I've had two days to myself. Just me and Juna, my friend's 9 month old German shepherd mix. Hanging at Juna's house and on the land around here, Wild Cat Canyon. Drinking tea, taking walks and naps. As I come to the end of this delicious unstructured uncluttered weekend, I know that my body and mind are still tired. I could rest for many more days like this. Just to decompress from life. So full all the time with agendas, to dos, meetings, ideas, visions, plans.
I am putting on my EP release show in 5 days in San Francisco. It seems at these moments more than ever when there is a feeling of the anti-climactic nature of things. I've worked so damn hard on this music. It's taken everything I've got in me to raise the funds, sit in the studio and keep at it. Not because it's hard in the general sense of the word. It's not back breaking or uncomfortable by any means. But it does take a certain clarity and determined effort to believe in oneself for so many days, months and years in a row. It's almost like I have been waging a war inside all my life - against the demons. Against all the voices and stories that have led me to believe that I am not good enough. That my music and my voice do not matter enough. That someone else is better, smarter, prettier, sexier, more worthy. And this project has been a battle I have won. A battle against all the feelings of being two separate parts - a healer and a singer - broken hearted and whole. I thought many times that I couldn't put this music into one project. It didn't seems right to fuse the polarized edges of myself into one continuous piece of art. I have spent many years in two different worlds and struggled with how they fit together. I know that from the outside, to many people, it looks seamless. In my inner experience it has been the challenge of a lifetime and continues to be.
People's perceptions are an interesting thing. Just the other day a friend was telling me how established it seems I am in the music scene in the Bay Area. She sees me playing with a band, playing at certain venues that would probably gladly have me back. She sees the network of artists I have in my circles. And as she was saying these things I could feel a little part of my mind want to run away. My eyes wanted to glass over. I didn't want to hear it. I didn't want to let those things she sees be true. But I made that little mind stay. I made myself look into my friend's eyes and listen to what she sees. I am acknowledging that these things are true - and I have worked so hard - slaying demons for years, maybe lifetimes - to be able to sit here and listen to her tell me that my hard work has paid off. It was a huge accomplishment for me to play music with other people. Most of my life I have been a solo musician. Playing and writing behind closed doors. I was very uncomfortable "jamming" and collaborating with anyone. When I did try, I would get very emotional and angry. I would easily get jealous, insecure and frustrated. But at a certain point in the last couple of years I recognized that I was not happy feeling so isolated. I had no choice but to fight out my own battle. Break down the walls between myself and other musicians. And honestly it had very little to do with becoming a better musician. It has everything to do with turning down the volume on all the nonsense in my head. That internal dialogue is so potent - it's poison. And yes, I am proud to have the choice now. I can play with other musicians. And apparently they are flattered to play with me... who knew?! I am constantly working on this internal conflict. Because I can see the results feel great. And I am not yet satisfied.
I am exhausted. But I am not satisfied. I am willing and ready to keep on slaying the dragons of my self doubt - but there's got to be a more efficient way. A way in which I can take a day off. Maybe even a week off. One where I don't have to be caring for a sick person (myself or another) in order to take a break. There is a way to find the optimal way to exert energy. A state of doing and non-doing that must co-exist. On a day to day basis I am driven much of the time by anxiety. The insecurity that I won't get things done. That I won't make rent. That I won't move forward in my career. That I am just treading water. This is not helpful. I want to learn the art of swimming. Which stroke will help me push the water behind me so that my body will just ease-fully float forward?
My life is my art and my music. My body is my vehicle. The deeper the sensing, the deeper the meaning.