Friday, May 25, 2012

It is a strange phenomenon, a peculiar mechanism in my head... I notice that one of the harder things for me to deal with is good news. When great opportunities arise, I immediately start expecting the bus that will run me over, which kinda destroys the good news doesn't it?

In the past, many of the triumphs in my life have been followed by minor or major disasters.. This is where I learned to expect the worst whenever great opportunities arose, to the point where now great news has come to equal bad news in my subconscious, and even my conscious mind. But the fact of the matter is, good news and great opportunity really are just that: good news and great opportunity!

Here's what Thomas A. Edison says about opportunity:

"The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work."

In my case, the hard work will entail rewiring my brain to expect a positive outcome instead of a negative one. It will entail reclaiming a sense of enjoyment and wonder that I have lost along the way in feelings of uncertainty, inferiority... Breaking old unhelpful associations and creating fresh new ones. In this case, one opportunity comes laced with many opportunities for growth. Well, that sounds like adventure to me..! And I wouldn't want my life to be any other way. Bring it on, motherfuckers!

"The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity."
- Ayn Rand

Friday, May 18, 2012

For the past few days, I've been thinking a lot about the concept of commitment... When I was younger, many things happened to me before I really had a chance to make a conscious choice about them. My career started at such an early age (13), that at the time I did not fully understand all that I was getting into. A pattern was formed then and possibly even earlier, that made me a bit of a drifter in my life. Things happened to me, and I felt like I didn't have to take responsibility for anything, as I hadn't ever fully committed to any of it.

I became aware in the last few days that this pattern of noncommittal is still a part of my life. I've been hiding behind the perception that I'm never totally control of my life or my choices. The reality that I'm waking up to now is that I am. Where I am in my life is due to the choices that I'm making continuously on a day to day basis, whether they are half-assed or thought out ones. At this point, (no longer 13) I can't blame anyone else or put the responsibility on anyone else's shoulders. Though initially an unnerving thought, it does feel strangely liberating to me...

I'm working on being brave enough to fully plunge into the things that I love and are meaningful to me; to not be haphazard about any of it. Things don't always work out and nothing is perfect, but I can't imagine bigger regret than not having given it my 100%. With commitment I claim ownership of my choices, and that to me is powerful. Downright ballsy.

“The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it's not without doubt but in spite of doubt."
- Rollo May, (existential psychologist, 1909 – 1994)

Friday, May 11, 2012

A balanced life seems to consist of many different areas: work, play, friends, relationship, family, personal growth, physical health, relaxation, home, etc. All of these areas are important to work on and expand, but any time I tilt too strongly into one direction I end up getting some sort of hangover from it. The days when I'm able to address most of these areas in some ways feel like the most enjoyable ones for me.

I find that living a fulfilling life requires A Lot of discipline. Things don't just happen automatically, at least not in my life--I truly have to put in serious effort to feel happy and content on a day-to-day-basis. What makes me happy is forward movement in all of the areas I mentioned earlier. If any of the areas feel stuck, a positive flow is interrupted and a sort of 'Blech...!' takes over the whole picture.

I always love the relaxation, Savasana (corpse pose), at the end of a yoga class. It often feels like the Best Relaxation Ever! It is because I've just seriously exerted myself and feel entitled to it. So it is in life too. Play isn't so much fun, unless you've worked hard to earn it; friendships, family and relationship would all be pretty stagnant without personal growth... Physical health would hardly improve without relaxation, and home...well, if the home is a mess, I feel pretty crappy in all of the other areas. Thus it seems like all of these areas are needed to complement each other.

One of the hardest working friends of mine often says that by nature he would be the "lie-in-bed-naked-and-eat-potato-chips-all-day"-dude. I can certainly relate to that. There's always some part of me that doesn't want to be bothered to do anything. But, knowing the hangovers of an unbalanced life on the one hand, and the fulfilling feeling of accomplishment on the other, choice is clear. It's just a matter of remembering this and making the effort consistently, every day.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
- Albert Einstein (theoretical physicist, 1879–1955)

Friday, May 4, 2012

I'm writing my music alone for the very first time with this new material that I'm creating. Yes, there have been some tunes on my earlier albums that I've written fully on my own, but never a full project. And I have to say, while this is very exciting, it is also extremely daunting. I almost feel like it's been a truth that I've been running away from, even as it's been in front of my eyes. I've come up with a billion different ways of distracting myself from it--all kinds of unproductive thinking...but I think it's time to face up to it. Sink or swim, this is My Project. This is My Responsibility. Scary yes, but also very fucking cool..!

Creativity is an interesting animal. Mine doesn't like the daily stimulus of the computer, emails, phone calls, New York hustle and bustle. At all. It requires space and time and quietude, an opportune moment to be captured and played with. It flees very quickly when it hears a suggestion of chores, the word 'should' or self-criticism. All of this ought to be banished from the mind when one gets lucky enough to be stricken by inspiration. (Easier said than done, sometimes...)

In this world we live in, being creative can be challenging. I personally think it's a whole different ball-game than what it must have been in decades past, when there was no internet for example... And even further back, when there was no TV. These days even just the city and the computer will create enough noise to fill out any space for creativity, if one lets them. Though I've once viewed quiet time a luxury,
I now view it as a prerequisite to be able to create anything; I actually now see it as part of my work. And with that, I settle into an evening of guilt-free steeping, letting the reality sink in... It's My frickin' project.... Wow.

"Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it."
- Dee Hock