Updated: May 8, 2019
So it's 2.33 in the morning and I woke up ten minutes ago in a panic - I thought it was Ray's birthday and I hadn't bought him birthday presents. Blurrrrghh... what a horrible feeling that was. Anyway, once I realised that I still had a week I got out of bed and came downstairs to spend some quiet time by the fire. Some very strong thoughts were brewing.
See, I was on a huge mission around a month ago - there were plans for music world domination all over my wall. This plan was extreme. It was hugely intricate and hugely consuming. There were marketing plans, PR plans, video plans, singles plans, you-name-it-plans and too many plans. I had written myself into a practically impossible plan and felt so comfortable and excited by it. All I had to do was get the funding and the plan would be in flow. Except I didn't get the funding and thank the Universe that I didn't because it wasn't going to be a healthy or successful journey, I now know that for sure. I was already getting stressed out with venues and the team I hadn't even hired yet! I was already becoming someone I did not like and I was certainly not in flow.
I have an incredible capacity to work REALLY REALLY REALLY hard. For little to no reason other than as the sum of my parts. My parts. We are all made up of many parts - parts created throughout our lives from external source trauma inflicted fragmentation. Too far for 2.55am. As a result of these 'parts' I have a capacity to work myself and everyone around me into a cyclone of overactivity iced with madness and sprinkled with a little more trauma. This time, however, an amazing ally and very clever man called Howard stopped me in my tracks as I was deliberating over whether I should borrow the money to pay for one expensive venue over another expensive venue (neither that expensive but expensive for me) anyway, I had asked Howard's opinion about which venue would be best and he asked this question... 'What's your intention?'
What's your intention. A question I know so well in coaching and amazingly had not even considered it in my plans. A question that had more impact than I think Howard might like to know.
I had been headed for a huge mental car crash and was being really difficult and controlling over things like life and conversations and friendships. I know so because I wasn't in flow. When I am in flow, I am sailing down a river and even when its hard I'm still just sailing down a river but I wasn't sailing - I was swimming really hard upstream and feeling like over productivity was an olympian sport that only I had been chosen for and I was competing against myself. This, I know, is impossible...because I don't give up - I just become a cyclone.
'What's your intention' stopped me in my tracks. I realised that I had trying to decide between two paths that both led to the same place - nowhere I really wanted to go to and somewhere I had pretty much already been.
I had been unsuccessful in a funding application that week that I was absolutely certain I was going to get. I was so sure and when I received the letter to say I hadn't got the funding it really threw me. I fell into a 30 second dramatic sadness and had a cry and then felt a huge sense of relief because I realised the mental car crash wasn't going to happen, the music world domination chase wasn't going to have to consume me in the process and I could just breathe.
This sent me into a second wave, automatic backwash of over productivity and I began a smaller, less intricate plan to launch my new album. I decided to create a threecity launch off my own back and asked Howard his opinion on venues. What's your intention...
I was stumped. How could I have not asked that before I began all of this!
I stepped back.
Then, I stepped right back. I cancelled everything to do with the tour and went fr lots of walks in the forest and sat by the river...a lot. I listened to and read everything I could get my hands on to do with 'surrender'.
I've spent a few weeks now really thinking about that question on a very deep level for me. I've really sat with that question as though it were a pair of glasses and looked at everything in my life and all the choices I'm making. I began to question what it means to surrender to life. To be guided by life. To go with the flow. To surrender.
Surrender. A scary and very difficult thing to do, I realise. I identified myself with 'being'. I was busy, I was a touring musician, I was launching an album again, I was popular again, I was flavour, I was musical, I was a performer, I was aging and that was ok because I was still on the stage and I was being funded. Except I wasn't. I delved into that. I swam around in that. I practised. I was so used to saying, 'I'm really busy...' when folk asked me how I was doing and now I wasn't busy. I sat with what busy means and why we get busy. I tried to understand what non-identity means. I felt the loneliness underneath that and sat with it. That was really hard. Then...it dissipated.
So, its 3.22am and I woke up inspired to write these words on this new blog of mine. Good night. Its 3.33am. Love and light xxxx
I'm listening to this before I sleep - lovely Maddie Broad - https://soundcloud.com/maddiebroad/the-hill