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Dude, Look! That Old Lady's Gonna Play the Guitar -- by Kathryn Lorenzen


Several years ago, I played rhythm guitar with a wonderful local rockabilly band, Miss Major and Her Minor Mood Swings. We built a nice fan base, won a local battle-of-the-bands, and one holiday season we got to open a show for Wanda Jackson, an icon known as “the Queen of Rockabilly.” As we were setting up for our sound check at Knucklehead’s, I strapped on my ’67 Telecaster, plugged in, and began to tune up. A couple of young men were sitting near the stage, and one

stage-whispered to the other, “Dude, look – that old lady’s gonna play the guitar!”


Already accustomed to being overlooked due to my silver hair, my first reaction might have been indignation. Instead, I felt myself breaking out in a wide grin, which I turned to share with the young men noticing me. “Damn straight!” I exclaimed.


(In the photo, that’s me behind singer Julie Major. Photo by Nick Vedros.)


This actually has become one of my favorite moments in my whole life. It was a reminder of the shifts and changes in my various careers and livelihoods over the decades. At times, my music career has stepped more into the foreground, at other times more in the background, and I have listened attentively to its calling all along. From around age 11, I was lucky to see that I would always need to create and play music as a purpose in my life. Sometimes that has been a primary purpose and yielded a livelihood, and sometimes it has blended behind other purposes and livelihoods.


At various times in our lives, moments arrive when we have the chance to take stock of how we want to hear and follow our callings. At certain junctures, we all may have our own version of a voice saying, “Dude, look…”!

  • A time when we realize what we’re doing for work has faded in importance and no longer lights us up.

  • A time when we become aware that a job has become toxic or at the very least is no longer good for us.

  • A time when we face that our values have changed, and we want to do work more in alignment with what’s important to us now.

  • A time when a calling that we sidelined has re-emerged with an insistence and we know we need to do something about it.

  • A time when the desire becomes strong to return to something that has brought us joy, and to find a way to bring it back into being, as either a livelihood or a passionate pursuit.

  • A time to shift into a different gear and realign altogether where work aligns with our callings.

So, what to do? First and most important: Pause. It’s tempting to soldier on and plow through. But pausing to hear the inner voice is a precious gift to ourselves. Second and equally important: Listen and think about how you want to take stock. Some people journal, some go into “council” with trusted friends or professionals, some go on a solo retreat, and some seek out a new experience to gain perspective.


Because I’ve been blessed with a tuning fork to allow me to hear and follow my own callings, I am doubly blessed to partner with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg in helping other people to explore and follow their callings. In Your Right Livelihood, we create a community and structure for exploration, planning, and taking action – and most importantly, for holding space to listen, hear, and express our deepest callings.


As we enter the second month of this young year, what might trying to get your attention?


If you are intrigued to consider an exploration of your own callings, please join us on Sunday, Feb. 5, from 7-8p Central, for our small group coaching, "Will Create for Love and Money." And, if you are intrigued to explore whether the Your Right Livelihood class beginning Feb. 19 might be just the thing for you, schedule a Discovery Call with one of us here.

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