Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Little More Selfless

I'm going to make this one short, because I never can tell how much time I am going to have to write...

Now that there is a little one in the house, I get little bits of "me time."

I realized today that having a baby has expanded me in ways I wasn't expecting. And in ways I've been fighting a little.

I have been stretched, poked, and provoked.


:: I have been called to be MORE ::

More patient.
More giving.
More resilient.


:: I have also been called to be LESS ::

Less self-pitying.
Less self-centered.
Less complaining.

All this expansion makes me feel like a new, more selfless person.

I never realized how much goes into caring for a tiny human being.

You can't know until you do it, I suppose.


Love,
Sirgun

Sunday, April 21, 2013

God Is Neutral

The moment I started believing in GOD was the moment I threw away the childish notion that God's job was to keep me (or anyone) from experiencing pain...

The hunger.
The pillage.
The torture.
The natural disasters.
The violence.
The anger.

Because, if that was God's job, it was pretty clear God wasn't doing it very well.


:: LIFE IS A CYCLE ::

Rather than grade God on a myopic human scale, consider for a moment that we see very little of the bigger picture. An ecosystem must have all the properties of G-O-D: Generation, Organization, and Destruction. Without generation, there would be no new growth. Without organization, there would be nothing to sustain life. Without destruction, there would be no room for new life. 

Life is a cycle. Our emotions are our work.

Everything that occurs in an ecosystem supports balance. It is easy for us to see this when we look at physical cycles. It is more difficult to see this when we talk about invisible cycle... spiritual cycles.

When things seem to be falling apart in our life, we can always ask: "what is this making room for?" 


:: EVERYONE HAPPY ::

If God could make every human being on this planet happy, would that prove God's existence?

Would that even be possible? 

Hmmm... Do we even know what sort of external factors could contribute to our total and completely sustained happiness?

Sometimes people hope for other people's pain. Sometimes several people want the same thing. Sometimes our mind changes and what used to make us happy doesn't anymore. 

If our happiness weren't a cycle of G-O-D, we might not ever notice we were happy. 

It's a pretty well established point that happiness is not based on external factors. Some of the happiest people on this planet experience extreme hardship. 

Hardship does not preclude happiness. We choose how we interpret the workings of God.

I believe every thing happens to support our spiritual growth. We can choose to ignore it, hate it, and bemoan it. It will come again—to give us another opportunity for learning. Or we can choose to be grateful. Lesson learned. NEXT!


:: EVOLUTION ::

When I started believing in God, my notion of why I was even on this planet evolved.

I have always believed in reincarnation, but I didn't understand why we needed so many lives.

I now think of life as a sort of game. We get to play as many times as it takes to get in right. Like "Groundhog Day." Try and try again. 

My understanding now is: the quicker we remember God, the quicker we win. When we win, we no longer need to take human form. Some spiritual teachers, like the Dalai Lama, choose to reincarnate in order to guide others towards their merger with infinity.

In this game of life, there is an underlying spiritual reality that we often forget.  

The THINGS we think we want are not always going to support our actual purpose on planet Earth. What we think we want and what is going to help our soul evolve in this lifetime, might be very different things.

In other words, the new car might not help us get to our spiritual destination any faster. However, we might need a new car in order to get to our physical destinations. As long as we don't confuse the two, we remain on (spiritual) course. 

TRUST is the awareness that the things we need for spiritual growth are already happening to us. Nothing is BAD, even though they may feel BAD.


:: GOING WITH THE FLOW ::

What happens when we stop trying to force the hand of the CREATIVE FORCE? What happens  when we stop trying to manipulate the physical world to get all the THINGS we think we need?

If you have experienced synchronicity, it's pretty obvious, that a softer approach to life brings many unexpected miracles.

You can have a general sense of where you want your life to go. Allowing the flow doesn't mean being aimless or lazy. We start to become more intuitive about our next step. The things that seem effortless and easy tend to be the way forward. 

When we try too hard to make something happen, it can feel like we are trying to swim upstream. In a sense, we are.

God is trying to direct us one way, and we keep going in the opposite direction. Imagine your life as a road with a particular destination. You keep choosing to walk west, when your destination is north. God keeps redirecting you, which feels like you are being blocked. The moment you begin to walk north, the journey seems a little easier.

(In reality, things are not that one-dimensional of course!)  

Once we begin to walk our path, there is still a lot of work to be done. But it feels forward-moving. It doesn't feel counterproductive, like a dead-end around each corner. 


:: GOD IS NEUTRAL ::

God doesn't do "bad" to "bad" people, or "good" to "good" people. God is neutral.

God is the DRIVING FORCE of generation, organization and destruction (GOD). That force drives life itself. Not just for the "good" people or the "bad" people.

We have free will in that we can choose to be in alignment with it, or not.

But even not being in the flow of God is another part of God really...

It's complicated, you know?


Love,
Sirgun







Friday, April 12, 2013

Making Music with Baby

This weekend we tracked the final vocals for my upcoming album.

I've done quite a bit of recording in my life and I was worried about having a newborn baby with this process.

I mean, it's strenuous enough having a baby who needs my full care and attention...

... but then add hours and hours of my "best" singing to the mix?

Wow.

I am really fortunate to have a husband who was able to telecommute so he could be with our son. And our producer's wife did some babysitting as well. It was a real team effort.

All I can say is: WE DID IT.

Vocals are done and now we just have some strings and some mixing to do.

I am really excited about this album!

Blessings,
Sirgun

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Strength It Took to Birth

{Note added 10/20/15. I have just written a much more lucid update to this blog post. I don't believe most of what is written here anymore as I have a lot more valid information at my fingertips. Please check out the update here.}

Almost two months ago now, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I love my son and if I had to, I would give birth to him several more times again.

His birth was extremely traumatic for me though. I felt like things hadn't gone the way I planned, that it had been more painful than I was prepared for, and that I hadn't been able to give my son the peaceful experience I had wanted for him.

I wanted to write this not as a complaint, but in the hopes that it might resonate with other women who had been through something similar.


NO PAIN?

When I was pregnant, I consumed all the information I could about natural childbirth.  

The consensus in all the "new age" information I absorbed was that pain in childbirth was the result of fear, something society had convinced women to expect. I reasoned that if I entered into the experience fear-free, I would emerge pain-free. 

I realize now that this is ludicrous. I know that there are women who do not experience pain in childbirth. That's great for them! And I know that are women who do. To state that the difference is fear, is an oversimplification. Not only that, I think it minimizes the experience of women who have hard labors, because, presumably, they got too caught up in the fear. It tells them they did something wrong. If only they had been more relaxed...

To me, it is like people who have never had a weight problem in their life, giving dieting advice. If you had an easy birth, in my opinion, that does not you an expert on how to recreate one. It means that that is how your body works. 

About 14 hours into my labor, when my contractions starting accelerating, it felt like someone had clamped my thighs and was administering high voltage electric shocks. The sensation made me want to throw up. I am a very relaxed person generally and I was breathing deeply through most of my labor, but how deeply would you breathe if you stuck your finger in a socket? I wasn't able to breathe my way out of the pain. I just had to surrender. 


MINE, NOT YOURS

I write these words knowing that this is MY experience, not anyone else's. I think the biggest issue I had with listening to women tell me about their pregnancies and their births is that they would talk about it in the second person. Instead of "I felt...", it was generally "you're going to feel..." 

It's hard not to talk this way. I catch myself doing it too. I feel like if I went through it, surely that must make me some kind of authority on it. Surely my testimonial must be useful. Sure. But it's just mine. 

It's an anecdote, not a rule.

HYPE

One of the biggest disappointments of my birth was that it ended at a hospital. My entire labor up until the last ten minutes of pushing took place in the comfort of my own home. About 40 minutes into pushing, my midwife decided to call the paramedics because Amrit-Anter (our son)'s heart was decelerating during the contractions. We never did find out why that happened. He was born perfectly healthy. 

By the time the ambulance came, his heart rate was back to normal in fact, but I didn't want to chance it, so I was hoisted on to the bed and off we went. 

I was told not to push while we drove to the hospital. 

This was the lowest moment of my life. Not only was the safety of my son being questioned, but I was in extreme agony, trying to keep life itself from coming out of me! 

Everyone had told me how empowered I would feel. How blissful those first few moments with your newborn would be. How relieved you would be.

I did not feel empowered. I felt cheated. 

I did not feel blissful. I felt light-headed.

And though I was relieved, I was shaking uncontrollably for several hours. My midwife told me it was from hormones. 


OUTCOME

While the experience of laor was anything but joy, ecstasy, and bliss, the outcome of the birth was all of those things: our son! 

I know Amrit-Anter went through even more trauma than me, so I understood what he was going through better than my husband in his first few days of life. At least I had known he was coming. He hadn't had any idea of what to expect, or what was happening to him, or where he was going.  

I have a much greater appreciation of the amazing strength it takes to bring life into this world. And I suppose my lesson is that courage isn't the absence of fear. It is the strength to carry on despite it. In writing this, I realize that is probably what people meant by "empowering." 

My life was no longer just about me. Someone else was depending on me to be strong for him. 

I don't encourage anyone to fear this experience. I do think women should know that an entire range of sensations are possible.

In the end, we get what we need, right? 


Love,
Sirgun




Complete and Thrilled

My New Album Campaign raised a whopping $12,835! Thank you so much to everyone who participated and pre-purchased the new album!

I am not getting one penny of this money. It is going to pay my producer and all the amazing musicians who will be playing on the album. Please look for it this summer!

Goes to show... if you ask, it shall be given.

Much love,
Sirgun

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