This story is all about practicing persistence. But Life is sometimes funny, no? It cannot be grasped by the mind. Just when you think you’ve got it, it wiggles and squishes and morphs away into a new shape.
Practicing persistence can actually bring up opportunities to practice other qualities such as patience, compassion and humour for oneself. Non-attachment to the outcome is also key.
All blended with passionately doing one’s best to create the best outcome possible, of course. Whew!
Last week I was hired to do some electric guitar parts by a producer from Los Angeles. He had a technical request for me. A recording technique that would involve equipment I don’t have in my studio.
Being a guy who enjoys “over delivering” in these types of situations, I went out and rented the device. At the rental shop with djent (really hardcore progressive metal) music blaring in the background, the clerks couldn’t seem to get any of the devices they had on hand working.
They finally opened up a brand new one out of the box, connected it to their computer and it seemed to be compatible. I took it home (including driving this was 2 1/2 hours later) and discovered I still had to go through a few steps to get it “installed” with my computer.
Finally it turned out that one of the hardware components on the unit wasn’t working. This was after quite a bit of troubleshooting on my part. Oh, and did I mention there was a deadline with this job?
I emailed the producer and explained the scenario. He got back to me with some troubleshooting suggestions of his own. I’d already attempted them so it didn’t change anything.
He then said he still really wanted my playing on the recording. So I was just going to do it with the equipment and device I normally use. But he wanted it by the end of the next day.
By then it was the end of my day — I’d have to get back to things “tomorrow.” I had some students coming in to work with and had no more time for recording.
It may not sound like much here — but it was kind of a frustrating day. Hours of work and nothing to show for it! This all took place on a Thursday.
And I was feeling a bit anxious knowing I still had to deliver a professional level performance in just a few hours of time the following day.
I had a Zumba class to help my wife with Friday morning, and it was also our only opportunity to get some laundry done at the local laundromat. That Friday evening was our regularly scheduled date night.
I wanted my cake and to eat it too! I wanted to deliver the goods, exercise and have fun, get my laundry done AND hang out with my wife!
Well, as rough as the previous day had been? Friday was it’s equal in terms of being smooth! 🙂 I learned the song, laid down all the parts (rhythm guitar and lead solos) and gave the producer more than what he needed — all within 90 minutes!!
My wife also happens to be a Reiki master and was actually giving a Reiki treatment to one of her clients at that point — they were next door to my studio — so I was kind of restrained in terms of being overly loud. But it all worked out!
In conclusion: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The very next day or some day soon, Life will quite possibly give you an invisible helping hand!
Some of you may also be able to add TGIF to my conclusion! 😉
One of my favourite songs on my new CD is a love song for eternal soul mates. It’s called “Hey Mary Hey” and is the title song from the album.
The inspiration for it came from my wife Mary. Actually, it came about because I wanted to tell the story of how we met and fell in love.
Some people say it has a really cool retro 70’s flavour along with a West Coast vibe. I certainly didn’t set out to write a song with that vibe — I simply sat down with my spanish guitar one day and started getting some cool musical ideas.
As the musical ideas developed, I realized I wanted to come up with some equally captivating lyrics.
I had the sudden thought that it’d be great to share the story of how Mary and I met. I wanted to inspire people with the message of true love and eternal soul mates. Especially in this day and age where so many couples end up on the rocks because of egos clashing.
Rather than write about the tangible day to day details of how we met, I decided to make it about my subjective and soulful experience. It really was (and is) quite a magical and mystical experience for me.
Before Meeting My Eternal Soulmate (Mary)
After having had a couple of long term relationships and done plenty of dating in my past, I had decided to step back from everything in the relationship arena for a while.
sidenote: This ended up being about a 6 year period.
I resolved to myself that I was going to stay single and happy until/unless I met the person who truly qualified as my eternal soulmate.
I also really purified my lifestyle at this point. I dropped drinking and smoking, started eating much healthier food, doing yoga daily — and I also began a daily meditation practice.
sidenote: Many years later, I still live by this protocol although it’s morphed and changed a little. I still don’t drink or smoke, I continue to make healthy food choices, but I now do more vigorous forms of exercise such as weights and Zumba. And I still meditate daily — although it’s now mostly about letting go of negativity when it arises.
Yeah. A Song About Eternal Soulmates.
Along with all this I was of course working on my music daily. I also went to bookstores, coffeeshops and movies somewhat regularly. Just to get me out of my usual “monk like” routine.
I was open to meeting women — I knew if I wanted to meet my eternal soulmate I would have to put myself “out there” — but I wasn’t attached or fixated on anyone in particular.
I now seemed to have a great radar system that I could trust. I chalked it up to experience plus my new lifestyle. I would simply chat, perhaps flirt a bit, and know somehow that was all that was necessary. In the past I would have been more in my head about it.
Being in my head, I probably would’ve followed through on getting dates, etc. Even though in my intuitive knowingness I was aware that they weren’t the person for me. When you’re in your head how can you hear your intuition?
In some cases I actually did go on dates — but with no expectations. And the dates? Awkward or not much fun.
By the way, I was also affirming daily that my eternal soulmate existed and was in my life. Then I simply trusted, let go and went about my day.
I could feel Mary’s presence even though I didn’t yet know who or where she was. I simply knew. I didn’t know how long it would take, but I trusted. I was in this 100%. I knew she existed because I existed. It was a powerful and uncanny experience to say the least. The opposite of mundane.
Psychic Readings And Synchronicity
At this time I was teaching guitar and piano for my bread and butter. I didn’t have a studio back then, so I used to travel to my students’ homes.
One of the mothers of a student of mine was a fairly renowned psychic in the area. She offered to pay for some of her son’s lessons with a ‘trade” of a lesson for a reading. Since she was a single mother, I thought it would make it easier for her.
Besides, I thought it might be pretty cool. And I definitely had some questions! It’s sometimes tricky doing readings for yourself.
She described Mary to the tee. Her situation, her appearance, that she lived right in my neighbourhood, some of the challenges that we would face when we first got together.
I thought, “Sounds good. Hmm…I wonder if it’s true?’
These kinds of messages came through 2 or 3 readings. Whenever I would see my psychic friend on the street she would ask me “Have you met your mystery woman yet?”
I’d reply that I hadn’t. And I’d also wonder and sense fleeting doubts — because these readings happened over a 2 year period. That’s a long enough time for you to start doubting your intuitive feelings and start listening to the (negative) voices in your head again! Luckily I had my meditation and fitness tools to support with warding off the negativity and to keep me on track 🙂
I figured my eternal soulmate was still in my life energetically speaking — but that the reading from my friend wasn’t accurate.
Along Came Mary!
Back in those days — being a bachelor — I used to devote my Sundays to watching NFL football and golf on TV. It was my way of both relaxing and being inspired by excellence. Tiger Woods was in his prime, and it was amazing to watch his miraculous golf shots.
I would go to the local butcher and get some organic free range Turkey breast and make myself a sandwich to watch my sports with.
One day I ended up standing behind a woman in line. I recognized her from the neighbourhood New Age bookstore where I used to hang out and do Yoga classes a few years prior.
I struck up a brief conversation with her, and we parted ways. Although I did briefly wonder why I felt such a strong “buzzing” in my energy field.
I went home and watched sports and forgot about it.
This was in the autumn. Later that winter, actually between Christmas and New Year’s, I was in the local Health Food store getting a few supplies. And guess who was there shopping? The same woman! From now on, I’ll refer to her as Mary 🙂
She was having a conversation with the owners wife. I overheard a bit of the conversation where they were mentioning New Moons.
Since I regularly chatted with the owner and his wife, I spontaneously jumped in with my own comment about how I liked to start new things with the cycles of the moon.
I don’t recall exactly what we talked about after that, but Mary tells me that as soon as I mentioned my awareness of the moon cycles, something inside of her really perked up. She felt a strong internal shift or click.
It just so happens that I was moving on New Year’s Day to a new and exciting place. I told Mary how excited I was about the move. I also found that out she was (still is) a Reiki Master and crystal healer as well as being a psychic.
We discussed things for a while, and I said I’d love to come in for a Reiki session. I told her it sounded just like what I needed at the time. A great way to start off the New Year.
Now, at this point, I didn’t realize I was attracted to Mary in “that way.” I just knew I felt drawn to go see her for Reiki. It felt good and it felt right.
I’m stuck at this point in the story because things get pretty personal. Suffice it to say that we hooked up. We had some rough obstacles in the beginning. A lot was due to our families different cultures as well as some other things that are too personal for me to feel comfy with sharing here.
But we overcame them together 🙂 And 9 years later (or more, depending on when you’re reading this) I love her more than ever!
Sidenote: If you’re a skeptic on all of this “woo-woo” stuff, that’s fine. I can operate just fine out of the rational thinking part of my mind too.
But if you’re like me, and your inner vision is awake, you know beyond words that there is a silent, formless Divine Presence behind Life. Consciousness didn’t arise from space dust that randomly appeared out of nowhere — rather awareness and light (presence) give life to and shape matter.
Don’t believe my words. Simply take it into consideration. Next time you’re in nature, notice the energy of the plants or stars or the sky. And just consider. Don’t think. Feel your way into it.
Do You Have A Soulmate — Or Dream Of One?
I’ve been told by Mary that there are different schools of thought as far as the terminology goes. Some of the terms in this field are: soulmate, twin flames, eternal soulmate, karmic soulmate. And everyone seems to have different opinions on how to define the different categories.
For me the terminology doesn’t really matter. I only know that Mary is the most accurate reflection of Love I have ever experienced in this world. I am simply grateful and amazed everyday by her loving presence in my life. I must have some really great karma!
What are your thoughts on soul mates? Have you met yours? Do you dream of meeting yours? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. And if you like this story, please share it with your friends.
If you’ve been following my story for a little while, you may remember that one of the main catalysts that propelled me onto my current path (with a brand new CD) was CBC Radio. (For any international readers, CBC is the Canadian version of the BBC in the UK).
At that time, (I thought) I was content to simply write and record my songs with the intention of eventually licensing them to film and television.
My wife Mary had been playing some of my songs in her Zumba class — and the response was terrific.
After several enthusiastic people from her class suggested CBC to me, I finally got the message. That’s how the cards laid out to inspire me to reach out to CBC.
Back in the late fall of 2014, I got in touch with the head of the CBC Music Resources Office, Mark Rheaume. Mark got back to me. He is such a genuine and cool guy. He always got back to me straight away — and with helpful and clear information. A very supportive and great contact for me in the music industry.
He’d listened to a couple of my tracks and he told me that they would definitely fit with many of the shows carried by the CBC. However, he also suggested I have an album — or at least an EP — this way, my story would be a little more compelling for the people who had the shows.
So I thought, “Why not? Ok— I guess I’m making a CD.”
This of course led to an impromptu fundraiser and my EP of 5 songs is now complete. It’s available in my store as a physical CD with cool artwork or on i-tunes.
Update: CBC Radio and My Music
Mark got back to me recently regarding the status of my music. It’s now officially uploaded into the CBC music library. Woo-hoo! Step one accomplished.
Mark also gave me the contact info for all the relevant CBC radio shows in the country who can possibly use my style of music. He suggested I contact the shows in Toronto and encourage them to play my music. The shows also need to play Canadian artists — that can definitely help my cause.
I will keep you posted as I move forward with that!
Another cool thing is that if I ever broaden my base of operations beyond Toronto and play other towns and cities, I will have the contact info for the producers of the radio shows in those towns!
It’s the most rocking song on the album — definitely not for Zumba this time 😉 More of a driving your car kind of song. I literally have a TON of important musical influences — but this song is probably due to early David Bowie along with my bluesy side. I listened to a lot of Bowie at one point during my late teens.
I wanted to have a few different flavours on the album — but still my brand. I think I managed to do it.
Here’s a screenshot of my mixing board for WonderWoman.
The drums are being recorded and mixed in Los Angeles by my co producer Gary Gray as I write this. Kristen Rose is on drums again. If you’re reading this after mid April 2015 or so, you’ll be able to sample my new song WonderWoman right here on the homepage 🙂
This New Year release is a story of letting go. It’s not a new recording — yet! In order to complete my upcoming album, I first need to create more space.
For the New Year, I’m letting go of what no longer serves me. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s more difficult.
I had a different New Year’s blog post in mind. I envisioned myself dusting and vacuuming, straightening and clearing my studio. Writing about it and taking some photos.
Instead, I just cancelled my guitar lessons website. I won’t bother linking to it in this post as it’ll probably be non existent by the time you read this. In essence it was called Free Guitar Lessons Online — and it was my very first website.
I started building it in March 2009. It was intended as a way to make people aware of my music — but somehow it became it’s own thing.
For almost 4 years, I dove deep into a “system” about learning about the internet. SEO, keywords, how to write better headlines, optimize videos, create a newsletter list, etc.
The site was based entirely on guitar lessons. Mostly with video and written content. Back then the way to earn money on the internet was via Google ads.
People would bid to have their ads placed alongside relevant content. I was a content provider who was able to attract a good amount of traffic.
And even though my first intention was to use the guitar lessons to raise people’s awareness about my music, this soon became obscured by my new plan…
My Dream of Passive Income
I would create enough content to provide a steady stream of “passive income” via ads on my site. This would free me up to spend more time recording my music.
The Universe — and the Intelligent order of things — had other plans! Just as my site started to cross the threshold of attracting enough organic traffic via Google to make some decent money from the ads, Google began a drastic restructuring of it’s algorithms.
Most smaller sites got “hit” — even though Google’s intention was to eliminate the “bad guys” who had been gaming the system for a few years.
Even though my site played by the rules, it was hit pretty hard. I was “screwed” — at least with making enough passive income through ads.
I still had enough traffic to make money — but I would need to develop a suite of guitar lesson products and learn how to sell them.
I felt really down at the time — I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t feel the creative drive to develop these products and sell them, but I didn’t know what else to do.
As time went on, I started to pay less and less attention to my guitar lessons website — although I tried a few other strategies just to be sure. I even managed to build a Facebook page on guitar lessons that has over 20k likes. It still gets many likes and views and I stopped touching it several months ago.
Meanwhile, I continued to teach my private students here in my studio and work on my songs and my music. However, that was only on the surface…
Getting Honest With Myself
I started getting more in touch with myself about certain core issues. I get up early most mornings and actively meditate, journal and reflect. I used this time to ask myself what I really want out of life.
I began to realize that I had been playing it safe. That the guitar lessons site was a substitute for what I really wanted to do — create and perform my songs for people!
I had to dig deep to get past blocks in my mind that came up with all kinds of reasons and beliefs to discourage me from following my heart.
I’m still working with these old belief systems while I continue to take action everyday in the direction of my true desires.
I have come to feel deeply that I am co creating with the Universe — and that by staying true to myself, the light of the Universe is able to shine more brightly into this world.
By healing these limitations within myself, I’m helping to heal the planet. It’s not just about me. It’s about humanity.
Do you have any limitations holding you back? If so, it’s ok. If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be here experiencing life in a physical body!
I’m not here to tell you what to do about it. Just please don’t use any of this as a stick to beat yourself up with! We are all in this healing process together 🙂
New Year Release
I’m telling my story as a way to inspire you. If I can do it, so can you type of thing.
This New Year, look around and see if there is anything that no longer serves you. Then see if you’re ready to let go of it.
Start with small things. Material goods and items (I just let go of a winter jacket I’ve had for almost 10 years. How did I manage to create sentiment around such an item? I had it on when I “hooked up” with my wife Mary. Lol.)
Work your way up slowly. Very slowly if you’re new to this type of thing. Baby steps are all that’s necessary. Be gentle with yourself, but lean into it.
Wishing you all the best for this New Year of 2015!
I received a standing ovation at the end of my mini concert a couple of days ago. Is it because I “blew the roof off the joint?”
I played well. I’m really very satisfied with my performance. My sound was good (I even had a couple of musicians in attendance looking at my super basic gear afterwards and asking me how I got such a great sound), I knew the songs really well, I had a well designed set and people were there to listen and watch. When I looked out at the audience, they were absorbed in what I was doing.
But I don’t think that’s why I got a standing ovation. If you read my previous post about how I kept getting really emotional and tears of gratitude while rehearsing, you’ll get a kick out of this.
I actually had it happen to me in the performance! Oh man. The thing I really didn’t want to happen (other than technical issues, of course) happened.
And you know what? People loved it. It was spontaneous. It was real. It was authentic.
You can’t plan things like that.
What Is Being An Artist, Anyway?
I guess it’s all part of being an artist. Because in our day to day life where we wear our “social and protective rubber…ummm masks”, we start to believe that everyone is just as cool as can be.
Know what I mean?
As an artist I’m grateful to have the task of revealing myself — in order for others to feel safe to reveal themselves. Not to be confused with those blubbery whining stereotypes that are always vulnerable — but to be real and authentic.
This includes vulnerability. But it also includes strength, courage and confidence. And of course Love. And the more authentic we can be, the more these authentic feelings from the core of our beingness express.
When I say love, I don’t only mean romantic, friendship and family — I also mean that passion for being alive and connected to everything else in the Universe(s) that is alive also.
If you were at the event, thank you again for your support!
I shed tears of gratitude today. Before you say “big deal” or “you wimp” let me tell you that I haven’t shed tears in a long time.
I do confess to having the sniffles when watching poignantly touching scenes from a film with my wife — but when it comes to real life? Once in a blue moon.
Why The Tears of Gratitude?
I’ve been working hard at my art form since I was a teen. I don’t want to go into the details, but I had to run away from home as a teen in order to follow my dream of doing music.
I didn’t have any support in my childhood home when it came to making a career in music.
I’ve been homeless. I’ve slept in stairwells and lobbies of buildings. Eaten and slept in homeless shelters. Fortunately this didn’t last long, and I was able to get work and land on my feet within a few months.
We always have support, of course. If we’re willing to receive it and look for it. Many people have supported me since then in ways both big and small.
Why Did I Weep Tears of Gratitude Part 2
I’m in the midst of crowd funding to raise enough money to finish my album and promote it.
The first step has been a community fundraiser. You may already know about this. My wife Mary is conducting a Zumba class. This will be followed my a live and intimate performance by me.
As I’ve been rehearsing over the past few weeks for this mini concert, I’ve found myself choking back tears on more than one occasion.
I don’t really want to break down and cry while on stage, so I finally asked Mary what she thinks about it. She said it the tears need to come out. Just let the tears out.
I told her that sounds wise. I then told her it’s the love and gratitude I feel toward her for helping me put this event on — and also for all the people that have stepped up to support with their wallets and time.
I’ve worked extremely hard at my craft — and my art form — for many years now, and not received much in the way of support or recognition. I’m not complaining. How else should it have been? And I know because of these early hardships I have a resilience that perhaps many do not have. Doesn’t mean it was easy though. And I questioned my decision to stay true to my calling many times. I’ve faced down the demons of self doubt many many times.
It’s also not about being “God’s gift” or famous — it’s more than this. This is my calling. These are my talents. I have felt that I have something to say and offer our culture for many years — and finally it’s starting to be recognized. It’s a feeling of purpose and belonging. Without being a false version of myself. It’s ok to let my light shine!
That’s what caused the tears of gratitude to flow.
After saying this to Mary, I had my head in her arms and I was weeping. She certainly doesn’t see me like this everyday, but I’m really glad she did.
It felt really good to allow myself to show her my vulnerability in that moment.
Does this mean I’m gonna be weeping any time soon though? Hopefully not. Although I am allowing the feelings of gratitude to deepen and expand as much as possible.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I have wept tears of gratitude today because of you 🙂