Transformation is natural. Everything is in a constant state of change and yet we humans seem to struggle with it most. We find our comfort zones and often stay there as much as possible. I have watched my dog adapt to any situation and find the best of what is presented. Whether it is a couch, a dog-sitter or a meal. Acceptance seems to be part of what she is.
Lately I have been faced with a number of situations that have highlighted my mortality and on reflection, have caused me to transform. I can no longer maintain my old way of thinking and my old ways because I see that life is short and our dreams are precious. In order to embark on the journey of a lifetime, we must change our habits, change our perspectives and change the way we live.
I was in Bali in February and took part in three days of rituals that I felt were significant to me. They were more personal than official but I called great changes into me. I cleansed myself with fire, water, earth and air. I walked up a mountain with ten thousand people, bathed in a pure volcanic spring, witnessed a fire-trance dance, and cleansed myself of all previous karma in a holy temple. It all sounds terribly grand but it was a humble and earthy affair, shared with my partner and many Balinese people. We were part of a tide of intention, immersed in nature, flowers, incense and love. Change is rushing upon me now, just as I intended but perhaps not as I expected.
When I returned to Europe, within days of getting back home, a man was killed outside my house. He was hit by a speeding motorist as he rode his push-bike; a route I ride most days. For a day or so I was filled with a sadness and dread. Life can be snatched so quickly and violently from us, outside our front doors. That could have been me. What would have happened to all the things I wanted to do and be? They would have faded like dust into nothingness. I was filled with a sense of urgency. Life is fleeting.
Since then I have dived head-first into my dreams. I travelled to England to attend a songwriting bootcamp run by The Songwriting Academy. I decided I needed some guidance and training in my chosen profession. I met a beautiful group of people and felt more at home than I ever have done in my whole life. Here I was, finally surrounded by people who understood me and had the same dreams and goals as me. That does not happen often with artists and writers. Our work is mainly done in isolation. Here we were, all in one place, focused on one goal. Motivated by this, I decided to join the year-long mentorship programme.
On my return to Spain, I was filled again with great purpose and strove to incorporate my new learnings and energy into my life. I spent a weekend in Valencia at the CDBaby DIY Musician Conference with over three hundred musicians, talking about making a living in the new music industry. This is the business of streaming and online platforms, social media and creating content, self-advertising and a thousand other skills that are not music but important nonetheless. We must embrace the changes if we are to transform.
Last month, as part of my mentorship, I got to spend a week in the hills around Málaga at another Songwriting Academy camp. This time writing with hit-song writers. I now have ten co-writing projects in the works, three separate performance projects – my solo Matt Rivers singer-songwriter brand, a yoga music project and my band Cold River. My online music business is growing slowly as I learn more and more. My journey is upgrading a lot at the moment.
Unless we begin acting on our dreams, however small that act may be, then they will remain forever dreams. I truly believe we dream in order to make them real. To act upon a dream is to begin manifesting it. We are here to enjoy the journey and that means taking part, walking the walk and playing the game.
If you are interested in taking a course at The Songwriting Academy then I highly recommend starting with the Introduction to Songwriting one day course, especially if you are just beginning your journey or you want to get to know the Academy a little more. If you want to dive straight in, go to the weekend Songwriting Bootcamp. It is amazing! Just follow the links…