Empowering CREATIVES Ep 3 – Design EMOTIONAL flow (Music & Mental Health)

Empowering CREATIVES Ep  3 – Design EMOTIONAL flow (Music & Mental Health)

I was always drawn to art, dance, theater,
and music. I loved making art as a kid drawing and painting pictures; I enjoyed
being in theater in high schools as a member of tech crew an actor and the
costumer, and as an adult I’ve finally realized my childhood dream
to take dance classes. But music was on a whole other level. I wanted to do
everything in music! I played clarinet and percussion in band, tenor sax in jazz
band, and violin and cello in orchestra. I took piano lessons, sang in choir, and
composed music. It was like a magnet: it pulled me in. It was as obvious as
gravity, a law that was written in my soul. I didn’t question choosing music as
a major in college, and I had no backup plan. The reason (if you could say reason
had anything to do with it) was its emotional impact on me. It moved
me. When I was very young I would cry when my mom sang me lullabies, not
because she was a bad singer–I loved her singing, but because the music moved me.
During impactful concerts I literally feel shivers down my spine–the music
moves me. When I was heartbroken I couldn’t listen to Averett Brothers
without bawling–the music moved me. Opera often brings tears to my eyes–the music
moves me, and I can feel when a performer is playing or singing something they’ve
lived–their music moves me. What moves you? Were you drawn,
magnetically, to your art form? The world loves creatives. The general population
can name more musicians, artists, actors, and authors, than scientists,
psychologists, mathematicians, and lawyers. But while society and culture venerate
the likes of Ludwig von Beethoven, Vincent van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe, and
Sylvia Plath, they also hold the stigma of suffering. This association has been
ingrained in our thoughts so even us creatives accept it as truth. This belief
has led to great losses in our creative community through substance abuse or
suicide. We need to break this belief! Creatives have certain traits and are
often in environments that can easily lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and
other illnesses. But we also have characteristics and skills that when
used correctly can form happiness, creative flow, success, and deep
fulfillment. I am here to help you shift your routines and perspectives to
well-being by using the characteristics and skills you already possess. For me, being emotional was one of the
reasons I became a composer. I wanted to affect people. I think that is the way
most of us creatives are. We feel deeply which allows us to be an instrument for
emotion. Many of us are highly sensitive people, empaths, and maybe even a bit
clairvoyant. The thing is being highly emotional often leads to blockages
because we are told not to be too emotional. We push emotions down because
being highly emotional is regarded negatively in many societies. Many of us
don’t understand our emotions especially at a young age. We are taught that we
should control them rather than let them flow through us. My emotional outbursts
were expressed most healthily through music, but I was an emotional wreck in
most other situations. For the longest time I thought that I didn’t even get
angry–that is because I bottled it up so much. It would come out eventually on
episodes of hysterical crying, complete overreactions, and hatred for the world.
It was extremely painful, but pain has the power to move us. When I
was heartbroken I was unable to hold my anguish in any longer. Heartache, for
those of you who have not experienced it, is an emotional, mental, and physical pain
(at least it was for me). The cliches were true. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and
I worked myself harder to try to forget. I couldn’t listen to love songs without
bawling. Unfortunately, instead of allowing music to be my therapy I shut
it off. I didn’t want to feel. I stopped listening because I wanted to control my
emotions to keep from crying, but around that same time I was introduced to qi
flow, also known as prana or Kundalini depending on which Eastern practice you
adhere to, is energy. It is in the earth, in the universe, and in all of us. If we
are healthy, it flows through us. If blocked, it leads to emotional, mental, and
physical disorders and diseases. One of the exercises I discovered in Qi flow
yoga was shaking. It is super simple. Literally, you just shake your body for
several minutes to get your Qi flowing. It felt really silly at first, but in
about a minute I started to cry. But it was a different kind of crying than I
was used to–not the pressured up, holding back sobbing, but a clearing
release, a letting go. Although I had a dabbled with yoga and other spiritual
practices before this moment, this pinpointed the beginning of my healing.
As with many people, my heart energy led the way. This chakra or energy center in
the body is usually the strongest and can bring balance to the others. I had to
get my heart broken, and because I decided to open it, I was able to find my
true love within a year. He is now my husband. Although I’ve had a lot of pain
since my heart break, I finally had the authentic, loving, emotional support that
I needed for my path to well-being. Love is powerful. This past weekend I put on a workshop
for my new opera, The Nightingale and the Rose, based on a short story by Oscar
Wilde. It’s about love and creativity. Here’s the synopsis: Gayle, the nightingale,
overhears Alex, a student who’s in love with his professor’s daughter Aubrey,
pining for red rose to give to her. Gayle wants to help, so she searches for a
rose. Scarlet, the red rose tree, is not producing any flowers this year. After
much persistence, Gayle finds that the only way to get one is to sacrifice her
life for it. She mulls over the decision as Oakley, the oak tree, pleas her not
to. Gayle decides to sing and give her life for the rose. [Music] Act 2 begins with a chorus of night
creatures who support Gayle while she pushes her chest into a thorn and dies
to make the most beautiful red rose. Alex finds the rose and is shunned by
Aubrey, who throws the rose to the ground. Alex gives up on love. In the background,
Elon, another oak tree, and Nita, another nightingale, can be heard singing. Gayle is
the hero of the story – her love is the most important thing. [Music Stops] I’ve learned that emotions can actually
be controlled, but not in the way we initially think–not in the pushing them
down or stopping them from happening. We do need to feel things when they come up,
but upon examining them and finding solutions or working through them, we can
move on from them. It is an essential tactic for self-care: finding outlets for
emotional flow. There are many things you can do such as yoga, journaling, shaking,
boxing, running, forgiveness, clearing, energy, meditating, and so many others.
Usually one thing won’t work all on its own. Physical movement must be paired
with mental and emotional work, and it is work! But putting in the work is so worth
it! While feeling your emotions is important, it is key to move forward from
them and not wallow in pain, sadness, despair, and fear. At some point it
becomes a negative, self-perpetuating cycle, and victim mentality doesn’t
move you forward. A way out of this is to put yourself in emotional states that
you want to be in by visualizing good past memories or amazing future dreams.
Take a few minutes each day to meditate on an emotion, feel the love you have for
a spouse, a friend, or even a pet. Choose to feel happy, excited, grateful, and full
of love. It takes practice, but choosing your emotions can transform your life. I still cry when listening to highly
emotional music, but when a low frequency emotion like anger, sadness, or resentment
comes up, I can let it flow through me. Since I’ve gotten rid of my blocks, these
emotions are short-lived and pretty much painless. I’m able to recognize them,
feel them, and let them go. It makes life a lot easier, and I’m able to choose the
high frequency emotions like love, joy, and contentment to keep coming through
me. It makes life more fulfilling and a lot more fun! Know that the world loves you, and we want
you to be well, so you can create a intriguing, inspiring, and meaningful art to
share with the world. My name is Anna Brake, and I am a
composer, an author, and the founder of Breath Mark Retreat. If you enjoyed this
episode of empowering creatives, please subscribe to my channel and be sure to
click the bell to be notified of new videos.
Visit me at www.annabrake.com Follow me on twitter @AnnaLBrake Join me at
www.patreon.com/annabrake Thank you for listening!

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