As the days pass, I’ve started to wonder whether I’m even doing this experiment “right.” I’ve asked myself whether I’ve already lost sight of the original intention.
Yet, I am still discovering new things on a near-daily basis. This leads me to believe that the experiment is somehow playing out exactly as it’s supposed to.
Here are a couple of things that have stuck out to me today:
I’m realizing that with this experiment I’ve set myself up to allow for virtually no mental escapes, at a time in my life when all I want to do is escape how I’m feeling. My default way to handle this, based on what I’ve been discovering about myself, would be to drown the pain in pleasure – food, movies, games, and other addictions.
But because I’ve been healing my eye floaters, and because I’m committed to the experiment, I’ve been staying away from several forms of addictions.
As difficult as it has been at times (and I have not done it perfectly), the things I’ve been discovering about myself have been worth the trouble.
As I reduce mental escapes, I’m seeing that:
- I don’t need the distractions anywhere near as much as I thought I did.
- The distractions were masking fleeting anxious feelings.
- The anxiety-distraction insanity cycle is addictive, and it can play out without you even noticing.
- I can fill the time lost to distractions with more productive things.
- I’m attracted to more women (which is something I’ve heard from people who’ve given up porn, even if temporarily).
Doing Vs. Being
I can see clearly now that my default mode has been “do, do, do” especially in the last 15 years or so. I wasn’t expecting to hit a figurative brick wall at this time, but that’s where life had led me. And now I get to be with the trauma that’s been waiting to be processed for a couple of decades. In all the work I had taken on, that’s what I was running from.
I can’t get back to my default mode now, even if I tried. I’m far too tired and sensitive. And I’m sure one of the reasons I’m tired is because processing past trauma is taxing in its own way.
But during this time, I’ve been discovering what it means to “be.” I never expected “being” to be so effective. People, events, and circumstances seem to line up without effort. Opportunities arise. Projects move. Resources and tools present themselves.
I’m sure this is something the Universe has been wanting me to see for a while, but it had to create the circumstances necessary for me to stop and notice what it’s like to simply be. And now that I’m here, even though I’ve gone through some dark moments, I’m not sure I would have it any other way.
In my 30s, I had a hard time believing that the Universe or God loved me in any capacity. So, I kept my nose to the grindstone. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me” was my mantra. Keeping busy drowned everything else out.
And now I can see that it isn’t all supposed to be hard. It’s just that we often end up choosing paths that aren’t in alignment with our greatest expansion.
This isn’t something that’s necessarily easy to talk about, or even fun to admit. But over the years, I’ve struggled at times with agoraphobia.
For some people I’ve heard it’s a near constant battle. And I consider myself fortunate that it hasn’t been that for me. It tends to show up when I’m exhausted, when I’ve had too much caffeine, when I’m tired, or when my blood sugar is low.
And for me, shows up as fear of open spaces, sitting at traffic lights, and the movies. I can still enjoy myself at the movies. But I think the reason I feel some anxiety there is because I feel a little bit claustrophobic. I have less issues with smaller screens, and more issues with bigger screens.
My first run in with anxiety happened when I was 25. It was 2008. And I started my personal development journey. I decided to start getting up at 6 AM each morning so I could get more done. But I wasn’t sleeping earlier. I wasn’t getting the right amount of sleep or rest. I wasn’t meditating habitually. I wasn’t particularly eating well or exercising well.
And so, within 60 days, for the first time, I experienced a panic attack on the way to the hospital. Again, I consider myself fortunate that I got on a path of recovery quite early. And within about four or five months, I started to feel a lot better. Given that some people say they’ve struggled with it for years and decades – which is unimaginable for me – I’m grateful that I decided to seek help and get on a path of recovery early.
And ultimately, I think it’s the same thing with agoraphobia. I want to seek help and find a therapist.
But in the meantime, I wanted to share discovery with you. I was watching a couple of videos about agoraphobia on YouTube last night. And I basically came away with that feeling – “I’m not so strange, I’m not so weird, and I can be kind to myself.”
And rather intuitively, there’s a mantra that I’ve started repeating to myself whenever I feel anxious. And that mantra is:
I understand your concerns.
And when I repeat that to myself, I start to feel calmer. And I think this is me speaking to my inner child. I’m letting them know that everything is okay. I’m letting them know that they’re heard. And they are important.
And the truth is, we may grow into our adult bodies. But there’s some part of us that will always remain a child. And in fact, we are much closer to our identity when we’re children than we’re adults oftentimes because we end up adding a lot of things to our adult selves that don’t necessarily belong there.
I don’t know if agoraphobia and anxiety is something that you struggle or wrestle with. But I do know it’s quite common among artists and creatives. So, next time you’re feeling anxiety, I want you to try saying this mantra to yourself: “I understand your concerns.” Keep repeating that to yourself and see how it feels. See if you feel any calmer.
There’s an inner child waiting to be recognized and to be heard. And you need to let them know that everything’s okay.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
How do you take care of your health and fitness as a musician? How do you make sure you’re always performing at your best?
That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.
- 00:23 – Health and fitness expert Yannick Tinguely
- 04:21 – Injuries you can sustain as a musician
- 07:08 – Getting into shape as a musician
- 09:37 – What sort of results have you gotten for yourself?
- 12:25 – Tips for making your performance better
- 18:26 – The iceberg diagram
- 18:52 – Adrenal fatigue and anxiety
- 19:58 – Best protein to consume as a musician
- 23:18 – Listening to your body
- 25:54 – A musician’s recovery routine
- 29:06 – Tips for maintaining balance
- 32:25 – Good health and fitness advice for musicians
- 37:36 – Overworking yourself
- 39:44 – Are there any books that have helped you on your journey?
- 43:31 – Next steps to improve their fitness and health
- 46:34 – Final thoughts
- 47:17 – Exciting new magazine
Are you feeling pumped up yet? Then why not get pumped up some more? I just published the first issue of our first digital magazine called The Renegade Musician, and right now it’s pay what you want. This offer only lasts until the end of March, so if you’re ready, head on over to gum.co/RenegadeMusician to claim your copy. That’s gum dot c-o slash Renegade Musician.
This has been episode 227 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.
September 2020 has come and gone. You know what that means don’t you?
It’s time for another exciting life update!
Healing is not an overnight process; it is a daily cleansing of pain, it is a daily healing of your life. – Leon Brown
Healing takes time. But September certainly was healing.
Want to know what I’m talking about? Keep reading!
Past Life Updates
Want to find out what led up to this point? Check out my past life updates:
Life Update: August 2020
Life Update: July 2020
Life Update: June 2020
Life Update: July 2012
September 2020 at a Glance
On September 6, I went to a friend’s birthday party. On that day, I consumed two Yerba Mates (one of the most concentrated sources of a caffeine). When I arrived at my friend’s house, I had a bit of wine. And at the restaurant, I had some green tea.
That ultimately triggered a bit of a panic attack.
It wasn’t the fact that I had consumed all those substances on the same day, although that was a contributing factor.
It was more the fact that I had been hustling and grinding for about two months straight, while consuming two Yerma Mates daily.
This year, I’ve had more projects “crash” than “land”, and that seemed reason enough to stop, especially in July. But I kept finding reasons to continue and things to get excited about. Stopping in July, ultimately, probably would have been the best idea.
Well, you can’t change what you can’t change.
I wasn’t in unfamiliar territory with anxiety and knew what I needed to do to heal myself. And in the weeks that followed, I continued to experience uneasiness and intense sadness, which was somewhat expected, somewhat not.
But I kept resting and sleeping. I kept myself away from the wrong things. I found some support with family and friends.
And here we are, about a full month later, and I find myself nearly recovered.
September was not a bad month. I kept publishing daily. And I continue to see good things come out of that.
But now I know my limits, and I never intend to rev the engine that hot again.
Having talked to others, I know I wasn’t the only one that had a bit of a rough month either.
New Music in September 2020
I remastered a few of my tracks in September and plan to release them soon.
Aside from that, I’ve had to hit the pause button on my various musical projects until I feel better.
New Blog Posts in September 2020
So, as I’ve mentioned before, I started publishing daily at the end of July.
First, I started publishing on Medium. Then I started publishing on my personal blog. For a while, I did both.
Then I started taking more of a sensible approach by publishing to my blog and syndicating the content to Medium.
Finally, I settled on publishing right here on Music Entrepreneur HQ daily.
As I mentioned in my last update, I didn’t want to go full force ahead on Music Entrepreneur HQ until I figured out my branding and positioning. But now that I’ve got that sorted out, I’m focused 100% on growing Music Entrepreneur HQ (though I’m still syndicating the content to Medium).
So, with the abundance of new posts on Music Entrepreneur HQ, while I would love to offer a description for each, from here on out, I’ll probably be highlighting the posts in list form as I’ve done here.
Click on anything that piques your interest.
New Podcast Episodes in September 2020
I managed to knock out three more podcast episodes in 2020. Here they are.
Subscribe to the podcast NOW >>
205 – Appealing to Buyers, Not Just Moochers
For better or for worse, I’m all too familiar with attracting moochers to my content. It’s fine, everyone’s welcome.
But let’s face it. Ultimately, we want to attract people who are engaged. And people who are engaged tend to become buyers!
206 – Selling Your Music in 2020: What’s Working & What Isn’t
I know 2020 has been a difficult year for many. I’m painfully aware. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any opportunities.
Even in 2020, you CAN sell your music.
207 – Building Relationships to Grow Your Music Career – with Ty Frankel of Shut Down Media
Had a great conversation with Ty Frankel of Shut Down Media, and more than anything, found a like-minded friend.
If you’re wondering what to prioritize in your music career, you’ll love this episode.
Featured Product: The Music Entrepreneur Code
The Music Entrepreneur Code is still going strong.
The bonus offer ended on September 30, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get the book. And if you don’t have it yet, you can learn more here.
Featured Affiliate: 10XPro
There’s literally NEVER been a better time to get your online platform setup.
Pandemic related lockdowns are going to continue well into the future. And while surveys are showing roughly 64% of musicians are thinking of quitting music as result of the coronavirus pandemic, that means three things:
- Your competition is going to dwindle… FAST
- But music that casts light on the issues has NEVER been more important
- And the best place to grow your music career is online (it’s a MASSIVE opportunity)
Whether you want to set up a fan club, membership site, online community or forum, online courses, pay-gated content hub or otherwise, 10XPro can do it all. Plus, it’s easy to use, and there are plenty of tutorials in case you ever get lost.
Learn more about 10XPro NOW >>
Follow me on Medium >>
Since I’m basically syndicating all my stories to Medium, there’s no sense in posting links here.
I thought I would share some stats with you, but I can’t select a date range within Medium to show you how things went in September specifically.
I’ve started experimenting with other Medium analytics tools to see if I can get the data I want, and when I do, I’m more than happy to show you what’s been going on.
Conclusion, September 2020
I spent most of the month writing for four to six hours per day. Otherwise, I just stayed in bed and rested up. This is exactly what my body needed.
I’m still basically in that rhythm, and probably will be until I take a two-week break later this month.
Nevertheless, I am genuinely excited for what’s next.
Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing again after October.
Part 1: Surprise, Uplift
Part 2: Art
Part 3: Sports
Part 4: Writing
Part 5: Music
I was rushed to the hospital.
I chewed on two tablets of aspirin, believing that I must be having a heart attack. My anxiety shot through the roof.
I told my roommates what was going on, and we all piled in a car and started heading to emergency.
On the way there, my heart started beating out of its chest. “This must be it,” I thought. Eventually, the beating stopped, and I started calming down.
When I finally made it to emergency, hospital care wasn’t eager to take me in for examination or anything. Which I thought odd. And they just kept asking me if I had taken any drugs.
Having released my first solo album, Shipwrecked… My Sentiments, I began looking for opportunities to promote my music. Even before releasing, I had some vague notions of submitting it to independent filmmakers and the like.
I would soon discover that while opportunities weren’t exactly rare, they also weren’t available in abundance. Having played in Lightly Toasted Touché for a year and a half, I was at least acquainted with a local venue or two, and I had a few connections. I would also scan the local classifieds in an entertainment magazine every week.
But one day, my roommate told me about CD Baby. I think I had heard about them at that point but had no idea what they did.
My roommate explained that they were a distribution service. They could get my music up for sale and streaming on all the popular online stores and streaming platforms, be it iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, or otherwise.
I got excited and promptly signed up with CD Baby, certain that this was the next step I needed to take on my musical journey.
At the time, former founder Derek Sivers was still working at CD Baby, and when I signed up with them, I received his emails, which detailed his best advice for musicians. I was blown away by what I was reading.
In that moment, I was introduced to something new. Something I had never encountered before.
It wasn’t just how-to advice or tactics and tips. I had already found plenty of that in video game and fishing guidebooks. It was something more. Kind of like a challenge. It made me present to opportunities I never knew existed.
What I discovered, for the first time in my life, was personal development.
I went to Video Games Live with some friends and came away inspired.
The music was great. I loved hearing many of my favorite video game themes being played by an orchestra, choir, and band.
But more than that, I felt led to interview Tommy Tallarico.
The moment he hit the stage, he struck me as familiar. Then I remembered that I had seen him on TV (Electric Playground).
Intuitively, I knew that there was more to him than met the eye. He wasn’t just a TV host or the creator of Video Games Live.
And I was right. I soon found out he was the most prolific video game music composer in North America. He had composed music for the likes of Prince of Persia, Batman: Revenge of The Joker, Earthworm Jim, and many others.
When I reached out to him, he was gracious enough to be interviewed for my small website. That was the second in a series of early interviews I got to do with many of my heroes.
One source of inspiration led to another.
Somewhere amid engaging in Derek Sivers’ advice and interviewing Tommy Tallarico, I discovered personal development god Steve Pavlina’s articles online. I think I may have originally found his site through Sivers, but I can’t confirm or deny that.
Having gone through everything that I had gone through, I honestly believed that life amounted to little more than what happened to you. You had no control over anything – especially over things you would consider important.
That’s the way I lived in my early 20s, and I didn’t even know it.
But here was Pavlina telling me that you could make conscious decisions in life. I spent a lot of time in his material, but my number one takeaway, to this day, is this idea of living consciously.
I began to understand that there were things I could control and things I couldn’t. But regarding anything I could control, I could become present to the decision being made. And by becoming present to it, I could choose the path I most wanted to go down.
When I learned that Pavlina got up at ungodly hours to engage in his passion of writing all day, I decided that I wanted to start doing the same.
So, at the dawn of 2008, I started getting up every day at 6 AM to read, write, and work on my music.
I had no idea that I was quickly burning myself out in the process.
I didn’t have a heart attack. I had an anxiety attack.
As others will testify, one can certainly mimic the other. But neither are pleasant, and both can have lasting consequences.
My wrestle with anxiety was just beginning, and over the course of the next five or six months, I had to spend time in recovery.
I could have given up on personal development. Blamed it for all my problems. Perhaps, by living consciously, I would only invite more harm upon myself.
But I didn’t.
And recovery was the opposite of sitting still and doing nothing. I got into a routine of learning about anxiety, watching inspiring TV, walking, meditating, and participating in weekly rehearsals and gigs with my band. This was just as much personal development as anything else.
Amid this, I met someone wonderful at a guitar workshop. I sometimes call her my “first girlfriend”, but really, she was just the first young woman I fell head over heels for.
She asked for a hug, and when I stood up to embrace her, I felt something I had never felt before. I had balked at the idea of marrying in college, but holding her in my arms changed my mind.
This relationship brought some healing into my life. Unfortunately, she stopped talking to me only three months later, and I’ve never heard from her since.
At the time, I’d been struggling to write material for my next album, but heartbreak brought all the inspiration I needed.
And I think it was somewhere amid writing a seemingly endless stream of songs that I found healing. Anxiety wouldn’t completely go away, but it would never hit me as hard as it had that one day as I was being rushed to the hospital.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.