Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 5 Already?

Today's epiphany: Something else of great importance that has been missing from my life since my parents died.

It's Unconditional Acceptance of me, as I am.

My (late) parents, in addition to being my main supporters and patrons, gave me this. They knew me from my earliest days. As babies, we are "perfect"--untainted by judgment. We are just happy to be here, and radiate joy. It's easy to unconditionally accept a baby, and my parents did so.

As we grow up, we learn how to judge others and how others judge us--we forget how to unconditionally accept ourselves. Then we spend a lifetime trying to re-learn how to do that.

I put the burden of UA solely on my parents rather than learning to do it for myself. I've been grieving the loss of that UA, and sad because I realized no matter how deeply someone else ever loves me, they will NEVER love me with as pure of an unconditional love as my parents did. (Fans, when I get them, may think they love me this way, but they'll only love the image they have of me, not the REAL flawed version of me.)

I will always be justifying my worth to others in some way because of this--we all do. And before I can convince others that I have this worth, I have to convince myself of it, because it radiates out of me and people sense it even if they aren't aware of what they're sensing.

Somehow this all fits in with manifesting my passion...

There was something else, too. As I woke up today, I was thinking about the dream I have, of helping others achieve their dreams and how I'd wanted to do that after years of being a rock star. I decided to spend a little time imagining myself in THAT life at this age on this day, rather than in this life. 

I got to this part where I had just checked out a band I was interested in maybe taking on as a development client. It seemed that I really liked their raw talent, and thought they were "almost there", but I was on the fence about signing them. So I sat with them and counseled them on my findings.

I was saying this all out loud (the benefit of living alone), almost like rehearsing the experience. It's interesting that when I do this, which I do often as a way of following up my journaling, stuff comes out of my mouth that I hadn't planned to say, and this other part of my awareness perks up and takes notice. The stuff that emerges is usually very epiphanic and I learn from it!

So I'm counseling this band, and I heard myself telling them about how I'd done it, what I'd learned--keep in mind, THIS IS STUFF I'VE NEVER CONSIDERED BEFORE or considered doing, in well over 40 years of being a musician:
  • be very open-minded about your songs--don't be "married" to the way it was originally written. I told them that a song can be almost there, but if you refuse to tweak it or look at it objectively, you prevent it from becoming the best song it could be. This is the difference between a good songwriter and a great one. The great ones are able to say, "Well, I love the verse and chorus, and I really love this bridge between them, BUT though the bridge is great with an awesome chord progression, it doesn't really fit THIS particular song the way I'd like it to". And then  they give themselves permission to be divorced from that part, and to put in something that really makes the song, er, sing.
  • I (or rather, Great Songwriter Rock Star "I") keep a database of those discarded parts, organized and cross-referenced by tuning, time signature, and key. It might not have worked in this song, but that doesn't mean it won't work for another song you'll write later. Sometimes the perfect part for another song decides to drop in and manifest itself while we're working on this song. The Universal muse can be annoying that way. So when I'm working on a new song days, weeks or months (or years) later, and I need a bridge in Em in DADGAD tuning in 3/4, I can look it up, and voila--it's PERFECT.
  • You have to be 100% convinced about EVERYTHING you do. Every note you play, every line you write, every hair flip you make onstage. There has to be ZERO doubt about its perfection in relation to your own unique performance style. If you write a guitar solo, and it's perfect theoretically, but there is one note or passage that isn't quite where you'd like it to be, rework it. Because if you go out and record it with even the tiniest bit of doubt behind it while you're playing it, you'll record that doubt. I'm not saying you have to be "perfect" as in flawless--but you have to be doubtless.
I found this to be VERY enlightening. I had no idea this was in me. As for how it ties into the earlier epiphany... in order to be "doubtless" about your performance, you have to have achieved Unconditional Acceptance of yourself first--as well as of your playing, writing, golfing, painting, teaching, etc. You have to convince yourself of your value there, before you can convince anyone else.

You have to convince your audience that each note you've written is absolutely right for this song, and to be able to do that, you have to be convinced of it yourself.

Apparently, I haven't been convinced. Now it's time to fix that.

OH CRAP. I just had another epiphany. Am I... the "almost there" band from my vision?!? And Great Songwriter Rock Star "I" that's doing the counseling... is the Universe, counseling me?

I think I need a beer now.

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