Stuff.

“Stuff” seems to have an energy. Being surrounded by “stuff” seems to have an energy.

Recently I went travelling and survived with a mere 11kgs of luggage. Many people commented on how little I had. However never did I feel I did not have enough.

I really like this quote:

We buy things we don’t need.
With money we don’t have.
To impress people we don’t like.

Assess every item you buy. What is the initial outlay of it? Can you afford it? What is the ongoing cost of repair and maintenance? Do you really need it? All “stuff” takes energy to maintain. Will it sit around and look good but depreciate in value, clogging up space in your house, while you expend energy maintaining it?

The solution? Have less “stuff”..
I honestly like the minimal lifestyle. My theory is that the more “stuff” you have, the more this pollutes good clean energy in your mind. And that energy is hard enough to maintain let alone anything external come and passively pollute it.

Until next time,
Elton.

Welcome back to reality.

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“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”

Henry David Thoreau.

Koh Tao sunset.

Koh Tao sunset.

Welcome back to reality. It is the cold heard truth I have become faced with coming back from 8 months of travelling. And working. This is the common presupposition that most people hold on my return. The cold hard truth hits you. Now you are again one of us. Put in the hours, do the time. Do what you don’t want to do because we all do it.

Is it a surprise that so many people are dissatisfied? Even if it harbours a restless soul?

Work is hard. Even music I find challenging and downright frustrating. I remember a Steve Angello quote on twitter. Remember this man has been part of one of the most successful electronic music groups of the last 5 years (Swedish House Mafia). He recognised that his record label did not bring him much money but it was “good for the soul”.

So there is the implicit difference. Doing something because you “have” to, because someone told you to or you feel an obligation to. As against something that you do that nourishes you, nurtures you and supports your internal soul satisfaction.

In the end when you look at your own mortality you realise:

“You can’t take money with you”.

“You can’t take possessions with you”.

I had Youtube on and it was flicking through some songs. On came Bruno Mars. I respect the guy, he is doing his thing. And it was a live concert with Sting, Lady Gaga and a number of other mainstream artists. And do you know who they were commemorating? Bob Marley. Wow. Here is a man who has been dead for zions and still his LEGACY lives on. The same applies to Kurt Cobain and Michael Jackson. The list goes on.

Why does your reality have to be steeped in suffering and struggle? Why can’t it be a life you dreamed about? It is a mindset problem.

My friend Sam has reinvented herself. In order to pursue her dream she had to move state. Was it hard? Yes, I saw her working in the spud shop while I was drinking on Grand Final Day. She had a vision of her purpose. And she is living the dream now. Her company is paying for her honours program. It beats accepting her previous reality.

Change is uncomfortable. Routine is not. That’s why people choose routine. I have had patients who would rather stay in pain than change a routine. We have been conditioned to be so risk adverse that we would rather let someone fix us than be proactive. They stay in jobs that make them sick in order to perpetuate the cycle.

You can build your dream life. But it is not easy. And that is different for everyone.
I leave with you with this:

“Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a dream.”

Cheers
Elton.

You fill what you define.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
― Michelangelo Buonarroti

I have had an interesting concept running around in my head with travelling.

When I go to an ATM at the end of another country I have visited there is always a quandary of how much money to withdraw (which costs me $5 every time I go).

But understand this. No matter what I do it always tends to work out perfectly.

I had this same concept when I have visited Indonesia recently. I was in a dilemma on how much to withdraw. Call it an innate intuition, but I withdrew the money almost exactly (apart from the fact I did not getcharged $20 at the airport for tax like I thought I would).

I wonder then if your subconscious mind then goes to work on rationalising that exact money so you don’t over or under spend. I think so.

I thought of this as a concept and the above quote.

What if life expands the same way. What if you thought of some big goal and expanded it even further beyond your wildest dreams. Life can then fill in the gaps.

Why would life expand on something small? That’s all you have asked for. If I ask you for $20, that’s all you are going to give me right? But if I ask for $100, even if I do not get that amount of money, it will be higher than the original $20. Rejection is better than regret. Ask and you will receive.

This is a concept that is totally logical.

But most people don’t do this. They get content with a job they don’t really like, doing things they don’t want to do, to fund a lifestyle that is not making them happy. They have a routine and make a settlelment with themselves. They are not happy but justify it.

Why don’t you expand on your dreams. Your subconscious mind will then go to work on the new, expanded model. Even if the dream or goal does not come to fruition as planned, you will enjoy the journey, and not regret you have not fulfilled your potential. You will become a better person than one who is risk averse and in a boring, stale routine, learning nothing.

Cheers.
Elton.

All good things must come to an end.

Did you know the Tibetan Buddhists meditate on death? This is the nine point meditation on death:

Truth: Death is certain.

1. We cannot escape death.
2. Each moment we are alive brings us closer to death.
3. Death comes as a single instant and is unexpected.

Truth 2: The time of death is uncertain.

4. The duration of our lives is unpredictable.
5. There are more causes for death than there are for life.
6. The human body is extremely fragile.

Truth 3:The only thing that can help you at the time of death is your mental and spiritual development.

7. Wealth we’ve accumulated can’t help.
8. Friends and family cannot help.
9. Our bodies can’t help.

What can we conclude from this? Your time is valuable. As is the amount of time you have been put on this Earth to do what you want to do.

Even travel comes to an end as I near the end of this trip. It’s something I cannot change. The world is in constant change. Your body is in constant change.

Once you can accept that things do not last forever, even your life, you may be able to take a moment to pause and realise that everything changes. Experiences come and go. People come and go.

It’s a reason to step out in the world.
But it is also a realisation not to get sad. And to move on, because everything else does.

Trust the process.

I am going to start writing on the run and make observations as I see them.

One today that I found is trusting the process of life.

Sometimes life does not work entirely to plan. How boring if it did.

I am in Bandung Indonesia writing in a very big American food chain store. Not somewhere I would normally choose. But I have caught 2 busses, no one speaks English and I am trying to find a gym recommended to me.

I would not have thought I would be here. When I start getting frustrated I just try and breathe and think of how lucky I am to be in this situation. Are you thankful or resentful?

Things went well yesterday. Not so well today. But it is all because everything is working that there needs to be balance. So take the good with not so good (notice I did not say bad).

Have a firm idea on where you want to go and you will be lead there. And don’t worry about what happens. It’s part of the plan.

Daniel Steinberg – Let me down (Tube & Berger remix). Unofficial video.

Hi y’all,

Here is some light hearted entertainment I made on the flight from Bali to Bandung. This spontaneously happened and I found it quite amusing so I decided to post.

Enjoy,
Elton.

One thing leads to another.

Have you ever done one thing, started it, and realised it has taken you in a totaly different direction.
And aren’t you glad you did?

I remember the exact time i was descending into Phnom Penh, through turbulence after one of the toughest days of travel I have encountered. I had been up since 4:30 am due to an overnight train trip in Thailand. I arrived in Thailand at the hostel to discover my visa had run out. I had to quickly change my flight, my plans. I made a quick stop to the dentist where they wanted to X-ray me for a cosmetic procedure, only to be told they could not do anything for me. I got a quick haircut and worryingly for me, arrived 30 minutes before check in. I made the flight. Just. But it was stressful.

On my flight I sat down next to a tattooed guy from head to toe and struck up a conversation. I decided to guess his nationality. Russian i said. Bad move to a Finnish male. So it didn’t make it easier when he told me the festival I was going to was cancelled. I had just paid $130 to change my flight (on top of what I already paid).

Did Cambodia get off to a good start.. no.

But did i make use of my time and maximise it? Yes

I knew what I wanted. Fitness, travel and to experience a culture.

They say when the student is ready the master appears. I met a commando guru who is now sparring and training with me. I have a music project on the run and have a lot of fun footage, for great memories.

Everything happens for a reason.

The KaZantip festival was cancelled. But I met other people who took me in unforeseen directions, so unexpected that it seems unbelievable.

I stayed in a place that I initially did not like because I felt that was the right thing to do. Because I had met the right people at the right time for me. And I wanted that experience. Why would I move for that?

Don’t give up.

The best piece of advice I can give you.. look after yourself. You are the only person who will take the best care of your body. Don’t expect anyone else to.

Elton.

The disposability of music.

Recently I had an interesting experience that got me thinking about the disposability of music. Maybe more so about priorities people have when buying music. Really without music what would life be?

What would cheer you up when you were feeling down?
What would you do when you went out and wanted to dance?
How would your commute be to work without it?
How would you tolerate the long border crossings or even the intolerable bus ride to work or school?

Have a think about it for a second perhaps. We all like the classics right? I went past an older guy in my hotel last night proudly wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt. He said he saw them in some city in Sweden. I mean these guys are still rocking it, mainly based on their classics they wrote 30 years ago.

But we need new music. Fresh music. We need the greatest minds to be employed, creating and pushing the boundaries. But no one wants to pay.

I recently had an experience of showing a lovely young lady, let’s call her Maria, my pre-eminent release. She loved it. Previously she had told me she was a music fan. And a lover of food. Often she would go out to fancy restaurants and blow 60 Euros on a meal for a night. That’s cool here as well, no judgement.

She wanted my song. I said, no worries. I did give it to her, but i also slipped in that she could buy it when it was going to be released. Very, very, quickly she replied, “I don’t buy music” (I was stunned how quickly she said it actually).

I stopped. Something felt uneasy for me. It is the current state the music industry. I challenged her.

“So you will go out and spend 60 euro happily on a meal. I have no problem with this. But you will not pay $1.50 for a song which will support the artist. This process took months and months to complete”.

She paused. Credit to her she saw the logic.

I gave her the song which was not yet mastered (properly.. enter Elton Smith bogon mastering). But it got me thinking.

1. Music is so disposable now. It’s an mp3 on a computer. Remember when you came home with a vinyl or CD. There was artwork and potentially a storyline to it (think Pink Floyd).

2. The mindset of the consumer. Expecting music to be free. Who harboured this expectation?

It’s what we all know already. But an interesting paradox now we have the internet. Should we be ok to say you don’t get paid for the production of music? I don’t think so.

Artists need to eat. Artists need to survive. Artists need to grow and thrive.
The music industry needs artists to stay in the industry, not be working 10 hours at the local supermarket running a checkout.

You are buying a piece of history when you buy a song. A history of the artist, a history in the evolution of the earth’s consciousness.

Next time you like a song, go and buy it. You will feel better and you can be sure that the artist at least gets paid 25 cents.

Till next time.
Elton.

The road to Kazantip. Mini parties galore.

Well by now you know that Kazantip has been cancelled. But people, and especially Russians, still travelled here to enjoy the Cambodian weather, (relatively) cheap food and accommodation and hospitality of the local authorities.

These people came to party.

There is a stretch of beach called Otres beach. On the 22nd we went to find some parties. There is a special energy riding a bike through the back streets. It is not developed. It’s like searching for a treasure chest.

We arrived at one party just a little too late. It was apparently shut down by an army guy carrying a big machine gun. He took the laptop of the DJ. Party over.

We did meet some people in the know who added us to a closed Facebook group telling us where all the pseudo parties are.

So there was a party that popped up on Victory Beach where most of the party revellers are staying and where I first got on a boat to sail around the bay in Sihaoukville.

The DJ booth setup

The DJ booth setup

Set on the beach, the organisers put a lot of effort into this. There were lights shining on the pier, girls dancing on the beach and in the water. It was a fun vibe.

A lot of beautiful girls were present

A lot of beautiful girls were present

We were able to see the sunset on the backdrop of some beautiful deep house. It was a fun environment to chill and relax.

Sunset.

Sunset.

All in all the vibe was excellent. Whilst there is disappointment about the cancellation, life moves forward with people making the best of the situation. This proves the point.

Peace.
Elton.

The road to Kazantip. Day 2. Kazantip spirit.

So it’s been all over the news. We have all heard it. The entrance to the bridge was blocked by the police to Snake Island. In my last post I was determined to see this for myself. I did get close. And this is what it looked like.

The bridge leading to snake Island, where Kazantip was meant to be held.

The bridge leading to snake Island, where Kazantip was meant to be held.

By an off chance I stopped into a restaurant past the bridge. I was still unable to find it. There were a lot of Russians around. We got talking to one and he mentioned there may be a boat to take us somewhere. We thought this might be actually going to the Island as an anterior route to the road. No one knew anything as always.

We went down to the pier. There was a big boat pumping out some dance music. Well it was more like funk. What a strike of luck. Without planning I had stumbled upon a Kazantip inspired, Russian dominated, boat party.

The "unofficial" Kazantip boat party.

The “unofficial” Kazantip boat party.

Waiting for the boat to depart.

Waiting for the boat to depart.

I asked the lady how much to entry was. Free. Boom! A boat similar to this cost me $200 in Miami. I was thinking there was money here, but I was not asking from where. I just got on the boat. We departed.

Snake Island where the Kazantip festival was supposed to be held.

Snake Island where the Kazantip festival was supposed to be held.

There was dancing, there was fun. We stopped a number of times. The only problem was everything was in Russian. The music stopped for announcements. Everyone cheered. I was just a bit confused.

The thing is I thought the boat was going to turn around and return to it’s departure point. It seems not. We moored at Otres Beach and by the time I had been on the boat for 7 hours I was ready to go home. And I was a dam long way from where I parked my motorbike. Yes one of those situations.

A longboat came and took everyone onto shore. I was convinced it was going to sink as it started to take on water. We made it safely. Most were too drunk to worry or laughing too hard to care. I thought it was funny too. And very Asia. It would have made some good Go Pro video if we were forced to swim.

The after party was great. I did get some video of that. I had forgotten how much I value good music and how long it had been since I heard some quality. This was good. House, progressive. I can’t remember. It was a long day.

I was speaking to a French journalist covering Kazantip. Whilst the festival is not running, the people are still here.

That means they are here for good music.
And to enjoy themselves and bring the spirit of the festival to wherever they roam.

Peace.
Elton.