February 19, 2019
I owe this one to my friend, bandmate, and road roomie Deni Gauthier – singer/songwriter, artist, entrepreneur, and formidable human being.
I wrote recently about calling your own b.s. I made some hard decisions last fall as a way of testing what I’ve been writing about intention and belief and the universe. Sometimes you need to pluck up your courage and challenge your philosophies.
Other times you need a friend to lay down the gauntlet for you.
If you read the blog you know I struggle sometimes with faith. With letting go. With surrender. With all of those high end spiritual techniques that are meant to reduce your suffering, release your stress, and open you up to a more fulfilled life. I’m a fretter. I fret about things. The fretting causes anxiety and often puts me squarely in my own way.
I’ve been fretting about things lately. Music is a wonderful life, but it’s also a hard one a lot of the time. Wondering where gigs will come from can be hard. Trying to stay afloat can be hard. Just being optimistic can be hard at times, especially for fretters like me. The truth is I have opportunities coming later in the year, but I’ve been fretting about whether I’ll be able to take them. I’ve been fretting about whether I can indeed stay afloat long enough to be there when the doors open.
Frankly, it sucks. It sucks to worry. It sucks to feel like you can’t do it. It sucks to feel powerless. It sucks to have all of that energy pulling at your insides, making you tense, making you hurt. It sucks to see no other choice than to give up.
Enter my good friend Deni.
We were talking about some of this stuff last weekend before he took the stage to open for the great Emm Gryner (a great show and two outstanding artists). Deni certainly gets what it’s like to live on this artistic/entrepreneurial edge. He is a full-time musician and he and his wife run a variety of businesses to make it all work. It’s impressive and it takes an enormous amount of courage (as most dreams do).
Anyway, I was laying out the situation as I saw it, and finally Deni said, “You write about this stuff all the time. Why don’t you just commit to it and let the universe work it out?”
Surrender, young man.
I’ve been secretly calling 2019 the “Year of Faith.” Calling it that, but not necessarily believing it. Most of the stress in my life comes from not letting go of control (which is why I so often write about letting go of control). I find myself now in a pretty ideal position to really find out what works. Really challenge my beliefs about myself and about surrender. There is an opportunity here to acquire real wisdom. It’s scary, but most of the gurus will tell you to go into the darkness and hunt down your fears. If you’re not scared, you’re not in the right place.
With that in mind, I have committed to sticking it out. There are ideas I’ve been toying with that I’m going to move forward, just to see what dreams may come. It takes action, you know. That much I’ve been able to prove. It’s not enough to believe and then sit on the couch waiting for something to happen. Even the Bible says faith without works is dead. I was listening to a podcast recently and the guest (I think it was Dan Carlin on the Joe Rogan podcast) was talking about how you have to give fate an opportunity to intervene. You have to do things. Try things. Let the mystery move.
So I’m going to try things. I’m going to put myself out there in some new ways and revisit some old ways. I’m going to take those small, courageous steps, and try very hard to believe they will lead me to good places, even if they don’t turn out to be the places I thought I wanted to go.
As this is intended to be a motivational blog, let me remind you that if you lack faith or courage, you're not alone. Let me also encourage you to make this your Year of Faith too, hard as it may seem. Try to let go of what you think you want. Try to not need things to be a certain way. Try to create something that’s yours. Try to dream a little bigger. Whether you’re scared or not, try that thing you want to try. Apply for that job. Build that business. Lose that weight. Do that open mic. Write that script. Make that record. Reach out to that mentor. Start that blog. Go to that audition.
Take your shot and believe.
Then drop me a line to let me know what you’re up to. I could use the inspiration!
Oh, and if your friend needs someone to call them on their b.s., be that someone. Do it gently, do it sincerely, and do it with encouragement.
And now, Deni Gauthier: