May 21, 2020

Sing your heart out

My brother Will is a remarkable performer. I don't remember a time in our childhood when he wasn't singing, playing the piano and entertaining.

Last year he organized a concert here in Vancouver. Several close friends of his were invited to perform for an audience of 200+ people.

A few weeks before the event, Will asked if I would join him on stage and sing.

I laughed at first.

"I don't sing," I reminded myself inside my head, before Will had even finished asking me.

But as I stood there letting my brother's request sink in, somehow I couldn't say no.

I was familiar with the song he suggested: You Are My Sister by Antony and the Johnsons (he wanted to perform it as “You Are My Brother”). It's an enchanting song that he loved to perform when we were younger. It would echo through my mind while I was at school and out playing sports.

If I could sing, I thought, I couldn't imagine a more fitting duet for us.

So I stood there in front of Will, with a heavy heartbeat, and asked myself if this is something I actually wanted to do.

My thoughts were convincingly self-critical:

At this point I had been meditating for years and I knew that who I am is not my thoughts or my emotions. I was simply witness to the barrage of self-judgement.

I was amazed that a simple question could trigger such a storm of inner turmoil.

It became clear to me that this would be a fascinating learning opportunity for me—an experiment to better understand who I really am and hopefully expand beyond this limiting self-concept.

Three weeks later I found myself backstage at Will's show.

There was both nervousness and excitement. I was inside observing it all.

There were both doubtful and encouraging thoughts. I was inside observing it all.

Then I heard Will play the first chords of our song and his voice reached right through my chest and touched my heart.

Before I knew it, I was walking towards one of the standing microphones. The stage was lit up from all angles and I couldn’t see the audience.

It was just me, my brother, and the grand piano.

If you want to hear us sing, Will created a live album of the show. Search for "You Are My Brother" by Will Blunderfield wherever you like to get your music.

That night was magical in a few ways. I met someone after the show who would go on to become an important teacher and help guide me to one of the most profound insights of my life.

But I'll save that story for another time :)

My question for you is: When was the last time you said "yes" to a deeper calling, even though you felt fear or doubted yourself? What did you experience when you took action in spite of the fear?

Reach out if you'd like to explore this together.

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