If we do not discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.
– William Feather said that.
And it is so true. If we don’t take care of our bodies, sickness will arise and force us to reconsider our health. In the cold season it’s important to stay warm with soups, teas, comfort foods and cozy clothing. To catch a cold literally means that a certain part of the body will freeze, shut down, or get blocked, preventing overall energy from circulating properly. This weekend I am taking my last 4 of 86 total flights this year. Had I not had the discipline to manage my immune system, keeping hydrated, and avoiding all airline food, I doubt I would’ve maintained a clean bill of health for the duration.
Having an audience or someone else to live for always helps. Being love is being for others after all.
I can’t express enough how much I appreciate there being audiences to share with. I liken it to having a family to live for, or a garden to tend. You are needed, and that makes all the difference in the world. Audiences become my thousands of mothers, fathers, siblings, cousins, lovers and friends, all of whom call on me for love and support.
Concerts are agreements between myself and others to meet at a scheduled time and place to enjoy music together. Rough estimates tell us that we played live to nearly 1 million fans in 2012. Therefore I have a million reasons to be healthy, present, and prepared for our events; giving each crowd my very best. Whenever I come up short, I don’t sleep very well. It feels like the world is collapsing in on me, which then forces me to flex my muscles, get back on the horse, apologize, and/or grovel at the feet of my million masters, praying the game isn’t over and that I get to continue.
Discipline shouldn’t be rigid and boring though. After all, it’s meant to enhance life, not diminish it. Therefore it’s important for me to allow life to happen and avoid trying to control it. This means accepting all changes in the emotional landscape, accepting evolution and any expansion or retraction of ideas, having compassion for a constantly changing environment, and being patient, which is not about having an ability to wait, but more about how I act while I’m waiting. Allowing the world to be what it’s choosing to be is integral in balancing my otherwise strict routines. It keeps things interesting at least. A few years ago I tried locking myself in my house, thinking I could keep anything bad from entering the property. It worked, but I also felt I was keeping a lot of joy from entering as well. Discipline needs it’s allowances.
In my previous post, I shared my nervous experience onstage in Myanmar. Performance panic shows up in my life about once a month and I usually connect it to a lack of preparation. I went there thinking I could give the audience a similar show as I would give to any other city – thinking they deserved to see the same kind of show we would play to New York or Paris – but realized too late that it was a different beast altogether. The lessons I learned will only enrich all future performances as I now have a slightly better understanding how to approach a stage of that caliber.
Looking back, I had similar experiences when I first starting playing big stages; opening for Dave Matthews and The Rolling Stones for instance. On the first gigs I felt I was out of my league, almost resentful of my management for putting me there, but with experience and preparation I found I could coast right through it and make good use of my stage time, connecting from a grand stage as I would from an intimate corner of a coffee shop.
In 2013 I will not be traveling with Tricia, who’s been my partner in transformation, food guru and yoga teacher for many years. This means I will be required to be even more disciplined than ever, managing my own meals and yoga practice. (Thank you @BeingTricia for being a part of my life and amazing journey. I am incredibly grateful for you and how you tirelessly serve others. I will keep you in my heart and imagine you there still kicking my ass and making me laugh, and I will demonstrate my gratitude for your service by integrating into my life everything you’ve taught me about health, wellness and success.)
In Myanmar, the common greeting is Mingalabar, which means, “May you have auspiciousness or causes of success.” That is my wish for you this holiday season; that you have auspiciousness and many causes of success. May you know how much power you have in your breath, present in this moment and the next.
Thank you for reading. And thank you for your comments and additions. I appreciate them all.
Now sit back and enjoy this delightful holiday retrospective from my ancestors.
And may your heart be light. – Jason