Take a trip through my mind’s landscape and see if you can relate to the polarity that arises when new opportunities and challenges present themselves.
Every Tuesday at 14:00 CET on www.facebook.com/petrajordanmusic
In today’s episode, I recap the last week’s events and share with you an exciting development on my songwriting workshop front!
Thanks for watching and sharing!
THE FINAL 10%
Sometimes it feels like things are happening only on the subtle level… There are no major breakthroughs to share and some projects just need that final 10 % to be complete. For me, and I hear that it’s only for me, that’s the hardest part. Why?
Well, there might be that one piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite want to fit into the originally envisioned picture; or there are still things you need to learn before finalizing your project, or you just need to accept that sometimes you don’t have to have all the pieces of the puzzle together to launch a project! For a recovering perfectionist (me), this is quite challenging! And I observe that it is not only because I want things to be ‘perfect’ but because I am afraid of not being able to improvise on the spot when push comes to shove! And you know what? The reality is that I have always been able to improvise and invent a solution right on the spot! So where does this irrational fear come from?
The first obvious answer would be self-confidence. However, underneath that, I found the feeling of self-worth. Why self-worth? Because if you feel worthy, you also feel worthy of trusting yourself and being confident that the decisions you make are the best you can come up with at a given time. And really, that’s all you need! Not a perfect decision, just the best decision you can make in a given moment. You know what? This is awesome! I realized it as I was typing this paragraph! That’s why I love sharing my insights and experiences with you because first and foremost this blogumentary is my own teacher and a way of reflecting on my actions and a way of being.
Another thing that is coming up to the surface, and is also connected to the feeling of self-worth, is receiving. When most of your life you have been primarily a giver and only now are starting to feel worthy of receiving (compliments, gifts, financial reward for your work…), it is reflected in all aspects of your life – personal and professional. I’m observing that one of the reasons I have a hard time completing the last 10% is to allow myself to receive the rewards for my hard work. Because I tend to be so hard on myself and I want my ‘product’ (whether it’s a song, a performance or a workshop) to be top of the line, I tend to either procrastinate or feel unsure about the finalization and so also the reward to come with it. But that’s when deadlines come in handy 🙂 Then I have no choice but to face it and receive it! Yay!
THE INNER FLAME
Another thing that I have observed when starting to do something new that challenges my self-confidence and self-worth is this feeling of feeling really small, shrunk, as if I had a deflated baloon in my chest. And every time I take a deep breath, I feel like there is sooooo much more potential for that inner expansion than what I’m feeling at that moment. And I have found that the only way I can get more air into that baloon is by experience – i.e. by doing that which I fear (the most). Another metaphor would be that of an inner flame – at the beginning, the flame is barely smoldering, and as you keep adding more oxygen (experience) to it, it turns to a fire and eventually you can share that warmth and light with the world (unless you let your ego take control of the flame and let it consume you).
MESSAGE OF THE SONG – SONGWRITING WORKSHOPS
So what have I been really talking about in this entire blog? There are several projects that I am looking at finalizing right now but the no. 1. are my songwriting workshops. You can find out more about them here – www.messageofthesong.com. I really believe in the concept I’ve developed and am planning to start offering them very soon! So stay tuned for more info about the dates and the locations!
Well, there you have it! A snapshot of my morning yo-ooooooohm-ga practice!
WARNING: Do not expect to see ‘pretzels’ and other insane asanas! It’s just an imperfect practice lead by a soul in an imperfect body… (Do expect to see a lot of my butt though…) My practice is simple, not extreme. I usually do about 10 – 20 min of yoga in the morning to stretch the tight muscles after sleep and get some energy flowing in my body.
It might not seem related to music but if you think about focus, energy, balance, endurance, practicing when you don’t feel like it, practicing regularly, practicing even when it looks like you will never be able to master it, accepting your current limitations and learning to go beyond them… it starts to sound like any endeavour, including that of a musician.
Why do I practice yoga?
Up until 2006 or so, I lived a very stressful life. Unwittingly, I was creating all the stress myself. I was in the ‘victim’ mode and felt that things were happening to me (rather than by me or through me). Eventually, health issues such as back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome caused me to be unable to play the piano or type on a computer keyboard. Each stroke on the keyboard (any keyboard!) sent electrical like shocks to the tips of my fingers, and also my forearms, upper arms, elbows, and back hurt… I had a carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand, but nothing improved. I felt crippled and paralyzed, and, without being able to play the piano and feeling miserable in my personal life, I just didn’t want to live anymore…
After the surgery, I tried acupuncture treatment and that helped somewhat. But it wasn’t until I left my marriage and started a new life, taking some time to reflect on my way of being and thinking, that the pain started to recede. I realized that the only source of stress in my life was how I reacted to the external stimuli. Gradually leaving the ‘victim mode’ (things happening to me) and stepping into an empowered mode (things happenings by me and eventually through me).
My First Yoga Class
After my marriage, I was in another relationship which crashed and burned, too, a couple of years later, essentially because I was still in the ‘victim mode’, living all tensed up…
Eventually, somehow I came across an ad for a “Yoga Day” event – just one day of yoga. So I went… After a day of practicing, meditating and discussing Buddhist views on life, including the concept of detachment, I felt a complete bliss for the first time in my life! I also think that for the first time ever I was able to properly relax and release tension in my body. Up until that point, I used to go to the gym regularly but I knew nothing of relaxation. I was just steaming ahead!
Having felt so great after that day, I could never go back to how I had lived before. Gradually, I developed a regular yoga and meditation practice which help me relax and detach when I can’t control how things are going.
There are many lessons I have learned since then, but if there’s just one to share with you, then it’s the old Tibetan saying “If a problem has a solution, there’s no need to worry. If a problem doesn’t have a solution, then worrying doesn’t help. So why worry?”. After all, we’re all ghosts riding meat covered skeletons made of stardust. So why worry, ever?
So here are two things I wanna share with you tonight:
1. New Blogumentary: PJ’s Artistic Journey – #pjsartisticjourney
I’ve decided to start documenting my artistic journey in blogs (and videos will most likely be a part of it) because I have found that when I share my experiences and insights on the path of developing my musical career, others (artists or non-artists) find it also valuable and even inspiring! And I find it worthy as a review of the things I have done!
Also, I myself have often wondered how artists make it in the music business. What are the necessary steps, how long does it take, what does it take?
Soooo, from now on, look for #pjsartisticjourney on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to see the newest developments of my musical career – which in essence is simply my effort to make the most out of my gifts and talents by sharing them with the world.
Here’s the first of the series on Facebook. If the video doesn’t work (Facebook is just not there yet, like Youtube), click here.
How consultations with an artist manager help an #independentartist
If you’d like to work with a manager but can’t afford to pay one full time yet, you may want to check out this video. I just finished my 3rd consultation session with the AR Vocal Agency and…
(excuse my throat clearing moments :)) Don’t know what it is ’cause I don’t have a cold at the moment! And honestly, I wasn’t that nervous 🙂 )
Posted by Petra Jordan on Tuesday, May 2, 2017
2. How To Leap and Raise Your Value
As an artist working to create a sustainable career with my music, I often run into those that want me to play for free or tell me that it’s very hard to make a living as an artist, or that only a few make it, that it’s a hard business… bla bla bla… Gee, like I don’t know it!!!
What these naysayers never say (after all, they are naysayers) is how it IS possible to get there. If there are people making a decent living with their music, it must be possible, right? With that said, I just watched this video by Kyle Cease, one of my favorite speakers on the planet, and I can’t say enough about how much it spoke to me! And I think it might speak to you, too, so I’m sharing it here.
Go ahead, you wonderful creators, make a leap and raise your value!
In my recent Facebook post, I asked: “WHY DOES SHAKTI HAVE SO MANY ARMS?” It was a rhetorical question, because she obviously must be an INDEPENDENT ARTIST!
Many of you are asking me when is my next album coming out? That is an excellent question because 1) I am thrilled that you want more of my music 2) I need to answer some of those questions myself!
Over the years, having worked as an indie artist either next to a day job or full time, I’ve learned that before a song appears to be freely enjoyed on Soundcloud, Youtube or as a shared mp3 file, there’s a hell of a lot of work that goes into it!
And that’s not only on the artistic level (which includes studying, practicing, writing, voice training, performing or recording (and learning how to work with all that recording hardware and software)) but especially on the not-so-artistic managerial level – though one can make an art of anything.
It was after reading this article, that I suddenly saw the amount of work we, indie artists, do, without often even thinking about it. So in honor of all the indies, who work their asses off to bring beautiful music to the world, here’s our
Incomplete Neverending Task List:
– Social media (posting, analyzing, replying to posts on Twitter, Facebook,
– Designing flyers, banners and other PR materials
– New gig research
– Dealing with computer issues
– Website updates and maintenance
– Contact list/database management
– Writing newsletters
– Corresponding with colleagues and industry contacts
– Learning and staying current on trends affecting our work as musicians
– Concepts and research for new projects
– SEO optimization (getting found in search engines)
– PR and media outreach
– Contacting venues and/or event organizations with performance offers
– Writing performance offers
– Accounting (or at least keeping track of the paperwork)
– Writing grant or sponsorship proposal
– Copyright and Legal Questions
– The list goes on…
In other words, what used to be run by the entire record label, is often run by a One Person Record Label = me = an OPRL (not to be confused with OPRAH, OPEL or OPAL…).
And when I look at it from that perspective, I suddenly feel like I just wrote up a list of positions that MY COMPANY IS HIRING for! And you know what, I AM HIRING! At this point, on volunteer basis in exchange for sharing your work with my audience and an interview via Facebook Live where you get to promote what you do to my audience!
If you want to be a part of my team, just CONTACT ME and let me know how you’d like to contribute to help me bring out more records, concerts, videos, merch or other cool stuff!
AS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA (notice I’m yelling here 🙂 – You can also simply SHARE my posts whenever you feel like it! Social media has a HUGE (prononounce “yuuudj“) impact on helping indie artists with reaching new audience! So thank you, for every share <3
In my next blog post, I will be sharing with you more options how you can support my work as an indie singer/songwriter, performer, composer, human. Thank you <3