working on yourself

Working on yourself is hard and feels unnecessary when a bit of temporary reprieve or comfort comes your way. 

It’s hard to stay disciplined and focused, especially when things seem to suddenly turn back in your favor.

You can ride the high, but truth be told, you’ll find yourself crashing harder than before when you start to come down from the trip.

Suddenly you’re back at square one, as though you haven’t learned anything. Then you spiral further into believing you’re hopeless to finding the change in yourself you wanted to find. 

Trusting the process is a lonely and frightening experience. There’s no sugarcoating it. You will unknowingly use every worst fear you have against you. Protecting yourself and restoring what you’ve established as normal will always be the main priority for these fears, unless of course you break them.

Breaking fear is a matter of accepting it. Ride out the fear. Not running from it. Let the sickness run its course.

There are no epiphanies or trumpets that blare when you finally do break them and start to feel that your best self is the majority of yourself. But quiet moments do occur when you realize how happy you are for no explainable reason. This is your new normal. Never take it for granted. 

That’s when you know you’ve caught on to this whole idea of working on yourself. There aren’t any mind games and you no longer need validation from others.

There’s just you and it’s enough.

no more self

no more self

Waking up in the morning and clearing the slate  has been the most real experience I’ve had in awhile. Meditating on nothing more than a white blank canvas while I let any other thoughts fade to ash has been hypnotic. I hate moving and starting the day. The loops of thoughts are waiting there, ready to drag me back down into my anxiety, my self-doubt, and my inadequacies. I’ve grown tired and weak allowing myself to feel unworthy, inexperienced, and naive. I wrap myself in shame and guilt for things I’ve done and things I’ve failed to do. 

I’m tired of this version of myself. This “self” needs to die. I want to capture the imagination that I paint on this white canvas and run with it. I’m tired of allowing myself to believe that I’m not good enough. That the people I encounter on a daily basis also believe I’m not worthy. 

The easiest deceptions in the world to see are the most trigger sensitive. I removed myself from social media because a constant reminder remained that everyone else is extremely content where they are – they know what makes them happy and they know how to move on. I can barely watch TV – another medium projecting a life you don’t have. 

Even now, I ponder my guilt. So am I content to be alone in my apartment, quietly writing music and harmonies for the next several months? What about the life I’m missing? The bumps and bruises I’m supposed to get along the way? For some reason I develop the belief that I’m missing out on all the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll that everyone waltzes right into. I’m nothing without it because everyone else is in it. Outside looking in again. The noise is otherworldly. It’s hard not to get ushered into what other people perceive as important. 

People tend to be loud, boisterous, critical, and supposedly experienced. All this peacocking makes me feel like an innocent church boy again. Go home kid, the grown ups are doing blow and lamenting their existence. You just don’t get it because you’re not brave enough to get it. 

When meditating, these thoughts dissipate. I feel good because this version of me is not present. The second I step out into the world, the innocent dreamer kid with not an inch of callous skin returns. I constantly ask ‘what if’ and dread over decisions I made months or even years ago. I want these thoughts to die. I want to be me with my white canvas. I don’t want to give a shit about other people’s opinions. I want to allow myself the ability to forgive myself, find my own happiness, and look forward. That’s the only experiences I want to aspire to. 

by ty miller

chopping wood

chopping wood

You’ve heard of discipline training – the first picture that comes to mind with chopping wood is some sort of mental exercise ‘wax on wax off’ Mr. Miyagi simulation, right? I don’t want to dispel the fact that becoming disciplined in something will spill over into other areas of your life that needs similar fine tuning, but it also represents something much more powerful: defining the driving acts that fill the void of expectations. 

I’ve struggled with this immensely over the past months. I want to slave away at my passions, but I have difficulty continuing without greater impact or reception from others. The fires I desire never come to fruition the way I anticipate, so should I keep chopping wood? Why bother pushing your already fragile mental fortitude just to keep missing the mark? 

Here’s an easy solution. When you think you’re ready to stop chopping wood to start a fire, keep chopping. Don’t concern yourself with the fire. It’s not yours to start. You know that people will be able to start a fire using your wood, but only concern yourself with making more and more wood available for potential fires. When you sit and wait for people to start the fire, you’ve gone astray. Doing isn’t defined by results, it just is. If your act is only validated by if or how others receive it, then can you honestly say this is something that drives you? 

I don’t mean this abstractly. Literally keep doing. If you’re a musician, keep getting out there to play shows or open mics. If you’re an athlete, keep training everyday. If you’re a writer, write constantly. If you want to cook, cook for everyone all the time. DO DON’T WAIT FOR A RESPONSE . 

Imagine a world where you’re received exactly as your expectations dreamt it. Then what? Do you stop doing? Are you dead? I doubt it. Your drive lives on it because it is you. The fire keeps others warm, but chopping wood keeps you strong and alive. 

by ty miller

creating

creating

Rule of thumb. Music with Jon Wurster involved is good music. 

What creative connections are currently available for you? Are you finding any fulfillment you need from creating? The most challenging part of creating is finding satisfaction balancing purpose and resonance

Purpose is the easy part. Some things you were born to do. If the world was suddenly void of all living things, you’d still feel inclined to meet some form of the purpose you were born with. 

Resonance. Finding success isn’t worthwhile. Turning purpose into an American career has its perks but as the primary purpose of purpose, well not really. Being good at something is nice too, but that’s a wary position to take. Even if you were born to do something, things will always begin on the rough end and by some standards not good. True purpose will ignore this deterrent, so don’t sweat it. 

Purpose is relentless. If you’re keeping any clarity within, purpose is a relatively unconscious effort. We don’t have to worry about executing it, but with resonance we have no foresight. Sometimes the resonance will bring us critical acclaim or fame, a short-lived sugar spike of affirmation. Other times we’ll receive no reaction at all.  

 I try to break it down into simpler terms. 

We breathe in purpose. We breathe out resonance. One is the effect of the other. Tricky to resonate when ears aren’t always available though. It begs the question ‘What is purpose without effect?’ Purpose isn’t tethered to one idea though. You have to keep putting it out there, believing and hoping that eventually, over some amount of time, some of the resonance will find a landing spot. Creative connection completed, purpose no longer shooting blanks. 

Don’t deny your purpose the air it deserves. Keep giving the resonance a chance to find a home. Maybe not to a degree you could be considered successful by societal standards, but with any relating party that can take something positive away from your purpose. That’s true resonance. 

If you are able to let go and believe your purpose is inevitable, then as a result, you can believe that a travelling resonance will inevitably find something to reach.

by ty miller