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The Mindful Musician

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When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't see a person. I see analytics and insights. Social media is ruining me. What was once mysterious, and exciting, has quickly become the most damaging relationship I’ve had to date. Pitted against people all over the world, all I see are my failures and inability to live up to societal standards.


A few weeks ago, I went downtown to promote my upcoming show at the Horseshoe Tavern (**shameless plug** Toronto, January 7th, 2022 @ 9pm, 19+, $15 tix) and I spoke to complete strangers face to face. Strange concept, I know. No zoom meetings, no emails, no texting, no voicemails, NO HIDING. I didn’t even mention where to find me on social media when we spoke. I think my brain knew this could be a break from the constant barrage of berating thoughts I think to myself every day. These interactions wouldn’t be quantified by likes, comments, follows, or streams. These interactions would happen and then become part of my day. Something I could think back on to enjoy, not judge.


The high I got that day was rejuvenating. I’ve been aching to feel at peace with myself for some time now. I just want to make music..I didn’t sign up for this clout rivalry and constant competition for industry attention.


I was just a human in those brief moments. These strangers didn’t pick up their phones to check how many followers or streams I had before giving me the time of day, nor was I doing that to them. They took a risk giving me a couple of minutes of their days. That doesn’t happen online because those kinds of interactions don’t make money. The music industry has normalized vetting artists via data analyses, rarely going so far as listening to the first 5 seconds of a song. It's an impossible situation for all artists alike.


The other day, I was notified that I wouldn't receive funding from X group because my streaming numbers weren't high enough. I'd rather someone tell me they hate my music, at least they listened.


Social media has completely annihilated my ability to be myself, care-free. Everyday, I feel envy, frustration, sadness, helplessness, loneliness, complete and utter defeat, but those small, very real, things such as those brief interactions are what block those feelings out long enough for me to move like water.


Unintentional mindfulness spiel: I am more mindful of the things that matter, the things that make us human, and I choose to celebrate them to create a buffer between real life and the online image that keeps bogging it down.


I urge you to take a few moments for yourself today to reflect on what you are feeling and what may be behind those feelings…growth starts with awareness.



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Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Somewhere around 11 years old, I went to my first counselling session to dig into some anxieties I had been experiencing. Honestly, I completely forgot that I had gone. My mom actually reminded me a few weeks ago and then it all came flooding back--my first experience with a notion I’ve dreaded for years, mindfulness.


In fairness to me, at 11 years old, I wasn’t all that jazzed about some rando telling me how I should live my life. Nowadays there’s a bit more to it than what I had been told in that session. Today, it’s about finding and harnessing your purpose, being present, acknowledging the experiences you’ve had and the emotions that arise along with them...blah blah...you get it. Anyways, 11 year old me came out of that counsellor’s room utterly underwhelmed. Being the little “enlightened” turd I was, I told my mom that it was a complete waste of time. I’ll take it from here, thanks. I got really into music and horse riding shortly thereafter. Those became my greatest sources of subconscious therapy and mindfulness practice.


See, you can’t ride a horse and be distracted. The moment you lose that focus, you and the horse are at risk. Same thing goes for creativity (music in my case). If you aren’t 100% present in your creative environment you put your creativity at risk. Moral of the story, I’ve always been a wise ass and if you are too, consider taking up activities that silently challenge you. Starting with things that throw you into these practices "subconsciously" is great...you don't have to acknowledge the shit that's actually causing your problems...yet. Find things that make you happy, make you feel grounded, secure, and at peace. But also, if you're reading this thinking: "STFU, Delyn.", that's also cool. YOU DO YOU.


Here's a picture of my dog:




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Greaaaat another young person here to preach about their mindfulness journey…right? WRONG. Kinda…Not really?


I used to cringe any time I heard mindfulness. Truth be told, it still makes me want to gag sometimes. Mindfulness, along with many other coping mechanisms, has been force-fed to our society and I think we're all missing out on some pretty badass pieces of it...the pieces that don't make profitable marketing ploys...that is, your OWN experience.


I’ve just recently opened my mind to meditation and mindfulness practices and have found that it has completely expanded my ability to get creative. You should know that my biggest love in life is music--it’s my passion, my drive, my motivator, my oxygen--and in navigating that (often complicated) relationship, I’ve been motivated to find ways to keep my creative process from being burnt out. I'm talking writer's block, procrastination, and utter dread when thinking about sinking your teeth into a project. I work a full time job, I’m studying for a business and law degree, and I'm pursuing a career in the music industry, and oh, FREAKING COVID HAS TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. Not only do these things drain my energy, they drain my creative processes. And when the creativity spark dies out, things get rough.


This is me...casually captured in an enchanted forest in nothing but perfect makeup, jewelry, a massive sunburn on my chest, and a see through dress to keep me warm...


This picture was taken to promote my latest single release, Set Me Free (shameless plug...go listen to it!!). If you're trying to or interested in making a living off your artistry, you know that sometimes your craft can be overshadowed by the image and branding that comes along with it. It's so easy to lose touch with your WHY, no matter who you are, what you do, where you came from. This picture actually represents reconnecting with my WHY (music). And though, yes it is staged, this past year, connecting with nature has grounded and guided me through the most tumultuous year I've experienced. That's the piece I want to share with you...but feel free to take a few extra moments to look at my...eyes before continuing to scroll.


This is also me....



I'm trying to get back to how she lived--unapologetically, whimsically, curiously, and playfully...the perfect breeding ground for effortless creativity. Long story short, I need to start listening to my inner child again coz this adulting thing is boring as hell and SUCH a mind screw. Where's the fun and carelessness?!


There is so much information out there that can deviate you from staying in touch with yourself and finding what you need from the tools available to you. We all look for prescriptions when we think we've veered off what's considered to be a favourable, "normal" path, when really, that's just the human existence. NO TWO PEOPLE LIVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE. YOU WILL NEVER LIVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE TWICE. Let's all take a breathe, check in with ourselves, and ask yourself what you NEED today.


Lately, I've been finding that my mind needs time to recharge. How the hell do I recharge my mind?!?! Like many this past year, I've hit some lows. I've been struggling to get my creative mojo back. I'm a control freak. When I acknowledge these things, I try to find solutions as fast as possible. But through different practices, I've come to find that my brain just wants me to SHUT UP and LISTEN. Anyways, enough about me...we'll get to more about me soon enough.


Consider this blog as a resource for your creative mind when it might not be igniting as fiercely as it used to. I’ll be sharing a range of things with you--from daily practices, to foods that fuel my brain--that get me back to tip top creative shape. I’ll leave it to you to decide if anything is worth your exploration. THIS ISN'T A PRESCRIPTION. If anything, I hope that some of what I share inspires you to explore that beautiful mind of yours a little bit more than you did yesterday.


Please feel free to add comments below and share your own experiences, I'm looking for any and all opportunities to connect with you wonderful humans!


Talk soon,

D


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