Love Letter #9 – On Sacrifice

My bad, it’s been a few months. I was away attempting to follow my intuition abroad and locally, trying to quiet down the thinking mind. I’m here though, more than ever trying my best to concentrate on what is in front of me. It is hard. But that’s good.  Little Strike stuff:

1. SHOWS (Philly)
04.08  Sat — @Studio 34 (4522 Baltimore Ave)   Yoga & Music    6pm-7:15pm   $20
05.03 Wed  — @ The Barbary   ~with Smiles With Teeth, Lapses, Camp Candle

This Saturday, April 8th, I’ll be testing out a lucid dream of mine: combining yoga with music. My friend and general bamf Amanda DeLeo will be teaching the class and I’m going to be gently musicing to the movements. Y’all, yoga changed my life and continues to daily. It has forced me to deal with my erratic behavior towards my body and noisy mind. Do not get it twisted, it wasn’t ever easy or intuitive for me; in fact I found it intimidating and just plain hard. It forced me to think about my breath and body and nothing else.! it is completely counter intuitive to our over-sensory world. It is awesome. I hope you can make it, we would love feedback on how to make it the best environment for YOU, for future reference. Come move your body and your soul.

** West –> east coast tour in July. details ahead.

2. Working on an EP for this summer. And collaborating with my talented community. New things: live trumpet, drums, bass. New visuals. Trap music. Reducing fear of intimacy to null. Get nulled with me.

As always, an essay into my brain will follow below, hope it uplifts. I am way too busy and i don’t like it so I wrote a thing. Let me know if you have thoughts. All love.

-tamar

The Performer: Part 8
On Sacrifice 

Have you ever had this thought: I would sacrifice the health of my body for my goals.
Side note: feel free to replace “goals” with passion, art, individualism, financial security, school, etc.

So the other week someone at yoga for recovery said that sacrificing their body for art was acceptable to them at one point. I perked up, eyes dilated, I breathed in.* This is a thought I’ve had many times over the years: vividly in art school, a place that intuitively breeds sleepless nights in your studio while simultaneously daring to ~objectively~ grade you on your arting (??). And dare it does. But that’s just good ol’ school. School practically normalizes stress and anxiety. You’re supposed to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes, it’s a dorm ! My dorm had mold everywhere. Mold will suppress your immune system and much of the population is terribly allergic.

Mold aside — though I can talk mold with the best of them — I’ve been thinking about my body’s well being a lot lately, especially as it relates to goals. And art. Sacrificing one night to finish an assignment is acceptable, but what about long term sleep deprivation? Skipping breakfast every day, nervously smoking cigs in between business meetings, overeating late at night, endlessly scrolling social media, refined sugar blah blah. What about staying up really late and working on my new spiritual trap song because I have no other time for my art other than super late at night because I’m over worked and underpaid? And how come no one really talks about back pain on instagram. The reality of sacrifice is far more nuanced.

Self sacrifice is certainly a romantic idea, but much like a bathtub full of champagne, the reality can be a bit acidic. Who is this personal sacrifice serving anyway? This important work that I hope to generate, this money that I hope to make, these goals, are the motivations behind them personal or do they serve us all? Jig’s up, it is time to own up to my true motives: simply looking at my actions isn’t enough anymore. Hey tamar do you sing to share a part of your soul or are you looking for external approval from strangers?

Pro tip in checking motives: I like pretending that people can read my mind while I’m in conversation with them. It helps me keep track of negative thoughts and makes me behave more honestly. It’s also terrifying. Try it out today if you get a chance and watch your ego get checked. Dig in.

In my research for motives I discovered a loop: self sacrifice that serves my ego leads me to having less time for self care (exercise, yoga, meditation, relaxation, sleep, eating patterns), which leads me to having less energy in general, which then turns into more destructive thoughts and behaviors, having less impulse control and more unsavory immediate gratification (bad diet, irritability, desire to isolate, oversleeping, lust, drinking, numbing activities, general avoidance), landing me in self-centered-ville. It’s a classic energy loop, which eventually leads to guilt. And guilt is like soul plaque — it will build, it will suffocate.

Stuff that just serves our individualism just isn’t sustainable. Adam Curtis said  “The problem with individualism is that, whilst it is liberating and exciting and beautiful, when things get difficult you are very weak. If you go into the woods at night, by yourself, it’s frightening, isn’t it? You get scared by the slightest noise, the slightest snap of a twig. If you go into the woods with your friends in a group, it’s incredibly exciting and thrilling because you somehow feel stronger.”

Maybe self sacrificing my body for my individualism (art, goals, money, clothes, etc) is my ego disguising itself as a martyr, trying to convince me there is a higher purpose for my selfish desires. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just my ego looking for love. At the end of the day, you can boil every fear into some desire, and more often than not, that desire is for love. Choosing how to go about it is still key. Releasing myself from a guilt cycle is, in itself, facing a fear. Perhaps even in the process getting closer to true love? Maybe. Much more to say about this and the importance of self care in general, but I’ll give it time to marinate. It’s Spring up here, give yourself a break. If you can afford it, take time to just be. Catch me in the park. Say hello.

*did you just breathe in?

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I'm a world electronic folk musician. Born in the middle east, based in Philadelphia. I love evoking and hunting for meaning. and smiles.

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