The Gift I Wish I Could Give

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2021

About three years ago, I achieved one of my lifelong biggest dreams. I won an audition for a full time job playing my horn.


After hundreds of auditions, failed attempts, tearful plane rides home after ten second shots and never advancing once for years - I not only advanced through to finals, I won.


A culmination of years of practice at my craft and the skill of auditioning paired with a healthy dose of mindfulness and self-love did the trick. I soared.


I remember feeling calm, knowing for a fact that I would play at my peak and feeling ease - even joy - wash over my body in the final round.


I was in my flow and I was in flow by deliberate choice.


Winning this job was a huge deal. I had spent literally decades playing the same 30 second snippets of music over and over perfecting them to ensure my complete preparation for when I got my shot.


The majority of musicians long for a win like this and never achieve it. I did.


Not only was this a full time playing job with a salary and benefits, it was for the United States Navy Band that would be paying back my tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. I also would be playing and living in amazing places like Italy and Hawaii. It was everything - music, travel and money.


As a full time hustling freelancer at the time, I was over the moon. I was over the moon for the life I would receive in exchange for making music every day -  for something that feels like breathing to me.


This is the pinnacle moment and dream for many musicians, especially classical musicians. And, these are hard moments to come by.


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra kept a job open and held auditions for five whole years before hiring someone to fill the position. They turned down hundreds and hundreds of players because they weren’t good enough or weren’t the exact right fit.


Suffice it to say, my win was truly an amazing moment. Tears streamed down my face as I shook hands with the panel and my dream was laid out in front of me. It was surreal.


And yet, it’s what happened after that moment that contains the gift I wish I could give.


Following the audition, I drove a 10 hour drive home by myself. I could have flown home I was riding such a high!


I called my mentors, my family, said thank you in every which way, celebrated with solo singing parties in my car, drove through a Midwestern snowstorm and arrived home in Chicago around 2am.


As I snuggled into my bed, I pulled out my gratitude journal for my nighttime ritual.


I wrote down “I am grateful for winning a full time playing job in the Navy Band.”


The very next thing I wrote down was “I am grateful for my warm socks.”


It was in this sleepy hazy 2am gratitude journal moment that I experienced this profound truth:


Everything is the same. I’m still me.


I stared at the journal. I stared at the wall. I sat up a straight. The present moment washed over me.


I think this is what they talk about.


I’m still the farm girl obsessed with her chunky striped high socks. I’m still the Chicagoan who gets burritos at the cash only taqueria around the corner. I’m still the person who loves swimming and soul moments with her closet people. I’m still her.


Everything is the same. It’s still me and me.


The juxtaposition of these two sentences of gratitude contains the gift I wish I could give. I wish I could give everyone the gift of achieving their biggest dream so they could have this moment - it’s still you.


It’s so easy when working toward a big goal and dream to think “Life will be so amazing” and “I’ll finally be happy” when the dream comes true. When I accomplish this, “All of my problems will dissipate.”


After chasing my dream and moment for decades, none of those things were true.


My experience of achievement was elation, pride and at the same time a deep resonance that I was exactly the same person I had been before the win.


I looked around waiting for my world and identity to change and ignite into all I had created in my mind. Instead, I settled into the message I was so clearly receiving. I looked at my socks.


Lifelong dream achieved and it’s still me and me. The company I always have is my own. No achievement or failure can change it, it simply is. I simply am.


Everything is the same. It’s still me and me.


For years I had listened to podcasts where people talked about the moment when they achieved their dreams. Whether it was millions of dollars or winning a Grammy, I had heard a resounding message of people sharing their similar experience of this moment.


The moment when they had manifested the big accomplishment and looked around only to discover they were still themselves. It was still them and them. And in that gratitude journal moment, I experienced it for myself.


No accomplishment can add worthiness because nothing can take it away. I was worthy upon arrival. So were you. And no matter what dream you achieve, everything inside will be the same. It will still be you and you.


This is the gift I wish I could give. The gift of achieving a big dream and still being you.


Amazingly enough, it was my relationship with myself that ultimately saved me from accepting this coveted job. A swirl of circumstances, facts and parts of the job that would require breaking my integrity brought me to the conclusion of not moving forward with it. I decided to be true to my full, honest self and that meant - no Navy job.


It was almost as if winning the job was the permission I needed to walk my own path. I didn’t want to pursue other passions because I couldn’t win an audition. I didn’t want it to be an ability thing.


In the win I had shown myself and the world that I could do it. It was in the win that I could officially choose a different road on purpose and not by default.


Once I achieved my biggest childhood dream I was able to relax into the question, “Is this me?”


All thanks to my 2am journaling revelation: Everything is the same. It’s still me and me.


This part of my story and invaluable lesson is a powerful example of why I believe so deeply in mindfulness.


Mindfulness is simply the practice and lifestyle of being in deep relationship with yourself.


This relationship is the one thing in life that is always, as I like to say, “on your person.”


It’s hanging out with yourself. It’s getting to know your inner world and using it to create your outer world. It’s loving yourself every which way ‘til Sunday.


It’s investing in your inner peace, your inner knowing and the present moments as they are.


It’s knowing it’s you no matter what. It’s choosing your happiness and worthiness in all moments, including right now exactly as you are. In both your big dreams and your warm socks. In your highest highs, your lowest lows and a calm moment seeing a simple crack in the sidewalk.


It’s you knowing it’s always you. And investing in this lifetime love over and over.


Dear Reader, I send it to you.


This very gift.


That goal, that dream, that tall tale you have told yourself about how you will finally be happy when you achieve it. I’m sending you the gift of knowing it will always still be you. Amazing you and amazing you.


So, tap into you now. Invest in yourself. Love yourself now. Choose happiness now. Cultivate this connection.


It’ll be your soul in the dream and it’ll be your soul in the socks.


It’ll always be you.



If you’d like to tap into mindfulness while you work toward dreams of your own, this is how I support my clients in 1:1 coaching. This is for people who are ready to dive in to their inner world and use it to create what they’d like in their outer world! If this feels like a yes for you, book a free resonance call with me here. Connect with me, learn about what I do and see if this resonates!


And if you’d like a young person in your life to learn and embody mindfulness by way of the piano, this is what Mindful Music is all about! My students choose their own songs, I custom arrange for their level and they gain a holistic toolkit for life. I also have experience and expertise working with kids that are neuro-diverse. Want your kids to learn in this container? Contact me here and book a spot today!



Baba Ram Dass says, “Be here now”.


I lovingly add, “Be you now”.


It’ll always be you and you.



In love, gifts and warm socks moments,

⭐️  Adrienne


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.