanta was for Honey. So I moved on and started to search for concerts in New York. As I browsed through Ticketmaster and Stubhub I thought about all the concerts I’ve been to and it dawned on me that most of the concerts I've gone to have been a gift from Cassius. There have been a few here and there that I’ve gone to with friends, but for the most part, I owe my general concert attendance to him. I told myself that instead of my next concert being an artist date that I should make it a surprise date for the future hubby. And there it was, Anita Baker, Radio City Music Hall, February 13th, 8:00 pm.
On concert day Cassius had no idea what was going on. It was a complete surprise, and I was so excited to give it to him. When we walked up to the doors at Radio City I yelled, "Surprise," and he smiled and said “Awww man! This is really cool!” in a somewhat casual voice that was laced with a full-on rendezvous of excitement. As we stood in line to go through security he continued to smile and tell me all the things he thought my surprise could have been. The more insane his guesses were the more he showed how excited he was to be there. Once we made our way inside we bought our t-shirt’s, got some snacks, and went to our seats. I had never been to Radio City Music Hall, so I was impressed by how beautiful it was.
The concert started a bit late but when it started oh bae bae it started, and I should preface that statement by saying there aren't many experiences in life better than seeing a musical legend live. She opened the show with "Lady Marmalade" by Patti Labelle, who she credited to be one of her she-ros and following that was "Sweet Love", one of the best babymaking songs in history. Everything about "Sweet Love" is sexy and well sweet. Add that to Anita's soul-shaking voice and you've got yourself a forever classic in music. About halfway through the song, she brought out a saxophonist for a solo. He stood in a pool of blue and gave the most unexpected performance I've ever seen. He. Was. Phenomenal. The more I listened the more my heart vibrated and I thought deeper about what brought him to that space at that moment seemingly standing alone in a room trusting himself to create and giving it his all.
Society tells us that we should all be winners at something, that there is some proverbial competition to constantly be aware of. That saxophone solo confirmed the magnitude of the amount of bullshit that that notion actually brings. Are there going to be other people with similar goals and aspirations? Yes. Are there going to be opportunities that many may want but only one can be awarded? Of course. But the only competition in life is the one you have with yourself. There’s no such thing as winning or losing. There are only growth and divine synchronicity.
I don't know Anita Baker's saxophonist, but based on his performance I can conclude that at one point he stood in a room and allowed Anita Baker to watch him take on an out-of-body experience in which he poured everything he had into a release of his very own magic. He gave her permission to witness that, and I'd like to think that alongside talent and hard work that's why he was chosen for that opportunity. He wasn't in competition with other saxophonists. He simply trusted his magic and breathed life into it. We all have something inside us that is magical. So the next time you're looking for a new job, auditioning for a new part in a play, or presenting any one of your million ideas to someone else, remember how incredible you are. Remember that you don't have to be a winner to win and you don't have to be a legend to be legendary. You just have to trust your magic and breathe life into it.
Note to self: Trust your magic and breathe life into it.