Saturday, June 30, 2012

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw (Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1856-1950)

I saw this quote yesterday on an information board in front of a church, and it really stayed with me. It's very powerful in that it puts even more responsibility on us to realize our own potential, actively and energetically. I've found that seeking answers within myself can often be an almost impossible task, as the truth is covered by so many layers of habit, pattern, miseducation and bad examples, observed with wide eyes and swallowed whole. I have found that in order for me to discover the truth about myself, I have had to consult quite an array of books and enlist the help of therapy.

Being that we are constantly changing, finding yourself probably means finding some earlier version of yourself. For me it has been extremely important to understand all of what came before, in order to shed some light on why things are the way they are, now. But in the process, I am always creating myself: through deeper understanding I allow my present self to expand and grow. All or most of what happens now and tomorrow, I am consciously creating; whatever came before, was mostly not in my control. I have endless options (luckily!) to be anything that I choose to be, I could reinvent my life whenever I decide to. But what I've discovered in the last few years is that I do like where I'm at, and I love who I am becoming. This is what/who I've created so far and I stand by it. Tomorrow, who knows what I'll want to create then?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

FYI, I have decided to change into a Saturday-schedule with my blog due to shifts in my weekly plans. And seemingly related, but actually not very related at all--this week I am seriously getting into better time management. I bought this instructional book about the subject and it is interesting what time management really boils down to: knowing what the fuck you want to do with your life. That's really the key issue, isn't it? Otherwise you're just wasting time, aren't you?

I find that it is helpful for me at regular intervals to remind myself and thoroughly assess what my goals are and what I want to accomplish in life. It immediately reminds me that certain things that I get into a habit of considering luxuries (like reading books, magazines and exploring new music) are actually important stepping stones towards the goals that I'm aiming for. Thus they are not luxuries, instead they are necessities and I need to make time for them. (YES!!!) It helps to realign my thinking, to look at the bigger picture. Surprising fun stuff emerges..!

Looking at the bigger picture is also important in realizing that life consists not only of career goals, but also goals of living a healthy, happy, fulfilling existence, which ideally is full of love. Not rushing out the door to achieve and to conquer when one has an opportunity to receive kisses or caresses instead. First things first..!

My friend put it well: "It's good to stay open to the possibility that any day could be the best day of your life." Yup. Time management is good and important and all, but seems to me that there is something even more important to be used in conjunction with it: staying in the moment. It guarantees that I won't miss those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities of just having a spectacular day. Perhaps it takes some wisdom to recognize when to stick to the curriculum and when to veer from it. I guess the idea is to have as much fun in the long term as possible. Let us choose wisely.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Week after week, I talk very intimately about my life in my blog: my experiences, emotions, setbacks, frustrations and triumphs. It is interesting then to realize, that what I feel most private about are some of the more public aspects about who I am. I feel private about myself as an artist. Perhaps this is because even though being an artist is one of the things that I cherish most in life, it is also an area that I've felt most attacked in. And I'm sure I wouldn't be the only artist to say this. You have to grow a very thick skin doing what I do. Better yet, you have to have great self-esteem and a great grasp of reality. Neither of which I have had until now; both of which I am developing.

Last night felt like a start of something new for me. It was my first public performance since October, and I was thrilled to be on stage, performing a couple of brand new songs within the set. Despite having taken a break from performance, I am surprised to feel strongly that this concert was my best one ever. I found myself to have evolved greatly as an artist during my break. How is this possible?
Apparently artistry and performance greatly benefit from actions seemingly unrelated to the craft itself. Again, I return to an Anton Chekhov-quote that I've posted on my blog before:

"If you want to work on your art, work on your life."

It is exactly what I have been doing, in many forms. Greater self-knowledge and higher self-esteem will give access to powers and abilities that one may have been holding back out of fear.

We are much more; we have much more to give than we often realize. It is a gift that I'm giving myself now--allowing myself to step through fear, to claim who I am. It is happening now.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Well, it's a first time for everything: I'm writing my blog in a car, driving back home to NY from Connecticut. Right now I'm sitting at a gas station somewhere on I-95... Probably by the next line I write I'll be somewhere on the road again. You guessed it--I'm not the one driving...

Here's what I'm thinking as I continue to write, (and now begin to get car-sick): smooth sailing is a very short-lived moment in one's life. It seems that life always finds a way to hand us a serious challenge any time we start to get comfortable. What I'm finding different about me this time, is that I have a trunk full of tools that I haven't had before. I am way more prepared to deal with adversity than I ever have been before. There is a deep-seated belief in me this time that everything is going to be alright. I've never had that before. It's what allows me to not go spiraling headfirst into the abyss at this point in time; it is what helps me keep my head up and continue enjoying my life even whilst dealing with a difficult situation, the likes of which I haven't quite experienced before.

So much of life truly is how we react to the things that happen to us. I see people close to me struggling with the same mangled tools they've always used to deal with the problems they face, never stopping to consider that there might be other more powerful and helpful tools out there, if they'd only give themselves the time to investigate.

If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten. I know this, and personally I'm ready for something new. I'm still making peace with the fact that it's all I can do: I can only make choices for myself, not for anyone else. Extremely frustrating at times, but it's just one of those things: "Dude, just let it go..." So I'll try.. And I will.
But. There is one thing I Can do. There's a couple of tools in my trunk that I have spares of, and they are these: love and acceptance. Even if I am powerless to affect others' choices, I have found that love and acceptance have some real sway.

Friday, June 1, 2012

How does one know when one has cut off all of the strings to a person or a past experience? I have been cutting off strings left and right for the past few years; I didn't even know I had so many tied to me... I am tempted to declare today, as I turn a significant page in my life, that this concludes a phase that I am now relieved and happy to leave behind. I'm tempted to declare that I have now cut off the last string. And yet, I still carry these memories that color much of what I see and cause me to react to certain situations in unwarranted ways... Don't these memories count as strings too..?

I do not wish to part with memories. I do not even wish to part with old photographs, as many people tend to do. I do not wish to deny anything that happened, but I do wish to see reality accurately. And seeing reality accurately means that a lot of memories start looking very different from what they used to look like... It's a matter of going through all of them, like old photographs, looking at all past experiences through a new, healthy perspective. I believe that it is through this exercise that at last all strings will be cut. Us human beings--we are meant to be free. Connected yes, but by choice, not through strings.

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

- Abraham Lincoln, letter to H.L. Pierce, Apr. 6, 1859