overcoming trauma

Q: How do you proceed in a traumatized situation when you have both a mental and emotional attachment to music? Thanks much!!!

A: I can only do my best to share what has worked for me as I walk this wandering & wondering path of mine.

Your comments remind me of my recent visit to LA. I was there for a music conference, but also played the tourist in Hollywood. It seemed like everywhere we went, someone wanted to sell us something. A tour, a map, a t-shirt, a photo with someone dressed up as Elvis, etc. I felt like I was fighting a swarm of locusts greedy for the few dollars I had in my wallet, saved painstakingly over several months in preparation for the trip. It exhausted me and I found myself getting more curt with each outstretched hand.

There was one guy in particular who came up and tried to sell us a map to movie star homes. "No thanks," I said politely, as I stood by a star engraved on the sidewalk, waiting for my mom to take a picture of it. He continued, stepping into my Mom's shot... "No, thanks," I said again, moving so that Mom could focus on the star & the star's name... and he followed, and he continued to tell me how wonderful his map was. I finally said, "We do not wish to buy a map! Get out of the way!"

It must be very hard to feel that people you trusted to show you the way actually got in the way and that time was wasted.

First, you have to let go of the past. There is nothing you can do about the time that was lost... all you have is this present moment. Regret, recriminations or guilt will not change what has gone by. At the same time, you can regard your experience as a lesson, and ask yourself what you have learned as a business person in the arts.

Because I wasn't there with you and I don't know all the details it's hard to be specific, but in my own journey, I know I bowed to the experience of someone who I thought knew what they were doing... and found out later they really did not (nor did they know it)... and I wasted 3 grand recording songs that should never have been produced as more than worktapes. I learned that even if someone is more knowledgeable than you are, they still may not have the 'right stuff'.

Secondly, don't let the past stop you from going forward. If you love music, then do music - get up and play it, sing it, write it. Don't let anything stop you. It's the experience, in the moment, of creating & doing music that feeds the soul. Remember it's why you do what you do. Let the music heal you.

Thirdly, research & explore & learn about the business. Decide what success means to you over the next 3 to 5 years. Get an objective & non-involved-in-your-career business/artist coach that you can use as a resource in supporting your journey. Get legal advice whenever you are offered a deal, research the background & credentials & testimonials of your potential 'helpers', and tread warily. A great resource for this is Just Plain Folks - there are some great mentors there who will answer questions & give you advice.

I don't know if this answers your question... but it's what came to my mind as I mused over it the last few days.

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