Search
  • Nikki

The convenience of consumption is a distraction.


I believe that a giant piece of the mental health decline in the US is actually our subconscious reminding our conscious that we have been conditioned to live in a way that is unsustainable, counter-intuitive to our true form as human beings, and deadly to our true purpose on earth. We deny our creativity, our very spirits and bodies. We are literally killing ourselves trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Tribal rituals used to include communion with others, dancing, singing, a common-good mindset, art and food, unique gifts that everyone possessed and shared, and when given the right circumstances to nourish them, led to a full flowering purpose within each of us. It led to happiness.


So why do we lack purpose? Why are we more alone than ever when we are technically more connected than ever?


Because most of us can no longer afford to get to know our true selves, and corporate greed is the reason.


It’s the last month of the decade, and time is money. Most are in survival mode, and the hustle to stay alive is more prominent and pressing than the will to actually live. Team no sleep, positivity or nothing, these are all toxic mentalities widely accepted as the standard to success. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and will keep us exactly where we are: over worked, under paid, striving for a higher education by going into debt for the rest of our lives so that we too, might get lucky enough to have a shot at financial freedom. Or treating our illnesses with drugs that create MORE illness instead of fortifying the importance of a balanced diet. There is little to no transparency in the contents of our food, water, air, or the way our produce and animal products are grown. We could literally eat and exercise ourselves healthy, especially if our politicians actually legislated higher standards for us, but the pharmaceutical companies would go bankrupt. So they pay off a senator or twelve to make sure they can continue to legally fly under the radar. People in power are paying to keep us sick. Corporations can charge whatever they want for medication completely unregulated, and we need health insurance to help cover costs. God forbid we develop an expensive illness, our insurance has the right to drop us from our plan to leave us unaided in our fight to live.


We are taught that if we work hard enough we can afford our own home, only to find the cost of living skyrocketing while the average employee wage stays the same. Billion dollar CEO’s are awarded tax breaks that leave them paying less than the average American. We vote on politicians who promise to help our children, heal our communities, to make us safer and happier, and end up with corruption that leaves us so much worse off than before. Why are we dying to maintain these half-lives? And what is the price tag for it?


Well, honestly, who cares? When we're kept on a steady diet of “stuff” to distract us, we miss the signs completely. We buy what we cant afford, only for our once precious items to end up in landfills. We follow government laid curricula taught by underpaid teachers that prepare us not for life, but for consumption. If you grew up on TV dinners and trips to Walmart like I did, this is where the programming to become another cog in the machine begins. We are built for sewing our natural gifts and hard earned money right back into the hands of the morally bankrupt. We fight their unwinnable wars because they say it’s about pride, bravery and freedom, when it’s actually about ego, greed, control and resources. Why are we active participants in a system that will continue to oppress us when the harsh truth is that if and when you zoom all the way out, we are so very clearly fucked?

This oppression only increases one hundred fold if you happen to be any class of minority. The war on women, race, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, free thinkers, and TRUTH feels like chaos, confusion, depression and anxiety.


Make no mistake, this is not an accident. This is by design. If too many of us "wake up”, rise in power, and begin to hold a microscope to the underbelly of the US, the merry men at the top would lose everything. Trust they will make sure this does not happen. They will continue to double down on their greed to secure their futures, while we become increasingly sick, hungry, tired, and hounded by the inherent truth that something is very wrong.


This is exactly where they want us.

Guess what happens when life gets this hard: We self medicate. Pop a Xanax and chalk it up to depression. We work longer hours. We get more stuff. We take out a third job. We shop on Amazon. We see a holistic healer or try a new diet fad to try to solve our problems. We tune out or over indulge to numb the pain of our far-too-heavy-to-handle reality. We’ve come too far in this direction to turn back now.

Who benefits from this?


The wolves of Western culture.

We are the willfully ignorant sheep.


The land of the free and home of the brave is now a place where no one is truly free. Politicians are cowards only out for themselves, honesty is optional, facts are “fake news”, and misinformation is a prevalent and necessary tool used to manipulate weak minds into furthering the agenda.


Everyone benefits from a healthy, well-educated population except those who make a profit from disease and ignorance.


If you’re still with me, thank you for allowing me the space to rant, I woke up today with this on my heart so heavy. If you feel compelled in any way to make change, start within. Start by seeking to understand the truth. Research. Be an example of a proper moral compass. Keep intelligent, innovative people around you. Connect with people who don’t look like you. Dance, sing, create, take care of your body and mind and encourage others to do the same. Kill your ego, and see the world for what it is.

OURS.

  • Nikki

Most of us move through life as merely the sum of what we know.


As far back as I can remember, I knew a couple of things for sure. I loved music, and I always felt so... inherently alone. I'm still not totally sure where the latter came from, but these two absolute truths paired hand in hand created a world for me to play with my darker, much more complex thoughts without actually becoming them. They were only lyrics after all, and though I didn't understand it then, this was my very first safe space.


My parents, both young musicians themselves, recognized this early. They took the last of their savings and built a home studio in our garage where I became a complete sponge. At 8 yrs old I learned to record myself on DAT tape singing along to The Eagles and Stevie Nicks. I fell in love with harmonies and sound design, and became obsessed with dissecting the choices made by the great producers and artists of the time. My path was clear, and at 15 years old, I took my first plane ride to NYC, sat at a piano in an office on Madison Ave, and I played hours worth of material I had written in my little diary for the president of Sony Music. That day he gave me a record deal.


enter, influence.


Songs I had written about identity and abandonment were swiftly replaced with songs written for me, glorifying my young body and encouraging toxic relationships. I didn't connect to these concepts, and I didn't understand why they signed me to make an album if what came so naturally to me was to be replaced by something less authentic. This is when I stopped trusting myself. I was a product for sale, and this new direction was more convincing to the men writing the checks at my label, or as they would say, more digestible to the mass market of girls aged 15 - 35 I was constantly reminded I would have to cater to in order to succeed.


I now know that this is called "branding", and is all but a guaranteed necessity for anyone with any type of influence to be allowed a seat at the table today. I met resistance every time I had an opinion other than that of my gatekeepers. So much so, that I was signed and dropped 2 more times after Sony finally let me go. I learned to be quiet. I was shrugged off and made to believe I was just young and didn't know any better. My voice was gone, and I was taken advantage of in more ways than one. Music was no longer my safe space, it was no longer about expression or art for me. It was a job, and it was full of untrustworthy people. Not only was I losing my grip on the only thing I felt remotely connected to or good at, but my home life was falling apart. I came back from tour to find that my mother and father were divorcing after 20 years.


This seemed like a good time time to run away. I moved in with my best friend Jessica an hour away in Los Angeles. Co-dependent relationships came and went and felt like a warm blanket in the voids. I poured my entire heart and soul into saving a narcissist, stopped caring about anything, became severely depressed and barely survived to forgive myself. There had to be more for me than this, but my mental health was failing and I had no way of knowing where to start. I took small jobs and sang demo vocals on songs I didn't write to pay the bills. Many of these demo songs leaked online, and ruined whatever shot I had left at another record deal because there was so much misinformation attached to my name.

Most days I just felt jaded and empty, but on the good ones I would try to picture myself like a canvas. I wanted to fill myself with things that actually meant something to me. I wanted to build myself a life I believed in, and the old one was dead to me. I made myself a list called How To Be Happy on my phone and read it every day. I filled it with things as small as keeping fresh flowers in my room, or as integral as finding a higher power to believe in. Religion felt too much like money to me. I didn't trust men or politics, and I found more solace in nature or nerding out about science, psychology, time and space. The things man knows the least about. I wanted to have an answer to "who are you?".

Who are you?


People always told me I needed a "story" to sell.. I never knew what that was about, but maybe this is how I find out. The deeper I tread into the story of my life, the more I saw my small, scared self, my inner child repeating the cycle of seeking approval, not trusting herself, and hiding the pain so deeply because what she thought, did not, and should not matter. I questioned everything. I tried to see my life from every angle, and tried to meet her at every scary place she hid, and just bring her love and acceptance because I felt for her. She had been through so much, and she only knew what she knew.

Aha.


I only knew what I knew.

I am only the sum of my experiences and will continue to react from this place, unless I can first identify the pattern and then change it.

That thought gave me just enough self awareness, just enough separation from that girl to put my arms around her and begin to heal.

I found the cycle of birth, life, death, and birth again in every pattern in nature. This means we can regenerate as often as we would like. We can change.


Impermanence.

The past and future do not matter, because no matter where we are it will always be the present. Moment to moment, anything and everything can have a million different outcomes. Moment to moment it could all be gone.

Its in our awareness of the magic of every second. I don't have to hold on so tight to everything I've been through. I don't have to bring it into this moment or space. The knowledge carries on, and I do have to learn the lessons, but most importantly I have to forgive and LOVE the girl who endured it all. She did her best.

My healing has come in knowing we do not have to be defined, and in finding empathy for exactly where I am in THIS moment. There is a light, and its Love. Its in the sweet things we do for ourselves throughout the day. Its parenting ourselves the way we wish we were parented as children. Its paying attention to our thoughts, feelings and our bodies, and reaching out when we need to. It expels hate, self doubt, and fear, and it grows beyond us to include all things. Theres so much beneath us all that we hide, and its all ok. We are all where we are because of an incredible story we may know nothing about. Ask yourself. Ask your inner child. Ask anyone. Just ask.


NIKKI

xx