mental health

Progression: A podcast by Jane Shin is now live

I'm excited to share my new podcast today: Progression. It's a show centered on mental health, personal development and spirituality through conversations I'll have with artists and through my own reflections as a woman working in the music industry.

Listen to the first introduction episode and learn about how this project all came together at progression.fm/intro.

If you heard something that resonates with you, send a link to someone who’d be interested in tuning in.

Your continuous support means a lot to me, so thanks for being part of this journey with me.

Wrapping up 2018

Happy Winter Solstice. Today marks the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. The end of 2018 is officially near.

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A lot of major transitions and shifts took place for me in 2018. It’s been a painstaking yet beautiful process, but I’ve gained a wealth of emotional and spiritual growth on a level I haven’t felt before. I’m grateful for all that’s transpired this year that has led me to this point in my life.

In 2019, I look forward to finding more courage to share my voice and my story, to continue elevating and supporting artists I believe in, to continue writing and producing to my heart’s content (no pun intended), and to continue shedding old narratives to make room for new ones to honor who I am today and who I’m becoming.

In the meantime, here’s what I’m reminiscing about and celebrating in 2018.

Favorite milestones of 2018

U.S. destinations I hit outside of LA in 2018: Kauai, D.C., NYC, Philadelphia and Seattle

U.S. destinations I hit outside of LA in 2018: Kauai, D.C., NYC, Philadelphia and Seattle

Destinations I hit abroad in 2018: South Korea and Japan

Destinations I hit abroad in 2018: South Korea and Japan

  • Making my spirituality a bigger focus this year

    • I’ve been processing a lot, and my spirituality is one of the most important things I’ve reconnected with and regained this year. I will expand on this more in 2019.

  • Launching janeshin.co, my website and blog in January

    • It took a lot of courage and hard work to finally launch my website in January. It was an emotional process revisiting my past work and past lives, but it reminded me I’ve come a long way. In case you missed it, I wrote about the process of launching my website.

  • Embarking on my first mother-daughter trip to Japan and Korea in March and April

    • It was special because I learned more about my mom on this particular trip. It was both our first time in Tokyo, and it was my third time visiting the Motherland, Korea. My mom continues to amaze me as the strongest person I know. She’s the only person in her family to have immigrated to the U.S., so I’m always in awe of her courage and independence. I already knew she was a musichead, but it was cool to learn just how much of a musichead she was e.g. she loved falling asleep listening to music, and she’d play American pop songs for her younger sisters so they’d pick up English. I’ve been piecing together the ways in which I’ve found myself on this journey in music, and in learning more about my mom, so much makes sense. Her ears of gold and her love for music have made their way through to me.

  • Turning 30 in Kauai and learning to surf for the first time in June

    • I was excited to turn 30 this year and in no better, more magical place than Kauai with my best friends. I learned to surf for the first time too and hope to have another opportunity to surf again in 2019. 30 has treated me well so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the 30s have in store for me.

  • Organizing the first LA Women@Spotify event for International Women's Day in March

    • I’m honored I got to make this happen during my time at Spotify by bringing together women working in the worlds of music and film. My heart was full seeing different women connect and share their experiences navigating the challenges of working in male-dominated industries. Read the recap and tune into the full recording of the panel here.

  • Creating and hosting my first music showcase in LA with April + VISTA, Ivy Sole and Bathe in August

    • This was a great reminder of how much live shows are a vital form of expression for artists and another avenue to support and discover artists. It meant a lot for me to be able to create this with the help of Forecast Recordings because it sparked some great milestones–this night served as April + VISTA’s first headlining show in LA and they were subsequently broadcast on KCRW the day they left for the airport. It was also Bathe’s first LA show, but they hadn’t released any music out at that point. They released their lovely single “Sure Shot” in October and it’s received great reception. It was great to have Ivy Sole perform for new ears and especially for loyal LA fans who came out to sing back her words perfectly. Read the full recap of the showcase here.

Favorite music projects of 2018

A lot of great music was released this year, but I compiled the above projects as homage to the fact that I’ve listened to these EPs and albums the most consistently and repeatedly, from start to finish with no skips.

  • April + VISTA - You Are Here

    • April + VISTA’s EP You Are Here has been the perfect project to carry me through the ups and downs of 2018. It’s a project that imbues growth and the importance of pausing and breathing through these transitions. I’m excited as April and Matt continue to challenge the status quo and experiment with their sound.

  • Tierra Whack - Whack World

    • Tierra Whack has shaken up the music industry off the strength of this unique project alone. While I eagerly await more gems from Tierra, I’m grateful I had the chance to end my last Spotify video shoot in Philly with her and her team.

  • Rico Nasty - Nasty

    • Rico Nasty is one of my favorite artists I discovered this year. She’s refreshing and her brazen raps reminds me to give no fucks about what anyone thinks about me and what I do.

  • Yuno - Moodie

    • I feel carefree, present, and positive when I listen to Yuno so Moodie is a good reminder to enjoy the ride and feel my feelings. His music has always made me feel this way since I first found him on SoundCloud back in 2012. Things came full circle, and we finally got a chance to meet in-person in September when he came to play his first LA show.

  • Mac Miller - Swimming

    • Mac Miller’s Swimming has had me crying too many times to count. I can admit, I never grew up listening to Mac Miller, but this album was so beautiful. Rest in Peace to a truly talented soul who seems to have touched the lives of all those who crossed paths with him.

  • Key! and Kenny Beats - 777

    • 777 is a catchy, solid tape and feels like a major contributor to Kenny’s rise as one of the top producers of 2018. The two have orchestrated a project that’s perfect for any occasion, cruising or kicking back with friends.

  • Beach House - 7

    • What else can I say about Beach House other than the fact that this is their seventh studio album? I’ve been listening to this legendary band since high school, and they always take me back to places and feelings I can’t describe.

  • J.I.D - DiCaprio 2

    • J.I.D has easily become one of my favorite rappers this year. His bars are impeccably catchy, and after listening to DiCaprio 2 through and through, I can’t wait to catch him live.

  • Black Panther: The Album

    • Black Panther: The Album elevates director Ryan Coogler’s iconic masterpiece of Black Panther that went on to become the highest grossing film of 2018. The fact that Kendrick Lamar is the co-producer already makes this a monumental compilation too.

  • 21 Savage - i am > i was

    • I had to edit this post to add 21 Savage’s latest album that was released today on 12/21. I got a chance to listen in the car driving around this evening, and it’s excellent from start to finish and will be a repeat listen for sure. I can’t wait to get back in the car to bump this.

Much love and blessings as you wrap up your 2018,
Jane

Mental Health Awareness month

May is mental health awareness month. I'm passionate about raising awareness of mental health through my writing and building community in music. The stigma around anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related illnesses needs to be removed.

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This past week was an important reminder of how far a little bit of self-care practice can go towards easing my mind and reminding me to live in the present. Here are some things that have helped me recently and some things I'm looking forward to:

Insight Timer: Meditation app

I’ve previously recommended apps like Calm and Headspace, but I recently came across Insight Timer, the biggest meditation community in the world. Thousands of meditation teachers upload guided meditations across a variety of needs–anxiety, stress, sleep, emergency, etc. I’ve been using Insight Timer every day and night, whether I’m meditating for a few minutes before going into work, or getting ready to fall asleep.

Notes from the Universe

This is one of my favorite things to receive in my inbox: Notes from the Universe.  Every morning "The Universe" sends you a note, personalized with your name. These notes are "designed to remind you that you have, indeed, been given dominion over all things." I tend to receive these brilliant, uplifting reminders at the right time. Sign up for them here

Breath work

I took a breath work class for the first time last week. Breath work involves controlled, rhythmic breathing to help release pent-up emotions as you focus on the here and now. It was an intense experience–first-timers often experience their hands cramping up like lobster claws. As the music started to get louder and my breathing aligned with the sounds bouncing off the walls in the room, tears started to pour uncontrollably. I left the class with a set of mantras and gratitude for all that I'm experiencing and working on. 

Sound baths

People getting ready for the  Liminial  sound bath at Marciano Art Foundation.

People getting ready for the Liminial sound bath at Marciano Art Foundation.

Sound baths are a great way to relax, release emotional trauma, and gain new insights and perspectives. I had the privilege of experiencing an incredible sound bath at the Marciano Art Foundation last week. It took place in a 13,000 square foot space that currently houses Olafur Eliasson’s Reality Project, an immersive light and sound installation. Jónsi of Sigur Rós, frequent collaborator Alex Somers, and composer Paul Corley performed Sigur Rós's newest mixtape Liminal live. On the project's site, they write, “Liminal views Sigur Rós as an eco-system. It identifies the connections and blurs the boundaries between work done and work to come; between brand new music and ideas barely yet nascent; between songs written 20 years ago and collaborations to be made tomorrow.”

I love that description so much. I felt and visualized those themes throughout the experience. I often dipped into the past, imagined the future. Breathing through it and immersing myself in the music allowed me to return to home, to the present. I also reflected on how much I’ve grown since my days in high school and college listening to and seeing Sigur Rós and Jónsi live. Here I was, more than a decade later, listening to their latest project in an unforgettable sound bath experience.

WE RISE LA: May 19-28

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Organized by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, WE RISE is a 10-day pop-up festival of art and community building in Downtown LA from May 19-28. There will be talks, meditations, workshops and more to raise awareness and action around mental health as a civil right for all. I look forward to checking out some of the events this upcoming week. All events are free with RSVP. More info here.

Previous mental health related posts I've written

Notes from meditation class: guilt and resentment

Guilt and resentment stem from a lack of forgiveness of the self or other. Let go and accept. Music by D. Sanders - Recollect.

Last week, I attended a meditation class on anger and patience held at the Kadampa Meditation Center in Hollywood. This week's class was on letting go of guilt and resentment. Here are notes I took during class that I hope you'll find useful too:

Guilt and resentment

  • Guilt and resentment don’t act in isolation. There is commonality between the two–both arc back to the past: we feel guilty about something that we did, or resent what others of what they did.
  • Guilt and resentment is us holding on, grasping and rejecting–a lack of forgiveness of the self or other.
  • Self-judgement and criticism indicate a lack of acceptance of who we are and where we are at. Resentment follows similar suit but towards other people.

How do we heal from this tendency to feel guilty or resentful?

  • Ask yourself if you want to be trapped into being that person that did that thing
  • Guilt is like psychic mental currency–"if I feel bad enough, that’s going to fix the problem" is like a penance, like you’re negotiating with yourself.
  • Feeling bad is not a liberating path. 
  • Guilt is completely useless because all the energy of feeling bad doesn’t go into changing.
  • "Guilt is a weight. It’s like tying stones to the feet of a bird. We can’t soar to enlightenment with guilt shackling our mind."

Identification

  • Look at anger and process anger as "Angry thoughts are arising, but they don’t define me" vs. "I am angry"
  • Ask yourself: what am I identifying within me right now?
  • With guilt, you’re identifying yourself with an action you deemed harmful or bad or wrong but you’re still identifying with being that person. With resentment, you’re conflating people and defining them by their actions. We become stuck.
  • Learn to identify with your highest potential, your pure nature instead.

Remind yourself of your potential

  • Remind yourself of the potential you’re becoming and refer to the space of who you are becoming
  • Have distance and observe your mistakes, but do so from space from your highest potential, your pure nature
  • Ask yourself: "Who am I becoming now? Who am I arising as anew in this moment?"

Forgiveness of self and others: Let yourself and others be anew

  • "A seed has to go out of existence for a sprout to come out:" The person of yesterday had to cease for the person of today to come into being.
  • We can give ourselves permission to forgive ourselves and others.
  • Powerful way to stay present is to remind yourself of death–"I may die today. Is it worth staying unhappy? Do I want to be mired in self-hatred or hatred of others when I die?"
  • Guide yourself back to your heart, connect to your pure nature and potential, love, kindness, wellness — use that in relation to what situation you’re in
  • Create a new version of you and who you want to be in this moment. There is an intention to change when you meditate on who you wish to be: envision confidence, letting go, moving forward, happy, etc. Imagine it being existent now. Don’t delay it.