The Courage To Be Thankful
Confirm My Insanity
We Need Cafes
You are First Unfaithful To Yourself
Why I Chose To Blog
Previous Posts:
Divorcing Fear To Love
Bahamas, January 1 2017
Fall Forward One thing I had no issue with when I was younger was taking risks. If I saw something I desired, I went after it with my whole heart and didn’t stop until I attained it. I had grown accustomed to pursuing many things with full force, achieving them, and then I started to get comfortable only pursuing goals that felt easy to achieve. I also started to get really complacent, until I was challenged by a few life events that shook me up in a good way and made me become hungry again- literally and figuratively! I recently watched this amazing video of Denzel Washington speaking to a group of college graduates. He began the speech by saying, “Fall forward. Don’t create a plan to fall back on; fall forward and go after your dreams with full force." This really resonated with me. When I was younger my father, a retired Military man, would tell me how much he believed in me as a musician, but he would also say that he didn’t want me to struggle financially. He felt that I should split my artistic efforts, and get a “real job” to fall back on when things get rough musically. It was a major point of contension in my relationship with him because it made me feel as though he did not really believe in me or my talent. Also, the idea of a “fall back” plan didn’t make sense to me because I felt like everyone I knew that fell into more “secure careers” were merely slaves to their jobs and were unhappy. At that point in my life, I told my father that I would rather struggle financially and live every moment doing what I love, than to fall back. Listening to Denzel’s words reminded me of this declaration I made, and they inspired me to reevaluate my career pursuits. I knew that I wanted to create a new album with a new sound and a new band to tour with. I also really desired to step out more as a bandleader and create opportunities that reflected the artistic visions that I have for myself. Even with all these goals within reach, I was afraid, or better yet resting on my laurels, operating solely within my comfort zone. I also questioned if what I had to say, musically was relevant. I questioned the level of financial investment necessary to make this shift in my career possible. Ultimately, it was this burning sensation inside of me that I could no longer ignore that forced me to act. And I realized, going forward in pursuit of my goals was more comfortable than staying in a position of personal mediocrity. In my life, when I refuse to be my best, it’s almost like I am inviting a high level of mediocrity into my life, because to ignore truth is to fully embrace a lie. Listening to Denzel's speech helped encourage me to fall forward, because even if you fall down at times, falling is still forward movement. We may not always have a clue of what circumstances and destiny are mixing up in the pot of life, but the goal should be: to fall forward! What’s been so wonderful is that once I decided to take that step, the universe began to surround me with opportunities that affirmed my choice, and continued to help me find new levels of comfort. So the new theme and sound of my life is to Fall Forward. Look out for the album this August!
Triggers and Sensitivity I had the most interesting discovery a few weeks ago, as a result of a disagreement with someone very dear to me about something incredibly minimal. This friend had come to me in a polite manner and asked me if I could adjust how I did something around my home when they visit. I took it as they didn’t appreciate my time, or the fact that I make time for them in my home, and I immediately became uber sensitive. I kept making a bigger deal about it and didn’t understand why. Yes, I can be childish sometimes, and it literally took me 48 hours to understand what was really bothering me and to get over my feelings. Reality: I can be all up in my feelings sometimes; blame it on the artistry. The word came to me: triggers. Have you ever asked someone to help you with something and they said “no,” or that they were "unavailable,” and that felt like a rejection or like they didn't care about you? Instead of just saying to yourself, "they can’t help me at this moment,"you made that "no" mean so much more? Triggers… As I mature and accumulate more experiences, I find that the challenge becomes deciphering these experiences, and keeping the present moment unattached from my baggage, or at least unaffected by the triggers it may bring up. For example, there have been gigs that eventually didn’t work out for me for a myriad of reasons: the musical relationship may have started to unravel in minor ways or from small requests that I adjust something musically. So even in a situation when I know an artist desires to have me on stage or in the studio with them, when they ask me to adjust my playing in some way, this request has made me feel like they didn't really want me, or that it was an indication of the detoriation of our connection. How did I, and do I resolve this feeling? I face it fully, and I analyze whether there is a real or justifiable fear or if I am just responding to something that is making me feel afraid. During my recent meditation time, I have been challenged with several mantras. Of those mantras, “Stay Clean” is something I have been praying and meditating on; making the decision to keep my thoughts pure and clear. I constantly have to meditate this reality because it can be tough to address the depth in which something affects me. The journey is not only to soften the effect of my triggers, and to disconnect them from unrelated matters, but also to know that these triggers exist and to really understand my feelings deeper. The truth is, I may never be able to remove triggers completely, but if I am aware of them, and am not sensitive just for the sake of being sensitive, then I'll know how to prepare for the reality of them. My goal is to be able to hear people beyond my own sensitivity and baggage, in order to create understanding.

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Saying No To You Is Saying Yes To Me
Travel Blog : March 24th, 2017 A Lesson in Patience From time to time, I get overwhelmed and feel as though many of my thoughts collide, and clarity is no longer there. Sometimes, it even gets to the point where my mind is so crowded with thoughts that when someone asks me a question, I’ll begin to stutter because I can’t clearly articulate what's going on inside of my mind. It's like I have a stack of paper in my hands, and instead of them being neatly sorted, they fall everywhere all at once. When this happens, my spirit tells my mind, “We need to fast”. I immediately go into prayer, and decide what I am fasting from or in some cases from who. Normally, I will eliminate TV or Social Media, possibly alcohol or cigars. However, this particular time, I decided to eliminate my emotional dependence on some people so that I could be by myself. I told those closest to me about the fast, and that I would be a little distant for a few days as a result. From that point, I began meditating, and these three thoughts came to me. Ulysses you need to learn how to: 1. support 2. be patient, and 3. see more: open your eyes to what's really in front of you and use that information in your decision making. These thoughts resonated with me because much of the overwhelming feeling that I had was because I was struggling with how to fully support someone very close to me. As a result I was losing patience with this person, and others; and I wasn’t taking time to see how negatively all of this was affecting myself and others. I immediately prayed and asked for an abundance of patience. I asked God to teach me how to support, because I am a great provider and fixer, but I haven’t always known how to be supportive in friendships and intimate relationships. I also asked that my eyes be more open so that I could see clearly and more distinctly. Then I apologized to myself, the creator, and to those affected by my actions. The next morning, I woke up meditating about patience, and it just so happened to be a travel day. So I took a shower, packed my bags and looked at my Uber app to check the price to the airport: $53. I decided it was too expensive and that instead I'd walk outside and catch a taxi, which would be cheaper. Sure enough, as soon as I went outside, a taxi came straight away (as my British friends would say). “Boss, where are you going?” the taxi driver said. "LaGuardia, Terminal C.” I told him. He asked me how I wanted to get there, and I told him that I trusted him and I buried my head in my phone. At this point, I had more than enough time to get to the airport. The driver said that he appreciated that I trusted him and he proceeded to talk my ears off. Sidebar: I always feel like I have a sign on my forehead that says: EVERYONE, PLEASE TALK TO ME IN THE MORNING, AND INTERRUPT MY QUIET TIME. My normal “pre-fasted” self, would have been upset, thinking: "dude shut up and drive”. This time, I heard a small voice say, “Don’t worry, you’ll make your flight, just be patient”. So, I proceeded to talk to the driver, and learn a lot about him, until finally I said, “Sir, you are amazing, but my flight is boarding in 10 minutes”. He understood and literally sped the rest of the way to the airport, and I made my flight. The moral of the story for me is that I need to be patient and trust the process. Many times in life, we lack patience because, in my opinion, we don’t trust the process and even less the outcome of that process. Personally, I tend to rush things because I think I need to figure out the way to guarantee the result I desire. However, now, as a daily practice, I've decided to make room to hear that small voice that tells me to be supportive, be patient, and to take the time to actually see what's in front of me.