Do You Live Life Gently, Or Do You Attack Life? – Insights from the Wilderness #181

djembeDo You Live Life Gently, Or Do You Attack Life? Some years ago I took lessons to learn how to play an African Djembe drum. I was drawn to the magic and spirituality created by a drum circle. In one of the first lessons, the teacher taught me an important lesson about life.

He said when you play a drum or any musical instrument, you can either attack the instrument, or you can gently lift the sound out of the instrument. In the case of the drum, he explained that you don’t beat the drum; you simply lift the sound out of the earth. The music or rhythms created by the musical instrument, is not created by the notes or the sound of the drumbeats, but rather it comes from the spaces between the notes and the drum beats.

Are you a person that feels like you have to roll your sleeves and attack life head on? Are you convinced that life is a struggle, a battle that you have to fight if you want to win and be successful?

If so, you’re not alone. Most of us grow up believing that we have to fight to get ahead in life. We have to overcome the obstacles that life will put in our path. We have to sacrifice and struggle to get an education. We have to aggressively compete for success.

Fortunately, if we are willing to grow and learn from the experiences that life offers us, we will eventually discover a simple truth—-life is not a struggle; something to be conquered or overcome. Life is a process that unfolds, not a hostile enemy that has to be defeated. Like the sounds that come from a drum, we gently lift life out of the experiences that come to us.

If we want to experience life as a process, to bring the music of our inner light into the world, there are a couple of basic rules that have to be learned and embraced. If we fail to learn these basic rules, life will be a struggle.

Rule #1: Embrace Change. Life requires that we learn to openly embrace change. Until we are willing to stop pushing the river and allow change to enter our lives, life will move us from one experience of suffering to another; a never ending series of experiences that bring us suffering. When we resist change, we create suffering for ourselves because we are resisting the entire universe.

Rule #2: Discover Your Life Purpose. Life offers us an almost infinite number of choices. Unfortunately, our “life” time here is limited. Until we have a clear understanding of our life purpose; the big idea that drives our life and provides the passion and energy we need to journey effortlessly toward the life we were meant to live, we will tend to be a human Ping-Pong ball wasting our life energy bouncing aimlessly from one possibility to another until our life is over.

Rule #3: Look Inside. Most of us have a fairly clear understanding of our life purpose very early in life. We simply assumed that our life purpose couldn’t be that simple. So we traveled out into the world searching for what we already knew. When we have the courage to stop the ping-ponging, look inside, and listen to the quiet voice of our authentic-self speaking to us, our life purpose will come into focus. We will know what we were born to do with our lives—-and whatever that thing is, it will, in some way, add value to the lives of others. It will, in some way, improve the world. That is why it’s called our life purpose.

Rule #4: Take The First Small Step. If we have the courage to embrace our life purpose and take that first small step toward the life we were meant to live; and are willing to grow and learn as we journey toward our dreams, the universe will pave the path into our future. Doors will open. Opportunity will present itself. A meaningful life will begin to unfold.


I have come to believe our life is very similar to playing a drum. The music or rhythm of our life is found in the silent spaces between the experiences or notes, not in the experiences themselves. We have a choice, we can gently lift the music of our life out of the experiences that life offers us—-or we can attack life and turn it into an endless struggle.

When we are living the life we were meant to live, the music of our life; our behaviors, our attitudes, the rhythm of our heart energy——-the music that manifests from the dreams and life purpose of our authentic-self —-will always speak louder than the words and actions our ego wants to fill the silence between our experiences.

What are your thought? Comment below.

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