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How I Burned Out

I’m sure that many of you have been wondering, “Hey, Rafi and Klee, where have you guys been?”

We are officially taking a break.

Recently, Klee and I bought a beautiful old house in Pennsylvania. We have been doing repairs, doing all kinds of things, and getting our studio up and running.

We’ve been recording things and putting them on our adventure channel as we’re doing repairs. The common theme seems to be that we are exhausted. Whenever I look at the footage, we’re both so freaking tired and beat. It’s been emotionally and physically challenging.

About a week ago, I woke up, and I was more exhausted than I had ever been in my life. Both Klee and I got a little bit scared.

The fact is that I like to get things done, but when you have an overwhelming amount of stuff to get done, it can be too much for your mind and body.

With all the work that has been happening since we moved in, I didn’t actually take any days off to really enjoy the house. In fact, the only day I remember taking off was when the power went out. That’s not healthy behavior.

I got set in the habit and a mentality that when I get this done, then I can relax. When I get this done, then I could take a break. The truth is, it is never-ending. You have to be willing to take time for self-care, put things off, and prioritize your emotional and physical wellness.

I didn’t do that.

We accomplished a lot in six months. But at the cost of my well-being. I pushed myself too hard.

Enjoy your life. Don’t push, push, push, push, push. A friend of mine who knows all the stuff we’ve been doing jokingly said, “you may do all that work and finally get it done just to die.”

That really struck a chord with me because I was like, okay, so I keep doing all this stuff thinking, “Someday. Someday.”

Luckily, I hit a complete and utter exhaustion wall that stopped me in my tracks.

I love the position I’m in and what I do for a living. It’s amazing. But I know that I can quickly turn it into work that I stress out about.

However, life is too short for that garbage, the best thing you can do is step back and really look at the whole picture. The complete picture is how you want to live your life day to day.

It’s not “I want to get here” or “I want to get there.” It’s, “how do I want to live right now?”

Watch the video below to listen to the full story and my thoughts on this whole thing.

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FAM JAM CELEBRATION IN OIL CITY

As the warm weather approaches and I look out at the beautiful new views that surround me, I am excited for the warm weather and all the fun that is to be had this year. Sure, as artists, we can go weeks locked up in our art studio creating and only emerge when the pantry is down to one can of random beans. However, there really is nothing like creating out in the sunshine and surrounded by amazing folks.

I am proud to announce that Klee and I will be two of the amazing artists that will be creating awesomeness at FAM JAM. You may be wondering, “What the heck is FAM JAM Rafi?”

Well, let me enlighten you to the awesomeness that is about to hit the scene in Oil City.

FAM JAM is an epic extravaganza of creativity, bringing you something unique and fun to kick off the warm weather that is about to grace us all. Enjoy the waterside views, the delectable food, the rare sight of live artists in the midst of creating, and live music artists bringing immense joy to your eardrums.

Come and be part of the first event of its kind in the area, and don’t miss the awesomeness. You will get to see Klee and I awkwardly trying to get back into our creative groove and other fantastic artists creating things that will make you gasp in astonishment. To say that we are excited is an understatement.

Glow In The Dark Live Painting At Vinyl 2016

Oh wait, there is more.

So, not only will your eardrums and eyeballs be tickled with phenomenal joy, but your tastebuds will explode with pleasure. Oh yes my friends, there will be food trucks.

Beautiful views, amazing art, wonderful music, great food, and magical people… what a superb way to bring in the warmth!

WHAT: FAM JAM

WHEN: May 14th, 2022 2PM – 8PM (We will be there between 2-5ish)

WHERE: Justus Park, 1 Seneca Street, Oil City, PA 16301

WHY: Because it is going to be AMAZING!

Check out the event poster below for more information:

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Untangle The Web With Us At TAGG – April 29th

I am honored and excited to announce that I will be talking with some amazing creatives at TAGG (Transit Art Gallery And Gifts) on Friday, April 29th starting at 7pm. You are invited to this laid back discussion about the importance of having a personal web presence, making it awesome, and how to demystify the entire process of putting yourself out there online using a simple approach and mindset.

What Will Happen At This Discussion?

We will begin with a little about us, who we are, what we have (online presence), and how we got there. We will talk about our amazing online community (The Rogues), and why we believe they follow two artistic dorks.

This is a very laid-back meeting where we will discuss:

Why Would You Want A Website?

What If You Don’t Know Technology?

Easy Ways To Get Started?

The Basics Of An Artist Website?

The Rogue Mindset And Approach To The Interwebs.

How To Get People To Visit Your Site.

How To Avoid Internet Antarctica.

What Is Mutual Excitement?

How Artists Are Powerful At Online Presence.

Throw Marketing Away And Create. (Marketing Book) 

What Will It All Cost?

We will then be opening the floor to questions and discussions of experiences of having a website and overall badassery of being an artist. My goal with this discussion is to empower people to simplify the process of opening and running their own website without a bunch of needless jargon. Hope to see you there!

WHAT: UNTANGLING THE WEB, A CASUAL CONVERSATION ABOUT WEBSITES.

WHY: Because it is going to be freakin amazing!

WHERE: At Transit Art Gallery & Gifts – 206 Seneca Street, Oil City,PA 16301 – (814) 676-1509

HOW: Tickets are $5 and you can purchase at the gallery, call number above, or email taggocac@gmail.com.

WHEN: Friday, April 29th starting at 7pm

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Sharing Who You Are Matters

Sometimes, things suck. Sometimes we feel like what we have to share doesn’t matter. However, the world may need exactly what you have to share. More love, more support, more creativity, more awesomeness!

Buying an old house can be quite demanding. It’s been about four months since we signed on the dotted line and moved in. The plan originally was to have our art studio up and running, explore all the art happenings in town, and get the pre- order books out to all the amazing people who ordered them. Oh yeah, and we would be filming and editing the entire process and sharing it with the world.

However, electrical, plumbing, structural, buying furnishings, and other issues decided that our overly ambitious plans would have to take a backseat to life. Life… It’s always there, lurking pleasantly in the hopes that you’ll remember that you are human and you are alive.

Honestly, it’s been awesome. The good, the bad, the stressful, and the overwhelming. The fact of the matter is that we are quite lucky to be having first world problems like “plumbing issues” because it could be much more serious.

As we reach the end of the plumbing saga, and prepare to sit down and finish the books that were originally supposed to go out over a year ago, I am reminded of the love and patience displayed by all the people out there who support us.

As you know we have had an adventurous year with many many changes. At the beginning of the Indiegogo book campaign of writing on rogue marketing, I never expected the challenges and changes that have taken place. A global pandemic, struggles with close friends, political drama, a hurricane, power outages, an infestation of fungus gnats, a large solo art exhibition, winning awards, an epic adventure, a devastating leak, and buying our dream home with it’s own challenges. During last year, we have had some really dark times, and some sunshine… and through it all, you were there… patiently supporting this book. Supporting us, and that means the world to me.

So, thank you. We will be quiet for a couple weeks as we go into hermit book mode and get our books polished and ready for release. We will also be building the studio back up (finally) for our opening on April 1st.

If this adventure has shown me anything, it is this… It’s easy to want to get wrapped up in all of the crap that happens in life and the world. It’s easy to isolate and believe that what you do doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s easy to believe that everything is so much bigger than you and you are but an insignificant spec.

However, people I have never met in my life have brought sunshine and light to some moments that were difficult. Simply by showing support, joy, and giving in their own unique way. We all have that gift, we all have something to give, we all have something to share… and it matters… it ALL matters.

So, as I get ready to release a book full of my thoughts and words out into the world, I am reminded of a special quote that keeps me going when things may seem dark. When asked why he performed at a free concert just two days after getting shot, Bob Marley responded, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”

So share more love, more support, more creativity, and more awesomeness! The world can ALWAYS use more of that… We can ALL use more of that. Thank you in advance for being the awesomeness that is you. See you soon.

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You Deserve It All

I’m here to tell you that you are not crazy for wanting more. You are not selfish, and you are not delusional for aiming your sights on your dreams.

We grow up in a world of compromises. We learn that in order to “survive” we have to compromise who we are and what we really want in life. We are told to put our childish dreams aside and aim for something that is more realistic. Something that we can ACTUALLY achieve or what someone else thinks we deserve.

So we compromise. We grow up. We become adults. We get our head out of the clouds and settle for what we can have. But you were made for more. A life that is true to you. You were not meant for people pleasing, following orders, or placating. You were meant to express yourself fully and embrace who you are.

​You were meant to love, laugh, and tell it how it is. You are meant to break the façade of being normal. We pretend to be adults. We learn what it means to adult in the world. Yet, some of us remain unadulterated. We remain raw, pure, and undiluted to the best of our abilities. Some of us get rid of the rhetoric of what we are “supposed” to be or do and filter out the noise. We all can do it. It’s not luck, it’s not a special skill, and it’s not magical thinking. It is simply a matter of paying attention.

If you wake up wondering what you’ve been doing with your life or feeling like it’s too late, then you might be buying into the illusion of being ordinary.

Just remember, you were made to be extraordinary.

This is something I have to remind myself of often. Many times your own mind, friends, family, work or the world at large will give you ultimatums on how you are supposed to behave and act. They will say, “a good friend, employee, son, daughter will – fill in the blank.” This most likely happens on the heels of you doing something they disagree with. This is how the rhetoric get’s going. You compromise because that’s what you are supposed to do. Sure, we can make agreements and compromises if we want to, but NEVER compromise who you are. Never compromise your dreams.

The truth is, it’s all just crap, butt hurt, bent feelings, differing perspectives, and a false sense of control. We are all in the thick of the noise, but we can all rise above it. You can rise above it. You can believe in you. You can remember that you are extraordinary and leave the adulting to the ordinary folks out there.

Just some food for thought.

Also, we now have a PO BOX! I know some of you have been asking So here it is!

Rafi And Klee
PO Box 1573
Oil City, PA 16301

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Rafi And Klee Music Revolution Is Here!

Admittedly, I don’t even know where to begin. My head is absolutely swimming with excitement over our musical news at the time of writing this!

Let me not get ahead of myself…

Some of you may be aware that Rafi and I have a secret band called “Better On The Drums.” Neither of us plays drums. We thought the name would serve as a fun reminder not to take ourselves too seriously and have fun.

Circa 2010, we wrote 9 original songs and recorded them from the road while traveling. We had very little equipment and even less in the way of “sound appropriate” recording spaces, but we didn’t let that stop us.

When the album was finished and polished to the best of our’ then times’ abilities, we released it, yaaayyy!!!

By ‘released it’, I mean we had about a dozen CDs made and then proceeded to ask family and friends if they cared to have a listen and possibly purchase one. (we had no online community or following to speak of just yet).

Spoiler alert, most of our family and friends weren’t all that interested. Shout out to you magical few that were. They cheered us on and supported the music in the early days!

We ended up mostly giving the CDs away to mildly interested humans, and THEN… we sort of shelved the music side of our creativity. Yes, we were busy focusing on the art/jewelry/media side of the business. Still, also, we were disappointed and a little discouraged.

Music has always been important to both me and Rafi. Music was a massive part of both our lives growing up, and you could say we each had the “music in us” as far back as either of us can remember.

Klee At Key Club

From the age of 19, I wrote and performed with bands, played all kinds of incredible shows, and even got to record studio albums. Unknown to most, Rafi moonlighted as a DJ. He treated his energetic audiences to his fun impromptu musical stylings on the mic between songs. He also played music with his brother and encouraged him to pursue it professionally, which he did. Eventually, Rafi taught himself guitar so he could write originals.

When Rafi and I met, I had recently left my bands. I was facing the insecurities and impostor syndrome that came along with the idea of being a “solo artist.” Rafi was facing the insecurities and fears of being a “crappy musician” (his words, not mine). We decided to tackle those fears together and form our two-person band, but it had a rocky beginning, as you read above with our CD release.

I’m going to spare you the extended version of the 10 year narrative between then and now. Most of you are likely aware that we opened our art and jewelry studio, launched our YouTube channel and website. We also pursued countless other creative projects.

And the album? It sat there, waiting for its time. Fortunately, music doesn’t expire if left on a shelf. We’ve recently been writing music again and sharing those 2010 original songs with our Rogue Artist community on Patreon. They’ve been amazing in showing us excitement, support, and encouragement for the music side of our studio.

About a week ago, we decided that it was time to give our album its moment. Yeah, good timing Rafi and Klee… upcoming move, Rogue Artist books to finish, commissions, a large gallery exhibition, and several other things going on… let’s throw the album on the schedule too, because it’s not like we have enough to do!

You know what though? Sometimes you just have to jump on a thing when inspiration is at its strongest. We did. We decided to pursue “Official Global Distribution” for the album.

A couple of problems to sort out, the original audio quality of the album was not going to make the cut for distribution. So we had to remaster it. Unfortunately, we no longer had the original tracks, thanks to a hard drive failure. Miraculously, and with great patience and diligence (and a pretty sweet sound program), we made that happen with what we had. The static and weird ambient background noises from our back-road recordings were sorted, and the album was sound-ready!

The second problem was that neither of us had one iota of knowledge about music distribution. There is so much legal jargon that comes with it. The various types of licensing and ownership registrations and the giant and seemingly endless stream of writer/performer/publisher organizations with their multiple acronyms seemed impossible to navigate.

On The Road Playing Music.

So we spent our evenings (and the better part of our days, who am I kidding) educating ourselves through articles and videos. There’s a lot to know about releasing music through official channels, but eventually, we felt equipped and ready!

The time came to just do the thing, and we did. We submitted our album for distribution, registered with the necessary organizations, administrators, and acronyms. Then we shit a brick (Rafi typed this in when he edited my writing).

Word on the street was that we might have to wait weeks for approval, so we got emotionally prepared for that.

It wasn’t weeks though, we heard back within 48 hours… that our album “Let Me Sell You A Dream” was approved and being distributed to 150+ platforms all over the world. There are not enough words to explain how that feels, except to say that I’m still beside myself with joy. Our band “Better On The Drums” is not a secret anymore!

Original Cover Remastered

So now, we can’t stop there! As I type this, Rafi is busy designing the music side of our website. That way, we can share our album on all the platforms and apps of your choosing! By the time you read this, it will be live and ready!

We also have a collection of brand new original songs that we’re excited to record and release with all of our newfound skills and renewed excitement! Let me not get ahead of myself again though. The original album “Let Me Sell You A Dream” is having its moment. It feels so good.

I want to take a moment to humbly thank our online community of Rogue Artists. Also, you, amazing human reading this. Thank you for your support of our musical endeavors (and our creative endeavors across the board). When we say we don’t know what we’d do without you, we mean it. This album release was made possible by the encouragement and support of our community, and we’re beyond words grateful.

Playing Music With A Beautiful Human In Key West.

You know Rafi and I can’t leave you without a tidbit of earned wisdom gleaned from the experience. So here’s mine: Never give up on a dream or a creative project that you have burning within you.

Even if you’ve had it sitting on a shelf for ten years, or twenty years, or whatever, you get it.

Even if you don’t know how to make it happen but have a desire to learn as you go. You can give it life, you can make it happen, and when you do… the feeling is indescribable. Do it and know that we’re cheering for you over here!

I know this was long, so if you’re reading this sentence, you are legendary. I’ll let you get on with other things now… including checking out our music if you’d like to!

It is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, and more, but you can link to all that on our new music page!

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Pensacola Art Event – The Stuff Of Life

There comes a point in life as an artist where you reach a milestone. This is it for me. It is happening on Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8 pm. I have admired and loved what Luna Fine Art Gallery has been doing for the last couple of years and have wanted to feature my art there and be a part of that creative family. Anyone that knows me knows that the connections I make in life with other humans are meaningful beyond measure. I have loved the friendships I have cultivated with people who have supported and rooted for both Klee and me during our creative journey.

In working with Luna, I have become friends with two extremely creative and giving people that I am honored to share this milestone with.

The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.

I know that this show is a celebration of my creative career, but I wanted to make sure I celebrated Luna’s efforts and encouragement. My exhibition would not be what it is without their creative ability to see something that may not have been so clear to me. I am beyond excited to share my solo exhibition with you because of this. So a big shout out to the gallery directors, Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson for being so absolutely amazing.

If you are reading this, chances are you have followed me throughout my creative journey, some of you have been there since the beginning. I adore you and I want to give you a shout-out as well. The thing that makes this show so special to me is that some of you have had a huge impact on my life and it is reflected in the art that I create. This is our show. An exhibition of the amazing moments I have shared with you in the last decade or so.

The Exhibition is called The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.

This exhibition is a testament to the human spirit. To the beauty and power, we all possess as humans. It is the culmination of a 10-year creative journey where I challenged myself to stand in my own skin and allow myself to see the beauty in the world. This is the sharing of the calling within each work that I create to explore and understand the human experience.

Over 30 Artworks By Rafi

There will be seating, some words will be spoken by some amazing humans (including Klee, she is nervous and would appreciate your support), and refreshments on opening day. I would love it if you joined us. We will also have a special unveiling and a lot of fun so prepare yourself for an epic time.

WHAT: Art Exhibition – The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8pm – Ballroom A
WHERE: Luna Fine Art Gallery, Hilton Pensacola Beach,12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach FL 32561
WHY: Because this is going to be amazing. You are going to want to bring friends as well so you can show them how cool you are.

Find out more about the show and how awesome it is going to be by watching the video below:

For all of the amazing humans that follow us online and are from all parts of the world, we will be recording the event and sharing it with you next weekend.

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Artist Leaves 100 Sculptures Around Pensacola FL

On June 8th, in the early morning hours, I left something special around the beautiful town of Pensacola, FL, in the form of 100 sculptures.

I was inspired by the recent sale of a sculpture by artist Salvatore Garau. His sculpture auctioned off for $18K, but I wanted my sculptures to be displayed prominently around town for everyone to enjoy.

This particular project required days of planning and plotting to pull it off, after all, 100 sculptures are a lot of works of art. Luckily, I made them small enough to handle in one trip in my vehicle, and Klee helped me move them into place. I wanted them to be small enough for people to take home. I only ask that they do not take home multiples.

Artist Rafi Perez With Some Of His Sculptures

Because the sculptures are small, I estimate the value of each at about $500.

Salvatore Garau said of his sculpture, “It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination.”

In February of this year, at the Piazza Della Scala in Milan, Salvatore Garau exhibited BUDDHA IN CONTEMPLATION. As seen in the picture, this sculpture is marked out by square tape on the cobble-stone.

BUDDHA IN CONTEMPLATION

I determined that the tape would eventually fade and fall apart, so it was unnecessary. In fact, I believe it is damaging to the sculptures, and thus, none of my sculptures are marked out by tape.

The 100 sculptures have been left in prominent areas around downtown Pensacola and displayed by some of my favorite businesses.

My sculpture series is called “No hay nada aquí,” and I hope they will bring much joy to the beautiful people of Pensacola. I also hope this inspires other artists around the world to share their art with their favorite places. I plan on expanding on this series and displaying them around New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. My ultimate plan is to eventually display the series in cities and towns around the world.

Salvatore Garau said, “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has an energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”

However, my sculptures are made up of the evaporated tears of a captured chupacabra who cries when tickled with a fiery Pheonix feather. Since the artist mentions the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in the wrong context, I would like to say that my pieces are explained by the theory of relativity. So there is your explanation with some physics thrown in.

Close Up Of Sculptures “No hay nada aquí.”

I also have a painting that is part of this series for sale in my store. Please check it out by clicking on the image below. Once you see the listing make sure to click on the “find out how to purchase” button for some additional info.

“Esto Es Aire” Invisible Painting Original Wall Art by Artist Rafi Perez Unseeable Medium on Intangible Canvas 48X48

To hear more about our thoughts on this particular art style, you can watch the video below.

Also if you happen to be in the Pensacola Beach area Rafi will be having a solo exhibition at Luna Fine Art Gallery at the Hilton On Pensacola Beach (12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561) from June 29th – September 9th. By the way, this show will have tangible paintings you can see and touch, although I may bring some of my invisible sculptures.

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We Are All Powerful

It can be very easy to feel small sometimes. The world is so big. The universe is massive. Time keeps moving. In the grand scheme of things our life is but a speck on the camera lens. Yet, we are so much more than we may realize.

We were all born with this amazing power within us. Many people don’t seem to acknowledge the gifts that they have and instead choose to conform to the status quo. It saddens me to see these magical people never go for the things they want out of life. They choose to live what is considered a normal life by the people around them. Never willing to take that first step. Why is that?

CHANGE IS SCARY.
Some of us resist change at all costs. We may do this because we fear that a change will alter the stability we feel. We can be habitual creatures who tend to feel a sense of safety and security when we know what to expect. The problem is that everything changes and evolves. Everything grows and nothing will stay the same, resisting change may lead to a comfortable stagnation in your life. Embracing and becoming comfortable with change allows you to expect the unexpected and not be controlled by fear. It allows you to challenge yourself to believe that no matter what circumstances or situations arise, you will be able to navigate them.


NOT WORTH TAKING THE RISK.
Let’s be honest, not changing can be a risk. However, change is often more associated with risk. Taking a chance on yourself and following your dreams is a risk. Going against the grain is a risk. Creating an art career is a risk. Driving your car to the store is a risk. Everything in life is risky. We tend to forget that we take calculated risks hundreds of times a day in the smallest of decisions. We make determinations and predict outcomes all the time, but at the end of the day, big or small, they’re all just guesses. Following your dreams feels risky because you may have spent many years talking yourself out of it. The question isn’t “is it risky?” because everything is. The question is, are you willing to face the risks? Do you believe that YOU have what it takes to persist through the suck?

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.

― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

We all have our own gifts to bring to the world. It could be music, art, poetry, books, leadership, innovation, architecture, love, a smile, conversation, or anything. If these gifts are not making it into the world because you are afraid of the change it will bring or it is too much of a risk, remember your power. The only way these gifts can manifest is by the investment in yourself, believing in yourself, and being willing to go all the way. Persist through the suck. You have the power within you to leave the world a little different than when you came into it.

You are special, you are worth it, and you can do anything you set your mind on. Everything we see around us was created by a human who persisted through the suck, and held onto a desire to live life beyond what they know.

Go all the way, you have the power to do that.

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Are You Too Emotional?

This month has been personally challenging for us… well, this year has been a challenging cluster of fudge. No matter how much we try to avoid negative crap in our lives, crap happens sometimes… or a lot of times. 

For the most part, Klee and I focus on the positive and look on the bright side of things. Even then, there are times that can get overwhelmingly craptastic. It should come as no big surprise that when stuff goes wrong, things tend to stack one on top of the other. 

This is where the last proverbial straw can easily break the camel’s back. 

“That’s the last straw!!! I can’t take this anymore!!” may come out of your mouth or other less PG statements which all mean the same thing… I have had enough.

No matter how much we focus on the positive and look on the bright side of things, there is always a chance of being overwhelmed by negative emotions and dark thoughts. In other words, when it feels like it is just too much, it is easy to lose your shit.

Some people build a wall around this because they see it as a weakness to get angry or emotional. Usually, these people are more concerned about what other people may think of them, so behind closed doors they struggle in solitude while the world around them only sees what they want them to see. Honestly, this is the culture we all live in. It is normal to put up a strong front for other people when you are literally falling apart inside.

On the flip side to this, you have people that easily lose their shit and become volatile. They are so consumed by their own drama that they completely overlook what the people around them are going through. They become absorbed by what is happening to them and want others to feel empathy without feeling empathy themselves.

I grew up with examples of both.

With one person, I had no idea what they were actually feeling so I would overcompensate to try and get an emotional response. I always felt like I couldn’t get anywhere with them, and when I broached on a subject that was buried, they would lash out and get defensive… that’s usually where the conversation ended and I would walk away feeling like I had done something wrong. Most times this person would tell me I was doing it wrong and it was my fault that they didn’t open up.

With the other person, I was constantly walking on eggshells to make sure I didn’t say, do or have something random go wrong because it would set them off. This is where you try and control circumstances in the environment because you want the other person not to encounter a trigger. I was perpetually trying to predict and prevent anything that would make them upset. Again, I would overcompensate and usually cause a situation to become worse. When this person had a meltdown, they usually got upset with whoever was there and lashed out.

The interesting thing is that everyone has these moments, moments where shit gets to you. Some of us have an explosive moment and reflect and realize that is not who they are or who they want to be… many don’t. 

It’s like the social norm is to be either a person who doesn’t allow feelings to break their social appearance, or you are just an emotional wreck.

The thing is, WE ALL HAVE EMOTIONS… AND WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE ON HOW WE DEAL WITH OUR EMOTIONS. We all lose our shit sometimes, even if you bury feelings or use them as a weapon. The problem is not knowing that there is a big difference between reacting or choosing to respond. I think growing up being called too emotional or that we don’t have feelings is the reason people are not educated in dealing with their emotions.  

Reacting: Something triggers an emotion and you react with a knee-jerk response that is typical of the way you usually react. You tell people things like “Whenever YOU do that it causes me to do this, so stop doing it that way.” Some of these reactions have been repeated thousands of times over your lifetime and are usually learned habits. When this happens, there are usually conditions in place that need to be met in order to trigger it or make it go away.

Responding: Something triggers an emotion and you react with a knee-jerk response that is typical of the way you usually react. At some point (either right away or when you are in the midst of the reaction fog) you stop and take your focus off of the trigger and ask yourself “Is this who I want to be?” Understanding that you are dealing with your own habits and you can chip away at those little by little. You also understand that you have to face the feelings to actually make some headway. This means being brutally honest with yourself. It will require you to say things you don’t want to hear about your behavior and insecurities that you feel control you. This is the hardest part and why it’s easier to lash out and bury the dark feelings. Unless you confront those deep dark recesses of yourself, you may never release whatever is causing the emotional reaction.

Yesterday I shared a motivational artist mp3 with our rogue artists on Patreon. Motivational MP3’s are something I’ve created for myself over the last ten years. Basically, it’s me talking to myself, reminding myself of something that is easy to forget when a particular shit hits a particular fan in my life.

Listen To Rafi’s Motivational MP3’s

I have some recordings on staying motivated as an artist, continuing on despite the obstacles, and remembering that I get to choose my life no matter what the naysayers or I might think. They are my way at chipping away at the habits of insecurity that I may have. 

When you go down a downward spiral of reacting to anything in a negative way (person place or thing) things can easily stack on top of each other and next thing you know, you feel like you are drowning in molasses. 

As an artist, it is easy to feel discouraged, unmotivated, or even stupid and frivolous. We tend to feel lost in a wilderness of solitude surrounded by a world that doesn’t respect or understand what we do or why we do it. It’s easy to feel like you are losing. 

We are constantly just waiting for things to get easier.

I’m sorry, but I am going to be brutally honest with you now… Things never get easier, we just grow, evolve, and find better ways in overcoming obstacles. We form new habits and learn to smile more. We learn to not dwell on the past, or let our negative thoughts (or someone else’s) shape our world. 

It is the struggles, hardships, and moments where we feel we can’t keep going that make us stronger. These are the moments where you have an opportunity to show yourself once and for all who you really are.

So if you have what I like to call “A Momentary Lapse Of Brilliance” that’s fine. Just respond to it. It doesn’t define you. There is no such thing as TOO emotional, or NOT emotional enough… they are both ways of not confronting our own emotional shit.

So get mad and lash out and refuse to let it control you. You fight. You cry. You curse. You punch. You wave your fists at the heavens. Don’t blame the person, place, or thing… look at your own insecurities.

Tell your insecurity,  your bad day, your crappy situation, or whatever else “NOT TODAY!”

I GET TO CHOOSE

I GET TO DECIDE HOW I FEEL TODAY.

I’M IN CONTROL OF WHO I CHOOSE TO BE EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY. 

AND TODAY, I AM FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT I AM A BADASS.

Then you live your damn life like the badass that you are. 

Remember, chip away… You may only be a teeny bit more badass than yesterday and THAT IS BADASS 🙂