Hello…I wrote in my journal this morning, while feeling full of life and love, before a series of disappointments that I won’t ramble about tonight…
But I will say, life truly ebbs and flows and we don’t know where we’re headed. A year or two from now I may be living in Colorado. Or I may be gone from this earth. Or I may be right here doing almost the exact same things I’m doing right now. And same for you. We don’t get to know where we’re leading, or being led, to.
I’m in a strange mindset right now, of wanting to share more…but knowing it tells the stories of too many people other than myself. I wonder sometimes if that’s where all the cryptic lyrics came from in the first place, pretty much since high school.
That said, I am about to release an album of songs from grades 1-7…or 8. Depending.
Haven’t decided yet who to be…including 8th grade is a huge shift spiritually for me…that’s when most everything really started going wrong for me…and I think the songs written in 1st thru 7th share enough of my light, I might just want to leave it at that. I dunno. This probably makes no sense to an outsider…outside my brain haha. But I’ve been journaling for decades, and I felt inspired to do something more public than just keep journaling, alongside this wacky release-an-album-a-month challenge.
I think I have lived in my head so long that I don’t even know where to begin sometimes with coming outside it. Talking with some acquaintances today, online, who are very near to the focal point of their traumas…after so many sexual/emotional/mental/verbal traumas in my life, I am deeply grateful to feel incredibly past tense about it, and be coming into my skin and some version of what is strength for me. With the help of some incredibly loving and PATIENT people. I get to live a healed, functional life and I know not everyone with my experiences gets to do that. I feel very lucky to have hope and a sense of lightness in my skin, most days. But maybe one thing I truly haven’t accepted is the way that will not just make my human experience different than those without severe trauma, but also it may make my music career very different. I couldn’t handle the intense rejection, the unknowns, the uncertainty, the need to pound the pavement, the hustle…since releasing in Chicago back in 2010 I have been baffled on and off about the industry, the ‘scene’, the feelings of pouring out your soul and the juxtaposition of some people gushing about it changing them with others not listening or seeming even remotely interested…and not knowing what creates that difference (learning to process it, and be okay with it, of course…but my trauma background has likely made me far more sensitive than others to these subtleties…not in a “hey look how great and sensitive i am” way, tho I’m sure I could spin it that way and others might too if they like sensitive people, but more in a “so you wonder why the business side is hard for you? just look at what a miracle it is that you’re even doing this! it’s painful and emotional and many traumatized people have a hard time functioning let alone flourishing!” way…)
I’m tired of telling my trauma story. Next month, after this childhood album, I’ll be releasing an album called “Tiny Traumas, adding up (or “out of body, in your skin”)”
I think I need to let it go, or do something symbolicly to let it go. I think I need to not release the songs from high school, an album I used to call my second album, called “Tormented.” I think I need to let that go. College songs too, all Tormented sad relationship and trauma songs. Waking up, in my skin. I think I need to symbolically put anything trauma related that needs getting out, on this album next month, and just let it go. Thinking out loud. I don’t know if this is a good idea. I’d like to have a nice July. But maybe doing this in such a happy pleasant month would be good. Who knows.
Okay now for the spiritual stuff. This morning I wrote in my journal with the intention of sharing it on Facebook…where I share strange vulnerable things (my personal FB)…and it got so long I realized I should/could just put it here.
Here you go, anonymous friends.
I fall back again and again into envy, self-pity, self-doubt, and fear that I’m doing the wrong things – that I’m not doing enough – that I’m not smart enough, good enough at business, and that doggoneit people don’t like me –
While any of those things may be true and waking up to it may be painful but useful, even MORE true is that obsession with thinking about it without action or change is NOT useful and is just a way to beat myself up and make me feel small.
Whenever I pick up the book The Power of Now or A New Earth (I hate to be such an advocate for one thing – but it was the Tao te Ching or Pema Chodron for YEARS, I guess it has shifted, and we all have things we are needing to learn and are using to grow), I am calmed and reminded where I am and why. Or it all just ceases to matter and I can function more lightly – and answers to such questions (am I doing enough, the right things, etc) simply appear without effort.
I was rereading the intro of Power of Now and saw a breakdown of what the book is trying to help you do, thought I’d share and explain how/why it’s helped me…
“You will find that from the first to the last page, the dialogues continuously alternate between two different levels. One one level, I draw your attention to what is false in you. I speak of the nature of human unconsciousness and dysfunction as well as its most common behaviorial manifestations, from conlict in relationships to warfare between tribes or nations. Such knowledge is vital, for unless you learn to recognize the false as false – as not you – there can be no lasting transformation, and you would always end up being drawn back into illusion and into some form of pain. ”
This is a perfect example of what I’m talking about above…it’s taken me a decade of books like these, and back when I lived in Chicago, support groups and therapy too…I have taken all of this very seriously and at some point, I realized I was taking it so seriously that it had turned into my identity – which is why I want to stop telling the trauma story (soon). Traumas rob you of your life due to their shock value, but keep stealing it when you identify them and their results as “you.” I think. I dunno. I want to process things, but I want to let them be like water and move through me, as something that has happened, not as something that I “am.” Okay continuing his words…
“On this level, I also show you how not to make that which is false in you into a self and into a personal problem, for that is how the false perpetuates itself.”
This truth rings out in his work, in Pema Chodrons, in A Course in Miracles, in the bible, in the Tao te Ching…I have been learning this truth my whole life…which leaves me feeling empty like a vessel, ready to listen and learn and experience, without being much of anything at all…which is scary but also freeing. Like a bird, if wings were easy to flap or you could just consistently glide like Princess in Super Mario Bros.
Okay now he talks about the other aspect of the book…
“On another level, I speak of a profound transformation of human consciousness – not as a distant future possibility” (that is probably THE most important part to me, as trauma healing groups and therapists always talk about someday and change ‘in the future’ and I needed an immediate consciousness shift, over and over, every day, until one day I was just suddenly okay it seemed…and all those years of talking about “someday” and trying to “fix” anything intentionally, I realized, kept me in the mode of “I’m broken and need fixing”…and there would never be an end in sight so long as I stayed focused on looking for things to fix…sorry, therapists who use this model, it has been very negative for me and this book and others probably saved my sanity in getting me out of that…okay back to his words) “but available now – no matter who or where you are. You are shown how to free yourself from enslavement to the mind, enter into this enlightened state of consciousness and sustain it in everyday life.”
Okay I’m getting tired, this is long…but back to my journal, where I added a million qualifiers this morning, after writing about this (whereas those responses to the book, above, were written NOW, when I’m tired and crabby and feeling things after a day of some heavy stuff on my mind…)
p.s. my grandma was a nun, I was raised Christian in a gentle simple do-unto-others way (Presbyterian – focused on inner life and good deeds, not evangelizing, and certainly not condemning or judging others “do not judge lest ye be judged” and all that, no matter what the bible teaches in obscure places it was clear that pointing out flaws of faith or non-faith to others is never my responsibility. I have tried since childhood to take the logs out of my own eye – any Christian spending inordinate amounts of time staring at others, in their eye, are likely staving off awareness of their own traumas and weaknesses, in my opinion – it can be painful to focus on the self).
p.p.s. anyway I say all that because I truly am not Taoist, Christian, New Age, Buddhist, anything with a capital letter, or if I am then I’m all of it…but I think it all moves through me (us?) like water and all I try to do is stay connected to things that make me feel connected. All parts of any belief that make me feel “better than” or separate, or “less than” and separate, I try to let go. With the exception perhaps of sensing dark manipulative energies (demons? heavy negativity?), then I usually say the Lord’s Prayer obsessively and just believe that makes me protected. ‘Cause I do believe in possession and I don’t need that sh*t. Life is hard enough without ghosts or demons or whatever messing with you.
Well, I guess I could change my mind about sharing all this.
It’s 1:53am. No one really reads this anyway, so maybe it’s good for me to leave it here for posterity, and the one or two people who might need to find it.
Maybe it’ll help my lyrics make more sense…or maybe not.
I dunno…I hope you are having a lovely night, and if you feel alone, I really can’t recommend Pema Chodron or Eckhart Tolle or George Saunders or the Tao te Ching or Murakami or Julia Cameron (or anyone with hope for humanity and the individual’s journey) highly enough. I have needed every tiny thing I’ve ever read…even Al-Anon literature, playscripts, poetry, anything that stirred me through the pages…something about social media is so fast and leaves me so empty, really just from all the comparing. Envying. Not because I want a fuller life, my life is so full and it makes me so happy. But when I see social media, I’m reminded of ways I don’t act, people I love who don’t reach out to me, shows I didn’t book, places I didn’t go or don’t have money to go…I can’t imagine how social media is affecting children. Or recent grads. Because we see this big beautiful navigatable world, but then we are stuck in jobs and life and routines…and dreaming is free which they’ve done all their lives while trapped in school, but reality and freedom usually leads to realizing you don’t have the resources to change your fate, or go on that trip, or be that different person…social media is taking that “you can do/be anything” thing from the 80s and 90s and turning it into one quick burst of realization. It seems much quicker that kids and young adults realize “oh crap I CAN’T do all these things”…hopefully we aren’t leaving them behind. My bleak cynicism about Disney dreams being sold to us (and being crap mostly) is coupled with a joy of living and just being…I hope I am doing a good enough job at saying to the youth of today, FAME ISN’T REAL, SUCCESS ISN’T REAL, TRAVEL ISN’T REAL (er, satisfying, lasting, permanent, a solution, etc)…plant your feet, be where you are, look around you. There is magic and beauty and fullness of everything and complete nothingness (in a good way) right now in THIS MOMENT right where you are. I’m in your dream place, and you are in mine. And we are all living fantasies or nightmares, in our own brains, based on what we think about and how we think it. Poke a hole in the balloon, step outside the nightmare, see the color and light and beauty of that lamp or bedspread near you, see the universe in a single piece of paper, scribble with a pen, feel its texture, be a one-year-old, see color and light and beauty, slurp your soup, listen to people, laugh, find a house show, be in a space, dance, alone, remember your dance moves from 8th grade I DARE YOU, you know the ones you forgot because they weren’t cool anymore? Do it. It’s fun. Be you. Not you who you think you are, follow the flow of this moment, be childlike, let go. Whatever. Kay? Love you, bye.