Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dave Matthews and Doing What Brings Us JOY!

Brewing a cup of coffee at 2:00 in the afternoon isn't my usual routine. But it is a necessary act to get me through the rest of this day after a Dave Matthews concert last night. And to help me gear up for our family costume bowling night as a farewell to summer vacation!  

I wouldn't consider myself a huge concert person.  In fact, I've really only been to a handful or two of big concerts.  This was my second time seeing Dave Matthews, and it was AMAZING!   For so many reasons.  First off, I was with my husband and two of our very best friends.  This alone made the 4 of 5 hour drive worth it.  And then, the venue.  The Gorge Amphitheater.  

The Gorge is one of the most scenic places to see a concert.  And when you are with people you love, a warm summer evening, gorgeous sunset, sky full of stars and up front seeing and hearing a great band, it makes for a memory that will last forever! 

Doing What We Love and Using Our Gifts
Standing on our feet for hours. 
Dancing and moving our heads and hands to the music.  
So close to the stage, 
     feeling the beat, 
seeing the way the musicians contort their faces as they soulfully deliver their notes,         
sing from their hearts,
     and become one with their instruments.  
Dave singing the lyrics,
With such passion and intention,
   Filling us....

As I was watching each band member play their instruments, I found myself noticing so much about the way they performed.  Their facial expressions, the way they moved so fluidly with their instruments, sang with such depth and soul...everything about their performance made it clear that they were doing what they loved.  They were sharing their souls with us!  Using their gifts!  And they were so ALIVE doing it.  It made me realize just how powerful it is to be doing what we love or using our gifts.  At least some of the time.

I think all of us could probably think of something that makes us feel most alive when we are doing it.  We can all think of something that we are good at and that we feel we were meant to do.  Not everyone is able to be doing what they are most passionate about when it comes to making a living but many of us find a way to use our gifts in other ways. 

This concert made me think more about what my gifts are and when I feel most alive.  It also got me thinking about how when I'm using my gifts and doing what I am most passionate about, I am giving not only to myself but to the people in my world.  These gifts would include:

  • Teaching.  I am so alive when I am teaching.  Being in the classroom, inspiring kids to learn, seeing them become readers and writers, connecting with them on a personal level, sharing my life with them and building a lasting relationship with them...SO WONDERFUL.  When I think about my years as a teacher, I know more and more that I will probably return to the classroom someday.  Even if it does end up being that I am professor teaching teachers to teach.  In some way, I know that I was meant to teach.  It is one of my gifts.  And I feel joyful and alive when I do it.  
  • Running.  Even though I will probably never be an olympic runner or world class, running fills me with joy and makes me a better me.  It isn't about comparing myself to other runners.  It is just for me.  And I know that my spirit comes out when I am making running part of my life!  
  • Writing.  Writing is a way for me to express myself and share my thoughts and reflections.  It helps me process and come to understandings that I might not have otherwise. 
  • Being a Mother.  A role I've always dreamed about.  I never doubted that I was meant to be a mother.  From as early as I can remember, I said that the one thing I wanted more than anything else in life was to be a mother.  And when I stop to be thankful and present with my children, I realize that I'm doing what I've always dreamed of doing.  And it brings me JOY!
1.  What are your gifts or what makes you feel most alive and joyful?   
2.  Are you able to make these things part of your life?  If not as a paid profession, do you still make your passions part of your life in some way?  



  1. We saw DMB last summer with another couple. The venue was not as scenic as that, but it was an awesome concert!!

  2. DMB was a local college band when I was in college, so I have a hard time wrapping my head around him playing to huge crowds LOL. I remember drinking with him. ;o)

    I'm still trying to figure how what I have to offer...

  3. So crazy! I bet it is so weird to now see that he is so HUGE!! This just goes to show that anything is possible when we are being true to what we love.

  4. I love the Gorge for concerts!! I saw Radiohead there a few years ago and it was breath-taking.

    I can't WAIT to be a mom. I can't wait to step into that role and learn and grow and have my eyes opened wide by this little person inside of me. It'll be a wild ride, I'm sure!

  5. DMB is awesome in concert and you have to be a true follower to love their concerts. They don't play much of the mainstream stuff! I love feeling like I'm part of the "in crowd" because I know all the words to the songs not on the radio!

    I left my corporate job almost two years ago and have been in a state of flux trying to figure out what my passion is. I've found it in blogging for sure (and hope to monetize that somehow), but I've recently started providing childcare to several families in my community and I love it! The kids love me, the parents love me, and I love them all back. It is exhausting work, but so rewarding at the end of the day. I am childless by choice so taking care of others' prized possessions is a job I take very seriously.

  6. What a beautiful place to see a concert! :) Your comment about watching the musicians' faces while they play made me kind of laugh, because I often think that those are probably their sex faces. And since most of the live music I hear is at church (where we have a LOUD, contemporary band), the thought is a little distracting from the point of the service. :)

    And I'm going to think a little on your questions and maybe be back to answer them later. You know, when I can write a dissertation. :) You live with such intention and's not at all how I am, but it's good to have that reminder of its benefit and the prompting do do a little of it.

  7. Not sure when you changed your header. WHOA woman! Talk about a powerful photo of yourself as runner.

  8. I've decided in recent months that one of my gifts is to give. I know it sounds a bit cheesy but nothing gives me more pleasure than giving something unexpected to someone. I like to think I'm producing good Karma that will spread from one person to the next.

  9. Kate you have me laughing so hard!! I will never look at their faces the same again!

  10. Wow! Super cool concert venue! Love the pics! Glad you had such a great time!

    Well, those surely are your gifts! I could add many more to that list for you:) I can imagine you are an amazing teacher!! Would love to actually see you in that role.

    My gifts. Again, you make me reflect. Music, my biggest God given gift I think-or so I'm often told. I am not so passionate about it at this moment but it's always there, I will never lose it. I surely feel alive when I'm doing it...

  11. We have seen Dave many times but my favorite was at a bar on Nantucket when I was in college:). He is so great!
    I don't know what my passion is, but hopefully I will figure it out soon.

  12. I feel like whenever I read your blog posts you are teaching!! and I am always learning so much!! it's like a little "lesson" I get to go to every few days....never know what its going ot be about but I ALWAYS learn something! I think mostly you've taught and inspired me to stop and think about things more. enjoy the small things, reflect on my life, and LIVE more fully! I love you!

  13. What an incredible post. First of all, I am extremely jealous you went to see Dave....we want to see him so so bad! Second, your header is look so gorgeous and strong! I feel alive teaching too and I feel so blessed to have that when I don't have running right now. Lately, biking makes me feel alive....going fast makes me feel so many different senses! Thanks again for ANOTHER inspiring post!

  14. Hey. NOTHING wrong with coffee at 2 PM. Especially fresh brewed!

    So SO happy you got to see the concert! What a great band and an awesome place to see them.

    I LOVE the idea of a costume bowling theme!! :) So creative.

    Passions...well, running is one. I haven't spent much time on many others lately, but I hope to in a few years :))

  15. "We can all think of something that we are good at and that we feel we were meant to do."

    This passage has given me so much to think about today. I'm one of those people that has so many interests that it's difficult to tell what I really enjoy doing...because I kind of enjoy doing a lot of things. What do I feel meant to do? I'm going to ponder this all day. Thanks, Amanda.

  16. I wish Coach and I could've joined you!!! DMB at the GORGE is the best!! We were there last year (facebook pics) and I now get all the hoopla of the gorge!

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  18. I love this! I am very attracted to people when it is clear they are doing what they love. It's infectious. I feel most alive when I am running, writing, traveling and doing humanitarian work. Sometimes I feel alive when I am belting out a great song in the car or jumping up and down dancing to my favorite song. I wish I felt more ALIVE and passionate while at work... but I always make an effort to do what I am passionate about outside of work.

    Spending the weekend with my best friend got us all fired up. We had the same long talks we used to have in college about changing the world. We haven't lost that drive to make a difference and I am grateful for that.

    I loved this post!