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Make that call! Dreams do come true!

by inspire on April 28, 2010

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

- W H Murray (1913 – 1996)

When I was a child my Father would bring me to the Easter parade in Dublin, Ireland. Now I was pretty small at the time and the crowds were massive – I was a small boy holding my fathers hand for dear life, looking up at frightening human giants all around me. I never remember seeing any of the parade as we never managed to get to the front row! Luckily though I could still hear the parade as its sounds filled the streets.

What I heard was a sound that moved every cell of my body, that touched every part of me. A sound that inspired me and made me feel like a giant in my small boys body. It was the unique sound of the bagpipes.

As the years passed the Easter parade was stopped and I rarely heard the sound of the bagpipes. Life got busy and serious and childhood dreams were left behind. But they never died!

About twenty years later I had a dream of learning to play Amazing Grace on the bagpipes for my wedding. I had no idea how I would learn it and it was only three months to our wedding! Then I heard there was a bagpiper at the hotel we were getting married in. So I wondered? I wondered would he teach me? Another part of me said he’d probably tell me to “Get lost! There’s no way you’d learn it in three months”. Would I call him?

Well I decided to make that call and he was so open to helping me it was fantastic. And three months later unbeknownst to most people at our wedding, including my very surprised wife, I walked in after the meal playing amazing grace on the bagpipes!

Not longer after our wedding I wondered again? What if I called my bagpiper friend and asked him could I join his band? Now another part of me said “Sean, you’re too old now, get serious and forget it!“. Luckily enough I didn’t listen to that limiting voice, made the call and joined the band. For the next number of years I travelled twice a week, an hour each way and learnt the bagpipes and enjoyed myself to the hilt!

In 1999 my Father died from cancer.  As I watched my Fathers life ebbing away, it reminded me of my own mortality and I made a commitment to nourish my love of music a lot more before it was too late.

One day I sat in a cafe and wondered could I actually get paid for performing and doing what I truly love? As I contemplated this I heard a lady in the cafe say to another lady “and did they play bagpipes at the wedding?” This was the last sign I needed from the universe.

That afternoon I put an advert for playing bagpipes at weddings on an Irish weddings website. And within a couple of months I had my first paid professional music gig. From that moment on I would never again believe that you can’t get paid for doing what you love! You can!

Since then I’ve performed in many countries around the world with bagpipes and guitar, in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, New York, Washington State, Hawaii, San Francisco, Chicago, Peru (in Machu Pichu & at 4,200m high), Israel, Palestine, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, South Korea, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, France  and Luxembourg. I’ve had the honour of piping for thousands of people from all walks of life from the rich and famous, to some who live under curfew, to some of the worlds poorest people.

Now suppose I never made that call to ask someone to teach me bagpipes? Suppose I decided to believe I was too old? Or hadn’t enough money? Or the time wasn’t right yet? Or I was too young? Or some other limiting belief. None of the above would have happened and I dread to think how much joy, happiness and absolutely unbelievable fantastic  experiences I would have missed out on. Maybe even more importantly how many peoples lives would I not have been able to touch with the music,  just like mine was as I held my Fathers hand in those crowded Dublin streets filled with bagpipe music from the Easter parade.

Have I played “bum notes” along the way, you bet I have! But it’s better than playing no notes at all! And as the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) said

Don’t die with your music still in you

Make that call! Your Dreams can come true!

Sean M Kelly

PS: Remember this is the last week you can vote to help my book “A Pipers Tales – Celtic Wisdom to Nourish the Soul” get to the next round of the Next Top Spiritual Author competition. Just click this link Your vote is greatly appreciated.

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