I bought myself a transition gift

With everything that is going on in my life right now, I decided to buy myself a gift. Not only do I want to celebrate and congratulate myself for my recent personal growth, but I also want to acquire better tools for dealing with emotions like anger and frustration, which may become a more prevalent part of my life once I start taking testosterone. My GF said to me a couple of months ago that since coming out as trans, I’m a calmer person. I’m pleased with this, and would be disappointed if this new-found peace were to boomerang on me on T.

While I’ve read that “roid rage” with T is just a myth, Loren Cameron also wrote in Body Alchemy about testosterone-fueled escalations of temper and even violence. Testosterone is “a great lesson in self-control,” he writes. (This is accompanied by a photo of himself angrily smashing a bottle against a chain link fence.) Max Wolf Valerio also explored this is The Testosterone Files.

ShakuhachiI consider myself a peacenik and the idea of becoming short tempered is not appealing. It’s very important to me to not subject my GF to hormone-induced temper tantrums. I need a tool–a way to make myself STOP and change gears when something like that starts to rear it’s ugly head. As much as meditation appeals to me, I have an extremely difficult time slowing my brain down. Sitting meditation isn’t going to cut it at this point in my life. I need something that works on a similar level, but engages me differently…

Music. I’ve played musical instruments since I was twelve, and played music professionally for about nine or ten years. As a teenager, music was the only way I knew of to earn money. I lived and breathed music. It was a saving grace of a force in my otherwise tumultuous youth.

So, how to tie music with meditation? The Shakuhachi flute. (Which ironically, has a history of being used as a weapon! The word Shakuhachi is also slang in Japan for fellatio.) Last week, I bought an entry level, root end, bamboo Shakuhachi from a flute maker in New York, Jon Kypros. The Shakuhachi is one tricky instrument! It’s going to take me years to be able to play a half decent meditation on it. But the journey of learning will be the culmination of anger and frustration actively transformed into peace, by bamboo and breathe, just me and my flute, and some testosterone injected into the mix.

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