A Metaphor for Life

DSC00719My favorite T-shirt is more than just a casual top to wear; it gives me something significant to think about. What’s the motto on the front? “Jazz: A Metaphor for Life.” I bought it seven years ago at the Michigan Jazz Festival and I’ve been sporting it ever since. This summer, I’ve been thinking about how I can incorporate more of its meaning into my daily life. Here are 5 ways you too can take advantage of the assets of ‘jazz’ every day.

Improvise. When you find yourself facing a challenge, draw on your abilities and brainstorm about what you can do. Allow yourself to be spontaneous, trusting your strength to rise to the occasion. Each time you do, you’ll be developing your resiliency for the next test of your skills.

Take some chances. You are free to make choices in how you respond to an opportunity to act. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You don’t need to achieve perfection. It’s OK to make mistakes – you can even use those errors to create something uniquely beautiful.

Stay in the moment. When you focus your complete attention on what you’re doing, you can achieve a state of Flow or energized immersion in an activity. Reproduce the joy you observe in Jazz musicians when you approach your pursuits with that same enthusiastic mindfulness.

Hang out with friends. Community provides the chance to blend different styles, creating a distinct outcome. Collaboration can lead to new interpretations, updating old, staid reactions. And supportive friendships can help nurture your special talents and encourage you to take well-deserved credit for your individual accomplishments.

Follow you passion. When you make a commitment to be true to your inner voice, the energy and vitality you generate lets you take flight and soar. Paradoxically, a dedication to expressing your deep personal ideals can fashion a spiritual connection and beneficial involvement in the world around you.

And, of course, the clearest message from a Jazz festival is to have fun and enjoy life to the fullest!

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