Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy


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Allow it to Happen

In all the “Law of Attraction” material that is out there, the last step of achieving one’s desire is “allowing”.

In the book “Ask and it is Given” we are told that it is a 3 step process:

1) Ask
2) It is always given
3) Allow it to flow into your life

Other books I have read as well and courses I have studied describe wording goal statements starting with “I allow”. Pure genius! And the truth!

The concept of “allowing” is very different from the concept of “making it happen”. Many of us (including me at times) think we need to “make it happen”.

“Allowing” lets you feel that the good things you want are just “out there” and you are an “open window” which will allow the “breeze” to blow in. My whole body relaxes when I think of it this way.

I can remember as a kid how much I loved to draw. And I never had the feeling that “I” was drawing. Ok, I am not trying to sound like I was a little Zen master genius here, but what I am trying to say was that I “allowed” the drawing to happen, just by feeling my way.

On the outside people see me drawing – but I am talking about my inner experience, and more importantly – your inner experience.

I would just keep adjusting things until the drawing looked right.

Anytime I have taken the “I’m gonna make it happen” approach – well, it is very a righteous ego and caffeine induced state. I can brag and boast and look like a tough go-getter guy to my friends and family, but sooner or later – I run out of steam. Nice for a cocktail party or holiday dinner to impress, but a crappy way to live.

And who was I fighting anyway? That’s what I mean by inner experience…to “make it happen” is exhausting on an inner level – it feels like a fight. No one else will experience that fight but you. To “allow it to happen” is relaxing – and will tickle you with laughter when you see that you didn’t have to work so hard to get the thing you wanted. This stuff works. I know from personal experience. Keep reading.

Once you have the vision of what you want, and your answer is given to you – you can, simply by getting yourself out of the way – allow these things into your life. Sometimes the feeling of “wanting” can block out the thing we want!

This was on my mind this morning because I was with my girlfriend last night and she had been discussing me with a co-worker. I commend her on choosing such a noteworthy topic. πŸ™‚ Seriously though, her co-worker asked her “how does he find work?” since I am a musician.

Jill replied “he’s at home making it happen right now”. I had been working on my website all day.

That’s when I told her I wasn’t “making” it happen, from my point of view. I lived many years with the idea that I was going to “make it happen Goddammit!!!” And you see – the contraction, the disallowing of other solutions, the looking at the glass half empty, the hurry – all make the attitude of “making it happen” totally discouraging and unlivable as a long-term way of life. It is a jaw-clenched, un-accepting, angry state where very little good can flow in. It’s like screaming at the window that no breeze is coming in.

Let me give a small example. Here’s what was happening in my world yesterday as it looked like I was “making it happen” (little did they know – I was “allowing”).

Weeks prior I had started fooling around with the idea that i needed a new website design, one that would incorporate my new acoustic guitar stuff. It was right then – the desire to have the new website was set into motion, and I knew full well that it would happen. I had not done a lick of work yet, it was only an idea. I knew that eventually my website would get designed and updated, and no stress was needed. It’s as if I considered it done – simply because I knew I had put my attention on it. Kind of like a farmer knowing he’ll get a potato because he planted the seed.

Yesterday was the day I sat down and said “lets see what old Photoshop and Dreamweaver have to say about this”. I looked at the old site and noticed I’d have to pull old material over. I looked at my current life and added recent pics. Basically I sat at the Mac and the vision in my mind directed the hands and brain from 10am until 6pm. (p.s. – it’s still not finished)

So – one would say the website was created yesterday, and that I was “really friggin’ making it happen!!!” but NO! The website was created before I touched the computer. The idea was there. Simply by paying attention and letting it happen, it has started to sprout by itself.

This is not only about a website. It’s about you, your dreams, your aspirations, your family, your livelihood, where you want to live. You are just like me inside. We may look very different, but we’re really the same. And, we are all creators – and when we know how fun it is to create, we want to keep doing it. Anything in our lives starts in our minds, and pours forth into our realities.

Just think- a Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, veggies, apple cider and pumpkin pie – all starts as an idea. From there on in, it pretty much plays itself out and no “making it happen” stress is required. You “allow” it to happen.

The next thing which follows is a trip to the market. Then prep work in the kitchen, the oven preheat, the table setting, the timing so that everything is ready at the same time and piping hot – are all ways that you will allow the original vision to unfold.

So – next Thanksgiving, when you see the food on the table – you can have a good spiritual fuzzy feeling in your belly – knowing that it in fact started with an idea (this also works even if you didn’t cook the food). And then ponder that this manifesting ideas into reality can happen in your life.

In years past I have in my life had my stomach in knots – from “wanting” the following:

1) a sideman gig on guitar with a jazz legend
2) a great girlfriend
3) to live independently
4) earn a living as a freelancer
5) to tour with my band
6) a guitar career as a performer on the festival circuit

Once I let go of the exhausting, burnt-out feeling of “wanting” and started the gentle “allowing” I got:

1) a sideman gig with Dr. Lonnie Smith, and another with Bennie Wallace and Alvin Queen
2) Jill. I love this girl!
3) My studio apartment, paid for
3) No debt, making money doing what I love
4) I play the guitar and write music, teach lessons
5) I have done about 10 tours as a leader in Europe

and now this is on it’s way…I know it

6) a new world as a solo acoustic performer. I’m finishing the CD and getting out there and people are digging the music. It’s fun and I dig it!

All this came from an inner state of “allowing”, not “making it happen”. It looks like a person “making it happen” – but it’s not. Of course I have to be an active participant just like the person who made the Thanksgiving meal a few paragraphs ago, but that’s the allowing part.

So, why not look for the “wanting” in your own life – and drop it. That’s right, drop the feeling of “wanting”, or the “I gotta make it happen”.

I highly recommend these for further reading: “The Sedona Method” by Hale Dwoskin, “The Abundance Course” by Larry Crane, and “Ask and It is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Just go to Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

Ask, and the books will be given!!! πŸ™‚

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Why I Play “The Hunt” – a Song by Tommy Emmanuel

At the time of this writing, I am uploading a video of myself performing a tune by Tommy Emmanuel called “The Hunt”.

It is a fast, fiery piece and it is his signature piece (one of them).

Why would I even attempt to play this and post it to YouTube – where people can easily see him destroy me, guitaristically? πŸ™‚

Well, this piece really energized me when I first heard it and turned me onto the idea of being a man onstage with just a guitar and “electrifying” the audience. I must say, before seeing Tommy I thought that solo guitar had to be either like Joe Pass or classical (both of which I love), but neither of which has the frothing-at-the-mouth energy I wanted as part of my own solo playing.

I was unaware that this kind of playing was available to me in a blues / rock / acoustic/ steel string idiom. If you have not heard the piece it’s kind of like southern-rock-meets-flamenco.

I have been shedding (practicing) this piece for about a year. And while I am my own artist, have my own thing to say, and urge others to find their own voice – it is great to learn from masters, and take on new challenges by emulating what they do. Part of what I am excited about is where these musical ideas will take me once I have digested them.

The reasons that I practice this piece are many.

1) Tommy is like the “Michael Jordan” of guitar – and as far as I am concerned I am responsible to pay attention to what he’s doing and push myself to be as good as he is. Of course my “artistic voice” will and should manifest differently than his – but if he can do a 360 slam dunk, well I gotta work on mine!

2) This forces me be “out there” spiritually and grab people at a show, to get the high energy going in my playing. I tend to be too introspective (see my previous post).

3) I have had to learn new techniques, and am still working on them. The hardest for me is the alternating D bass in octaves with a flatpick while I play thirds with my m&a fingers on my right hand. My picking has been pretty fast for years.

4) One has to throw away proper left hand classical technique to play this piece: if you are playing with proper “hand” position you can’t do the pull offs and get the chords quick enough. As well, you can’t play the scales without the pull offs or else they don’t sound right – i.e. it ain’t all alternate picking!

5) I am hoping that it will get me to actually “think” differently. Actually, it has.

So there you have it. I will continue shedding this piece for a while still. Tommy plays stuff by Chet Atkins & Jerry Reed, so it’s the same thing for me.

This is my “tip of the hat” to a modern day master of the guitar – Tommy Emanuel.


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Providing Contrast For an Audience

Greetings!

Well I am writing this after a day and a half of preparing & uploading YouTube videos. Will I ever get off the computer?? Oh nooooo…..

As a freelancer a lot of work with no up front results need to go in. I.E. – one must have faith that what one is doing will yield a result. I do. And there’s no getting around it at the time of this writing – if you are a musician and not on youtube, you are missing out. What a cool way to get people to see you play music! In just a few short weeks I have been able to send video links to bookers & record labels – and not to mention, get new fans.

It’s funny, being a performer and understanding (or trying to understand) what audiences like. Crafting an act is a little bit like what they tell you about picking up girls – you gotta be a little bit of a prick. Be nice, be charming – but just a smidge cocky, but in a friendly, confident way. Being too sensitive, too nice looks like you are weak. Ever try to be nice & sensitive and see the girl you have a crush on go for the prickiest guy in the room? I have been that guy!

You can be the prick, and then when you got the “girl” feel free to be nice and show the sensitive side. Similarly – give the audience the “show” tunes and once you got ’em, ballads are ok.

Were I left to my own devices, I’d probably play ballads all the time. I love playing notes and letting them ring out and I can just stay in that meditative state forever. Nice for me, but not for the listener after an hour. I gotta tell you – audiences keep me on my toes. I know that I have to entertain and create excitement. It’s a little bit like what I mentioned about being a “pick up” artist.

A big part of my interest in acoustic guitar as opposed to a straight ahead jazz sound is that I can get that “roar” out of an acoustic when it is strummed. I had been missing that with the clean electric sound I was getting. Seems like a paradox, I know.

Ok, if you are an icon like James Taylor then maybe you can go and play ballads all night. But I’m not (yet).

So, in offering a “balanced” solo acoustic guitar act – I am keeping in mind that I need a healthy mix / awareness of

tempos – fast, medium, slow
rhythmic ideas – different grooves
tunes – melodic, funky, fast, more classical, more bluesy
a few freaky technical display tunes, just for the circus act
originals vs cover tunes
textures – arpeggios, single line, contrapuntal stuff
dynamics!!! everything from big flamenco strums down to whispery harmonics
shmoozing vs playing
how I will start & end the act!

If any of these elements is not there, it could potentially be a Thanksgiving meal without stuffing, or a Japanese meal without wasabi. Know what I mean?

I love how Tommy Emmanuel has a bulletproof show. I went with some friends, and there was something for all of us. I loved his ballady, melodic originals the most but I think the more typical audience members (non musicians) liked the energy, the contrasts – and even the sillier stuff like him singing “Heartbreak Hotel”. I mean – whoa – this guy kept everyone’s attention for 2 hours – just a man and a guitar. That is equally, if not more amazing than the playing itself!

That being said I invite you to watch the vids on you tube. The only “pretty one” I have uploaded at this time is “She’s Leaving Home” by The Beatles. All the others are tricky freaky audience attention grabbers.

http://youtube.com/profile?user=crescentridge

No more Mr. Nice guy – I want to “pick up the chicks” !!! (musically speaking) πŸ™‚

I sincerely hope you are entertained!

Until next time –

AR


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Connecting With Another Person

Sometimes you connect in a relationship, and at other times you don’t. If you understand the law of “you get what you think about” and that thoughts “snowball” it can help you understand what is going on between you & another person.

Last night my girlfriend and I decided to go out for a drink at a local bar. Poor Jill, I know I have had a one track mind about my solo CD and career. All I have been doing is stuff like re-recording tracks, mastering, paying for licenses, poking around on myspace, and so on.

Jill is working as the assistant dean at a prestigious college here in NYC. She is getting very busy as the school year is revving up.

So, I decide to myself before going out to meet her that I do not want to talk about my stuff. I’d rather be a good listener tonight.

We meet, and I ask her how work went.

I hear all about the personalities, the responsibilities which are unfolding, the madness of it all. And while streams of story-lines shift I am doing my best to follow, but it is hard. First off I don’t know the people, and I am trying to NOT think about my stuff for once. Of course that’s like saying don’t think about a pink elephant.

At one point Jill (who has been doing all the talking) says “I feel like you are not listening”. Uh oh, here we go. Men are from Mars….get ready!!!!

I reply “I’ve been listening the whole time”. I see the argument coming I have had 1000 times with other people and past girlfriends, and I have been on both sides of it. I have felt “not understood” or like “so and so does not care, but only cares about her own stuff”.

We all like to feel connected, we like that honeymoon stage we were once in when all we could think about was how awesome the other person is.

I thought to myself, “What is really going on here? How can I grasp this problem of what is happening – she’s talking about work & her stuff, I am thinking about my stuff, but really trying to think about her stuff, and we are in 2 different universes right now. She feels it and so do I.”

The answer lies in the Law of Attraction, believe it or not.

I had spent days on music here at my house. Recording, mixing, editing, licensing, talking, practicing, teaching. And – the more you think about something, the more you get it – so music and guitar are like this 10 ton locomotive that can’t just come to a screeching halt, due to the momentum of thoughts.

Likewise, she’s been updating the school website, organizing, learning what new tasks lay ahead when dazed & confused freshmen walk in – immersed in that situation for hours. These thoughts have gained such momentum that she can’t stop thinking and talking about it. To her, my talking about music feels like a splash of cold water that has nothing to do with her thoughts at the time. That’s why I simply wanted to be a good listener.

Out of desperation (this was so cute) Jill says to me at the bar “okay, I won’t talk about work and you don’t talk about music. (pregnant pause). What the hell is there to talk about? We have nothing to talk about (panic)”. This was so cute and so funny. I love her!!

So I told her “Honey, see what is happening here and don’t worry. Your thoughts have snowballed due to the attention you have given to certain subjects, and mine have too. We have momentum of thoughts that are rolling in different right now. That’s normal and okay. No crisis here!”

I continued, in my wise, long winded, know-it-all fashion, “I guarantee that as we hang out tomorrow and build up a new immediate past (interesting way of describing the present), and pay attention to being together at the beach, we’ll feel in-snyc soon enough.”

“No need to block out thoughts and force other thoughts. Be gentle about it.”

Get it?

I know now (but sort of always did on a gut level) that it takes a little time to get momentum of thoughts, but once you do – secrets reveal themselves and realizations pop up out of the unknown. Practicing music for hours gives you momentum. Building a habit of exercise gives a momentum. Computer programming gives a momentum – in fact when I learned to program PERL, I’d spend hours and then be dreaming about it!

Relationships are no different. Being in a relationship also has a certain momentum, and that’s why you have to put in time with a relationship just like anything else.

Until tomorrow, my little blog-puppies!!

P.S. I forgot who made the following quote but I love it and laugh at myself as I have bombarded my inner circle of friends and family with my new musical projects – “But enough about me. Tell me what YOU think about me.” πŸ™‚


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Rhythm

Greetings musician friends!

Well, I just spent all day yesterday re-recording the Dr. Lonnie Smith tune “Play it Back” on solo acoustic guitar. I have had the honor of playing this with him live at a few gigs and jazz festivals, and it’s one of those tunes that jam bands are jumping all over.

It’s a blues that never goes to IV chord, and has a characteristic little riff and break at the V chord.

Anyhow, that being said – I feel honored to have played with Dr. Lonnie, as he is one of the remaining jazz, blues & funk greats from the past. But man, let me tell you the stuff he does on gigs now is the future – he gets WAY out there!

I love the way he just rocks this whole groove on the stage and that’s part of what I am going for in my solo guitar act. Not to be a good guitar player, but to be a house rocker, a musical force like a Lonnie. That’s the thing with the greats – they are a musical force, not just a good instrumentalist.

So why did I re-record? Well, see my entry about spiritually vs technically correct. I have done recordings where I did not feel the groove was on the money, and had engineers, sidemen, friends, family – everyone say “It sounds good”. And then I go to listen and it just ain’t movin’ me, or makin’ my feet tap.

That’s why I re-recorded. The difference is so subtle – if you A/B the takes, they sound the same….but wait – I find myself grinning with the new take.

And, the thing with music where the groove is off is this:

1) you hear a piece of music, sense a possible groove and start moving your body
or maybe just tapping your foot

2) something in the music goes against the grain of body rhythm, you have to stop moving, and get a new frame of reference, and try to hook your body moving up to it again. Doing this continually as the music unfolds is the worst exhaustion I know. Eventually, one is forced to disconnect from the music in a “body rhythm” fashion and is forced to listen “from the neck up”.

OUCH. God forgive me, I have in my past created music that does this. Being stressed with studio time & costs, not hiring the right people, and just lack of experience and feeling off-center can knock the groove out.

Finally I feel like I am getting it!

When the groove is on:

1) you hear a piece of music, sense a possible groove and start moving your body
or maybe just tapping your foot

2) the music is obeying the same law that your “body rhythm” obeys. You, the listener can move your body and every little pop and squeak from the music your listening to goes right with how you are moving.

When this happens, a momentum known as “depth of groove” builds, and the joy and enjoyment build and build because you are in a flow, and you never have to “correct” where you are at in the trajectory of your dancing or foot tapping motions.

So, just like Stevie Wonder says in “Sir Duke”:

“But just because a record has a groove
Dont make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter ‘A’
When the people start to move”

The final judge is not me in this case. Of course it is good if I feel good about the music I am making, as no amount of whitewashing, accolades or praise will ever make me feel good if I feel that my music sucks.

You, the listener have to enjoy the music for me to be happy. And I’ll know by the twinkle in your eye, or the vibe “between the lines” of your email, or tone of your voice if it really turned you on.

So it is not about the money, the ego trip, the career; it is about the music being right. Whatever good follows that is gravy!


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Gratitude

Wow, I feel so caught in the pop culture as I write this, with “The Secret” and all the Law of Attraction stuff out there.

(Also – you musicians might ask why all this new age fribble is under a music or guitar heading here in the blog. Well guys and gals – music is a microcosm of life.)

I love the book “Ask and it is Given”. In it, there is a description of 22 processes that anyone can do to lift their “vibration” and get more of what they want by feeling good spiritually and emotionally.

The first on is entitled “The Rampage of Appreciation” and focuses on gratitude. Whoa! This is big.

I have spent so much time, I admit, wanting more, and in the process not been grateful for what I have. I’m not saying “Guilty me, I won’t go to heaven, children are starving, I am so bad…”. That is just a BS approach to face value gratitude which is only a beating up of oneself.

What I am saying is that when quietly one stops to look, and love – your pet, your people in your life, your opportunities, the capacity of your mind – you find yourself in a heavenly state of mind after having done so. And it is a very natural thing to do, if you just allow yourself.

And from that heavenly state of mind / spirit / whatever you want to call it – comes all good, all abundance. You don’t “do it to make money”, you do it for it’s own sake – but you’ll see that you have aligned with abundance.

It may sound trippy – but try it. When I walk out onto 74th street here in Jackson Heights, I look and appreciate the green trees, the ethnic diversity, the calm of an outer borough, and how it all helps me make music and live peacefully. I look at my kitty and see the hours of love this little creature has given me. I look at my past and thank everyone who was smarter and more experienced than me for nurturing and helping me. And on and on…

That’s why I called the new CD “Gratitude”. I suppose I always use a CD title or liner notes to reach people spiritually. I laid a copy on my mom and she had asked me why I named the title “Gratitude” and while my usual m.o. is to bicker with her, I told her why. And I underlined to her that part of that gratitude was that she raised me the best she could, and made sure I had guitars and guitar lessons and never told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t be a guitarist. Her belief in me was a given. Wow! Yeah Mom!! As I told her, I was almost in tears, and I felt that she was touched, and appreciated my appreciation!

We can and should practice gratitude deliberately – that is, not once in a while by accident. Why? Because life is be richer and happier when we do so. And the goodness snowballs!

One thing I do when I am with my girlfriend is be consciously grateful that she’s in my life. If I see a habitual, old thought of “Man I wish she wouldn’t..” or “I hate how she’s…” I know that I am headed for disaster, internally. Most people don’t realize that these states of mind are their own doing! I think that’s what happens when couples leave the honeymoon stage. Appreciation diminishes and thoughts of what’s “not good” take charge.

First thing I do when that comes on is tell her, out loud, “Honey, I love you just the way you are – please don’t change a thing”. And while I may smirk and she knows something pushed a button in me, she smiles back and things diffuse.

I have at that point gone 180 degrees away from trying to change her. I accept her as being different – and appreciate the good things about her such as her perky attitude, her beauty, her honesty, her love of animals, her integrity, herr punctuality, and her eagerness to get along with my family. The appreciation helps me get properly aligned.

When I meditate and actually slow down enough to see emotions and images pass through my “universal” awareness, I see that as humans we are all really the same. Despite our seemingly outward differences – there is a common denominator. It is all about how we deal with what is in front of us, and how we perceive real from unreal. We may each have been given a different “lump of clay” as our life circumstances (talents, location, ethnicity, etc), but the craft with which we mold and sculpt what we’ve got is what it is all about. We can either allow goodness, appreciate, and feel our sprits in us, or not.

Allowing “love” to flow, or allowing the feeling of love to be felt – is the key to this. Why not try some gratitude and start the flow? Try it, you’ll like it!


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Say Goodbye to The Shiny Silver Disc

I recently did a new recording project here at my home studio and thought about “pressing” my CD. That’s what I’ve done since 1993 – recorded and pressed CD’s.

I can’t believe I sound like such an old fart here – but I finally got an iPod about 6 months ago. I have not bought a CD in what feels like at least a year. My Dad subscribes to Rhapsody and has not bought CD’s.

Just “google” the term “the future of cd’s” and you will see bleak articles. The day of the shiny silver disc is over I think.

Hmm…doesn’t seem like such a good idea to spend a lot of money pressing CD’s of my new music. A quote from Discmakers came in at around $2300 for 1000 CD’s with the tax, shipping and an extra $400 for them to do the design.

Now, as a working musician what can I sell on gigs? I have always sold CD’s as a main part of my tour income, not to mention online sales.

I also have an instructional DVD and 3 guitar books I have written, all of which are reproducible by any 13 year old on a computer.

What is it that I can offer that is unique: my performance! You still can’t copy that experience digitally, so step one is that our performances – i.e. the experience of having us there performing is special. But,merchandise has really helped supplement income at gigs.

Ok, I can also sell frisbees, t-shirts and mugs but that’s a lot to carry. I probably will get tees made, but whoa! I’ll have a lot of carrying in the airports!

I did see something extremely interesting the other day – a service that allows musicians to sell music downloads at gigs. WHAT? Yes – check it out.

http://discrevolt.com

You sell the fan an attractive physical card with a unique download code on it, and they can go home from your gig and download the music. I suspect we’ll see lots of variants on this soon.

Any thoughts? Let me know….


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Wanted and Unwanted

Over the last few days I was reminded of a very important principle having to do with the Law of Attraction. Yes, you can read about it everywhere – but you may find this interesting.

Very often when we want something, we think of not wanting it’s opposite. Ponder that just a sec. So, as Abraham, Esther and Jerry Hicks say – every subject is 2 subjects. The object of desire and the lack of it, or “wanted and unwanted”

The problem we encounter when we ponder the lack of something desired – is that the mind creates more of what we hold in it. I.E. “Think of a pink elephant” or “Don’t think of a pink elephant” give the mind the same instruction – “pink elephant”.

The example given on the CD’s of “Ask and it is Given” is that you launch a new rocket of desire for a new car. You feel elated. You go to the dealer, smell the interior, see a shiny new paint job, etc – and it’s exhilarating.

So, you then go home and ponder. You look at the old car and make a checklist of why the new car would be great – but you are looking at the old car’s dents, scrapes, wear and tear and your vibration and vision fall into seeing and thinking about what you don’t like about the old car.

So what do you get? More of the old car, because that’s what you are envisioning!

This is so deep, so important and so relevant. We can feel stuck. I get like this sometimes.

What does one do? Well, now that you are armed with the new knowledge – of what you hold in your mind is what you get, it’s simple. Change what you hold in your mind. Choose a thought deliberately rather than by default.

So “yes” to new car = new car will manifest in your life.
“no” to old car = old car will manifest in your life.

I’d like to share some examples from my life with you.

About a year ago I decided to embark on a new career path of solo acoustic guitar. My first reaction to it was pure inspiration and upon hearing Tommy Emmanuel, I felt inspired musically, professionally and saw the possibility for a great future ahead. I felt (and feel) elated.

I am inclined to talk a lot with my friends and family. Before long I found that I was saying things like:

“I want to do solo guitar because…”

I don’t want to play restaurant jazz background music
I don’t like the sound of electric guitar as much as acoustic (pretty much)
I don’t like scraping by (or feeling that I am)
I don’t like the idea of teaching forever
I don’t like that the general public doesn’t understand jazz I play
I am not meeting my potential because of the limiting factors involved

OOPS!!!! By thinking all of the above, I manifested:

Play restaurant jazz
Play electric guitar
Scraping by
Teaching Forever
Public doesn’t understand the jazz I play
Not meeting my potential

Let’s improve this by stating what we do want (what I want)

I allow myself to play concerts as a headlining act
I love the sound of an acoustic guitar
I love getting compensated generously for the music I create
I allow my schedule to get filled with touring and playing
I look forward to relating to more listeners
Solo acoustic guitar is a unique expression of my talents

I can feel even with the mere typing of this the difference in energy from these 2 approaches. You’ll note as well – your emotions are your guide. They tell you if your thoughts are holding you in vibrational alignment with your desires (good feelings) or not (bad feelings).

What happens seconds, minutes – even hours after just a few of the empowering, abundant thoughts is a good mood,and the energy to do what is needed.

The negative approach yields the opposite – a dis-empowered, lacking sad feeling.

So – is life “out there in the world” or “here in your head” or “both”? I say both – but the imagination preceded the manifestation. That’s why it is critical to envision something you want in spite of what’s in front of you.

==-=-=-=-==-=-=-

Another quick example: Look at all the lack of success people have with online dating!

Having been on match.com myself – I spent most of the time feeling that I lacked a mate, so what I got was more lacking a mate.

Quite different from the feeling that “she’s on the way pretty soon”. And shortly after leaving match, I met Jill on the LIRR. We’ve been together happily for a year and a half.

Our life is lived in our mind. Pretty amazing!

Hope you enjoyed this – and I encourage you to play around with this gently. Choose the thoughts of what you want!


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Motivation vs. Inspiration

I went away with my girlfriend Jill this week to Shelter Island, and then to Atlantic City. She had vacation time and likes what many people like – sunbathing, shopping at the outlets and all that good stuff.

I watched the other vacationers – particularly at Atlantic City. God, the weirdest people in the world go there! Smoking and hanging out at a slot machine! Okay, I could see myself getting addicted to gambling but I don’t even get started and don’t want to know.

All week I found myself thinking that life was not much different on vacation than my real day to day life. What did trouble me was that I got to do less of what I wanted to do (play guitar) and had to do stuff on someone else’s radar and “be” a person on vacation.

I realized that my job – playing and practicing the guitar – is a joy. I love it. And I have had ups and downs, but I don’t need to motivate in order to practice these days. I am so inspired – to see my musical creations come into being.

“You are so motivated” people say. No, that implies resistance, like there is this rock to roll up the hill and I don’t want to do it, but I make myself. That is not it at all.

I can’t wait for my touch on the instrument to “sparkle” which comes about 2 hours into a practice session; I can’t wait for the bridge of the new tune I am writing to reveal itself; I can’t wait to run old repertoire and be an onlooker as the music plays itself.

That – is so much fun, so delectable, so sweet – I can’t believe other people don’t get to feel that.

Motivation implies inner resistance whereas inspiration comes from the spirit moving within (in-spirat-ion).

Everyone must have the potential of finding something that yummy, that perfect, the thing that lights them up – the thing they have talent for. And as I saw people just eating, smoking, and gambling – I felt this spiritual deadness from some of them (Shelter Island was a little better than A.C.) and I realized these people don’t know how sweet life can be.

Then it occurred to me – whoa, I might be more tuned in then them, but there are those more tuned in than me. I bet I can just keep spiraling upwards. How high is up?

To find out and inquire what allows the inspiration to flow is a vast topic, and I’ll write about it forever because it has everything to do with outlook. And yes of course there is the old axiom “Art is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” but to stay the course and do the 99% is still inspiration- because you know, or have a sense of, the payoff.

My wish, my prayer for YOU is that you find and follow your inspiration – be it a hobby, job, whatever. It could be a walk in nature that only you experience, but what happens in your inner world is what counts.

When we are inspired and we love something, that’s saying “more please” to the universe, and the Law of Attraction then kicks in – we get more of the thing we want and love.

Pretty Cool! Hence, the expressions….

“Follow your bliss”

“Do what you love, the money follows”

Enjoy everyone, and may YOU follow your bliss.