Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Value of Art

Why are the arts of value to society?

Everything is a mirror.

Your parents, homeless people, the person you love and the person you despise.

Looking in a mirror can be painful. You see new wrinkles, old disproportions, blemishes.

As are all things, art is a mirror.

Art is a wonderful mirror, because it's a mirror that is beautiful. Looking into that mirror might be painful, but the beauty that's there will help get you to the other side. To truth. To acceptance.

Art is not an end, but a beginning.

The great truth is that everything is beautiful. That truth is beautiful.

Art is simply an opportunity.

A safe place to practice looking into the mirror, to be present with truth, and to learn. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The sweetest (if not maybe the most powerful) way in which we can support each other is by helping to preserve in one an other that child-like sense of wonder.

Life lived from that space of wonder is miraculous and beautiful. It inspires us to learn to think differently and to seek out new possibilities.

Life lived without that sense of wonder and amazement becomes predictable, painful, and essentially uninspiring.

Action without inspiration is empty.

So, help the dreamer to dream. Those dreams are the seeds of inspiration. 

Those dreams are the seeds of their joy. =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Learning is Great

I love learning, because it is something you never finish doing.

You learn what you learn, whether through sadness or fun or hardships or love, and then after you're done doing that, you just start learning whatever there is to learn next.

I always feel like the thing to do is to hurry up and learn your lessons. (To really learn them, of course, but not waste time not learning them). Not so much because those lessons will be learned, but because then you get to see what the next lesson will be.

I love learning. I'm hooked on seeing the next problem.

For me, learning is like climbing mountains. The best part of climbing a mountain is not just arriving at the top, it's what you get to see when you get there. And if you love climbing mountains, then there's nothing better to find when you reach the top of one mountain than another mountain you haven't climbed yet.

I think that - like climbing mountains - the more the you learn, the better you get at learning.

If you climb enough mountains, you get good at climbing mountains. How different can mountains be, really? At some level, every mountain is probably just another mountain. Sure, they're all unique and challenging in unique ways, but they are only ever challenging in the ways that mountains can be challenging.

I think learning is the probably the same. That learning is challenging. Of course each lesson is unique and challenging in unique ways, but only in the ways that learning can be challenging.

I love learning, but sometimes, I think it makes me a glutton for punishment.

I stay with learning even when it gets hard. Especially when it gets hard.

I can't get myself to tap out. I take whatever beating I have to take in round 4 so I can come back with the knockout on round 9 and learn the damn lesson.

I'm hoping that one day I'll get better at finding the knockout in round 2 or 3. That I'll learn to see situations more clearly and understand the lessons I'm learning more quickly.

I love the idea of the one punch knockout. That - if only once - I might see my life with clarity enough that I get to learn a lesson without having to take the beating. In and out in round 1. The crowd goes wild.

I love learning because it's something you never finish doing.

I figure, we all have to do something while we're here. If that's the case, it seems nicest to pick something you won't have to stop doing when you get old or busy or tired or any of those things that people "get."

So, I'm all the things I am. A musician, a teacher, a friend, a son, and a bunch of things more.

I feel lucky that I'm a lot of things.

I have a lot of opportunities to learn and I love learning.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Equality in Relationships

Equality is integrity in relationships.

I had an important realization a little while ago while I was reflecting that most of the people I've been working with lately happen to be women. 

What struck me was the word "happen." That I really felt that way. That I had great partners in business and in the thinking. That those relationship were rooted in equality. And then...after all that...those people happened to be women. I recognized in that moment that I don't carry prejudice. That I only love great thinking and integrous people. 

This was an exciting realization for me. Not because I it showed "just how neat" I am, but because I realized that this must be a reflection of the way that I was raised. That there must be other people that were raised the same and so feel the same way that I do. And I've found this to be true! A number of the women I know refuse to be a part of any relationship not rooted foremost in equality. They'd rather be alone. I recognized that men seem to be lagging in figuring this out. In particular, there seem to be a lot of complaints about men in the 20-30 year-old age range. Regardless, there are men who are achieving clarity regarding this issue. 

I do think things will change and here's why. I didn't always have the clarity that I have now regarding this. Although growing up, I never recognized any integrous reason for gender inequality, I was raised in a world where that was often the thinking expressed. The men attacking, women defending dynamic of dating always felt strange to me. It didn't feel honest. Although there was a recognition of strangeness in this interaction, I did date in this way. Since this realization, I've found incredible relief in my life. Dating is fun. It's just an extension of friendship. It's no longer an experience that feels painful. 

In dating, there's been a kind "line of scrimmage." Men tend to be the ones trying to push across this line. Women tend to defend this line. 

Q: What can we learn from this? 
A: That everyone knows where the line is! 

Men are insecure that if they don't push on the line, they will probably never again have sex. That's kind of what they've been taught. But, if you spend any time talking to women, they'll tell you that they like sex, too. That they like it at least as much as men. 

So, then why are we pushing on the line? If everyone knows where the line is and everyone likes having sex with people they want to have sex with, the line will move it's own. In a way that is mutual. Equal.

I think things are changing. That this is the most important development that will happen during the time our generation spends on this planet. I don't think things will change immediately, but I do believe they are changing. 

I believe that if we recognize a disconnect between truth and our world, it is our responsible to change it. I recognize that popular commercial media in practically no way seems to be descriptive of this change. My thinking is that this media is much more reflective of where we've been than where we are heading. I believe it is our responsibility to educate our own and - most importantly - the next generation of this disconnect. That we are the keepers of that change. 

And when things change, it will be transformative. No longer will so many interactions between men and women reflect this disconnect. That men an women will be able to interact from a place of equality. That relationships will no longer suffer the challenges that this disconnect inspires. The world will be happier and less painful. For everyone.

I am incredibly grateful for all of the women - and men - in my life who have helped me find my way on this path. 

If you have any thoughts, please share them. I recognize that there will be work required to make this transition. If there is some way I can help, please let me know. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Willingness is saying every yes. It's a whole-heartedness in all that I do. 

Willingness is being present with every relationship and in every situation.

It's an agreement with myself and the universe to do my best work always. 

It is through willingness that I experience my life as my own.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mama Rosa

I saw Brian Blade tonight.

In seeing his band, I realized his important it is to make your life your church. To find yourself in situations of unified intention that are in line with your intention. Be it in bands, business, matters of the heart, living situations, friendship, or anything else you intersect on a regular basis, that is how you can make your life your own. How you can make your life personal. How to have a life you love that challenges you to be the person you want to be.