Plant a seed (mmmbop)

Mmmbop ba duba dop ba
Du bop ba duba dop ba
Du bop ba duba dop ba du
Yeah, yeah

Can you hear it playing in your head already?

If not, here is a little reminder:

Do you remember the radio stations playing this song over and over, so you basically couldn’t but love it?
Well, for me this was the case. This song, to me, always radiated this energy of joy and ease and it never failed to get me in a good mood.

…and they’re gone so fast, oh yeah

And as it is with this ever changing life, gradually, we got used to this song and I hardly noticed when it gradually disappeared from the radio stations’ playlists. Until I forgot about it completely as I moved on with my life.

Until today. Where I felt lost. Once again.

Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose
You can plant any one of those
Keep planting to find out which one grows
It’s a secret no one knows
It’s a secret no one knows
No one knows…

Do you know these days where just nothing feels right?
Today was one of these days. From the moment I had woken up everything, including me, felt out of place. Massive decisions seemed to be looming without my having a clue what I wanted, loved ones felt far away, I had that numb pain in my head…

I have no idea how I finally made it out of bed.

And then, I found this:

Did you know that is has actually been 20 years that the original song was released??

I love seeig what has become of people I had once known as kids, and so I marvelled at these three young men who sat there in the video, still radiating this amazing energy.
And making me smile.

And I started thinking about how much time has passed since I last heard this song, how much has happened in my life since then and what an amazing path I have walked. I wouldn’t even have dreamt of anything I am enjoying now these 20 years ago.

And so I took one decision at least: to keep planting seeds and just trusting in the right ones to grow and bloom in the end. Just as I witnessed the three Hanson boys bloom in the video.

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Ready to begin

I’ve just returned from a month-long trip through the Southeast of the USA.
And while this in itself has been a dream come true for me, I had the time of my life when finally seeing the Avett Brothers live in Baltimore.
In fact, the whole trip was planned accordingly, as to be able to attend their performance.
And I could hardly believe my luck, when I was standing there, right in the middle of the cheering crowd, and they hit the stage.

And I will certainly live on my memory of this truly amazing concert for a long time.

This is not a post about a particular song. It is rather about the music and the vibes that carried me during this precious month and will remind me of this amazing time for the rest of my life.

The concert had just been the start of an almost completely aimless journey through my favorite country. I had „planned“ it like that deliberately, to find out what would happen if I started off with only vague ideas of certain places I wanted to see. I wanted life to take over. And I was handsomely rewarded. It was, without doubt, the time of my life.

Now, being back, my perspective on life seems to have somewhat changed. My focus on certain things has sharpened and I seem to be much clearer regarding certain things I want and need and others I want to bid farewell.
I have the feeling to be on the brink of something new; something new I cannot name yet, but wich is just around the corner nevertheless.
I’m curious.
And I hope that I will be able to stick to this approach which I had adopted for my journey. This approach of trust that whatever happens, and wherever life leads me, is fine and will have me right where I am supposed to be.

I will certainly need it tomorrow. My next heart check is due and the usual fears are lingering in the back of my head.

Of course, I’ll have my music with me. This might be a good song to cheer me on:

Wish me luck.

Smile!

How could I have missed out on Brian Wilson so long?

I’ve owned a CD by the Beach Boys for several years, listened to it occasionally, quite liked it and that was it.

But then, recently, searching for a good DVD to watch (yes, I do belong to those few old school people who still listen to CDs and rent DVDs from the video store) I came across this biopic about Brian Wilson, entitled “Love and Mercy“. And decided to give it a go, since it seemed to promise just about enough of drama for a solitary evening with myself. And, well, it had John Cusack in it.

And what I saw left me deeply impressed. And got me thinking.

I am aware that what I watched is actually a piece of fiction and that there is not just a slight chance of the story being sugar-coated. Still, after doing some research and after, for the first time, paying actual attention to the music Brian Wilson has created, I am still, if not even more, impressed by this amazing character and the story of his life.

One thing that struck me most was to witness how a guy with such an outstanding talent kept struggling and doubting himself for large parts of his life because of people telling him what he wasn’t supposed to do, that what he did wasn’t good and, what is even worse, what he supposedly could not do. It virtually hurt to see how he, as a result, kept himself back for such a long time and just did not dare let out what treasure was inside of him.

So there was his father who kept neglecting him and turned him down time and again, telling him his music simply was not good enough. And even when he had been successful with the Beach Boys for a while, he still lacked support from his fellow band members. Who, constantly pointing to what people would be used to and allegedly wanted to hear, tried to cling to the success of their beginnings and were reluctant to try something too innovative.

As the story unfolded, I watched these dynamics continue when, later in his life, a therapist made him a captive of a diagnosis that, as turned out later, was wrong. So Brian Wilson ended up being badly drugged, constantly monitored and bossed around like an unlucky child.
Not able to be creative at all. And seemingly believing in all these limits the alleged diagnosis was imposing on him.

Luckily, someone reminded Brian Wilson of his possibilities and his family took action. So that, eventually, he was freed from his manipulative therapist’s clutches.
A few years later he got married; and, finally, he got to publish this amazingly innovative and highly acclaimed album “Smile” which had been waiting for publication since the sixties.

Since I discovered it, this album has been my constant companion and keeps consoling me whenever I run the risk of loosing faith.

Apart from the fact that in Wilson’s case, he was misdiagnosed, I know from own experience how a diagnosis – even a correct one – can hold you back. In fact, I have lived large parts of my life believing in the things I could not do or was not able to achieve due to my unconventional heart. When it comes to a heart condtion – or any kind of “medical disorder” – the media are full with stories telling how badly off these patients are and what problems and limitations they face. While doctors try to help their patients by correcting or curing their disorders.
And while I know it to be true that, yes, such a condition does bring limitations and problems, I think that by exclusively focusing on what is wrong, and what is impossible for these people, we only add to the burden they carry anyway.

Speaking of limitations, I am pretty sure that it doesn’t even need a diagnosis for people to feel limited, if they only listen to all these omnipresent voices telling them what is impossible and how they could not succeed. How they were not good enough in what they did or how they were bound to fail with their ideas and dreams. And also this, I have experienced myself.

So I am thankful that I stumbled across this movie, Brian Wilson’s music and the tragic, yet inspiring story of his life. I was lucky enough to find this video of his live performance of “Smile” on youtube, and I guess I do not have to mention that by now I own the DVD.

Because this music has been a constant source of inspiration and comfort to me and it keeps reminding me of what is possible if you free your mind from the idea that you can’t make it.

So  why not focus on what IS possible for once? And why not ask yourself what COULD be possible, if you only tried?

And then see what happens?


Looking for another perspective on "disorders" and their symptoms? Read this amazing article by Eileen Laird: My body is not my enemy.

Image credits:
"Keep smiling" by Rachel Kramer
https://goo.gl/fb3IF1
is licensed under a Creatice Commons license:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/