It’s 4:30 a.m. in Boston and I’m wide awake. My husband, Jan, and I are at The Hilton with our son, Christian, so he can audition for music school today. The gamut of emotions is so wide and so deep… the lessons so rich… there are a thousand themes I could write to you about as I’m holed up here in the bathroom.
But as I sit here on this cold tile floor listening to Jan breathe in the room outside and waiting for Christian to wake next door, I know there’s only one message that matters. For Christian, and for all of the women I coach through situations just like this one:
Attraction is singular.
Berklee College of Music—where Christian will audition this afternoon—is a monumental stretch for him. It’s the most prestigious music school in the country. And Christian was not a child prodigy. Nor was I a tiger mom who shuttled him to daily practice or demanded excellence. He didn’t even play an instrument as a child. He stumbled upon the guitar when he was about 14—when a wonderful teacher put a bass in his hand and urged him out onto a stage. And since that day, it’s been fully his pursuit.
The guitar is Christian’s safe haven. It’s his outlet for angst and rage. It’s his expression of love, wonder, and soul-level complexity. It’s how he pushes back and rebels against life’s requirements and rules and shackles. It’s how he keeps his restless hands busy and allows the mechanics and energy of the universe to flow through him. And it’s how he identifies: as a heavy metal rocker.
When we arrived at the Hilton here in the Back Bay yesterday, Christian wasn’t the only kid in the lobby with a guitar case. And when he sensed the competition, the mood of our trip took a turn I suspected it might: the fear of rejection set in. And with it came some pretty brutal self-talk for him, and some anger and righteous negativity.
It’s hard to watch your teen struggle—even when you know that struggle builds resilience and that stretch performances are the ones we’re often most proud of in life… regardless of the outcomes.
But as I stared at the ceiling this morning, wondering about the most beneficial words I could offer when the sun rises and the day demands a performance from him, I knew there was only one truth:
There is no amount of effort that results in acceptance.
Attraction is based on chemistry. On fit. On thousands of split-second impressions and biases and desires and beliefs.
Attraction is singular.
There is no normative definition of attractive. Or desirable. Or right.
The best we can do is to show ourselves. Completely. Truthfully.
And, if we have the juice, confidently.
The only way that someone will “choose” us is if they want what we have.
And what we have is what we have.
I’ve been where Christian is today. So have you, my friend. Every day, we put ourselves out there. We pitch “ideal” clients and speeches and PR opportunities. We submit proposals for projects and manuscripts to publishers. We meet people who we hope will become our friends or our lovers. We vie for opportunities be believe will change our lives. We produce content and wait for likes and shares and comments. We sell… and hope we’ll close.
Every day, we set ourselves up to be judged.
But when judgment time arrives, there is no amount of trying that will lead to acceptance.
There is only being.
And being, my friend, is something we manage to complicate, and muck up, and apologize for because we’re so damned worried that we’re not enough.
So today, when Christian wakes and we practice interview questions over room service bacon and eggs, it’s the “being” that I’ll gently invite him to consider. I’ll suggest that he not struggle for the “right” answers, but instead, share his own truth. And I’ll urge him to breathe deeply, begin to play, and invite the universe to flow through him as it’s wont to do… and be curious about how it all turns out.
The world is full of music schools. And musicians.
It’s full of chances and judgments and moments that feel like this is the only moment that will ever matter. Until the next one comes…
Christian was meant for greatness. And were you. And I. Each and every one of us was born to shine. We only need the courage to be exactly who we are, and allow the universe to play through us.
I hope you have a beautiful day of being. Of wonder. Of curiosity about how the universe can play through you.
And if you’ve got a little extra energy around noon Eastern time, please send it Christian’s way. Because while trying is over-rated, love and support are everything.
Straight from my mom heart,
P.S. If you want to hear more about attraction and acceptance and taking things in your business next-level, I’m hosting a LIVE MASTERCLASS next Wednesday at noon Pacific. I’ll talk about big, hairy-ass goals and why we have amazing visions that we never pursue. And I’ll show you what I’ve learned about putting yourself out there in a way where you won’t get eaten alive. Grab your seat here. So you can amplify your message… and find the folks in the world who most naturally want what you have.