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Ahmad Odeh - Unsplash

Rudiments: The Basics of Happiness

Audio Version

As you may know, I am a recording artist who has been writing, composing, and producing my own original music since I was about 16. Today, I am… older. I have a backlog of unfinished projects, albums, and random ideas. I’ve made notes for some cool music videos. There is ample evidence on several hard drives that ideas and inspirations were never in short supply, but the ridiculous amount of time that began to elapse between releasing products and creations into the world has increased significantly. I’m sure many other creators out there can relate.

Should I blame life? Distractions? Lack of funds or time? A woman? Did jobs, careers, and other topics take center stage? It’s frustrating that I’ve never made a living from my artistic endeavors, but I’ve learned that commercial success was never a good reason to put off or delay finishing an album or whatever else had been on my creative to-do list for years. I chose to postpone joy, fulfillment, flow, and being a creator. Nothing and no one forced me.

Life continues whether you plan it or not, whether you are aware and engaged or distracted, anxious, worried, and stressed. I’ve tried various methods for making plans, but they rarely work. My personality type appears to prefer being and doing things in a more carefree manner, with no imposed schedule or location constraints. The problem is that I never feel content. My mind is elsewhere, as is my presence. It’s an endless cycle of self-sabotage. What remains true, however, is that once I begin creating, it is easy to continue creating. The body remembers. The muscles remember. When the mind is no longer active, the heart and spirit take control. It’s amazing.

I’ve frequently made the mistake of assuming someone else’s problems and needs as my own, plunging headfirst into their reality bubble, stretching, bending, and contorting myself to fit in without adding to their stress or burden. This is a recipe for emotional turmoil, confusion, and a complete lack of self-worth. For starters, it was inauthentic because you can’t simply ignore your own needs and pretend to be happy while claiming to value something as much as someone you care about. It’s exhausting and dishonest, and while you may temporarily improve the situation you’ve created, a part of you knows that the truth, your truth, will not allow you to go on like this forever

Is it as simple as needing a way to channel all of the energy that has been diverted away from pursuing my own mission and work? Was I searching for something or someone to believe in (or love) because I didn’t believe in (or like) myself? Of course. We all need outlets for our limitless creative energy. However, therein lie potential emotional traps and the possibility for psychological abuse.

Nonetheless, I’ve always learned about myself and acquired skills that I wouldn’t have considered learning otherwise. It demonstrates that I have the capacity, capability, and energy to do the things that are meaningful and important to me. This implies that pursuing things that nourish my soul is linked to specific beliefs or emotions. Typically, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it is guilt and shame that result from childhood events, circumstances, traumas, and conditions. These issues may appear to be technically complex, but they are actually quite simple: we must learn to love and respect ourselves while also attending to our genuine needs and desires.

Our true voice will be heard. Always.

Solvitur ambulando