In my busy life I watch very little television, but I have been known on occasions to peek at X Factor. As a former singer and percussionist from a musical family I have always loved the idea of people being given a chance to shine where opportunity may otherwise not knock. I too have had my share of applications to talent shows since I was a child, some more successful than others.
The process draws me, the adrenalin, not knowing or being able to control the outcome, the concept that anything can happen to any one of us wherever or whoever we are and that dreams can come true.
Four years ago, the very talented Grace Davies stormed onto the show and into the hearts of the judges with her beautiful self-penned song ‘Roots’ at her first audition.
I was mesmerised by her absolute vocal ability and range, the emotion in her words, the passion in her craft and I followed the series through until she became runner-up in the finals.
I felt sure that although not a winner at the time, Grace would find her own wider success from her exposure and that she would bring joy and healing through her music in a public arena when the time was right.
One morning very recently I heard a familiar song, Grace's song, and it was playing on radio 2.
A new release four years on from the show.
In an interview, Grace said that it had been a tough time making this happen, but she knew that she had to keep trying and not give up.
At an early age, I had a vision that I would stand in front of audiences at times in my life. As a shy and often awkward young girl with less than her fair share of confidence it seemed unlikely, but I was transformed by a hairbrush in front of a mirror and imagining the lights and a sea of faces smiling back at me.
I remember my father hiring a car for the day just before Christmas one year to drive me to Birmingham to audition for the 1970’s talent forum ‘Crackerjack’
Amongst hundreds of hopefuls, I sang my little 13-year-old heart out to a panel of judges who had the courtesy to sing along with me.
Although not quite the cup of tea for the BBC at the time, I was offered a wonderful opportunity on the day of the audition to join an established teenage all-girl vocal trio who were booked across the UK on a summer tour.
My father politely declined on my behalf, feeling that I was young for such a commitment and although I was saddened at the time, it gave me confidence to have been invited, and the motivation to keep going and reach audiences where possible.
Many years later that vision played out to perfection in its own Divine timing, not as a singer and percussionist but as a medium and speaker and although I have great memories of performing to small audiences over the years, Spirit had other ideas that I was being prepared for in my public work.
The seeds that are planted in our minds become roots for our hopes, dreams and aspirations as they grow beneath the surface of life in the making, gaining strength and expansion which we often cannot see happening at the time. Roots that we think lie dormant as unfulfilled expectations are just waiting for the right place to poke through, and often when we least expect it.
In these times of new normal, plans have changed for so many and often not knowing if these will ever finally come to fruition. But they will, in the way that they are meant too, and at exactly the right time. I am reminded of the saying ‘Not getting what we want is sometimes a remarkable stroke of luck’.
The opportunity to grow and succeed starts with a thought and then a hope and then sometimes, no matter how much energy we give to it, it stays where it is, and we don’t understand why.
Grace may have felt that way when her time with X Factor came to an end and that special song was not recorded as it would have been had she won, not realising that four years later the song would finally be released as a successful single.
As a young girl in the mirror all those years ago I could never have imagined the role I would play in service as a Spirit Ambassador while I dreamed of being a songbird, but it serves to remind me that although life may have its challenges and its changes, it has, and always will have a plan.
Well, done Grace, well deserved.
Stay safe and keep well everyone, and above everything else, keep your heart open and your mind dreaming.