Composer or Note in the Song

March 6, 2016


“You can’t play a symphony alone, it takes an orchestra to play it.” – Navjot Singh Sidhu


A few years ago I heard a poetic phrasing that resonated deeply with me. It was while I was listening to a new audio book whilst driving to a program day. The audio book was by the poet Mark Nepo, he said, ‘… and happily, more than a composer of music I find that I am just a note in the song, and happier for it’. So often over the years I have been reminded of this phrasing within my own personal and professional experiences, as well as through my interactions with others in my spheres of influence.


“Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that, the better for us all.” – Erik Erikson


As individuals and groups we can metaphorically arm wrestle our way through life, resulting in us being left feeling tired, combative and like there are winners and losers (so let’s be on the winning side or don’t even engage if the odds are stacked against us). Independence, future proofing, fear, control and blame can seem like they’re driving the agenda, pushing an individual or group into the backseat, whilst pangs of discontent are numbed through external accomplishments, perceived victories and toys. Moments of presence, wisdom and deep connection can act as opportunities to mindfully reflect, process and transform daily thoughts, words and actions, but are they listened to often enough?


“Connection is the glue that holds our humanness together.” – Explore Discover Act


Last Wednesday night I had the pleasure of listening to American researcher/storyteller Brené Brown speak live at the beautiful State Theatre in Sydney. Again I was inspired by her authenticity, humour, stories and most importantly her research about how wholehearted men and women show up within and navigate their individual and shared journeys of potential. She reiterated in her talk her beliefs that, amongst other things, “Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness” and that “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together”. Our individual note is important and unique, but most significantly is here for and makes sense when brought out in the full beauty of the collective song that is being played.


“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” – Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

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