Caveat: This is not a happy-go-lucky post. If that’s what you are looking for, it may be best if you skip this one and check in next week. That said, I do think that it ultimately holds value, otherwise I would not be posting it here.
It has not been an easy week.
Next to no real music has been done; bits and pieces, but nothing significant. All week I have been in the grips of massive stress, massive anxiety. It came in a big wave, seemingly for no reason. It made sitting down to work harder; it felt like swimming thru wet cement. And the deadline marches ever closer; like a battle drum in the distance. Boom. Boom. Boom. Getting closer.
My natural human reaction to this predicament is twofold: I want to either repress it, or escape it altogether.
But here is the thing.
I believe that this feeling, this stress and anxiety, is not necessarily bad.
What do I mean by this? Well…
Contrary to popular opinion I believe that even tho the feeling of stress and/or anxiety is major-league uncomfortable, it is also natural, helpful and vital part of the process of art, life and evolution.
Here’s my theory: I believe that this feeling is just energy, and that this energy exists as a kind of potential fuel source for the person experiencing it. For me, a big wave tends to precede some kind of breakthru. I see it like the adrenaline rush an athlete feels before a big event. Even tho it makes the present moment uncomfortable, it actually helps her to be stronger, run faster, and fight harder. As long as, (and this is key) she knows how to correctly interpret and process it.
But this is not the prevalent belief of our culture. We have somehow come to the conclusion that anything uncomfortable or painful is bad and wrong and should be immediately medicated away.
I believe this to be a costly and fundamental error. Any athlete will tell you that, if you want to get stronger, you have to train and embrace the pain that naturally comes with that. It is how we evolve. To some degree all growth is painful. But not all pain is necessarily bad.
Personally, the way I process these feelings is: first accept them, and then work on them in meditation. I also workout physically like a demon, take any actions relevant to the particular situation and self express in some way (writing, music or whatever).
So that has been the story of this week.
Now, If I am honest, I don’t really want to post this. As a preference, I would prefer to be seen as handsome and fantastic 100% of the time, but that’s not how it really is. Ultimately, it’s more important to me to be authentic and honest, flawed and imperfect as I am. I believe that, if more people open up about how life really is for them, then it gets easier for everybody.
Case in point:
Yesterday Jen and I were walking home and a scared, lost-looking woman stopped us and asked if I could help her to her house. I said ‘sure’ and offered her my arm. Over the next 45 minutes she told me her life story. She was an alcoholic, and couldn’t really see a time when she wouldn’t be one. I asked her why she thought that was, and she replied that it was just because she was just too sad. I asked her if she wanted things to change, she said all she wanted to do was sleep.
It is always hard to see someone in pain, more so if you can’t help them out of it. All the way to her house I racked my brains to try and think of a way to help her feel a little better. In the end, the most I could do was make sure she got home safely, listen to her story with an open heart and be as truthful as possible about how life was for me. By the time we arrived at her door, she was smiling. Sometimes, that’s enough.
I hope that this has been, in some way, useful for you. If not then please disregard it.
Feel free to leave comments below.
P.S. This post may be a downer for some. I will finish with a joke.
“My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, I said ‘no’, but I would like a regular banana later, so, ‘yes’.” – Mitch Hedberg
My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist. If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music. Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.
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