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Go With the FLOW 

Well, the Christmas activities have come and gone, and New Year's is right around the bend. It's at this time that a good bit of us make our well intentioned resolutions in an effort to better ourselves. As with all things worthwhile, challenges arise, and obstacles emerge. We want to be debt-free. We want to be in better shape. We want to travel more.

Whatever aspirations we may have may well be met with opposition. If they're worthwhile aspirations, this is almost always the case. Those opposing forces at work (time versus money, activity versus accomplishment, etc.) can either become a person's excuse for not doing something or the reason they're doing it. I suppose the real question is: Where do we find our motivation?

Earlier today, I became acquainted with the concept of flow training. The diagram below might be of interest:

To explore this on a deeper level of analysis, let's use exercise as an example:

If you want to engage in a physical activity, but that activity is too taxing, you will find yourself in the doubting, anxious part of the equation.  If the activity isn't challenging enough, you'll get bored. In between the two extremes is the flow, that steady channel of happiness where you are at your productive best. Let's say that the maximum amount of push-ups you can do is 10. If you were actually to do just 5 anytime you have your workout, you could do it without torturing your body, you could ramp up your energy levels, you can stave off soreness, and you can do the activity more frequently. Consequently, there will come point doing 5 push-ups is no longer challenging enough. So, you get the best of both worlds, consistently challenging activity with upward momentum, and the desire to come back day after day in pursuit of the goal in a pleasurable manner.

Maybe you're a musician. Is there a level of practice that's on the upper end of your comfort spectrum where you can get something out of it without the anxiety attached to getting instant gratification in the pursuit of an unrealistic goal? You may be surprised exactly how much you can grow over time, especially if you show up everyday and actually ENJOY doing it.

Whatever your goals, resolutions, and aspirations may be, I hope you find pleasure and inspiration in the process.

Happy New Year! Now go with the FLOW!

Where, Oh Where Am I? 

Here are some questions I am often asked: "When can we see you play again?" "Do you have any local shows coming up?" "Are you still playing around?" The reality is that right now I would love to be playing more than I actually am.

I made a Facebook video about this very thing about a month ago, and I was pleased to see that I wasn't the only person that shared those sentiments. Truth be told, now is a harder time than ever before to book shows in public venues. I do not believe that there is any ill will or malicious intent behind it. I actually believe that most of it stems from otherwise goodhearted people delving into a certain effort without the rudimentry skills to be able to execute it properly. (Although, I've met ones who seemed to have nothing but contempt for the people they have to interact with. Maybe they shouldn't have that responsibility...)

As long as I've been at this, I have not done everything right. (I'm only human.) However, when I've been wrong, I have always tried to be quick to say, "I'm sorry." In light of this, I have no reason to believe that it's some personal agenda against me for two reasons: 1. Other musicians who have never set foot in those venues are having an equally hard time getting their foot in the door. 2. I've always tried to approach doing a job for another venue as if I owned that venue. That means I come early, I stay late, I bring the tools that I need, and I take seriously the desire to bring the best I possibly can to every single show I play.

While I do have some shows on my calendar, I am starving to play. I'm hungry to be out there pouring my heart and soul out in song and in spirit to anyone who wants to listen. That said, I do have some dates coming up in the very near future, and I would love to see you. As a consequence of basically being stonewalled by bookers, I am now privatizing most of my shows. House concerts are awesome, and if you'd like to see the ins and outs of one, click here because it is good stuff! 

Aside from that, I'm working on some behind-the-scenes work for a special campaign coming up that I definitely would like you to see. Whatever piques your interest at this time, I certainly hope you'll share this post with anyone and everyone via the share button at the bottom, leave a comment below, please signup for the newsletter, and I'll look forward to seeing you at the next show!