“I was excited to have the large drum (Djembe) to play, and I thought that I’d have a fun time banging away on it to blow off steam… to release stress!”

“But, as soon as I started to play, I realized that, since I had such a large, powerful instrument, I had a responsibility to use that power to support the group, not just to play for my own needs.”

That comment was made during one of my Comments & Observations segments in between drumming sessions at a corporate team building event I did in Iowa in mid-August. The man who made it was a large, muscular guy, whom I noticed was playing a solid part, with a few very cool variations, the whole session.

His observation reinforced a fundamental principle of my community-building drumming sessions; the power of percussion, like any power that we harness and nurture, should be used to serve others, while also giving us a personal, creative outlet to serve ourselves!

This intention can be one our of personal Life Rhythms that we reinforce through repetition of attitude and action.

One of my personal mantras that I include in my short morning “jumpstart ritual” is “I will use my power for good today!”  This has the double benefit of both renewing my power, and of focusing it towards my intentions.

For example, we all have the immensely creative power of thinking. The thoughts that we create then shape the patterns of our attitude and actions. If I fill my head with negative thoughts born out of anger or frustration, then my actions will be driven by them.  When I instead create thought patterns of how I will do good, then I am much more able to act in ways that help solve the issues that anger or frustrate me.  Of course, this is an ongoing practice that I have to renew every day!