In Praise of The Circle: We Weren’t Born To Follow


Highlighting one, two or even three songs from The Circle is torture – because they’re all so good! But I ll put Superman Tonight on top of this post. And Bullet at the bottom. Full album The Circle here.

Dear Jon,
.
Did you even listen to The Circle, before recording your video?
Now hold on – this posts ends super happy. And there’s sex in here. Well kind of, all I could muster anyways.
But did you even listen to the beautiful and dare I say brilliant and MUCH NEEDED positive and uplifting lyrics of this 2009 album?
Or did you just browse through the song titles, and assumed you were done with your “own” (I will get back to this possessive adjective) work and didn’t need to listen to it?
.
I think every creator, every artist who has ever walked the face of this earth understands where you were, in which place, if you really felt like that, Jon.
A dark place.
Which is why I think that if anyone got it into their heads to berate you for not fully backing yourself – the way you usually do – they cannot be creators themselves.
.
They do not understand the burden of being a creative, and the process in itself being somewhere between the euphoria of the best night with a stranger (see! I m working with you here, trying to spice things up!) you ever had;

And a roller coaster ride on a track that is about to be demolished because it is past its due date;
Perhaps a bit too dangerous.
A tad too thrilling for your liking.
.
But you survived and your feet are planted firmly on the ground, you can shake it off.
And whether the adventure was the night with the blonde (can we make her blonde? We make her Michelle Pfeiffer) or the roller coaster ride;
You can turn it into a good story to tell your friends.
.
However, what would happen if you’d be eye to eye with Michelle, surrounded by other green room invitees who knew that back then the two of you….?
Or if you had to vouch for your time together, in front of a camera?
Stammer and feeling uncomfortable I reckon, nah?
.
What would happen if your friends would surprise you that the roller coaster had not been taken down, and the new owner of the land will allow you to go in one more time, before it is demolished?
That you can relive your adventure from 2009, which you apparently appreciated so much, because you keep telling people about it?
Not an appealing thought to go back in.
.
I m currently listening to the Circle, on my headphones. It’s about the 9th time since you posted your video to Instagram. I m a Twitter user myself – but you being active on Instagram is still the only appeal the medium has ever got to me.
The only alluring aspect of it is you being there.
But I m holding the line so far.
You predominantly on Insta, me on Twitter. But listening to The Circle adds to the wish to see more of you on my social media: What a brilliant album. Just like the previous 8 times I listened to it these past few days;
Not only can I not find anything wrong with it, with zero songs I want to skip, but it’s filled with magnificent songs!
And so many guitars, it’s so rock!
.
I genuinely love this album, Jon. And if nothing else your video has established that me and who knows how many other fans are giving The Circle the relistening it deserves. And I m betting they’re coming to the same conclusion:
The Circle is a strong, rounded album.
Period!
.
But, there is a way more important reason than the high quality of this album why your video was “off”. 
Because you don’t get to be the critic of your own work, Jon.
You may be the one receiving the idea, you may be writing, singing, producing, or even get to be the promoter of your own work, if you’re hellbent to do so.
But the critic?
No.
.
 I personally believe nobody should be criticizing anybody:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”
A quote from Roosevelt.
But if you disagree, if you believe criticism does have a place in this world, it is still not the creator of the work who gets to criticize his own work.
And the reason is very simple:
Because it is the work of God.
.
More than the people who do not create, or have the unholy profession of being a critic, or the ones who focus on joining the dots type of growth, or have the extremely valuable yet not that spectacular task of cleaning, nurturing, care taking;
The artist is none of those things.

He is usually not even particularly good at them either.
.
Maybe the fact that you are good serving your community in a more direct manner, has made you more judgmental to your art.

Maybe that’s why it hurts (or you think it hurts) seeing your work again.
But I m here to say on repeat:
You are not a critic, let alone you’d be the critic of your own work.
You are a builder and a care taker; And as such of tremendous value to your family and the community at large, but you are first and foremost something else:
An artist.
.
And the creative process is a different one. Different to placing one brick on top of another. Different to mapping out, planning, even (technically) different to having a vision of where you want to go with your art.
.
Builder Jon built the Bon Jovi empire.
But artist Jon?
Oh….. artist Jon did everything else.

But he did not do it alone.
But to know with whom he was, we have to go back to the meaning of creativity.
Creativity comes from creation. And raise your hand if you know who The Big Creator is? 
Yes, Jon? 
*      * 
That is, of course, the correct answer.
The answer is God.
.
An artist creates, and that places him on the same plane as God. Creativity is by design, a divine practice. It’s the reason why it feels so much better to be creating something, than to just try to find meaning in the ways of The Lord.
Once you start joining the process of creation, things acquire meaning and fall into place.
Because you’re no longer here, you’re “there”.
You can feel The Power of the big creator flowing through you, and in conjunction you create a song, a 3 hour rock show, or an extremely good album.
And then the sun comes up.
The cart comes to a halt.
The woman smiles at you, and it’s like a wordless goodbye that makes you sad.
.
But it is done.
And it was worth it.
.
For a brief period you were not just relieved from normal life;
You were one with God.
.
And it is exactly for this reason why we don’t get to be the critics of our own work. Because it was never our work, Jon.
It was God’s.
He flows through us, like he flows through all creators.
And we’re just the messenger, like all the messengers before us, and all the messengers after.
To criticize what we have created is to criticize God.
That’s why it feels so horrible to do it… and makes us feel so miserable.
.
Creation is never something you did for a certain outcome.
It’s not even something you can look back on and say “It took 7 days”, because any limitation, any label is preposterous.
It took as long as it took.
And it was done when it was done.
And the only reason to do it, is because the idea was hovering you, tempting you, whispering sweet promises in your ear at moments when you were supposed to be doing something worldly and extremely useful.
“Come on Jon…. I know you want to.”
“Just a few minutes.”
“I promise I ….. I promise….. I -“
.
And one night, one wild ride, one 1500 word blog post or one amazing album later, your feet hit the floor and you’re like:
“I really should not have done that.”
.
Oh but you should have, Jon.
It’s why you’re here.
.

~Suzanne 

Rock Star Writer 

These blog posts will go out randomly, as topics reveal themselves.
You can find the subscription button on this page, probably somewhere on the right.

Rock Star Writer on Facebook*
my personal Twitter account

Reboot/ New videos expected at Suzanne Beenackers YouTube

* sadly enough all referrals/ links to the Rock Star “Yoga” page on Facebook (url), have become invalid. I intend to start curating this blog, and update the links.

Full album The Circle here.

the Artist versus the Yoga Teacher | (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Mick Jagger doing yoga
“Financially, dissatisfied.
Sexually, satisfied.
Philosophically, trying.”
.
Mick Jagger, 1969,
Gimme Shelter documentary
.
Originally, the title to this blog had a third name in the loop.
Next to Artist versus Yoga Teacher, I was going to squeeze in:
Entrepreneur.
And although I immediately took it out, if only for reasons of style, now that I have started writing and musing over this story that I m about to share, I think:
“Well maybe that WAS the key!”
Maybe the fact that Entrepreneur did not make it into the title of this blog post, explains not just what happened last night – the story of I Can’t Get No Satisfaction – but that it explains my entire life.
.
We used to have a game on television here in the Netherlands “Lingo”, and it was kind of like Bingo.
And the host would say, whenever a ball with a number came up that was not on the “big bingo card”;
“X (insert number) is not on the card.”
.
And with me:

“Entrepreneur” is not on the card.
.
That is not to say that I don’t enjoy marketing and selling: I absolutely love and adore it!
But not for my own services.
.
With every decision that I make for myself, trouble starts when I start seeing myself as an entrepreneur.
Or if I take actions (even the ones I was going to take already!!) with the perspective of making money.
This does not mean I don’t ask money for what I do:
I don’t give away time for free, nor do I undercharge.
But my main goal is focusing on creating what I want to create, and then to usually share it for free.
It saves me the selling process and maintaining customer service.
If I were to create and sell an online course, I would be responsible for it till the end of time.

Every time I see the words “lifetime access” tied to courses that I buy myself, or that are offered to me, I get shivers down my spine.
And not the good ones.
Promising lifetime access to online products, feels like a virus you will never get rid of.
.
Whereas creating online for free, is absolute heaven.
I have two YouTube Channels and two blogs under this name.
Plus I write a lot of “illegal blog posts” , which means I don’t post them to a blog but only on Facebook.
And I have a pen name, for which I practically do not write anymore because of the C crisis.
My pen name has existed online since 2010, and it’s a more or less secret account, so that I can write freely about my exciting, secretive, sex life.
Needless to say, with C. there no longer is anything remotely interesting to write about.
.
And next to all of that, since three weeks, I am teaching online classes.
And it was in this setting that this story  takes place. Because I showed up to teach my online class themed “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”, and there was no one there in the Facebook group.
It’s a small Facebook group, and it’s aimed at friends and former students of the studio.
I have no intention of recreating an “official” online studio (this is The Artist part, more on that later), so I didn’t mind that no one was there.

It was just that I had not thought it through in advance, what I was going to do, if I was there by myself.
.
I knew at least one student who had paid particularly to attend Monday’s class, and one in particular for Thursday, but was I “obliged” to teach on Tuesday, if no one was there?
Did any of the others fancy this particular class in Replay?
Or could I pretend play, someone would watch it again later, and get great value out of it; So that I could get rid of this eerie feeling and just teach as I always do?
.
When 40 minutes later my mind still had not solved that riddle, and my class had not been the quality it normally has, I gave up, cancelled the rest of the class, and wrote a message on our page, just in case people were looking for the replay and could not find it.
.
The strange thing was, that I understood immediately – as soon as I saw no one was on the live stream – that I would not be able to teach the class.
But I pushed through, because I was so flabbergasted by it.
I didn’t understood WHY, this was such a big deal, right?
I ve been making YouTube videos since 2015, and the largest part of it were yoga videos.
Then why, within a month after my first live stream, did it suddenly become such a big deal that no one was there?

It was this question, this not understanding the deeper underlying principle that would explain the WHY, that caused the restlessness, and caused me to continue.
At least for 40 minutes anyway.
.
The strange thing was, that I had kind of predicted this would happen!
Both no one showing up, as well as me totally “overthinking” it.
.
I predicted it, although laughingly, because the topic of I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, is obviously so sexual I totally understood people feeling uncomfortable attending.
.
But I also predicted that I would think this through, until I had gotten down to the core of its meaning.
.
Because I started the live stream with the Mick Jagger quote about financial, sexual, philosophical satisfaction, stating that – as opposed to Mick – 

I scored a full 100% on philosophical satisfaction.
That over the years I had thought so long and hard, over many of the underlying very philosophical and psychological mechanisms, that you can ask me anything about anything, and I ll know the answer.
I will be able to cut to the core of whatever it is you have trouble with, and I will discover where you have lost your power, which is always at the root of every problem.
And then I will tell you which belief or vision you need to let go off, or what you need to do, in order to immediately regain control over your life.
.

I adapted Mick’s quote to my own situation:

“Sexually, dissatisfied.
Philosophically, satisfied.
Financially, trying.”

Suzanne Beenackers, 2020
unreleased live stream yoga class.

“I m philosophically satisfied. And not only that, I m filled to the brim,” I said in my introduction to the online class I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.
“I really would not know where to store another drop.”

Yet I m writing this blog post on a Wednesday morning, after a yogaclass I did not teach, and about a sex life I do not have.
If I had been in any way serious about being sexually satisfied, I would have spent this Wednesday morning entirely different.
C crisis or no C crisis.
.

So I m in my fourth week of teaching the online classes* to friends and former students, and after no one showed up last night, I woke up with this sense of:
“Shouldn’t I make this bigger?”
After all, if I make a real sales page, with people looking for yoga finding this exciting online group, where it’s about Sex and Purpose, and the classes are mixed with popular culture and rock mythology;
If I did that and made it successful, there would never be a Tuesday night ever again, where I didn’t have anyone live there with me.
.
But I could feel the pull, the shift in energy, immediately.
First off, between yoga teacher “me” and artist me.
.
Yoga teacher me, is someone who still feels the need to “sell yoga”. To offer something that resembles what people expect when going into a yoga class.
To Yoga Teacher Me, adding Mick Jagger or Jon Bon Jovi into the mix of what it is I teach, is nothing more than an accessory.
Yoga Teacher Me is very conservative and tends to think: “That’s all fine, have a little fun. Just don’t take it too far.”
.
Whereas Artist Me, immediately thinks:
“Oh really? You know what, I M GONNA TAKE IT TOO FAR! You leave me no choice!”
.
Artist Me rebels against any and all limitations.
And she does it hard.
She’ll burn the thing down, if that’s what it takes to get rid of your expectations of what it is she should or should not do.
She ends relationships, friendships, business arrangements.
She starts fires, arguments, she blows things up.
And Artist Me is definitely the one teaching upcoming Thursday’s class:
“Sympathy for the Devil”
In fact, she leaned back, put her feet on the table, interlaced her hands behind her head and said:
“Well, now there’s a class that doesn’t need any preparation!”
.
Artist Me is the devil incarnated, and it’s the most authentic and real part of me.
.
So in hindsight, I understand perfectly, why I could not teach a live stream with no one there.
Yoga Teacher Me would have done it.
She would dutifully do her work, that she said she would do.
She needed no praise or approval, she didn’t need anybody there, to teach her yoga class.
For Yoga Teacher Me it would be enough that someone might enjoy the Replay.
.
And Entrepreneurial Me would definitely have given that live stream class.
Because it was paid for (people pay per week) so to Entrepreneurial Me it would not have made much difference if they were present to enjoy what they paid for.
Business is business.
.
The only part of me, and like I said it’s the biggest, most dominant part of me, that has no interest in doing her duty, in meeting expectations, or being paid, is Artist Me.
And from an artistic point this makes sense:
The art I create can only exist because there is an audience.
It’s a very well-known definition of art, to say it cannot exist without it being seen.
And it’s a definition I really like.

You could even say that the art comes into being, ONLY because of an audience!
In the 80s there was a modern art retrospective at the Groninger Museum, in the Netherlands.
And on opening night the managing director of the museum said they had gone over all their pieces:
“Is this art?”
If it was art, they would not show it.
The exhibition only contained pieces which were NOT art! 
But of course, they immediately became art, the moment they were admitted to the expo.
Something similar is the exercise Marina Abramovic has given to her students:
Every day, sit down and write an idea on a piece of paper.
If it’s a good idea, save it. If it’s a bad idea throw it in a (designated) trash can.
After 30 days, bring both; The stack of good ideas and the ideas from the trashcan.
She ignored the good ideas and went over the trashcan ideas with her students:
Discovering they were all brilliant ideas.
.
A yoga teacher teaches what helps her students.
An entrepreneur gives what has been paid for.
But an artist needs the spectator,
to breathe it to life.
An artist cannot work unless you offer him or her your soul.
.
Just like the Devil.
..

~Suzanne

Yesterday, I created a powerful video on Gimme Shelter.
You can find it here at the bottom of this post, or on YouTube.

Update 

In June 2020, I renamed this site from Rock Star Yoga to Rock Star Writer.
I ll update all blogposts (there are 46) and will get my fingers into the YouTube channel soon, including retrieving content I had to take down in January because of technicalities.

New videos expected too, at Suzanne Beenackers YouTube

About this blog

These blog posts will go out randomly, as topics reveal themselves.
You can find the subscription button on this page, probably somewhere on the right.

Rock Star Writer on Facebook*
my personal Twitter account

* sadly enough all referrals/ links to the Rock Star “Yoga” page on Facebook (url), have become invalid. I intend to start curating this blog, and update the links.

The Fire Inside

With the unpredictable cycle of starting business plans and cancelling them;
Rebooting video and letting it fall flat on its face;
Dangling between video and writing
and the impossible choice between two languages.
But also:
The unexpectedly soothing and satisfying experience of becoming a yoga teacher again:
 
I finally understood what the underlying common demeanor was.
What they key element was, of what it is I DO.
 
And it’s not either or.
Not even either the work I do under this name, versus the pen name;
An alias account (on Fb since 2010) where I basically stopped writing after C crisis.
With my entire sexuality falling flat on its face, and probably staying there for months if not years to come,
there were no aspects of my life that were even remotely secretive or exciting enough to be written about under a pen name.
 
But it was not an either or, of any of those things.
 
As tempting as it is, to simplify life to ONE thing you’re doing, ONE thing you’re selling;
For some of us, that’s not the way we roll.
We don’t know what we’ll be doing the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning, let alone what business we’ll build for years to come.
 
But I did find the one thing I, and perhaps any other soul who has been wondering how to survive this crisis sanely,
can do to not just get out of this intact.
But to be so engaged in something else that you stop caring about whether or not you do get out.
 
Something that is so profoundly spiritual, yet so engaging, addictive, COMPELLING! that if they tap you on the shoulder after C. you’ll furiously snap:
“I m busy!!”
 
And that thing that will save you (if you have it in you, if you are this) that thing is CREATION
 
It is only in creation and our creativity, that life makes sense. Not because we understand every little detail, but because we’re creating new things.
Like God created the earth;
We too become the creators of our own lives.
 
The statue on the picture is Shiva:
Creator of Worlds.
But he is also the destroyer of worlds.
Whether Shiva creates more than he destroys?
No one knows.
Maybe the other Gods pitch in, to make up for the damage.
 
I wrote about Shiva because I have this statue at my studio.
And it wasn’t until later that I heard the story of a studio burning to the ground for no apparent reason,
and its owners “blaming” it to Shiva;
Although I m sure they were smart enough to understand that something else was created.
And that the brick and mortar yoga studio was no longer nessecary to contain it.
Maybe the thriving but fixed business, was standing in the way of the new work the teachers would now start doing.
 
The moment you stand still and resist change you are like ice:
You can only hope that you won’t melt.
 
But the moment you become creative, you start your dance with Shiva, in the ring of fire.
You breathe life into life.
You bring unexpected death and destruction.
And people will never know what to expect because you will be ever changing.
 
As soon as you start creating, you will become Life itself.
.

~Suzanne

The Fire Inside is a Bon Jovi song from the 4-5 disc box set
100 million Bon Jovi Fans Can’t be Wrong
You can find the song at the bottom of this post.

Update 

In June 2020, I renamed this site from Rock Star Yoga to Rock Star Writer.
I ll update all blogposts (there are 46) and will get my fingers into the YouTube channel soon, including retrieving content I had to take down in January because of technicalities.

New videos expected too, at Suzanne Beenackers YouTube

About this blog

These blog posts will go out randomly, as topics reveal themselves.
You can find the subscription button on this page, probably somewhere on the right.

Rock Star Writer on Facebook*
my personal Twitter account

* sadly enough all referrals/ links to the Rock Star “Yoga” page on Facebook (url), have become invalid. I intend to start curating this blog, and update the links.


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