What Can You Afford to Be Generous With?

What Can You Afford to Be Generous With?
Wednesday musings...

I have touched on this before, but it bears repeating...

Truly being PRESENT in your life - allows for you to recognize what you have/where you are going/what you are pursuing - and then allows you the opportunity to recognize and deal with the people around you.

As you pursue a life as ARTIST and perhaps artist pursing CAREER, you will run into/up against people who are like you,  and people who are not.

I call these people "dabblers".  There is nothing wrong with that by the way - but recognizing the truth of what is going on is key.

"Dabblers" just want to have fun.  They aren't invested in their artistry per se;  they certainly aren't invested in sacrificing nor investing in developing a career.  They often just want want a quick fix, want to be told they are special - and often want your attention.

How generous can you be?  How generous can you AFFORD to be?

As we dance around each other - and see and meet many different types of human nature and human beings through our day - recognizing our SELVES is so important first, to allow for a better balance with others.

"Dabblers" frequent our business.  They often mean well, but they become unintentional vampires - sucking the energy out of our day.  They "wander" - and ask questions, and want reassurance, but often never follow through.  Their pursuit is limited or non-existent.

Ultimately, recognizing they exist is the first step.  Knowing they don't mean harm most of the time is an important realization so as an artist/an artist pursuing a career - YOU don't waste energy on getting angry!

HOWEVER - knowing where YOU are in your pursuit is important so you don't give more than you can afford to.

It is VERY important to recognize this.  Not being generous with certain things, does not make you rude!  There are certain things at certain points in your career that you just cannot afford to give away!!!!

Whether it is with "dabblers" or with colleagues!

Time,  contacts, information,  knowledge of craft - all of these things are IMPORTANT and not to be taken lightly!  The generosity of ANY of them depends on what is being asked of YOU.

Perhaps a peer who is pursuing a career  asks for your advice - who do you study with?  Have you heard of this class?  Giving this information for them to pursue on their own, doesn't cost you anything and it shows your support and your effort as a peer and colleague.

Having your time taken up with another's insecurities - either a 'dabbler' or a peer - who sucks your time, your energy, wants your information and doesn't really care if they follow through, or worse, expects you to help them do it - that you cannot afford to be generous with!

Pursuit of career as an artist is YOURS and YOURS alone.  Nobody can get you through the doors, the plateaus, the moments, but YOU.  There will be people and circumstances along that way that give you direction, that may suggest a door or a place to rest - but ultimately the rest is up to you!

You cannot be generous with this knowledge to another until YOU ARE COMFORTABLE with where you are.  You cannot afford to be generous until you are FULL!

Why would you give away all that you have worked for to someone who is unwilling and unseeing and wants it handed to them?

You don't need to get angry.  You just need to walk away.

We all seek our own level - and the truth of that becomes very clear with pursuit, or lack thereof.

As a teacher lo these many years - I have more to be generous with, simply because I am at a very different place emotionally, artistically, spiritually - than I was 25 years ago.  I have a choice!  I can be generous with certain things, and still task a singer and a student to discover for themselves.  I cannot walk through the door for them.

If you are just getting started on a path, or even if you have been pursuing a career for awhile - know where you are so you can assure yourself that your generosity is indeed parallel to where you are!

If you are just getting started - YOU are still seeking basic vocabulary!

You cannot afford to be giving it away!!!

Be generous of spirit - of smiles, of encouragement -  of basic information when someone asks you who you study with, of taking a class!

Giving "dabblers" or even colleagues more time and more information when you are trying to discover is taxing and unnecessary.

Let others find what they need, just like you are - and just like you had to!

As you further along the path,  perhaps what you can afford to be generous with will change.  Sometimes it won't.

Ultimately all of us - artists, career pursuit, dabblers - need to find out what we need, and find our own way and open our own doors.

So - let me change the question.  WHO can you afford to be generous with?

Ultimately the answer is YOU.  You can afford to be generous with YOURSELF!  When you allow for THIS reality, the others in your vision and along your path - and yes, even the ones who bump against you, or suddenly appear infront of you and want reassurance - will not be allowed to take from you.

Why?  You simply won't allow it.  You will recognize the difference between giving it away, and being generous of spirit.  You will know what to do - because YOU will be feeding yourself FIRST.

You can't take anybody with you on this path.  We are all responsible for our own.  We meet others along the way - we glean knowledge and understanding - or not.  We either discover and root ourselves and find real craft and real discipline and real art, or we dabble.

It is up to each of us to KNOW.

Discipline begins with SELF - Generosity is afforded only to those who recognize its pricelessness.

When we experience that pricelessness, we treat it with the respect it deserves.

Be generous with YOU.  Recognize the pricelessness of YOU.  DEVELOP YOU.

When your focus is clear, the others will not be able to sway you, suck your energy, or bother you.

This in itself, allows for a generosity of recognition.  You see yourself, and you see them!  Then you know what to do - or not do.

Be generous when you can, with what you can.  Don't give away anything that will leave you depleted.  The self needs nurturing and respect FIRST.

Leave each to his/her own discovery and path.  You are ONLY responsible for yours.  YOU walk through the doors that you are lead to;  YOU sit down when you are tired;  YOU take your path and discover it!

As you discover and claim - what you can afford will become clear.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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