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LEARNING TO BE WHERE WE ARE AT

“What are transplants? People who leave where they were at and come to a new place and try to make it the same place.”

—Yellowstone

4 min read

Once I have had a couple of cups of coffee, my mind usually runs at a crazy rpm from sun up to sun down. It has taken me a very long time, a lot of workouts, and failed attempts at meditation to learn to focus on ONE THING AT A TIME. But the slowly won results are becoming helpful in staying more creative and calm.

The two places I am the most “myself” seem to be when I’m writing a song and when I’m on stage and in the moment. I’m very lucky that when a song hits me, it takes over every bit of my soul, and I can usually stop everything and stay with that for a while. I try to sit down first thing in the a.m. and let ideas come without all the bells and whistles of the day. But once the day is going, the muse usually turns the shingle over to CLOSED.

I am learning to say NO. I am learning to cut that space for myself. I am learning that not everything is gonna get fixed or taken care of, and sometimes when you leave it alone, it DOES work itself out.

My latest definition of success is to get my days and my mind to a place where the muse feels she can visit me at will. A place where I will be calm and peaceful enough inside my own skin to not be afraid to drop what I am doing and chase down a creative idea without worrying I’m not answering the phone or sending a bunch of emails or taking some meeting that may or may not bring anything in the door. Not everything is worth doing, and not everything is worth saying yes to. This is very hard for us artists to embrace when we have spent so much time just trying to survive or get something off the ground.

We are fed this idea to redline—work at top intensity, multitask, keep up with social media/text/emails, and have 19 windows open on our computers at any given moment. We are taught that being happy is not always synonymous with hard work. IT’S BS. We admire overachievers, and if you look at your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you will notice all of us (including me) are signaling how much we are up to.

Usually it’s a mile wide and an inch deep.

Little by little, I am learning that my anxiety is not gonna help the work—it’s gonna hinder it. Everyone has a certain amount of pain—EVERYONE is suffering on some level—and the ability to move on despite it is a trick I want to master.

LESS SOCIAL MEDIA/MORE JOURNAL
MORE CONVERSATIONS WITH HUMAN BEINGS
MORE HONEST CONVERSATIONS WITH OURSELVES
M

We spend so much time trying to run from the hard questions. To get to the real stuff, the halcyon light, the things that matter—we gotta DIG. We gotta go all the way down in the deep. And that can’t happen here on the surface when we’re trying to please everyone else, buying a bunch of crap we don’t need, and talking to a bunch of folks behind screens who may not have any idea who we really are. I don’t remember where I read this, and it sounds hippie-dippie, but the most important conversations are the ones you have with yourself.

We have to BE WHERE WE ARE AT. We have to stop and just BE there. Fully there, one thing at a time. Usually the hurry and the drama are self-inflicted. One of my first managers told me this back in the day (thank you, Ernest Leek), but I was too much of a nutcase to listen. Many moons later, it turns out he was 100 percent right.

It’s a wonderful discovery that we are enough. The phone or the one-click Amazon cart ain’t gonna save us. Trying to please everyone but ourselves ain’t gonna save us. I think we can all be a little nicer to one another once we go inside and look for what is real—look for the internal, not external, signs of confidence.

I’m gonna dedicate the next few posts to this idea of simplifying, of finding and protecting who we really are and not what the marketplace tries to make us into, and especially of not falling prey to an endless stream of digital BS that is designed to addict us.

Look forward to your comments and hearing your stories as well. Thanks for dropping by and see you next Weds!

G

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