…between despair and certainty…
When I think about the question “What is my destiny” quickly, without giving myself much time, the answer shoots: “singing and coaching!”. But is it really? And but that? I have now once again participated in a challenge by Judith Peters, (recommendation) and here we have explored this question a bit. For example, do we have to earn money with our purpose, or does it have to be something really BIG, do I have to become a star?
My and Judith’s answers are very similar, neither does it have to make money, nor does it have to be famous, nor does it have to be one thing, it can be several things.
It has to be something I can connect with in my heart, I think. It must be a matter of concern to me, I must burn for it and it is linked to the question: what do I want to achieve?
what do I want to leave behind?
When I was young, I wanted to become a pop star. I sang in bands mostly mainstream funk & soul, a bit of jazz and dreamed of touring from concert to concert wearing glittery dresses. My reality was a little different, my concerts were usually not as glamorous as I had imagined, sometimes we sat right next to the toilets and got the noise and the smell of the kitchen, sometimes we had to change in shabby storerooms, sometimes even on the toilet. I learned to get rid of my shame, privacy was not an issue, and to sing in toilets (often a good sound, by the way). Sometimes there were locations where it was different and we got a nice room, with catering and couch.
At the same time, my life was not just concerts and rehearsals as I wanted, I had to write papers and practice for other subjects. After all, I was still studying and art, pedagogy and German, all of which somehow also wanted to be served. On top of that, I also had a freelance job as a camera sound woman for TV and industry. So I was a chameleon and super good at changing roles. As a sound woman, I wore cargo pants with lots of pockets and plain T’s, tackled and moved in a then quasi completely male domain, as a singer I was both manager and colleague, depending on the ensemble or band and changed genres. I took care of the glittering dresses.
Looking back, I have to say it’s ok,
that this dream didn’t come true. I was and am much too stubborn for what I had in mind. I realized that at the latest when I applied for the casting show Popstars. In the year when BroSis was chosen. I felt a little out of place. The voice coach who eliminated me, she said nicely to me that I have a nice voice, but that it does not fit. Much later, I understood what she meant.
Today I know that I love what is not mainstream, I enjoy what is not smooth. I still like glitter. I love to work with people, to create something together, to be challenged, to try new things, to cooperate, to be helpful.
Judith still asked: what would be a perfect day for me? The answer came like a shot: Rehearsals or concert (my own music with ænee or musical theater or big band/ensemble stories), project development with other stage people and teaching & coaching and then having my friend:s and loved ones around. Those are really the things I like the most, then I’m happy.
To find out what is the meaning of life, the fulfillment, the destiny, a path and because I have been walking this path for so long, with a certain stoic persistence, despite all the obstacles, I know the “how” quite well. In Japanese culture, all this is called: Ikigai:
“The word Ikigai stands for all that is worth living for and getting up in the morning for. It is those things that reconcile the areas of passion, task, job and vocation. With the Ikigai model, you ask yourself questions that help you find your purpose in life.”
Briefly something about the obstacles
Here a small insertion must be made.
Determination can be innate (as with princes and queens),
or is chosen (politicians),
some are called by social injustice (activists),
some by luck & talent (artists, musicians, scientists, doctors including the hard work)
and also through suffering.
I have always grabbed my suffering the best could and tried to change it. Very often I succeeded in doing so and that is what drove me to tell others about it, so that they can overcome their suffering.
That’s why I founded AW Starthilfe and of course also launched my coaching program Transformations. I had almost forgotten that I am also driven by social injustice: my link list and my social engagement in feminism are proof of that.
For me, dealing with solutions instead of just problems gives me energy. Yes, I would even say it saves my life time and time again. I remember the time in 2016 when I was in a bad car accident, experienced symptoms due to an undiagnosed brain hemorrhage that almost knocked me out (quite factually, it’s a minor miracle that I survived).
At that time I struggled with paralysis, with word-finding problems, forgetfulness, with brain fog and pain that I had never experienced before, 24/7, I could not write or draw by hand for a long time. I did everything I could to get better, including rest. At the same time, it was important for me to do political work for my professional association, for example, and to be in the working group that created the musicians’ fee standards. It gave me meaning and support and that would beD my life lost any support.
It is certainly helpful to know what drives you, agitates you, to find how to transform your anger, to use it for yourself. Anger and resentment are otherwise directed against oneself. That is not helpful. At least that’s my observations.
So what does this ikigai look like? The model consists of 4 main questions:
What do I love?
What is needed?
What do people pay for?
What can I do?
IKIGAI, the Japanese art of figuring out what our purpose is, in a very sloppy sketch of mine.
Have you also wondered what your thing is, your purpose? So I asked myself, what else am I good at besides singing, developing pieces and teaching people?
My little modest list (not exhaustive), as a suggestion, for you to make your list:
Drawing and painting
decorating apartments, working with colors and shapes (this was my profession even for a very short time in my life)
subordinate myself to a cause, work for the cause (take myself back for the sake of the cause)
grasp things quickly
have hope when others already give it up
believe in life and people
to react and act spontaneously
meet people with cordiality
to deal with style and to help others with their style (I was allowed to gain professional experience with this, too, for a short time)
dancing (I love it for myself)
So where is the overlap that can be seen in the middle in the picture, where everything comes together? Yes, I actually think my coaching work and my art, are the areas where the “middle” is formed. That may still grow, because after so many years of being sick and on top of it Corona, there is still room to grow, in terms of prosperity. I am ready for tasks, I have capacities and I can initiate change, which already brings us to the answer to:
“what do I bring to the world”?
I strengthen hope. So that one comes into action!
This is my superpower, whether in my teaching, in my life coaching, in my music with ænee or in my private life with friends. Even if this, as for example in the private or in the activist, as for example in an association, does not bring in money, it is important and leaves something. In the world.
Be the person you would have needed as a Kid
Someone smart once said this or something similar and I feel this sentence. That means practicing empathy for yourself. That in turn is called Selfcare. No, not the bubble bath thing. No, caring for yourself, self-care is eating what is good for you and your body. For me, that’s Anthony William. Balancing work and life. Get enough fresh air (I’m still working on it), experience nature. Incorporate fun & play (I had to learn this first and am still learning). Exercise that is fun and good for the body. Learning to perceive what is helpful and what is not. And very important: Draw boundaries!
Empathy for yourself. That is the beginning. Then curiosity for the wishes and needs. I can only say, trust the process, that is like contouring, just do it! Blend, blend, blend.
Practice not too values, or at least not so hard. And then maybe take a piece of paper and use the Ikgai scheme from above and go on a journey. Pen and paper help me with that. Perfection is not important. Only DOING. And keep at it.
I got an answer, in this round of self-questioning that Judith kicked off here. Thanks for that Judith!
Maybe it will help you. I hope so. Maybe it gives you some courage. We all need courage right now, don’t we? I certainly do.
from the heart, Julia