Jenny Bienemann: Listen to your little voice.

Before you read this, take a look at these videos: Welcome in the Light and Your Own Cup.

I get excited.

A wonderful new venue in Arlington Heights, Hey Nonny, has invited Robin and me to take over the last Tuesday of the month.  We are affectionately calling it the Twos-Day Night special.  We'll play alongside a fellow musical duo at these shows.

To celebrate, I am doing a Haiku Milieu Duos virtu-concert on April 23.  More on that later...what you need to know now?  I was excited!

You know that adage, if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person?  That kinda holds true for me.  The more I do, the more I seem to get done. 

So Friday morning, before work, I was simultaneously reaching out to a wonderful musical duo and preserving mission-critical documents for the computer's impending updates.  Along with the excitement, I felt virtue, and...unease.

I have lived long enough to stop and check in with my little voices.  I was definitely...uneasy.  But, I was due at my "office" (upstairs) and I had things I wanted to get done. I focused on the excitement and returned to my task.

Only after pressing send on the email to the wonderful musical duo (who also happen to be very trustworthy people) did I realize...I sent them all the passwords we had ever amassed.  You read that right. All. the. passwords. from FOREVER.

So over the weekend, as I went down the rabbit hole of changing all those passwords (which we should all do annually) I had plenty of time to reflect on listening to my little voice.  And to renew my vows to ALWAYS LISTEN.  Even when it is inconvenient (which it usually is), even when I don't want to (which I usually don't) and when I can't see immediate results (almost always.)

Given all of this, why does anyone listen?  

Because when it's not trying to prevent you from bringing what you don't want into the world, it is trying to help you bring what you do want to bring into the world.

Case in point.  Saturday night, 1/16. 

I just finished writing and uploading the Sunday Haiku Milieu email (please do join if you're not already part of it, jennybienemann.com).  I love this group so much.  I think part of the reason why it seems to work for others as well as for me is that I make a practice of asking my little voice for that group specifically.  I listen, I think of them as individuals, of us as a collective, of what is happening in the world, and listen for what sparks something in me that will, hopefully, light them up as well.

So late Saturday night, 1/16.  My little voice said, "Why not write a song to that haiku right now, while the feeling is fresh?"  This was an echo back to the words of my friend, singer/songwriter Justin Farren urging me to do something along these lines. "OK," I said.  "I'll do it."

And I did!  

I wrote it, I rehearsed it enough to record it, I made a wee video for it, and uploaded it to the email.  At 2 am I fell into bed, exhausted and tingling.

Know what happened?  The sound on that video wasn't loud enough.  Some people had to crank their speakers, some people's speakers couldn't even be cranked loud enough to hear it.  So they missed the whole point!

And I was like, "Little voice - !  Why get me all excited and have this not work???  THIS is why nobody listens to you!"

My poor little voice.  

Back in the saddle with the Haiku Milieu Sunday email, a week later.  My little voice had an idea.  Did it punish me by withholding it?  No.  It merely said, "You know, you could see if Jon Smith would mix this for you."

And I didn't cut off my nose to spite my face.  I listened to it.  And I called Jon Smith, who as always, was delighted to collaborate on "Your Own Cup."  He made the very air between the notes sparkle.

The next week, Jon was out of town.  My little voice said, "You could see if Klem Hayes would help you with this."  And Klem took the guitar and voice, rooted them and made them reach for they sky like branches of a tree on "Welcome in the Light."

What's the moral of the story here? 

While it may be inconvenient, you may not want to do it, and you may not see immediate results, listen to your little voice.  It might keep you from sharing something you don't want to share with the world. 

It may also help you bring something into the world that you really do care about.

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