I tried a brand new hike last week, and it reminded me of my path of trying new modes of expression lately. I continue to observe that whenever we test the boundaries in our minds, and take actions that are outside our current comfort zones, there is the excitement of discovery and the strength of learning that come along with it. In this case, I first had to take the new path, not knowing what was in store for me. Would it be sunny or shady? Hilly or flat? How long would I be walking? Whom would I meet along the way? What I discovered later on in the hike was such a gift of rejuvenation and restoration that I felt a much deeper sense of gratitude for having taken the path of Not Knowing. Turns out, what I didn't know was much better than anything I could have planned out myself! Enjoy these two video clips from my hike, and see what I discovered along the way...
I thought it fitting to comment on the movie "Inception" given that it's all about the mind, and the landscape of our consciousness. Hope you enjoy! Check out this "serious" video made while waiting in line for the movie!
OK I just loved this performance by my band, Chinese Melodrama, last night. If you grew up listening to Metallica (which I didn't), you might recognize this tune. For me, it's like a thrilling roller coaster ride each time I play it, since I get to make up the ending every time! That's right, totally improvised every time. It reminds me that every single moment is fresh, whether or not it feels familiar in some way. Great way to live life! If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can see us play this Sunday, 8/8, at 8pm, at the OCTOPUS Lounge in Pacifica. And "8" is an auspicious number in Chinese!
In this video blog, I share some observations of first being with and then transforming my own self-criticism. I'm learning to accept myself in all situations, tuning into not only how I react when I'm accomplishing things, but also how I react when I experience an energy low or less productive moment.
Are you accustomed to, or even attached to, knowing HOW things happen? This scientific mindset is useful in some situations, but I've found that when it comes to imagining a different life, creating a different vision, and acting in ways that are new and perhaps uncomfortable at first, holding on to the need to know "how" actually holds us back. I've been practicing holding a clear intention, keeping my energy open and flowing (by lots and lots of letting go of objects, obligations, guilt, and responsibility for other people's reactions), AND consciously releasing my need to know how things would unfold. The results? More amazing than I could have ever planned myself. I dare you to see what happens when you play with this concept in your own life...
A refined definition of being "open" occurred to me while in yoga class today, lying in Supta Baddha Konasana, reclined cobbler's (or bound angle) pose. Being open does not necessarily mean being open to absolutely everything. It may mean being open to the realization that you prefer NOT to do certain things. It's part of the willingness to allow this realization to flow in and to learn to trust the truth of your own experience.
This weekend I decided to use some "free time" to shoot a video tour of my studio space in Mountain View, CA, The Cradle of Manifestation. It turned into a self-coaching moment for me when I realized that I was holding onto some things from the past. (At the end of the second video you'll see me get pleasantly surprised by the unexpected arrival of a friend...hence the abrupt ending. I finished shooting it this afternoon with the last two videos.) Hope you enjoy! ...And stay tuned to see how my vision for this space evolves, now that I have created some emptiness in which new growth can occur.
What a difference a few weeks makes! It seems like my musical world is expanding at breakneck speed, and relationships and opportunities are arriving effortlessly. All the while, I'm having so much fun, it almost seems criminal. Really! I have such a strongly ingrained belief that "work" is "hard" and "having a life" means "struggling" that doing what I'm doing right now has triggered a part of my brain that wants to cry out, "Danger!! This does not compute!!". Luckily, I now notice that this is an ancient part of my brain reserved for true fight-or-flight situations that I rarely encounter in this corner of the world I call home. Right now, in this moment, I'm sitting in a chair in front of a computer. I'm breathing. I'm surrounded by beauty. The sky is clear blue, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the trees are silently growing outside my window. There's nothing dangerous about being at peace. Sorry, brain! Here are some of my latest improvisation videos from this week's open mic nights. In each case, I had never heard the song before and just started from a place of listening.