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What Are You Unwilling to Feel?

Ask yourself the question “What am I unwilling to feel?”

What do you find?

In my experiences, the things that I’m unwilling to feel are exactly the fears and beliefs that hold me back. Things that I really should be facing.

For example, I’ve written a lot about non-technical music production. Focusing on the feel rather the technical skill. I wonder how much of that stems from fundamental beliefs rather than a fear that I’m technically incapable or inferior. Could it be that I’m just no good with a compressor or an EQ and am trying to defend my ego?

So I face it. I am exploring that right now by digging into, learning, and creating pop music.

As Tara Brach, a meditative expert, says in a podcast with Tim Ferriss, “be willing to feel the vulnerability but not be driven by it.” You must be willing to face what makes you uncomfortable.

As artists, we tend to label ourselves. We lump ourselves into buckets. “I’m a prog house producer.” “I make hip-hop.”

Or, we stand firmly against some music. I’ve mentioned it before in my writing, but I have friends who hate pop music. I’m sure you know people like this too.

Why do they hate it?

The buddha says “if you’re suffering it’s because you’re forgetting who you are.”

These people who actively proclaim a distaste for some type of music are forgetting who they really are. These people, like you, are not they listen to or what music they make. But by defining themselves, these people block themselves off.

You are a musician. You are an artist. You physically, mentally, and spiritually move people with sound.

You are a human. You are alive. You are full of energy, emotion, and breath. You are full of movement and silence and peace and love and compassion and expression.

When writing music, face what you’re unwilling to face. The best art is unabashedly naked, afraid, and vulnerable. Most importantly, though, it is also at peace and comfortable. Let yourself be the same and your work will be the better for it.

As Tara said, “take the chance of being more vulnerable.”

Trust me, you’ll like what you find.

As an addendum, I had finished this article with it sitting at about 300 words and for a few minutes was stressing over that fact. Generally, I write longer stuff and feel as if shorter material is not substantial because of it’s length.

This is a forgetting of who I am. Not being at peace with what this message needs to be. The length doesn’t matter. It’s not a 1000 word essay. It’s not a 6 line poem. This is a 300 word piece and that’s what it is.

And that’s what it will be.

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Zac Citron

Zac Citron

Zac Citron aka Zencha is the author of zenchamusic.com, a music production site that explores “beyond the technical” — mindset, workflow, arrangement, marketing, and more. He also drinks way too much tea.

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