For the love of Jimi Hendrix

He practically changed everything in a time that needed him the most.

There is something so timeless about Hendrix’s playing. I remember how immensely happy I was when I first bought Are You Experienced and Electric Ladyland at the record store. It was a warm and breezy summer day in July with blue skies and good vibes.

Such beautiful albums with an electic landscape of sonic textures.

Electric Ladyland really, really does take you to another dimension. From start to finish, it’s a luscious masterpiece. It’s even more amazing how Hendrix produced the entire album himself. It is so rich and layered. It feels like you’re actually there, in 1968, with Jimi standing right in front of you with pure energy flowing right out of his flipped-upside-down Fender Stratocaster and through the speakers of a massive Marshall stack. And of course, Mitch Mitchell had incredible finesse on the drums. He was truly a talented percussionist.

I can’t help but feel the album is even more relevant nowadays, where music is becoming more of a computerized commodity than something that touches and really affects the listener for the better. Hendrix makes listeners feel something real. It’s so apparent that the guitar was an extension of himself, and that really shows in his music. He was able to connect & unify everyone in a time of dissaray and rebellion. And he still does just as much to this very day.

That is art.

Internal Conflicts & the Importance of Being Aware of Everything

Sometimes I don’t “feel” social situations at all and would rather avoid them altogether. Whether you just don’t like the vibe of wherever you are, or you’ve totally burned the bridge with someone, there are plenty of valid reasons to mind your own business and ride solo.

I always favored the notion that people should challenge their comfort zones. You will never know what you are capable of until you try it. And often, we regret things we didn’t try; events we brushed off. And when we see how much fun it was to other people and feel shitty….THAT is the feeling of regret.But those events we made a big fuss about often turn out to be fantastic. And even if they aren’t, we can derive valuable lessons from the experience. We like learning, and the more information you gain from experience, the more you learn about yourself. And that becomes incredibly important for becoming a better & wiser person.

If you genuinely aren’t interested in doing something, you’re better off not doing it. But if you are interested in it, but feel held back by some personal factor – I’ve found it’s massively important to reflect on why exactly you are feeling that way and really asses the root cause. It could be, you have confidence issues & feel judged, perhaps a traumatic or disappointing series of related events rubbed you the wrong way, or something in the environment reminds you of the past. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to be mindful and notice your own thoughts & emotions and “catch” yourself in that state. I highly recommend getting into Mindfulness meditation – it can really help you be at ease with yourself and the environment.

Many psychologists in cognitive & behavioral therapies recommend exposing patients to their greatest fears — in attempt to help them “get over” them entirely and be more emotionally stable. Mindfulness is very much a form of exposure to your internal fears — because it involves looking at your feelings from a 3rd person sort of view (and not engaging in them, simply being aware that they exist in that moment and being okay with that). Once again, highly recommend. You can practice being mindful anywhere. When I’m outside, I often allow myself a moment to take everything in — observe the trees, the sky, myself, people around me.

As humans, we often are so automated that we forget we are in a particular state and are feeling a certain way. When you are aware of how you are feeling, you have more control of yourself, you are significantly more at ease with everything going on. One is more buoyant to the current of life.  The less need we can attach to external circumstances & outcomes — the more independent & grounded we can become.

Stay frosty.

 

The Motivation Paradox: “I want to do something I don’t want to do!”

Exposing the unnecessary insanity we put ourselves through.

We grow up where all of our belief patterns are shaped by our superiors. Our thoughts on right and wrong, discipline, etc, are GIVEN to us. They are not our own. Especially in western cultures, we constantly feel we are inherently more special from the moment we are born. Which can be a very frightening realization, because now you feel you need to do something magnificent before someone else does. And that goes on and on until you die.

What I see as a major problem to many people nowadays is that constant feeling of “not being enough” and hence, having a need to jump through so many loopholes just to feel adequate. People take themselves mega seriously, and spend years pretending to be someone they’re not. They play the game of life in such a tryhard fashion thinking their egos are the meaning of life. If you’re lucky, you’ll realize you’ve been fooling yourself and give up on that nonsense. But for some,  they are totally convinced they need to keep trying to act a certain way & think a certain way to get what they want.

This kind of mentality isn’t realistic. In fact, it’s delusional thinking. It stems from a sense of inadequacy & inferiority with the present moment. It’s not accepting yourself for who you are. It’s not loving yourself and the environment.

If you really, TRULY wanted to do something, wouldn’t you just do it? Wouldn’t you not need “motivation” to boost you?

You see, this is exactly the problem; it’s not intrinsic. It’s placing a need for happiness on external circumstances. And this kind of thinking can plague people for years. People can become neurotic and develop very unhealthy mentalities because they feel pressured to accomplish greater than what they already are.

The only person who will ultimately make that decision is you. Needing external motivation isn’t going to make you do anything. It’s “feel good” propaganda that gives us a reason to rationalize “we could do it–IF we wanted to”. All of these modern motivational tips and tactics are another way to hide. A better question to ask yourself is, “What is it for?”.

Change is important, however. Experiencing life in as many ways as possible is a necessary tool for growth. Sometimes we genuinely don’t know what we want until we have experienced something firsthand. And there is a lot of power in knowing what we don’t want.

As Alan Watts famously said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

So with that being said, do things you are genuinely passionate about and love. There will always be obstacles that we will run into. Skills make us happy, and we need to have discipline to develop skills, as Alan Watts discusses. But be real with yourself, because it’s very possible the majority of things you feel obliged to do are things you’d be much happier not doing!