Why Wearing a Cat Head Costume is Good For Your Health

5 minutes after I posted my first blog I began telling myself that I couldn’t write the second entry.  Why? Maybe my writing is too plain for Jane, too boring for Bob, too sadly written for happy people. My best bet would most certainly be to stay silent and ignore these ideas; let them buzz themselves blind inside my mind. Of course this just results in me wasting energy to make it look as though everything is great on the outside, while on the inside I’m getting stung by idea bees instead of just letting them make a little honey. 

Once I can step behind the thought pollution to watch it, rather than identify with it, I usually realize there is something seriously worth considering. In this particular context, a potent question arose. What are the reasons why I would and why I would not share my perspective and experience through a blog?

The main reason I would NOT share : 

I recognize that some people aren’t going to like what I have to say or the choice of words I use to convey my perspective — and damn it do I have a tyrannical voice inside insisting the entire world must love me or else. Maybe I’m a needy narcissist and my kindness is wrongly rooted in this realm. Maybe it’s perfectly natural to long for connection and community and to be seen-heard-received in my authenticity. Maybe it’s an ever-changing ratio of both.

The reason why I would share? Because in any instance that I’ve encountered people who are seeking, reflecting and sharing their journey, it has resulted in nothing but heightened courage and inspiration.

And so, I took some time to contemplate which of these reasons may be the most in resonance with the way I would like to represent myself to the world.  The answer is obvious — and now that I have basically shared a journal entry with you — let’s get on with that second blog... 

 

I got electrocuted in NYC at The Mercury Lounge in the middle of playing a song ironically titled “Wired me to You.” My voice jolted up almost an entire octave and I told the crowd I was "shocked" because I actually just experienced a legit shock.  I’m proud to say I finished the song without stopping. 

Does this make you want to hear the tune? I’m going to release it soon — I feel like The Great Spirit is really trying to give me a sign here. 

On another night, I made a sarcastic remark that sent a sound engineer spiraling into anger. Instead of avoiding each other I looked him square in the eyes and asked if I had offended him. He said that I had and I told him I was sorry because that had not been my intention, which was the truth. He forgave me and did a great job running sound. Most musicians are aware of the merciless dynamic that exists between a performer and a sound engineer. He could have made me sound like I was singing through a megaphone all night. He could have made my monitor freak out with feedback and permanently damage my ears. It was cool to face friction and come to clarity with this human I barely knew. It feels good for me to admit when I’m wrong about something. This is a beautiful thing my mother taught me and I am forever grateful for this innate trait in her. 

 I think about my cat too much. I show people who didn’t ask pictures of him at the merchandise table. I look at them on my phone when I’m alone and watch videos too. I’m aware that this is dorky and maybe even borderline creepy, but I can’t help that it WARMS me. He’s a hairy miracle.

At The Saturn in Birmingham I wore a giant cat head on stage that I found in the green room. I started the set with a riveting rendition of  “What’s New Pussy Cat.”  No one got up and left, which was very nice of them. After sparring for the previous 3 days with a relentless bout of self loathing and doubt, it was profound to notice that after doing this the mean voice inside my head almost immediately diminished. It was as if the echoing screams from the rotten mouth of a giant monster had been reduced to cute little shrieks from a tiny lego man with laryngitis. It was a great reminder that there’s magic in deciding to take myself and life a little less serious every once in a while. 

I’ve also been discovering the magic that comes from taking time to identify things I can be grateful for. They can be easy to overlook, but holy cow, wow are they everywhere!  Green grass, a cloudless sky, an elderly couple holding hands, no traffic on the interstate, a venue that doesn’t have several flights of stairs we have to ascend for load in, a child’s smile, sparkling water… The more I take notice, the quicker I can turn a ton of mundane moments into a prayer, the more good things I bring into my life.

I used to aspire to change the world in all these grandiose ways. It’s been inspiring to remember that there is also great reward in something as simple as treating myself and the people around me kindly, and that choosing over and over again to live my life in this light is likely a cornerstone of the foundation upon which a better world can be built. As an LA band called The Luminaries says in one of their songs, “Peace worldwide, starts from inside.”

 

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