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.

Motivation – You got this

Motivation – You got this

Seeking motivation when feeling in need of a little push. Someone who believes in me. Anybody. I wish I had people around who could tell me that I can do it. That they’re proud of me for what I’m doing.

Recognition and acknowledgment. Basic things that I believe everyone needs at different degrees. I want very little. I wished people who live with me, who know me, who are part of my life would say: you got this.

I write today to tell myself that I got this. I am whom I decide to become if I put in the work. Regardless if no one notices. Regardless that nobody really cares. I notice. I care.

Today was a day where I felt I was giving up. That I was throwing everything down. Dropping the ball. A day were I almost surrendered from my dreams and what I want.

And it did not happen. Not today. Not tomorrow. I won’t let it happen.

I’m making progress today by choosing to move forward. I chose myself. I do not need approval other than my own. I am motivating myself through writing. I hope that you don’t give up and get that motivation to move through.

I believe in you and I acknowledge you. I know I don’t know you, but know that like me, you are not really alone in this. You have what you carry inside. What gets you moving, what pushes you.

Remember why you are here. Your purpose and mission depend solely on you. No one owes you anything. I had to remind myself of it today. I was losing my essence.

Please remember why you are here and what you envision.

I got this.

You got this.

Mondai nai!

-Ernesto

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Pandemia Y Desamor | Instrumental Beat for Sale/Lease

Pandemia Y Desamor  | Instrumental Beat for Sale/Lease

https://www.beatstars.com/beat/pandemia-y-desamor-88bpm-5658753

I’d like to start with some updates since my last post:

I feel back to normal from my severe insomnia that I had for months. Now I have a more structured day and normal hours. I’ve been making music regularly and I’ve reached a point where I decided to move forward to the next step with Phantasiis:

Start giving value to what I make.

That’s why I decided to make the first step and created a Beatstars account. I only have this song for now and I will upload some unreleased songs in the next few days. It’s a nerve-racking feeling because I never tried to sell my music, other than sharing my songs from Spotify or SoundCloud. I feel that I’m at level where I feel that my music sounds the way I like.

I have a creative project going on in the background for all of you, which I hope you’ll enjoy. I’ll write more about the details once I have a finished product. For now, it is a mystery (?).

On another note, I started to play my electric guitar again out of nowhere. Not necessarily creating something with the intention to record it, but just for the fun and the pure pleasure of it. I realized that my hands actually get sore now after extended play. I suppose it is time to do those stretching exercises (there’s some by John Petrucci on Youtube in case you’d like to do some, too).

Also, I’d like to share with you that this is my first week as a Graduate student. It is interesting how life as turned out. I’m working on becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist. I hope to keep you posted on my progress and stuff that I find interesting. I miss writing psychology articles, such as the one for Morita Therapy that I did a few years ago.

It feels good be writing for the blog again. I hope that you are doing well. As always, feel free to email me using the contact form with your comments or questions.

Let’s Inspire and Create.

To New Adventures,

-Ernesto

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!

It’s Not Your Time

It’s Not Your Time

It’s a way that sadness manifests itself. A depressive period where you’re trying to make yourself feel anything else other than you. Coping skills are what define you during this moment.

Please know that it won’t last forever. What you do during this period might do, however.

Continue reading “It’s Not Your Time”

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

Thank You (Letter) | New Single

Thank You (Letter) | New Single

This song was written as a reminder to myself. To be thankful for people that I welcome to my life. To be aware of who I let to hear my story.

It turned out to be a lesson for me.

Thank you for listening. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments or the contact form.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

Falling Gently

Falling Gently

This post is about self-awareness. I was on a funk for some time. Now, things are different because I think about them differently.

Its perspective.

As I’ve discussed on my last post update, I took a break from digital distractions. I realized in a few days how much time I had to do things that brought me joy. I’m working on song ideas after challenging the assumption that I’m too busy for music.

In reality, I wasn’t focused. 

Distraction took a toll on me.

The funk I experienced was a byproduct of how I was spending my time. I was feeling unproductive, without energy. I felt that I was heading towards a period of depression. I knew I wasn’t my usual self.

My mind and body were giving me the signals that I wasn’t living, but surviving. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was eating poorly. I was reactive instead of proactive.

I was falling gently into the vice grip of depression.

I had this feeling that I was sabotaging myself. I made the choice to be alone for some time to think. Taking stock on what I was doing, the story I was telling others and to myself. 

I parted ways with my now ex-partner. That turned out to be the catalyst for inner growth and self-improvement. It was a moment that gave me clarity. 

I learned that I can’t save others from themselves. I had to lose my self in the process to understand it. I had to take the fall. I just wished it wasn’t that gently, but I had to live the process, too.

It has been several weeks since then. What’s interesting is that my schedules got more demanding. I’m doing two positions at my job, plus my weekend internship, and my classes. I’m doing twice as more before the pre-onset of depression.

And you know what? I actually feel better. There’s power on time constrictions. Its making me get my act together, and start doing instead of focusing too much on my story. 

What I mean by the above is that I’m realizing how much our inner voice and what we say to others matters

If I keep thinking how miserable I am, and keep telling my story in that way, well, my perspective and belief system starts following that idea, too. I started to change my perspective and be mindful of how I tell my story. 

I started to be more aware with whom I was spending my time with. More importantly, to whom and to what I was giving my attention to. I started to break free from those self-imposed burdens.

I feel different since then. I feel that I’m reaching a different level of consciousness and awareness. I’m calmer, less reactive. My friends and colleagues tell me that I look different, happier, and at peace. 

I’m changing my story. I’m changing my environment and relationships. I’m not surviving for now, I’m living a different story. I’m confident that more challenges and set backs will come.

I won’t let them take me down gently when it happens.

Thank you for reading.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

Guitar Loop [Video]

Guitar Loop [Video]

Life has been improving with more challenges and constrictions. There is beauty on limitations. Having less time for music may be a good thing.

I’m on my last semester for my bachelors degree. It has been a rough one to say the least, and it has made me appreciate my leisure time. Now, when I have a window of free time, it goes towards the craft.

Getting back at it after a break

This is my first YouTube video where I’m doing an improvisation over a beat I made on Maschine. I’m using a Boss RC-1 Loop Station pedal, and a Blackstar ID: Core Amplifier. It was recorded on the fly with an iPhone microphone.

I’ve been working on some demos for a project under a different name. I’m hoping to release the new project EP by this summer. We’ll see.

As always, let me know your thoughts, questions or suggestions using the contact form.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto