this video quality is subpar, but the sound and energy of the song are not. enjoy.
one of my favorite jay-z songs. remember hurricane katrina? yeah…that happened. after the rain, we forget…’cause we’re a nation of forgetters.
sure, i ponied up a mil, but i didn’t give my time
so in reality, i didn’t give a dime or damn
i just put my monies in the hands of the same people that left my people stranded
nothin’ but a bandit
left them folks abandoned
damn, that money that we gave was just a band-aid
can’t say we better off than we was before
in synopsis this is my minority report
as of late, i’ve been ravenously consuming eddie hazel’s more emotive guitar work. his gift was truly a gift, not just to him but to the world. “maggot brain” is a part of my life now. songs with that degree of emotional expression are resonating deeply with me, so i was overjoyed to find “good thoughts, bad thoughts”. the vocals don’t come in until halfway through the song, which is already glorious as an instrumental, but becomes even more exceptional and poignant with the words. the lyrics are so grand, transcription was necessary. give it a listen and let it whisk you away.
Travel like a king
Listen to the inner voice
A higher wisdom is at work for you
Conquering the stumbling blocks come easier
When the conqueror is in tune with the infinite
Every ending is a new beginning
Life is an endless unfoldment
Change your mind, and you change your relation to time
You can find the answer
The solution lies within the problem
The answer is in every question
An attitude is all you need to rise and walk away
Your life is yours
It fits you like your skin
The oak sleeps in the acorn
The giant sequoia tree sleeps in its tiny seed
The bird waits in the egg
God waits for his unfoldment in man
Fly on, children
You gravitate to that which you secretly love most
You meet in life the exact reproduction of your own thoughts
There is no chance, coincidence or accident
In a world ruled by law and divine order
You rise as high as your dominant aspiration
You descend to the level of your lowest concept of your Self
Free your mind and your ass will follow
The infinite intelligence within you knows the answers
Its nature is to respond to your thoughts
Be careful of the thought-seeds you plant in the garden of your mind
For seeds grow after their kind
Play on, children
Every thought felt as true
Or allowed to be accepted as true by your conscious mind
Takes roots in your subconscious
Blossoms sooner or later into an act
And bears its own fruit
Good thoughts bring forth good fruit
Bullshit thoughts rot your meat
Think right, and you can fly
The kingdom of heaven is within
Free your mind, and your ass will follow
Play on, children
written by eric fleming
I’ve been listening to an absurd amount of 70’s and 80’s jams and love songs as of late, one of which is Shalamar’s Make that Move. Aside from this song just being a jam of all jams, the lyrics really stood out to me. Shalamar stepped up into their respective pulpits, clad in shiny suits with flowing manes of jheri curl juice and preached hunties! “Make that Move! Right now baby! You only go around once in this lifetime!” The first verse begins with “So many times, by holding back I let the good things pass me by…” So simple, yet so profound as only a song from the 80’s can truly deliver.
The more I listened and did spins in the middle of my kitchen, I started to tear up, and it wasn’t from the onions I was cutting. Shalamar was sangin’ to me! I started thinking about how many times I passed on opportunities– for love, for deeper connectedness, for career– because I stopped myself with all the “what-if” questions. What if I say something and things go badly? What if we act on it and the friendship gets ruined? What if he doesn’t feel the way I do? What if people think I’m not qualified enough? What If I’m not good enough? You know…the “what-ifs.”
Why are they here? Perhaps the “what-ifs” emerged, out a need for self-preservation, to protect us. Maybe they’re seeking to keep us safe, within a container that feels familiar and free from threat.
Built-in soldiers actively looking out for us. Sounds great, right? What if by listening to those “what-ifs” we were actually harming ourselves? What if those parts of us, those “soldiers”, were no longer serving our best interests? Here’s where the “what-ifs” become problematic: oftentimes the voice driving them doesn’t represent what you stand for, or support the person you want to emerge into. In my case, more often than not, that voice is an old story from a very scared part of myself that still senses it needs to be protected. For example, growing up, I had fears of being vulnerable in front of people, so now those “what-ifs” work really hard to make sure I am protected and not vulnerable at all costs, despite the fact that openness and vulnerability are actually two values I hold very highly in my adult life. See the disparity? It’s rooted in an old need for protection that clearly still rears its head and has an influence on how I operate today. That “what-if” voice can keep me from asking out that guy I really like, or keep me from showing up to that networking event because itâ€™s safer to stay in the small, familiar place rather than stepping into what I really long for.
These skeptical soldiers keep us small. They keep us from attaining what’s deep in our heart of hearts. What would happen if we put the “what-ifs” to the side? If we were able to silence them, what answers would be standing there, in your face, screaming for you to notice them? Would you go for that job? Would you say yes to that relationship? How have your “what-ifs” kept you small? What have they prevented you from receiving?
So let’s kill ’em all, right? Death to the “what-ifs”! Here’s a thing to note about them: they’re a part of us and some have been around, working to protect us, for a really long time. They’re soldiers. They’re standing at their post, on the front lines, and have been for years. They’re loyal. Because they’re a part of us, we can’t rid them completely. We can, however, shift our relationship with them. That voice emerged because a need somewhere is or was not being met. Start by getting in touch with what that need is. What does that part of you need? What is that part of you dying to say? Why is that part of you still around? Bringing awareness to the fact that a fear is old, or that a need is no longer present, or perhaps even that a need is presently not being met can change everything. Awareness becomes empowerment. It’s the first critical step in shifting that relationship and taking power back over the what-ifs”.
What would our friends from Shalamar have to say about all of this? Hmmmmm. Let me tell you! “…nothing is certain. You’ve got to go for it when you feel it! ….make that move! Right now baby!” I usually don’t trust people with jheri curls, but I think they were on to something here. We have one chance in this lifetime to make it beautiful, full, and magical so why not just go for it? What do you have to lose? More importantly, what are you losing out on by staying small in your “what-ifs?”
Eric Fleming is a life coach based in New York City. Eric says of his work, ” I help clients make shifts when the cost is too high to stay put any longer.” His work focuses on challenging outdated notions of self, as well as social patterns that inform how we operate today. For more tips about ways to overcome your “what-ifs” or to find out more about how coaching can be beneficial for you, contact him at ejf.coaching (at) gmail.com.
blissfully immerse yourself in the hazy, emotive world of james blake. while listening, there is no other way. his voice is so full of texture and feeling, words aren’t even required, but the music engages on so many levels. however, fortunately for the world, he’s been honing his songwriting skills and this second album is a solid follow-up showcasing his personal and musical growth.
this guy’s voice. it just touches me. the simplicity of the song is quite refreshing and heightens sonic engagement. maybe you’ll enjoy it like i do.
i have to thank the amazing penelope for introducing me to him. this year has been pretty extraordinary thanks to travel. it hasn’t always been fun, easy, or happy, but it has been amazing. i’ve crossed paths with some really wonderful people who have enriched me and my growth process and i’m just feeling really grateful for that. music is a great connector. she mentioned being “kind of obsessed” with his music and it’s so different for me right now, i gather the same might happen to me too. that’s cool.
This is the fifth #notetoself letter, originally sent on March 5, 2012.
Henry David Thoreau said, “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” He lived in the first half of the 19th century and yet those words still contain truth today. It’s sad. Quiet desperation kills the spirit.
Before this trip, I realized how discontent I’d become with my life. My work didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing with my “work”. I never knew how answer the “what do you do?” question. I don’t know. Live. That was the response I wanted to give.
I’m a great starter. My starting energy is fresh, empathic and certain. Then, slowly but surely, it’d wane and I’d quit. I’m also a great quitter. My attention usually shifts gears to something else equally engaging.
That’s a pattern I’m really sick of.
A few nights ago, I happened upon an Alicia Keys’ song called “How It Feels to Fly” that’s feeding my soul. With such ambiguous lyrics, I don’t know exactly what she’s talking about in the song, but for me, it makes me think about reaching for my dreams.
“I am riding high, don’t wanna come down.
Hope my wings don’t fail me now.
If I can touch the sky, I’d risk the fall
Just to know it feels to fly.”
How many of our goals are our own? Whose definition of success drives our actions? I can criticize corporate America all I want, but I was a part of the rat race, even if I didn’t have a 9-5. The discontent I feel is the result of not doing things I wanted to do, for whatever reason. There’s so much I want to do, and have wanted to do but have neglected to. This trip is the perfect example of a dream deferred. I’ve always wanted to travel and stay somewhere for a longer period of time. That’s just now happening for me. On the other hand, I appreciate it just the same because I can receive so much of this experience differently than I might have in the past.
Being here has awakened me to my desire to do things I’ve neglected to do, things I let sit in the recesses of my mind and my heart. They were there, alive, but unattended. Living a life with meaning, passion and fulfillment are of incredible importance to me.
Earlier last week, one of the people I’ve been blessed to meet on this trip asked me if I wanted to hike one of the two volcanoes on the island. Of course he wanted to do the larger volcano, Volcan Concepcion, the one we look at everyday. Without hesitation, I said yes. Sure. Why not?