A few weeks ago, I got to experience a dream coming true. It was one of those moments when I was so undeniably present to the magic of life, to the fact that anything is possible and to the immutable truth that we are the creators of our reality.
Heads Up: this is a long one, but a good one (I promise) so hang in for the whole juicy story and the video goodness at the end.
On the heels of my last trip to Toronto, through a series of unanticipated signs and synchronicities, I found myself in Boulder, Colorado for an incredible conference called Success 3.0 Summit. It was a series of TedX style talks and presentations all focused on changing the narrative around what it means to be successful in this critical time in the history of humanity and the planet.
One of the main draws for me in my decision to attend was that Michael Franti was one of the main presenters and I have been resonating deeply with his music, his message and my feeling that there is something very different about the way he is using his gift than many successful artists and entertainers out there. One of the stand out moments of the weekend was watching Michael’s documentary “11:59,” in which we see him going deep into the lives of three people who have moved him and whose causes he cares about passionately, telling their stories as if they were his own. The film and MIchael’s interview afterwards blew me away and sparked a deep burning question in me:
“Who and what do I really care about that passionately?”
In attempting to answer this question while being immersed in a community of people – many of whom have dedicated their lives, their time, their energy and their purpose to solving the real problems of the world and making a huge impact – I came to a sobering realization.
I realized that who and what I’ve cared about MOST passionately is…
And I don’t mean in a self-love, empowered sense, I mean from a place of scarcity and fearing that despite all the good in my life, something will inevitably go wrong, that life does not have my back, that I need to control and struggle to make things happen.
Hard to say it given how miraculous and blessed my life has been, but it’s true. Yes, I got to see very clearly that on some level, my main driving force in all that I do has been fighting for my own well-being, my own fulfillment, and my own dreams coming true.
And so, in coming to this awareness, without self-reproach or judgment, I began making an adjustment. I decided that I am no longer going to focus PRIMARILY on me and what I want in the way I have been – not in some martyr kind of way, but more from a place of really knowing that I am taken care of and provided for – a truth that life has shown me unequivocally time and time again and which has significantly marked many recent experiences and manifestations.
Instead, I decided I would dig deeper and seek to connect to that “WE” reason for doing things, that genuine desire to serve, to make a difference, to use my life and all my gifts and energy for a greater cause, and to do it all WHOLEHEARTEDLY and passionately.
The Truth is that being committed to ourselves, to our well-being, our bliss and our fulfillment, and to creating a life of our dreams is a beautiful thing and it’s both important and necessary. The deeper Truth is also that when we come from a place of focusing on the bigger WHY, when we connect to our connectedness with everyone and everything, when we can see the good of something or someone outside ourselves as our own and allow that to fuel us above all else, then we are truly aligned and can enlist the unstoppable forces of good, of God, of Love and we have the potential to really be used in way that can have ripples far beyond our own life.
That is the foundation for true success. That is why I am here. That is why we are here.
I am still very much in the process of discovering what the answer to some of those bigger questions is and it is becoming clearer every day. What I do Know is that at the heart and soul of it, I care deeply about people, about our connection to one another, to God and Life, to living in and from our hearts and to being free from suffering and FREE to be all that we truly are. I Know that music has been one my greatest medicines and that with music, I can help bring people together and open their hearts. I can help them connect to their deeper truths and their own voices, and I can inspire them and help them in their own healing process.
With this new found clarity, I have been taking action from a different center point. I have been less perfectionist in sharing my gifts and my creations.
I have been less focused on saving anything for later and I have been pushing myself to show up more fully for this NOW moment, for what’s mine to do in making a difference in the world and using up every last drop I’ve got to do it.
A direct expression of this was a video I created with my soul sista, Jess Johnson, covering one of Michael Franti’s new songs “Once A Day” (you can see the video HERE ). I heard the song at the conference and it instantly struck a chord with me. The message stuck with me after the weekend AND I happened to see a call for submissions from the Franti FaceBook page for videos of musicians doing their thing that could lead to a possible invitation on stage with Michael on his current tour.
In the context of all the recent revelations, Jess and I talked at length about what was the primary motivation for wanting to cover the song and share it. With Jess showing up as a truly clear mirror and holding space for inquiry, I was able to connect to the “WE” reason beyond the “ME” reason… I LOVED the song, its message and how it made me feel and I wanted to share that with our peeps.
So we learned it, did the video in one take and posted it on our pages. And within a day, hundreds of our friends and community lifted it up, shared it, tagged people in it, tweeted it and showered us with love and thanks for bringing this song and our interpretation of it to them. I also posted the video in response to the call for submissions with a feeling of excitement and lightness around any outcome.
Two days after we posted the video, I got a message from Michael’s team saying they had seen the video, loved it and extended an invitation to join him on stage at his show in San Juan Capistrano to play the song together.
Pause…Wow…Moment of deep gratitude.
I was at the grocery store when i got the message and sure enough, as I was receiving the rush and energy of the manifestation moving through me, “Lean On Me” – the song that always finds me in those moments of truth to remind me that I am accounted for and that I am on the right path – starts playing on the sound system.
And so that same night, I drove to San Juan Capistrano with two of my best friends (sadly, JJ could not make it but was with me in heart and spirit). I had the honour of sharing the stage with one of my musical heroes, playing a song that moves me to my core to a standing room full of brothers and sisters, and being powerfully reminded of the power of intention, the magic of life and the deeper meaning that underscores and permeates our existence.
We are here to serve each other, to love and lift each other up, to do our part and to do it from the heart. AND each of us matters and that INCLUDES our dreams.
Thank you for reading and listening and to the Pos Positive community for the ongoing love and support. And big thanks to each and every person who has lent a hand, an ear and an open heart to me on my path. I share and celebrate this moment with you and I wish you a magical beginning to the new year.
Special thanks to Michael Franti & the Spearhead crew for welcoming me into the fam with open arms and so much love.
Here’s a little video with some highlights from our crazy amazing jam of #OnceADay
GET YOUR HEADPHONES READY!!!
Chris Assaad is a singer/songwriter from Toronto, Canada who left a promising career in law several years ago to pursue his dream of a career in music. Since then, Chris has been actively using his voice to enCOURAGE others to follow their dreams, express their creativity and live life soulfully. Chris recently released a follow-up to his debut album, Glory Fire, with a new EP tilted Into The Light. Since the release, Chris has been spreading his brand of soulful roots magic internationally with club and festival dates, from Mountain Jam in New York, to The Espy in Melbourne, to Lovestock in Los Angeles. Chris has shared the stage with artists such as Michael Franti, The Wood Brothers, Mishka and The Beautiful Girls.
Image courtesy of Evoke Emotion Photography.