Our first love.
“What’s your favourite tape?” he asked.
“My favourite tape?”
“Yes, I know you love music and I wondered what was your favourite tape.”
I replied, “Simon & Garfunkel, of course.”
This was the last conversation I had with my father. Years of abuse and addiction took my dad away when I was 6 years old and I saw very little of him for much of my life. Life after that moment is a jumble of traumatic memories, lonely moments and an overall sense that my life is not what I see, could there be more?
Watching a movie on a flight back from overseas, the narrator said that “life is a series of moments when you add them all up and create the storyline of your human experience”. Just moments. Memories that fade in and out. A story where we begin to ask ourselves: do I matter? Is this it? Am I loved? Over the course of these last 40 years I have sought answers to these questions. An endless pursuit of wanting more and wanting to understand more. This internal drive has led me to the music industry of all things (considering my terribly bad dancing). If you had told me that I would end up running this Web3 music company from my early beginnings, I would never have imagined it. Yet some 8 months ago my last conversation with my dad revolved around a cassette tape. His prize possessions landing in my mailbox.
So much of life is these little things. Moments that to many have no value but when this package arrived in the mailbox I knew my healing journey with this chapter of my life was complete. What are your moments? Can they be answered by your own cassette tape?
There were two prevailing themes of my life: music and money. My mother taught music to survive and my father listened to music to escape. My mother thought life needed to be practical, no dreaming only surviving. My father the chronic addict, thought life was a dream to be dreamed but in fiction without substance. Sadly, after that question my dad posed, he passed away this year just a few months after I saw him.
As children, we learn about love from our parents. They are our first loves. We see love through their eyes. We learn the language of love from them. In many cases, our parents carry with them what they believe love is, either running from a past of their own trauma or determined to make your life different. Parents hold the responsibility to shape a child’s view of love. When brokenness and trauma enter that key learning period (before your 10th birthday) it distorts how we experience love and begins the loud Ego voice in our heads. Without healing, many us stay in this distorted storytelling and the picture of our human experiences. If you couple these experiences with addiction, financial hardships, racism and generational trauma we have a perfect storm of falsehoods around love. How can we love when our heart has been broken?
For much of my life I have been drawn to creatives. During years of healing work, I had the chance to spend time with women in recovery. All of them creative. When we begin to look at creatives, we see that the battle between the two sides of self is early in their life. Depending on family structures, many would say: be practical. Get a real job. You can’t make money at being a creative. Financial scarcity is placed on a creative very early on in their life. As this pressure of money and creativity collide, the feelings of the creative are on high frequency. Many do not know what to do with all that they feel. Studying this phenomenon for 25+ years has shown me that creatives without channels of expression often will drift to addiction.
I think my dad was a creative but with no channel. When I hear the stories of my dad, his wiring was more sensitive, more in tuned that as a man born the in 1940s this would have been culturally difficult. My mother was creative but paralyzed by money yet ironically by going door to door asking if anyone needed a piano lesson was how we survived. The piano saved us. The collision of tech, healing and music has led to the creation of EQ Exchange and Ahava, my two great loves.
So how do you learn about the seeds of your true self? Think of a the first memory before your 10th birthday? What is the first memory that pops in? Could be innocuous? Does not need to be blunt trauma? It is the just the first memory that pops in. This is a moment your inner guide wants you to know. Look at the age of the memory and the year it is was. If you were 8 in 1982, then all the data around 1982 is relevant for you. Look at the music, the news, the movies, books, all of it. If your parents are still alive, ask them the same question. First memory before 10? Gather to golden triangle data. This is data that none of you picked. It was given to you. By the power of the trinity, this data that intersects all of you is the most relevant.
Since we are in music first step towards uncovering your purpose is the playlist! Gather the three years (yours, your parents) and look for music that speaks to you. Make that playlist! For 20 minutes a day just be in that music. See what comes up for you. See what memories come for you. Today I will listen to some Simon and Garfunkle and remember my dad loved music, camping and having a laugh. Today, be easy on yourself as you discover your purpose.