First, the soundtrack to this blog:
As an engineer, I know that to push, I must have friction to push against. I can not push something that does not resist. I guess then I would just be carrying. I’m not going to carry, I’m going to push.
Pushing is necessary. Pushing causes us to reflect upon what we’re doing, it forces us to plot our plan, fight adversity, and envision the end. Pushing is the soil that gets us up in the morning, pours our fruits into the blender, and gives it a real good stir. Pushing brings me to my knees, praying to my giver to show me the way, tears in my eyes.
Like all pushing, my personal growth pushing must be controlled and calculated. When I approach a brick wall and push, I get nowhere. But, if I push upon a single brick, or maybe 10 at a time, I see progress.
To steal an old saying: “Rome was not built in a day.”
A caveat of pushing is that we can sometimes get anxious that we’re not at the end. Anxiety builds, confusion ensues, frustration cripples, and tears exasperate.
This is the death of us, and our plans we’re pushing for. This tries to cripples me, does it cripple you?
In these moments, I arrive at moments of clarity. I like to think of it as the moments that create the diamonds. Diamonds are made when massive pressure comes upon coal, over thousands of years.
I think this means that we can not seek to push away what causes these forces. For, if we push away the forces, that which we are trying to push will just be something we are carrying. Do we want to carry? Perhaps this makes it easier for our brick laying. Will this lead to superficiality? Perhaps it will also lead to boredom.
I’ll stop talking metaphorically.
I’ve been talking with my dear friend Mannequin Lisa, aka I AM LIZ, about this subject, and she has helped me come to these conclusions I’m discussing here, or at least allowed me to verbalize and talk about them. She stressed how all the conclusions I’m reaching are all perfectly valid, and the solutions and subsequent clarity are what the obstacles have been placed in my path for. After all, I must make my diamonds.
She also stressed that we must have a purpose. Do you understand what this means? It took me by surprise. Even though I have been trying to define my purpose, it still took me by surprise in my moment of.. diamonds. Perhaps it’s a thought to meditate on for a while.
As an aspiring artist, as an artist, I find that I’m faced with two axioms.
The first is to find peace, and let that guide me into naturally finding the art that I’m passionate about. Art is a natural expression of the inner soul. This is what Impressionist artists first stressed, and has been the quest of artists since. Some artists that is, not all artists.
The second is what is commonly being referred to as the hustle, the quest for money. We all need to eat and a place to sleep.
The trickiest part of this journey for me is to mate the two of these axioms together. I am still figuring this out, but I do have a few tricks that help me calm the anxious beast inside of me, and allow the truth to flow freely.
I like to meditate. This is in the form of sitting on the floor cross-legged, breathing, and letting thoughts come to my mind and be solved freely. This is also in the form of yoga, or breathing exercises.
I like to have tea. Something about a warm cup of tea wrapped in my hands is soothing.
I selectively choose my music. I find a band or album that will put me into the place that I want to be. I usually pick some JayZ for motivation, Ben Harper for soul soothing, Xavier Rudd for grounding and rejuvenating, etc etc. I’m sure you all have your favorites, but it is important to know what you’re choosing. Transformational music is essential to my life.
I exercise. This can be in the form of yoga, but I find that sometimes that takes too much time to reach what can be reached in a few minutes of working with barbels, or a bench, or situps, or pushups… This release lets me push against something that in turn, releases my stress and anxiety and forces me to breath heavily and re-ground. Plus, I’m doing something positive for my body.
I like to talk. I always like to talk, but I greatly appreciate talking with somebody in my life who is a source of inspiration, help, support, who has also gone through some of the same struggles that I’m going through myself. Nobody has an easy road, people just hit the rocks at different points on their roads.
A sub-category of talking is blogging or writing an article. It allows me to answer my own questions, and explore my own train of thoughts on paper.
How do you heal yourself?
Lisa gave me her best advice: “You gotta learn to relax. [It] comes naturally then. Art comes from living and experiencing. That takes time.”
I leave you with this song of healing.