One day a poor wandering minstrel found a chunk of lead. He knew of a great alchemist in a far off land that could turn lead into gold. With only a few crumbs of bread left, he decided to risk his luck and see if he could reach this land. He carted this heavy rock for days imagining all that the gold could buy him and his family. Just when he was ready to collapse, he saw in the distance the castle where the Alchemist served the great Queen Oriana.
Exhausted, he fell into a deep sleep under a tree. Suddenly he was startled awake by an old woman. Under her murky gaze and toothless grin, she warned him about falling asleep here. The forest was teeming with man-eating trolls. Then, she offered him a truffle from her basket, but he was sure it was as poisonous as her breath. He lurched to his feet and ran away finding a boulder to hide behind. The old woman appeared suddenly behind him. She warned him he would starve in the woods if he kept running. He pivoted on his heel and ran around the boulder. Again she appeared in his path. He would never find his way back unless he had her help. There was a condition he must satisfy before she would help.
He must play his fiddle as if the old woman was his beloved. He gagged at the thought. If he failed, she would leave him to die at the hands of the trolls. He reached into his imagination and saw this wicked old woman as the beautiful Queen Oriana. He played with all his heart.
After he finished his song, he witnessed the old crone’s face soften, become warmer and more youthful. Delightedly, she took the minstrel’s arm and led him out of the forest. As the trees thinned, a carriage appeared and the minstrel was amazed when footmen ushered them in. The driver addressed her as the Queen’s hand maiden. The carriage headed toward the castle and stopped at the door of lush guest quarters. There she left him to be fed by the servants and get a good night’s sleep.
The next evening, a courtier ushered him over to the Queen’s banquet room carrying his beautifully-carved fiddle. Queen Oriana was even more beautiful that he had imagined with her sparkling green eyes and wavy golden hair. She was resplendent in a crimson gown set off by a beautiful topaz ring on her smallest finger. By her side sat the Great Alchemist, a wizened gentleman with piercing eyes, a dark complexion and a white turban. He held a perfectly round stone that sparkled with millions of colors.
The Queen’s Handmaiden reported that he played magically. Queen Oriana motioned him to begin. The minstrel thought this might be his only chance, so he pulled out the piece of lead from his tunic and placed it before them. “If you can show me how to turn this rock into gold, I will play for you, " he said. Hundreds of courtiers burst into laughter. His heart leap into his throat.
The Alchemist said, let us do this exchange in reverse. Play your fiddle with all your heart then I will show you how to turn lead into gold. He was wary. What if the alchemist did not honour his word? The minstrel shook his head and within seconds, the guards were summoned to drag him away. “Wait!" he screamed, “I will play for you. " The Queen waved her hand for the guards to step back.
The minstrel stared boldly into the Queen’s eyes and saw a warm-hearted woman of true beauty behind her painted face. He knew then he would play for her regardless of the outcome. Taking in a great breath, he could feel the skeptical faces of the courtiers close in around him like vultures. He exhaled and placed the bow against the strings and the most heavenly music began to flow from his fiddle.
He started softly and people leaned in to hear the precious notes. As he artfully picked up the pace, the courtiers began to sway and then dance. He played faster and faster sending everyone into delirium. As the final note rang in the great hall, the crowd cheered with elation.
As the queen fanned herself back to life, the Alchemist studied the minstrel and picked up the lead. He placed it under a cloth next to his Philosopher’s stone and then waved his hand three times. As he pulled the cloth off, the minstrel gasped at the huge solid piece of gold that now looked nothing like his piece of lead. The Alchemist handed him the gold and the minstrel uttered his humble thanks. Then he asked, “Show me how to do this myself. "
The Alchemist rejoined, “You already know how. That is your payment for the music. This, on the other hand is what her highness will use as a paperweight. " He pulled his hand from behind his back and showed him the lead rock. The whole court laughed delightedly. The Queen then announced that the minstrel would be a regular musician at the court.
The very next day, the minstrel was riding his new horse to go collect his family. As he was leaving, he passed the old woman out collecting truffles again. He pulled up beside her and she offered him a truffle with a wry smile. This time he gracefully accepted and as he did, he noticed a topaz ring on her smallest finger. She smiled her toothless grin and slipped away into the forest.
Tip #1 – The Chaos/Change
Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity. It’s vital to the process. Your fear can propel you into a feeling of chaos, and chaos always precedes change. It calls you to move into the higher levels of functioning you will need to be brilliant on the platform. The trick is to accept and pay loving attention to your fear rather than recoil from it. That way you see the gifts it offers – such as important warnings to pay attention to.
Tip #2 – The Container/Artistry
Dive into the action of creativity with all your heart. This action creates a container of acceptance that allows the fear and doubt to transform. Fear inside a container of acceptance changes how your brain synapses work. They fire more efficiently, various hemispheres of the brain start working together more effectively and you gain access to your higher intelligence in the frontal lobes.
Tip #3 – The Connection/The Artistry of Change
This mind/body alchemical process turns your lead weight fear into gold. It is what makes you a true artist. As a speaker you are a performing artist, and your job is to help others transform. By modeling that process yourself, you help your audience turn their lead into gold.
Carla Rieger is an expert on creative people skills at work. If you want a motivational speaker, trainer, or leadership coach to help you stay on the creative edge, contact Carla Rieger.
Web site: http://www.carlarieger.com