Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you are finding plenty of things to be grateful for and spending quality time with those you love!
I also hope you are learning to love yourself more! I’ve been learning how to do this in new and deeper ways and I share a little bit of it in my latest video update:
The lyrics to the chorus of “Accept It All” (the second track on my debut solo album, “Limitless Love & Light”) echo some of the sentiment I’m speaking of in the video regarding judgement. You can listen to it (and the rest of the songs on the album) here.
Thanks again for everyone’s support and Happy Holidays!
Thank you all once again for the overwhelming support and love you’ve shown my family and I on our Limitless Love & Light tour. As I explained in the Part 1 blog post, we had an amazing first leg of the tour and we just kept being blessed from there.
This is part 2 of the tour post, but let me cover a couple of things I left out about our time in St. Augustine, FL:
First, during our outing to see Disney’s/Pixar movie Inside Out, Johnny schooled us on what it was all about on the way there… he even made up a song about it and Kathy joined in… lol:
Second, we hung out with our friend, Lynn Pouliot, on our last night in St. Augustine and she showed us around Old Town (sharing some history of the sites we visited). We stopped in for some great deserts along the tour and really enjoyed our time with her.
The next day, we left our friends Derrick & Stephanie’s home to head to Crystal Rivers, FL near Ocala. We shot a thank you message to all our friends in St. Augustine on the way:
We arrived safely in Crystal Rivers at our friends, Rob & Amanda Mathews‘ home where we set up for another donation based house concert that same evening.
Jolie was a bit under the weather due to an ear infection, so while she rested up that night with Johnny, we had a fun and “revealing” set where I shared a lot of my personal journey and songs to a wonderfully receptive crowd.
The evening turned out be the most financially abundant night of the entire tour, so big thanks to Rob, Amanda, Mike, Chelsea and all their friends for the amazing generosity!
During my set, I quoted Maya Angelou’s famous quote – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – and someone put a card with that exact quote in the donations. Whoever put the gave us the card didn’t identify who they were, so I’ll just say thank you to them here. It was a cool surprise!
We had a great talk with several of the guests after the show about life, sharing stories and insights on the lessons we learned, and I played one more song before we all called it a night.
The next morning, Johnny, Kathy, Rob, Amanda, Michael, Chelsea Rioux and I all went out on the lake in their two boats. Unfortunately, Jolie still wasn’t feeling that well, so she couldn’t join us.
This was Johnny’s first time out on a boat and we all had such a great time.
At one point, we headed to the natural springs where the water was much colder.
Johnny eventually convinced me to dive in, which is a big deal b/c I’m NOT a big fan of cold water… lol.
He dove in after me and we explored the springs further before heading back to warmer waters.
We all packed lunches and stayed out for as long as we could and then came back to the house to pack and head out for the next location.
Thanks to Rob, Amanda and Mike for sharing about the overall experience:
Next, we headed to Orlando, FL on the 4th of July to stay with our dear friend, Joy Steelman. On the way, we encountered something pretty awesome – a rare and magical double rainbow:
Once we arrived at Joy’s in Orlando, we ate some great deserts that Joy’s mother made and I played a few songs for Joy’s mother and her friends while Kathy took Jolie to the hospital… her ear infection had become too painful.
Fortunately, the hospital gave Jolie some medicine that seemed to help and we took her to an ENT the next weekday to help get rid of the rest of the problem.
That Sunday, I played at Christ Church Unity in Orlando and it was a great service.
The message was so in line with everything I’d been realizing during the tour and the church band did a great job playing to my songs!
We were also well received and supported, so our sincere thanks to the Christ Church Unity Orlando community for so much love!
That’s it for now. I’ll post another update – part 3 – soon to wrap up the first leg of our tour. If you haven’t signed up for the online community yet, make sure to sign up here and I’ll keep you posted on the next blog, shows, speaking events and updates on the next album and book.
We’re now 3 shows in on the part one of my first solo tour -the Limitless Love & Light tour – and it’s been a tremendous blessing!
Our first (a lot of firsts… lol) donation based house concert was co-hosted by Michelle Richards and Kate Lyman in Ball Ground GA, and we had a great time hanging with dear friends, meeting some new friends, and making smores around a fire after the concert:
Then, we hit the road for a three week stretch with the first stop in St. Augustine, FL where we played our first outdoor donation based house concert at Tom & Roxanne Gibes‘ home and made many more new friends!
One of the great things we’re finding is when we stay with people like Tom & Roxanne on the tour, it really feels like you’re staying with family. The kids enjoyed their time just as much as we did there and as you can see, below, Johnny made great use of the hot tub:
The next day, we enjoyed a great Sunday service at the Center for Spiritual Living at St. Augustine where I played a few songs during the service and had a great concert after the service! We also got to celebrate our dear friend, Lynne Pouliot’s birthday with her! Thanks to all who came out to these events and connected with us.
The CSL at St Augustine is a wonderful, loving community and we’re very grateful to Tom, Roxanne, Rev. Ken, Judie and everyone else for having us there and making feel so welcomed!
Next, we joined our St. Augustine friends, Derrick & Stephanie, to stay at their beautiful home for a few days of down time.
They have a 6 year old son (little Derrick) that our 6 year old son (Johnny) gets along with famously, so they are running up and down the stairs playing “ninja” and hide and seek as I type this.
We’ve had so many great experiences already that it’s hard to believe we’re barely a week into the tour. Here’s are some other cool highlights we’re thankful for:
Enjoyed some healthy, delicious food at Manatee Cafe w/ Tom & Roxanne
Watched Inside Out at Epic Movie Theater with several members of CSL St Augustine (good movie, btw)
Enjoyed time on the beach w/ Stephanie and little Derrick
Sold a ton of books and copies of the new live EP (CD)
Received so much love and support from so many wonderful people
Enjoyed many great conversations with our hosts and new friends
It’s also been nice to be able to get work done during some down time on what truly feels like a tour / working vacation. I’m so grateful for how this has all gone thus far.
I’m also tremendously grateful for my amazing wife / co-manger / super woman, Kathy, who’s helped book, coordinate and plan the whole tour!
As I’ve shared with many of you before, I dreamed of having a wife who I could work with in the music industry, so it’s been awesome to get to work together on this. I’ve also dreamed of having my family with me on tour for quite some time, so to finally be here and enjoying this all now is such a blessing. I thank God / Source / The Divine for allowing us to experience this together, connecting with and sharing our lives with so many beautiful souls!
We’re planning to do donation based house concerts throughout the East coast starting in August and running through the fall and then hit the West coast thereafter. If you are interested in hosting one, all you need is a love of live music, a space to fit 20+ seated people (e.g. living room, back yard, community center, etc.) and some friends to invite to a donation based concert. You can even co-host with a friend like Michelle and Kate did. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll fill you in on the details.
Next up: Ocala, Orlando, Largo, Tallahassee and then, we’ll make our way back home with a stop in Byron, GA! Hope to see you at one of our stops along the way.
I’ve spent close to the last 4 years working at an SEO / Digital Marketing agency and I loved the experience, the people, the clients and all the wonderful lessons I learned there. As I mention in the video above, I resigned on Friday, Jan 23, 2015 (last day Jan 30) because I was inspired / guided to pursue an expanded vision for my life… all with no immediate “guaranteed” income in sight and a family of four to support.
How did this happen?
It’s all (life) lead to this, but some recent events stick out. A few months ago, I sat down to re-evaluate the most important categories of my life and put them in priority order. As a result, my first priority category was Personal development (knowing and loving God/Source, Self, & others, etc.). The second, Family (immediate and beyond). Third was Music, followed by Marketing in fourth place and Business in fifth. I realized the only category I was giving priority to in the order I made was personal development. Business (e.g. making a living) seemed to eclipse everything else even though it was the last priority. In fact, I was spending 60+ hours per week working but was lucky to get 20 hours of quality family time each week.
On Jan 22, 2015, I asked my good friend, Ade, to hold a vision of me freeing my time. He encouraged me to re-phrase that as seeing myself Financially Free to use my time as I see fit, which I did. The very next day, I got to resign from my day job.
Although the day I resigned was a surprise to both my wife and I, we knew the day would one day come… just not so soon. See, we frequently use meditation and prayer to get guidance in our lives and we’d asked several times about my role at my job. We got that I would be there for a time to help “bridge the gap” and would eventually leave. We asked if we could have replacement funds for my salary in place (e.g. BEFORE leaving) and got “yes.” So, the day I called my wife to let her know I was getting to resign, she was understandably concerned b/c neither of us could see the replacement revenue. As she noted, this seemed like a change in plans. We’ve received guidance before that seemed to change later on (though not exactly like this situation), so I figured something happened to make it necessary for me to leave earlier. Of course, I kept checking to make sure this was “best” and I’d get the same answer to resign that day each time. So, my wife agreed to trust w/ me and I got off the phone and resigned.
What I was later reminded of is that what we see with our eyes isn’t always what’s actually happening in that moment. If life / Source / God (the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent) / spirit / LOVE gives us a clear message to go one way and tells us we will be blessed, we can trust that going that way will lead to our blessings whether we see how or not.
So, I took the leap and 6 days in, things are unfolding beautifully.
The agency gave me an extra week to be “available for questions” remotely and asked to be one of my first clients. We’ll continue to work together where the need arises while I pursue my priorities. I’m grateful for that.
What am I up to now?
As I mentioned, I’m continuing to invest in the four priority categories. For Family, I’ve been blessed to spend more quality time with my wife and children. My son, Johnny, and I launched a new Youtube series called Science Sundays. The first episode goes live Sunday, February 8th at 11:11 am.
Through meditation and whatever I find works, I’m aligning with source / God / spirit / love moment to moment, knowing that I can trust the very power that created and maintains the universe to lead me to what’s best. As a result, I received inspired action and follow through to support ventures that fit the categories, including:
Launching a boutique digital marketing consultancy. I’m already serving clients as a digital marketing architect who helps design plans around SEO & Inbound Marketing. I’m also grateful to have a new Marketing Evaluation specialist on the team, as well as amazing SEO resources, including the agency I worked for, EverSpark Interactive.
I’m working on my first solo album and will release it on a new record label platform that will be part of (in some way) the label I founded with State of Man, PolyPlat Records. I’ve dreamed of creating a label where both the fans and artists were the owners, so now’s its time to make it a reality.
A virtual community surrounding the forthcoming indiehitmaker.com platform and reporting apps. The focus of the platform will be providing A+ Revenue, Opportunities, Development, Education & Services (R.O.D.E.S.) to performing artists.
Developing sustainable luxury communities / “neighborhoods” with cottage industries (Music, Organic farming, etc.). I first got inspired to go this new direction 3 years ago but kept getting it wasn’t time to fully pursue just yet. Now, I’ll put my energies into this as guided!
I know my journey will continue to be financially abundant and fulfilling spiritually, mentally and physically b/c I’ve learned how to “seek the kingdom within” and continue expanding on that. The most important part of life is the internal. The external follows to match it. So, if I’m “in the flow,” creating internal abundance, the external follows!
If you’d like to keep up with my journey and receive uplifting, empowering updates, join my mailing list above and I’ll keep you updated on what I’m learning in hopes it inspires you. I’ll also let you know when my music is out!
I started reading a classic book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie years ago but I never “got it” at the time, so I stopped before finishing. I picked it up a gain this year and I was shocked to learn that I’d been so “wrong” about myself and human nature – and how best to love people in simple ways. See, I’d spent the past 3 years (and even longer) doing the opposite of some of the key best practices this book shared b/c I thought the opposite was best… and in fact, it was best for me to be that way, but not for the reasons I thought.
For as long as I can recall, I prided myself in being honest and tried to be as efficient and effective as possible plus I’d help others improve by calling them to the same standard. The problem is the last half of that sentence. For me, calling others to the same standard meant showing them what they were doing wrong and how to correct it. So, yes…. I was that guy in my band, at work, at home, wherever – always willing to show someone how to improve by “constructively criticizing” them… showing them what they were doing wrong as directly as I could and explaining how to fix it. Know anyone like that? Do you enjoy spending time with them? lol I’m actually grateful I was that person in the past, and I’ll share why.
First, what I learned after so many years of acting this way was that although my heart was in the right place, my methods often turned people off. Granted, I honestly had the best of intentions and the reason I’m grateful I carried on this way is because it taught me first-hand the results of this sort of behavior. No matter how insightful and on point my constructive criticism may have been, it rarely yielded the what I’d hoped for: to see people change. In fact, people seemed to view me as difficult to work with and some even seemed to avoid me. Go figure. lol
So here are just two of the many key things I’ve learned from “How to win friend and influence people” that helped me change the way I am around those I care about. I hope you enjoy:
1. “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.” People don’t like it and it often receives the opposite response of what you’d hope for.
The author, Dale Carnegie, shares the following nugget of wisdom:
“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.”
Out of the various examples Carnegie gives to show how demoralizing criticism can be, my favorite quote follows:
“B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Later studies have shown that the same applies to humans. By criticizing, we do not make lasting
changes and often incur resentment.”
So, what do you do instead? Carnegie offers what I consider a very loving alternative, explaining “…instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all.’ ” Now that’s love!
This is just the starting point and the rest of the book builds from here to share 8 more principles, the second of which I share below.
2. “Give honest and sincere appreciation.” Make giving appreciation and gratitude a new way of life.
Carnegie points out that Charles Schwab, John D Rockefeller and many other extremely successful people shared the same successful trait where they influenced people though sincere encouragement and praise. Carnegie quotes Schwab in the following section of the book:
“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” said Schwab, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement… There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize any-one. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise. “
Of course, understanding human nature as well as he did, Carnegie goes on to point out that he’s not suggestion flattery. Flattery and appreciation are not the same:
“The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.”
What I found so amazing is that by changing my approach and using several other principles in the book, I could sincerely encourage, praise and inspire people, which truly turned around some of the relationships I’d unintentionally “soiled” at work.
Learning how “wrong” I’d been also gave me a chance to see first-hand the value of these principles and I also use them with my family to break the old habits of criticism and instead, encourage, appreciate and inspire.
I view these as simply new ways (at least new for me lol) to be love to those around me and hope you find them as useful as I did. You can get a free PDF copy of “How To Win Friends and Influence People” online here and learn all 9 principles.
Thank you life for the many ways to love and be love. Thank you for the new ways to show those I am around day-to-day kindness, appreciation and compassion. Let the learning continue!!!!
We (State of Man) filmed our first music video with the amazing Adam Bush (R.I.P.) and our friends from Face2Face MEG some time ago, but due to Face2Face defaulting on their part of the music video deal, we never got to see the final footage…. until now!
One thing couldn’t help but notice while watching this is how much I’ve changed (for the better, IMHO), but it’s still nice to look back on those fun days. Enjoy:
State of Man, making of “Swallow Your Fears” Part 1
State of Man, making of “Swallow Your Fears” Part 2