Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

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

Some Mumbo Jumbo and a Music Lesson


Last Sunday I had a nice long shmooz with my father and mentioned to him that I was keeping a blog. When he asked what it was about (he figured it was all about guitar) I told him, “well I write what’s on my mind concerning personal development, guitar, spirituality, online promotion and law of attraction.”

“Stay away from the mumbo jumbo” he said. I think he had my survival in mind and figured I’d turn people off with other quasi-spiritual banter. I think he felt that my blog should be about guitar and music so that I can sell merchandise or links and help my survival.

I suppose if I was younger I would have been vibed out by a parental disapproval incident, but with a big fat smile on my face I said “too late!”.

The most helpful info that I got from my older music teachers often had no musical content, but was psychology and spirituality. As the mind and spirit fall into the right groove, great music and an abundant career pour out into your life from a whole different angle.

I have seen it time and time again in my own life and career.


If there is one thing that I can say to you, with every ounce of love in my heart and every molecule of compassion that I have, no matter who you are and what you do it is this: you get what you think about, whether you want it or not.

So, this is in fact a music lesson.

I hear how some musicians see others who have made a big career and say “so and so isn’t that good” – and their career is in a place that they’d like to improve. I have seen musicians repeatedly take low paying jobs or even find that they can’t survive as a musician and say “gigs don’t pay enough”.

I have also seen musicians effortlessly soar and learn at warp speed and show brilliance too! I have seen musicians arrive in NYC with a goal and accomplish it faster than veterans who have been here for years.

What do they all have in common? They are using the same force in 2 different ways – the law of attraction. Everyone is getting what they are envisioning, and more importantly – feeling.

What are some things a musician can do to get better, improve one’s career, and enjoy playing? Here’s just a few tips:

1. Appreciate Yourself

Appreciate yourself and stop beating yourself up. This is the worst poison a musician can digest. Many musicians think that a self inflicted beating is good, right and will improve their music. No. That’s wrong, take it from me.

Whose approval do you want anyway? The feeling of approval only comes from inside, so give yourself some. It’s okay, and it doesn’t cost anything. You can do it all day if you want. Can you let go of wanting approval and just be? Yummy-ness awaits you right here. Let go of wanting approval, and be on the lookout for this state of wanting.

The more faults you see in yourself, the more you get. The more good you see, the more you get, so see the good.

2. Appreciate Others

It is such a trap to criticize others, and once you do – the self criticizing happens. The 2 go hand in hand. It feels bad. It’s weird – but when I have found fault with others, within a week I find the same fault in myself. It is a downward spiral.

The more faults you see in others, the more you get for yourself. The more good you see, the more you get.

If you are in a groove of finding fault with yourself and others it may feel “phony” for you to start making the shift. Just find one thing that’s good either in yourself or someone else. Don’t try to “stop criticizing” but “start appreciating”. Like “wow, they have a great tone” or “that melody is pretty” or “I appreciate how hard so and so had to work at that” or “wow, they play great in the upper register”. Any little good you can find will nourish you.

If you can’t find any good in a situation then think back to ANYTHING that you appreciate, like a pet. Activate your psyche into appreciation mode.

Rather than racking my brain and leaving something out, here’s a little list of qualities that will either get you in the right direction or inspire you. This is from a site I found online regarding “abundance” – which does not just mean money. It means fulfillment in all areas, music being no exception – composing, playing, career and all that.

The positive quality is the first one listed, and is followed by the opposite. Check yourself to see and use “appreciation” as a tool to get yourself on the positive side. I will leave you with this today.

1. Honoring your worth and time/ Not honoring your worth and time
2. Giving and receiving freely/ Not giving or being open to receive.
3. Opening your heart/ Closing your heart.
4. Expecting the best to happen/ Worrying that the worst will happen.
5. Coming from your heart/ Getting into power struggles.
6. Doing your best/ Cutting corners.
7. Wanting everyone to succeed, cooperating/ Competing
8. Focusing on how you can serve others/ Thinking only of what others will give you.
9. Telling yourself why you can succeed/ Telling yourself why you can’t succeed.
10. Coming from your integrity/ Compromising your values and ideals.
11. Being aware and paying attention/ Operating on automatic.
12. Applauding others’ success/ Feeling threatened by others’ success.
13. Embracing your challenges/ Choosing safety and comfort over growth.
14. Releasing things easily/ Hanging on to things.
15. Believing it’s never too late, taking action on your dreams/ Thinking it’s too late, giving up.
16. Giving yourself permission to be and do what you want/ Waiting for others to give you permission
17. Believing your path is important/ Not believing in your path.
18. Doing what you love for your livelihood/ Working only for the money.
19. Detaching, surrendering to your higher good/ Feeling needy or that you must have something.
20. Giving to other’s prosperity/ Giving to other’s need.
21. Doing your higher purpose activities first/ Putting off higher purpose activities until you have more time.
22. Seeing yourself as the source of your abundance/ Viewing others as the source of your abundance.
23. Believing in abundance/ Believing in scarcity
24. Believing in yourself, self-confidence, self-love/ Worrying, fears, doubts, self-criticism.
25. Clear intent and directed will/ Vague or undefined goals.
26. Following your joy/ Forcing yourself, creating “have to’s” and “should’s”
27. Surrounding yourself with objects that reflect your aliveness/ Keeping objects that aren’t tools to express your aliveness.
28. Expressing gratitude and thanks/ Feeling the world owes you.
29. Trusting in your ability to create abundance/ Worrying over finances.
30. Following your inner guidance/ Ignoring inner guidance.
31. Looking for a winning solution for everyone/ Not caring if the other person wins.
32. Becoming your own authority/ Not believing in your inner wisdom.
33. Measuring abundance as fulfilling your purpose and happiness/ Measuring abundance only by how much money you have.
34. Enjoying the process as much as the goal/ Doing things only for the goal.
35. Clear agreements/ Unspoken or vague expectations.
36. Thinking how far you have come/ Focusing on how far you have to go.
37. Speaking of abundance/ Talking about problems and lack.
38. Remembering past successes/ Remembering past failures.
39. Thinking in expanded, unlimited ways/ Thinking in limited ways.
40. Think of how you will create money/ Thinking of how you need money.
41. Focusing on what you love and want/ Focusing only on what you don’t want.
42. Allowing yourself to have/ Feeling you don’t deserve to have.


Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

2 thoughts on “Some Mumbo Jumbo and a Music Lesson

  1. Hey Adam, awesome videos…
    What was your religious background growing up?

  2. Neal –
    I was raised in a neurotically and culturally Jewish home. No real religion, no Bar Mitzvah – but I had a very loving and nurturing mom and grandma. Grandma escaped Hitler in Austria around 1940. It was a very Woody Allen-ish home life. Lots of love, but lots of nervousness, neurosis and fear based thinking.

    I was sent for 10 years to the local Episcopal private school – so I went to chapel everyday and hung out with nuns and sang hymns.

    I remember asking my poor old grandma how come she didn’t think Jesus was the messiah and she couldn’t really answer.

    Needless to say, I had beef with all concepts presented to me.

    When I was 15 I read “ZEN IN THE ART OF ARCHERY” and it was the beginning of my interest in self mastery, apprenticeship, spirituality – which eventually led me to learn a little about Buddhism. Then I read Hesse’s “Siddhartha” in 12th grade and it was a life changer.

    Many spiritual experiments ensued and still go on – but the philosphy of Buddhism has always struck a cord with me and rang of truth.

    Now I feel much more equipped to appreciate the wisdom in the Judeo Christian tradition and writings and am always trying to learn more about myself, experience these truths as inner realities and rest in happiness.

    The official stance is this: I belong to no religion per se but really believe in more – in a vastly intelligent Creator that permeates all that there is. I believe that the mystery is too big to comprehend, and part of de-coding the mystery is what is found in parables, the Bible, etc. Meditation and prayer are a daily part of my life.

    I invite a person of any religion to stand silently with me, look at the stars – the vastness of it all, and then look me in the eye and say nothing. We are all brothers and sisters here no matter what religious label we allegedly have.

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