Shawn Gallaway offers loving choice
In everything he does, from his music and art, to his energy work and workshops, Shawn Gallaway's message is the same: Choose love.
It might sound simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy.
Gallaway, also known as the "Singing Sage," has actually made a career out of helping people access that very idea. So many, in turns out, need to be reminded again and again — including himself. The key, Gallaway has learned, is to have a light touch.
"For me, it's all about gentleness," he said, via phone from his Nashville home. "It's the path of gentleness that's the strongest healer."
It's a philosophy he discovered years ago and he invites locals to try on for size this week when he pays a visit to Waynesville. At 2 p.m. Saturday, he's performing a show at the HART entitled "I Choose Love," the name of his most famous song.
From 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, at the Creative Thought Center, he's leading what he calls a "Gender Reconciliation Workshop, He/She/We — The Privilege," which explores relationship myths. In different ways, both ticketed events ask the same question.
In Gallaway's words, "What would love do?"
He's been asking himself that for years. Though he started in the Nashville scene doing "sort of the country music thing" about 20 years ago, he said, he realized it wasn't his thing. He was doing fine, but he realized he was competing in a commercial world for which he didn't really have the heart. Things became much clearer after a bout of depression led him to visual art — which in turn led him to the idea of letting go and exploring with his creativity. He was introduced to the philosophy that he shouldn't just try to paint something like a photo, but that he should experience the thing in front of him, really feel it, and paint from that emotional response.
He was given permission to "go outside the lines," he explained. He never went back.
"And I started writing songs that had a lot more depth and freedom in them, and that was really my true sprit coming from them," he said, adding that they were, of course, "much better."
This freedom to explore has turned him into a wandering mistral of sorts, trying to encourage the choice to love, not fear, wherever he goes. He's become known for it, especially with the tune "I Choose Love," which was recently performed on several continents during this winter solstice.
"That's what that whole song is all about is offering to people that they have that choice," he explained.
It's a choice he made long ago, and continues to make every day. It's the take-away message of every concert, every workshop, every work of art. When asked to describe exactly what he hopes people will glean from this week's appearances in town, Gallaway was as succinct as he was earnest.
"I would say love yourself," he said.
For him, for everyone, that's the journey.
For tickets and more information about Shawn Gallaway's concert at HART and workshop at The Creative Thought Center, 449-D Pigeon St., in Waynesville, call Frank Kish at 246-2794 or Kim May 734-0305. Learn more about Gallaway at www.shawngallaway.com.