Opt-In

OptIn – a song about opting into being better human beings

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Check out the music video for this song along with my commentary on the images, lyrics, and quotes.

Dream ThisOpting for life and with great joy, I present my 10th song and story for my upcoming album. The story of this song is easy to tell. The story behind this song is vulnerable, tender, and therefore has been more challenging to share with the world. (If you came here to hear the crowdsourced choir, you’ll need to read to the bottom of the article for the details about that.)

I seem to opt for
fuzzy logic,
fuzzy talking,
fuzzy words
Or no words at all.

I seem to opt out
ev’ry moment,
ev’ry question,
ev’ry time
I see no way out.

Not a dry eye in my denial.
Moving away with a smile.

Verse one starts with some of the ways I’ve opted out over the years. A key to all of these is avoidance. In my mind’s eye, I saw what I wished for, but the voices of fear and worry set in: “What if I can’t reach it? What if I can?” Not surprisingly, I have been afraid of both failure and success. The resulting avoidance led to many years of failing to match what I did to what I said.

When my words and my actions are congruent, I am in integrity. This kind of authenticity has become so important to me. (I’m grateful to The New Warrior Training Adventure which taught me what integrity is.) Certainly, I don’t claim to have perfected this. Only that I am continually journeying towards reaching full integrity.

I seem to cop out;
(law enforcement)
set my self up;
dress me down;
No answer in mind.

I get so lost in
avoiding my
ev’ry feeling,
intuition:
Frown and hide-a-way.

Not a dry eye in my denial.
Moving my ways with a smile.

Emotions can be a powerful force for either positive or negative trajectories. Unfortunately, (as I did for too many years) avoid feelings is the norm. Even with this avoidance, the energy of emotion can fuel behavior. The trick is to channel that fuel into constructive action. Even with a feeling like anger, opting for thoughtful ways of honoring oneself and community are the better choice.

I know about feelings and their avoidance from personal experience. Thankfully, I also now know from personal experience about acknowledging feelings and using their energy in positive directions.

Let these invite me:
old dogs/new tricks
trickster trappings
opting without
desperation.

I seem to choose to
draw the curtains
draw you inward
draw attention
set intention, too.

Not a dry eye in my denial.
Moving my life with a smile.

The third verse shows the beginnings of this journey into integrity. Setting “intention” and “opting without desperation” are just the beginning, of course. Opting for life, kindness, generosity, love, peace, and awe are a continual process that I — and you — can choose again every day. Let’s do it.

One way that I am “opting in” in this song release is by working in community to create the “Whoa” at the end of each refrain. At the end of the first refrain, you can hear Trumansburg Community Chorus. This wonderful ensemble volunteered to learn these parts and record them in a single, brief session. Thanks for your courage and your beautiful voices!

After the second refrain, you’ll hear the truly crowdsourced choir: a dozen wonderful friends who recorded their voices individually (with the track playing in their headphones). Thank you. Each of you is a dear and delightful soul who collectively have become this terrific choir. After the third refrain, both “choirs” are combined.

I hope you enjoy the song. Please listen and let me know how this song makes you feel.

I seem to opt-in.

(“Opt-In” song and lyrics: Copyright 2008, 2017 by Stan Stewart and muz4now, inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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6 comments

  1. This is a buoyant song, moving me forward and making me want to continue in that direction. It’s beautiful, Stan. Your comments about needing to allow awareness of all emotion, positive and negative strikes home with me. I wrote about this topic recently. It was interesting to see your thoughts here.

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I really appreciate you listening and responding.
      I don’t see the writing you mentioned in the blog linked in your comment. If the writing is public, where can I read it?

      Playful blessings,
      Stan

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