Space

Okay so I am writing this post in the capacity of a singer. But I think it applies to any one doing anything creative.

Honestly I couldn’t understand the importance of deep focus. I used to do all my vocal practices, scales, breathing exercises but with a lot of distractions. Would take breaks every five minutes to check my phone or watch some TV show. And I had convinced myself that as long as I am doing the required practices, it didn’t matter what I did in between to keep myself going.

But my attempt today to shut off all distractions and only focus on my vocal practices made me realise how important it is for the creative process. Not to mention, the time I save and the number of things I could do today despite the brief period of depression in which I kind of lost control and switched on my phone. I think being forced to confront your feelings of boredom or fear or past issues can have that effect. But it also made me come out of my default automated settings.

I started thinking about what I was singing and what practice I was doing. I thought about how I could do these things in a better way. I spent time listening to music and observing how each emotion is represented in the language of music by different artists. My mind had the space to think about all these things instead of being focused on mindless entertainment fed from TV shows or mobile applications.

And getting the space to ponder over things and being able to confront emotions and channel them into creation is so important for the creative process.

Look at my blog too. I wrote three posts in one day. Because I have been thinking about things, I have been struggling with emotions and I have been thinking of solutions at the back of my mind. And some of it found it’s way into my writing.

Basically deep focus gives space for us to be human. The difference between human beings and any other animal is the thought and effort human beings put into everything they do. That is what I was able to do with my music, thanks to the space I gave my brain for thinking without distractions.

I think I have made my point now. Hope it helps some people. Have a good day 🙂

Instant Gratification

The rush of dopamine is what many of us live for. I’ll admit, it happens to me, when I post something on social media. I wait to hear what people think of it. But if I am able to surpass the urge. Look beyond instant gratification and keep working. A bigger gratification would come. My way. I know that. That is why it is so important to overcome the temptation.

Saying NO

We have to say no. Have to say no several times. To parties, to people that only waste your time, to “opportunities” that’ll only keep you stuck doing things you don’t enjoy. And it seems as if you are missing out on something great because who would possibly say no right? But it’s almost as if the universe tempts you to fail. The moment you get resolved to do something it’ll present you with temptations. But if your resolve is strong you will say no. Otherwise you are fickle. And the fickle minded keep bouncing around reacting to people around them and blaming circumstances.

Walls

How long can one live in the fear of being hurt. How long can we guard ourselves and think before we take every step.

It’s true that it hurts like hell when we take off all our masks , break down our walls for someone only to be let down again. It takes away all our energy but isn’t it better that we see the truth sooner than later.

If we feel scared of being vulnerable we will be alone forever because there will be nobody, around whom we can be our true selves. If we are looking for that one person to spend our time or lifetime with shouldn’t that one person make us feel accepted for who we are and not some pretend version of us we bring on dates to impress.

We could play mind games or act like we don’t care so that we don’t come across as needy. We may win the battle of impressing someone for one date or few dates but whom are we really fooling here? That person or ourselves? We are trying to say that the real version of us that expresses how he / she feels and trusts and gives his / her all to one person is not good enough. But then how will anyone love us if we are so ashamed of ourselves. Better be alone than in a situation where we have to manage what we say, when we say and how we feel all the time. It is better that we spend some time alone till we find someone who won’t reject us for being emotional and vulnerable around them but will respond to this brave gesture with respect and sensitivity.

Random thoughts of a dreamer

Some random thoughts

Thought 1: I don’t know what life will be like when I grow old. May be I’ll be bed ridden, may be I won’t remember anything. May be I won’t grow old. May be I won’t live that long. But today I can say one thing confidently. I would’ve lived well. Every day since first stepped out of my home, has been a journey towards self discovery and every day since I quit my job has been a life of living my passion. May be I haven’t reached where I wish to be yet. But that doesn’t matter. The fact that I am on the journey now, that itself gives me peace. So even if I die today, I won’t have any regrets of not having done something. I am doing everything I can.

Thought 2: When someone tells you that they are taking the risk of pursuing their dreams, most people get judgemental. They tell them they are not ready yet, that they should take it slow. They need to learn this and improve that before they can even start.

That person has decided to take the risk, why make them look back? Help them make it work. Or don’t say anything. Why discourage?

Instead why not do this. Tell that person they are amazing for having taken this decision. If you can, guide them as to what can be done next. Applaud them every time they achieve a small success. This way you will give them the strength to continue. And persistence is all it really takes.

Thought 3: As a performer , when I put myself out there on the stage for the audience to judge, sometimes I lose sight of my goal. Pleasing the audience becomes my sole aim. Then in moments of peace, by meditating or clearing my head, I realise that my goal was to perfect my ability to sing and my understanding of music. My goal is to become a musician and a singer that I can listen to and feel proud of. And my goal is to spend my lifetime on this path. So may be the audience didn’t like me today, but it’s not supposed to happen in a day. May be pleasing the audience is the short term requirement that is important. But if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t mean there is no other way of achieving my main goal. The focus should be on working on my main goal every day and one of life’s miracles will unfold and I will find a way to make it happen. I know this sounds like a fantasy. But I have experienced this. Doors do open in ways we would never imagine. As long as we spend some time working on our dreams every day or every alternate day, we can be assured that doors will appear to new paths.

Thought 4: Plans can go haywire. What worked for the last 5 days may stop working now. You may lose things unexpectedly. You may have to start from scratch and it may all seem like a waste. But all of this will add up. So keep planning, keep trying new ways, keep restarting and keep retrying old ideas in new ways. You will be happy about it one day.

That’s it for today. I am not going to promise that I’ll write every day. Because I never keep that promise. But I am happy that whenever i write these days, it’s because I am very happy and I want to share my happiness unlike old days. I am glad that this blog is one place where part of my journey from difficult times to happy times is recorded for me as a reminder of how lucky I am to be where I am today! Thank you God, Thank you Universe, thank you bloggers, thank you Music, Thank you to myself for bringing me this far :). Good day and Merry Christmas!!!

Powering your way through life

Got up late today. Thought it was going to be one of those lazy, unproductive depressing days. But guess what, I decided to just push myself to go for a jog. And though I couldn’t cover my usual distance I still had a good workout. Got back home, had a nice shower and awesome breakfast and got two calls for doing gigs. For those of you who don’t know me I am a singer who quit her job recently to get into music full time. I’m hunting for a job again now but pursuing music remains my number one priority and today just turned out to be a lucky day.

I believe in this sort of thing. Good things and bad things happen in a flow depending on our state of mind. If our state of mind is of positivity, happiness and gratefulness, good things just start happening and we start feeling lucky. And when we feel lucky we get lucky. And the vice versa is true too, which is why some days we go from feeling hopeless to finding and getting new reasons to feel hopeless. But I don’t want to focus on that today.

I want to focus on the fact that I have two gigs now. Definitely getting more and more opportunities for getting into music professionally.

So much for starting the day positively. I think working out every day is probably the best thing I have done for myself recently. It is difficult sometimes. To wake up in the morning and find the energy to leave the comfort of your house. But when you do it you find so much more energy. And that one act if pushing ourselves first thing in the morning, kind of sets the mood for the day. You feel more organised and disciplined, not to mention energetic. And obstacles don’t bother you as much because you are able to power your way through.

So moral of the story for today, work out work out work out, preferably outside the comfort of your home.

Morning madness

I have a problem with starting the day right. I spend most of the first half sunk in my bed with empty cups of tea and breakfast lying around. Even if I do get up for an errand I sink back right in. I’ve tried a hundred different things – morning exercise, early morning music practice routine, stretches, doing my bed, talking on phone with good friends, yoga, meditation and what not. But nothing seems to be a permanent solution that sustains for more than a few days. And before I know, I get into the other feeling of uselessness and depression for not having accomplished my music, job search and weight loss plans.

Up until yesterday, when I decided to restart all my blogs. I am thinking I may have come up with a solution. Reading and writing seem to be activities that I can accomplish even while I am lying around in my bed. So my physical passivity won’t come in the way. And it will definitely take the edge off the feeling of uselessness that I end up with.

I can end the first half with some exercise and start music practice in the afternoon after I am out of my morning lethargy problem.

May be this will work. May be this won’t. The answer to this question can only come in the next few days when I do or don’t post new stuff here. And if there is no more new stuff, then it means it’s not working and you can refer to my previous blog “The never ending loop” 😛

P.S. I have also started working on a music blog to share whatever I learn through my experiments in music. All you music lovers and well wishers, please follow if you like it:
https://thepathofmusicblog.wordpress.com

Getting out of the rut

I think I am doing these days all the things that I should have done as a child but couldn’t do because of restrictions. And my greatest fear always is whether I can afford them right now as an adult.

It helps to talk to myself as a more mature version of myself. I imagine that Asmira from five years later is standing right there, watching me and telling me that it’s ok, there is a much better life on the other side and I am going to be much more peaceful and full of wisdom. I just have to hang in there and keep giving it my best shot.

And sometimes when I am stuck in a rut I imagine that I am watching myself and giving advice as I would give to my best friend if she was in my situation. One always thinks with a clearer mind while giving advice to others and this helps me to do exactly that. And then I force myself to follow my own advice as I would’ve forced my friend. Like I tell myself, “Girl, you need to first get up and take a walk” or “Girl, you need to first make that phone call before you worry about anything else!”.

Sitting at home and not having to go every day to work feels very unnerving because there is nothing to discipline you. You could just sit there, doing nothing and watching movies without paying heed to that nagging sensation that precious time is getting wasted. And the possibility of falling into that chasm and never recovering is very scary. Also the fear that all your efforts are ill-advised and you are wasting time without realising it. There is no sense of security. I don’t have any idea how things are going to work out. No concrete plan. Some vague plan is there about learning digital marketing or data analytics while continuing to work on music. But no concrete schedule or result that would give assurance that things will work out.

I have taken a leap. A premature leap perhaps. But it’s already done. As they say, there is no right or wrong decision. You take a decision and you make it work. Instead of wondering whether I made a mistake or whether things will work out. I have to decide to make it work somehow by doing whatever it takes. And most importantly never stop however hopeless it may seem to be.

The never ending loop

Feeling good for nothing.
Depression.
Mood swings.
Making each day work.
Sticking to the plan.
Not sticking to the plan.
Feeling everything tumbling down.
Getting a grip and making a new plan.
Sticking to new plan.
False hopes.
Stumbling over an unseen problem.
Falling sick.
Stop Following plan.
Lose your grip.
Realise how much time you have spent and how much you have really achieved.
Getting up and trying again any way because you have no choice.
Calling it brave.
Telling yourself that you finally have it figured out.
Depression strikes yet again.
Chuck everything try to reset things.
Realise that it’s too late.
Go back to square one.
Make a plan.
And the cycle continues.

I am really stuck in this loop. But if there is anything that MBA has taught me, it is that at first nailing the project seemed like an impossible task to everyone. But those who stuck on and kept working on it without giving up somehow did nail it. And I was always one of those who got intimidated, who felt this was impossible to do. The solution always seems simple when someone gives it to you.

But what I learnt was that not giving up and consistently trying something was the way to go. A solution has to come out.

And so I shall go back to my never ending loop with this one ray of hope that may be not giving up will somehow magically give a solution. May be.