Recently my mom took a ‘mindfulness’ class to help her mind be a machine to create peace for her whole being. Or should I say our minds are the instruments with which we paint our realities, and we all want peace in our realities.. whether or not we are conditioned to know peace… we all want it subconsciously. As a human being I don’t want to be controlled by my mind, I want to be in control of it! However, I happen to find that thoughts in my head are actually easier to control than the feelings that sometimes overwhelm my senses and pound through my chest. As a fellow human, don’t you find the same? Do you tend to lose control of your thoughts or your emotions more? Well, ding ding ding! It turns out they are connected! My mom said that in her mindfulness class, she learned that we can actually combat overwhelming feelings/emotions like loneliness with our minds!
I know that seems like a cheesy life- realization that a middle-schooler has the first time they smoke weed (Pause: Yes, my first time smoking the “peace pipe” was middle school.. is that an abnormal age? 7th grade behind the Boys and Girls club? Well before you answer that take into account : A.) I am from California B.) It was a joyous moment whatever age is normal because I remember laughing until I cried due to the “weed goggles” I had on which made everything look like it was through a TV lens and C.) I turned out pretty good, so there… rationality!) Anyways…going back to that thought about controlling our emotions… I found that to be really profound!
The way our thoughts and emotions work is (according to Mama’s mindfulness class) as follows: First we think thoughts, and then our emotions connected to those thoughts come second! SO if you don’t like way you’re feeling in life, think about different thoughts which have different emotions connected to them! Aha! Lightening strikes! A realization is born. An example could be if you’re trying to get out of a funk and you come home every night and watch 30 Rock because thinking about the fact that your lover has left you is just too EMOTIONAL… don’t think about the fact that the bed is empty, or “what is that person doing right now?” or those type of pointless thoughts. They don’t lead to anything but weird feelings! INSTEAD think about something fascinating that directly causes happiness or just different emotional reactions. Anything is better than loneliness in my opinion. (Note: that example I used before was actually not my life… It was, um.. a friend.. They’re doing fine now, thanks for asking).
I was thinking about this.. (thinking about thinking, la la la)… while I was driving home from a meeting just now and while I was in the car I wasn’t really paying attention to any thoughts going on in my head, but was CONSUMED with all these EMOTIONS: Nostalgia. Sadness. Empowerment. Longing…and now as I am writing… Gratitude (which, if you like to think about everything in the world having energy, you will like this: Of all the emotions to feel, gratitude has the highest energy vibration! Even higher than anger, or jealousy or sadness! Gratitude! yes, I know you feel that shit!!!)
Anyways, in the car I was thinking…Life is full of transitions and transformations and right now I am dead-smack in the middle of some pretty big ones. Some of these emotions that I was feeling came from all this open space that I now have in my life because I transitioned out of RYSE; the job Ive been working at since I moved to the Bay Area. This is the non-profit youth center job in Richmond where I have spent two years building community and learning the importance and immeasurable benefits of youth development work….where I learned how to do grown up things like taxes and Excel spread sheets, and where I got to work alongside some of the post compassionate, dedicated and powerful people I have ever met! I have transitioned out of a wonderful full-time coordinator position into doing MUSIC FULL-TIME! “What!? Why did she do that?” You might ask. Thats right, my office is now my bedroom, and now I have entire DAYS to plan out my set lists for shows! I get to work with professional musicians who I am genuine fans of, and whose “professional musician lifestyles” permit them to have meetings at cafes on Mondays at 2pm (or whatever) which I could never attend but now I CAN! Its exciting but also strange because instead of seeing all the faces that I used to see everyday at RYSE, I just stalk them all on FaceBook and it gets lonely/ creepy on my end of things. BUT, however creepy my Facebook stalking is becoming now that I am self-employed, I will say this: It is a beautiful thing because music has been my dream for many years and now I am being consumed by it! I can literally feel my mind morphing into that of a music nerd… Its SO FUN, I get to study Adele lyrics and think about frequencies and when I go to Guitar Center to buy new cables, I know somewhere down the line, I’ll get a little bit of money back for tax right off.’s. Yupppp, thats the life of a musician..
Im rounding up Week-Two now of self-employed life and thus far, its been pretty cool. I have to practice control of the mind though because, as an artist, things do tend to get pretty emotional up in there and if I don’t be careful not to stay indoors all day making music, I might forget how to have normal conversations with the human race. I also have to practice keeping a budget, but thats a different story… or blog post.
There are other transitions taking place in my life that have added to my emotional plight lately, one being the physical separation from a person that I have spent a great deal of time with for a while now. Love is an endlessly fascinating thing to me, that I will probably never understand. A lot is said about “love “all the time. One thing that I see on instagram that I find really interesting is that little picture-meme thing that says “When I love, I love HARD” and its a picture of a really sad person behind the letters. Its supposed to be an indicator of loyalty, like don’t fuck with me cuz my love is HARD and if you betray my trust I’ll hit you with my big, hard sack-of-bricks-type of love. I don’t know how I feel about this message but I respect others who love this way.
This year has been my first exposure to this mentality of love. My definition of the emotion/energy which is LOVE has always included pictures of smiling, hugging, reassuring, etc. But I learned something this year.. .That love also means being HONEST which can be hardddd. Its hard to honestly look at ones self and see where one can improve and to see how we are hurting others. Love isn’t supposed to be fighting and yelling and tears all the time, but it DOES look like someone communicating and telling you straight up that you could do better. Where am I going with all this, you may ask? This is called a rant and if I can make it work, then dammit! I will try and make a rant sound poetic, as long as you haven’t walked away from your computers yet. What I am trying to say is that while I am also transitioning out of RYSE and old life-routines, I am also transitioning into a new understanding of love, because the person I am transitioning away from… I loved them very much and I learned a lot about what I want and what I don’t want. I want the hardness that comes with honesty, but not what shows up in the shape of tears, fighting, and being HARD. Does that make sense? No? ok, great lets move along.
I am going to play some guitar and try and write a song now to put on my album which I am working on creating with the help of two AMAZING producers (Lila Rose and David Earl) !!! It is in its early stages, but I finallllyyyy feel really good about this one. This project and these recordings which are in the works, they will be good. Stay tuned, Summer 2014? Heyyyyyy, its right around the corner!
Peace be with you, and goodnight world