August 4, 2013

Keep the Channel Open

I'm going to be honest with you guys--I've had an "off" day. Well, a lot of off days lately. Like nothing I do is good enough, and the harder I strive for perfection, the farther I am from it. There has been no satisfaction with anything I've done lately. I can't find words to express myself, I can't turn my mind off, and I just don't feel very good about myself. Do you know what I mean? The face in the mirror hasn't changed, but it doesn't look so good all of the sudden. I do the same things the same way, but they just don't feel right. I feel aggravated, unhappy, and discontent, uncomfortable in my own skin, and then guilty for feeling all these things when I have no reason in the world to be anything but immensely, eternally joyful. It's not a good feeling.

Having finally gotten myself out of this funk, I wanted to share some things with you guys. Whether you're just having a bad day or a string of bad days or a whole bucket of bad days, sometimes all you need is to feel like you're not alone, that you're not the only one to feel bad about yourself and your life. On one of my worst days, I found a quote by Martha Graham in the back of a vocal instruction book, and felt that it applied to much more than singing:

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

In living an extraordinary life, there are breathtaking highs and soul-crushing lows. There are rarely any times of moderation, peace, or contentment. There is an inexplicable desire to keep moving forward, to dig out of the wreckage of whatever mistake you've just made and keep pushing on, over the mountain and onto the next one. When you keep that creative channel open, not only do you open yourself up to feeling greater ecstasy than imaginable, you also subject yourself to the darkest, most secret places of the human mind, the dusty corners that so many ignore. That feeling of flying high usually ends in a crash landing, but it is in these crash landings that it is most important to find a way to express yourself. Like the saying goes, when you're happy, you enjoy the music, but when you're sad, you understand the lyrics.

That being said, I've found a playlist on some website that I've since forgotten, titled simply "Confidence." I would like to share this as well:

1. How to be a Heartbreaker - Marina and the Diamonds
2. Tip Toes - Jaymee Dee (LOVE this one!)
3. Carried Away - Passion Pit
4. When I Grow Up - The Pussycat Dolls
5. High Hopes in Velvet Ropes - The Cab
6. Body of Work - The Mynabirds
7. Come and Get It - Selena Gomez
8. Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club
9. Three - Cameron Ernst
10. C'mon, C'mon - One Direction (babes!)
11. You've Got a Place Called Home - Hannah Georgas
12. You Need Me, I Don't Need You - Ed Sheeran (all time favorite; this man is my hero.)
13. Primadonna - Marina and the Diamonds
14. We Are Who We Are - Little Mix (my addition; such an upbeat song!)
15. Chloe (You're the One I Want)- Emblem3

Lucky for me, I've got some wonderful friends and family around me who are willing to listen to me obsess over the same things over and over and over and over again and never get tired of it...or at least don't show it! I've got to run off to church now, but I wanted to take a minute and get this down. Have a blessed day!

Xx, L

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