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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Freedom Warrior

In my teachings I have discovered there is a common thread amongst Artists and what they are searching for: FREEDOM.

Freedom to tour and perform whenever they wanted; freedom to pursue their Artistic dream, without being inhibited by a day job, lack of money or lack of resources; freedom to write songs; freedom to be who they want to be in their lives, and not trapped by past thoughts, fears, people's perceptions, responsibilities; freedom to create and pursue this naturally challenging career with the time it takes to invest in it; and so forth.

This desire for freedom, although not necessarily mentioned directly, was definitely the underlying current in the questions I received, and the conversations and discussions that took place.
 As an Artist, I am constantly exploring freedom in my creativity. I have spent quite a few years studying the path of the spiritual warrior and the essence of being that is the pursuit of freedom. You’ll see by my company name, Warrior Girl Music, and my nick name “warrior girl” that I carry this mantra close to me.

"I realize that I am always free to let go
and observe my life" 
- Wayne Dyer

 Freedom in the music business means the ability to be in control of your own career and at the same time not be in control of anything, and let the winds of Heaven guide us in our destiny. Let's take a look at the first part of that phrase: being in control.... It's an amazing opportunity to have a sense of freedom with our Artistry, without having to be dictated by companies that are guided by budgets, competition and the commercial machine. Independence from that means you can drive your own career, and be free to create whatever you want - from writing your songs, to producing unique music albums - different, alternative, out of the box - to performing with uniqueness and diversity.

 Who says we need to be like the formula on radio? Embrace the fact that you can be different from all that. There are enough people in this country who will love your music without you having to be number 1 on radio which is part manipulated anyway. Many bands fall under the radar of so-called "commercial success" (radio play, MTV video rotation, street press, Grammy awards, etc.) yet can have a lifelong, financially abundant career with a huge fan base. This can be done through being totally unique, different and out of the mainstream, by touring extensively, and knowing how to brand themselves on an independent level.
Being an independent Artist means you can create what you want, and then allow the right people who love what you do, come to you, rather than create packaged songs to an already saturated market which is commonly referred to as the "lowest common denominator". You have the opportunity to be different... to not just spew out the same ol' music that most of us are tired of hearing. We want something fresh, new, unique. The once loved, and now XM Satellite radio and iTunes are true representations that people are ready to hear something new, even if that means going on that arduous search through the Internet waves to find a little piece of unique "gold"

So who has the gold? You do. Artists have that divine gift called "imagination" that allows us to be totally different with what we create. So be different. There's an amazing sense of freedom in that. Freedom to discover new sounds, new packaging, new marketing ideas. From the beginning to the end, you have that freedom to do what you want, how you want, no strings attached.

 Freedom is also about coming from a certain place of non-attachment with our Art. Having "no" control in the process can also be a very liberating thing, and avoids any deflated expectations. Sometimes we have to just "let go" and allow the process of our creations, and our destiny/careers/dreams, to unfold on its own accord. 

 Let's take a look at the writing process for a moment. Writing songs, or creating anything, even a painting, is like tapping into a creative source that speaks to us. We can't force it, or we get blocked. We just have to be open to it. Once open, we can be very prolific. I'm always surprised that my best writing is when I just brainstorm and let the words flow. Sometimes I even "let go" of trying so hard (maybe even turn the TV on or something to take my mind off the pressure), and all of a sudden the song comes to life. How many songs have you written in the car, or doing something completely different? The words can't stop coming at you can they?

 In the studio, the Art of production is about the freedom of allowing the song to tell us what it needs. We can't force it. We become the observer... allowing the pieces to come to life, as we merely conduct.

 Being the observer doesn't mean we no longer care about the process. No, what it means is that we don't let our mind, our thoughts, our emotions or our worries get in the way.

“If a warrior is to succeed at anything,
the success must come gently,
 with a great deal of effort but with
 no stress or obsession.”
 ~Carlos Castaneda
Being open to a different path

Let's take a look at career projections. I always talk about defining success on one's own terms, rather than the commercial model. I also remind myself and others that even though we can have all these big dreams, and create plans.... it will never turn out the way we planned... and that's a great thing. We may project a certain future for ourselves, but ultimately, the universe, destiny, fate, whatever you want to call it, has other plans. These plans are part of the divine mystery of "why we are here" and as Artists we can respect that because it's all about creativity in the end, and all about freedom. By not being so attached to certain outcomes, we will never be let down. Instead, we will be offered wonderful gifts, which is part of the magic and mystery of it all.

I had an “aah haa” moment with an Artist recently. She had a one-on-one session with me and we were talking about how she wanted to leave her day job, as a social worker, and go into full time music as a touring and performing Artist. But she didn’t know how to transition from earning a strong salary as a social worker, into the music world where she was currently making no money doing coffee houses and the like. She also wondered if she was talented enough to compete in the music business and couldn’t really figure our her competitive advantage (her talent + uniqueness). Still, her passion is music and she really wanted to transition over. I asked her, “what do you sing about?”. She responded, “about relationships, my truth, and sometimes the stories of the kids I counsel through my day job.”

I offered a suggestion to perhaps explore some of the venues and outlets through her work, where she could perhaps perform to the kids, or the parents or other social workers, and thereby taking a different path (rather than the traditional music venues) to sing at. This was an ahh haa moment. Her eyes lit up and she started to smile. For the next half hour we brainstormed all of these ideas about how she could build some shows in her arena, where she could sing positive songs that would help in healing and be therapeutic. She saw visions of herself singing at schools, and even to general adults about abuse prevention, and various strong topics that she wrote about. She no longer felt blocked in not knowing how to access traditional venues, and realized she knew way more opportunities in her work field, than she realized previously, as to get her music out here.

In 30 minutes, this Artist became free. She freed herself from the bondage of her expectations of having to pursue her music career like everyone else, but instead find her own path, a different path, and quite possibly a more abundant and higher purpose path.
With discipline comes freedom

The book, “The Way of the Warrior” talks about the warrior who sets aside all distractions such as self pride or the desire to waste time or energy on the mundane. “Eliminate the unnecessary”, with a Zen perfection of “free-mindedness”. With freedom from distraction, the warrior becomes “emancipated to pursue perfection in all things”. For us, the Warrior Artist, that means to cut away, like a sword, all that doesn’t serve us, in order to pursue excellence as an Artist, and have the freedom to do what we want. This takes an incredible amount of discipline.

How can we find freedom to create, pursue our career, and manage all the business side of music along with being the Artist? How can we find the time to be free, unconfined by the walls of a day job, financial burdens, so many hours in the day, the multitude of tasks we need to get done as a creator, and a business person?

It means that we need to adopt discipline in our day to day lives, in order to accomplish it all. In my view, that means practicing, on a daily basis, some very important and effective warrior THINGS. Here are mine:

o    Clear the clutter, and the superfluous from your life- all that is unnecessary. That may mean as simple as getting your desk in order, to something complex and life changing as a job you don’t like doing, or projects that are wasting your time. Focus, instead, on what DOES serve you, that is part of your broader dreams and goals in life: and focus/zone in on them.

o    Remove the obstacles, both external and internal. Perhaps you live too far away from the hub of the city you want to perform in. Work towards moving. Need some money? Get a job. In a sour relationship? End it.

o    Find clarity. Get really clear with who you are and what you want. This can take years. By doing the exercises in the first half of this book, I hope you get clear a lot quicker. Finding clarity also means getting specific. If you want to increase your financial yearly wealth (so you can do the things you want to do), get specific on how much that is. $50K? $100K? $1mil? How much do you want? Write it down.

o    Feel inspired. Finding the inspiration in your day to day process is so important. Lose the stuff that doesn’t inspire you, and move towards things that do.

o    Use discipline as a tool for personal freedom: use my time management exercises, build your priorities, understand what it means to be organized.
o   Keep it simple. Too many things, desires, wants, tasks, projects, avenues, ideas, create too many distractions, lost opportunities, missing arrows: don’t let your head get too fuzzy. Just keep it simple. You can do it all – but you can’t do it all at the same time!

o    Being one with the universe and its timing might sound esoteric and airy-fairy, but if you believe in a higher power, or a universal law, then you’ll understand that you don’t have to FORCE your success to come to fruition…. Most of the time, you just have to get out of your own way and let it happen, its own way, when the timing is right.

o    Trust that all will be taken care of speaks similarly to the above point, with the added notion that you need to trust in your path, your instincts, your gut, and that everything happens for a reason and it will ALL BE OK.

o    Seeking no one else's approval but your own – I repeat this notion throughout this book because it’s important. Listen to others, learn from others, take feedback and advice. But at the end of the day, you are the ONLY one to approve of what you want to do and the choices you make. This is YOUR life and it will be different to anyone else’s path (you are unique).

o    Do whatever it takes to make it happen: this is very much about pursuing excellence on a daily basis. You want to not only do your best, but you want to do what it takes (within your reality and with proper reason without hurting anyone else to make it happen). You have to be willing to defend your vision and dreams to the world, and stand by it with conviction. Nothing else matters.

o    Have personal freedom as the goal: it’s a lifelong journey, but freedom is truly an amazing place to arrive to, either far away in the future, or little glimpses of it on a daily basis.

o    Create change, within and without: your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to create change in YOUR life (grow as a human being and transcend to a higher awareness of yourself) as well as CREATE CHANGE in others. This is where having a life mission comes into play. Through your Artistry, you have the responsibility to create a SHIFT around you (consciousness, thoughts, etc.). Think about what you write about, sing about or create about. What is it that you WANT TO SAY? What is your STORY? What do you want to change or affect in this world? Mine is a commitment to inspire passion, creativity, freedom and love in each and every one of us through my songs that I write and perform, as well as the stories and teachings I offer.

o    Take the path least traveled - no struggle - with the least resistance:  We are here for a good time, not a hard time. I like finding the path of least resistance (that doesn’t hurt me or others, or make me feel like I’m on a rollercoaster ride), yet at the same time be a DIFFERENT ROAD. I don’t want to live someone else’s life. I want to live MY life, and it’s a unique life. How I emulate that as an Artist will actually make me UNIQUE and therefore a marketable Artist, with music that people will want and shows they will want to watch. BE DIFFERENT, and try new ways to navigate this amazing journey that is your life.

All of these sound easy in writing. The reality is, it’s a life long journey of practicing Warriorship. I’m still a baby at it, and that’s ok: I’m a lifelong Artist so I have all my life to pursue my Warriorship, my excellence, and my Artistic passions: that’s why I say I’m “LIVING MY DREAM” because my dream is in the process of doing and learning it all.

Blog feedback:
“This really came at a good time for me, with an album recently completed and a bunch of fear rising in the face of my ambitions for the next steps. It's good to be reminded that it is a journey. I'm reminded of a Joseph Campbell quote,
"Sometimes we have to give up the life we've planned in order to have the one that awaits us".
 So, thanks,”
- Brett Robin Wood, Artist

 gilli moon's silent warrior:
The silent warrior is in all of us. It's not about war, nor fighting and definitely not about struggle. It's about an inner peace and a whole lot of courage to face all fears in un-chartered waters, finding the path least travelled and at the same time, finding the path of least resistance.  I take responsibility for myself. I follow a preserved set of personal freedoms. I am not without flaw, and in tolerating that I see and use my strengths. The warrior, the Artist, the professional, can only be effective when free to make decisions on their own.  The biggest secret is to do what you love most. Take on the Zen spirit!  I am a warrior girl and I encourage everyone to tap into their warrior within. 


~ by gilli moon
Come work with me in one-on-one artist coaching, and see how you can align with your sense of self and worthiness to make your dreams come true:

Achieving Abundance, Self-Empowerment and Professional Success as an Artist Entrepreneur
"Take charge of your Artistic destiny"
Australia’s Hollywood based Gilli Moon is an Artist, Author, Motivational Speaker Author and Artist Entrepreneur.
JUST GET OUT THERE, Gilli Moon’s 2nd book, is the Artist's bible to achieving abundance, self-empowerment and professional success as an Artist entrepreneur. 300+ pages filled with in-depth tips, tools, steps and resources on getting out there as an Artist, all the while achieving personal, financial and professional success and joy. The book covers topics such as defining your uniqueness; building your dream and creating a plan around your goals; balancing the art with the 'business' through time management and prioritization techniques; fundamentals in producing, releasing, marketing, promotion, performing and touring; using the Internet; and a plethora of in-depth tips, tools, steps and resources on getting out there as an Artist. Throughout this book, Gilli is guiding you, asking you questions, giving you exercises, and making you think and act the way a strong business savvy Artist should, leading you to the Artist you ultimately want to become. JUST GET OUT THERE provides Artists inspiration: a sense of hope and assurance through anecdotal stories (some about Gilli’s personal life), motivational messages and real, practical, tried and tested strategies. Ultimately it’s about enjoying the journey along your path to creative success.
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