I've been putting this off for a very long time, but I'm deciding to open my book for you... starting now. If you've come to this site to learn more about me, this is where I'll be going deep into my mind, heart, and gut for inner/outer processing with hopes that you will benefit from this as well... whether you agree with my conclusions or not.
My childhood and upbringing couldn't have been any more typical for the white, southern, middle class, suburban, only child that I was. My parents and I lived in a quaint, country home until they divorced when I was in kindergarten and my mom moved out. Luckily, Mom and Dad stayed very civil and cooperative through the whole process and even to this day. They've done everything they can possibly do to give me a leg up on life and for that I am incredibly grateful. Before I was born, my mother had a full term stillborn with my would-be sister. From our conversations, I learned that experience is what made me so special to them. It's apparent now how much a loss can affect the way you embody gratitude for what and who you have around you. All they have wanted is for me to live a better life than they did and they succeeded.
I'll have to admit, it took me a long time to become aware of my privileges and personality flaws that resulted from them. Growing up without siblings to share and contend with, getting the majority of things that I wanted, not being forced to develop a serious work ethic, and enduring no true hardships most definitely caused me to be a "late bloomer." Not to mention being exposed to blatant racism, misogyny, perversion, and consumerism from the get-go. On the surface I was a "good kid." I made the honor roll, I didn't get detention, I was suspended once for possessing stink bombs at school when the kid that sold them to me was setting them off everywhere at lunch time. I never got arrested for anything and somehow always got off with a warning when I was pulled over. But looking back on how I saw the world and my relationship with it, I was terribly flawed. How could you not be when everything is taken care of and almost always goes your way? Going to college was my first mild wake up call. Granted, it was also paid for by my parents, I didn't have the stock neighborhood friends around like I had all those years at home. This was the first time I ever had to make an effort to seek new relationships. So, of course I joined the marching band and then later a fraternity so that I could have some constant comrades around me. Then came the drinking and trying to get laid and the general sense of feeling on top of the world in my little Arkansas college town. Oh how blind I was to the consequences of my thoughts, words, and actions back then. To put it blatantly... I was a selfish dick. A like-able asshole if you will, and I was proud of it.
It wasn't until I started taking mushrooms that I really began to analyze myself. The first time I did them, I was able to take a trip through time and observe all of the interactions I had up until that point that turned out negatively for the other person. I was given a chance to empathize with the other and see where I had done wrong. At first, I didn't want to accept these revelations, but once I chose to embrace them a huge wave of self understanding and forgiveness began to wash over me. I was able to forgive my past self instance after instance and let it all go. Although many of my psychedelic experiences were very recreational and with friends, this type of self work only happened when I was alone. These experiences led me to seek out spiritual info and explore the ideologies and beliefs of other cultures. I started participating in guided meditations, conscious breathing, and learning about the chakra system and becoming more in tune with myself and my surroundings. Some time at the beginning of my last semester of college, I came across information of what's called a Kundalini Awakening. After reading some about it and learning the yogic breath techniques involved, I decided to partake in a guided meditation that was supposed to "awaken your Kundalini energy." The video guided you through various visualizations, yogic breathing, and mantra for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, I felt about as centered as I have after all the other guided meditations I had done. But it wasn't until early the next morning when something was very different.
How Can You Help the World?
It's about 3:30am and my eyes burst open. I've got adrenaline coursing through my veins and there's no physical way I can stay in bed. I get up and immediately start receiving a stream of consciousness that I know I've never accessed before. I grabbed my notebook and began to write a song (Kundalini from my album Resonance) that described the tribulations of humanity and what the future might hold shall we collectively decide to turn it all around. I was having audible hallucinations that I can only describe as the voice of God. With my eyes closed, I was having visions of myself in the future looking very Christ-like, traveling the world playing music and helping people in miraculous ways. One question stood out amongst the others. "How can you help the world?" I immediately wrote down my talents and abilities and was given a direction to utilize those toward the benefit of humanity. I was told that all of this could come to fruition shall I whole heartedly believe in the message and the process between now and it's manifestation. I felt like I had been brought up to a higher plane of consciousness and that what I was experiencing was the answer to all the world's problems... at least the problems in my world. I analyzed what parts of my life I wanted to change logistically. It was my last semester and I needed an internship that led to a full-time job, I wanted out of my apartment and into a house with fun, creative people, and I wanted to start playing music with others and writing more intently. In a matter of a month or so, I was able to do just that. I was living from the heart with only my goals in mind and no doubts or worries that things may not work out. Soon, things took a turn for the worse. The instant gratification of my efforts had led me to believe that this success was strictly a result of my doing and not a gift from God or the universe that I had recently been connected with on a more direct level than ever before. My ego exploded to a point to where I fell back into my old ways and tried to use my "power" to commit something impure. It was at this moment, that I physically experienced falling from my ascended state and losing the cherished connection that I had made with the divine. This eventually led to the happiness I once had to drain away as everything seemed to fall apart. I hated my job, my relationships were failing, and my music wasn't making the headway that I had envisioned. I felt incredibly alone and lost in my own demise. Something had to give.
The Move To Austin
As I was contemplating my options... Austin, TX kept popping up in my conversations and interactions with those around me. I was getting desperate for something more than what my life had become in the seemingly empty abyss of my small town in Arkansas. Once again, I turned to the mushrooms for answers but this time, I set direct intentions and wrote down specific questions to ask them. This was also the largest dose I had ever attempted to consume. Sooner than I had prepared myself for, the answers started hitting me in the face with no holding back. I became a mess as I was being taught lesson after lesson with the ever apparent notion that it was soon time for me to depart to my obvious next destination... Austin. A few weeks went by, and the window opened for me to leave. Luckily, I was invited to stay in my family friend's open room. Once this was confirmed, I painstakingly put in my two weeks at the kushy corporate job I had for two and a half years and made my way to my new home.
Not going to lie, I was immediately intimidated by the big city I had just injected myself into. There were so many cars on the road at any given time and it seemed like there was so much going on that I didn't know where to start. After a couple weeks went by, I was looking for musicians' posts on Craigslist when my browser automatically takes me to the Nonprofit Jobs section. That's where I was introduced to the concept of canvassing. It seemed like a fun way to potentially make a change and have some purpose in life besides just sitting behind a computer all day. I submitted a few applications and instantly had four interviews in a week. I decided to go with the group that works on local environmental efforts. This would begin a ten month period of further dissolving my ego and breaking out of my shell through the means of rejection therapy, community organization, and the forming of the tightest bonds I had ever made with my coworkers that became my second family. We worked on many reputable issues. Some were won and some were not. We traveled all over Austin and Texas as a whole reaching out to communities in order to get their support on our endeavors. This taught me so much about myself, how I relate to others, and how to bring palpable change on that level. However, while my work was fulfilling, it was also extremely taxing physically, mentally, and emotionally. At most, twenty five percent of the contacts we spoke to were interested in the cause, so a lot of pushback was experienced, along with the mental gymnastics it took to navigate the conversation in a productive way. At the same time, the schedule didn't allow for me to get out in the evenings and do the networking that I knew I needed to do and it seemed to dominate my life as a whole. Soon enough, I got burnt out and decided to quit respectably.
Not long after I quit canvassing, I was contacted by a recruiter for a position that seemingly only I had the experience to fill out of everybody in Austin. Previously, I had thought that the work I had done at my last corporate job would never be able to be applied anywhere else. Apparently I was wrong. I didn't ever intend on going back to the corporate realm, but when you've got bills to pay and a job is on the table, it's kind of hard to turn away. Thankfully, I work for a place in the prosthetics and orthopedics industry so the overall objective is to help people. That's what keeps me the most sane. I finally have the time and energy to focus on my musical endeavors too. Technically, I'm on a contract that could end whenever they decide not to extend it for a couple months so I'm making a point to enjoy this limbo and be thankful for the change of pace. I will make one thing known... this is not my forever. This is only a stepping stone. As I continue to focus energy on the music I am making, I see the world beginning to open up to me again. For now and forever always, I am truly grateful for where I am at this moment.
Much more to come...