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It IS Personal



It dazzles me sometimes. We are told, time and time again, "Hey, don't take it personally!"

But I'd like to consider a different way of thinking on this.

You might have, like me, been told that you are "overly sensitive." When you were a child, you were offended and hurt by stray comments that felt mean to you. If you saw a boy hitting a dog with a stick, you were upset. You couldn't control yourself. You went up to him and said "Stop that!" At the time, it felt like someone was striking you.

You cry at movies, when people, animals, trees die. You wake up at 4 in the morning thinking about the great Sequoias, right whales, starving children, Ukraine. The list of atrocities plays in your head.

The health of the earth , the world, this country, your city, your street. It IS personal. You are alive in this time, this history, and the way you feel does matter.

Who wants to live with dulled sensibilities? The sense that nothing we do matters? That it is all rigged and futile. Isn't this a lack of spirit?

Let me write about other things that are personal and need to be. If you write a song, and I hear it, and it moves me, I HAVE to tell you that. It IS personal. Your song is in my bloodstream, in my brain, my heart. It has become a part of me. Loving something that someone does means that this something now becomes a part of you, a good healthy extension.

Likewise, when you make a comment that reflects something I have made, or said, it DOES matter. This is a connection. Reaction spurs interaction which leads to action. It is a cycle. We need it.

As a human being, I am nerves, water, fragile parts that function as a whole. Every piece of who I am resonates and responds to what I experience. The world IS personal.

In my recording and teaching studio, I am all about a personal experience. You are unique. There is not ever going to be another you in my presence. So what are we doing? We need to create a space for just you. What you want to do, whether it is learning a new instrument or busting out of a rut.

Support means safety. It means being heard. It's hard to go it alone. Sometimes you can't hear yourself speak until you speak in front of someone who gives you the time and space.

I believe that each person learns differently. And the thrill of teaching, coaching, producing, sessioning is that each person opens a new world. I feel honoured.

Your song IS personal. It needs to be handled with empathy, but it is resilient.anWe can try different ideas. Some may feel right, and some may not. The mix of making a song immediate and accessible to another yet deeply personal is the making of Art. Art is something deeply personal that is so much so that it rings universal.

It is a challenge to take things personally. This means YOU'RE IN. You are showing up. You are daring to feel, be, do. You are going to be vulnerable. You will be uncertain. But if you have done and done and done music, for years, you know that every bit of what we participate in our craft is healing and real and bigger than any of us.

Fear stops us. But the truth is that there is so much we can do. The more we do together , the more we love. The more we love, the more confident and free and connected we feel.

Everything is personal. And that's a good thing.

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