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Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live

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Steven Tyler and an Introvert: Expanding Through Music, Stillness and the Inner Garden

Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler (lead singer of rock band Aerosmith and former American Idol judge) admits to blowing $20 million on drugs. He’s seen the highest of creative highs and the lowest of strung-out lows.

I (Brenda) have relatively little experience with drugs. Sure, I experimented in college; two inept attempts at smoking pot. One resulting in temporary paranoia and the other in zero effect at all due to user error. Who knows instinctively how to inhale from a skull pipe? 

I do know about wanting more and being numb.

I read Steven Tyler’s autobiography, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, and developed an admiration for the artist that goes beyond groupie.

Who hasn’t drifted through life at one time or forever in a cocoon of distractions?

Early Days in the Garden


There’s my dad sitting at the piano, practicing three hours every day, and me building my imaginary world under his piano.  It was a musical labyrinth where even a three year old child could be whisked away into the land of psychoacoustics, where beings such as myself could get lost dancing between the notes.  I lived under that piano…

Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler was not always immersed in drugs and trouble.  There was a childhood of family, forests and tom-foolery; a time when Steven could exploit his curiosity and imagination without relying on hallucinogens.  Life was simple and pure.  His personal garden was manageable, consisting of his family’s tiny apartment in the Bronx and their summer camp in New Hampshire.  He experienced otherness for the first time while listening to the wind move through pine needles in a silent forest.

My spiritual ideas didn’t come from the Lord’s Prayer or church or pictures in the Bible, they came from the stillness.

Steven Tyler

Path of Reverie


I tapped into the wonders and emotions of my inner world listening to my dad’s albums on his stereo. Bill Withers sang Just the Two of Us on the long-playing LP out in the living room.  The jazzy notes drifted like an aroma into my bedroom where they permeated my thoughts. I imagined cosmopolitan couples next to rain speckled windows holding each other’s smiles and glasses of golden wine. I saw people in cozy places reading books while a black man sings through their radio. I felt connected to something beyond what I knew.  Music became a muse, an inviting path to reverie.

Nature also provided me with a sense of something other-worldly. Our eighty acres in a cow-town were a gift of beauty and stillness. In the country there were no streetlights to fight with twinkling night skies or car noises to muss up the tresses of peace. I sigh when I recall the silence experienced atop a diamond mountain of snow under a black velvet sky of stars.

Numb Days in Success


Music crooked its finger and Steven Tyler followed.  He could not stop himself.  Rock and roll was sex to him before he had sex.  Drum sticks felt natural in his hands.  Rat-a-tat-tat was the voice of his heartbeat.  Singing and writing gave his spirit an outlet.  Drugs enhanced his writing.  He was in love and wanted more.  He found it. And wanted more.

Success led to battles with band members as well as women, women, women and drugs, drugs, drugs.  His personal mantra, It ain’t worth doing unless it’s worth over-doing, took over.   Fast living left no room for stillness.  The dancing bear had to perform and it took a lot of energy.  Cocaine provided energy and a buffer from details.  Eventually drugs became more important than the music or relationships. Many fights between Steven and Aerosmith’s lead guitar player, Joe Perry, were over Steven’s zoned out behavior or the lack of drugs.  Spirituality was lost.

Lost in Child-Rearing and Busy-Ness


I had my own addiction.  I met a wonderful man who could provide a beautiful home, devoted family and security.  I fell in love and wanted more.  We added three children and a big home to the mix.  I spent my days intoxicated by the abundance of money and the distractions of motherhood.  If I started to come down, I was easily appeased with another hit of luxury or a project to undertake.  I filled every second with busy-ness.  I needed to be useful.  Earn my keep.  Be the dancing bear.  The tasks became more important than the human connections.  I couldn’t get to the garden of reverie. I had no time and worst of all I feared if I did look inward I would find no depth, no creativity, just a follower, a groupie.

Awake in the Garden


Steven Tyler has been to rehab countless times.  Major success (twelve years of sobriety) occurred when his bandmates also committed to sobriety.  He met a counselor who showed him a way to enlightenment other than drugs.  He found familiarity and peace in guided image therapy where, just like when he writes music, he navigates the images within himself.

Over the last ten years Steven lost: his mother, a wife (to divorce) and aspects of his health. Like all gardens, his has fragrances and flora as well as aphids and ants.  But today Steven is LIVING, open to criticism and pain as well as otherness and beauty, not a gram of numbness.

Just recently my dad came over to the house – he’s ninety-three now!  And I sat down next to him at the piano and he played Debussy’s Clair de Lune…  It was so deep and invoked so much of that early emotion laid on top of my adult emotions that I wept like a baby.

Steven Tyler

Once More With Feeling


As for me, I went through a withdrawal process that started with caring for my body.  I hired a personal trainer, became fit and ate healthier.  I found running gave me access to an inner space of ideas. I distanced myself from my dealers, More and Expectations.  My interests expanded beyond our manicured lawn.  I signed up for guitar lessons. I reconnected with my love of music and its influences. I filled our house with music so that our children would daydream. Musical tendrils unrolled and pointed to a familiar path leading to a garden of wonder and reverie within myself. This internal garden is where I LIVE without numbness.

Is there an artist with whom you feel a deep connection? What makes you feel expansive?

If you liked this post you may also enjoy: 

How the Rain King of Rock (Adam Duritz) Outshines His Personal Storm (space2live)

Touring Without Guilt:Balancing Your Passions with Raising a Family (space2live)

Wood and Me Sitting Under a Tree (Woody Harrelson poet?) (space2live)


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  1. […] Steven Tyler and an Introvert: Expanding Through Music, Stillness and the Inner Garden (space2live) […]

  2. David Kanigan August 22, 2012 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Brenna, I’d like to nominate you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.” Your blog is an inspiration. See award details at

  3. […] the bucket of growth and re-birth, Brenna Gee @ Space2Live with her post title Steven Tyler and an Introvert: Expanding Through Music, Stillness and the Inner […]

  4. David Kanigan August 17, 2012 at 11:58 am - Reply


    • brennagee August 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment David. Truly appreciate it.

  5. Dominique Santos August 15, 2012 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Wow… v. glad you put this piece out. Deeply moving and so evocative. Absolutely stunning. xxx

    • brennagee August 15, 2012 at 7:29 am - Reply

      Thank you. Evocative is one of my favorite words! Musicians, poetry and personal growth. Mmmmm.:)

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