The Gateways of Manifestation: On Becoming a Street Musician
ManiThe gateways of manifestation: I want to. I’m allowed to. ( I allow MYSELF to) I can. I will. I am. Two days ago I accomplished a major goal: I became a real busker, a.k.a. a paid street musician. This journey started in May when I bought my first stringed instrument in Kauai. I walked into a little ukelele store in the town of Kapaa. There were myriad rows of beautiful little ukeleles of every shape, color and price. I was sure that I was there to look, and not buy, but the charismatic man behind the counter picked one up and made some of the most beautiful music ever with it. It gave me my first a-hah: seeing what it COULD sound like. It planted the seed in my mind. He put the little red instrument in my hands, and showed me how to strum, and also how to play my first few chords. He walked me through the first gateway of manifestation: I suddenly knew that I COULD play the instrument. Certainly not as well as him, but I got my foot in the door with the very first few notes. It was possible. I handed the man $250 and walked away with what seemed the be the most precious thing in the world to me. Getting an instrument reminded me of a story that two friends had told me about their trip to South America. They’d had their money tied up in some bank error, and arrived to a foreign country with no way to purchase anything. One of them had brought an instrument, so they set up camp in the town square and played their hearts out... they had a brilliantly fun time and ended up making about $45 worth of the foreign currency. They treated themselves to a dinner that tasted far better than anything they could have paid for with their credit card. That story inspired me to have the ability to sit in a town square somewhere and play and make some money. Trades and talents like these are incredibly useful, as they allow you to be less tethered to your usual professional job or trade, at least in a pinch. It’s a bit more magical of a way to manifest resources. I played that little red ukelele every single day after my trip to the islands. In fact, many of my facebook photos that friends have snapped of me in the past few months have included this little instrument in my hands. I started to walk around Portland and places that I visited playing a song or two while walking. A few months ago, I had a near manifestation. I was walking past a paint-it-yourself pottery shop on Albert street. A rather wild looking man was standing on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette. He looked like he was going to ask me for money, but instead asked me to play a song for him. I had about three in the can: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (my first song ever), Wouldn’t it Be Nice by The Beach Boys and Dream a Little Dream by the Mamas and the Papas. Mid-song, several of his other very wild friends came out onto the sidewalk and started clapping and flashing gaping smiles while I played. As regular people passed me on the sidewalk on missions for coffee, or shoes, or knitting needles, this band of wild merry-makers were putting out their hands asking and sometimes even shaming people to give the street musician a dollar. I got a little embarrassed and stopped. But I really knew that I was close. When I later asked them who they were, they told me that they were a group of men who were just newly in recovery. “Thirty-four days”, one said, “5 days”, said another, “1 day”, said another sheepishly. Flash forward several months. I met another goal of jamming with other musicians at an Herbalism Guild Conference. The highlight was playing with with a very skilled mandolin player. “Mandolin players spend half their time tuning their instrument, and the other half playing out of tune”, he said. It made me glad that I only have four strings to take care of tuning myself. It wasn’t till a few nights later, when playing with Jon Keyes, that I felt that I was finally jamming with someone who had the patience to really help me get it and feel good about it. Our song together was Son of a Preacher Man, our audience was his wife and daughter. So the grand finale!! Two days ago I was walking home with my ukelele in my hand. There was a couple at the picknic benches outside of My Father’s Place. The man commented on the ukelele. I love to offer my instrument to others and ask them if they want to play. Often the answer is “I can’t”. An answer which causes someone to stand outside the first gateway of manifestation, which is, “I can”. I often will then put the instrument in their hand and show them how to strum, and teach them a chord to play, just as I was taught. As soon as they try I then assert, “See, you CAN play”. I like to help people get through that gateway, hoping that maybe down the line they will try again. I know that standing on the “I can’t” side of the gateway is miserable and limiting, at least to me. The man handed the instrument back to me, and said, “Now you play.” I picked up my uke and played Mama Cass’s song, Dream a Little Dream. It was then that I noticed the man’s wife. She was suddenly getting very excited and tried to talk to me, but as I leaned it to hear I noticed that I was getting words but that they weren’t stringing together into intelligible sentences. It was like listening to a toddler, but her emotion was very clear. “She’s had two strokes,” said the man, “ and she used to play the guitar. It’s hard for her to talk”. This time I really played with my full heart, because something in me said that this one counted. The woman began to cry, and reached into her billfold lying on the table and pulled out a single dollar bill. She adamantly reached across the table and stuffed it into my shirt pocket. Tears are flowing from both of us at this point because I know that I am giving her some kind of medicine and she had just fulfilled my wish- I AM now a paid street musician and I have real evidence that my senses can feel. It’s AS REAL on the outside as it was on the inside. Every song I played after that brought more and more emotion out of her. In total she gave me 3$, and it was the sweetest 3$ I’ve ever made. I hugged her and thanked her for completing my wish. I’m a busker now, if you see me with my uke, feel free to stuff dollar bills in my shirt. I’ll play you a song. The gateways of manifestation: I want to. I’m allowed to. (I allow MYSELF to) I can. I will. I am. All you need is just a little tiny bite of “I am” and it will expand in your life as big as your heart will let it. If you can’t step into I am, downshift a gear into I CAN. If you can’t hold I CAN, just hang out in I WANT TO or IM ALLOWED TO until you find yourself softening into it.