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How to Take a Hit Like a Drum

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The most passionate people take hits the hardest... -- Barbara Corcoran

If you're in the world of music or health care, then most likely you are extremely passionate. (You know who you are.) For people like us, hits really hurt!

A few hits I've taken over the past few months include: losing a dear friend to suicide, missing out on my regularly active lifestyle due to a foot injury, experiencing serious cashflow issues due to expense reallocations and business transitions, realizing my view of the world was skewed after learning of so many acts of terror...

Oh I could go on!

How about the email I received from a colleague a few weeks ago who told me in excruciating detail how I haven't met her expectations as friend, but she forgives me anyway. Furthermore, she "envies the publicly posted fruits of labor" that she sees on social media.

Sometimes I just can't win.

When I get to the end of my rope, I turn to one of my greatest teachers: The Drum.

Why a metaphor with a musical instrument? I believe that you ARE music, and it is an integral part of your health and happiness.

Here are six teachings that I've taken away from the drum (and hope you can too!):

  1. The drum is resilient. The drum gets beaten, slapped, tapped, tickled. Yet the drum does not lose its integrity. The membrane eventually stops vibrating and returns back to its normal tension. Sometimes we have to give it an extra tuning, just like we do ourselves. But the drum becomes stronger and more broken-in with each strike.

  • The drum is sensitive and expressive. All of those taps, slaps, knocks, and tickles show up differently. The drum can express every mood with finesse. There's no question that the drum can wail and whisper and everything in between. Nothing is out of range for the drum.
  • The drum is validating. The drum amplifies what you put into it. There is no fighting back. There is no resistance. The drum honors your truth, whatever it may be. The drum says: YES, that is true for you. Allow me to echo your truth.
  • The drum does not back down. No matter how much packing, moving, traveling, practicing, playing, and demonstrating, I put my drum through, it always shows up. It doesn't complain about another session. It doesn't shy away from exploring its purpose. No hit could make the drum hide in a corner.
  • The drum is playful. I play the drum. The drum plays my music. The drum doesn't take anything too seriously -- It's all PLAY, all the time. Life is short, and playtime is limited. The drum wants to take advantage of playtime!
  • The beat goes on. Finally, when it's all said and done, no matter how positive or negative the environment is, the beat goes go. The music never stops. Music is even present in the silence.
  • The sensitivity that makes the hits hurt, also makes for a stronger person. Not stronger in muscles, but stronger in commitments. Passionate people, join me in embracing our passions and sensitivities, wholeheartedly!


    If there's one thing you can take away, please let it be this:

    You ARE music, and it is integral to your health and happiness.

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