Emotions: Identifying, Feeling, Letting Them Flow

I noticed today that I was feeling “shut down”, like my energy was blocked.  I was feeling emotional.  I’m working on being present and “up” most of the time.  But I was feeling stuck.

Sometimes we feel stuck and “shut down” because we’re not being true to ourselves and / or we aren’t allowing ourselves to feel our emotions and let that energy flow through us.  I decided to sit down and consider all the things that may have contributed to my state of being over the last couple of days.  Turns out I had quite a list.  The list of emotional triggers apparently piled up, without being processed, until they finally came out sideways in the form of depression.

Here’s some of my list.

1.  A lawsuit against my business (giving me a feeling of fear, that someone is trying to take away my living)

2.  I strained my back (giving me a feeling of frustration and discouragement, not being able to follow through with my daily routines or work on my goals)

3.  Communication challenges with my partner (giving me a feeling of sadness and being controlled, like I can’t speak)

4.  Being wakened in the middle of the night about a broken sprinkler line that needs to be turned off (giving me a feeling of frustration and helplessness)

5.  Cancelled a Workshop for lack of interest (giving me a feeling of not being good enough, failure, feeling alone, which really boils down to fear)

That’s just a little part of the list.  It goes on and on.  Haha!  But here’s how it helps me.  First it helps me see how many little things can pile up, when unprocessed, to cause a lot of energy blockage inside me.  By listing the issues, I can identify the corresponding emotions, feel the emotions, and let them flow through me and be gone.  I can also consider how I might process the emotions in the moment next time and let them go, without getting stuck.  I can consider how to be true to myself next time and take care of myself.

Taking care of myself and being true to myself means speaking up and saying my truth.  Say what I want or need in the moment.  If I feel frustration and there isn’t much I can do about it, I can move the energy by punching a pillow, yelling in a pillow or stamping my feet (yes, like a little kid having a tantrum).  The difference is, I’m not directing that energy at anyone or making a display of it.  I’m simply doing something to physically move the energy of anger, frustration or whatever it is, out of my body.  Once I’ve moved it through (which makes me feel lots better), I can either let the issue go or deal with it in a calm manner, without all the energy behind it.

Pleasure Workshop – Lanzarote, Canary Islands

By feeling the emotions and letting the energy flow through me, I’m no longer “stuck” or feeling “shut down” or depressed.  Life goes on and I can feel present and grounded again.

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Back On Line

Wow!  The last time I posted on my blog was in April 2011 – 5 years ago!  I think it’s time for me to get started again.

I’ve changed a lot.  I’m a Certified Cuddle Party Facilitator.  I’m an apprentice facilitator for the International School of Temple Arts.  We do workshops like the “Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Experience”.

Now days I’m all about sharing what I’m learning.  It’s a new way of being.  It’s about conscious living, loving and interactions, involving all aspects of ourselves – mind, body, spirit, emotions and sexuality.  I love it.  I’ll never look back.

The Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Experience - Life Changing

The Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Experience – Life Changing

My Shamanic Spirit / Power Animal Tattoo

One of My First Cuddle Parties – Fun Times

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Don’t Be Afraid

We all have moments of conflict when we feel the push from inside to go after our dreams, but we feel stressed about actually taking the step forward.  We have doubts, fears, what-ifs, ya-buts, and you-cants floating around in our heads.  For singers like me, it may be the dream/fear of a certain audition, or finally making that CD.  The other day it was the Entrepreneur me, stressing about some business issues.

After feeling out of sorts all morning, I decided to throw out a request to the Universe, to help me get my mind back on track – to not be afraid.  Sure enough, an email came through to my mailbox from livestrong.com titled “Is This Your Biggest Fear”?  I usually don’t read these emails, but the title caught my attention.  It was an Editor’s Note from Adam Bornstein talking about his struggle through sleepless nights while deciding to leave Men’s Health magazine and start working with livestrong.com.  One of his comments hit home for me.  He said, “taking action is the only thing that separates where we are from where we want to be.”

It’s pretty simple when you think about it.  Take a step, no matter how small.  You’ll be one step closer to where you want to be.  Then take another, and another.  Taking action of some kind will not only make things happen for you, but it will quickly quiet those unreasonable fears and stresses.  We can sit around all our lives immobilized by stress and fear.  And what will we get for it?  Nothing but stress and fear.  Adam also said that “fear is nothing more than an illusion designed to silence confidence.”  Action will build your confidence.

Snap Yourself Out Of It

So how do we break our minds free from fear?  Fear is just another negative vibration.  Here’s what I have decided to do.  It’s pretty simple, but effective in “snapping me out of it” when my mind thinks a negative thought, or my mouth speaks a negative word.  I wear a thick rubber band around my wrist – 24/7.  Every time I think something negative, I give myself a good “snap”!  The shock of the snap is enough to jolt my mind into gear.  It interrupts my negative vibration.  It’s a simple action, but it works.  My plan is to have my thoughts re-programmed within about 30 days – positive and free from my favorite list of fears.  If I can do it, you can too.  So go after your dreams.  Give yourself a snap now and then if you have to.  Make this the End Of Your Fear.

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Give to Receive

I’ve been so busy getting my business switched over to the digital age of websites and downloading, we’ve sort of neglected recording new accompaniment tracks to add to our catalog.  The time we have been spending in the studio is mostly to fix some of our performance tracks that I’m not happy with.  I guess I’m a recovering perfectionist.  Anyway, I was feeling a little discouraged about it one day, and wanting to get my thoughts shifted back to my normal positive thinking.  I remembered reading that the best way to turn my thinking around is to turn my attention to someone else who may be needing some help.  Take my focus off of myself for awhile and give.  Turns out that some really interesting things happened.

Studio Musician Piano72

One of our talented musicians working on our accompaniment tracks

So I went to Facebook and was surprised to find an email waiting for me from an old friend.  He seemed to be having some struggles and was feeling down.  He said the one thing that gets him going these days is music.  He reminisced how he had come into my recording studio awhile back and auditioned to do some of the recording work on our songs.  Now he was looking for some tips about how to get something going with his music.  Now there’s a subject I know something about and could help him with!  Amazing how much better I felt by putting my focus on someone else.

The same day, my son approached me about how to help a friend who had been kicked out of their house and treated badly.  So we found a way to take his friend in temporarily to help out.  And I thought how grateful I am to have all the resources I need.  This teenager was without anything, and was feeling lots of anxiety.  Makes most of my worries seem suddenly overblown and unfounded.

Another friend on Facebook told me that on that very same day, she felt a feeling to pray for me, that I would feel God’s love through other people in a very special way.  Wow!  Just out of the blue!  Could it be that, because I decided to help others, that others felt to help me – that they felt something in the vibrations of the Universe that attracted their thoughts to me?  (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you).  It’s pretty cool to think about.

Winner of Utah Top Talent contest

Winner of UT Top Talent singing contest gets studio experience

I like what Charles Haanel has to say in “The Master Key System”. “We are each of us but the channel through which the Omnipotent power is being differentiated into form; unless we give, the channel is obstructed and we can receive no more. This is true on every plane of existence and in every field of endeavor and all walks of life. The more we give, the more we get. The athlete who wishes to get strong must make use of the strength he has, and the more he gives the more he will get. The financier who wishes to make money must make use of the money he has, for only by using it can he get more.”

“If you require Love try to realize that the only way to get love is by giving it, that the more you give the more you will get, and the only way in which you can give it, is to fill yourself with it, until you become a magnet.”

“It will then return to us many fold, and the giving is simply a mental process, because thoughts are causes and conditions are effects; therefore in giving thoughts of courage, inspiration, health or help of any kind we are setting causes in motion which will bring about their effect.”

“…the law of success is service; that we get what we give, and for this reason we should consider it a great privilege to be able to give.”

“Fear is just the opposite from success consciousness; it is failure consciousness, and as the law is unchangeable we get exactly what we give.”

“If we recognize the Omnipotent power that is the source of all supply we will adjust our consciousness to this supply in such a way that it will constantly attract all that is necessary to itself and we shall find that the more we give the more we get. Giving in this sense implies service. The banker gives his money, the merchant gives his goods, the author gives his thought, the workman gives his skill; all have something to give, but the more they can give, the more they get, and the more they get the more they are enabled to give.”

Contest Winner

Winner of L.A. Singing Contest - Free day in our studio

So if you want to be somebody in the music business, how do you give?  Start with giving positive thoughts about what you want – positive vibrations.  Performing your music is giving.  Helping and encouraging others to succeed in music is giving.  For me, it may mean giving away some free downloads, free advice, making more performance tracks – even putting advertising out there.  It’s all giving.  It’s doing something positive.  Just doing something – anything.  The more we do, the more we’ll get in return.

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Is It What You REALLY Want?

It turns out that all the positive thinking in the world won’t get you what you want, if it isn’t REALLY what you want.  Sounds kind of obvious, I know.  But I think many of us are pursuing something other than our true passions, and we don’t know why we’re not getting it.  Here’s a personal example of what I mean.

Love Hate Relationship

Me and My Sax

When I was a little kid, around the 4th grade, I loved listening to trumpet music and I wanted to learn to play one.  At that age, I had every record made by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Maynard Ferguson, and others.  Music classes were starting at my elementary school, so I asked my parents if I could learn to play the trumpet.  They happened to have an old clarinet in the house, which my older brothers had started to learn but never followed through.  I guess they figured I’d do the same, so they said if I would learn to play the clarinet, then they would let me learn to play the trumpet later.  Well, I learned the clarinet and later switched to the saxophone in Junior High School so I could be in the jazz band.  By the time I got into high school, it occurred to my parents that maybe I was worthy of a trumpet, so they bought me one.  But by then I was playing first chair in the jazz band and figured it would be too hard to catch up if I started playing trumpet “this late in my life”.  Ha!

I enjoyed playing the sax.  But the interesting thing is, when I left high school I also put down my saxophone and I have never really seriously picked it up again (except for a cool picture for my blog page).  I finally understand why.  It was never my passion.  No matter how much I tell myself I want to pick up the sax again, it never works.  Trumpet was my passion.

We actually have two minds; our conscious mind that we use to think with and our subconscious mind where all our beliefs and paradigms are stored.  I can use my conscious mind during all my waking hours to convince myself that sax is the thing for me to play.  And I may even convince myself to start playing it again.  But my subconscious mind, the thing that is always working, even when I’m sleeping, is always saying to me, usually without me knowing it, that trumpet is my real passion.  My subconscious knows what I REALLY believe.  The result?  I’ll never reach my full potential playing the sax.  I can be good enough, but I probably won’t ever feel the full satisfaction I could feel if I took up trumpet.

Professional Performance Music

ProSound Record Label

Same thing goes for my business.  When I started Priddis Music, my passion was spending time in the recording studio making professional accompaniment tracks for singers.  That was before karaoke existed.  Soon after I started my business, karaoke came along and I jumped on the band wagon for marketing reasons.  But I have always hated the word “karaoke” because, to me, it means the opposite of professional performance.  It often brings to mind silly singing and drinking in a bar.  I’ve always been sort of embarrassed to tell people I make karaoke for a living.  I realized this morning that I won’t reach my full potential in my business if I continue to promote “karaoke” instead of sticking with my passion – “ProSound Performance Music”.  It seems like just words and a concept.  But you never hear the word “karaoke” in connection with American Idol, right?  The word “karaoke” would change their whole image.  Professional performance music is my image and it’s where my passion is.  And because it’s my passion, that’s where my greatest success will be found.  So this is my commitment.  From this day forward, you will never hear me use the word “karaoke” in connection with my business again – except to mention that “this is not karaoke”.

Now that my conscious mind will no longer be fighting with my subconscious mind, it will be clear sailing (and happy sailing) ahead!

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Stay Motivated

I realized several years ago that I would never reach my full potential in my career unless I was happy.  Unfortunately, I was actually pretty depressed.  It’s ironic that I was in the business of singing, but I had basically given up singing because of some criticism I received that I took pretty hard.  In fact, I stopped singing for about 10 years!  My business was successful enough, but I knew I could do and be more.  I decided it was time for me to figure out what was screwed up about me and fix it.  :-)

I began reading motivational books like crazy – one right after the next.  And I’ve read most of them more than once, until the message sank in.  After working on my “issues”, part of my process was to get back into performing.  Even though I had majored in vocal performance in college and had lots of performance experience, I had developed such a negative self image of my singing, that I was scared to death to get up in front of anyone.  So I decided to get a vocal coach and try to jump back in.  I remember the first time I worked with her, I was so afraid of the criticism she might give me that I sweat buckets.  Soon after that, she gave me the opportunity to really break out of my rut.

Rick Jane Eyre“Jane Eyre”

She was the music director for a local musical theater production of “Jane Eyre” and they needed a replacement for someone who had dropped out at the last minute.  I decided to go for it.  And I discovered that I loved performing in musical theater.  The rest is history.  Thanks to the books and experiences like music theater, I broke out of my shell (for the most part) and have enjoyed doing shows ever since.  Musical theater has become my outlet of choice for my music talents.  My music business has benefited as well, now that I have a better outlook on life.

But I have discovered that it’s not a one time fix.  I need to continually remind myself about the good stuff I learned.  It’s so easy to slip back into old ways of thinking and old ways of reacting to life.  So reading my books just once or even twice isn’t enough.  I found the best way for me is to listen to books as I drive, work out at the gym, and do work around the house.  If I’m feeling down or discouraged or just off-track somehow, I can listen to one of these books and get back on-track pretty fast.

Here are some of my favorite authors and books.  Some of these may help you get closer to realizing your dreams.

  • “The Secret” – Rhonda Byrne
  • “End the War With Yourself” – Byron Katie Mitchell
  • “Loving What Is” – Byron Katie Mitchell
  • “The Law Of Attraction” – Abraham-Hicks
  • “The Big Leap” – Gay Hendricks
  • “The Sedona Method – Letting Go” – Hale Dwoskin
  • “The Four Agreements” – Miguel Ruiz
  • “No More Mr. Nice Guy” – Robert Glover
  • “The Science of Getting Rich” – Wallace Wattles
  • “Think and Grow Rich” – Napolean Hill
  • “The Master Key System” – Charles Haanel
  • “How To Win Friends and Influence People” – Dale Carnegie
  • “Maximum Confidence” – Jack Canfield
  • “Your Erroneous Zones” – Wayne Dyer
  • “Secrets Of An Inspirational Life” – Wayne Dyer
  • “Excuses Be Gone” – Wayne Dyer
  • “There Is A Spiritual Solution To Every Problem” – Wayne Dyer
  • Wayne Dyer - Event Tour

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Follow Your Feelings

In any business, especially in entertainment it seems, you have to watch your back. There are a lot of good people out there. But unfortunately, there are those who may try to take advantage of you. Sometimes it seems so hard to know where the truth is, especially if you are trustworthy yourself and expect the best from others. It may not be in your nature to be suspicious of the intentions of others, so when you discover you’ve been taken, it’s that much harder to…take.

Freemason Symbol

I had an interesting experience last night which isn’t exactly about business or personal interaction, but it helped me to learn a great lesson which I think applies here. I became a Mason, which is a sort of fraternity which does lots of charitable work along with teaching its members great truths about life and how to live. As fraternities go, I’m not allowed to disclose what goes on in the rituals and initiation ceremonies. But I was surprised to discover that many of the things that are done in these rituals are the same as the “sacred” things that are done in the temples of the church I belong to (which we are not supposed to disclose either). Anyway, I grew up in this church and was taught that these things are exclusive to our church – that they came by revelation to a prophet.  I have been discovering other conflicting things like this lately.  I’ve tried studying and researching to figure out why there is a conflict of information and where the truth lies.  Unfortunately, in situations like this where you are dealing with thousands of years of history in some cases,  it is impossible to know the truth from an intellectual approach. Similarly, in many of our interactions in life and business and careers, because we can’t always depend on people and news and information to be accurate, it is often impossible to figure out from an intellectual standpoint what the truth is (or what is best for us).  Often, such as in my church, I think people really do believe what they are trying to convince us.  They aren’t being deceitful.  They have simply been misinformed themselves.

Here is the key I discovered. We have to follow our feelings. We have been given a sort of Emotional Guidance System. If the thing is making us upset, depressed or discouraged, or shutting us down, then it’s most likely not the path we want to follow. There is something wrong with the situation. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t be feeling badly about it. This is true even though people around us may be trying to convince us that it’s the thing we should do (like this is the only true path and we all have to follow it).

On the other hand, if it makes us feel happy, enthusiastic, and encourages us, then it’s probably the path for us to follow. Happy emotions and good vibrations generally don’t lie to us. They generally don’t deceive us or send us down the wrong path.

So when you’re out there working to “be somebody”, listen to your emotions. They will help you stay safely on the path YOU want to follow.

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That’s What It’s All About

It’s true.  Everybody wants to be somebody.  It seems to be especially true among musicians, actors and anyone else involved in the entertainment industry.  While a chosen few are discovered, the majority of us have to create our own “breaks” if we are to make it, either as a career or hobby.

Priddis Music Control Room

I have been privileged to earn my living in the music business for more than 25 years.   But it wasn’t handed to me.  I created my own opportunities.  My path led me to create a record label and recording studio that makes performance music for singers (OK it’s basically karaoke, but more professional than your average karaoke music.  See www.priddis.com).  We cater to those who are a little more serious about their singing.

The Castle

The Priddis "Castle" Recording Studio

I’ve had my ups and downs in the business over the years.  I’ve made lots of money, lost lots of money, been sued multiple times, had lots of employees and sometimes just a few.  I’ve made adjustments every time technology changes.  Distribution channels continue to change.  Traditional brick and mortar stores and distributors have gone away.  It’s a whole new digital world.  The good news is, no matter what has come along over the years, everything has always worked out in the end.  And I continue to be blessed to answer to no one but myself, while I provide a good living for myself and those who work with me.

Performance Music For Singers

Priddis Record Label

I admit that sometimes I used to lay awake at night wondering if my business would survive.   The advantage of 25 years is to be able to look back and realize that we can meet every challenge, and to recognize all the wonderful opportunities and experiences we tend to take for granted.

I have also experienced the highs and lows of performing as an actor and singer, mostly in live musicals – my outlet for my music performance bug.

Although I have been successful for many years, life is always changing.  There are always new challenges and new things that I want to accomplish.  So I continue to work at being better and making those desires a reality.  This blog is about my experiences and insights, not only from the past, but as I continue to learn, because I’m just like everyone else….I want to be somebody.

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