I spent a lot of last year eating my feelings, introspecting, avoiding, drinking my feelings, journaling, hemming and hawing, hashing out hypotheticals over and over and finally deciding to approach The Artist’s Way again. I’ve done a lot of healing. I can intuitively listen to my body in regards to diet and lifestyle (i.e. what does my body want right now, what is most healthful, do i need sleep or water or rest/downtime or art.) I can also “get away with” indulging at times. What I mean by that is, because I’m not here to engage with diet culture in labeling food as “good” or “bad”, is that I can indulge in foods i know are not healthful for me and tolerate the consequences, or have minimal backlash from my body and mind. I worked with the Human Garage extensively after working for years on healing protocols like AIP, Low FODMAP, GAPS, SCD and got to this place by my own advocacy and diligence.
Now is the hard part. The energy work.
So, a little backstory: Brahm and I see this chiropractor in LA, he’s a-maz-ing. Not only did he fix Brahm’s physical back issues, he also practices Gonstead Chiropractic which is a whole body, “everything is connected” method. He has done acupuncture and just read our fucking souls to us and been like “cut the shit, and get down to work on yourselves”. (I’m paraphrasing). Way back in like 2013, I would see Rahim to correct when i had first seen a chiropractor who fucked up my neck, (I went in for knee/running issues and left with neck pain). Dr. Rahim got me all straightened out and then we talked a little bit about my food/health connection. He is the one who really got me down the path of diet and lifestyle affecting your whole life, then i delved into the other practitioners who helped seal the deal. After the major amount of my healing of the past 6 years, I had gone into see him for a little maintenance and when he did his check up he could tell that i was physically doing awesome. He was like I can tell all the work you’ve put in, now you have to get you energy right. True to form, everything Dr. Rahim says, hits me 5 years later with an a-ha moment. Same for Brahm, he’ll say something in passing about an observation of how we operate in the world and then 5 years later, give or take, on our own time, we go “oooooohhhhhhhhh THIS is what the fuck Rahim was talking about!” (and then we get irritated that we can’t speed up our own comprehension process.
So last year, I had my a-ha moment about “energy”. And my epiphany was this, (shocker, it may not be news to you, but i’m the last to know about everything concerning who I am as a person) you can’t diet and lifestyle your way out of how you function in the world. It takes another approach, and a LOT of letting go.
Back to where we started: I spent a lot of last year being stressed, unhappy, exhausted from touring, questioning my life choices, feeling undervalued, feeling angry and not knowing how to express it, then hate drinking and eating my way through tours and time off and gaining 30 lbs. (Again, observation not judgement, weight is a tool for me to gauge what my body is doing. I have no “right weight”). I figured out i had to be all in (on me) to let go (of everything). It’s a little bit like “you’ve gotta get up to get down” i guess.
Right now, I lay off the booze for the most part. i try to make loving decisions for my body but i don’t judge the choices i’m making no matter what they do to my body (bloating or gaining or loss). i had to get back to not controlling everything (an illusion anyway) if I was going to address what was fueling everything. MY INSIDES. my emotions, my energy, my attitude, my approach, all of it.
I knew so deeply that step one was journaling. I fucking hated it and every time i got quiet with myself and was like “what do you need?” my inner voice would practically yell “JOURNAL, YOU BITCH!” (so aggressive and bossy…) I would ignore it over and over (and eat and drink) until i finally was like “OK i’ll just bring a journal on tour and fucking WRITE IN IT” (hate-journaling i guess, so angry!) Once I was doing that, it did help me curb some of the mindless or feelings-full consuming i was doing. It did help me figure out some outlets and some needs I had that I wasn’t acknowledging. I began to invest in myself. I pushed forward a lullaby album as an exercise to prove that I didn’t need 7 dudes backing me up just to create. (A story i had told myself because i didn’t go to school for music, and somehow deserved to be here less than they did.) Originally, I thought that starting a side project with Zach would be what I wanted: a creative space with less voices to share my ideas. We planned on using it as a platform for some of the quirkier songs of his that didn’t fit the band, but we could sing together for fun or for feels. What this did for me, was ignite a fire of my own creativity. I already have a band with other voices. I realized i wanted a space for my voice.
With that under my belt, I allowed myself to start writing my own original music, one song at a time. I started collaborating with close friends, also passionate creators, filmmakers who needed something to shoot. I had something for us to shoot, a music video! You take my song, create your vision (practically carte blanche) and let’s just make stuff together. Meanwhile, journaling, walking, talking it out, I decided to start the Artist’s Way again. The last time I did it, i was in a place of “OK I don’t know what I want, but I don’t want what I have right now.” Why not try again? In September of 2018, I decided to (try and) only mindfully eat and drink (less restrictive health wise, but more free and open to what i could learn from my body) while I started the Artist’s Way. I would check in with friends every week, especially my friend Barbara who does an incredible Artist’s Way group. She’s an amazing, insightful listener and gets so excited for the success of others, I can’t recommend her enough.
We moved back to NH in December to start Brahm on his own process of autonomy with our food truck TACOCAT and I wrapped up the Artist’s Way in December. In January of this year, I had a plan for what i actually wanted, a schedule of when I’d be where, and an idea of when to get shit done. (Overview is: DBR album this fall, solo album before the end of 2019 and another lullaby album wherever I can fit it in, all while touring and starting a business.) I went back to LA in January for writing sessions with the band and attended a meditation class of my friend Christina Huntington, she’s a bananas-transformational meditation coach. My words for the year, what came up in the meditation from my subconscious (sort of a mantra or indication of what your goals are) were “go, go,go”, “worth” and “you know”. (i.e. go go go make shit happen, worth as in your voice is WORTH being heard, and you are WORTH the effort of self care, and “you know” what you need, trust yourself, your intuition is correct.) 2018 was the year of introspection, diving deep to get to the root of my behaviors, 2019 is the year of DOING SHIT. And I hope 2020 is the year of rest bc i’m fucking tired.
All of this is to say. I still have nothing figured out.
I know how to make loving choices for myself, I have started exercising again, but only when I want to so it’s not to make my body look a certain way for someone else. I am working on music when i have the energy, which is not a lot of the time but is worthwhile and fulfilling when i do have it. (I can tell because i’m energized not exhausted by it at the right times.) I am playing solo shows, but I don’t want to tour all the time (DBR and then SOLO touring is too much touring) so i’m taking each step with a large dose of, “is this what you want”? I will talk and talk about my process with just about anyone who will listen, and for me, that helps work shit out. I get new ideas from others’ perspectives and from the quiet I can give to myself.
So there it is, where I’m at right now. Always growing always learning, it never ends (which i’m both excited and mad about, when is the finish line so I can take a nap!?)
Here are some books that I read recently and loved. Maybe they’ll be inspiring for you as well:
Love Warrior and Carry On Warrior both by Glennon Doyle
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes (btw I was already doing this Shonda! but i like your book)
Becoming by Michelle Obama