Well actually, not just drumming, all kinds of things can cure what it is that ails ya.
I was talking with some folks about finding your passion, your purpose or that thing that you were put here on earth to do. And the questions always come down to this: “how will you know it when you find it?”
Good question; it’s not easy. So, here’s my sense of how it worked for me.
First and foremost, I strongly believe that there has to be some part of it that serves others, some way for other humans to benefit from this thing you were put here on earth to do. We humans are social creatures, so if you’re really aligned with what you were put here to do, I think it has to benefit the human community in some way, shape or form.
And secondly, being engaged with it takes you ‘out of your self’ in some way. For me with music, when I’m 100% engaged and in the moment with it, I lose track of time, and I lose track of pain. This is where the title of this blog comes in–for me, it can be a cure for pain.
I get migraines, and I have all these meds and processes to help manage it, but one of the best things I can do sometimes is to simply play drums. This doesn’t cure things 100% of the time–sometimes things are too far along and nothing works. But, if I’m somewhere short of that, drumming can help get rid of the pain. I realize that this makes zero intuitive sense (making all that noise and being so physically active when your head feels like that seems less-than-logical). But, I swear to you, it can totally do the job.
So then, what is the thing for you that does it? What are the things you engage in that take you outside of yourself? Where you lose track of time? Where it doesn’t feel like ‘work’, or a ‘chore’, or a ‘grind’? And then, once you’ve identified it, how can this thing serve other people? THEN you will have the beginnings of something wonderful.
I know it may sound like I’m oversimplifying things, but some things in life really are simple and straightforward, and we humans like to mess it up and complicate it with our minds and our thinking. (I did that for decades with my drumming and my music–I complicated it and found problems with it over and over again.)
To quote Seth Godin, “The obvious answer to your problem isn’t obvious yet, but once someone finds it, it will be. That’s the way obvious answers work. They’re not obvious because they’re easy to find, they’re obvious because, in fact, there’s an answer. Most problems don’t have obvious answers…”
This is how it was for me when I was learning what I was put here to do. And, I imagine, it might be something like that for you as well. When it dawned on me that I was put here to teach and perform music, it was very anti-climatic. A total buzz kill. This is because it was so obvious and, in my mind at the time, uninspiring. (Long story, but it was because my mom, my stepfather and my biological father were all teachers, so it seemed about as ‘un-sexy’ as any thing could be.) I’ve since found a way to be excited about it–thrilled even. But it was totally anti-climatic at first: no fireworks in the sky, the earth didn’t move, no parade. 😉 It was like, “you’re kidding me…that’s it?”
And sadly, it may be anti-climatic (and obvious, and simple, and a total buzz-kill) for you as well. But, that doesn’t make it any less important. Life’s like that sometimes. And of course, your mileage may vary. I mention this only because it’s what I know–it’s how it happened for me.
And there you have it. Cheers!