“Don’t give in”
“Don’t stop playing this music and don’t let anyone stop you from doing this”
“Keep on, keep on, keep on”
– countless strangers on the streets whilst I’m out busking.
These little snipers of advice always seem to occur in those moments where my mind wonders to a ridiculous state filled with doubt and panic. Someone walks past and throws a small sentence at me, like they can see my canvas fading, then they’ll throw a little ball of colour at it (splat, feel good gosh dammit!!! We like your music!). It’s hards at times not to fall into these states, but it does happen, gratefully not so much now. The more I busk and create music, the more colour I can see, the easier it is to lighten my mood and find peace in the mind. Its a skill – self-love – forever growing, patience and practice is absolute key.
Self-love? Well it’s exactly that, love for yourself. Not in a egotistical or arrogant way. In a sense that you hold love for yourself, in all that you are, that you can look in the mirror and smile at your strange and wonderful face “I love you, I want you to be happy, I want you to feel good and I want you to live the best life!”. (If you’ve not yet done that today, or never have…. Do it, now? Today! Just smile at yourself and tell yourself all the wonderful things that you are. Just like you would to someone you love, a sibling, child or partner).
I’ve built a space in my mind through meditation, visualation and states of flow when I’m creating music. A space that I call the ‘mind island’, when I close my eyes, I can see it so vividly in all its beauty, I’ve built a library a garden, a cave that leads to a studio in the clouds and a whole range of wonders. When I’m there, I only allow good thoughts and emotions to settle in it, pushing anything negative away, like there’s no space for it, because there isn’t. It’s taken years to form what it is, starting with a commitment to 5 minutes a day, closing my eyes and creating good thoughts, letting them float around and floating with them. Now when I visit, I feel an instant sense of relief, like all the weight is lifted off my shoulders….opening my eyes to the feeling of – everything is fine, we’re alive right? And look there’s a tree over there swaying in the wind, it looks beautiful. I realised that there’s so much beauty in the small details to life, that stressing over unnecessary imaginary things, really isn’t helping me feel good or spread good.
Stressed, spelt backwards, Desserts (just think of your favourites when you start worrying about worrying).
I strongly recommend, committing to these two things each day, no matter what. As much time as you can, whenever you can;
1) Self-love. Look at yourself in a mirror, smile and compliment yourself, your personality, your accomplishments, your body, your skills etc. Whilst you’re driving, “You are awesome, and today your smile will change anothers day”. Affirmations whilst you’re walking or commuting, ‘I am happiness, I am happy, I am loved, I am alive and well’.
2) Building a ‘Mind-..something’. Close your eyes, visualise a place of wonder, your own creation and craft only good thoughts within it, things that make you happy, things that warm your heart. 5-10 minutes in the first hour of your day, is massively recommended, setting good thoughts from the start of the day.
I cannot explain with words how much these simple habits have changed my view on life, my belief in myself and just everything in life. It feels like a super power at times, and it’s so easy to do. Patience and practice is absolute key!