There are a lot of words in “spiritual culture” these days that I don’t completely resonate with. I think they began with a positive intention, but they can cause a lot of unecessary confusion and suffering with people.
As an intuitive reader, I get asked certain questions a lot. Questions such as “is this person my twin flame? Or are they my karmic flame? etc.”
I’m not disagreeing and saying that there aren’t are certain kinds relationships that are expressed differently. I’m not saying that certain people aren’t drawn to each other in a way that the mind cannot possibly understand. A sort of pre-destined Destiny. Or certain lessons to be learned. This certainly seems to be true in my own experience. And I do of course, have a romantic sensibility that the concept of soulmates has always appealed to.
But when we put a relationship in a box with a label, we stifle whatever it is. Relationships — no matter whether lover and partner, parent, child, friend, co-worker or a cashier at a shop — are all based on Love.
If we get overly attached to the idea of a person being our “twin flame” it’s a subtle form of trying to control and manipulate the relationship. Is that Love?
Sidenote: Our ability to grant the other the right to be themselves is based on our ability to accept and love ourselves as we are. This will be a topic for a new article.
If that person truly is part of your Destiny and Lifepath in an intense, beautiful, healthy and mutually supportive way, that will unfold much better if you actually act from Love and allow it to be what it wants to be.
For example, I love Mary more than words could ever describe. And I know there’s a certain relative truth to us being “eternal soulmates/twin flames” or “divine masculine/divine feminine” — but I also know that those are only words. Words and concepts can only ever point. They are never the real.
What we have, I FEEL and EXPERIENCE within myself and within the day to day rhythms of our life together. Words or labels cannot possibly ever encompass the incredible sacredness and gratitude that I feel for Mary’s presence in my life.
I simply do my best to bring Love to our relationship. And sometimes when wounded parts of myself get triggered, I still do that. It’s hard work, but that’s when I look at myself until I turn whatever is inside me that is not love into love. I use a combination of pure awareness as well as powerful techniques of letting go.
The problems begin when people get overly attached to these labels and they insist that a certain person is a twin flame. Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t. You want me as a reader to provide some sort of guarantee to you. Life is not carved in stone, but…
I get it! I have compassion for that. It’s scary and we have to be vulnerable to open up to someone and then commit to going through the places we’ve been hurt together. We also have to be courageous enough to face the possibility of rejection.
All I’m trying to say is Love is a complete surrender. You just have to let it all out. You have to be prepared to accept what comes whether it comes or not. There are no guarantees.
It’s ok and healthy if you simply want some reassurance about proceeding with a certain person or not. But life is on a “need to know” basis. That’s how it was designed to be.
Most of the time, even the best readers or astrologers can only give you a “weather report” of the current energies. It’s up to us to co-create from the unknown. Yes, it’s scary at times. But that’s why we’re here.
Even if I were to get a message that the person was your Destiny, you’d STILL have to go through the courage of opening up your heart. And loving them even when their behaviour touches on a wound. You’d still have to actually BE in a relationship.
This can be another time you may need a reader. To help you discern if someone’s behaviour crossed a line and you are in a toxic relationship of some kind. But even in healthy relationships that are very happy, wounds sometimes get exposed. And that’s when the rubber hits the road.
If you feel you must use the labels above to describe certain types of dynamics that may exist in relationships, that’s fine. It can be helpful to a point. Maybe you and a certain someone DO have a destiny together. But if that’s so, why can’t you simply let go and trust a bit more? It’s because of the wounds within yourself. And that’s ok — we all have them. So for now, love yourself as best you can and just be aware that all labels — not matter how exotic and spiritual — are still mind stuff. And the mind cannot love or know Truth. It’s as simple as that.
Our minds note the differences with another, but only our hearts recognize the Love that is the Essential One Beingness in all.
This post was inspired by the title of a well known talk by Alan Watts. I’ve linked to the video at the end of this article.
We are often unhappy. And if we’re not noticeably unhappy, we have a constant nagging dissatisfaction within us.
We have many ways to distract ourselves from these uncomfortable feelings. The ways we distract ourselves are well documented.
My preferred way for a few years was alcohol and drugs, etc. I’ve now been completely clean and sober since 1997. I was fortunate in that my distraction preference was so obvious and self-destructive that I was able to wake up. Scared straight you could say. Yours might be more subtle…
So, how can we find happiness? We’ve been conditioned to believe that it exists outside of ourselves in things such as the approval (or disapproval) of others, status, a certain partner or job and myriad other goals and ways.
When we get that “thing” then we can be happy. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.
The interesting thing to me, is that when observed closely, it’s pretty obvious that it all stems from a feeling of not being enough. Never feeling complete or whole. Something’s always missing.
Since we are so strongly identified with a psychological structure that is an extension of our physical bodies, we believe that our existence ends abruptly at our skin. In other words, we subconsciously believe we are separate from the rest of Life. This is why we feel incomplete and cut off. This is also why so many insignificant things are experienced as a potential threat.
Our bodies have a flight or fight mode of survival that has hijacked our minds. We’re like an animal who is always on edge — unless something works out the way we want it to. Or we use our preferred method of distraction…
But the root cause of our dissatisfaction is still there…
Is There A Way Out?
In my experience, absolutely. And it’s not through a religious belief or hypnoisis or “reprogramming” the mind.
It’s from a deep recognition that the present moment is the only place where Life is.
Read the above sentence again. Because it’s so simply, we overlook it. We think the answer must be complicated.
You can never get to the future where you think you will be complete. The future never arrives. It’s an imaginary fiction in your mind.
When you get “there” it will still be the present moment.
This is NOT about apathy or not creating “to do” lists and strategies. No. It’s about becoming aware of a deeper dimension of Life. A deeper dimension of you.As a matter of fact, live life with gusto! Go for it. When you are at ease in the present moment (the only place where Life actually is) you liberate great amounts of energy with which to create and act. And you aren’t as easily discouraged when the results aren’t what you’d hoped for. You continue to learn.
We usually get so caught up in the very narrow focus of our beta brain wave linear waking state that we can’t see the forest for the trees.
Watch The Video “Life Is Not A Journey” by Alan Watts
I’ve linked to a very powerful video. It’s brief (4:00 minutes) that I highly encourage you to watch. And then ponder. And ponder some more.
My father passed on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm. It was devastating. It was devastating partly because he was still very healthy and vital at 87. We had all just spent the day together laughing and enjoying each other’s company a week prior for Canadian Thanksgiving.
So it was a little unexpected.
It was also devastating because we all spent a very long night in the hospital room with him as he died.
He was in a coma. It was gut wrenching and it tore me up inside to see him like that.
I was there with Mary (my wife), my 2 younger sisters, a niece, 2 nephews, a brother-in-law and my mum.
I think I got the ball rolling a little by saying out loud to him
“I love you, dad! I love you so much. Thank you for everything you gave me. Thank you for adopting me as a baby and giving me a wonderful home.” I was sobbing with tears.
As the night turned into morning, everyone had engaged in the conversation of how my dad had been, or how he had touched their lives.
My mum was an excellent singer as a young woman and she suddenly said she was going to sing him his favourite song. I wish I could tell you what it was, but it sounded like an old folk song from England.
She somehow sang the song quite well despite her advanced age, lack of recent use of her singing voice, and sobbing and crying in grief.
Mary noticed it first, but nobody heard her. Then my sister Cathy noticed. Then my mum. Despite having had a massive aneurism and more than half his brain being soaked in blood, he had tears in his eyes.
My mum gently pushed up his eyelid and all you could see was that his eyes were filled with tears.
Oh my God!! That’s all I can really say. I still start to cry buckets when my mind replays that scene in memory.
I’m ok now on day 5. It’s getting easier. I’m still crying. It comes in waves. Certain reminders and memories of my dad.
But I can go out in public now and at least and nobody would be the wiser — unless I told them what had happened.
Writing A Song For Dad
I started writing a sacred song as a tribute both to Life and to my dad.
Now let me tell you — those writing sessions are cathartic! Good thing I’m alone in my studio.
I’m going to finish producing it (my friend and mentor, producer Gary Gray is going to put the final polish on it)and make a video with pictures of our lives together with my dad. Then I’m going to send it to family members and friends of his.
Update: It’s November 2 now and I’ve finished writing the song. I’ve also finished “pre-production” and completed recording most of the tracks.
I’ve had a strong, clear intuitive feeling that this song will really touch a lot of people. So, I’m going to do my best to get it “out there” when it’s completed.
He Had Many Friends
My dad joined the Air Force right out of high school. He had REALLY wanted to be a doctor, but growing up in the Great Depression in poverty as one of 5 boys made the Air Force an easier choice. Both his parents were deaf and did not speak. Dad was fluent in sign language.
He had told me that when he was a boy in St. Catharines (he was born in Windsor in 1932) that there was a parade at the end of WWII with some of the airplanes.
He was really “lit up” by seeing the parade.
That is probably what helped him tip to the side of joining the Royal Canadian Air Force.
He went through officer and flight training and became a navigation officer.
We were stationed at various bases during my childhood, beginning in Winnipeg.
Then a brief stint in Germany while dad was in England getting set up for our arrival.
We then lived in England for 2 years, then in Ottawa, Canada for 4 years.
Dad taught advanced long range navigation to RAF navigation officers while we were in England.
After that, we moved to a small town in southern Ontario with one of Canada’s largest Air Force bases — Trenton.
While in Trenton, he started training and flying Hercules transport aircraft.
He was one of the commanding officers of SAR (search and rescue) and also ran many diplomatic missions. He was a Major by this time.
Unfortunately for me however, this was also when he was away from home a great deal.
As a teenager, I didn’t understand how difficult it must have been for him to be away so much.
Not to mention the high stress of his job.
But he was doing it to take care of his family. And in every other way, we were lacking for nothing.
My parents never showered us with toys, but we certainly weren’t short on them, either. We always had abundant clothing for all seasons in good repair (my mum also sewed some of our clothes) any necessary education including music, travel and museums.
He really wanted me to be a doctor because as he said, “doctors help people. What’s the point of anything if you don’t help others?”
I didn’t know that I particularly wanted to be a doctor. Until I was 14 or 15 I thought I wanted to be a pro hockey player in the NHL like my cousin Stewart.
That dream morphed into being a musician by the time I was 15 or 16.
Besides sports, arts and literature came easy for me. I could often get an A plus without even doing my homework. And when I had to do English homework it didn’t feel so much like work — unlike math or sciences. I did well in them too, but only if I did the homework. And it felt like drudgery to me.
By high school I already was fairly accomplished as a musician. But then I began to think of it as a possible career.
With his not being home as much, my transition was more of an out and out rebellion.
We butted heads for a while and I ended up running away from home at age 17 in the middle of a snow blizzard.
I hopped a bus to Toronto, Canada’s target city 2 hours west along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Unbeknownst to me, my dad and mum got in their car and raced after the bus as soon as they found out I’d run away.
They couldn’t catch me.
Within a few months, I started to reach out to my family (starting with my grandparents) and mend bridges.
I started visiting dad and mum several times each year. My two younger sisters still lived there.
By the time I was in my early twenties, everything was pretty good between us. All was forgiven. Lots of warmth and love.
As I got older, it just got better and better.
I still had my own personal issues to go through in life, but my relationship with my dad got closer as the years went by.
Note: My father and I had bonded very strongly when I was a baby. Through my childhood, I was my father’s shadow and “little helper” dressing like him and following him around.
He wasn’t necessarily like father’s of younger generations, but I could definitely feel his pride and love for me.
The past 15 years in particular I always felt a very warm glow in my heart whenever I thought of my dad, or visited with him.
Later on, I didn’t get to spend as much time visiting with my parents as I would’ve liked for many reasons.
Life as a self employed musician in Toronto is busy. My parents had also been spending winters at a retirement community in Florida for many years. Canadian Snowbirds.
Note: One of the “perks” of my dad’s service to his country (he rescued a lot of people out of danger and flew over hostile countries in order to deliver medical supplies, etc.).was that he retired at age 45.
He worked another 5 years for the Air Force flying a “desk” on a contract.
This gave him plenty of time to pursue another of his passions, golf.
My dad was an excellent golfer. So good, in fact, that in Florida he became the “golf pro” for the golf course at the community. It was a volunteer position, of course. He would also collect golf balls when back in Belleville, Canada for the summers and auction them off back in Florida to raise money for maintaining the golf course.
Update: I just found out that a few of his students in the Belleville, ON area who my dad had taught in the summers had gone on to become professional level golfers.
He apparently touched a lot of people’s lives down there. People were really gushing about my dad and how much he shone a little light into their lives.
The man who is going to be taking over his role as “golf teacher” called my mum from Newfoundland this week (where he lives in summer) and said my dad was an incredible mentor to him.
He also said that my dad always talked about my mother when he was giving golf lessons. He often said how she was the light in his life.
This was one of the things my dad could surprise you with. He had many accomplishments — including a few hole-in-ones — but although he could be quite chatty, he rarely talked about his good deeds or accomplishments.
As a matter of fact, it was only at our recent visit for Canadian Thanksgiving that it came out that my dad was an excellent dancer. Ballroom styles. He had taken lessons since his youth and loved it. He and my mother went often to the officer’s mess until they were in their early thirties or so.
My Dad Is Proud Of My Music
One time visiting my parents, I mentioned going golfing with him and he was genuinely concerned about any damage to my hands for playing guitar.
Another time, Van Halen had played a concert in Toronto and my dad always read the Toronto Star.
He asked me if I knew the band. There was an interview with Eddie Van Halen (if you didn’t know, many consider him one of the “great” rock guitar players).
I said, “yes. He’s one of the great rock players. Very innovative.”
And my dad very sincerely said, “too bad they’ve never heard you play. You’re probably even better.” My dad doesn’t talk like that in general, if at all.
I’m not going to weigh in on that, because anyone who knows me knows that I see through all that “best guitarist” nonsense, there’s no best or better. Although everyone, myself included, has their favourites. And by the way, Van Halen was one of many inspirations on guitar when I was younger.
In my view, there have been many wonderful musicians walking on this planet at various times. Some well known, some not. I encountered and jammed with a few geniuses in my youth — and I know you’ve never heard of them. One of them I know of now has a day job in banking. Another is living quietly in Trenton.
Music is a field of human endeavour and talent. We can all tap into it not only to various depths, but in different places and different ways.
There is only mastery. And even that is dynamic. Fame isn’t always in the equation.
My point is that it was an amazing and genuine compliment from my dad. A man who did not give compliments lightly. A compliment from my dad really meant a lot.
It said, “I love you, son. I’m proud of you.” What more can a son ask?
Mary did a one card tarot card reading for me the evening my dad passed.
It was The Emperor card. Her interpretation was that I am now healing and integrating all the masculine qualities within myself.
My father’s legacy will live and breathe through me.
I agree. I feel like my dad was an Emperor. He was definitely a guiding light for me here on earth.
And I feel like that Emperor power has been awakened within myself.
I truly feel a new power. I definitely don’t care what people think.
A lot of people say that, but I think in most of those cases, it’s more like a “middle finger in the air” kind of not caring.
Which of course, is actually caring.
I mean absolute freedom from wanting approval.
There are probably still some layers of that laying around in my subconscious that will come up, but I know I’ll be able to dissolve them quickly.
Proof Of Heaven
My sister Cathy had read a book last year called “Proof of Heaven” by Dr. Eben Alexander a neurosurgeon.
Dr. Alexander had been brain dead for 7 days and was definitely an agnostic with a scientific worldview beforehand.
He experienced an incredible journey while in the coma and wrote this book about it.
He is in a unique position to look at the context and understand it from the standpoint of how the brain works.
In his now revamped view, he was in heavenly realms with Angels and God (who he calls OM).
My sister had discussed the book with my dad.
Reading the book is helping me feel closer to my dad — even though spiritually speaking, I never doubt his presence close to me.
Note: I haven’t yet finished the book! I just seem to have been in a place in my life for about a year now where I’m not seeking. I know who I am in every meaning of that. It’s just growing deeper and integrating. I’d rather sit and just be and FEEL the answers than read any more books.
I at least don’t feel like I need a book to convince my left brain that there is a world beyond the one presented by our senses. I’m fairly established with that in my own intuitive knowing.
No, I’m not lazy to read. I was a voracious reader as a child and young adult. It even led to my being skipped ahead one year in school.
But it’s also still hard. It’s taking time for my body to catch up to my mind and spirit.
I love my dad so freakin” much! In my eyes, and the eyes of many other people, he was a great man. A beautiful person. He left a wonderful legacy that I will honour with every ounce of courage and Love I can muster.
Thank you, dad. I will see you in heaven. We’ll go golfing and shoot the breeze.
Are you hit and miss when it comes to manifesting abundance? Join the club! I’ve been there.
In this article I’m going to guide you to a deeper understanding of not only what the principles of manifesting abundance are, but how and why they work.
Hopefully by the time you finish this article, you’ll have a much deeper understanding of how to attract abundance.
The Magician archetype from tarot is a great image to describe manifesting.
What Is Abundance To You?
This is quite a vast subject which is why I’ll be writing several articles around this.
For example, what IS abundance? We have the version society teaches us. Some money and a bit of fame. But that seems quite a narrow definition. Do we really have to sacrifice our mental and physical health, relationships, spiritual realizations, etc.?
I’m putting this forward because if we’ve thought deeply about what abundance means for us, then we have a much better chance of experiencing it in our reality.
So for now, until I write a more in depth article about what abundance is, ask yourself this question. Reflect upon it. It’s not what your parent’s version is, or your spouses, or society’s. It’s your version of abundance.
If you can have a deeper understanding of how and why attracting abundance works, you can more successfully eliminate the deep rooted doubts that are getting in your way.
I mean, let’s face it. Most manifesting abundance principles are counter to the way we’ve been taught.
That’s why we can often manifest something small but then other things can seem so elusive.
Before Beginning The Manifesting Process (This Is The Most Important Part That Everybody Overlooks)
We’re in such a hurry to get to what we want, we forget that life only ever happens in the present moment.
When we have a desire to improve ourselves or our lives in some way, we are also telling the universe that we are not enough and we don’t have enough.
The universe receives this “energetic imprint” and says “ok. Here is more lack and poverty for you!” And oftentimes, abundance and success is right in front of us in some form but we’re missing it.
So, how do we get around this obstacle when manifesting what we desire?
We release our resistance to “what is” in the present moment. We find the happiness and abundance in what we have RIGHT NOW.
This is also why Gratitude is so often encouraged as a key to manifesting abundance.
When we can find gratitude for the way our life situation is right now, we have much more power available to assist us in creating more of what we want.
Please don’t gloss over this very important point because it is the key that sparks the ignition.
And if you’ve ever practiced gratitude before, you’ll know that it cannot be forced. It must be genuinely felt in your heart.
The 4 Simple Steps To Manifesting Abundance
Set an intention or goal. Always be open to something even better. This relates to surrendering the outcome to higher forces of Intelligence (number 3 on this list).
Take your best shot (action in the world required)
Let go of the outcome (Could you imagine that you don’t care?)
Evaluate the results. Rinse and repeat the above.
That’s it! These steps are nothing new. For example, they are part of the core teachings of the classic spiritual text from India called the Bhagavad Gita. This looks easy on paper, but requires more than an intellectual understanding. Continue reading below for ways to raise your energy in order to manifest abundance and true success.
Raise Your Vibration
People say this a lot. I think in plain language, it simply means to work on not being pulled into negativity. Engaging in this practice of manifesting abundance will automatically raise your vibration because you learn about yourself and your relationship to Life.
Manifesting Abundance Teaches You About Yourself
This is another secret. The law of attraction (as it is commonly known these days) is actually the law of life itself.
Thought can only create. In fact, there is so much to this vast topic, that I will be writing about it for a very long time!
To really understand how to manifest what you desire is to understand the very truth of your being and reality.
Even though I love to go deep, in this article I want to get you up and running in ways that will help you.
As you practice, you will automatically begin to receive instructions from your inner teacher (in-tuition).
As a matter of fact, this article is a mirror of your own inner teacher.
To really understand how to manifest what you desire is to understand the very truth of your deepest being and Reality.
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Final Suggestions And Wrap Up...
Don’t think too much. The more you try and figure it out, the more you’re stepping on the brakes. I told you it was counter to the way we’ve been taught, didn’t I?
We’re told we must have it all “figured out.”
As you go through this process in your life, you will encounter many layers of resistance coming up.
When this struggle happens, relax your shoulders and breathe as best you can.
Remind yourself this is spiritual progress. More of the real you is breaking through the cocoon of social programming.
If something you’ve been trying to manifest fails or doesn’t seem to happen, it’s not because of your karma. You are not being punished.
Remind yourself (your surface personality) that there is a deeper wiser part of you below the surface that always has your best interest at heart.
I’ve been around long enough to have “failed” or been rejected many times. Guess what? I’m still here, wiser and stronger than before.
In all those cases, I actually see now that I “dodged a bullet” — and I’ve actually always only get what I’ve wanted.
This may be difficult for some of you to understand, however it is my hope that you will one day see the truth of this.
Wishing you success and all your true desires to come true.
Music is my dharma -- what am I talking about? If you’ve been following my posts you’ll know that I’ve been going through a metamorphosis of sorts. I didn't realize until today that I was re committing to and refining my dharma.
Note: This article was first written in 2016. I found it in my "saved drafts" folder. There's an update from Now (August 2018) at the bottom.
Like when the caterpillar feels the itch to allow the butterfly to emerge.
All you can do is surrender. Well, you don’t have to — but it makes it much easier.
For the first few weeks of 2016 I didn’t touch my guitar unless I was teaching.
I sang around the house when moved to sing a song, but did no vocal exercises (singing is a muscle).
I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t fall into the pattern of thinking I really had to do something with my music.
I mean, commercially. You know, make money from it. I'm most definitely not against making money with my music! It just turned into a subtle form of (in)validation over the years.
For me, it’s just not working. The drug is not doing it’s thing.
If you know me, you know that I’m the master of discipline and perseverence. Going after your dream, being courageous and consistent, etc. All that stuff is child’s play for me.
That’s not the issue. It was coming to the realization that it’s just not what I want anymore. Or I don't want it in the same way.
It’s like suddenly realizing the shoes you’re wearing are too tight.
Or the person you’re “in love” with is just not loving you back, man! Get over it. Walk away. Move on.
Know what I mean? The wisdom to know the difference.
So it’s been interesting and disorienting at times waiting and allowing the “butterfly” to emerge from the cocoon.
I’m getting glimpses.
And I’m now practicing a bit. 4 or 5 days a week is all I’m allowed. No more than 20 minutes on guitar and about 40 minutes of singing each day.
Just bare minimum to keep in shape.
And have fun. No commercial agenda. No putting pressure on myself.
What I’ve Been Up To In The Meantime
Previously I also talked about how I enjoy the idea of teaching about spiritual tools, techniques and realizations.
Inspiration and wisdom for people who are looking for that. People who are starting to realize more of their inner truth.
Sharing things like how to develop awareness, access intuitive faculties, more creativity, peace of mind, less reactive, more patient, etc.
How to get free of the conditioned mind made sense of self that we are all so unconsciously spellbound by.
And of course, to realize Self. The Self being a word or pointer that I’m using in this context. You can use Life, Source, Divine Intelligence, The Tao, Beingsness, Is-ness, I am, etc.
I assume this is going to take some time to develop. I just want to follow the impulse to discuss these things and see where it leads me.
Meanwhile, I still need to earn a living, so…
I’m still teaching and enjoying it very much. It’s very rewarding to work with the people I’m working with.
Helping them develop their musical gifts and interests.
I’m also helping Mary with her intuitive and coaching business. I’ve been interested in and studied tarot cards and astrology since my youth, it’s a natural fit.
Not to mention I've always seen beneath the surface of life so to speak.
I see "The Infinite stretched out in smiling repose" behind the finite forms. Can't really put it into words any better than that. Because symbols are not the thing Itself, are they?
I just want to close out by saying I know that somehow music’s still very much in the picture. I just don’t know how it’s going to fit in with my life yet.
I do have a new song that I’d really love to record. It’s constantly playing in my head and giving me goose bumps. It’s called “Empty Hands.”
As a writer, that’s when you know you’ve written a cool song that will connect with people.
I’ll keep you posted.
Update August 11, 2018: Music Is My Dharma
A few months after writing this article (it was written sometime in 2016) I realized deeply that music is my dharma.
note: "Empty Hands" is now in preproduction along with a handful of other cool songs I'm looking forward to sharing with the world.
What is Dharma? Dharma is a Sanskrit word from Yoga. It is used extensively in the classic ancient yoga text, The Bhagavad Gita.
In essence, dharma is connected with our vocation in the world. These days we'd consider it closely connected to the idea of our career.
It's not that simple however. The world cannot give you the complete answer. For example, how did I deeply recognize that music is my dharma?
It's pretty simple to see that in many respects, my entire life has been geared to making and creating music. But that's not enough.
You see, in order for it to be dharma, you have to RECOGNIZE it. Deeply. It's not just like one of those worksheets "what do I want to be when I grow up?"
You know and you know that you know. It's like your soul. Nobody can take it away from you -- although you could perhaps lose it temporarily through neglect.
Dharma is most often connected with our vocation as I said above, but not necessarily. It could however, be raising a family for example. Or working in a cubicle somewhere but raising the vibes of the other people there just with your uplifting presence.
The ancient seers and yogis felt very strongly that every soul has a dharma or mission to deliver in the world. An inner genius that only that person can do.
I've known music was my dharma since before I'd ever even heard of the word. But it's had to go through many challenges and metamorphoses in order to get rid of any self consciousness around it.
To be able to throw myself into making music and put it out into the world without being attached to the outcome.
And then to surrender my life to the Totality of Life.
All these burning transformations I've had to go through in the past where I questioned my dharma because the world wasn't paying me much heed were leading me to this point...
I'm fairly free of what the world does or doesn't think about my music anymore. I still get a little stuck on this from time to time, but I'm able to unhook myself rather quickly.
And this is where most people get hung up. We are so conditioned to achieve and to measure results -- but even in the field of psychology it is being recognized as a major hindrance to performance and happiness.
You may be thinking that this is apathy. That's what most of us think when first confronted by these ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Music as my dharma is actually Love in action. Just like in a relationship, if you're looking only to GET love from the other, you're relationship will eventually fall apart -- if it even gets off the ground.
When you are aligned with BRINGING love to your relationship, watch what happens! Harmony and connection between you both.
The same Principle applies to creation. When you create for the joy of sharing your art, in order to possibly uplift others, BRINGING it, you are free. This is being in your dharma.
You're no longer a prisoner of "wanting" approval -- the proverbial carrot on the end of the stick.
I'm counting my blessings as I write this. And I don't take where I am for granted. I'll keep alert and keep creating and sharing.
Music is my Dharma after all. Oh yeah...along with sharing these mystical insights.
Love 24/7 started as a melody that was haunting me. I would hear it in my head all the time.
I then did the most common sense thing and started fooling around on the piano and guitar in order to realize the melody.
In it’s raw form, “Love 24/7” probably didn’t sound like much — and I had doubts.
But something kept drawing me back to it — it wouldn’t let me go.
The most challenging thing (as is mostly the case) was coming up with lyrics that were relevant, poetic and rhythmically fit the melody.
That part took me some time until I finally settled on the idea of a new “service” in town that offered support 24/7.
That service of course, was Love.
It was partly inspired by a certain client that Mary was working with.
This client was always complaining about how bad their childhood was and how it was now holding them back.
But this person also had a lot going for them —including financial stability, abundance and decent health — that they seemed to constantly overlook.
I also thought “man, a lot of people, myself included have been through “stuff.” In my case I was a homeless runaway at 17. I somehow managed to build some success with my life but then lost everything at 28 ( and spiralled into depression and alcoholism for 6 years. I then had some tough work waiting for me in order to start spiralling upwards.
Mary has been through even worse in other ways.
And I thought “how were we able to turn things around? Are we special? Do we somehow have a different nervous system?” I know for myself, the first step was to acknowledge my responsibility in things and stop playing the victim.
And no, this is not to pass judgement on anyone who is struggling!
On the contrary, I hope it provides hope and inspiration. Even though it seems (it is!) like a different lifetime when I used to feel hopeless and utterly lost, if this can inspire one person to take up the challenge of choosing to Love themselves, then my mission is accomplished.
The Music Behind “Love 24/7”
As always, I played the instruments and did all the vocals here in my very modest home studio.
Note: I currently play the bass in real time using my keyboard. I’m dreaming about a real bass guitar — even though it will probably be right handed. I have yet to see a left handed bass except for Sir Paul McCartney’s. I’m pretty sure I can handle playing it the other way around. I have some experience jamming like that — and I think I can learn to play grooving and musical bass lines with a right handed bass.
I then started sending mixes to Gary Gray in LA. He would get back to me with suggestions about what I could do to bring the level of production higher.
This went back and forth so many times I can’t tell you! At one point, I was like “I can’t take any more red marks on my song!!” LOL
However, I sucked it up, let go of the frustration, and kept chipping away until I finally crossed the finish line.
Gary then brought in Kristen LaRoche to play the drum parts live in a studio in Orange County.
The next stage of course, was the mastering which was done by Gary. He also added some subtle strings which sound incredible!
Enjoy the song. If you are uplifted by it, please share it!
Are you willing to let go? A lot of people these days are saying “let it go” or similar pieces of advice. It’s brilliant! And while I’m happy that more people are getting hip to this fundamental skill, there are still many places and ways that we get stuck.
Many people wonder “ok, but HOW do I let go of (that hurtful and disappointing or even traumatic event)?
I can’t promise you it’s easy — because our minds want to maintain the illusion of being separate from the All — but I can promise you that it is entirely possible and requires no special abilities.
Ok, sounds good. I’m willing to let go, but…
How Do You Let Go?
While a cursory look may reveal that “you” are a separate being (“I’m” here, in my body, everybody and everything else is “outside”) if we are willing to look a little deeper, we may discover that it’s not true in any absolute sense.
Once you steal even a glimpse of what you truly are — unlimited Beingness pretending to be limited — you are on your way.
Easier said than done, though. There are many conditioned patterns in place that will soon depress the exhilaration you may have felt with this peak experience — when the mind temporarily subsided.
And then you succumb to the games of the mind again. You may write your experience off as unimportant or an illusion of the brain and nervous system.
You forget the deep insights you had. That’s because those insights were from beyond the mind. This is where letting go comes in as a serious practice.
Every time you let something go, you are dissolving a layer of egoic consciousness. There are many many layers of this conditioned consciousness — much of it buried in the “subconscious.”
The less egoic consciousness you have, the more Light of your true Beingness can shine through and illuminate your world.
Egoic consciousness is the “dark stuff” that can come over you when you least expect it. Something someone says or doesn’t say, something that happens or doesn’t happen, triggers it.
In other words, expectations weren’t met.
Expectations Are A Lack Of Innocence
However, times when you are triggered, as painful as they may be, are also golden opportunities to let go. Your mind will be telling you otherwise, of course.
Your mind will be projecting it’s problems onto the person or situation as being the cause (and painting you as a victim.)
It will be very seductive in trying to get you to buy in to this storyline. This will feed the cycle of pain you are feeling even more.
BUT, if you are fortunate enough to have come across the fundamental life skill of letting go, you will be able to make a choice.
Note: I’m not talking about serious trauma or working through grief after loss. However, if you’re still grieving long after the fact, you may want to consider that you’re stuck in a pattern. There are also some Yoga schools (such as YogaFit) that are currently having success working with people who have PTSD.
Letting Go Is A Choice
You will have to choose between negativity/limitation and freedom/Love. It’s THAT simple.
Would you rather be “right” and “vindicated” with your limited feelings or would you rather be free?
If you’ve never consciously let go before, you may believe that you don’t have a choice.
But if you are truly fed up with the repetitive and reactive, defensive patterns of your life in relationships, etc. you will perhaps see a glimmer of truth.
As a musician, I’ve faced more than my fair share of disappointment. I’ve experienced rejection or flat out being ignored when I’ve poured my heart, soul and skills into a project or idea.
This disappointment wouldn’t happen if I weren’t so attached to the outcome. Having expectations is a mechanical action.
Having no expectations, the mind is fresh and innocent.
Having no expectations is NOT another “should.” This is something you need to find out for yourself through your own life experiences.
If I put my creative work out there and the specific results I was hoping for don’t happen, I react and feel discouraged. Ok. Fine.
This need for approval and validation can be a bottomless pit if we lack the awareness and tools to help us!
But as soon as I become present and notice that I’m reacting, I start to observe the discouragement in action.
I see how I’ve been looking for happiness where it does not exist (in the world) instead of where it does exist (within me).
Some Powerful Tools To Help You Let Go
There are many powerful tools to let go. The one I love the best that works for me is called the Sedona Method.
Note: I’m not an affiliate with The Sedona Method (I won’t get any money if you click on the link and decide to purchase one of their programs) — just want to share this powerful tool for letting go with others who may resonate with it.
I’ve been using it daily since 2005, and I’m continually amazed at how it consistently helps me turn my mind around into a courageous and empowered state.
It’s a meditative tool of self inquiry that’s designed to turn the mind back around in the right direction. And it’s deceptively simple to use.
Typical Example: Are you feeling jealous comparing your life to someone else? The first step is to be present and realize that your mind has gotten turned around the wrong way!
Using a tool like the Sedona Method can help turn it back around quite quickly. You’ll actually be happy for that persons success! This is a great feeling of freedom. And you’ve dissolved a chunk ofegoic consciousness while you’re at it — never again to return, I might add. Although there are layers upon layers upon layers…
Even recognizing when your mind is holding on is a major accomplishment in awareness. Presence and awareness comes with practice and the alchemy of self transformation.
There are some other tools-for-letting-go I’ve heard great things about. There’s one called “tapping” that I’ve never tried (I’ve already got a way that works for me) but it may work for you!
Many people have found success with A Course In Miracles.
And of course the breath is always a key tool whenever we feel anxious or upset.
No “Letting Go Tool” Will Work If…
No tool for letting go will work if you’re not willing to let go. It’s hard enough sometimes with sticky issues even when you’re willing!
There’s a parable from the East about this…
The student asks the master, “what do I need to do in order to be enlightened?” The master takes the student to the lake and holds the student’s head under the water for a while. Finally he lets him back up and the student is gasping for air.
The master says “when you want freedom just as much as you wanted air right now, you’ll be well on your way to enlightenment!”
The is a dramatic example. We don’t need to be ascetics or abstain from the world. On the contrary, the world provides us with the challenges we need to grow.
However, the key is in really wanting to be free. That’s really what this story is illustrating. Wanting freedom is always on your mind 24/7. Even in the midst of intense action engaging with the world. If you can do that, you will get lighter and discover more true happiness every day.
Are You Willing To Let Go?
1. Use a tool that works for you. Some examples of tools that can help:
I’ve been deeply involved with music for most of my life. And according to an astrology report based on my past lives, I’ve been a musician several times before.
You’re probably thinking “so, what’s your point?” And depending on your mental models of the world, you may even be thinking “astrology? Seriously? Past lives? What?!”
Don’t worry. This article is not about astrology. Maybe in the future. I’m not an astrologer but in my experience, it’s quite a profound tool for self understanding. Even enneagrams (from Sufism) are being accepted into mainstream psychology and the corporate world. I’m simply more familiar with astrology.
And even though I believe (and perceive) that consciousness transcends death of the physical body, I still face my own mortality most days. This inspires me to use my talents and abilities the best I can every day.
I feel like I really have something to say. And if I don’t say it now, I may not get another chance.
sidenote: It’s a paradox to believe in reincarnation but to also be present in the moment. It can be pretty amazing when the veil lifts and the infinite reveals itself to be right here right now.
Success to me is being able to express my true and authentic self. My soul. This includes my musical abilities as a singer, songwriter and guitarist.
BUT and this is a part of the struggle I’ve been facing. I also have another part of myself that yearns expression. I’ve been a “mystic” since I can remember. As far back as I can remember the presence of a mysterious and formless Higher Power has been self evident to me.
Many strange experiences since childhood and I’ve now been seriously practicing a meditative and spiritual path for many years.
I finally realize it’s time to stop thinking about how to blend these 2 voices and just simply start doing it.
My Essential Strategy And Main Point Of This Article
My essential strategy for 2018 is to build my fanbase. I intend to do it with YouTube. I’m a bit scared but my excitement and passion are bigger than my fear right now.
I look at my YouTube channel and see my numbers and I think “man, that’s pathetic!” I have like 20 views or something like that on videos.
I should have many more than that! Not because anyone owes me anything or I think I’m “God’s gift.” I’m saying this to myself. “Dude! You should do something about your YouTube channel!”
So far I’ve only used YouTube as a repository to hold my videos so I can share them with you — my subscribers or anyone who happens by my website.
The numbers are pretty low and I really really want to take action on changing that. At least as much as I possibly can.
Will I succeed? Who knows. But I should be able to at least grow my fanbase to larger than it currently is. So I think that makes it well worth the effort and risk.
Launching My YouTube Channel
Yes. I already have a YouTube channel. But I’ve never truly “launched” it before. And I’ve certainly never committed to regular video uploading.
This is what I intend to do. I’m going to come up with a schedule that is realistic. Something along the lines of one upload per week along with one blog post per week.
My content will consist of my original songs since that is my main goal. I want more people to be aware of my songs so that hopefully more people can benefit from the inspiration, beauty and entertainment that they perceive in them.
And songwriting is really the reason why I do what I do at the end of the day. For me, there’s nothing like having an idea in your heart and mind and then bringing it to life.
I’ll also do my best to do a new blog post like this once a week or so. We’ll have to see how the scheduling goes because I’m already so busy writing, practicing, learning and upgrading skills, teaching students, etc.
I may need to cut back on how much social media interaction I do from my Instagram channel. I usually do this in the mornings — but I’ll probably cut back to 2 or 3 days weekly so I can blog and create video content.
Since not very many people have heard of me, and the Internet world’s a pretty big and noisy place, I’ll need to do some cover songs so that people will find me on YouTube.
Here’s where it gets tricky. I have made a list of cover songs that I think I would enjoy doing a version of, but I don’t want to paint myself into a corner and wander off track from my original music.
However, I think I’ll have fun doing some covers. Mostly just guitar and voice so it should be fun and challenging to make them come to life in an interesting and cool way.
I spend a fair amount of time playing my guitar (not as much as you may think since I need to spend time singing and keeping my voice strong as well as writing music and lyrics. Not to mention maintaining some basic chops on the piano). So I’ll probably do videos where I just play guitar. Acoustic and electric.
Behind The Scenes
There’s not much going on behind the scenes here, but if I think of something I’ll share it. Perhaps something I’m working on, new lyrics, how I work, etc. A few videos of this nature.
I’ll definitely share my thoughts. I can’t make music videos all the time — they tend to take a fair amount of preparation.
I think deeply a lot about life, who we are, mystical experiences…some call it “woo.” I find the term derogatory and arrogant since the fact that we exist at all is ALREADY pretty “woo” don’t you think?
That said, I do respect the beliefs of others. I believe very strongly that Love (understanding, empathy and sanity — not sentimentality) is the answer. We all have mental models of the world. Some of us don’t realize that we do, however.
So I’ll make videos about “woo” and how to overcome challenges, never give up, etc. They may also include books I’m reading that I’m excited to share.
I’ll probably write about spirituality and “grounded transcendence” in my blog as well.
If I can grow a fanbase around my music this year, I’ll be thrilled to say the least! I don’t know what then, but hopefully many more possibilities will open up to me that aren’t open to me right now.
I’ve come to realize it’s not so much about how good your music is as much as it is the experience of connection it provides for people.
Although for myself as an artist, I derive my own sense of satisfaction through creating something that reaches up to my own standards of what I want to hear. I also believe there’s a certain energetic “fingerprint” that gets encoded to the music. But that’s for another article on another day.
Although the past year has been a success filled year in many ways (and for which I’m incredibly grateful) hopefully my music will resonate with more even people this year!
Maybe I can even manage to outsource some of the recording responsibilities. When I do ALL the recording myself it takes a tremendous amount of time.
That way I can focus more on creating new music and other value filled content.
Another deeper and more soulful purpose with this mission helps to fuel me is this: I hope my story and journey will inspire others to do the same with whatever their mission is.
I really want to do my part in my little corner of the world to make the world a better place. By “better place” I don’t mean some kind of utopia like the one John Lennon sang about in Imagine.
Although I’m idealistic as well, I’m more of what you could call a pragmatic idealist.
My wish is to simply bring more sanity into the world.
If my sparks can help spark someone else, then I’ve done my job. Let’s bring more sanity in and eliminate more of the madness that seems to surround us. That’s our task right now.
What is holding you back from what you want out of life? Recently I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions. The kind of questions that have the potential to bring new information to light and reorganize our minds. “What do I really want of life?” has been the main one. “Who or what am I?” are ongoing for me as part of my spiritual practice.
Often our minds have a state of inertia to new information, however. Our ego wants to keep us safe in our comfort zone and will resist taking in new information that has the potential to change our lives.
What Do You Want Out Of Life? Looking Within For Answers
Questions such as “what is life? What do I want out of life? What actions can I take? Is there anything I need to learn? Is there anything I’m not looking at? etc.” can be helpful in getting answers.
The trick is we need to be listening when the answers come on cue. And they do. But we have to be willing to listen.
Recently, a few people have randomly said something along the lines of “when you’re famous” to me when talking about my music.
I didn’t pay any attention to it at first. Here’s why…
Being on a path of personal and spiritual growth I made a decision many years ago that fame was “bad.” Not to mention observing so many celebrities having huge issues and falls from grace.
I thought fame was a dangerous thing (perhaps it is — but that’s for another discussion). Many years ago, when I was aligned with that kind of thinking, I got into trouble with alcohol etc. I was very active in bands and although this was because I was a serious and dedicated musician, I also based my sense of self worth on how well my band did. I wanted notoriety — and actually had some here in Toronto’s club scene with one of my bands starting to build a small and loyal following.
sidenote: It turned out that my co founder in that band was an “energy vampire” and I eventually realized I had to walk away. The gift in that was that I realized I truly wanted to be a solo artist. As a highly empathic person it took me a while to understand learn that there are people who truly do not have your best interests in mind.
But because of what people said to me (about being famous) recently, I reviewed my feelings about fame. I discovered it was probably better to have an open mind to the possibility. Especially since on a conscious level I’ve been doing my best to find the people who would appreciate my music and be uplifted by it.
Everybody Wants To Rule The World…
If I’m pushing away fame, I may inadvertently be blocking the flow of energy I need to get my music and message out in front of people.
I realized with all the reflection and self inquiry I’ve done in my life — along with the experience I’ve gathered — that I’m now far less vulnerable to either criticism or flattery (I’m not perfect — I DO certainly prefer compliments, but it doesn’t make me overly excited. It’s more like “Cool. That’s very nice to hear”).
It suddenly struck me that fame being dangerous was nothing more than an unexamined belief. Fame is like anything else. It’s neither “good” nor “bad.” There’s no need to label it. There’s enough polarization going on in our world as it is! I don’t have to agree with your opinions — or even like you, for that matter — in order to Love you as a part of the tapestry of Life.
Besides, I have a theory that eventually fame won’t be something that exists anymore. Everyone will be so connected and a vast number of talented people will be heard in various ways. It’s already well on it’s way now.
I don’t need fame to own my own sense of natural self esteem — the kind where I don’t feel above or below anyone. Even thought we’ve been taught since any of us can remember about the “pecking order” in our society.
I don’t need fame to prove myself to anyone, although that might be a little gravy to add to the pie where any naysayers are concerned!
What Are You Afraid Of That Just Might Be Holding You Back?
But I’m no longer afraid of it. Wanting to hide our light for fear of others disapproving of us is an almost universal plight. I’ve been struggling with it my whole life, but I think I’m beginning to see results and feeling much more freedom!
I’m not saying that “fame” will happen for me. I honestly don’t think it’s a realistic possibility as I’m not very aligned with mainstream media. But the subconscious fear of fame is no longer blocking my energy, beliefs or actions.
Why all this talk about fame? I’m a musician and speaker. The more people know about me, the more impact my message has. And this means I can spend even more time and energy focusing on creating this message via my music, writing and talks.
As I said, I’m fairly confident that fame in my case would definitely not be celebrity status. That’s fine as that is not what I truly want. What I want is more like that 1,000 true fans type of ideal. I’d like to be able to continue life normally while making my authentic contributions.
Like a successful self-help book author whom you may not recognize on the street type of thing (unless you were their fan). That would be really nice.
If not, I will continue learning, growing and making the best music I can. Writing the best articles I can.
Loving the people in my life to the best of my ability. And above all, being grateful for what is here now in the present moment.
I wrote “Resurrect Your Heart” in August of 2017. It was inspired by hearing Mary give healings and readings. She is often coaching people who are experiencing love relationship difficulties.
Our “egoic” selves are conditioned to look for fulfillment in the world.
The trick is, it’s not there! Unless you’re talking about the kind that comes and goes.
If you’ve ever bought a brand new car, you’ll know the “new car smell” eventually fades.
We need to find the source of Love and Happiness within our own beingness. The kind of peace that is unshakeable.
“Resurrect Your Heart” is about finding that Love within. I know there’s a whole movement these days that says love yourself. And that can be confusing. Who is loving who? What part of you is loving some other part?
We already ARE the love that we seek. And the more we remember that, the more love we have to BRING to relationships instead of looking to GET love from relationships.
And in my experience, the more I realize the truth of my nature (this is not an intellectual realization, it’s directly experienced when thoughts slow down) the more relaxed and less fearful.
This in turn leads to others feeling better when they are around me, which simply becomes an upward spiral.
Sidenote: You don’t have to formally meditate to experience your thoughts slowing down. You can easily do this through saying “yes” to the present moment. Letting go of resistance to “what is” is my favourite method and the one I use most.
You can also do this in flow state such as when you are deeply engaged in an activity like gardening, playing sports or playing guitar.
That’s basically what “Resurrect Your Heart” is about. I’ve had times in my life when I didn’t know what I do now. At least not through my own direct experience.
I unwittingly believed (due to conditioning) that love was somewhere in the world. This leads to disappointment and even “bad” choices.
Often this pain is what leads us to question what we were taught, and to turn around and look within. We want to free ourselves from the unnecessary pain and suffering.
But then once you find the love inside yourself, you just want more of it!
And you want others to find it too! So that’s why I wrote the song “Resurrect Your Heart.” No matter where you are, how long you’ve been there, in whatever dark place, you can resurrect your heart.
And since we are spiritual beings having a human experience, all is well and unfolding as it should.
Hope you enjoyed this article and my song “Resurrect Your Heart.” Please share it with others if you think they will too. See the lyrics below.
Crash tested heart
Crushed to dust
You thought it was different this time
You believed those kisses said she loved you
Your frozen limbs and bottled tears a nightmare of your worst fears
How could a lover do this to ya’?
ooh ooh the shadows grow blacker in the night
ooh ooh when you’re afraid of morning’s light!
When there’s so much pain hey!
Things never seem to go your way
Don’t you know you can resurrect your heart?
When there’s so much pain hey!
It never seems to go away
Don’t you know you can resurrect your heart.
Why comb your hair?
Says a ghost of despair
your mind can’t find a signal
Why did someone take your disadvantage?
Yes, take some time to clear your mind
Some things no longer serve you
But don’t get stuck in those voices in your head
ooh ooh the shadows grow blacker in the night
ooh ooh when you’re afraid of morning’s light…
‘Cos you’re not alone
So many hearts have been there
One day you’ll know
that true love lives inside you
no one can forsake your love
no one here can break you…but you!
cos it’s your heart now and you can
resurrect your heart if you play your part
it’s your heart now and you can
resurrect your resurrect your heart
‘cos it’s your heart and you can
resurrect oh resurrect your heart
if you play your part now you can
resurrect your oh resurrect your heart!