“Someday, we‘ll forget the hurt, the reason we cried and who caused us pain. … After all, what matters is not the first, but the last chapter of our life which …. Hope means no matter how bleak, all things can and do change in the blink of an eye.” ….“Two things prevent us from happiness: living in the past and judging others.”. — Unknown Author post “Love all over again”
My marriage has ended, so how do you just think straight at a time like this? So many questions? Where to live? should I hide all the things that remind me of him? Or just think of the good times and be happy for the good that we did have….that seems wise, and I certainly have many life plans that perhaps will work better single, since song-writing and traveling to gigs (and my x is not a musician) are both done alone, and are the main thing I want to do with my time…have not blogged here for a year but now I am again, it will be good therapy. Maybe readers can comment, direct me to the blogs you have on this subject etc. It would be so appreciated!
Sincerely with tears
The book I go to when i am stuck procrastinating is called Unstuck, by Jane Anne Staw, Ph.D. She is such a loving and nurturing author that any page I turn to reminds me of real tangible things I can do to motivate myself.
I can go outside and that takes the gloom out of starting my practice.
I can bring something nice to my practice space, like a vase of fresh flowers with a nice fragrance.
I can plan a reward for getting through the first 15 minutes.
I can have an event that I have to leave for at a certain time so I know that my practice will end in time to get there (when there is no event pending, I feel guilty if I don’t practice for as many hours as I have opened).
These are all great ideas.
I have entered a passage from the book below, but in place of writing I have used practicing or music:
To play guitar you have to take music seriously. And to take music seriously you have to yourself seriously. This means being exquisitely sensitive to yourself, to what supports and nurtures your practicing of music. To whatever helps you to begin and allow those first notes to be played. Now, for perhaps the only time in your life, you have permission to think of yourself first. So be selfish. Do whatever you can think of to lure the music out of the guitar. From then on you just might be swimming with the current.
If you engage on a regular basis in any activity that gives you pleasure and a sense of confidence, it can help to visualize yourself engaging in this activity before you begin practicing. If you swim, for example, you might close your eyes and imagine yourself swimming, stroking and kicking effortlessly as you glide from one end of the pool to the other, and back again.
Try sitting quietly for several minutes before practicing…breathing deeply, and invite yourself to begin. Say to yourself “You are going to begin practicing in a few minutes. And there’s nothing to be afraid of. You’re going to practice for (an hour) only, and after that you’re free to go for a walk. Just relax, and don’t worry. I’ll be there with you.” (and another hour or two, but with rewards after each hour).
Please note – I do not endorse nor did I say the following and I think it is offensive and unacceptable:
This minister stated… Christianity is not a religion, unlike others such as Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc. Christianity is a relationship with Jesus. He further stated that these religions are about doing good works and that they all have a vindictive God who is angry with you if you don’t do good works.
- Who said that other religions don’t encourage a relationships with God or Jesus?
- So, does that mean that his version of Christianity thinks it is fine if you don’t lift a finger to help anyone, or to try to lessen suffering among your fellow humans?
- By disagreeing with him, am I a hypocrite, since I espouse that all approaches are equally good as long as they don’t hurt anyone?
Well, he is causing hatred, or at least a feeling of disrespect and non-acceptance, by insulting people in those other faiths. And he is saying that you just need to have a relationship with God to be a happy person, if you do nothing at all the help anyone or make a difference here on earth that is just fine, you get a free pass, just come to my church and I will assure you you are wonderful as long as you pray and keep in relationship with Jesus.
Well, I agree that his approach is fine, since to not, would make me a hypocrite: I would be pushing my belief on him– aka “All approaches are ok and we should not say there is only one right way.”
I have to allow that those who believe “there is only one right way” are one of the groups that I vow not to judge. I have no right to tell them they should agree with me about not polarizing one group against another by saying there is only one way.
And I do allow it. Except that if what he is doing spreads hate and distrust and an attitude that everyone except those who are like him are bad people, then that is not ok.
So, as long as he just shares this with his own church and does not offend the greater community with the rude assertion that the other faiths are all wrong, it is fine with me…
Since he is helping the people in his one little church to be free from suffering he is doing good in the world, just for his own group…it is better to help a few then to help no one.
However, he posted his polarizing comment on Facebook, which goes outside his own congregation, so that is not ok with me. That is very, very not ok with me. And he happens to be the pastor of my mom’s church. No wonder she and I could never resolve our bad feelings and mend our estranged relationship that spanned my entire life, to the time my mom died. But when she died I affirmed that deep in her heart she was not a party to that bullshit that her pastor spread…she actually loved me just as I was and did not fault me for having a different world view than she had. She was much more big-hearted then that.
Oh well, as they say, redirect the ship and straight on till morning….
This happened to me and my pride hurt – i had not been doing the work necessary to get the results I wanted.
My teacher was and is committed to me becoming a better guitarist and it was clear at the last lesson that I was not.
After, as he put it, “There is no water in the lake”…. i was crushed, but upon saying there was no water in the lake, akin to the lights are on but nobody’s home…he stated several things I did not even know….
“You don’t even know how to play a 2 minor in front of a dominant chord, you don’t know what a 5th interval is, what a 4th is, what a 9th is…”
Well, I promptly went home and learned those very things and am working everyday to continue learning them, and all the other intervals, and to re-visit all the un-done lesson material given to me (which by the way I paid good money for)….
Because even if the teacher thinks “there is no water in the lake”, I am not a loser, and I will not allow my desire to improve at guitar to go by the wayside…it has been a fight because some part of me says I can’t do it…but that is just one voice, and the other voice says, F – You, I can TOO.
So I will hear that determined voice…and not to prove it to my teacher – with standards as high as his, he may still believe I am not improving, but I know how much work I have done and that I am closer to my goal than I was that fateful day when I cried at my lesson.
To be clear, I happen to have one of the top guitarist/teachers on the planet, that is why his standards are so high, and I don’t take lessons for fun or to get warm fuzzies from the teacher…I take lessons so I can get the skill that I want…and THEN…with that new skill level, FUN is going to jump out all over the place…
But lest we mistake reaching a goal for enjoying the journey, yes I have fun learning – it is just AT the actual lesson that I don’t have fun…oh well.
Continuing from my last post, I have benefited greatly from the book “Urban Shaman” by Serge King PH.d. Here are some points regarding being in the present moment, similar to the “Power of Now” concepts, in the book by that name, by Ekharde Tolle.
NOW is where everything happens, how you feel is decided in the now, and not limited by something that happened in the past.
NOW can be as you choose to define it. Since scientist confirm that time is just a made up concept to help us keep track of events, you can choose to say that there is no past or future and you can change your entire NOW to be as you desire.
King also explains in “Urban Shaman” a system in the Hawaiian Huna Way, that posits that everything is only a dream…So you could say that NOW is everything since you were born and includes all the time until you die, and then decide what happens NOW…
For instance, you could decide that the now that occurred in 1990 was a happy time, when good things happened – and actually select those things, and feel what it is like to have had hose things happen in 1990…thereby actually “changing the past” —which is the opposite of one of the most entrenched beliefs that almost everyone has—-“You can’t change the past.”
What if you did change the past? In the Huna Shaman way, everything is arbitrary, so you can simply say, this or that happened, and since it did, I now feel this way about it…That is just as valid as saying XYZ happened (which actually did happen) so now I feel this way—you could feel any way you decide to about whatever happened, did not happen, or whatever happened according to any made up story you care to insert….it just doesn’t matter
…it is not like anyone goes around saying, “excuse me, I know what you did in 1990 and because that happened you cannot possibly be happy right now in 2015″…only you are saying that in your own head…
and by the way, if someone you know, who was witness to something from your past, would actually expect you to feel bad now because of something that happened before, that person needs to be expelled from your life–they are diametrically counter to your own best interest…
But I digress, the point is, so many if not all the people you see on a given day have no clue what happened to you before, so make up the story you like and put it into your now…and use the mental, emotional and spiritual power that arrises from that story — that good story which is exactly as you choose.
For instance, going to a job interview, you visualize having gone to a similar one 10 years ago, or last year, and the company wanting to hire you, and you feeling all excited when you got the offer, but turning it down because you got an even better offer. The point is, your feelings change when you do this–it has nothing to do with what you would say about the past, or what you put in your resume. It is merely a tool to help you channel your emotions and brain power in the here and now, to a better place from which you can operate happily and successfully NOW.
This is what little children do…they make things up and go around talking and acting as if they are real, and they are quite happy thank you very much…and those who are encouraged to use their imaginations grow up to be writers, artists or other creative types – because they are able to create the scene and circumstances that are most desirable, and bring them about in their daily lives.
This is a bit of a stream of consciousness thing but it makes sense to me and maybe it will to you too.
I have had a book for over 10 years in my collection that I read from time to time, and every time it changes my day, my life and possibly the entire world, because of the radical way this author brings the reader to greater freedom, to make changes that did not seem possible.
Here is a passage about Karma, and the different way it is viewed by the “Hawaiian Way of the Adventurer”:
In some Eastern traditions (as well as some Western metaphysical ones) your present circumstances are the effect of decisions and actions in past lives. If those were good decisions and action, you have good experiences now, but if they were bad ones you have pain, suffering and sorrow to the the same degree you gave it out in one or more of those other lives. This is called “Karma” , a Sanskrit word usually translated as “cause and effect” or “reward and debt.” The good actions you perform now create “good” karma and the bad actions you perform now create “bad” karma for our next lives. In these traditions karma isn’t usually something you can change; all you can do is reap the rewards or work off the debts of the past.
One common Western tradition holds that you are rewarded in this life for obeying specific social or religious rules, and punished in this life for breaking those rules, no matter how long ago you obeyed them or broke them, nor whether or not anyone was there to see you do it. Some people trained in this tradition may carry twenty years of guilt for having driven past a stop sign in the Arizona desert at 2 A.M. a hundred miles away from any other human soul.
Another more Western tradition lays the praise or blame for your present attitude, actions and circumstances on heredity and your early social environment. The implication is that you were shaped by forces beyond your control and cannot be held responsible for what your genes, your parents, or society did to you.
The Shamanic tradition, both warrior and adventurer, is in stark contrast to the above views. It says that the past did not give you what you have today, nor make you what you are today. It is your beliefs, decisions and actions today about yourself and the world around you that give you what you have, and make you what you are. KARMA exists and OPERATES only IN the PRESENT moment. Your environment and circumstances in this moment are the direct reflections of your mental and physical behavior IN THIS MOMENT. (caps mine). Thanks to memory we may carry over habits of body and mind from day to day, but each day is a new creation and any habit can be changed in any present moment–although that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Your genes do not determine what you are or what occurs in your body. Instead, as an effect of your beliefs, you select out of the immense resources of your gene pool those characteristics that best reflect your present beliefs and intentions. In the same way, your parents or social background have nothing to do with your present circumstances, but what you believe about them now and how you react to those beliefs now most certainly does. To the degree that you change yourself in the present moment–your thoughts and your behaviors–you change your world.
Thanks for reading. I will post more from this material next time: The next post will touch on how the “present moment” is defined – and how that definition empowers you to change the past and the future in ways you only thought possible in your fondest dreams.
A Quote from “The Listening Book” by W.A. Mathieu
Found this book on my shelf….about how to get started practicing music.
This really helped..A chapter from the above named book:
“At first, the idea of practicing music comes from afar, like the idea of going to the subtropics, or getting married, or building your own house. Little events might bring you closer to the big event–a chance musical workout with fortunate results, or a close encounter with an inspiring musician. But a wide river of work separates the sensitive listener who does not practice from the one who does. The river is crossed, in time. It may take years to form the practicing habit. But the length of time does not matter. The important thing is to allow the impulse to blossom in its own natural growing cycle.
These are things you can do to nurture the process. One is to make an alter, but not a physical one–a temporal one. Reserving a place in your daily schedule gives practicing a time to happen. Five or ten minutes may be enough, a half hour may be a lot. Eventually your practice time becomes a bright corner of your day, a haven, a meeting with a friend who gives you stuff you didn’t have before.
Clearing the forest is part of building the house. It takes a lot of energy to clear a little bit of land. Maybe it will take forty minutes to clear thirty minutes of practice time. You may have to telephone someone to drive the kids, or watch someone else’s kids in return for them watching yours, or change a meeting. You may have to make some coffee to get wired, or read the funnies to calm down, The preliminaries are part of the practice process, part of the flowering into music, part of the music. Even telephoning counts. While you are dialing the number of the babysitter you can say to yourself, “I’m doing music now.”
I sometimes feel like the luckiest person alive…When I read or see or become aware of something that seems like it will solve a hard problem for me, stuff like low self esteem , emotional pain about the past, or anything else that is negative feeling for me…all I have to do is write words about a new way of managing it, and then sing those words often, and then they re-program my inner beliefs and self talk.
Reading a book called “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter made me realize that I can apply the concepts of the book in this way.
In fact the songs I have already written need only be practiced more often for me to get the results I want…which has a double benefit – I have been looking for a way to motivate myself to practice more hours every day!
But if you don’t write songs you can still do the same thing…As the book explains there are many ways to use self talk to reprogram yourself to get the results you want.
You can talk out loud to yourself, or silently to yourself, or create a conversation about a certain situation and direct with only the talk that leads you to your desired outcome, banishing all the self defeating messages, or write the self talk that you choose, or read self talk in a book like the one I just mentioned. You can also record your own self talk and then play the recording…
But the key is, only YOU are in charge of it. No one has ever thought a thought in your head, EVER, and no one ever will, except for you. It is like you have your own 24 hour coach there to give you the words of empowerment and support and motivation that you need to overcome any block, to counter any thoughts or emotions that are preventing you from doing things you need and want to do, and feeling how you want to feel. You can earn the money you want to earn, doing your own art or using the skills you choose to sell, either as an employee or on your own.
Another book that many of you may be aware of that has great self talk is Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal your Life”
Whether you use these books or make up your own words, this is a powerful tool. I hope it helps you today and I intend to make my day much better than the previous ones by using the power of self talk.