1 hour call.
30 minute call.
15 minute call.
"Ok ladies, meet at the prayer circle."
A purpose is set. We are all on the same page.
Ahead of me are 19 beautiful, strong and talented women, all walking towards the stage. I'm praying for God's protection over all of us and thanking Him for this amazing opportunity.
Music starts. The sound of the roaring crowd overcomes the most powerful sound system in the industry.
We step on stage.
Thousands of phones up in the air trying to capture and log every moment.
The Formation tour has begun.
Sometimes things happen in our lives and we don't really take the time to celebrate them. Sometimes the beginning goes unnoticed. Sometimes the end blends with the beginning of something else and we don't give it its proper attention. Life gets so busy that we just don't stop and...
(Lesson #1) ...notice!
I consciously made the choice to be very present every time I stepped on stage. I made the choice to absorb every face I saw, every lip moving to the lyrics, every visible body dancing to the beat, every flashlight going on and off repeatedly, to gaze at my amazing peers and witness them share their beauty and talent, to breathe in the fact that my boss has one of the most most beautiful and powerful voices in the industry.
I closed my eyes many times backstage to just... listen.
I’ve trained as a dancer long enough to condition myself to stay focused at all costs. But being focused and being aware are two different things. Lesson number one: notice what you're noticing.
My nerves or anxiety could've gotten the best of me. But this is bigger than me. It's not about me. It's about...
(Lesson #2) ...human exchange!
I noticed an audience member in particular who was dancing and singing with such freedom. There was a beautiful carelessness about her. She respectfully didn’t care what people around her thought of her, she was living in the moment. Singing loudly, dancing so graciously. In her tiny space, not bumping into anyone, but confidently owning her space. We locked eyes and were signing to each other.
Something beautiful happened: I became the audience, she became the perfomer.
Because I noticed what I was noticing I came to the beautiful truth that even a concert of this magnitude is ruled by the simple truth of human exchange. I’ve always known ‘performing’ to be about giving. We are up there on that stage giving all we can to make sure the audience has a good time, to make them feel a part of the show. But that's exactly it: they ARE a part of the show! Giving leads to more giving. Doesn't matter if it's 60,000 of them, 30,000 of them, or 1 of them. Human exchange takes you from self-focused to people-focused. Living that way is so much better.
I don't know who that woman is and she may never read this and know I'm talking about her. But whoever you are, thank you for inspiring me with your freedom and confidence.
Performing frees me. It allows me to tap into something that I believe is from God. It changes me.
I believe the same can happen with your career or in your school. I believe we can use these two principles wherever we are in our lives. I think we can all pay more attention to what we are noticing and remember that it's not about you. What can you be aware of today? Whose life can you positively influence today? And who is inspiring you today? Can you thank them for it?
Ready for show #2 and the lessons to be learned tonight.