Grammy Nominated Artist, Storyteller & Motivational Entertainer

Finding strength in weakness

It is in your biggest weakness where you can find your greatest strength.

I had two choices. I could Ignore the problem and just hope that it would get better or I could admit my weakness and ask for help.

As soon as the orchestra started “Rose Garden” I knew something was different. The key? The arrangement? The fact that I wasn’t hearing it exactly as I had heard on my practice tape?  Maybe all or none. Maybe it was just nerves? But whatever it was, it I caused me to be completely off key. I mean completely off key for the first two lines of the song.  I was devastated. When the song ended, I had two choices; ask for help, or keep quiet and just hope it would get better.  I humbly asked for help.

What happened next surprised me, encouraged me and changed more than just my ability to find the right notes.  It changed the whole tune of the next two days.

IMG_8992My admission of weakness rallied everyone from background singers to the conductor to the fiddle player to the Beatles (okay – not the real Beatle’s but impersonators) to offer to help me. And then, from the pain, from the vulnerable place, good arrived. Friendships sprouted. Relationships grew. Support was given. Before I knew it, I was having coffee with people whom five minutes earlier I didn’t know. We shared stage horror songs anIMG_9005d laughter and the sharing of those weaknesses I felt safe. That lead to me t
elling stories about my journey with my special needs son James, which lead to tears and hugs and an unbelievable connection.

As my slot in the show neared, I stood in the wings of the stage and my heart was racing. I was invited to be a part of Oto Pestner’s (the country of Slovenia’s most popular folk singer) birthday celebration. It was being video taped and will air on Slovenian TV in January. The President of the country sat in the front row. I was scared. I had no idea if I would get it right or not.

And then, the Beatle’s showed up with guitars and played me the right chord, and other singers offered their voices, even the stage manger – whom I’m sure can’t sing – offered his singing of the G sharp.

I walked onto the stage. And when I opened my mouth and sang, “I beg your pardon”, it was in fact on key! My friend Kathy who is here with me said that the celebration back stage was huge! People cheered and high-fived to the point they were afraid even the audience could hear! When I got off stage
IMG_8931I was met with hugs and celebration. We all exchanged emails and liked each other on Facebook. And of coursed toasted – Zivio! – with a Slovenian beverage!

What are you afraid of today? What has you torn up inside that if you just admit your weakness and reach out to someone, might change the entire course of your day? Your week? Your life?

I am not the world’s greatest singer. Nowhere near. But this experience reminded me that it’s the people that matter, not the right notes. And that being vulnerable opens you up to new life. God sees your weakness and surrounds it with love and encouragement and maybe even new friends half way around the world

Zivio to you!