The Perfect Stretch

Thursday, I am leaving for a four day trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Our good friend, Jeff Coplan, has invited me to take part in a cool project that has just the right amount of “zing” to excite and frighten me.

CreatiVets is a nonprofit that works with wounded veterans to help them heal via the Arts. Jeff leads a team that co-writes a song with individual vet and then brings that healing composition to life with fellow studio musicians.

On Friday, my job will be to co-write the song with Jeff and the veteran who has elected to tell their story. In the room will also be a second veteran acting as a mentor and a social worker should the situation stray too close to any trauma.

After the three hour session, Jeff will chart out the tune for the band so that they can play it and I can sing it at a Nashville recording session on Saturday. My understanding is that 15 or 20 other veterans will be there to soak up the good feelings and honor the person.

Jeff has done this a number of times, so I am putting my trust in his capable hands. Per usual, I wonder if I’m up to the task under a time limit, but the truth is I excel at these situations…usually.

The best way to come at this is recognize that I am serving the needs of the person telling the story. My role is to listen, be curious and kind and, finally, to help shape the information I receive into a song. I’ve done that over 500 times with kids and quite a few times with adults.

The worst way to come at this is with an egoic concern that this is about Scott proving himself or looking for validation. It’s natural to want to perform well, but mine is a supporting role – not a starring one. Again, I’ve done that hundreds of times, too.

Still, one has to use the Tools. It’s natural to let the child or the adolescent kids inside of me want a cookie and a pat on the head. I will certainly take care of those inner children, but they don’t run the show. In ACA we call this trick “accessing the Loving Parent.” My true LP is a Higher Power and I plan to ask for help there, too.

So, taking a risk to grow is an opportunity to use my knowledge and skill not just as a writer or singer, but as a loving person. The opposite of being an addict is being a connector and that’s what I hope to do.

Fear is okay and a bit of confidence is crucial to move towards what I fear. This well-worn path reliably brings me to the inner landscape where my heart is, where that living, beating part of me expands and connects to another person’s heart. It is magical, divine and breathtakingly beautiful.

The Adventure, for me, is there. And it is also a place of Service.

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