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 Those films suck and are out-of-date.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