Category Archives: Identity
Reinvention isn’t about turning everything on its head for the sake of change.
Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of upping the creative ante. Sinking your teeth into a new project that’s bigger than you. Pursuing something that’s more of a gamble than a guarantee. Something that requires you to hold and nurture a large idea. Something that forces you to expand as you the idea comes to fruition.
That’s one of the reasons I decided to make a music documentary. I wanted to feel engaged and tested and stretched. To travel with an idea to a deeper place, one that I had never dared venture before.
And as we wrap up production, the feelings of fulfillment have never been stronger.
Turns out, there’s a unmatched sense of pride you feel from having lived up to the higher expectations set for yourself.
When was the last time you reinvented?
And so, imagine a world where you were firing on all cylinders. Keeping all of your passions in play. Drawing out your full ingenuity. Making use of everything you are. Leaving no faculty untapped, and leaving no asset unharvested. That’s happiness. Because with every new talent you give yourself permission to exploit, you open a new vein of freedom that didn’t exist previously.
It’s simply a matter of permission. Allowing yourself to give your hidden gifts a more prominent place in your life.
I spent twenty years writing and singing music before I had the guts to share my songs with the public. The material was just too personal. Too bloody. To precious to be subjected to the cruel ear of the world.
But then I had an epiphany. Generosity is the tax you pay for talent. If you’ve been given a gift, something special that allows you deliver value that nobody has ever delivered before, you have an obligation to share it. To regift it so it brings joy to others. Anything less is an act of ingratitude.
And so, I finally gave myself permission to share my songs publicly. And when I did, everything shifted. My relationship to the music, my context in the world, my identity as an artist, my leverage in the marketplace and my connection with the audience.
What strength, skill or gift do you wish to use more fully?
Freedom over what I create, freedom over why and how I create it, freedom over whom I create it with and freedom over what I do with it once it’s created, that’s all I care about. Everything else flows from there.
Macleod famously said tat the sovereignty we have over our work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.
Making this documentary has inspired me to find new ways to express myself through the instrument. To find new ways to be free and to own my world. To own my media, own my platform, own my career and ultimately own my life.
Tastes like freedom to me.
Are you conquering your work, or is your work conquering you?
Henri famously said not to bother about your originality, but to set yourself as free as you possibly can, and your originality would take care of itself.
One of the ways to we accomplish that is by putting whimsy on wheels. By giving ourselves permission to follow seemingly ridiculous ideas to fruition. Even if they don’t work out. Because the point is in the trying. The purpose is in the practice. The goal is to strengthen our freedom muscle until it’s quivering and veiny and oiled up, poised to step across the lines of artistic safety and create something people don’t even have a name for.
When I first conceived the idea for this concert documentary, what most excited me about the project was the freedom use the talents I might never exercise anywhere else. Singing, strumming, songwriting, storytelling, these were the musical gifts I’d been honing for so many years, but had never found a home for.
And the more footage we edited, the prouder I felt about the movie’s originality. Not because I was trying to be unique, but because I was trying to be free.
Henri was right. Freedom is what creates the most hospitable environment for your greatest talents to do their most original work.
Are you building the house where your freedom resides?
Watching musicals inspired me to start playing guitar standing up.
That single change completely transformed my singing, songwriting and performing style. Proving, that innovation is born out of unexpected inputs that change or perspective forever. And the more of these moments we have, the more we can create, and the more we can create, the more we can push this world forward.
The challenge, then, is subverting resistance, which typically manifests as fear and conformity and laziness.
Tom Robbins tells a story about attending a rock concert in the sixties that jimmied the lock on his language box and smashed the last of his literary inhibitions.
When was the last time you had an experience like that?