Embracing Your Dark Side – Or Getting Inspired by It (as an Artist)

Embracing Your Dark Side – Or Getting Inspired by It (as an Artist)
“Obscurity” – an instrumental beat Produced by Phantasiis

We all have it.

Is that other self, who tells us to react in ways that might not be the best for everyone else. Ways that might have a negative consequence. Those thoughts that turn into scenes in our heads on how we would have approached it.

But we stop. We don’t act. We just imagine.

There’s lots to say about our dark side. Sometimes, we do let it out and have it its way. Is not always pleasant. Most of the time is not. However, it is important to know that our dark side has its purpose. It is there to protect us from harm. From injustice. From treats and an even the dark side of other people.

Sometimes fire needs to be fought with fire.

I’m not here to say that acting according to our dark side is the default answer. Allow me to elaborate on how I am embracing my darkness and channel that energy into my music. Is a creative way for me to see, hear, and materialize all those feelings that I have, and cannot explain with ease.

Music has been a tool for me to express and create emotional landscapes that I can’t express otherwise.

I am trying to create something beautiful out of it. Something that resonates with others. Something that inspire other human beings.

I am trying to connect with you through music.

I’ve been producing and releasing songs often as the winter and shorter days invigorate my creativity. I’ve been feeling more energy and sleeping better. Waking up and going for walks around the park before sunrise. I love this season.

I’ve been working on improving my diet and exercising regularly. Which, in turn, will help me create better music.

For the longest time I was ashamed of many thoughts and feelings I have. Sometimes to the guilt was so intense that was provoking me feelings of anxiety.

At the end of the day, they’re thoughts. They come and they go. Thanks to meditation I am getting comfortable by being present with my thoughts. Regardless of their nature. I just let them be and acknowledge them.

I’ve been creating darker music. And I have been creating relaxing and calming music, too. I feel that by exploring my thoughts and states of mind, I will be able to evoke feelings in others.

Let the music express what you feel. Even feelings are temporary. Might as well enjoy them or better yet, get inspired by them and create something that has permanence.

On Creativity,

Ernesto

What Causes You to Feel “Goosebumps”? Name Five

What Causes You to Feel “Goosebumps”? Name Five

I’d like to share mine with you.

  1. Seeing fellow artists do what they do best: making art
  2. Hearing good news from people
  3. Listening to someone speak anything that they’re passionate about
  4. Watching people dance
  5. When a plan from a loved one went better than expected

On another note.

I’m writing this on a Sunday night. This weekend was one where I needed to recharge my mind and body. To reconnect with myself. I have a decision to make about my school and career. 

Last week was good and stressful to say the least. I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree in Data Science while working full time. It proved to be much different than I anticipated.

I’m failing at both tasks. Or at least, I was.

Meanwhile, the support of my grandparents, friends, and partner has been instrumental in keeping me grounded. It was one of those moments where I thought I was doing something good, even well-intentioned. The reality is that I was setting myself up for failure.

Time is limited for me. Also, time doesn’t wait for us or our needs. As I read in a book “Time just is”. Is up to me to decide where and how I allocate my 24 hours.

On a positive note, I did have a nice weekend. I slept a lot each day. Woke up and had a cup of coffee and the rest of time revolved around music and talking to friends over discord while gaming or taking a break.

I had several moments where my skin, particularly my arms, were full of goosebumps. I tend to attribute it when good things happen or are about to happen. Think of it as a good omen.

Some of them happened while listening to other people. Others when I was by myself creating a beat or watching videos about producers or musicians making something from scratch. I love that.

Let’s dive to the five things I illustrated at the beginning.  

Seeing Fellow Artist Do What They Do Best: Making Art

Every time I see when the “magic” is being created, that smile with closed eyes while nodding your head when everything sits right in the middle of the situation. The perfect moment. When the jam session goes into that transcendental state of mind. Flow at this purest form. When suddenly the beat takes off and starts bouncing everyone one in the room. That gives me pure joy and of course, goosebumps. 

Hearing Good News from People

This happens a lot to me. When I ask how things went or the status of a given project. I get an unexpected positive response from the person telling me the good news. I can see it in their face. Again, that joyful smile full of contained happiness. Hearing good news from others makes me genuinely happy. Do you have any good news would you like to share? Leave it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Listening to Someone Speak Anything that they’re Passionate About

This is one of my favorites for sure. There’s something magical about hearing someone what makes them happy. What makes them feel alive and portray just that when talking about it. I get to learn new things about that person and get to know them at a deeper level. Those smiles while talking about what you love. That’s where is at.

Watching People Dance

Do I need to elaborate on this? If the beat is good. If the song is catchy and has the right vibe and people just get down. There’s something on it that makes my skin feel different and I end up dancing as well. Though, there’s times where I start the dancing first. Just the power of music and its vibrations makes my head nod. Might as well get some moves going on. 

When A Plan from A Loved One Went Better Than Expected

Don’t you love when that happens? I’ve been hearing great plans from friends, relatives and partner that went better than expected. These types of stories give me inspiration, and, of course, goosebumps. 

What I’ve been exploring and being mindful about is cherishing those good moments. Knowing when my body is present along with my mind’s attention to the person in front of me. There’s magic on reacting to people’s happiness by means of amplifying it. Of being genuinely happy about others happiness. Even when you might not be doing well at that specific moment. Some of that goodness might get to you. Or viceversa. You might be the light on someone’s tunnel.

Be that light. Reflect it and amplify it, too.

On good feelings,

Ernesto

Choosing our Baggage

Choosing our Baggage


“You can only help people feel better about their life, but you cannot take on yourself their struggles because that’s not your load to bear.”

I’d like to take a moment to be mindful. Without my own struggles I wouldn’t have the strength to know that I can push through at the end. To begin with requires being aware that you are struggling. You can live in survival mode for an extended period and not realize you are struggling and get accustomed to it. On the other hand, you are in a hopeless situation with no future and find out too late, like it happened to me not long ago.

You might think that being in a negative situation is normal. Almost expected. When someone arrives in your life and shows you the other side, or when someone leaves your life to show you how different and positive life is without them, that’s when it hits you. It hit me hard.

Noticing that change is possible, that it can be a decision -though, sometimes difficult- is already half the battle. Bringing it to awareness is already a catalyst to make that move. To go all in, or all out and leave. In my case it was the latter.

Often, I’ve been in situations where I’m too caught up in my own narrative that it is hard to change perspective. Usually, it is my body who is the first to tell me to take a break. To remove myself from the equation I thought I had to be in to get an answer. An answer to a question that wasn’t mine to begin with. Your body might send pain signals, uneasiness, stress, anxiety, lack of motivation, energy, or sleep. These last two are the most common to me. I felt drained.

To be brief, I experienced a situation where I was sharing a space with someone who was experiencing a tough time. Initially, I was there to help that person out. It was what friends do. Sooner than later, I was already working from there and eventually living there. As the quote illustrates at the top, it took me time and pain to realize that I didn’t want this to be my life.

And there I was. Thinking about doing something right and I overdid it, putting others before me, trying to play hero where the battle wasn’t mine. It was my choice to be part of it, and it showed me how I can disguise myself as doing good when it was to fulfill a subconscious desire.

Perhaps, the idea of being needed and being able to provide for someone. I’ve been thinking long and hard about that. I know that I may have helped, and, in the end, caused pain and disappointment when I left.

I feel sorry about it. And I have reached out and asked for forgiveness.


In the end, I had to protect my wellbeing and sanity. Had to ask myself if this is how I wanted to live life. The answer was that I needed to surround myself with individuals who want to grow, that have ambition and want to find themselves.

“Don’t push a boulder uphill just because you can”

-Ernesto

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

The feeling of being stuck and the struggle of change. 

I started to think that something was off with me when I started to feel physically exhausted and mentally clouded daily. Waking up was a pain, let alone staying awake for the first hours during work. During the night I seemed alive, and I didn’t want to sleep early at all. 

That’s how it started.

It was a slow buildup of a routine that I thought I could handle. Taking one hour or two of less sleep every day if I could recover them over the weekend, in theory. Add a miserable diet and the recipe was heading for a disaster.

I started to become aware of the hole I dug myself into. A few feet under in the name of productivity and my art. I felt that if I did my job well, and at the end of my shift I worked on music and played video games until late at night I was proving myself that I “could”. To perform well with little sleep and eating junk. Good luck with that.

I was paying the price of this disservice to myself. I started to notice that I was comfortable. Too comfortable where I was at the time. I started to feel that I needed a change. The question was, how was I supposed to change when I was too tired to begin with? It bothered me. 

Until my girlfriend suggested that I should try working my sleep first. That was hard to do at the beginning, even if I knew she had a point. The thought of not playing video games and making music for less time than usual caused me anxiety. I was going to “miss” the possibilities.

I started to get a clear picture when I started to listen to the book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins. I needed a plan and motivation. That book delivered that and much more.

Hearing his story, mindset, and how he transformed himself was inspiring. It made me ‘cut through my bullshit’ and to ‘own the mornings’ among other lessons. It really made me realize that the human body was full of potential. I was letting that go away.

I started to focus more on my relationship with my girlfriend. Living through that self-induced depression was an act of selfishness on my end. It was hurting us both. Now I am working on being present for her and taking care of myself first.

I cut my hours of video games significantly and focused some of those hours into creating more music. I am working on releasing an EP that hopefully will be released before the fall. 

I started to fall asleep earlier and wake up early 6 days a week. I am starting to exercise again after a long hiatus. Mostly jogging, and bodyweight exercises. 

Thanks to my girlfriend, now I am fond of salads and making smoothies. I never consumed nor ate this amount of healthy stuff in a short period of time. It is intense how the body reacts to real food.

I’m working on developing a sustainable routine that brings me wellness and more time with my loved ones. There are days where I take a breaks, such as today. I’m writing this to reflect on how easy it is to get lost in our routines, and how I found myself through change. One thing at a time. 

I’m a work in progress, with no intention to end until further notice.

Lastly, I’d like to live you with this quote:

“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.” – Marcus Aurelius

Mondai-nai!

Ernesto

Moving On, Moving Forward

Moving On, Moving Forward

We must carve our own paths.

I woke up this morning reflecting on the above. I feel that the best thing that ever happened to me was to thrive to be independent. I must confess it took longer than I expected.

I’m not sure if this is a thing but knowing that I’ll be 30 years old this year makes me introspective on my past, act in the present, and now see a more tangible future.

Saying ‘no’ to requests from others to protect my time and integrity has been key lately. I don’t want to be the person who is reached only when it is needed, nor being the facilitator to make things easy for someone when they are capable to do it themselves. The latter has been triggering to a point that I just stopped replying to such persons and even ignore them. Instant peace of mind.

I’m a helper by nature. However, I’m against stopping my overall growth as a person and especially hindering the growth of others. To elaborate, I do my best to not follow suit on favors, requests, etc. to friends, relatives, and colleagues who just want a quick fix on their needs or wants.

It is a bittersweet feeling knowing that people whom I considered close friends are now becoming distant because they don’t need anything from me. Which is a good thing and a reality check for me because I now understand that some people in life will only reach out when they need something from you who is going to benefit them exclusively.

During my quest on finding my voice through music and writing, I realize that I’m not like that. I don’t reach out to my network to ask for anything because I tend to do things own my own. I believe that there’s a dynamic that I tend to favor, which is helping someone when they’re not requesting it.

I believe there’s power in that.

When doing an act of good faith and at the same time not expecting anything in return that’s when to me, the magic happens.

I’ve been looking for opportunities to create an impact, even if minimal, within my circle of friends and relatives. Just doing, saying, or giving things that will help that person grow, and carve their own path with a new tool, new mental model, or new perspective.

There’s a thin line regarding that, and I must be mindful. Not everyone I know will take advantage when there’s opportunity to grow and move forward. Even me.

In short, I’m being more mindful on who I give my time and attention to. I want to know and find people who have a growth mindset and that like me, want to carve their own path.

“Volverte A ver” | Demo | Prod. and Written by Phantasiis

“Volverte A ver” | Demo | Prod. and Written by Phantasiis

Hola, espero estes muy bien. Llevo mucho tiempo sin publicar aqui. Sin embargo, eh estado haciendo musica y letras para esas canciones. En ese video encontraras una de ellas. Y a mi de paso. Que estes bien, un abrazo. -Ernesto, “phantasiis”

“Volverte A ver” | Demo — Phantasiis

From my blog in Spanish.

I know I’ve been absent. I’ve been working on music and exploring lyrics in my first language. I hope you are doing great.

I’ll write a longer post with updates and news soon.

In case you’d like to follow my YouTube channel, you can do it here.

Create. Inspire.

On creativity,

-Ernesto

Some Changes and Updates

Some Changes and Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve made a blog post. I’ve been working in the background. Making songs on a regular basis and learning new software.

Here’s some updates I’d like to share with you since my absence: 

I’ve noticed that I’m more creative when I wake up earlier than later in the day. The days where I wake up early are the days where I grab some coffee and start working on music.

I moved to my own place -finally- and it has been great having my own space to dwell on my creativity and just be alone.

I released a 3 song EP under my side project Phantasiis, which is titled, ‘Take It Easy’. You can find it here .

I’ve been doing freestyle rap in Spanish and recording myself doing it. It’s been really fun and sometimes I do get in to a flow state.

I’ve bought a microphone that is surprisingly small, but it works for practice purposes. 

I’ve got into console gaming, I’ve been playing Apex Legends on Xbox for a few weeks and I’ve been loving it.

Finally bought a TV -never owned one- soon to realize that I don’t really use it to watch anything. It is more to listen to music and occasional YouTube videos. 

I realized that I haven’t learned anything about music as of lately, rather I’ve been applying what I know and find new ways to work with that.

I could not move forward to my Masters Program in Data Science due to time constrains. 

Instead, I got accepted into a Certificate program for Business Intelligence Analysis by UC San Diego. It has been a great experience and excellent community.

I noticed I’ve reached a point in life where I don’t need much to live comfortably and make music. All I really need is a computer, mouse, and good headphones.

I’ve been having bad insomnia but it has been getting better.

I got into audio books and I really enjoy listening to something interesting while doing something rather mundane. It turns that task into an experience.

I stopped meditating. I don’t have a clear reason why as of now. I feel I’ve reach a point where I meditate through music. I noticed when I was in my meditation period for several months, I didn’t create many songs. Something to think about. Will write about it later.

Lastly, I’ve been thinking a lot about this website. I believe this blog and writing in general is a great outlet for me to express my thoughts and clarify my mind. Hopefully some of this content brought value to you at some point. However, I feel that Ernesto Delirium is not a name I want to keep using for the blog. The main reason is that I don’t plan to release more songs under that project anymore. It was a great experience, but I’d like to focus all of my energy to Phantasiis and keeping it consistent.

Therefore, I’ll change the website address to reflect that change. I don’t know how long the process is going to take, but I’ll make the necessary changes. Also, changing the website design would be a plus, too.

More music to come, especially instrumental hip-hop. I’d like to get back into writing articles about psychology and music as well, time will tell.

I hope you are doing well with all of the chaos going in the world.

Take it Easy,

Ernesto

Part of my new logo for Phantasiis

RX to Self: Please Slow Down

RX to Self: Please Slow Down

It’s been 12 years since I started this path. Mental illness wasn’t the problem. The struggle was how to regain my confidence and self-esteem after the first onset of symptoms. 

In retrospect, I felt like an observer. I was aware of my surroundings and the people around me. The constant struggle to try to belong to the scene that was right in front of me. Family reunions, going out with friends, going to a concert. Anything social was uncomfortable to me. 

More importantly, I felt I wasn’t my true self.

When I’ve moved to the US 10 years ago, the idea of being an observer started to fade. I became careless about it. I was happy to start a new chapter in life where I could be more independent. I’ve lost school years during my time in Mexico, and I was determined to never let that happen again. Until my symptoms started to take a slow and tender grip on me.

And there I was, going to school with the best intentions to not breakdown. I had the will to not surrender. I had to prove myself that I could do it, that I could belong to the group. Instead of being an observer, I’ve became a witness of my own thoughts. I’ve started to become anxious about others being witness of my symptoms. 

The daily inner battle lasted for several years. I’ve started to evolve with it. Faking that nothing was happening with me. I became desensitized of my needs, and it took a toll  on me from time to time. By this I mean going to the hospital several times because I couldn’t take it anymore. 

Stigma is real and I believe that mental illness is a topic that not many of us like to discuss. Perhaps is lack of understanding, or simply lack of sensibility. 

What if instead of talking about mental illness, we reframe the context to mental wellness? The emotions and ideas portrayed by the word ‘illness’ and ‘wellness’ are diametrically opposed. However, these two terms are interwoven, they are connected. You cannot have one without the other. 

I’m a human being that’s working towards that balance. I tend to overextend myself when I’m doing something that I love. It may be when I’m working or studying, being with friends, being in a relationship, or making music. These are things that I tend to have trouble to keep in harmony.

I’ve got the opportunity to recover my path after a recent hospitalization. I’ve moved the start of my graduate program for the spring, and I’m working on getting more experience on the field of psychology and mental wellness. What I’ve noticed about this, is the way I’m experiencing it.

I’m becoming more aware and attuned to my body through meditation. I’ve been doing it more often, and now I’ve got the opportunity to join a group of guided meditation. I’m learning to regain my attention and focus on what’s around me. Sometimes is hard to practice it, but I try my best on every chance.

I haven’t played much music, nor composed anything. I just don’t feel ready for now. I’ve been writing on my journal, and talking with family and friends. Trying to pick up my pieces together after my resent episode. I’ve been applying to different jobs and trying to reconnect with myself, once again. 

Taking stock on how I’ve dealt with my relationships with people I love is something I’m working on this morning. In order to that, I need to slow down.

Thank you for reading.

On Wellness,

-Ernesto  

The Summer Demos

The Summer Demos

I’d like to share with you a playlist with some songs I’ve made during the summer. I’ve been practicing and learning how to produce hip-hop. My goal is to produce the LoFi genre.

It has been an interesting and enjoyable process for the most part. There’s much to learn, and not much time on my hands. I won’t be as active on the blog starting next month.

I’ve got the opportunity to join a graduate program. I’m going to start a Master’s program in Data Science this September. Therefore, I’ll be focusing on school for a while.

I hope that you are doing well, and doing better each day. I wish you inspiration, lots of creative juice, and plenty of sleep. I’ll be missing the latter.

Thank you for listening!

To our success,

Ernesto

Mondai nai!

Shared Dreams

Shared Dreams

Where you been?

I was longing for your return

Waiting for my turn

To share with you my dream

A dream about a place

Full of music and light

Where I had to inevitably embrace

The beauty in your eyes

When you look at me

And ask me why

I answer nothing

I have nowhere to hide

Then you ask me

Where I’ve been?

That you were longing for my return

That you were waiting for your turn

To share your dream with me.

And it was so beautiful.

Our Song and Silence

Our Song and Silence

I started to hear our song

The one that we danced

Together, as one, as a whole

With our bodies and souls

I realize that you’re not here

Not with me, not together anymore

And we’re not dancing either

Our bodies and souls are now apart

Silence is what I want

Please turn off the music and lights

I don’t want to hear our song

The one we used to dance

Together, as a whole.

Checking-In

Checking-In

Next week is finals week. I’ll earn a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology. Last Thursday was my last lecture as an undergrad. I felt nostalgia. 

A chapter ends and another begins.

Many years and sacrifices happened to get to this point. Below are some questions that I’m exploring tonight. I would love to read your thoughts on them, too. 

1. Would you do it again?

2. What would you tell now to somebody who’s starting out?

3. What would your healthiest and smartest self would advice you?

4. What did you had to give up for to accomplish this?

5. What did you discover about yourself?

 Allow yourself to learn something outside from school or your trade. That activity could become an outlet to decompress from school or related stressors. Learning about music and reading non-academic books were instrumental for me. This semester was one of the busiest I had.

Somehow, I wasn’t as stressed as I thought. It felt as if I chose to not get stressed this time around. Peers and coworkers told me many times that I looked calm and zen. 

I believe that Morita Therapy helped me with that. I haven’t had anxiety symptoms since October. Reading the book gave me a mental frame to work with my emotions differently. Also, I read and almost finished Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I’ve been a fan of his works for some time now. 

Taking a break from social media a few months ago helped with my work and school output. I must say that I eventually returned, but my usage is minimum. I reached a point that I don’t mind not using it; at best I use it to share my blog posts and music, no more than that.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’ve been working on some beats that I plan to release soon. Music has been an outlet to explore my emotions, creativity, and learning skills. I’ve been getting into producing sample-based music. You’ll notice a different flavor under Phantasiis in comparison with my usual style. 

Summer is around the corner, and with it more time to dedicate to the craft. I haven’t written here in a while, but I’m still around.

What’ve you been up to?

Hasta pronto,

— Ernesto