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  • Julian Chan

Resistance is Real, but it's also not.

9 July 2021.


I almost didn't go on with my sax solo livestream today.


But I'm glad I did.


I resisted the urge to be resisted, and I think that is something that was a valuable lesson to learn.


I was feeling quite tired and down, and I wanted to take a break from doing the livestream as I thought I would not play my best because of how I was feeling. And all these feelings were caused by external factors that I had allowed to affect me emotionally and mentally, and it wore me down.


One of the books I've been reading on self-development is the debut work of Dr. Wayne Dyer, "Your Erroneous Zones", which is a great book on understanding to practice of developing self awareness and also personal healing. One of the chapters talked about "choosing how you feel" he wrote:


"Feelings are just emotions that happen to you. Feelings are reactions you choose to have. If you are in charge of your own emotions, you don't have to choose self-defeating reactions. "


When I reflected on this, I realised how much we constantly attach feelings and emotions to events and situations. We get moody/angry/frustrated/down because of a bad day (or even a bad event leading us to think it's a bad day), we allow it to 'stay' in our overall mental state that it affects everything we do for the rest of the day. Maybe we choose to stay that way because we think it brings some sort 'meaning' to the bad event. At the same time, it's also very tiring to stay that way - I know, I do it a lot!


However, when we can allow these feelings to pass by not 'feeding' it with negative emotions, self-criticism (or of others), and other kinds of self-defeating thoughts, we could actually settle our minds and feel alright again. We can hear some of the buzz words today about taking care of our mental health - we just have to be kind to ourselves and love ourselves and not criticize ourselves when we hit a wall.


It couldn't be more real and truthful than that.


All these negative emotions and feelings cause resistance to ourselves, and it hinders the great things we can do. I know I was not really THAT tired, and although I didn't practice as much as I wanted to this week, I know I could still play and get through the show well enough.


But I give thanks to my wife (whose intelligence and wisdom surpasses anyone I know), who convinced me to go on with the show even if I felt tired, She said something that just hit the nail right on the head - "if you skip the show (today), it'll be even more difficult to get on next week's show, so you might as well just do it".


And thus, I continued with the livestream. To be honest, I still felt a lot of mental resistance even as I started the show. However, all of that melted away when I started my first few notes. What was interesting to me was that I consciously let go of even the "expectation to impress", and I just surrendered to the music at hand. I felt free while I was playing, and it felt good. It felt real. I didn't have to play many notes, all I need was to just make the notes I did play, honest. Time did pass a lot faster than I expected.


I'm glad I went on ahead. Sometimes all we need is to just play.


A big thanks to all of you who took the time to join me on my Lunch Hour Music livestream the past three weeks! I definitely hope to make it a weekly thing! A big special thanks to those of you who had also contributed - I am so grateful and appreciative of your support!! Much love and blessings to all of you!


Last but not least, the biggest thanks to my Catwoman.

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