Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Your SOUL Self

Your SOUL Self

Who are we to say we can't? When the truth is always there, waiting for us to just acknowledge that WE CAN.

Our soul always believes in us. Our soul knows we can do what we want and live our dreams.

Our soul is part of the infinite conscious energy that flows through all things. How can that possibly steer us any way but where we ought to be?

(Image) Scott Andrews w/Black Market Trio at Carried Away Art Gallery (2007) w/Justin Perkins on Conga, Forrestt Williams, Bass

The soul is there, always shining, always interested in our highest good (because that simply IS what it IS). The soul only requires us to BE who we are, without worrying about WHAT is in store or WHY things happen. Just BE. When we live according to our soul, we're really living life as God and nature intended.

It is only WE who get can in our own way, when it comes to that stuff. Only we could let our ego get a hold of things. Only we could let pain from abuse beat us down. Only we can let that critical mind or negative self-talk talk us out of our dreams. And, yes, only we can decide when to push all of that junk out of the way and embrace our true self. It's our journey, after all.

I remember I let my own "shadow" self mess with me in my 20's when I played my sax, hours a day, just so I could play live in small groups in front of people. I went and sat in with my favorite jazz combo, the A.J. Johnson West Coast Jazz All-stars at one of the best jazz clubs in San Francisco, Jazz At Pearl's. If you haven't done it, sitting in may be the hardest thing in the world to do in many jazz clubs. You don't know what songs they're going to play and you're not the "home turf" band. But, I remember when I played "Seven Steps To Heaven" that I tore it up and thrilled the crowd and fellow musicians with my sax riffs. They loved me! People were saying things like "Where are you from, man!?" I felt like Charlie Parker, himself. I was on cloud nine. But the next night, I went back for more. This time was different. The amazing piano player, Mark Levine, returned fresh from a stint in New York playing with Pharoah Sanders (a legend on the saxophone). He called out a song that is half Latin-half jazz, called "Speak Low". You either know Speak Low, or you don't.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that truth until too late. I thought I'd played it before but KNEW I didn't know the chords. Rather than just sit down or cut out, I tried to fake it. And, I bombed horribly. Every single note was a lizard. It was so ugly. I realized the bind I was in, live, in this ultra-cool jazz club, with world-renowned musicians, and flopping miserably. My face, body, upper lip, arm-pits - heck, I think even my scalp and my toes - broke out in flop-sweat! I let that experience stop me from playing with ANYONE for THREE YEARS. I was that embarrassed. I just felt like I wasn't "good enough" to cut it. How foolish could I have been?

They still LIKED me. I could still have gone back in there any time and played with anyone else. I just didn't.

Can you imagine a sax player as talented as me letting years go by without playing live, something I truly love and enjoy, over something as silly as flopping on one very difficult song (if you don't know it) on one night that probably nobody else remembers? Well, I did it. And, I'll never do that again. I was born to play, and play live.

Since that time, in my own band, any time anyone wants to create a song, live on the fly in front of everyone, I EMBRACE it. I go for it. And, amazingly, some of our BEST music comes out in those moments. I recall a night at the club called Blue, when my guitar player's wife, Katie, came up to me when we were jamming on this funky song, and she asked me, "Hey, what's the name of this song!?" I responded back, "What do you want it to be called?" She said, "Oh, did you write it this week in practice?" I laughed and said, "No, we're writing it now!" :) That's how good the band I lead can be sometimes (Body). It was a crowning moment of that night, to have something coming in the moment, music from our soul, pouring through our bodies, through our instruments and relaying to the dancers and listeners in the room so that they were so inspired as to want to know the song and remember that moment. Isn't that what music can be about, when we trust in our ability to hear and play, when it's great like that?

Now, I sit in with anyone, and if I don't know the song, I either say that, or I just don't play it at all. But, more likely, I learn it live on the fly. We get better in time. I control my situations more, but I also don't freak when I don't know something. Now, I embrace playing songs and changes I've never heard before. It causes you to listen with bigger ears. If I hit too many wrong notes, rather than flop-out, I cease playing for a minute or two, and just listen. Because when your heart and ears are open and when your mind isn't blocking you, you can play anything! It's a whole new experience. It becomes a SOUL experience.

It is a SOUL experience because that's when we are truly aligned with who we really are supposed to be: our spiritual self. We can be this self in ANY situation, at ANY time. Because the soul does not have those boundaries or limitations like time, place, or thing. It just IS.

That's our highest self. That's our highest good. That's our best person we can be.

Are you aligned with your highest self? Are you living SOUL experiences?

It requires you to stop the chatter... listen to the stuff inside you... get into nature and BREATHE!

Another really good resource on this subject is my friend, Michelle Casto (http://www.brightlightcoach.com/). Michelle writes, speaks, and coaches about embracing your soul and digging into the space beyond the clutter, beneath the chatter mind, into the space that enables you to reach what Stevie Wonder calls "Higher Ground" and be your best self.

I truly encourage you to embrace that part of yourself and live according to what you hear from THAT self: your SOUL self. See, that's what I love about jazz music. True jazz musicians always encourage each other to jump back in and play. Just play what you feel, play what you hear, and play it in the moment!

For coaching on this matter, contact Scott Andrews at 805-459-6939 or email me directly.

Scott, So glad to see this article on leading our lives from our soul's guidance rather than our ego's needs. You forgot to mention that we will be discussing this topic, Wed. Feb 6, on the Talk Shoe Aspire Now show:

6 pm PST/9pm EST.

All who yearn for true fulfillment and success from the inside out should call in and talk with us!

Dr. Michelle
The Soul Coach

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