“Front door.” That was it. While brushing my teeth one morning, I heard this message in what I refer to as a “download.” I realized that this was a guiding message meant to correct a “back door” mentality which has plagued me in the past. It’s that nagging sense of not being good enough or worthy enough, etc. that most humans have to overcome. So to compensate, the back door invites a limited approach which usually ends in a limited outcome. I realized that I had to break through the limitations, accept the front door mandate, and proceed.
Since that communication in 2005, I have striven to use the front door. This has eliminated a lot of stressing about “how” and “where” to go. Quite simply, I just wait until the opportunity arises and then then take action. Less is more typifies this front door approach.
Oscar Hammerstein II is definitely front door. All the opportunities that have arisen through my “relationship” with him are my reward for replacing the limited with infinite possibilities. I now trust this approach; gratefully, it is becoming my chief operating system. That’s one door at a time.
I’d like to share how I came to Oscar’s front door in 2008. While en route to New York City in Feb. of that year, I got the phone call that led me to Oscar’s door. The plan had been that after teaching a class at The Learning Annex in Manhattan, I would drive to Baltimore to spend the night with my cousin and his wife.
Around 11:00 in the morning, Jeanne called to ask me to not come. (They were moving to Africa in two days and my arrival around 2:00 a.m. was a bit too much for them at the moment.) Knowing that there had to be a better plan for everyone, I just asked my Project Manager what I should do. The thought to call Ruth Anne Woods came to thought. I had met her the month before at a Steve Harrison publicity workshop in Philadelphia. So I called her to see if I could stay with her explaining my need to travel west to Lancaster, PA. It made perfect sense that her home in Doylestown, PA was half way between NYC and Lancaster. I arrived about 12:30 a.m. (Ruth has posted an interview that we had about this incident and other topics on the comments page of this blog site.)
The next morning, she asked me if there was anything that I’d like to see or do while in Doylestown. I mentioned that I’d love to see where Oscar lived. I had tried to find his home in 1997 while visiting friends in Bucks County but we hadn’t achieved our goal. She said, “It’s a B&B. Let’s go and see it.”
So within less than 24 hours of being told not to come to Baltimore, I was standing in Oscar Hammerstein’s bedroom. It was that easy, spontaneous, and one of the joys of my life.
That’s “front door.” And here is Oscar’s front door. This photo was taken by the very talented Robyn Graham on Oscar’s birthday, July 12, 2011. We wanted to capture the sunrise on Oscar’s day. Robyn is a wonderful photographer. Please see the link to her website and blog about our Feb. sing-along at Highland Farm.
She and I will be meeting on Friday, March 9th, to talk about photography for Led by a Rainbow: A Community Memoir Celebrating the Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II and His Beloved Highland Farm. This is a front door project and thanks to Mr. and Mrs. H, Christine Cole, the owner and innkeeper of Highland Farm, and Ruth Anne Wood, the front door is wide open for everyone.
Click HERE to see Robyn Graham’s brilliant blog post and lovely photographs of the sing-along.