As I contemplated how to center myself, I had to search deep within my being to find a fusion between my body and my mind. To be honest, I have never been good at concentrating. In grade school, I would get lost in the colors, sounds, and people in the room way before I tried to tune in to what I needed to learn that day. Also, it is no secret that I tend to procrastinate, and for years I have tried my best to understand why I wait until the last moment to fill the gap of time.

Over the last couple of months at The Collective, we open our rehearsals by taking turns offering a centering practice. This allows us to continue to learn from one another and find peace as we enter our collective circle.

It hasn’t been until now, being welcomed into this sacred community, that I have finally found the answer.

The capacity for the soul to evoke emotion is unmeasurable. For me, this discovery has led me to music. Through music, in that very moment I get up on stage, I enter a place where my insecurities cease to exist. And yet, it is different every time — its eloquence and raw sincerity build up to the start of something new. This remains the most important lesson.

In order to be one with the moment, planning must cease. Although I am known to over-think my next steps, there is an instant shift to what I feel when I walk up and take my position on stage. For the first time that day, I will feel powerful. As I start to sing, it won’t even matter if the words are wrong or if I miss a beat, because that very performance was made to evoke something in the people who are present — and I have the gift of guiding them on a journey of getting lost in it. Call me a romantic, but if that’s what I have to be to feel free, then so be it.

To be completely centered, one must be freed to get lost in the moment. I truly believe that if I am bound to the need for perfection, the art of this emotional journey will not take shape. There has to be a place where you can cling to faith as a catalyst that unwinds you from your conscious mind.

And where you learn to trust that the moment is doing exactly what it is meant to do.

As I am welcomed into The Collective, I enter a space where I can arrive lost, but will soon be found — found in the resonance that I have longed to create with and alongside others.

The Collective is an intentional community that intertwines visual art with a yearning for words and voices that long to be expressed with color. We are the centering of creation, as we choose to evoke such emotions as joy, love, struggle, and art.

This is it, and it is beautiful.

Kiersten Rossetto Nassar is a member of The Collective at The Sanctuaries, a diverse arts community with soul in Washington, DC. You can listen to her voice on The Mixtape.

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