Everyone loves the sight of a cake, but few mention the ingredients involved, and fewer want to take the time to learn how to bake it. Just like love. Everyone desires it in its entirety, but not many are knowledgeable of the ingredients (benevolence, faithfulness, mercy, graciousness, patience, thankfulness) which are hardly mentioned. You can be sure this is a reason some are quick to quote the phrase “I love you.” But without understanding the ingredients, your love doesn’t have much to stand on, therefore you make it easy to leave. You want to learn the art of love? Learn what the ingredients consist of.
My latest tune “Dream Girl.” An attempt at making music that captures the imagination through dreamy and celestial sounds. I am using my musical abilities as a way to connect to the human heart; to soothe the musically malnourished soul.
• Music produced by brandon*
♬ - ilovebrandon.net
✉ - firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve recently committed my mornings to taking small journeys through the neighborhood. I find that these morning walks tend to keep me in a positive frame of mind. This particular outing began promptly at 10am. I was well rested, and with no prior obligations from friends, family or work, I set aside time for myself and decided to venture through my community. So I hefted my backpack over my shoulders and thus began my journey down the sidewalk trail. Setting my iPod mid volume to the sounds of David Benoit’s Orchestral Stories, I pretended to be an explorer of the world, in search of whatever treasures I could find. I found no trinkets or jewels, but such clarity was given to me. This peace of mind allowed me to detach from any and all worry and allowed my imagination’s eye to wander in the beauty of the world around me. Blue skies, a gentle breeze, the warmth of the sun: things we often take for granted. And for a mind that is ever racing, I could ask for no more than what was given to me. Interesting how something as simple and ordinary as taking a walk through the neighborhood, leaves an extraordinary impression upon ones life. But I tend to find solace in life’s simplicities. As I made for the return journey home, I found no need to be worried or anxious. “Live for today” I told myself. “Enjoy the present moment.” I admit that I tend to give thought to things which are beyond my control. But as life continues, I’ve become more one with myself. I am less anxious for tomorrow and more at ease with today. Because in doing so, I’ve learned grace. I learn to cherish life in its entirety. For each day the sun rises, I am given another chance to live with more meaning, to see with unclouded eyes and act through wisdom and love.
Be careful when uttering the words “I love you.” These words have been thrown around far too casually. So casually in fact that I often feel as though we’ve watered down the beauty of its meaning. Even more, these words have often been misused and misrepresented; at times to mask their true intentions, be it sexual or otherwise. And many of us who utter these words, do not honor them. Love is a constant state of being, surrounded by virtues of trust, faithfulness, graciousness and benevolence. Be warned. For the time will come when you will have to uphold these words through action. To love and to be loved is also to be tested by that love. Of this you can be sure of; perhaps to see if you truly meant what you said at all. Don’t tell me you love me, but make it easy to leave me. Don’t say “I love you” and not mean it. We must always be mindful of what we say. For words have meaning, whether or not we mean them.
In the course of manifesting our dreams, it is my personal belief that we as a people focus entirely too much time and energy on the “how”, “why” and “when.” As well, we give ourselves constantly over to the frenzy of comparing ourselves to others; allowing what society deems worthy to insight fear within us, instead of embracing our uniqueness and individuality. If we would only have the confidence in ourselves, regardless of the many voices and whispers trying to negate our path, and simply believe & use the resources readily available to achieve our objective, perhaps we would be happier with our lot. Perhaps we would stay more focused on our goals. And maybe we would lead less stressful lives. Stay forever encouraged. Things will work out. You’ll see ☺
Communication is a fundamental aspect of any working relationship. And a healthy sex life requires good communication. I can’t tell you the amount of barbershop talk I’ve overheard; men my age and older having “she only sleeps with me every other Thursday” conversations. Quick to discuss how a woman should treat them sexually, but rarely hearing my male peers speak on what they’re willing to give to their partners. I’ve always found it hilariously interesting why there are some people that require what they don’t themselves give. I’m baffled by the amount of young men I know who require a woman to perform certain sexual acts, but are disgusted by having to reciprocate those same acts. Or some young women who use sex as a tool to control their partners. The act of intimacy, regardless of physical interaction takes vulnerability, openness, giving and communication. Characteristics we often want to receive, but not cultivate ourselves. This may sound foolish to some, but I believe the best way to gain what you want is to give. Below is what has proven true for me.
1. Be what you’re asking for. This to me is just plain common sense. One of the first things I ever learned in school was to “treat others the way that I wanted to be treated.” As well, I learned a biblical proverb of “give and it shall be given unto you.” The same I believe can be applied to relationships and even physical intimacy. If you desire someone smart, learn to have an intellectual conversation. If you desire beauty, keep yourself looking well. I find it silly that I know individuals who want to date an athletic type, but want to play couch potato. Or even some who want someone to be sexually open, yet they themselves aren’t willing to be vulnerable or adapt to change. Always make sure to fit the criteria you demand.
2. If you treat your sex life as a chore, it will become just that. It is my personal belief that how you and your partner treat one another is a good indicator of the level of physical intimacy the two of you will share. As well, I’m not convinced that one can be a selfish lover and think they’re going to have a great sex life. Do you communicate well with one another? Do you have genuine care and concern for each other, or is your relationship based strictly on physical attraction? Just speaking for myself, I want the young woman I’m making love to, to feel beautiful and desired. I want to be enamored with her; a task that all too often us young men have become increasingly lazy with. If I’m going to give you the honor of having my body, why not let it be an amazing experience! A chance to truly explore the wonder and profoundness of your partner.
3. The greater the connection, the greater the level of intimacy. Our sexual experiences often are only as great as the relationship (connection) we share with those individuals. There is a reason many studies show that elders have the best relationships and sex lives. Like a couple whose been married for 25 + years. They’ve been given ample time to learn aspects of each others personality. How to love, value and cherish one another, all of which translates to the bedroom. Couples that are just as much friends as they are lovers. And I don’t blame people who want to be in committed relationships before they engage in sexual behavior. Part of the reason many desire a relationship title before sexual intimacy occurs is that it gives one a sense of security; meaning it assumes trust. And people usually feel free to be themselves once trust is established between parties.
Speaking personally, I’ve never really had issues in intimacy because I’m usually communicative and honest about what I’m seeking as well as what I’m giving. I’m open minded, willing to be vulnerable and willing to give, despite what I’m given. And just speaking from experience, I’ve learned that a wonderful thing about a woman is that everything given to her, most likely multiplies back to you. So if we (men) can take the time to be attentive, adaptable, open, vulnerable and above all genuine, then perhaps we wouldn’t have barbershop discussions about how our wives or girlfriends only sleep with us every now and then, but I digress. Here’s hoping that your love life is sustained through actions of love, trust and faithfulness. Cheers!
My focus has recently shifted, and thus centered in improving the quality of my life. Not to strive for perfection, but to attempt to lead a well-balanced lifestyle. As I’ve stated in a previous post, “The older I get, the simpler I desire to live.” I am choosing to not assume a static identity, refusing to live a life of the status quo, relieving unwarranted stress, and living with maximized effect. In a sense, I’ve become more minimalistic, and this is made prevalent through my daily activities. I have always been somewhat over-analytical, for my mind is ever racing. This can prove to be quite good in my creative works, for it helps me to brainstorm ideas and imaginative concepts down to the most minute details, all stemming from my subconscious. However, in terms of daily endeavors, it can at times be overwhelmingly stressful. So I’ve devised a few personal guidelines to live by. Things that will keep me in context. Perhaps you could administer these to your daily routine.
1. Whatever my work, it must somehow benefit me. Now in no way am I saying to be lazy, but what does your employment bring you? How does it add to your life? I’ve witnessed people working like slaves to attain a very small amount of funds. People who live to work, making just enough to get by. This is ridiculous to me. True, money is needed in this world. But the idea that money is everything, and that you can get nowhere without it, is something I fundamentally disagree with. I do not believe for a second that what we produce in life must make money, but I do believe that what we produce should benefit people.
2. Take time to smell the roses. Many of us erroneously associate selfishness with self-centeredness. It’s o.k. to be selfish. To not pick up the phone every time it rings. To say “no” every once in awhile. To want to get away from everyone and simply be. I’ve always noticed that when I take a few moments for myself, I receive such clarity. I am even able to widen the gaze of my perspective, in turn, appreciating things a great deal more. I have learned to not run myself ragged trying to meets the needs and requests of others; things that will most likely heighten your stress level, which can just as easily be transformed into anger. Exercising the gift of service is a wonderful thing, but what does it profit someone to do so out of obligation, weariness or resentment? Always take time for yourself.
3. There is no sense in worrying about what we cannot control. As simple as this sounds, it may be difficult to implement. And if you’re someone who feeds off of the approval of others, this can be even more troublesome. My life used to be centered around people, because I truly love people! And I use my musical gift to converse with the world. That being said, I would overtly stress over my interactions with others. So I chose another path. To live in a way that benefited me, regardless of outside criticisms. I can no more make someone see me in a positive light, than they themselves choose to. Because, regardless of what ever I produce in this life, someone somewhere is going to critique it. Freedom is letting go, and wisdom is knowing what to let go of. And it is my firm belief that we should focus our energies on production, not reaction, expectations or feedback. For to be critiqued is to know that you have produced something, which is bearing fruit. But many of us become so immersed in what others have to say about the fruit we bear; how it looks and how it tastes, that we don’t congratulate ourselves on producing it, shifting our focus to a potentially negative viewpoint.
To quote Cracked columnist David Wong, “Misery is comfortable. Happiness takes effort.” So I strive to live within the light. To aim at becoming the balance of my emotions, and live my life to the standard that I hold for others. Happy hunting. ❤
Nujabes - “Reflection Eternal” (brandon* remix)
I have always loved the music of Jun Seba, a.k.a. Nujabes. His mellow beats combined with soothing, almost soft spoken melodies and samples always seemed to put me in a nostalgic mind state, as if his music were representative of a utopian dream. And in honor of his life, I wanted to reinterpret this with a few auxiliary sounds of my own. My rendition of the acclaimed “Reflection Eternal” adds a piano solo, strings and new drum sounds, all the while keeping it reminiscent of the original. I will be uploading a 10 track remix album of famous Nujabes works to both my SoundCloud and BandCamp pages on February 1st. Until then, hope you enjoy this rendition.