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Ahmad Odeh - Unsplash

Rudiments – The Basics of Happiness

As you may be aware, I am a recording artist, and have been writing, composing and producing my own original music since I was about 16. Today, I’m… older. I have a pile of unfinished projects, albums and scratch ideas. I have notes for some cool music videos. There is plenty of evidence on several hard drives that ideas and inspirations were never in short supply, but the ridiculous amount of time that began to fill in between releasing products and creations into the world has grown significantly.

Do I blame it on life? Distractions? Lack of money or time? A woman? Did jobs, career, and other things become more important? It’s frustrating that I’ve never earned a living pursuing my artistic endeavors, but I have learned that commercial success was never a legitimate reason for putting off and deferring the completion of an album, or whatever else had been for years on the creative to-do list. I chose to defer joy, fulfilment, flow, and being a creator. Nothing and no one forced me.

Life keeps happening, whether you make plans for it or not. Life happens wherever you are, whether you’re aware and engaged, or distracted, anxious, worried, and stressed. I’ve tried variations of making plans, but it rarely sticks. It seems evident my personality type prefers to be and do in a more carefree fashion, without imposed restrictions. The problem is, I am never really feeling fulfilled nor satisfied. My mind is elsewhere, as is my presence. It’s an endless cycle of self-sabotage. What’s always true, however, is that once I begin creating, it’s effortless to keep creating. The body remembers. The muscles remember. Once the mind is out of the way, the heart and spirit rush in and take over. It’s amazing.

I’ve often made the mistake of taking on someone else’s challenges and needs as my own, diving headlong into their reality bubble, stretching, bending, and contorting myself to fit into that space ā€“ without becoming an additional stress or burden to them. That’s a recipe for pain, confusion, and it further exemplifies a complete lack of self-respect. It was inauthentic, for a start, because one can’t simply set aside their own needs, pretending to find happiness in pretending to value something as much as someone you care for values it. It’s exhausting, disingenuous, and while you may temporarily improve the situation you’ve plugged yourself into, a part of you knows that the truth, your truth, will not let you go on like this forever.

Is it as simple as requiring an outlet for all the energy that was derailed, deferred, and detoured from pursuing my own mission, my own works? Was I desperate for something or someone to believe in (or to love), because I didn’t believe in (nor love) myself? Of course! We all need outlets for our limitless creative force. But therein lie potential traps and abuse. Nevertheless, along the way, I’ve always learned about myself, and I’ve picked up skills I wouldn’t otherwise have even thought of learning. What it proves is that I had the capacity, capability, and energetic resources to be doing these things that are valuable and of priority to me. What it suggests is that there are beliefs or emotions attached to pursuing those things that feed my soul. Usually, and perhaps obviously, it’s guilt and shame ā€“ and that almost always goes back to events, circumstances, traumas, and conditions of our childhood. These things may seem technically complex, but the issues are rather simple: we must (re)learn to love and respect ourselves, and tend to our true needs and desires. If we don’t, we’re lying, to ourselves, and those whom we purport to support.

Our true voice will be heard. Always.

Solvitur ambulando