I just took a iPower walk.

To be frank, I’ve been on the brink of total seam unravelment. I’ve been overworking myself, dealing with personal stuff, and trying like mad to set the stage for future (and total) self-employment. Apart from my day job, the book work, the screenplay work, the photography work, the gym, the social life (which oddly has still been happening), and the rest of life, my soul is threatening to twist into a double knot.

This all is otherwise known as stress. We all experience it, and while it isn’t always avoidable, it should always be controllable.

For me, it usually isn’t. My brain won’t shut off. I wake up at 2:00 AM and don’t fall back asleep until just before my alarm goes off at 6:40. I go to the gym, but my workouts suck, because I’m too tired. Then, I worry about being tired and not being able to fall asleep (again), and sometimes this cycle continues until I come home from my day job one night, eat dinner, and crash right away. People say, “But the sun’s still out!” when I tell them I’m going to bed.

What is an iPower walk, then, and why does it help? Well, thanks to Steve Jobs, I have an iPhone on me at all times, and that iPhone has all my favorite music on it. Today, I was at my day job, about to burst (it was actually busy, and I also was dealing with book-related stuff at the same time), and I decided to take a spontaneous walk with Eminem and Lady Gaga.

I listened to only three tracks –”Not Alone” by Eminem twice, “Edge of Glory” by Gaga once, “Not Alone” a second time, then Gaga again for a round of “Hair.” If you know those songs, you know they’re power songs.

It’s always a surprise when I realize the art of someone I find amazing can lift me up, open my eyes, and make me realize once again that I’m part of something much bigger than myself, than my work, than all the little colors I paint my life with. I’m guessing it’s the same for anybody who experiences bursts of inspiration, regardless of the subject, reason, industry, or whatever. The brilliant people of the world–and I firmly believe everybody can have brilliant moments–share themselves. Those who want to be receptive can then embrace that offering and allow it to move them.

There’s no cure for stress like a fresh blast of inspiration—perhaps something that reminds you why you made certain life choices in the first place (at least the good ones).

For me, it’s experiencing work by people who have made it in the creative business. In a few month’s time, I will be holding The Breeders in my hands, in book form. It will be complete with exterior art, interior art, and a lovely ISBN bar code—the result of two full years’ worth of constant brain work, lack of sleep, and crazy life lessons. Stamped in it, invisible, will be the work of more artists than I can list here—heaps more than just the two I mentioned above. I wouldn’t be able to find joy in this work if I didn’t have people to look up to and measure my passion against. Peaking through their keyholes of life and allowing what I see to change me.

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