Writing, Musicals, Being on Stage, and Walk-Up Songs

I've been trying to be more intentional about writing, writing that I don't have to do, writing that isn't work-related. 

One way is through using poet Maya Stein's Writing Prompts for Ordinary People. Each day she lists 3 prompts to choose from. These prompts are a helpful way to boost one's creativity and practice what I've been having my students do this semester in my Creative Counseling class. I also enjoy what nuggets can be found in my writing, what things I learn about myself, especially if I allow the writing to flow and not edit myself. For today's writing I chose musicals.

Musicals are fun. What would happen if in real life we call burst into song at random times throughout the day? Sure people would think we were crazy at first, but they wouldn't soon forget it. Some of us already sing in the shower. I've been known to sing to my own children, especially when I want to get their attention. It doesn't matter how well I sing. I'm not on some reality TV music show.

The songs in musicals are often emotionally-charged. The music has a tendency to stay with you. Hopefully, not in an annoying Let It Go sort of way. When life feels like we're on a hamster wheel, it's time to see a musical. Or easier and much cheaper, just start singing.

What would it be like to be on stage for a musical? Perhaps it might be similar to how I felt during The World Domination Summit when Brene Brown was speaking and asked the entire front row to come on stage. She and host Chris Guillebeau began to belt out Journey's Don't Stop Believing. Those of us on stage were singing and dancing and the entire audience was on their feet joining us in song. I felt so alive. A spiritual experience. All of connected, singing in unison such a positive mantra. Here's a blog post by someone on stage who grabbed the microphone. You can see me in one of the pictures. I'm wearing a green skirt.) 

Then there's the costumes and set design and the story. People in real life, 4-D. Such a different experience than watching a movie or TV show. What would the musical of my life be? That would take some time to think about, but such a great question for myself and you too.

This idea reminds me of a few weeks ago when I was at the Association for Play Therapy Board of Directors meeting. The CEO Kathy asked us each to share what our walk-up song would be. Your walk-up song is the music that would be played if you walking on stage to receive an award or give a speech. Kathy got this idea from a conversation she had with last year's keynote speaker at the APT conference.  I had a hard time with this one. So I kind of caved and played my favorite song, my theme song, which is the Rolling Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want. The only problem is this song is a bit depressing. Usually walk-up songs are upbeat. 

What would your walk-up song be?


A Centering Hymn

I recently heard the following hymn. It was new to me. I am drawn to its words, like poetry. Of course, you can substitute any word for God or Spirit if those words don't work for you.

Come and Find the Quiet Center

Words by Shirley Evena Murray

©1992 Hope Publishing


Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead,

Find the room for hope to enter, find its frame where we are freed:

Clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes that we can see

All the things that really matter, be at peace and simply be.


Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace,

God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, touches base,

Making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun.

Raising courage when we’re shrinking, finding scope for faith begun.


In the Spirit let us travel, open to each other’s pain,

Let our loves and fears unravel, celebrate the space we gain:

There’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care,

In the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare!

In the Name of Love

Today is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.  Each April 4th I am reminded of his legacy.  (One of which I believe lives on in the modern push for gay rights.)  Each April 4th I think of the song Pride, by one of my favorite bands of all time, U2.

Watch and listen to Pride in this video.