“I never decide if an idea is good or bad until I try it.

So much of what gets in the way of things being good is thinking that we know.

And the more that we can remove any baggage we’re carrying with us, and just be in the moment, use our ears, and pay attention to what’s happening, and just listen to the inner voice that directs us, the better.

But it’s not the voice in your head. It’s a different voice. It’s not intellect. It’s not a brain function. It’s a body function, like running from a tiger.

…Being open to using your instincts instead of going, “Oh, that’s not going to work.” Or listening to the part of your brain that goes, “Oh, that’s out of tune.” Or the part of your brain that says, “That’s too loud.”

You have to shut off all of those voices and look for these special moments — these moments that you accept you have no control over.

So much of my job is to not think — to be open to what’s there, and then use my intuition to see where it takes me.”

-Rick Rubin from a fascinating interview… check it out.

 

 

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I’m Taking My Freedom

February 29, 2012

 

 

I’m taking my freedom
pulling it off the shelf
puttin’ it on my chain
wearing it ’round my neck
I’m taking my freedom
puttin’ it in my car
wherever I choose to go
It will take me far

I’m living my life like it’s golden
living my life like it’s golden

I’m taking my own freedom
puttin’ it in my song
singing loud and strong
proving all day long
I’m takin’ my freedom
puttin’ it in my stroll
I’ll be hop-steppin’ y’all
lettin’ the joy unfold

I’m holdin’ on to my freedom
‘Can take it from me
I was born in-to it, it comes naturally
I’m strumming my own freedom
playing the god in me
representing his glory
hope he’s proud of me…*

Living my life like it’s
golden, golden, golden…..

– Jill Scott

Happy Leap Day.

Take the Leap.

 

*I don’t subscribe to the traditional definition of god; I believe we are each a physical manifestation of the universal creative consciousness which underlies all things. Ie we are all god. So, no hoping “he’s proud of me.” Love the rest of the song though. 😉

Run Free, Hold On

January 2, 2012

While digging around for music to play at the New Year’s Eve party I went to here in Argentina, I came across this acoustic version of Bob Sinclar’s  ‘World, Hold On’ that’s absolutely beautiful:

 

And here’s the song I played at midnight; how can you listen to this and not feel happy? 🙂

Shuffle Song of the Day

November 19, 2011

Like most music-loving Americans today, I have an absurdly large collection of music. It’s gotten so big that I don’t have an intimate relationship with the majority of the songs that are laying around in my iTunes library. They’re mere acquaintances, or complete strangers.

So one of my favorite (and free) forms of entertainment is shuffling around my music library and either being surprised by a loved song long forgotten, or being surprised by a great song I don’t remember ever having heard.

Here’s what popped up today as I was unpacking and getting situated in my new home, a room I’m renting in Nunez, Buenos Aires, a room with a cool breeze and a big window overlooking a small jungle in the backyard:

I absolutely love Beck – I’ve seen him more times than any other musical artist, now that I think about it – but I didn’t spend much time getting to know the Modern Guilt album. Time to rectify that.

It’s a beautiful morning! I love opening my window shades and seeing blue skies instead of clouds. (Hmm… maybe I won’t be as well-suited to living in Portland as I thought… 😉 ). When the sun’s out, I like to go meditate on the porch, get my10 minute dose of Vitamin D (who needs to spend money on supplements?!) and eat my breakfast (usually an apple from the Farmer’s Market and freshly ground almond butter from Whole Foods).

I also read a Rumi poem every morning. I’m trying to get better acquainted with his work. I especially liked this morning’s:

“Go forward, knowing the Path will vanish under you

Open your arms, knowing they will burn away

Give everything you are, knowing it is nothing.”

– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

And, despite my love/hate relationship with Facebook, I must admit it exposes me to many wonderful things.

For one, this song, shared by one of my favorite vocalists, jazzist José James (with the instructions, “You must have this EP in your life”:

And for two, some nuggets of truth shared by a nugget of a man, Sean Stephenson (he sits 3 feet tall but has lifetimes of soul):

“Nothing comes with ease except when we allow things to come with ease.”

“You are no good to others if you are no good to yourself.”

“Sheltering yourself ironically exposes you to the dangers in life.”

“Love is a boomerang.”

And for three, I get a “Note From the Universe” each morning, a tongue-in-cheek message from beyond that puts things in nice perspective:

“Life is where one goes, Michelle, to temporarily believe in death, fleetingly forget their power, and briefly have the Dickens scared out of them, voluntarily.

All in the name of adventure.

Kind of like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, huh Michelle? Times a billion.

You’re bad,
The Universe”

Song of the day: Tyler James – Why Do I Do

Great voice, great lyrics, fun bouncy bumpy circus sound. Found this song on a random “House Mix” in my iTunes; no idea who did it (maybe Mes?) but there’s a remix out there that sounds awesome on the dance floor too!

“Why do I do I get on the same old ride?
Why do I do the things that I know ain’t right?
Why do I do I trip on the same old lines?
Why do I do that to myself, oh why?”

Good questions to ask oneself…on a daily basis. 😉

That lovable fatty the Buddha said:
“When you realize that something
is unwholesome and bad for you, give it up.
And when you realize that something
is wholesome and good for you, do it.”

Simple, direct, easier said than done (especially since it’s the Buddha saying it). We find this so hard to follow because we were taught that we deserve to suffer, because we’re not good enough. So we trip ourselves on those same old lines. It’s also because we’re afraid of change, of our potential, and of possible failure if we DO get out of our own way. The paradox is that when you’re living an authentic life, with integrity, there is no failure.

Another (much thinner) wise man, Gandhi, said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Most unhappiness is caused by living out of integrity with yourself – making decisions that don’t gel with your beliefs, or with what you really want to do. Integrity – oneness, wholeness – ties into authenticity & honesty. You can only feel whole and complete if you’re authentic, the author of your life, and doing what resonates with your own personal truth.

So try to ask yourself these questions now and then, and get off the same old ride.

Lots of great music this past weekend! Between shows I was thinking about how I prefer yoga and dancing to any church or service because there’s no separation of spirituality & physicality. When it comes to dancing at house clubs, I’ve pretty much decided I don’t want to drink anymore. Not only is it cheaper & I feel better in the morning (and don’t look glazed in pictures or lose chunks of time during night) but for me dancing is exercise AND spiritual… if you think about it, no one has a drink before going to yoga… at least no one I know. Which, actually, is a bit surprising.

Here are a few pics from the weekend:
Miike Snow at the Fox Theater in Pomona on Friday:

Tortured Soul at King King on Saturday, with Adam Auburn (click Adam’s name for his sick set!!!) & Zack Hill & Steven Dimitri (who all totally killed it!):

then the xx at the Wiltern on Sunday (love the deco-ness of the Wiltern):

Between those shows I squeezed in yoga at Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, a trip to the Farmer’s Market where a guy was playing the sax and I bought some Dahlias:

and a gorgeous hike in the Palisades, with a stop off at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine.

Still doing my Consumer Fast as far as not buying STUFF…but experiences are a different thing. 🙂 Thoroughly enjoying life and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful, positive, joyful, fun, caring people that surround me. I’m a lucky, lucky biotch!

I’m also a lucky biotch because, despite accidentally anointing my laptop keyboard with an alarming amount of safflower oil, my laptop continues to function. Praise the computer gods!!!!!!!!

Here’s one of my fav Tortured Soul tracks to help the Monday go by faster:

Song of the night! Just got home from an evening of booty shakin’ with Slick Dada, Zack Hill, Josh Heath, & Torin Rea for Mikee’s birthday.

Love this song. It’s gorgeous.

House Clubs as Church

May 31, 2010

Went to Agape International Spiritual Center yesterday. It’s nice and all, but while there my friend and I realized why we don’t need Church in our lives – we’ve got House Clubs! During the service the choir sang a rousing hymnal. It lasted 5-10 minutes. I can get more joy, connection and spiritual inspiration from an awesome night dancing at a house club, and that can last for up to 6 hours.

We danced last night for about 5 hours; and we’re off to dance the day away at the Standard Downtown. Have a lovely gorgeous fabulous Memorial Day!

In the interest of “Spreading Goodness” (one of my goals with this blog), I will occasionally use my soapbox to share my favorite songs with you! Here’s my current set-on-repeat-for-weeks song:

I love the feeling of spaciousness – it leaves room for you to be in the song. I love the lean complexity.

I love the the flow of this song, punctuated by the halting beat. It’s like the catching of a breath.
The stops build in a contraction, a tension that comes before the inevitable release. I’m not just alluding to the metaphor of the obvious “release,” but also to release as a general life philosophy – letting go. Letting go of past loves, past dreams, past desires.

I love Jose’s voice. You can hear the desire, and again, not just sexual desire, but the deeper desire that drives all people – that desire for ultimate connection and wholeness that pulls us endlessly towards other people. The funny thing, maybe the sad thing, is that no matter what society, or advertising, or Hollywood, or love songs tell you, You are the only one who can fill that hole in your heart. You are the only person who will ever be able to make yourself whole. The god that the religious seek, the comfort that addicts seek, the understanding that scientists seek, the connection that lovers seek – It can only be found in your heart.

Sad songs about longing or loss or loneliness have always been my favorites. I love That Ache. Soul to Squeeze, What’s the Use, Say It Ain’t So, Seasons, How Do I Let Go, Horse with No Name, Crazy, The Time Is Now, Mayonaise, Strade, Everybody Wants To Rule the World… There’s something sweet about melancholy. Maybe it’s the pain of caring so much. The pain of feeling the expanisiveness in your heart. Maybe it’s because I’m usually a happy person, and sad songs connect me with the pain I usually don’t acknowledge. Maybe it’s knowing that you’re not the only one who feels That Ache.