Friday, December 30, 2011

Within the last few days I've been learning the profound importance of being in the moment... There are many obstacles to this though, including a half-a-million reels of film running through my head at any given time; all those unconscious memories of what has come before... It is hard to experience any moment for what it is or see people for who they are, when the past colors and darkly animates everything and everyone I'm looking at...

My new year's resolution is to consistently attempt to turn those reels off; to remain present, so as to live in reality instead of some slightly altered version of the past. In truth, people and experiences are all unique and novel, if one is mindful enough to really be there to experience them. I don't want to hang all my garbage on every situation, on every new person that I meet. And believe me, I have lots of garbage to go around! But that's just it: it's garbage. Those films suck and are out-of-date. If I remain in the moment, the films stop.

Mine is a challenging resolution, and possibly a life-long project... But through my experiences this week, I know that it's the only way for my wounds to heal: to stop injuring myself (and others) with my old projections from the past.

"If you have one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow, you're going to be cockeyed today." - Anonymous

Have a fruitful, soulful and adventurous year 2012 everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

When I embarked upon my journey of soul-searching, I was told that the process would be akin to unraveling a ball of yarn, a little at a time. Through my own experience I have learned that this is indeed a very good way to describe it. There is always more to unravel, always more to understand... It's impossible to know how much is still hidden underneath. Every new discovery life-changing, mind-blowing... and yet utterly natural at the same time. It is as if I knew the answers all along somewhere deep within... And I'm sure that in the end, I did.

So it is with health, it seems to me. Having started on a journey towards health, harmony and balance on a physical level is a similar unraveling of a ball of yarn. The mound of shit that I've already sorted through health-wise is enormous. And yet, I'm discovering, there is always more. But there is a curious thing that happens: as my life and my health gets better, things that never used to bother me, now all of a sudden take up a huge amount of space and need fixing. It feels kinda backwards, don't it?

Backwards it ain't. The journey instead is about simplifying, both on an emotional and on a physical level. Finding the elements that work, instead of a mountain of wrong ones. In this way the bulk of the ball of yarn disappears: what was once a life filled with excesses of all kinds, slowly gets whittled down to the basics.

Elemental, man. That's the way I like my music, that's the way I like my art, that's the way I like my food, that's the way I like my frickin' life: the right, carefully chosen ingredients, combined artfully, thoughtfully and with acquired skill. Fuck off if you think it's less. It's more.

Happy holidays, people!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Man, the world has so much to offer... So many ways to better oneself every day, if one chooses to. There is so much to explore, it can be quite intimidating... Especially having squandered much of my twenties with booze and video games. I feel like I'm constantly having to catch up, not just in my knowledge of the world, the arts and science, but also with day-to-day-stuff most people learned to do at a much younger age. I feel like I am only now becoming an adult.

But indeed I AM becoming an adult. I suppose a lot of people never do grow up. I watched a new movie last week called Young Adult, starring a drunken, disheveled and delusional Charlize Theron (a wonderful performance!), which really reminded me of how far I have come. Hehe... Unfortunately, I could really relate! It also reminded me that there is always a choice one can make to stay stuck. I chose differently, and I'm very thankful that I did.

Even though in a lot of ways I am pissed off about having lost so much of my life battling depression, merely surviving, the experience does help me understand people and the world in a way that I otherwise wouldn't. Everything is learning material in the end. Every step that I made, brought me here to this very moment, and this moment is very fucking good. All of the stuff that was is still here, and more. All that the world has to offer, it still offers me. It is never too late to start ingesting the healthy and nourishing stuff: information, art, music, life. And ingest it I do, like a sponge.

Here is a rule to remember when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not, “This is a misfortune,” but “To bear this worthily is good fortune.”
– Marcus Aurelius

Friday, December 9, 2011

I find myself looking forward to the new year like I never have before. I'm in the process of cleaning house, literally and figuratively. My life suffered from clogged arteries for a long time and now, after purposefully cleaning out the blockages within me and around me, blood is starting to flow freely through all veins again. It's quite a feeling!

This is not say that I'm completely healed, or that the house is completely clean. There are still problem areas... And life will always present many challenges -- that's the nature of it! But I feel like I'm almost at the spot where I can start from a clean slate to build my life and career anew. I've done the groundwork now and a basic structure is in place... This is exciting beyond words!

My anxiety has been a real disability for me in life. For many years it prevented me from fully inhabiting myself, from reaching any goals, from believing in myself. With all my fears, many aspects of being an artist were impossible. Maybe that's why I'm so excited about the coming months and year: as I clean house and wave goodbye to people who have hurt me, I also wave goodbye to my anxiety. This to me, is the closest experience to freedom that I have ever experienced. Without constant anxiety, anything is possible! Look out, year 2012.

"There is no such thing as part freedom." -Nelson Mandela

Friday, December 2, 2011

I am not used to winning fights. Truth be told, I was not even encouraged to defend myself as I was growing up, ever, as far as I can remember. I suppose defending oneself was considered fighting in my former surroundings.... And fighting, of course, was a Very Bad Thing.

The way I see it now is that sticking up for oneself is an absolute must in this world. I find myself using the skill more and more. Not needlessly, may I add. A lot of situations will never be resolved; a lot of people refuse to ever see what they did wrong, but the fact that I am now able to express my hurt or dismay to them gives me some peace of mind. It allows me to let go and move on.

Year 2011 has changed this about me: I have started fighting back. And I am happy to say I am fucking winning. A couple of days ago I was going through the songs that I've been writing for my new album and I was heartened to see the theme that emerges: defiance. That's a pretty good common thread, methinks... I can get behind that.. Life will be very different from now on for me.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, November 25, 2011

The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and comfort - the opening, terror. Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing - the opening a wonderfully joyous moment.
Andy Rooney

Some doors take a really fucking long time to close. There is one particular door in my life that I've been closing--pushing and pushing shut for many years now. This one turned out to be way heavier than I originally thought... Unimaginably heavy in fact. Yet, how readily it swung open again, at every possible opportunity... It is now close to being shut, with but a fell breeze blowing in..

In trying to close this heavy door I speak of, I've conveniently been able to delay opening another one. God knows what lies behind it! At least I know the dungeon I came from! Hehe...

But seriously, I don't want to live my life in a corridor, in a waiting room... I want to bravely enter whatever spaces and phases might lie ahead. It's time to make that final exertion, I now know for sure that I'm strong enough to shut the damn door. I don't want to catch another whiff of that breeze, of toxic fumes. And perhaps what lies behind the next door is sunshine and fresh air! Who the fuck knows? I think it's time I find out.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. -Lin Yutang, writer and translator (1895-1976)

I subscribe to The New York Times "A.Word.A.Day"-e-mail, and I received the above great quote from them yesterday. It rings very true to me, as in the past I have often crammed my days with way too many chores, ending up feeling entirely overwhelmed by them. Recently, I've been learning to structure my life in a way that leaves more time for contemplation and relaxation... Interestingly enough, I have ended up getting more done than ever before!

I've often felt this urgency that I Only Have This One Day To Do Everything That Needs To Be Done!!! Somehow the wisdom in the quote "Live every day as if it were your last" got warped in the translation... It created this stress of accomplishing, succeeding, achieving... In my experience, that kind of attitude just creates paralysis and frustration. If, instead of a sprint I see my life as a marathon, I can divide the things that I want to do over a longer period of time. True, we all have just this one moment: tomorrow, or even the next moment is not promised to us. But let's face it -- some of us indeed end up living until we are 80. Taking that into consideration, wouldn't it make more sense to take smaller steps every day towards where we want to go?

I for one have decided that that's how I want to live my life. Taking smaller bites every day in fact ends up giving me the opportunity to live, love and be merry in the process. Really, what's the hurry? (I should really listen to myself, hehe... Even now, there is a ticking clock somewhere in the back of my head, pressuring, pressuring, pressuring...)

Truly, I think that this urgency is another chip installed by this world, one that I passionately want to remove from my brain. It's the product of ageism and egoism, so rampant in our culture. If I let go and take it easier and slower, I bet ya I'll get there faster. "There" meaning feeling happy and fulfilled, doing what I love to do. Isn't that all I really want anyway? Thinking this way, it becomes very obvious what the nonessentials are.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's been lovely to feel a momentum building in my life for the last couple of weeks... I've felt like a lot of the personal goals that I've been working towards are starting to materialize, a little bit at a time. Life ahead looks exciting and inviting in a way that it never has before.

I watched a movie last week, The Shift/From Ambition to Meaning, starring Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, and I found it very inspiring. In it he said many things that affected me deeply, but among them was this: you attract what you are. Not what you want.

I've started seeing myself very differently, gradually throughout this year. I keep discovering new strengths as I break through old patterns. Even within the last few weeks, I've noticed that I've been having utterly new experiences and wholly different conversations than before; some with people that I wouldn't have known what to say to, even as recently as last summer.

It is true that changing yourself changes everything around you, because you view it differently. It seems inane to say it, because now it feels like such a no-brainer, but I realize that for most of my life, this has been a foreign concept to me. Now I welcome opportunities to discover things that I could improve or change about myself, because it means I no longer have to try to control or moan about others. Letting go and letting others be who they are is making my life so much easier.

Through these personal changes I have a lot more space and time in my life to work on the things that matter to me. Thus, who I am is becoming a whole lot bigger than who I used to be. In striving to be healthier and happier, rather than trying to just get what I want, I feel like things are falling into place naturally. So, I guess my point tonight is this: I think that Dr. Dyer is on to something...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Muscle memory! Muscle memory seems to be the key to everything!
Practice something enough and it will become a part of you, an acquired ability.
There is an automation that happens with singing and performing for example: I've sung so much, and sung certain lyrics so many times that the body already knows what comes next. It's inbuilt, and I don't have to think about it. If I let go of anxiety, the song will practically sing itself. And within that looseness I can also improvise and add more depth to the whole experience.

There's a joke that a friend of mine tells about a centipede, who, amidst its rapid wiggling suddenly considers what leg 88 is doing and gets all fucked up... I know that feeling of myopic thinking and distraction within an important moment very well,
as it has happened to me many times in the past... But I'm learning that trusting myself can also be learned into muscle memory, and the more I trust myself, the less I'll be thinking about leg 88.

I have always been shy: I've never been comfortable socially, not one to express my opinions in a crowd, for fear of losing the thread of what I'd want to say. I've just thought that this is who I am. Turns out that's not who I am. It's just that being outspoken in social situations is not in my muscle memory, due to my avoidance of speaking. Duh! Well, I am changing this now, as I find that I have a lot to say. Through these new lectures that I'm giving I'm discovering a whole new Janita! One that I didn't realize existed. And I'm sure that as my muscle memory as a courageous outspoken woman grows, I will become even braver.

Fear is a wall that we need to get through. It seems impenetrable until we're on the other side of it. And soon after, a new wall emerges... That just seems to be a fact of life. But knowing that developing muscle memory is the key to doing, well...everything! feels like a relief to me. None of us excel at anything unless we've worked hard at it, and that is good to remember. As beginners, we are not even meant to be competing with the experts. Like Bruce Lee said:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times.”

Hiyah! Keep kicking.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I've had quite a week! Two nights ago I did perhaps the best show of my life so far, performing my first piano-vocal duo-show together with my keyboard player Alan Markley. Also, a week ago I gave a successful lecture, my first ever, where I debuted two new songs accompanying myself on guitar in front of an audience for the first time.

I've really been pushing through fears and insecurities and expanding my life in these past few weeks... I've been using a machete to hack at all the negative voices in my head that keep telling me that I'll never be able to succeed, that I'll never be able to do the things that I want to do, that I'll never be able to fulfill my dreams, that I will never be able to become who I want to be. I've drowned out so many of these voices already, and yet there is still much more to do. Perhaps it doesn't matter as much anymore where these voices came from--what matters is that they have to go. They're not factual, they're not real, and what's more important: they're not me. What I want to learn now is to make victory laps, to really celebrate my accomplishments instead of feeling guilty about them.

The Finnish culture taught me this:
"Oma kehu haisee." Loosely translated: "Complimenting yourself stinks."
"Vaatimattomuus kaunistaa." Loosely translated: "Modesty makes you prettier."(What??)
"Kell'onni on, se onnen kätkeköön." Loosely translated: "Whoever has happiness, they should hide it."
Having learned to think for myself in recent years, I think all those sayings suck ass. I think complimenting yourself is healthy, confidence makes you prettier, and happiness should be shared.

So, today I choose to concentrate on the progress that I'm making and the victories won through my hard work. It is an old mechanism in me that makes me apologetic after accomplishing great things in my life. I'd much rather keep making myself stronger and stronger through any successes I may have, than grovel out of guilt and a feeling of undeservedness. I do deserve success and happiness! We all do. Our successes are not anyone else's losses, they are simply our frickin' triumphs and a reason for us to be proud and happy for ourselves. Fuck anyone who can't share in our joy or tries to tell us any different.

Friday, October 21, 2011

nur·tur·ance (nûrchr-ns)
n. The providing of loving care and attention.

How utterly important this is for all of us!

All throughout my life, I have been put into anxiety-inducing situations such as live performances and interviews on TV and radio, concerts in front of high-power record label executives, high-level public appearances, with very little nurturance. No one ever taught me to do these things, or even offered me pointers, advice or support. I was just basically pushed onto the stage to do my thing, sink or swim. My first live appearance as an artist was at the age of 13 on one of the biggest live TV-shows in Finland. I do not remember having gotten any words of encouragement, preparation or even a private rehearsal in advance. I was just expected to set aside my nerves and perform, even at that young age. Inevitably, that performance left me with a feeling of sinking rather than swimming, and I hope to never have to watch the damn thing. I don't know that I ever actually have.

This kind of thing leaves scars. It left me with a bad association regarding performing--a feeling of inadequacy and aloneness. Despite the fact that I have developed into a world-class singer and a great performer throughout the years, this feeling of unpeacefulness has lingered.

This week perhaps for the first time I discovered that I don't have to be alone with my trepidations regarding challenges that I face in life. For the first time I received nurturance, support and help with preparation before a new task, and it totally altered the experience for me. This is what I've been missing all my life!

We all need encouragement and soothing, and someone who believes in us. The first time doing anything is challenging, but with the help of a healthy and loving friend, any challenge can be turned into an exciting adventure. The idea is to expand in life, to get through fears and constantly make life more fulfilling... Through nurturance from others we learn to nurture ourselves, and to me that seems to be the key to all the good stuff in life.(!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

I think that artists and freelancers are often envied because of the apparent looseness of their schedules, and the presumed ease with which they go about their business. They seemingly build their lives however they like, and the assumption is that it's all just very bohemian and artsy and cool. Everything about it looks very effortless and chic on the outside. I mean, even I assume this as I observe other artists.

But I trust that any artist who really wants to be serious about their work and their life, has to at some point become pretty structured about it. It can't just be loose and laid-back: we all need to show up, when we tell ourselves we will, and also learn to stop and let go of the work regularly as well. Otherwise, we'll be living with a lot of inner turmoil, with nagging shoulds of one sort or another in the back of our brains, day after day... Unfortunately I know this feeling first-hand.

An artist life that works, probably ends up looking much like a 9 to 5 job. When I have no structure, I end up feeling like I'm working All The Time; and thus exhausted, I'm probably not accomplishing as much. It's a hole I want to climb out of. Now. Also, it is easy to procrastinate, when no one is keeping me in check... It is easy to whittle away the hours, seemingly doing things, while not really accomplishing the stuff that I want to.. but it's got a serious consequence: my goals will not be reached. Yikes!

We all need a breather from our work--some time to grow, time to enjoy life, time to explore... By structuring my life better and creating free time, I believe I'll be a lot happier and more effective too. I feel very excited about this actually! I already see light at the end of the tunnel!

It is a learning process to balance an artist life, but it can be done. It's just not as bohemian and loose as it seems.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Feelings are like clouds floating by in the sky, some of them taking a little longer than others to dissolve, morph, disappear. Anger, sadness and fear, but also joy, serenity and love are all transitory emotions. None of them stick; they are all just passing through. Provided, I guess, that we aren't rigidly holding on to them.

I'm slowly getting acquainted with my feelings again, after suppressing them for most of my life. In the past, any time some more complicated emotions came up, I would always try to get rid of them and control them, which ended up turning them into anxiety. This is a complicated affair and is still challenging to understand, but it's starting to make more and more sense to me... When one distracts or diverts oneself with horrific fears, one can't actually see what the fuck is Really going on in one's life. Thus there is no need to fix what's wrong.

So, I am learning to let my feelings in, whatever they are. No more irrational fears to disguise what I'm feeling. Come in, pass through, go away.

And here's what I'm feeling: I am angry at all men. I kill them all on the train, in the park, in the streets (in my head of course, NOT in reality). Any guy I see from the corner of my eye or opposite me on the subway--I'll have a sword through them in no time. Anyone with a dick is fair game. Now that's a healing technique the self-help-books won't teach me!

So that's pretty scary, isn't it? I can see why that shit was hard for me to let in/out. But if I don't deal with the emotion, feel it and let it out, it will continue to fester within me, and the pressure-cooking continues...

No more pressure-cooking. I'm done with that shit.
I do not intend to be angry at men for the rest of my life. But being that this feeling in fact exists within me, I welcome it and look forward to saying goodbye to it. In the end, dealing with the feeling is a hell of a lot better than freaking myself out needlessly. True story.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I feel like something new is about to begin. Or possibly has already begun. And it's not just fall I'm talking about...There's been a healing quality to this last week for me, and though my house is a bit of a mess right now, I feel like I'm getting my shit together. I'm bravely embarking on new projects, that I wouldn't even have considered a year ago. Clearly my confidence is growing....

One of the reasons for the shift in my thinking is that I'm letting go of blame towards myself. Many of the self-help-books that are out there tell us to Take Responsibility, Take Responsibility, Take Responsibility! And I totally agree with that point of view; except for the fact that it doesn't always apply. This week I finally recognized that I've taken responsibility even for things that were in the end other people's responsibility: I've blamed myself for other people's neglect and abuse towards me.

No book out there will ever be the complete truth. No book out there will have been made Just For Me, no matter what it is. No one way of doing things works for all of us--instead, there are 6 billion ways to do things, and we really do have to work to find the way that works for us individually. All our stories are different, and thus a different manual applies. We have to create that manual ourselves.

So, I'm writing a new chapter in my personal manual.. Taking responsibility is a complicated, multi-faceted matter, and I need to consider it regarding my life specifically. Yes, I can and I will choose healthy reactions and actions to things that happen to me; I can change my negative patterns of thinking into positive; I can take responsibility for my life now and going forward, but other people's hurtful actions towards me in the past are their responsibility, not mine. I am only responsible for how I deal with them now that I know better.

I leave you with two quotes that I find appropriate today:

You are not responsible for the programming you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult, you are one hundred percent responsible for fixing it. ~Ken Keyes, Jr.

Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. ~Colin Powell

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hitting rock bottom is a gift, though it certainly doesn't feel like it in the moment. I don't know that I've ever been able to make major changes in the way I live my life, until every bone in my body has known that I absolutely have no choice but to do so. Hitting rock bottom is the moment that one (ideally) starts climbing back up, which is actually pretty fucking empowering.

Hitting rock bottom tends to come as a total surprise to me. I didn't know that I was anywhere near the edge, and all of a sudden I'm free-falling. Looking back, the signs are always clear, and there were many events leading up to it. But usually when I'm already headed towards the edge a fog appears seemingly from out of nowhere, blinding me from the present moment--from reality.

My rock bottoms seem as low as they ever were, even now. But I'm sure they are not; it's just a matter of perspective: I've gotten used to being healthier. I certainly wouldn't change my rock bottom of now to my rock bottom of two years ago.
That shit was bleak!

I've said it before in this blog but I'll say it again: healing is not a straight line. It's a jagged-y zig-zag type of deal. If you look up real close the dips can seem pretty intense, but if you zoom out you see that the line actually does go up all the time. One has to keep in mind the big picture, even in the darkest of moments.

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb

Yeah, motherfucker!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I find it scary to talk about these things, as I have a fear of rejection... This shit is bound to turn some of you off. Nevertheless, it is too important for me not to talk about it, so here goes:

Last night I attended an event here in NYC organized by The Climate Reality Project, where I heard Al Gore speak on the subject of climate change. As he spoke, the screen behind Mr. Gore showed scene after scene of the most horrific destruction I've ever seen caused by extreme weather, which has now become our 'New Normal'. We are getting used to a completely new reality, where record-breaking storms, floods, droughts, fires and mudslides are commonplace. Unfortunately it's just going to get worse in the years to come.

It is hard for me to accept, that so many people are still debating the reasons for this shift in weather, when 97 percent of scientists in the world agree that climate change is mainly caused by human activity. It is hard for me to accept that there are numerous esteemed politicians and trusted news reporters, that are still spreading doubt about our responsibility in this. They are playing into the pockets of big corporations, and disregarding the rights of people in this world. Perhaps this is not intentional, but that doesn't excuse it. We are not to be gullible in matters of such seriousness. Yes, this shit is scary! Yes, we would rather not it be true! But 'ignore it, and it will go away' does not work here. (I don't know that it ever does, actually.)

Walking down 34th street towards the subway after yesterday's event was quite shocking for me. I rarely go to that neighborhood these days, with big department stores like Macy's, H&M, Forever 21, etc., back to back to back.... It made me reflect on the plastic nature of our culture, and the entertainment that we're being fed these days; possibly to counteract the harsh reality of what's actually going on in the world. We put on the news and we see the Worst Tornado Ever, that just narrowly missed our neighborhood, then we soothe ourselves by watching our chosen self-centered and irresponsible reality-TV-hero obsessing about minutiae. The shallowness has a mind-numbing, relaxing effect, and it gives us license to drop some of our responsibility too.

But we Can't drop our responsibility. We are not powerless to sway the minds of politicians, as Al Gore said last night. If we communicate to our leaders that what we want is clean, renewable energy; at the risk of us not voting for them, they will listen! We need volume and participation, but unfortunately our culture is trying to keep us and make us into passive consumers. We can't afford to allow that. The only way to make positive changes is if we the people take charge. I can't change anyone else, but I sure as hell can be active myself. I will be writing my frickin' senators, presidents and governors, even though I still can't even vote in this country. I'm doing it as a citizen of EU, concerned for the well-being of all of us in this world. If you're interested, please check out these sites below. There are so many ways to be active and make change happen. I'm just getting started....

Friday, September 9, 2011

I have a newfound responsibility to be consistent and constant in my life.
I remember when I first moved to NY and mingled at parties, socialized etc., it became clear to me very quickly, that most promises and plans made with people in those circumstances were empty. They had no substance, no merit... Any attempt to follow up on those promises and plans was seen as naive. It was a social code not familiar to me from my youth in Finland, and after a few blunders, I gradually learned to become a cream puff of sorts myself. Double bookings, empty niceties, meaningless promises... It seemed as if it was the norm to be flaky. Perhaps I was socializing in the wrong circles?

Today, I don't even like to use X's and O's, if I don't mean them. There are very few people I want to kiss and hug in this world, and even them I don't want to kiss and hug all the time! It is my preference to say what I mean, and to mean what I say. I do my best.

The responsibility becomes even more profound, when it comes to a fragile and beautiful relationship that I'm building with two small children in my life right now. To become someone that they can count on; to be reliable and consistent in their lives, is perhaps the biggest personal contribution in this world that I can think of. It was a life-altering experience for me recently, to understand that they look up to me -- that the things I say to them are sinking in, very deeply. Yikes!!! It makes me very conscious of the need to be considerate, compassionate, truthful and kind with them at all times. While clearly also keeping my personal boundaries intact...

For one reason or another, there have not been many constant or consistent people in my life. This is why I still find it hard to trust anyone, even those who actually are reliable. Learning to be trustworthy myself is important to me, because I don't want to pass that shit forward... By learning to trust myself, perhaps I'll learn to trust others as well? I know that there will be times, when I decide to depend on a white lie... but ultimately, I'd like to get rooted in truth, like a rock. Not rigid, but solid.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Having recently been the target of passive aggression, I feel the urge to write a passively aggressive blog. Or even an aggressive one. Truth be told, in my anger, I've written several drafts of my aggresso-blog already! All of them end in frustration, and me wanting to shake some people into waking up. Alas, I have tried that in the past and it hasn't worked. (Quite the opposite actually. Apparently, people get quite pissed off at someone trying to shake them awake...)

Aggression and negativity is such a cycle... A cycle that seems to never get resolved.
It continues on, from person to person, unless a conscious effort is made to dismantle it. Perhaps today, I will attempt to do just that... I'm already exhausted, why waste any more energy on other people's shit?

Marcus Aurelius has this to say:
"You can hold your breath until you turn blue, but they'll still go on doing it."

How about I just breathe easy? How about I just breathe easy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day in Helsinki.. As I was walking through my favorite neighborhood in the city; along the shore; sitting on the rocks, watching the sea, it really dawned on me what a special place this is. Why then, have I been so out of sorts all week? I have been struggling through my days, with enormous anxiety.... And I totally knew I would, even before I came here.

I believe that the answer to my question has dawned on me now, with a little help from a new friend, who crystallized it to me earlier today: I've been associating Finland with many of the negative experiences of my past. It is no coincidence that I've lived abroad for the last 15 years. One of the reasons is that I've been trying to run away.

In my twenties, I used to come here, get all shit-faced and then leave after a couple of weeks. Finland was a place for FUN!, i.e. hanging out in bars and not much else... Most of my experiences here were covered in a haze: either drunken, or hungover. In that way, I didn't really have to face the fact that I had a complicated relationship with my home country.... Now, the sober me has been dreading coming here like the plague. My demons were all here, waiting as soon as I landed at the airport, attacking me with full force.

It is a healing thought to me, that none of my problems have anything to do with the city itself, or the country. The truth is, it has less to do with the people here too... Instead, it has everything to do with me. The demons are within me, not in my surroundings. It just so happens that I have issues, heightened here, that I haven't learned to deal with yet. I believe that in being more understanding, and kinder to myself, lies the key. It will set me free.
It is a beautiful city, and a beautiful country.

Friday, August 19, 2011

As I write this, I am 'sitting back, relaxing and enjoying' my flight from New York to Helsinki.... The cab driver who dropped me off at the airport, asked me if my trip is for business or for pleasure, to which I quickly replied that it is for both. Later, I thought to myself: wow--that's a bit of an over-simplification, isn't it..? I hardly think of concerts as business, and "pleasure" does not come close to describing the rest of my planned trip, which I'm expecting to be as emotionally challenging as I'm hoping it will be fulfilling...

Last summer I wrote in my blog about building a renewed personal relationship with New York; connecting to the city through its nature; through museums, streets, parks... Now, I find myself also wanting to connect to Finland and Helsinki, the country and the city where I'm from, in a new way.

I have lived abroad for over 15 years now, (almost half my life(!)) yet in some ways, to me it feels like I haven't been away at all. In many aspects, I feel so utterly Finnish! Though I'm sure that once again, in a few hours, I will be confronted also by those aspects in which I no longer fit in at all.... Even though it pains me, I can't change the fact that in Finland I am often treated like an outsider these days.. What is in my power though, is to control my own perspective and my own relationship with the country and my heritage.

I can easily name a thousand extraordinary people, things, places and foods right now, which one is only able to only experience in my home country. Some of them can only truly be appreciated by a Finn, (due to language barrier, cultural barrier, taste barrier, etc.) That said, I AM a Finn, and I CAN truly appreciate those things! On this trip, among other things, I am reclaiming my emotional and spiritual citizenship, and can't nobody do anything about it! Perkele!

Friday, August 12, 2011

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. -Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

I received the above quote this morning in an email from the New York Times, and it struck me how fitting it felt to where I'm at in my life right now. For a long time, my life was extremely unhealthy, and ultimately unsustainable. Yet I had learned to navigate that universe; I had learned to find whatever relief, happiness and passion was to be found in it. The new universe I inhabit is simpler, more bare bones, more honest, more raw.... But it is also excruciatingly, gratingly painful at times. The realities of this world are plain to me now. The truths of our existence get under my skin in a real way. I am no longer running to a bottle of any sort for solace; I'm facing the shit head on. And it's fucking hard, man.

Echoing the quote--leaving behind even unhealthy behavior has its melancholy. I find myself wondering sometimes, that perhaps it was easier in the past,
not being so aware of my emotions... It was certainly easier to socialize indiscriminately; to get into relationships, to do various things that are expected
of us in this society... Now, I find myself resisting and resenting, kicking and screaming at every turn. Even though I'm more at peace with myself, I am by no means peaceful.

I'm saying goodbye to a lot of dark times, but there were bright and shiny moments scattered throughout. Perhaps that is indeed the hardest thing to come to terms with; that with almost everything in life, there is a distinct 'both are true.'
The light and the dark coexist, always, in varying degrees. Though I desperately want to, I can't label things and people, and put them in a box, because reality is more complicated than that. The only thing I know for sure is that I can't go back. And however much I reflect on it, in the end, my present looks a whole lot better anyway.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I am in absorption mode right now, and find my head a bit scattered.
Therefore, instead of rambling about something I have not entirely grasped,
I will again share with you a passage from Diane Dreher's book, The Tao of Inner Peace, which I have been immersing myself in.

There's an old story of a man who approached the Buddha, asking the secret of happiness.
"Did you eat breakfast?" asked the Buddha.
"Yes, master," answered the young man, wondering if the answer was so simple.
"Did you wash your bowl?" the Buddha continued.
"Yes, master," the young man answered again.
"Did you do a good job?" the Buddha asked.
Then the man realized the answer was in the present moment. Happiness comes from attending to whatever we're doing, knowing that in our smallest action we affirm our beliefs.

Finding value in the everyday requires self-discipline. Moving in harmony, sitting
up straight, listening intently, speaking honestly and being present in all we do, takes consistent concentration...
Man, I'm so not there yet. But it's something I aspire to, and will work toward, one day at a time... I mean, what's the alternative?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Every now and then, I get dragged down by negative voices in my head, judgmental and regretful of some of the choices I've made. There's a perfectionist side to me, that wants to be doing everything in a neat progression, with clear vision, tying all the
loose ends as I go, everything in its right place; never hurting anyone, including myself. Unfortunately, life tends to not be as simple as that. The reality often is this:
I make messes of different sizes, and then I clean them up, learning to not make the same mess next time. (Though even that's debatable.) Perhaps the trick is that we learn to clean up quicker? Or clean up as we go...?

I sometimes forget that this is all a process, and that we're all going at it at our own pace. At times I look at other people with some envy; those who seem to have put it all together at a very young age. Successful, visionary people, living a prosperous life, doing what they are here to do, giving the illusion that they are not making any of the aforementioned messes.

I've been reading a book by Diane Dreher, called The Tao of Inner Peace. It puts a slightly different spin on this:

"Our lives, as well, have their cycles. Some people are early bloomers, at their peak in high school and their early twenties. Springing up like corn stalks in the hot summer days, they come to harvest in one short season.

Others grow more slowly. Watching the corn stalks shoot up above them, they lose heart, wondering if they'll ever harvest anything of value. The seventeenth-century poet John Milton wrote a sonnet despairing of how little he'd accomplished by age 23. Yet at 59 he published Paradise Lost, the greatest epic in the English language.

While a corn stalk comes to harvest in one short season, an oak tree takes years to mature. But then it towers above the cornfield, its branches reaching towards the sky, bearing fruit for many a season."

A corn stalk is no better than an oak tree; an oak tree is no better than the corn stalk. They're just different, with a different purpose, and there's a place for each. The way I see it, the messes I'm making, (and the clean-up afterwards) are the growth rings in my oak tree. However painful the experiences were, they end up becoming a part of the beautiful whole. Judgment and regret are needless here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I have spent most of this last year avoiding people. No joke.
I guess I just had to get my head straight, after so many years of listening to others instead of myself. But I believe my reclusive phase is gradually ending now. How so? I joined the fuckin' YMCA!

Because of the way I grew up, I had gotten into a dynamic of submission with pretty much everyone in my life. It never even occurred to me that I had a right to voice my feelings, or stick up for myself... So much so, that I eventually stopped recognizing my emotions. I did what I was told to, I went where I was told to; The Nothing had taken over me... I'm still learning to kick this pattern of behavior, but I'm Very aware of it now.

I find it almost impossible to watch videos of myself, from even a couple of years back. Who is this girl with the blank stare--disconnected, scared and sad? I don't recognize her at all, anymore. Considering the convictions and the fire that I have these days, I find it excruciating, that I can't shake that girl into waking up. Watching myself, it looks like nobody's home. And unfortunately, having lived through it, I actually know that's mostly the case. I was suppressing my whole persona.

I am going to quote the frickin' United States Declaration of Independence here, written primarily by a dude named Thomas Jefferson:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Though we are still, as individuals, and as a whole, in the process of learning what the above statement really means, (Thomas Jefferson didn't even fully comprehend it himself....) I believe we are moving in the right direction.
And as for me personally, I will no longer be scared of people. I know that I can stick up for myself. Now that I know I have the right to.
Off to the YMCA; back into community.-->

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm finding such joy in art right now; in being an artist. I look at my guitars, hung up on my wall: my Hofner bass, my Fender Telecaster, my acoustic Epiphone guitar, and I feel a deep connection to them. Although I am new to playing these instruments, I feel like I have a sensibility, my own style of doing it, much like I have my own way of singing. It is very gratifying--having those hypnotic moments of being in the zone--playing music; creating a beautiful sonic tapestry and just feeling like I want to lie down in wrap myself up in it..

Even though I've been a professional artist over half of my life, I was always encouraged to think that mine is not a real job. I was even brainwashed to think, that I would never measure up to the real artists, who "actually know what they are doing." (What?) I always had this nagging feeling in the back of my brain, that I should be studying to be a _______ or a(n)________. Probably because I was told, again and again, that I should get that aforementioned "real job." What the fuck in this world is a real job, if mine isn't, I ask you?
"We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. " -Carl Sagan
Keeping that in mind, can anyone please explain to me, why anyone should be doing anything other than what they love to do???

While I never did go to school to study _______, thinking that I was doomed trying to be an artist was painful and paralyzing. It was only last year that I finally gathered up the nerve to declare to myself and to my family, finally, that this in fact who I am. I Am a fucking artist. Goddammit.

Since then, things have changed for me. I have taken control of my destiny, and dedicated myself to the pursuit of art, as much as has been humanly possible. I'm still pissed off at myself for having allowed others to steer me off course. I'm even more pissed off at them for trying to do that in the first place! But I'm grateful that I had the courage to make the choices that have put me back on my path...

"I have spent my life learning how to choose to do what I had no choice but to do." -Ursula K. Le Guin

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friends, I bought my first bass yesterday! My new companion is a Höfner "violin bass", a.k.a. the Beatle bass, similar to the one used by Paul McCartney throughout his career. I have to say, it's Pretty Fuckin' Cool!

Getting my own bass, learning to play it, and utilizing it as a tool to create the vision for my next record requires some balls. I don't know that I'd be quite as brave at this point, were it not for the encouragement and support that I'm receiving right now. To have a constant positive voice in my life is priceless. A person who recognizes my talent, my intelligence and my musicianship; a person who fans my flames of interest into passion towards life and discovery... Having a mentor (or quite honestly, more than one) is completely altering my life.

Being supportive to another requires that one is comfortable in his or her own skin, and that seems to be a rare quality... Most of us have had so many negative messages coming at us since childhood, that we often find it threatening when others possess gifts or talents that we'd like to have as well. Instead of being energized and positively motivated by that twinge of jealousy (which would be way smarter...), it is common for us people to be passively aggressive towards those that we actually
admire. I'm sure most of us have had to deal with this in one way or another...

Two nights ago I watched one of the best films, that I've ever seen: a beautifully shot documentary about Patti Smith called Dream Of Life. Watching this film, that followed her life intimately over 11 years, I could have easily chosen to be threatened and discouraged by the scope of Patti Smith's artistry, her power and her myriad talents... Instead, I chose to be inspired. I want to find a way, little by little, to make my life as meaningful and artistic in its own way. Nope, I will never be Patti Smith. (Nor will she ever be Bob Dylan, who she clearly admires very much..) But I am able to truly appreciate her uniqueness and her talents now, as I'm finally recognizing and getting comfortable with my own. Having positive people for support and guidance makes all the difference. I blow a kiss of gratitude to the breeze.......

Friday, July 1, 2011

I'm enjoying the fact that there are so many threads in my life these days. Whether it's the threads of work, relationships, home, or a sense of personal contribution, I feel like I'm weaving them all together to create a deliberate design... I'm creating a fabric, a picture, of who I am and who I want to be. For the first time, I've picked out the threads and yarns myself, and it is quite exciting to see the image that is emerging...

This picture looks very different from the one that I was weaving before. In the past, it was all pretty tangled up and messy, even with so many fewer threads to work with. For a while there, all my strings were wound around somebody else's finger... Turns out, that's not a very productive place to be. So, we use scissors, and we start again.

According to Carl Sagan, even if one was able to time-travel, it would probably be pretty hard to change the course of history by changing just one thing. Apparently this is because of all the different threads going on at any given time, e.g. biological, economic, sociopolitical... These create a complex and dense weave that is not so easily unraveled.

I like to think that with our lives, it could be the same way. If we build our lives around one thing, we are easily shattered by change and events beyond our control. If instead, we decide to make our lives rich with meaning on many fronts, we won't come undone so easily. I doubt that I will ever have to cut up all my threads and start from scratch again. I may decide to add/change colors or textures, some strings may be cut, but I have a solid base now to build on top of. Tangles be gone.

Friday, June 24, 2011

To me it is obvious that nothing in this world operates on its own. It's true for everything... Legs are good for running, but trying to do it with just one leg--not so easy.

It is slightly unnerving that there are so many separate moving parts in every given...well...thing. For example, this week I discovered, that in order to have good self-esteem, I'd need to be comfortable in my skin in All Areas of my life. It's not enough just to be confident in one, or even most. If I put myself down in one area of my life, it trickles down to everything else that I do. It's good to be aware of one's weaknesses, but it's another thing all together, to be needlessly insecure. But that shit can be worked on, thankfully.

I've suffered from a lot of abuse from a lot of people in my life, but I'm breaking the cycle now. Through coming to terms with my own abuse, I've become very sensitive to evidence of it around me. Whether it's racism, or cultural, religious or dogmatic oppression...I see evidence of it every time I get on the subway here in New York. When you open your eyes to something, it's almost impossible not to see it.

One area where I'm particularly sensitive to abuse is the environment. If we weren't so abused in our own lives, I don't think we'd be so quick to do it to the environment either. Abuse creates anger, disconnect and mindlessness, among other sucky things. The worst part about abuse, is that it doesn't stop once the abuser is no longer around. It becomes our reality--it continues on in our heads and we pass it forward. How are we going to be kind to the environment, if we can't even be kind to ourselves?

The reason why being kind to nature is important, is that we can't live without it. The weather is already starting to turn against us, with unprecedented storms, floods, fires and droughts due to global warming... According to an article written by Al Gore for Rolling Stone-magazine, there is a "constant dumping of 90 million tons of heat-trapping emissions into the Earth's thin shell of atmosphere every 24 hours." That's abuse if anything is!

I'm not trying to paint a picture of doom and gloom here. I have a lot of hope, although I know that this issue is urgent for all of us. These days, I regularly ask myself the question: What can I do as an individual to be kinder to our planet, and to help heal it? This blog is one thing that I'm doing. I am, needless to say, trying to connect with you. I don't write this only for myself, even though I do find it very therapeutic.
This quote comes to mind:

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other? -George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), novelist (1819-1880)

Through my own experience in this world, what I see, is that being kinder to ourselves, will inevitably lead to us to being kinder to everything that surrounds us: the nature, other people, animals... Becoming aware, if or when we are abusing ourselves is key.
We are all connected. One leg can't run without the other.

Friday, June 17, 2011

"If you want to work on your art, work on your life" - Anton Chekhov

These days, I regularly surprise myself with what I am capable of, both on a personal, and on an artistic level. Where was all this *fill in the blank* hiding before?? Answer: underneath a load of crap that I've sifted through.

There are so many more layers of understanding and capacity in a human being than most of us realize. We unconsciously understand our truth in every situation, so lying to ourselves will eventually fuck us up. You can fool some of yourself some of the time, but you can't fool all of yourself all of the time. Your body and spirit always know what's really going on, even if your mind doesn't. Makes sense to become more conscious of the unconscious then, doesn't it?

I've put some devotion into working on my life this past year.. As a result, I am a better singer, a better songwriter and a better musician than ever before. I am, most certainly also, a better performer. My life and my art are utterly intertwined, completely connected. Getting to know who I am, finding out my strengths and weaknesses, allows me to walk a straighter line towards my goals. No longer distracted by what's presented as 'trendy! cool! must-have! must-be!' at any given time, I'm better able to pick out the things that interest and inspire me. Most of the hype simply isn't relevant to me.

There's no need to measure up to anything, our own personal truth is all. Our interests are as varied as our personalities, and that's a beautiful thing. Why try to fit into some ideal format of who we "should" be? Who the fuck is defining who we should be, anyway? And what does it say about me that I've been listening to peppy, Mexican disco-music from my favorite video game, Little Big Planet, all week? I don't much care. It's where I'm at.

Friday, June 10, 2011

This week, I resolve to think less (and to live more).
That just about sums it up for me today...

"The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind." -Jacob Bronowski

Friday, June 3, 2011

"All this buttoning and unbuttoning..." read an anonymous 18th-century suicide note. I can relate. Life can get pretty tiresome at times, with all this raveling and unraveling... Apparently the word ravel even means the same thing as unravel, in addition to meaning the opposite of it. So there you go. I'm talking about those times, when you really feel like you're getting somewhere, and then consequently finding yourself back, seemingly, at square one.

One of my favorite movies is The Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. I think it perfectly portrays the essence of what we're dealing with, when it comes to life, provided we're not in the middle of a natural disaster, for example. Every day is essentially the same, if we decide to live it that way. Every day, we have a million choices on what to do with our lives, and yet often we choose to do what we've always done, because it feels safer.

I have a disorder that is known as PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder. I have lived with it for most of my life. A lot of the fear that I'm pushing through has become inbuilt, and I can hardly remember living without it. That's why this process called life has been extra-challenging for me. But I am choosing to do like Bill Murray (once he gets over his frustration)... Like him, I have decided to build healthy routines on top of healthy routines and I trust that one of these days, I'll wake up next to Andie McDowell. (You know...that being the symbolic equivalent of it.)
Apparently the truth is, we get better. We really do. We just need to decide to do so, one day at a time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I am not one to want to leave conflicts unresolved, though I often have in the past.
I've been too scared to bring up things that have hurt me, for fear of being hurt again... So after a while, I've just let things slide. Unfortunately, unresolved conflicts stay with you--locked in all kinds of boxes in the unconscious. Then, when another conflict arises, the anger is doubled, tripled, quadrupled--because it gets
aggravated by all those other, earlier hurts... Those seemingly secure, locked boxes open all at once, causing one to want to retaliate, often not proportionally....

Confrontation is (still) scary to me. So far, I have not come across many people, who are able to talk through a conflict without re-injuring me. The goal is, that one day in the future, I'll be able to dodge bullets flying at me, like Neo in the Matrix. Or better yet, stop them entirely..! This week, I find that sitting with my emotions, for however long it takes for me to make sense of them, is healthier than acting on my anger straight away. I am still far from being able to dodge a bullet and I know it. I'm also trying not to shoot anyone myself.

Figuring out how I feel about the hurt, considering the best way to bring it up and to talk about it, may take days, weeks possibly. It is not wimpy--it actually feels quite powerful. As long as I'm not able to call some people out on their shit in the moment, I'll sleep on it, sit on it, and do it later, as well as I possibly can. At its best, resolving conflicts can be incredibly beautiful and purifying. I have been lucky enough to experience this, more than a few times now...

“The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results.”
-Carl Gustav Jung

Friday, May 20, 2011

For half of my life, I've had this misconception that I'm lazy. I've beat myself up about it royally every chance I've gotten. Seems rather sad now that I realize that I'm anything but lazy. I have merely been fearful. See, getting to know oneself is imperative!

What I discovered this week, is that one of the reasons for my perceived laziness, is extremely high goals. Goals, that require a lot of work to attain. I have actually felt quite paralyzed by what I'm working towards, as I've felt like I'm so far from where I want to be.... I have often had this thought: "well, what's the point?" I've been intimidated and scared to do the work, because I've felt like nothing is enough.

I found this amazing book on Sunday, called "One Small Step Can Change Your Life" by Robert Maurer. Until now, I've incorporated changes into my life through huge innovations... I've been attempting to change my life completely in one day. I've struggled through these phases, through an immense built-in resistance. Sometimes it's worked, but often it has not. Changing myself like this has required an enormous amount of courage and resilience on my part... Now, I realize that the process doesn't have to be that arduous.

Robert Maurer's book instructs me, that if I incorporate tiny changes into my life every day, I'm able to tiptoe around the fight-or-flight response in my brain, which follows every departure from my usual safe routines. This is true for all of us, and is a life-altering realization for me. I don't have to be scared about doing the work I want to do anymore, because I can start doing it in Very small increments. I have certainly been headed this way in my soul-searchings, but reading this book really speeded up my understanding. I whole-heartedly recommend it.
Hehe.... I feel like I just gave some frickin' book report... Well whatever. I like to share.

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stone-cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it would split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before together. -Jacob A. Riis, journalist and social reformer (1849-1914)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'd like to harken back to the toolbox of emotional tools, that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago... As one hacks away at the stuff in life, one gets so tired sometimes, that all one can handle is a pair of tweezers. Even lifting up the hammer is a chore. But this is a valid phase, and the tweezers are a valid tool, I say. Seems to me, that if you keep hacking at the big things at all times, you will miss the splinter. Take the splinter out, even the bigger things get easier.

I've been disregarding the splinters of my life a lot, because I thought they were insignificant. I learned to live with many "small" annoyances, because I was taught it was sissy of me to get so worked up about "a little splinter." So I walked around with many. But here's the thing about splinters: they hurt, and thus they take up a lot space in the mind. Plus, they can get infected. Better to take care of problems while they are still small, is what I now think. It is justified and healthy. The little things is what the big picture consists of.

The way I see it, is that if anything hinders my journey at this point, or slows me down in my quest, it has got to go. However much work it may take me to get rid of them (and provided these are things that I can actually control).

As I address the issue of the splinters, I feel like for the first time I may have a fair fight ahead of me. Seriously. It almost feels like I'm starting over...
*gathers tools and gets back to work*

Friday, May 6, 2011

I have decided to ban the word 'should' from my vocabulary. Nothing good has ever come from it. Using it in any context immediately makes me feel like I'm failing at **fill in the blank**. Not quite reaching what I'm aiming for...

Should has possibly been one of my most frequently used words, in thoughts, and in speech. I know I didn't come up with it on my own... Instead, I have been bombarded with it my whole life, as I'm sure a lot of us have. How powerless it makes me feel! And not to mention the fact, that any time I should on myself, I immediately go into resistance mode. When I should on myself, I can hardly get anything done. Even if I should on myself with something that I normally like doing! I believe that my tendency to should, is one of the reasons, that I often start working on songwriting, when I'm walking in the park. There's no 'should' in that moment. Rather, I'm free. And creativity lives in freedom, not in rigidity.

Turns out should can be replaced by "I would like to." I feel quite noticeably more energized, when I spin it like this. Plus, it gives me a choice to not push myself when I don't feel like it.

Apparently, it takes 90 days to kick a bad habit and to learn a new, healthier habit. Yo, I'm like 5 days in already! Today, instead of shoulding myself on the work-front, I think I'll head over to the museum and fill my artistic well. I would very much like to.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My buttons have been pressed many times this past week.
It took me a while to recognize what those buttons do to me,
as at the initial pressing, I merely felt numb. Thus, it is not the act itself that fucks me up, but the reaction it creates within me in the long term. That's why I've found it so hard to place the source of the hurt...

It is those automated negative responses, that are the problem. These mechanisms, that are so hard-wired into my system, that they are very challenging to undo.
But undo them I must. It is in my power. I will not live my life allowing others
to manipulate me and make me feel like I owe them something. I am in no debt to anyone. No one is. People who try to put us into that position are attempting to control, and that is really fucking unhealthy.

So, this week I've been re-learning some things that it turns out I hadn't quite absorbed yet. Thankfully, the lag time seems to be a little shorter these days.
I'm choosing to look at the button-pressing as an opportunity for growth.
The goal, I guess, is to have no buttons at all.

"The important thing is not the finding, it is the seeking, it is the devotion with which one spins the wheel of prayer and scripture, discovering the truth little by little. If this machine gave you the truth immediately, you would not recognize it, because your heart would not have been purified by the long quest."
-Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, April 22, 2011

This story hits home for me on many levels... It is an excerpt from The Four Agreements, a book by Don Miguel Ruiz. For me, one of the hardest things in life is learning how to balance things, and not to overdo it; I get very impatient sometimes... Here's a reminder to try to take it a little bit easier:

There was a man who wanted to transcend his suffering, so he went to a Buddhist temple to find a master to help him. He went to the Master and asked, "Master, if I meditate four hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?"

The Master looked at him and said, "If you meditate four hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in ten years."

Thinking he could do better, the man then said, "Oh, what if I meditated eight hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?"

The Master looked at him and said, "If you meditate eight hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in twenty years."

"But why will it take me longer if I meditate more?" the man asked.

The Master replied, "You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy, and to love. If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead, you will only grow tired, miss the point, and you won't enjoy your life. Do your best, and perhaps you will learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live, love, and be happy."

Friday, April 15, 2011

It is becoming increasingly clear to me, that in order to remain sane in this world, one needs a variety of emotional tools. It really makes sense if you think about it: it is not enough to use a hammer for every job, as there are many different issues and problems we need to tackle. So, we need: hand tools! power tools! wrenches! welders! a sponge! glue! Ok, you get the picture...

The last couple of weeks have been hard for me, because I've been learning to use tools that I haven't handled before. What invariably has happened in the past, is that once I find a new tool, I drop every other one I've ever acquired. (Example: I discover anger, then proceed to be blinded by anger for a full week, and more...)
Then, when I've realized that the new tool is not the answer to all my problems, I usually get frustrated and scared and lose my mojo for a couple of days. Well, after last week's momentary hopeless slump, I started trying something different: how about I use all of these tools I've acquired?? At the same time, or whenever I need them? Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Truthfully, it's required me getting well acquainted with all these tools separately, before I'm actually able to do some serious damage, by using them all. There are no shortcuts and no quick fixes. Lessons are learned gradually, in their own time, and with experience. To be able to hack away at my life, in the manner that I'm doing right now, has taken a lot of work on my part.

Many of the tools that I'd acquired until this last year, were twisted, mangled and rendered useless. I could just throw most of them away--just like that. But I now have a new kit, and this shit works. I can certainly be better at utilizing them, but I'll learn. One day at a time. And perhaps there are still some super-tools out there waiting, undiscovered. Well, I look forward to finding them, and learning to use them too. Life is exciting.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Much of what I'm going through right now is a developmental phase that apparently is usually experienced around ages 13 to 20. Circumstances got in the way of my emotional development back then, but luckily, it seems it's never too late to get to know oneself. (!) It is quite possibly the most important thing one could do in one's life. The only way we could ever live up to our own potential, I think.

It occurred to me this week that I've never really thought through what I actually believe in. My religious experience in this world has been a vague hodgepodge of deities and belief systems going in and out of my consciousness throughout my life. I've delved/dabbled in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, even atheism, but none of it stuck. So what do I believe in, Truly? I suppose when I started thinking about it, I was expecting to to discover that I am an atheist. It seemed natural, with all this interest in science I have these days... But in truth, I am quite
possibly the opposite of that. Turns out, I am a pantheist.

As I google Pantheism, this is what I find: "Pantheism is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God are identical." In other words, to me, All is God. Every frickin' thing and being, no-thing and non-being in this universe and beyond.

I no longer wonder why so much of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations speaks so directly to my soul, and why I've felt so connected to Stoicism; why I've recently fallen in love with the writings of the poet Robinson Jeffers, and also Lao Tzu, whose Way Of Life I have been studying... All of them are apparently pantheistic. It feels strangely like home, finding this thread.

Going with my gut is the closest thing I know to doing "God's will," following the logos, going with the flow of life...
To do that, I'm trying to silence all the other voices inside my head.
Every day now, I can hear my own voice a little louder than before...

"Straight, not straightened." -Marcus Aurelius

Friday, April 1, 2011

Man, I'm having trouble deciding between two things I want to write about, that are both extremely important to me. I've had one of them breakthrough weeks again..... Eenie Meanie Miney Moe:

I was in kung fu class last night and the conversation suddenly turned to the nuclear disaster ongoing in Japan. Then it continued flowing through other bleak environmental issues....Someone described humanity as a cancer... Hmm. I've heard it described as a virus before. This is interesting....what kills cancer? "Radiation," someone piped up. That got a dark laugh out of us.

But I started thinking about this in more depth. I can certainly see the similarity. We are indeed cells of this organism, turned against it's host, and thereby itself.
We are frickin' lung cancer, killing the trees that provide us oxygen. The bare tree-branches even remind me of lungs in the winter, with their veins rising up into the sky. But I think this cancer has spread all over the organism by now.

True. Radiation kills cancer. But aren't there alternatives? I've heard that there are times when the cancer gets healed seemingly on its own. The cancer cells turn back into healthy cells, and once again start assisting the organism, instead of attacking it. Isn't that possible here?

Through my own experience of churning out muck (anger, rage, resentment, sadness) from my soul these last two weeks, I realize that the change has to happen on an individual level first. By cleaning out my own system, I have been able to start healing and gaining strength again. I am not paralyzed anymore. I am able to stand up for my rights now, one step at a time, and it seems these skills are being put to good use on a daily basis. This is me turning into a fucking healthy cell.

I think it's remarkable, that as a cell, I can understand my potentially destructive qualities. I can choose to be cancerous, or I can choose to be a part of the healthy body, fighting for renewed health. It is a gift of intelligence, to be able to realize one's own darkness, and then make the choice to go for the light.

I am a treehugger. Seriously, I want to hug trees when I go walking in Prospect Park. No lie. I feel like I'm going sane.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rage. I'm back to rage. Oh wait, I never even felt this before!
This is something else, not just the anger that I've been feeling regularly.....
Apparently there's a lot of aggression in me too. Great.
This is all a part of my little "Know Thyself"-project.

Some years ago, I took a couple of kickboxing classes and promptly stopped, as I realized that going out in the street afterward, I just wanted to kill everyone. Lol! That was a little worrisome, to say the least! But truth be told, I'm so thankful this is coming out now, as it's been there all along anyway. Me turning this shit inward has made me very weak. It's better to experience it and get it out.

There's actually a comical quality to this: as I write this, I have already twice had to to drop down and do push-ups to let off some steam. How can this feeling be so fucking overwhelming??? I finally understand the concept of anger management...
The way some people notoriously can't contain their shit at all. Yes, it is hard, I can see it now. I find myself wanting to break stuff (windows especially), kick doors, the subway (that would have been very stupid)... But, in the end, I am sane. I know that there's some benefits to be had here: muscle strength, vocal strength, rock-leaning guitar skills... I think I'll keep to the healthy stuff.

Even though killing certain people seems more tempting than ever (in the most brutal ways), I am in no danger of acting on my wild fantasies. Perhaps this is what they call trusting oneself... Perhaps this is the ultimate test for being secure in yourself... Perhaps this is it: I'm facing my own darkness! Perhaps one of these days my demons will turn in to angels...

Three sets of push-ups man, to write this.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Old patterns die hard. I have become aware that many unhealthy scenarios in my life have been repeating all my least, up until now. Once such a scenario in my life has come to an end, I have swiftly put myself into a very frickin' similar one. The play is the same--even the characters are the same, only the actors change... Why is familiar so comforting even when familiar is fucked up..? Because it feels normal. How am I to know what else is possible, if I have no frame of reference for it in my life?

My energy invites a similar, corresponding energy, which is why shit keeps on repeating, unless I change myself. But how do I change? When my patterns are so ingrained, that I can't even recognize them as they happen? Seems I am able to create scenes from the same messed up play from seemingly harmless ingredients..?
I think that in awareness lies the answer. Whether it's in the moment, or after the fact.

In the past I haven't realized how much power I have over situations at all times. I used to think that making a decision meant that you have to stick with it forever, and that there's no way out. That you are then merely required to make the best of whatever situation you may have put yourself into. This, I now find, is not true. We are allowed to change our minds at any point. And "no." is a complete sentence. The hardest thing is to be brave enough to change course when it feels right, or alternately, when something feels wrong.

I'm creating a different play now. It's still quite confusing, as I haven't fully grasped my new role as the director... I still keep waiting for someone to tell me what's going on--to tell me what to do. But I am learning to figure it out for myself.
To be a good director, I need vision. Of my own. Motherfuckers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

There are many things that excite me this week! Lots of neurons in my brain are sparking now, as I have been forming new pathways for a while. I have been feeding the Good wolf, and it is now tearing the Evil wolf into fucking pieces... And thus, a metamorphosis is taking place within my being. It is manifesting itself on the outside too. I am becoming clearer and clearer about my true identity, and it's actually visible. If I wasn't such a loner, I think people would comment...hehe...

I am actually so bursting with new energy, that it's hard for me to pick just one thread to share. I just wanna dump it all in the tiny space of my blog! After shedding so many layers of anxiety, it feels like spring in my spirit... After an endless winter, green shrubs are starting to pop up here, there, and everywhere, and shit is starting to bloom, man!

I think that one of the biggest reasons that I feel lighter right now, is the fact that I have a better understanding about the people in my life. I know now, that I can't expect to find all layers of understanding and deep connection with all the people that I love. All this time, I have been going to the hardware store for fruit, and being disappointed when I can't find it. Now, I am realizing that if I actually go there for wood and tools, it ends up being a joyous experience.

Not everyone in my life can be a Super-store for all those things that I want and need. Accepting this helps me to fully enjoy my exchanges with those around me. From now on, I will avoid getting injured by starting a conversation with a loved one,
about something they can't handle talking about. I am choosing to listen more, and will to try to find a common thread. For the last couple of weeks, I've already had some great test-runs with this. To know that the Super-stores do exist in this world, helps me enjoy my trips to the hardware store more.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I was attending the annual Tibet House benefit concert yesterday at Carnegie Hall, which was actually one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Among the performers were my new friend James McCartney, Michael Stipe, The Flaming Lips, Patti Smith, The Roots and Angelique Kidjo, among others. I found almost all performances captivating and compelling... But for me, personally, Patti Smith was the highlight of the night.

I was thinking about this on my way to Carnegie Hall on the subway.... Perhaps a little hard to put into only a couple of sentences, but, the here's the gist of my thoughts: Carl Sagan said we are all made of star stuff. He said it because it is absolutely true and scientifically proven. We and everything around us originate from the stars. It is our responsibility then to understand our own star power! To see that we are perfect as we are. No need to look up to anyone, or down on anyone, as we are all made of the same stuff. It's just about making the most of who we are.

Patti Smith really hammered home this concept last night. She was totally loose, completely at home with herself. As usual, she had dressed for the occasion looking like herself: no makeup, no hair styling-business, very casual wear. It was what she had to say--in words, in music, in her presence and engagement, that spoke volumes. There was a self-assurance, and utter freedom of spirit, that I sensed in her... It was fucking powerful!

This kind of woman would have intimidated me in the past. (And in fact, I had a very scary run-in with Patti Smith when I was 18...) But now, I find her so inspiring. Among all the surgically "corrected" and blow-dried women at the after-party, she was a beautiful exception. Trusting who she is, and being true to herself creates an aura around her, a charisma that is undeniable. She doesn't need for people to validate her, she validates herself.

Patti Smith has discovered her own star power, which is rare in this world, unfortunately. I believe that we are all capable of that though. Understanding our own beauty, appreciating and trusting ourselves will make the star stuff in us burn brighter.

I end with this video. I don't know if I'm just PMS:ing or something but I just got really emotional watching it... Enjoy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

One of the more important quests that I am on right now, is the quest to become green(er). Having plugged myself back into life and out of the Matrix, I am shocked at how much I keep getting bombarded with the message that we need to change and start healing our planet. It's everywhere! And the message has been out there for a long time, though I haven't really been listening. I couldn't. I was trying so hard to escape facing my own shit, that I ended up running away from the rest of reality as well. Now I am on red alert.

Going green is new to me. Most, if not all of my green lifestyle changes have happened within this year. But I feel a great urgency to do what I can on an individual level, to ease the burden on this planet. Here is where my impatience really gets in the way. I want to be good at everything straight away! (This is a challenge in all areas of my life....) When I see something that's wrong, I want to change it instantly... But the truth is, if I want to make lasting changes, it's smarter to go about it gradually, in phases. The last thing I want to do, is abuse or deprive myself. So, it's better to let information sink in slowly. Now that I know this:, what do I think about it? What changes do I want to make?

Once a piece of information sinks in, and you really see it, it's impossible to unsee. I'll use a really grotesque example. As a kid, most/some of us thought that boogers were delicious.... But after getting a clearer understanding of what is what, and why it's gross to eat them, you have absolutely no inclination to do it anymore... I mean, I can't help but be repulsed by what I just said. The realization of it is That strong. And most truths are. Once they sink in, they become a part of you.

I believe that gradually, I will see the whole truth about going green, and it will become second nature. I mean, a lot of it makes total sense and has already sunk in; some of it hasn't. But I trust that whatever resistance I still have, will melt away as I continue opening my eyes up to the bigger picture. Like a friend of mine often says: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” We only have this one planet, and if we continue to mistreat it, we will destroy ourselves.
Suggested reading: Gorgeously Green (8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life), by Sophie Uliano.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

This week has been quite awesome actually. In a really simple and peaceful way.
I can feel the layers and layers of anxiety that I've lived with most of my life, peeling away, slowly but surely. What's underneath! Underneath is the little girl who used up all her free time in playing the piano, writing songs, drawing, singing. That's back when I was still free, in mind, in spirit. What happened next (among other fucked up things), was the school system, that in all its rottenness educated me out of my natural creativity. But I think that's a different rant for a different day....

What's cool now is that I'm writing (and finishing!!!) new songs! On my own, at long last. Throughout my career, I have mostly been collaborating as a songwriter, with only a couple of exceptions. Now, I'm doing it all on my own. I can't tell you what an obstacle it has been: the fear that I'm not good enough on my own. It's taken me a long time to get here--to believe for the first time in my life that who I am is enough. That really is key. No need to invent stories, to try to impress, to try to please. I'm not afraid to be "wrong" anymore/right now. And it's spilling out into every area of my life. Finally, I know how to leave the party when I want to, when I'm still having fun. I'm learning to move away from a conversation with a person I'm not enjoying talking to... It's all connected, isn't it? It all comes down to the simple understanding of 'who I am is enough.' I don't need to be anything that I'm not, in songwriting or in life. That's freedom. That's fucking empowering.

Turns out, it's really not about conquering the world and making zillions of dollars. (Oh, I knew that....) It never has been. Happiness and peace seem to come from simple things, falling into place... and being present to enjoy it.

"Yes, there is a nirvana; it is in leading your sheep to a green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep, and in writing the last line of your poem."
--Kahlil Gibran

Friday, February 11, 2011

When I started writing this blog last year, I commented on how reclusive I was becoming. For the first time in my life, I was spending time alone, a feat that I had dreaded for most of my teenage and adult years. Spending time with myself wasn't much fun in the past, as for a long time I had been becoming very judgmental of myself: blaming, guilt-tripping, chastising... I had learned these thoughts and behaviors from others, but within my head, they became relentless and more painful, than what anybody else had ever managed to do to me. There was no way to escape myself, except through dependency on various people and substances.

As the fog is lifting, I wouldn't call myself reclusive anymore. More accurately, it turns out that I am an introvert. At least right now in my life I am. As I become kinder to myself, I happily spend most of my time on my own. Don't get me wrong, I love my close friends, though they may be fewer than before. I just find that the stronger the connection I have with myself, the deeper the feelings I am able to feel for others. And thus, my priority right now is to become whole, within me. A happy couple of sorts (with myself), so I won't need to depend on anything else or
anyone else for my happiness.

Being an artist, I always had this misconception, that I was supposed to be outgoing and 'on' all the time. The truth is that for me, being that way is only achieved through copious amounts of alcohol. So it must be, that that doesn't come naturally to me. Don't you think? How about I just go with what's true and what feels good? Why the fuck not.

Instead of right and wrong, I'm learning to think in terms of healthy versus unhealthy. We are all different, and no one rule applies, except maybe:

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

-William Shakespeare

Friday, February 4, 2011

I just got home from a magical day of exploring The Brain at the Natural History Museum, which seems to be becoming my second home these days... One of the reasons being, that one time isn't enough for me to grasp any piece of information. Shit needs to be drummed into my consciousness, over and over and over and over.... But apparently that's not just me. From what I understand, that's all of us. We have to really program information and skills into our brains for them to become automatic, or to even retain anything in long-term memory.

Throughout my life I wasn't really encouraged to think that I am intelligent. In fact, I was encouraged to think quite the opposite, partly just because I'm a woman. Unfortunately, this is the truth, even in this day and age. This last year I have started to break through that black magic and proven to myself in many ways, that my brain is capable of learning wondrous things. I am also capable of unlearning, and rewiring, which I find equally thrilling.

What I took home from the brain-exhibition was the inspiration to keep challenging myself and my brain, every day, for as long as I live. I have lost many years of my life in killing my brain cells, feeding myself useless information, watching crappy TV, reading gossipy magazines... I suppose I didn't always know that I had the capacity for better things. The good news is that now I do know better, and I have a choice!

The brain is constantly changing and evolving to fit our individual lives. It all depends on what we do with it. It's really up to us to fill our minds with thoughts and skills that we deem worthy of developing. Though it's a lot of responsibility,
I'm excited to think that our brains have endless potential--regardless of what we have been told. It's just about beginning somewhere, and staying focused, despite initial frustration. The new pathways that are formed in the brain will become stronger and more efficient with every use, and thus it all gets easier.

Here's one piece of information I am learning to absorb: "If you believe you can, you can." The pathway is already forming....

Friday, January 28, 2011

It has become clear to me that I am on a spiritual (war-)path of sorts. I embarked on this journey only because my life couldn't continue going in the direction it was headed, and I knew certain things had to change. I thought that quitting drinking would do it--that it would be some sort of fix-all. Instead, it was only the beginning. The space created was quickly filled with shit, and thus began the wading through it. I never expected all the truths I'd encounter....having to alter my beliefs on pretty much everything in my life. Seeing all my relationships differently, seeing my motives differently, seeing my own actions in a completely different light. But now that I've started, there's no turning back. I wouldn't do it for anything.

Last week I got some serious poison out of my system, by way of anger. These last couple of days I've been applying ointment on my wounds. Feels good, man. I'm being uncharacteristically patient about all of this, and that feels good too. I'm taking my time, trying not to rush through it, or push myself. There's nothing more important that I could be doing right now.

This book that I just started reading, The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin, is inspiring, in that the characters aren't just doing and achieving at all times. For example, there's this dude who has just arrived to deliver some grave news to the Archmage, and they decide to wait until the next day to talk about it. (!!!) First, they have bread and cheese and onions... And then they sleep. And then they have breakfast (a similar meal), and only after that, do they get into the heavy shit. I mean, I can respect that. We can't handle heavy shit at all times, (especially after a long journey). We gotta have some cheese and bread first. And onions.
I leave you with a quote from the book:

"So rest a while. We can talk in the cool of the evening. Or the cool of the morning. There's seldom as much hurry as I used to think there was."

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am in full anger mode. I'm living the movie Kill Bill in my head, pretty much 24/7, starring me. And every asshole in my life so far is quite literally getting a taste of my Hattori Hanzō swords. I have two! Again, this is all happening in my head and I am not about to harm anyone in real life. (I can tell the difference between the two, which, as we know, is not a given...) In this case, my gory, homicidal thoughts are actually a release, and totally healthy. It is what came before that was unhealthy.

I am not a good girl. Deep inside I never was, even though I'm sure I fit the definition for most of my life. (I believe the definition is to put everyone else's needs before one's own..? Or letting others do that for you.) In truth, I don't believe there is such a thing as a good girl or a good boy. Nobody is 'domesticated' that way naturally. Instead, we are made to be that way, by our parents, our peers, our teachers, our culture, even our spouses.

I think the good girls and good boys of this world have more unexpressed anger than everyone else, and they're probably seething inside. I sure am. It is actually more cause for concern to be one, because these people get used and abused at every turn. A good girl ends up having to do many naughty things to please others.... And that creates a lot of anger, which, if left suppressed, can cause A Lot of damage to the one carrying it around. (Doing good is a separate thing all together. I bet you Mother Teresa was a feisty woman, and definitely not, a 'good girl.')

The irony is that in my good girl-days, I was doing more bad things than I'm doing now. These days, I am living quite clean. The difference is, I'm allowing myself to be human, and I'm learning to listen to my emotions. I'm staying honest and true to myself, learning to not be dependent on others' opinions or reactions. I'm taking risks and allowing myself to make mistakes....and I'm allowing myself to completely and utterly demolish certain people in my head. I am human.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Much on my mind.... I'm seeing the connectedness in so many things I didn't realize were connected before. Truth is, everything is. I've been going through a brain-revolution this week. I don't look at anything (or anyone) quite the same way anymore. At the risk of alienating my reader, I'm just gonna get this out of my system. It feels important.

I've been watching renowned astronomer and author Carl Sagan's Cosmos-series this week; educating myself on the universe, Earth, space travel, time travel and U-man beings (as Mr. Sagan would say...hehe...). Beyond exciting, beyond fascinating! All these prospects of discovery of new worlds and new life, of ourselves..... I have so much belief in our capacities--how far we could stretch and evolve, if we give ourselves the chance. How far we have already come! If we do not destroy ourselves, we will be able to travel to the stars. (!!!) I believe this species has what it takes to become Highly Evolved. We are discoverers, adventurers by heart--not warmongers!

Here comes the wild connection. There are those amongst us (1 in 25 people), who have no conscience--towards other people, or towards Earth itself. This is fact. I have been very blind to this all my life, and always assumed the best about everyone. I've tried my hardest to explain away the evil behavior of certain people close to me, thinking that there must a reason, an explanation. I have learned this week, that the explanation in some cases is that they actually don't have feelings, the way the rest of us do. (Suggested reading: The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout)

Because it is so hard to spot these characters, the safest thing to do, is to learn to use one's reasoning skills. To know oneself thoroughly, so as not to be swayed by manipulation. To question authority when needed, as you never know, who's running the show. We need to learn to do this individually, and as a whole. We can't afford to be intimidated--to have some sociopath tell us that there's no global warming for example, and to keep consuming as we are doing. It's serving their individual purposes, not us U-man beings as a whole. Those of us lucky enough to have been blessed with a conscience--need to think for ourselves, feel for ourselves and take responsibility, more than ever before.

People without a conscience, left unchecked, have the capacity to destroy us all. I vote for reason, courage and heart. Seriously, I just want to see us build a really fucking cool spaceship.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I got very excited about New Year this time around. I got this crazy spurt of energy and decided to change my life completely. Hehe.... I was gonna be extra-organized, extra-diligent, extra-motivated, extra-fast, extra-everything... I was trying to reach a goal that is simply unattainable: some sort of Perfection in my life. The irony is, that within a week of me being all extra-effective, I have totally overdone it. I didn't give myself enough time to steep and think and appreciate all that I had accomplished. Now I'm feeling fried and frustrated, and very high-strung. There's no life in all that hectic running around and achieving. There's no creativity. There's just anxiety, and I'm just about done with that, thank you very much.

So, I think there's one more resolution I should make for the New Year. I am to be more compassionate towards myself--allowing myself enough time to center myself, to listen to how I'm feeling, what I am thinking... not just press on mindlessly.

I think the trouble with most of us, especially here in the States, is that we don't have enough examples of a balanced life. We are constantly bombarded with the message, that we are to work hard and make lots of money and buy shit. That's why we have to work doubly hard at reminding ourselves of what really matters....

Well. I opt for sanity. I opt for health and I opt for balance. I bet you I'll be more effective in the long run if I learn to pace myself. Fuck perfection.