Ah, the fragmented mad mind of a musician. Today, I'm looking out on the ocean and boating my way down memory lane...or...canal or river or something. I have quite the life. I've had quite the life too. One of my friends has been listening to the audio book of The Secret, as she lives her days in LA. Zennin' out in traffic, mind-over-mattering extreme heat radiating off the polluted potholed blacktop freeway. There's just no one like her in the world. I say that in complete honesty, as she is a wonderful woman but also...a contortionist. She bends her body into an origami knot and then walks around on one toe. She falls from the sky, unharnessed and iron-gripping silk fabric and bungees. She has two baby girls that she has passed that on to. She has this ability because her mother gave her daily stretches when she was a baby. Her oldest sits in a shopping cart at Costco with her legs in a full "T"to the right and left as mama cruises the produce aisles.
Anyway, I was pretty sure that listening to The Secret audio book in my car wasn't going to enable me to join Cirque Du Soleil, but I just wanted some of that positive thriving energy I saw in her. I can't say I really agree with every word of it but I really did feel inspired by "changing your thoughts". For example, "I slipped on a banana peel this morning on my way to get my coffee, that was all gone, which made me late for work, which continued to ruin my day". As opposed to, "This day is good. I'm alive. I'm breathing. And I am going to name the things that I want to happen today, and they will happen".
I surfed in the beautiful ocean in San Diego today. I played music. I practiced for some upcoming travels (more on that later). I kissed my husband and we cooked together. The sun was shining. We were all stocked up on the expensive coffee for my espresso maker, and not the "We're on a budget-Trader Joe's" stuff. No offense, guys. We love ya. Everything was beautiful today. But I "felt" so down. Like I was "swimming through jello", a friend of mine said. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way. Feel feel, feel! "What you are feeling is not what's going on right now", my mom recently told me. Even now, the sun is about to set over the Pacific (which I can see from my own freakin' bedroom window, by the way) and as the dark rolls in, my "feelings" sink lower and lower. Bipolar disorder is a real thing. Sometimes, I'll be laughing at a wonderful dinner table with dear friends, and something will just drop from my heart to my stomach. All of a sudden, I see no purpose for remaining on this earth. I keep my smile on, I breathe, and usually very quickly, the chemicals in my body change back, and I'm back to my authentic laugh. The real one. I'm "happy" again. Life is the most beautiful thing ever.
I had to learn to be an observer of my day to day feelings instead of being ruled by them. I step through the TV screen and just watch for a little while, if that makes sense. Then, I step back into the show and embrace feeling good again. I've been ruled by sadness, anger, insecurity more often than I would like to say. And somehow about an hour later, those feelings have melted away and I've forgotten they've even happened. "That? Oh, that was SO 5 minutes ago".
Since what I am feeling is sometimes, not what's going on, I've utilized that "disorder" to my advantage. "Today sucks. I got nothing done and everything went wrong". I've changed that to, "Today is amazing. I accomplished so much, and everything went so well". I laugh to myself right now, feeling a bite of sarcasm. But really, it is starting to work for me. I trick myself. The sarcasm is slowly cracking and falling off the exterior to reveal my true belief in it. My life is changing. In amazing ways. The Secret tells me that I control everything by telling the universe whatever I want. I make my own destiny. I control everything that happens to me. I laugh to myself a little about that one though. The intentions are very good. Made to inspire and encourage. But I believe there is a Great Creator who watches us with ultimate love, as we tell ourselves we can run the universe. We create it all. Cute.
But I seek balance. I tell myself a rather customized version of that mantra. I am learning to create my own reality. And kind of just...keep lying until I believe it. The other day, I was inches from screaming at throwing my phone across the room after quite a rough patch. I closed my eyes and said, "this is the best day. So much good is happening and is going to happen". I just laughed at how completely ridiculous it sounded to me, in the midst of those raging feelings. It was ridiculous enough for me to start laughing. I laughed my way right out of that rage. I hurt the ones I love the most. I lose my temper. And lately, that has been happening less and less.
My parents have been married for 45+ years. They still laugh together. They even laugh at things that are actually supposed to be pretty bad. Sad. Angry. Just plain not funny. But humor triumphs over suck. It just does.
Russell Brand was once in an interview a few years ago and was asked what his reaction was to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He said, "well....I was really sad.....and then I was REALLY HAPPY!!...and then I was really sad....then I was really happy....then .....