Authenticity makes me happy, but you know what? It doesn’t necessarily make me financially wealthy. If anything, at times, it’s negatively affected my business’ bottom line. I’ve had losses such as people leaving my tribe by hitting the “unlike” and “unsubscribe” buttons. I’ve lost friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.
So many internet marketers and business coaches talk about how being authentic is so important in life and business. I agree with them. I do my best to really show up as the real me. I probably am not as successful (in a traditional sense) as I could be, since I don’t want to follow the formulas that work for others. Those formulas never work for me. Some will say that the formulas can be customized, which I disagree with a bit. If you paste in your information and details and even essence into a formula, it’s still a formula.
Living authentically for me means that I listen to my heart. It means that I contribute to the world in ways that feel good to me. There’s things I enjoy helping others with and I trust that the right people will find me.
I’ve not really found that authenticity pays the bills. I know that this will sound negative to some.
I’ve been on the planet for 40 some years and each year, I’ve found that my heart speaks to me louder and louder. It’s hard to ignore your heart’s messages and your callings. More and more, my definition of “success” basically is “just be happy.” I have found that when I’m happy, everything mostly falls into place. I’m not saying I’m happy all the time, but the more I am, the easier it is to be that way most of the time.
Some want me to be scowling, a depressed or dark punk rocker. That’s not me. I’m really more of a happy-go-lucky, very silly faerie. Yes, I’ve written a book about the rebel’s spiritual path. Yes, I’ve branded myself as “punk rock.” The thing is, punk rock for me has always been about being true to yourself. I don’t always listen to punk music or dress in a punk rock way. I just show up as me. Some days, it means I’m listening to Howlin’ Wolf and wearing jeans and a hoodie or yoga pants. It’s all good.
What about you? What’s your definition of authenticity? Share in the comments below.
(I'm a bit girlie and sometimes, punk. Often times, not anything or anybody.)
This past spring, I had a friend over. I had my iPod on shuffle, since I was cooking dinner for us and didn’t want to have to stop to change the music.
At some point, a Dinosaur Jr. song shuffled. My friend pipes up, “Dinosaur Jr. is a hipster band. I know a girl who’s a hipster who likes them.”
Hmm, that was news to me. I remember listening to Dinosaur Jr. in the early 1990s while in college. I recall many of my fellow skateboarder friends enjoying them. I was lucky enough to see Dinosaur Jr. recently and well, I stood right by the stage. There weren’t any Chuck Taylors, Orange Amps (my guitar hero, J. Mascis plays some Marshalls, turned all the way up to 11, seriously), or other hipster paraphernalia of any sort. (Not that there’s anything wrong with hipsters. In some cases, *gasp*, my tastes are similar to theirs with certain things.)
It’s interesting how as humans we love labels. We love to put music, things, and people into neat boxes. I get it and hell, I use labels. It’s convenient to say, “Hey, can you pass me the ketchup?” or, “Can you hand me that book over near that lady over there?” It’s part of our language.
Labels, however, can be used to discriminate, cause pain or hurt, or marginalize others. I never feel bad when I call myself a girl or when a female friend calls me a girl. Yet, when a male calls me a girl, I feel myself shrinking smaller, especially if the male is around my age. I don’t mind if a grandfatherly male uses it. Interesting, huh?
I’ve been into punk rock since 1986. Since I was born in 1972, I was a bit young to go to Max’s Kansas City or CBGB’s. Just sayin.’ Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of rude comments made to me by other punk rockers. Of course, the P-Word (poseur) has been dropped in my direction. I’ve always give that word back with much gusto, ‘cause isn’t the whole point of punk rock to be your true self and not fit into any sort of box?
The past couple of years, I’ve been working to get out of the boxes that some have tried to neatly put me in, including ones such as Rebel, Punk Rocker, Self-Help Author, Psychic, Coach, Speaker, Rocker Chick, etc. I’m far too eclectic to fit into any of these. It’s probably why I don’t get media for my book and why I’m not successful as some. I don’t want to be a neatly packaged persona online. So, instead, I just show up as the quirky, weirdo, geeky me…it feels much better than trying to be somebody.
I’m so much more than a punk rocker or punk rock psychic. I wear a lot of jeans and hoodies and even some *gasp*, girlie, trendy clothing at times. Even musically, I don’t fit the typical punk rock profile. I mean, if you saw my iPod right now, you’d crack up. I have everything on there from Amy Winehouse to The Allman Brothers to Albert King to Howlin’ Wolf to Guns ‘N Roses to Cream, and well, everyone in between. Sure, I have some punk music I like, but mostly these days, I’m really into blues and classic rock. Being a musician makes you really open up to many genres of music, I’ve discovered.
Of course, I’m still carrying on with my mission with this website. I believe that punk rock is an internal thing, a type of consciousness. (Read more in my book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide. Go find it. I’m not your Google, ha ha!). I do feel the most punk rock thing you can do today is follow your intuition. Listening to your intuition requires that you get really quiet, turn off the cell phone, unplug from television, Facebook, and your devices. It requires that you really tune into your heart to feel and notice what feels best for you, instead of zoning out with materialism, accomplishments, being “busy,” overwork, too much food, substances, and keeping up with the Joneses.
So, yep, I’m no longer fitting into the punk rock box…but, well, hey, that’s punk rock, I’d say.
Have you ever felt stuck in boxes? What did you do or think to live more authentically? What advice do you have for us? Share in the comments below.
It’s been a while since I blogged here, I know. In case you didn’t know, I’ve been a bit busy the past two years, getting my book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide written and then, published by Hay House, Inc. I’ve also been on my author website, blog, and social media more than here.
I felt inspired by something from Facebook yesterday on my Punk Rock Psychic™ fan page. I wrote a couple of short sentences. I think it was, “I never got into psychic work to become famous. I just do it ’cause I enjoy it.”
A person or two “unliked” my page, which made me start thinking. (I’m not sure why I noticed, hahaha!)
Actually, I’ve been mulling over this stuff about “fame” for quite a while…
Fame has never been for me. I’m the type of person who was never one of the “cool kids” in school. I’ve rarely enjoyed anything that the masses like. I tend to be a hermit and like to fly under the radar.
I’ve studied with well-known teachers in my field. Even though I’ve always been psychic, I wanted to understand how my psychic senses worked. So, I read and took classes for many years. It was one of my passions.
Along the way, I’ve encountered egos. I mean, we all have an ego, right? We’re human. I get it. Thing is…it’s just stung more when I’ve met those in my field with big ego personalities. My own ego internally is saying, “This is sacred work. It’s spiritual. Why are people acting this way?” I mean, you expect the egoic behaviors in the traditional, corporate world, but not in the psychic industry. I think I might toss my cookies if I see another psychic talking about being “99% accurate” or “internationally known,” etc. (I’ve done readings on a cruise ship in the middle of the Carribean, does this make me “internationally known”?).
I’ve had other, fellow psychics at events be rude to me. I also have witnessed teachers of mine not being very “enlightened” in their dealings with their students and staff. I guess it surprised me. I thought everyone would be, well, nice.
I’ve attended both national and local based events with psychics just for fun, noticing how enamored the audience gets with psychics. I mean, you see it on television shows too? It all comes off as a glamorous field. Then, those of us with well-known teachers might aspire to be in their shoes one day. Some of my friends have wanted to “be famous like our teachers.”
Everyone has different reasons for wanting fame. Some want the money or financial security. Others might like the prestige or feel like they have the good reputation or seal of approval or social proof. Or, perhaps, is it the American dream wanting to be fulfilled?
I have met people who use their fame for good. The type of people who are giving back and making a difference in the world with their causes and charity work. I’ve met some famous people who are similar to Oprah, helping emerging folks by giving them shout outs or perhaps, giving them a bit of advice. This is the type of fame that is pretty cool and the only type that feels right in my heart. These people didn’t act like “divas” or put on airs or act like they were better than anyone else. People who are in integrity with their fame are kind and generous, at least to me.
During my book publication process, I received a few private messages and emails from critics. I had some say that I “sold out” as a punk rocker getting traditionally published. I had some say, “Oh, you did this to be famous.”
That second one really made me stop in my tracks. When I received my book contract, I was so stoked ’cause it meant that I’d have an opportunity to share my message I wanted to share for 15 years and help more people (women especially).
I never sat there thinking, “Oh, yay! I’ll now be famous!” And, I definitely never thought, “Oh, I’ll be on Oprah!” I never thought, “Oh, yay, I’ll be rich too!” (Ha ha ha! If you are a first-time author, whether self-published or conventionally-published I’m sure you are laughing your ass off by now?).
When I received my book contract, here’s what else I thought:
“I can’t wait to empower more women.”
“I’m going to meet more of my tribe!”
“I get to help others.”
“I get to live more of my life purpose.”
I never started my psychic biz to become famous. I never started my book journey in order to be famous. I think fame is overrated.
I also think that far too many people in the Western world have a fixation with famous people’s lives. I know I’ll sound judgmental, but I can’t even fathom sitting down wasting time, numbing my brain to watch television shows like “The Kardashians.” I’d rather clean my bathroom, hahaha!
Some in society, even in the psychic industry have a bit of the Rock Star Syndrome. They fantasize about it would be like to be a household name and about all the privileges that come with it. So, they might start hanging out with famous people, taking their classes and trying to get into their inner circle. Then, all of a sudden, everyone in the circle starts acting like the teacher is a rock star. (I mean, Keith Richards or Slash, they are rock stars. Not many others are, hahaha!)
When I myself took classes with well-known teachers, it wasn’t to have the association with their name. It was ’cause I just enjoyed their work. To be honest, back when I took the classes, these teachers weren’t very well-known.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being famous or wanting to be famous. I’m just saying that it’s not for me. I myself can’t imagine all of the effort to get there. I can’t imagine living with worries of being scrutinized. As a private person, I wouldn’t want to have to cloister myself even more. When some in the media refer to someone being the next Sylvia Browne or John Edward, I feel so much compassion. I mean, if it were me being mentioned as the next, emerging star, I’d want to be referred to as, “The next Lisa.”
The thing is, if you are so focused on fame, you might miss out on cool things and people. Your attention is focused inward, which to me, makes it harder to think about helping others. It makes your work about you, not your clients.
I say define success for yourself. Create and live by your own definitions. Have a vision and yes, have intentions to be a success, but ask yourself from time to time, “Who’s definition of success is this?” Just ask yourself as a gut check. See what answers you get.
I almost became sucked into the numbers game myself. I was measuring my success by the number of books sold, my number of blog comments, and social media numbers. Not very punk rock at all!
Yet, one day, seemingly out of the blue, I had the following thought, “What if I really helped 500 women to really kick ass and change their lives? Wouldn’t this be better than if 40,000 women bought my book and took no action?! Wouldn’t this be better than being “famous”? And, wouldn’t this be tons better than having 10,000 Twitter followers?”
WTF?! What ever happened to helping others and making the world a better place?
As I type this, I’m tempted to tell you all of my horror stories about dealing with “famous” people from a variety of fields. But, you know what? It won’t help me. It won’t help you. Thing is, that we are all human and learning. We’re not perfect. That has been my biggest lesson of the past 20 years. No one is perfect. Also, I’ve learned to never put anyone on a pedestal. They will fall down with a loud thud.
At the end of the day, I’d rather know that I really helped bring more love and light to the planet and that I helped to empower some folks from a genuine, heartfelt place.
The email came as a bit of a surprise to me. I’ll paraphrase, ’cause I’m nice and don’t want to subject you to poor grammar and spelling:
I’ve been watching your work and reading your email newsletter for a while now. I enjoy what you do, but I must say that I’m very shocked that you are choosing to be published the traditional route. If you are so PUNK ROCK, why wouldn’t you self-publish? Besides, you will make more money selling a self-published book, won’t you? I don’t get it. You’re not walking your talk here. You are a sell out. Just sayin’.”
–Email From Anonymous, Disgruntled Fan
Here’s my response to this email:
“Hi there, Anonymous, Disgruntled Fan,
Thanks so much for writing and sharing your thoughts. It’s always interesting to hear others’ ideas and thanks for taking the time to write me. Much appreciated. –Lisa”
You might be wondering why I didn’t defend myself. Or, why I didn’t just rip into the person. To be honest, I just don’t have the time or energy. Secondly, I’ve been working really hard on not taking things personally. A wise teacher once encouraged me to not take neither negativity or compliments to heart. It is what it is. If you view things as just feedback, in a more neutral way, it will cause you much less suffering, at least in my opinion.
I’ll admit that the term “sell out” had a bit of a charge for me. Yes, I’m punk rock, but isn’t punk rock about doing things your own way? I mean, if getting published by a traditional publisher feels right to me, how is that really selling out? If my goal is to help as many women as possible who read my self-help book, it makes more sense for me to go the traditional publishing route. They have a bigger reach than I do on my own. The idea that you have to figure out or do everything on your own is depressing. Life is short and since I want to follow my dreams, I believe in getting help and support. This is my own version of punk rock!
Just some of my thoughts. What do you think about selling out?
I decided to shift the selling out bit by listening to this funny song that came to mind by Reel Big Fish and it’s what I’ll leave you with below.
I might get flack for this post, but I’ll write it anyway. I don’t think that life gets any easier. In my own life, I’ve noticed that I just get wiser from more experience. Then, I’m able to find more resources and tools that help me to handle challenges and also, to live more fully.
I thought of this after reading over hubby’s shoulder last night as he wrote an email addressing one of his coaching clients’ frustrations over not feeling “fresh” during races.
Some background: Hubby was a category 2 (Cat 2) bicycle racer back in the day. (It’s probably the highest amateur level you can go before needing to quit your day job to train and race as a Cat 1/Professional.) I also did some road racing, but didn’t like it as much as my first love mountain bike racing. We both know what it takes though to be a success as a bike racer. Part of it is learning to enjoy suffering. Yes, you read that correctly.
Anyway, back to the email. Hubby ended up sharing part of what he wrote to his client. He loosely quoted bike-racing legend Greg LeMond in the email. Greg has a quote that basically says, “Training and racing doesn’t get easier. You just get faster.”
This morning, I was thinking about how to apply this to life. I think of happiness and success as a direction that you choose. I see my life as training on the earth school for evolving my soul. So, I wouldn’t want to make life easier.
Sure, you can have a more prosperous life, but that just makes you comfortable. I’m all about having fun, but I wouldn’t want to take easy earth school classes. It’s not my style. When I was in regular school, I always challenged myself to take a heavy course load with hard classes. I wanted to get the most out of my experience. It’s the same with electing life lessons. I never signed up for life to be easy. I signed up to learn and grow here on earth.
I do think it’s possible to learn your lessons via fun, joy, and laughter though. But, it might take you a while to get there. You’re human, and well, us humans don’t always learn things the easy way. After you walk through fire a few times, you’ll have enough of the old way.
I’ve noticed for myself that even when I learn my life lessons via the fun way, there is still work to be done. I liken it to hosting a party. Of course, the party is going to be fun. Yet, I have some work to do such as making food and cupcakes and cleaning house. I can choose to do this work with a positive mental attitude or with drudgery. Yet, either way, the results will be a party.
The title of this post might sound a bit emo. It’s not intended that way though. You can’t always control what life throws at you, but you can choose how you respond to it all. Over time, you develop the ability to speak your truth with love. You develop strength and courage that you never knew that you had. You learn how to handle people and situations in the appropriate ways. Even if you have experienced loss such as a loved one dying or filing for bankruptcy or losing a job or losing your home, you still persist in moving forward in life. These are the times that might test you, but really, you will see in the future that you learned so much. I’ve heard many clients say that they would never change a thing in their lives since all of the challenges and hardships made them who they are today.
The best thing is that challenges help you to have compassion for others. You will be able to pass along your knowledge and wisdom to others. Also, when you experience self-doubt, you can tap into the memories of how you overcame even more serious challenges in the past.
I myself would never ask the universe to make my life easier. I’d ask for the strength, courage, ability, and skills to transmute any hardship into blessings for myself and others. That is just how I roll.
Although I’m no longer a competitive athlete, I push myself to excel in other life areas. As I write my book, I notice that it’s not easy, but it stretches me and forces me to grow. It is my first time writing a book. When you’re doing something for the first time, it can feel scary. But, you were given the challenge for a reason. That reason is unique to you, and only you can know what it is. It is your life lessons. By the way, don’t allow anyone else to tell you what your lessons are. They are yours and yours alone.
I’ve often been nudged to write about my personal life challenges. I tend to be private here about what I’ve been through. I suppose part of it is that I don’t want to dwell on the past. Another part is that I don’t feel the need to show you my scars. I don’t want us to sit here comparing scars, “Oh, I can top that, I almost died.”
A person recently emailed me to say that I didn’t have enough punk rock in me since I was so positive and happy-go-lucky. This made me laugh, seriously. Yeah, I’m not punk enough My punk rock rebellion just looks differently from this emailer. My life challenges were different than his. It’s all good. (I’d even venture to say that my challenges are very common. They are not that special. So, I don’t give them energy. Although one day, I might write more about my own life story. It’s an old, old story that I no longer live.)
What do you think? Does life get easier? What have you learned? Feel free to share by commenting here!
I get a lot of questions about how I came up with my authentic branding and web presence. To make a long story short, I was at the crossroads and just wanted to have more fun in my business. I don’t publicize this, but I do a lot of readings for clients about starting their own small, on-line business. I enjoy helping others in this way, although I have to say, I’m not a business expert. But, I’ve been running my own business since 2005 (officially speaking since I gave readings for years for free). Here are some tips for having an authentic business:
1. Fun is essential. If you are not enjoying having your own business, you might want to think twice about having it in the first place. Of course, there are some parts that might not feel fun to you (mine is wrangling the Aweber templates). You can outsource the parts that are not fun. If you are working a day job with running a business, the fun element especially is important. Time is one of the only resources that I have, I’ve realized. So, my logic is that I may as well enjoy my activities.
2.Build a connection. Old school, high-pressure sales techniques are so yesterday, especially with the advent of social media. Things today are more about building the connection with people. Ask them what they think. Be interested in them as people, not prospects. This seems sort of common sense, but I’ll admit that sometimes, I’m amazed at how impersonal some businesses can be towards customers.
3. Be genuine. Don’t be a fake or try to be someone that you’re not. Don’t impersonate your teacher or mentor. Sure, you might model yourself after successful people, but don’t copy them. You have your own style and voice to share with the world. The world needs your unique expression.
4. Walk your talk. If you are telling clients to reduce their stress or follow their dreams, be sure that you are doing the same in your own life. I mean, we’re all works in progress, but if you are not walking your talk, the energies felt by others will seem incongruent. It works on the unconscious levels at times. Some people will sense you are not walking your talk and they might not comply with coaching or guidance.
5. Offer value. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What would you need? I like to post inspirational or funny quotes on social media or links that are useful or interesting. I enjoy writing blog posts that (hopefully) bring some insights or food for thought. I enjoy giving away some services at times on my Facebook page doing free readings or on my radio show. Of course, you don’t want to give and give until you are depleted. That’s why #6 is so important (and also, see #4).
6. Take care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish. It is hard to be of service to anyone if you are tired or not feeling well. Rest, relaxation, and things that enhance your well-being help you to be a better service provider. Don’t be like some business owners, burning the candle at both ends. Working so hard just comes from the belief that you have to do so.
7. Be honest. Don’t hide behind the concept of a company. If you are in business for yourself, you ARE the business. Of course, you might have outsourced communications. But, if there is a serious client issue or complaint, address it yourself. Take responsibility. It feels better for you and the client. If someone is testing your boundaries, be sure to respond to them in a firm, but respectful way.
8. Break the rules. Make your own rules instead! Just because a certain marketing technique works for others, it might not work for you. Or, just because almost everyone is on Twitter, it may not be your cup of tea. Honor that and yourself. Do what works for you. For example, I’ve been procrastinating on my video blog. I dislike how I look on camera, so it is not where I focus right now.
9. Have heart. Be loving and kind. Give support and virtual hugs. Share others’ work. Give back to others, whether it is to your clients, friends, family, or members of your community. Brighten someone’s day with a surprise. Care about people, animals, and the environment. (Yes, the Punk Rock Psychic™ is a bit lovey-dovey and proudly wears her heart on her sleeve.)
10. Enjoy the path. Your business will evolve because you are evolving. Be flexible and try to go with the flow. You will be shifting things around from time to time. It’s the way life works. Change is all there is, truly. So, my philosophy is that I may as well enjoy the ride.
How about you? What are your tips for having an authentic business? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Feel free to comment here.
Have you ever seen the movie, “The Wild One” with Marlon Brando? It’s an oldie, but goodie from circa. 1953. I recall watching it in my college days when I was trying to absorb as much of rebel subculture and history as possible as a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Recently, hubby and I found the DVD version of the film on sale at our local bookstore. I grabbed it out of the bin, walking over to hubby with a big grin, saying, “What do you got?” Of course, we ended up buying it!
In the movie, Marlon’s character, Johnny is standing by the juke box as the members of his Black Rebel Motorcycle Club dance with women they met at a cafe in a town they were visiting (or should I say, “terrorizing” as best as they could in the 1950’s). A woman the one member is dancing with asks Johnny what he’s personally rebelling against. He replies with the famous line: “What do you got?” (I found a video of the scene on YouTube for you: http://youtu.be/_4NkkAQllfo I didn’t post it and I don’t obviously own it, so this is just me sharing the link!).
I get asked somewhat regularly what I’m rebelling against. I think sometimes, people see my website here and think that I might possibly be a hard ass chick without a lot of softer emotions. Actually, this stereotype of the rebel does not fit me. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I’m mostly not afraid to show it. That is my own personal rebellion–in a positive direction. I strive to be as loving as possible to others as I go about my daily life. I also work on being emotionally aware. Emotions and feelings are a form of energy that create your reality. Compared to thoughts, which also are creating your reality, emotions and feelings have a stronger vibe. The Universe responds to them more profoundly.
Anyway, enough of my boilerplate lecture about the law of attraction. I decided to have some fun and ask myself, “What do you got?” I came up with a simple answer. It was LOVE. Yeah, love is it. Love is the glue that holds it all together in the Universe.
I joke with my hubby that the only remaining way to be punk rock in the world is to show a little kindness and love.
Recently, I asked a woman behind me at the coffee shop if she wanted to go ahead of me. I was trying to make small talk, saying lovingly that I could tell that she was in a bit of a hurry. Well, she went off the handle at me. Clearly, I was bringing up her issues. I just smiled and said, “Oh, okay.” As I approached the counter, the kind barista told me my drink was on the house. She heard all that happened.
I forgot about this story until recently. I guess the shock of it still is there. I mean, really? Some people get mad if you are nice? This seemed so effed up. But, I haven’t allowed it to stop me from my random acts of kindness.
I even notice that some people have a hard time accepting a kind gesture. I dislike grocery shopping, so I try to go as little as possible, which means I have a ton of stuff in my cart usually. I will keep an eye out for poor souls behind me with only 20 items. I ask them if they want to go ahead of me. Recently, I noticed an elderly gentleman with only a few things. He didn’t want to use the self-serve checkout, he said. I asked him if he wanted to go ahead of me. He accepted. The person ahead of us was paying her bill, all in a rush. Of course, her and the cashier looked at me as though I was from outer space. I guess this makes me sad. Some people are not used to kind people, it seems.
In public, I sometimes feel the energy of some people treating me like I’m a pylon in their way, whether I’m in a store or driving my car. I do my best to simply smile at everyone I meet. Yeah, I have my days when I am in a rush, but I do my best to be kind and loving. It’s such a simple, positive way to rebel. I’m not rebelling against unkindness, by the way. I’m choosing love.
I know that some might say that rebellion is not a positive thing. I beg to differ. I myself get all excited over the rebel archetype. I like the smell of leather (hey, I’m not a vegan, by the way!). I think of positive images and feel good. In my book, this works for me. I just think of it more positively than some rebellious souls might. I don’t see the need to self-destruct with addictions or danger. Been there, done that. I do see the need though to follow my heart by choosing the path of love.
So, I ask you, “What do you got?” What do you want to rebel against? What are you choosing instead? Do you find the concept of positive rebellion interesting? I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment here.
I always like to explore music. I like to look at the roots of my favorite music, along with learning about musical history. My musical collection is very diverse. Of course, I enjoy punk rock, but I also love other genres with protest or rebellion themes. I consider some early folk musicians that say protest songs to be pretty punk rock. I respect Woody Guthrie’s work. For more information on his music, be sure to check out his website: http://www.woodyguthrie.org/
I selected the song above of Woody’s since it reminds me of the recent revolutions in parts of the world. Some no longer want to put up with fascism or dictators in any form. This music is timeless, isn’t it?
I also adore the music of Frank Turner, who calls himself a punk folk artist. I enjoyed seeing him play live, opening up for Social Distortion recently: http://www.frank-turner.com/His music rocks!
I think most forms of music are so close to each other. Music is the language of the soul, as they say. It expresses what is deep inside someone. It can be both a personal and global healing force used to create positive changes.
What music moves you lately? Do you have any examples of music or artists that you’d like to share that are helping to change the world? I’d love to hear about what moves you. Feel free to share and comment here.
Recently, my gal pal I’ve known since we were 14-years-old hung out. We saw the movie, “Sucker Punch,” which we felt really rocked. (We wanted the makeup!) As we got into the car, my radio turned on to Sirius’ station First Wave. The song was Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s “Love Missile F1-11.” We suddenly found ourselves being gleeful, much like our teenaged selves. (Of course, this tells you we grew up in the 1980’s, but I’m not ashamed of my age or musical tastes at all.) I mean, we also enjoyed bands like Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Cure, Bauhaus, etc.
I’ve enjoyed all sorts of music besides punk rock in my life. Punk rock is my first love (Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, The Clash, the Ramones, the Deadboys, the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, and well, too many bands to list). The fun thing about music is that it can transport you to a different time of your life. It was that way with my friend and me recently.
A few weeks later, my friend came over and we watched some more of Sigue Sigue Sputnik on YouTube. My hubby indulged us by firing up the computer. Hee hee hee hee! How fun!
What music did you listen to as a teen? Do you still listen to it now? What music do you enjoy now? Feel free to share here and comment!
Meditation is a practical, easy way to get in touch with your inner self. If you do an internet search, you will find tons of information and even studies about its benefits.
The nice thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere. Just find a comfortable seat. Take a few deep breaths and simply observe your breathing and thoughts. Try it for five minutes per day until you get to 15-20 minute sessions (or longer or more frequently, if you desire).
Just come as you are. No need to be perfect. No need to completely clear your mind. By the way, most people find that it takes a while to stop the thoughts. It’s not really the goal in meditation. I’m not sure that meditation has a goal really. I mean, of course, enlightenment is the goal, but that is different for everyone, depending on your spiritual path. Even if you’re not into the woo-woo, don’t want to sit on a cushion, Om-ing for hours, you’ll find benefits from meditation.
Meditation can be a great stress reducer. It is a great way to activate the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system, if you are a geek like me). Some say that healing on all levels (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) is possible via the relaxation response, if utilized over time.
Some use meditation to clear their head a bit. Others use it as a way to get insights or guidance about a pressing issue. There’s multiple ways and techniques that you can use to meditate.
There are all kinds of schools of thought and disciplines when it comes to meditation. There’s tons of classes, books, and even guided meditations. I find that sometimes, guided meditations help me to relax. It’s a guided relaxation really. But, I also have my own personal meditation practice too. By the way, don’t feel like you need to find a guru in order to learn how to meditate effectively, if that is not in your belief system. Find a way or teacher that works for you and resonates with your heart and spirit.
Sometimes, it’s beneficial to learn to meditate in groups. In groups, entrainment happens (a coordination of energies and nervous systems similar to when a group of grandfather clocks become coordinated over time). Entrainment helps you to learn a new skill more easily. However, if you’re sensitive to energies, you might not like this feeling of being intertwined with others’ energy fields. I myself found that I was able to meditate in a group for learning, but when it came to do it socially of sorts, I was too sensitive for some reason. (I can meditate with my hubby and feel okay, however.)
Meditation is really a state of awareness in the present. So, you can use anything that gets you into the present moment or a state of flow as meditation. Meditation and breath work create changes in or altered states of consciousness. Search on-line to read about the various brain states’ differences (alpha, beta, and delta, etc.) I’ve been able to get into an altered state via walking, bicycling, running, knitting, playing guitar, receiving massage, or watching my squirrel friends play outside.
I sometimes joke with people that I want to teach meditation so that people will rely less or not at all on chemicals or substances. (On a side note: I’m doing a meditation teacher training right now that I’ll soon complete after I’m finished this summer with my book proposal. So, watch for some meditation tracks produced by yours truly.)
I’m often asked as a psychic if I meditate. Well, yes, I do, as mentioned. But, psychic ability and intuition are not really the goal of meditation. Meditation simply helps your mind to focus. You can use this focus in a way that supports your daily life. Eventually, you might get to a place where your life feels like a meditation, even when you’re not technically meditating. Meditation trains your mind and spirit in many ways, some of which have to be experienced first-handedly.
You might really enjoy reading about meditation at Wikipedia, for starters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MeditationEven if you are not spiritual or religious, meditation is still possible. You might prefer to look at the scientific or physiological benefits. I myself combine traditions since I’m a religious/spiritual dabbler and embrace all positive paths to the divine. I just don’t like to limit myself or fall for the stereotypes.
I put a photo of a child levitating in this post for a reason. If you’re an adult, I invite you to think about the child’s mindset. Children are so open-minded, and often, they don’t have limiting beliefs about what is possible (until their parents, society, or schooling tells them otherwise).
So, if you want to defy gravity, blast through plywood, or just get through another day at work, you can do it. If you go there in your mind, you can achieve it physically.
Visualization is often not considered meditation. It’s similar though since you’re using your mind as a tool, training it to focus. Many studies with athletes show that at higher levels of competition, athletes spend a significant amount of their training time practicing visualization. I myself can attest to having better race results from using visualization when I raced my mountain bike back in the day. I also have used visualization and meditation to focus my mind with creative pursuits such as writing and playing electric guitar.
I would love to hear about your own meditation experiences. Feel free to share here with your comments. I always say with things like meditation, “The more, the merrier.”