Between the senseless tragedy in Vegas, the unexpected death of the wife of my husband’s friend, and the loss of a musical icon, October 2 really gave us a lot to think about. My thoughts, as usual in situations like this, traveled to purpose and soulwork and legacy.
Losing Tom Petty was hard. His music has been a part of my life since I first heard Free Falling back in the mid-90s, when I was trying to learn how to play the keyboard (I have long-since given that up, ha!)
Tom was most definitely doing his soulwork–that’s undeniable.
The man was one of the best singer-songwriters of our time and his catalog of work is a legacy that will live on for the rest of time. He was a true artist.
And he was a writer who acted on inspired ideas.
In his documentary (available on Netflix right now) he says that he had no idea where the songs came from. He just heard a riff and the lyrics came to him. He described it as going up into the stratosphere, pulling down the words and bringing them to life in the song.
He never questioned where this inspiration came from, for fear that it would go away.
By acting on these inspired ideas (aka: Divine Downloads), he was able to build a beyond-incredible dream life and career. One that most musicians aspire to, but many never reach.
He was an artist who was willing to do the work.
And all the years of his life he continued writing and performing and creating and putting stuff out in the world, both through his own music and by producing the music of other musicians he believed in.
But there was another side of Tom that not everyone remembers, and that was the side of him that had strong convictions and was willing to fight for what he believed in. He fought the industry to keep record prices from going up. He organized an independent tour with his band, The Heartbreakers, to pay for the legal bills he endured from standing for what he believed.
And he won.
The legacy of Tom Petty will for sure live on forever. Both his music and his legacy as an artist willing to stand up against an industry that tried to take advantage of him and of so many other artists.
Tom’s legacy is undeniable.
But what about everyone else? All the other people in the world–those who are gone and especially those who remain…
Are they living their dream lives? Are they doing their soulwork in the world? Are they standing for what they believe in? Are they spending their time doing what really matters?
I have no idea the answers to those questions, as I don’t personally know every person in the world. But what I do know is all we ever really have is right now.
Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year aren’t guaranteed. We have no idea what the future holds for us. Any of us.
And so that’s why we must wake up every morning, grateful to be alive, and we must live our legacy. We must create and we must finish and we must put our soulwork out into the world.
There are no more excuses.
There’s no more time for procrastinating or puting it off.
There is only NOW.
And we, the lucky ones, who still remain here on planet earth, must create our legacy and live our dream lives. If for no other reason than to honor those who are gone.
We must show up every day, do our soulwork and put it out into the world.
For those who would give anything to have one more day, one more breath, one more chance. To do the thing they always dreamed of. To live the life they always wanted. To finish what they came here to do.
Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.
And so we must live NOW, create NOW, put it out there NOW. Because you never know what tomorrow will bring…
Dream life or bust,
P.S. Is it time for you to finish your story? Then mark October 16 on your calendar and get ready to join myself and Editor, Sarah Fox, for Revise Your Damn Novel. Stay tuned…