Hola gorgeous Goddess,

You know what? I’m always talking about having creative courage. I encouraged clients to do it. I make my life about having courage and faith as much as possible.

So now it’s time for me to do something which takes the hugest amount of creative courage I can muster.

And that is to play an instrument and sing. Two things which scare the shit out of me.

I wasn’t always like this of course.

I used to actually sing sing… like make up songs on my uncle’s guitar, and sing in choirs, and sing in country music festivals.

And I made mistakes. And eventually I got too embarrassed by myself to sing anymore.

The last time I sang – really sang – was when I was 17, at a cattle sale near my boarding school (uh, yeah, I’m a small-town country girl… hellloooo cattle sale sing-a-longs!). I was the School Captain, and me and another girl were asked to sing the National Anthem in the sales ring. And we were placed just in front of the school band… and when the music started, I realised I couldn’t hear myself. I couldn’t hear the girl next to me. I couldn’t hear anything but the band. And when you can’t hear yourself sing? Wow… there’s no room for self-regulation at all. So I didn’t hear myself sing atrociously – I only guessed that it might have been that way later. By the way our headmaster said to us too kindly: well done girls… that anthem is one of the hardest songs to sing…

And being all Type-A-perfectionist with a side of ginormous hippy-la-la, I stopped singing publicly back then. If I couldn’t do something perfectly, I wasn’t going to do it all right?

Even though singing brought me a great amount of joy. Even though *I* liked my voice – even when others didn’t. Even though it reminded me of my uncle, who sang country music songs like an angel. Even though I spent hours mustering with my little sister on horseback, coming up with new songs to sing together on “Sister FM.” Even though singing felt as natural to me as the paddocks and the sky.

I was just tired of not being thought of as perfect. I didn’t want to give anyone any reasons – ever – for me to be vulnerable. I didn’t want to suck.

So I stopped.

And the same with guitars, really.

They remind me of my uncle, and my horse, and old wooden furniture, and all the dreams of who I wanted to be.

They also remind me of fumbling, straining to reach the chords, straining to hear the sounds… getting increasingly frustrated because sound is not a natural creative gift for me. I want it to be – oh how I do – but my ears can’t hear the colour of tunes like my eyes can see the tones of colour.

And I met my love – a man who is formerly an audio engineer. A man with wide ears, ripe for listening. A man who can pick up any instrument and play it. A man who can listen to songs, and begin to strum them out on his many guitars. And it’s hot – let me tell you… there is nothing sexier than a man who can play guitar. Except maybe a man who has just finished gardening, is a little sweaty, has just jumped up on a big chestnut horse, and is playing his guitar on the horse. {And this is the post wherein the world discovers just what a cowgirl this goddess is at heart.}

Now where was I? Oh yes, a guitar playing man is hottt with three T’s. And it also gave me an excuse to not fumble over the strings anymore.

Why fumble when I could just watch perfection instead?

But still… my heart did a little flip-flop when it saw the fuscia guitar my love gave to me sitting in a corner.

That singing, guitar-playing goddess inside me still longed to be let out.

Still wanted to play. Still wanted to make her own music in the world.

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. – Henry Van Dyke

I’m too old to give a shit whether someone thinks my voice sucks or not.

I’m too old to care whether my guitar playing is perfect or squelchy.

And yup – I’m only 27 – but I just spent ten years not singing and not playing because I was afraid of what someone else might think.

I was afraid of what *I* might think. I was afraid of being imperfect.

And I’m no longer allowing that fear to quieten my voice, my spirit, or my contagious, infectious joy anymore.

This is me… singing a song, playing a guitar.

Having creative courage to do something… even when it means learning something new. Even when it means not doing it perfectly.

Even when it means doing the thing that scares me.

Especially when it means doing something that makes me totally, ridiculously heart-happy.

Having Creative Courage from Goddess Leonie on Vimeo.

I believe in you,