My Heart & Yours

Last night, I once again had one of the most emotionally powerful and beautiful experiences of my life. It’s something I only remember experiencing with my second little boy in this way, as he is so much calmer than Reuben was, and still is. Xander has always been such a placid little baby, and in a lot of ways is the complete opposite of my persistently wilful eldest. It’s amazing how two children in the same family can be so different, yet so alike all at once.

Reuben would rarely fall asleep in my arms, choosing instead to breastfeed to sleep or, as he got older, mess around until he wears himself out. Xander, however, is a different story all together. Give me 15 minutes and some Ed Sheeran and I’ll have him sleeping like a, well, baby.

This in itself is a beautiful thing, as I can only ever remember Reuben falling asleep on me once or twice, but it’s what happens around 10 minutes in to that process that moves me beyond comprehension.

As any parent will know, but may not initially realise, when you pick up and hold your children (assuming they’re not massive attitude-ridden teenagers) you tend to bear their weight on your left side, holding them on your chest but slightly off to the left hand side rather than central. I believe this is instinctual, as this positions the child so that their heart is sitting directly on yours.

Holding a baby or young child close to your heart like this is amazingly powerful in so many ways. Your heart rate regulates your child’s heart rate, the warmth of your body helps to warm and regulate the your child’s temperature, and the carbon dioxide you exhale with every breath promotes regular breathing in your little one. This is, in part, why co-sleeping is such a wonderful thing – when done properly and when sound health and safety principals are observed (like not co-sleeping if you’ve been drinking, are a smoker or are overweight).

So, at roughly 10 minutes in to the process of singing my Son to sleep, the most wonderful things happens; our hearts synchronise, and I feel my heart and his beating as one. I feel the power of our beating hearts combined, and the combined power of their electromagnetic fields unify and strengthen. It’s a crazy feeling, because it feels like my heart doubles in power and pumping force – so much so, that it feels unnervingly like my heart might burst out of my chest at any moment. But it’s not the power of my heart alone, but the power of two hearts in unity, reinforced by the unbreakable love between parent and child.

Those last five minutes of getting him to sleep and some of the most spiritual I’ve ever experienced, and is the only time when I feel so connected to his life force that I feel like I can begin to understand the depth of connection that exists between mother and child. They, of course, have the advantage of having been once physically connected to their children – a process that studies show leaves protein deposits in the mothers brain; a gift from their unborn child. So, when it seems like mothers know things about their children from pure intuition, it should be appreciated that mothers have an extremely spiritual connection with them as a result of connections that form through the pregnancy process.

Having the experience I’ve had with my little one has given me a taste of how powerful and beautiful that connection is; one that I savour any time I am lucky enough to experience it.

Feeling yourself become one with your little one through the physical connection of a synchronised beating heart, and through the energetic electromagnetic connection is akin to becoming one with some abstract definition of God – the Universal energy that drives and guides everything, from what we see to what we don’t.

The Universe is within us all as we all are within the Universe, and when two hearts come together like that it provides the opportunity for the Universe to see the beauty of itself in it’s full and limitless glory. That depth of recognition of the intrinsic beauty within us all is an enlightening glimpse at the massive potential inherent to each and every one of us. Let’s not ignore something so powerful, and something so pure – it is a signpost to everything we are, and everything we can be.

 

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What Is Music?

“An art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions insignificant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and colour

– Dictionary Definition of ‘Music

Music, to me, is many different things.

My first experience of music were the songs I heard on the radio as a child, and even then I saw the power music seemed to have over the human psyche. Family car journeys that started out tense due to some sort of family disagreement (usually us kids arguing or otherwise acting up) would quickly evaporate into singing and smiles after a few of our favourite songs had blared out of the speakers. Music can change your mood in an instant, and that is a powerful attribute in it’s own right.

My next experience of music was way more intense.

I really started to ‘get’ music and start forming my own taste when I met my best friend in primary school. He was a huge influence on me musically, and I soaked up all the different rock ‘n’ roll bands he used to introduce me to playing his old style records on a secondhand turntable in his box room. Those were great times. Hearing all that rich music gave me a taste for the world that, until that point, had lay relatively hidden from me. All these different tastes, styles and influences – so much to take in!

It was Jake who piqued my interest in becoming a musician back when I met him in primary school, and I remember begging him for two years to let me join his band, but to no avail. Alas, they had all the members they needed and I was surplus to requirements (I couldn’t even play an instrument at the time, but I planned on figuring that out once I’d got a place in the band). That changed when we all went our separate ways to secondary school, which resulted in half of the band going to one school and the other half another. This was inconvenient for rehearsals, as these usually took place during school time, and so they band split. That was my opportunity! Hence, my first band was born in a dingy practise room in the depths of the Meole Brace School music department (Meole Brace Science College these days).

Writing and playing music in a band was a completely different experience to sitting in my mate’s room listening to an LP on a record player. The sheer energy and emotion behind the live music were the most intense and surreal feelings I had ever experienced at that point in my life. It was like the notes flowed through me, connecting me with my voice in a way I had never experienced before; I remember feeling almost naked when I used to sing, because writing lyrics was like taking my heart out of my chest and putting it on display for all to see. It was such as emotive experience, and so totally powerful.

Writing was something else again. The best way I have come up with to describe the writing process for me is that I don’t actually write the songs; they’re already written. All I have to do is enter my flow state and pull the different pieces from the ether before piecing them back together in the rehearsal room. Now, that may sound a little crazy to some of you if you’re never had this sort of experience, but this is the best way I can describe to you the way it feels for me. It was like channeling a special sort of energy that gave me access to a realm of limitless creativity, multiple perspectives and hyper-connectivity. It was, and still is for me, the purest form of flow I have ever experienced in my life. Standing on stage with a group of people you share that level of depth and connection with, pumping out your emotions in waves of sound that connect and morph in the air around you to create a magical charge of electrical energy in the room, is one of the most enchanting experiences I have had to this day. It is unlike any drug out there, or that I have experienced at least. That state takes you somewhere else – somewhere where ideas gain clarity and focus, connecting is all sorts of weird and wonderful ways, which allows you to see the world a little differently from others; it adds a special kind of perspective.

It’s so easy to get lost in that energy.

Music is also a time capsule. Who hasn’t been driving along when a song they haven’t heard in years randomly comes on the radio and before you know it you’re swept back 10 years into your past to an experience you remember like it was yesterday? You can smell the smells, hears the sounds and feel the sensations of your memory as if it were happening all over again. It can be a surreal experience, and I think it’s amazing how a simple song can trigger such a powerfully cognitive, and often physiological response as the nostalgia sweeps over you.

Songs that hold deep meaning for us at any given time have amazing power to lock potent experiences into your memory for later recall; the song the acting as the trigger at some point in the future.

Music is also, at it’s most basic level, sound. This may sound obvious, but bear with me.

With each passing day, scientists are discovering more and more about the power of sound and it’s potential effect on matter. We now know that we can use certain frequencies as destructive weapons by focusing beams of sound energy, it can be used to levitate physical objects and for brain wave entrainment through the use of Binaural Beats. Music and sound in general literally affect the oscillations of brain waves, so can be a useful tool in changing how we feel by having a direct physiological effect on our bodies. This is useful as a tool to help put you in a resourceful state and empower you with feelings of confidence so you can face the challenges of your day. It can also help you wind down after a long or stressful day at work – there is a piece of music for every state imaginable.

I had a laminated piece of card in the room for years when I was growing up that read ‘Music is medicine, it can cure anything’. Now, saying that it can cure anything is quite a lofty claim, as I’m sure you’ll agree, but it has certainly helped me through some pretty dismal times in my life, whilst also providing the soundtrack to my ebb and flow of my myriad experiences over the years. To this day there are songs that make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when they come on the radio, and I have never lost my ability to tap into that pure state of flow that comes with writing and performing music live.

Music can be all things, and it can be whatever you need or want it to be. It can be hard or soft, fast or slow – these days we are lucky enough to access via the internet to pretty much anything we want, and music is a tool you just can’t afford to not have accompany you through life. It has powerful abilities as a state changer, and so is useful for this purpose alone.

For me, it is a form of expression so deep and powerful that I feel I am ripping open my chest and baring my soul to the world when I write and perform. It is the purest form of communication I know of, and one that transcends geography, culture and differences. It is form of communication that transcends language, communicating thoughts and feelings on so many different levels that it can only be felt and never described. Music is a vehicle for unity, understanding and connectivity. If you read between the lines, you will see an underlying emotional message lurking between the rhythm and rhyme – a message so potent that words are powerless to describe it. It is a vicarious rollercoaster ride of emotional experience that can make you laugh or cry.

Whether it’s uppers or downers you’re looking for, music has a pill for you…

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile”

-Plato

Well, what a year 2016 has turned out to be.

For me, as I’m sure is also true for the reader, it has been a year of fantastic highs, and some difficult, but valuable, learning experiences. I turned 30 years old, won a World Championship Tae Kwon Do title, became double British Tae Kwon Do Champion, had my second child and doubled the turnover of my family’s business (to name a few). I have undertaken, and completed, my education to become a fully qualified Personal Trainer, and I am getting ready to grade for my black belt in April 2017 having completed an impressive run of completing all of my coloured belt gradings with A* passes – something I worked hard to achieve, and a goal I set for myself 3 and a half years ago. I know better today who I am and what my purpose is than I ever have, and walking through the door to 2017 I am more excited about what my future holds for me than I have ever been.

I have set and achieved so many goals for myself this year, that I have proven to myself beyond any shadow of a doubt that I can achieve and excel at literally anything I chose to put my mind to, and direct my focus towards. This is a truly empowering feeling! The best part? That I am nothing special. The only difference between me and the next person is that I decided on and stated my goals and proceeded to take massive action to achieve them. I became obsessed with success in every field I applied myself to, knowing that if I did I would use the failures along the way as my stepping stones to success. The process of deciding what it is you want in life, and then going out into the World and putting all of your energy into taking the action needed to realise those desires is all you need to get to where you need to be.

There will be naysayers; ignore those people – they are usually always people who’ve achieved nothing in their lives and want to bring you down to their pit of sorrow for some company. You do not want to hang around those people too long, and you do not want to reduce your level of thinking by way of believing there to be limits to your potential, and to your ability to achieve your fullest potential. There are so many people in the World who have come from the worst circumstances, the most abhorrent situations, having been treated in the most despicable ways through the course of their lives, who have realised greatness. They have taken the pain of their past experiences and used it to fuel the fire of passion within them – a fire that when fed and allowed to burn bright, will be sure to light the road to success. These are the people who should be your inspiration in life; and remember, if you can see and recognise greatness in others, then you have greatness in you – you have to be able to see it in others before you can see it in yourself.

My belief, is that 2017 is going to be the best year of my life for the very reasons outlined above. I have achieved a staggering amount this year, and when I actually sat and wrote all of my achievements down from the last year, I was left speechless with the list the sat before me. I strongly urge that the reader take some time, before thinking of goals or ‘resolutions’ for the coming year, to sit and write out everything achieved in the past year. The process and the end result is both empowering and exhilarating, resulting in a dopamine dump of immense proportions helping you to shift to your most resourceful state. It is this state you must strive to be in when you sit to plan your life for any period that follows. As Tony Robbins says, every reason for a failure is a lack of resourcefulness NOT a lack of resources – if you’re resourceful, you’ll get any resource you need in life.

Grab a pen, a note pad and begin immediately; you’ll need it for your goal setting and resolution writing afterwards anyway.

So, now that’s done – time to plan the year ahead.

Now, this should really be done before the New Year so that time is available for the implementation of any preparation that may be required to get off to a flying start. In business, I like to start planning for the following years strategy around 3 months before the end of the current year. This gives plenty of time for brainstorming, calcifying ideas and preparation for the flying start. Pick a lead in time that works for you in your life and try to plan it into your schedule to ensure you stick to your commitment.

I wrote an extensive blog post on the subject of goal setting and accountability, and if you think you might find it helpful you can read that in full HERE.

In the good spirit of practicing what I preach, I will now list some of my key goals for 2017 below to allow the reader to hold me accountable to my stated goals. Remember, think without limitation when goal setting and strategising – any imposed limits will have been created in your mind and are only real because you made them so. Limits have a bad habit of suffocating creativity, and in planning something as important as the next year of our lives we need our creative juices to be flowing unrestricted and in abundance.

My Key Goals for 2017:

  1. Earn my Black Belt in the Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do in April 2017
  2. Achieve the ‘Best in Grading’ Award for my Black Belt grading
  3. Write and publish my first book by the end of June 2017
  4. Write and publish my second book by the end of December 2017
  5. Build a long term investment portfolio
  6. Learn, develop and prove a system for trading FOREX, Indexes and Commodities that is consistently profitable
  7. Engage in constant and never ending improvement in all aspects of my life
  8. Achieve my business and entrepreneurial goals and targets within the time limits I have set for myself
  9. Conduct a speaking tour of schools and colleges in the UK to speak to the young people of today about what tools they need to succeed in life that they aren’t necessarily being taught at school, and how to play the game of life. My aim in this endeavour is to give back to my communities and do everything in my power to add value to the lives of as many people as possible – the young people of today are the leaders of tomorrow; I want to do my bit to help set them up for success in realising their maximum potential. I will have the presentation prepared by the end of January 2017, and must speak for the first time before the end of March 2017
  10. Win the individual sparring event at the Tae Kwon Do British Championships as a Black Belt
  11. Deliver at least one blog post per week to my readers – to all of you who take the time to read my blog posts, I want to thank you sincerely; it means the world to me, especially hearing how they have inspired you and how they add value for you
  12. Start teaching my son Tae Kwon Do, getting him to the point where he can effectively execute the basic movements by the end of December 2017
  13. Find and buy a beautiful house in the countryside, perfectly situated to best cater for the various geographical commitments we have as a family – move in no later than October 2017
  14. Increase my income by at least 50% by the end of December 2017
  15. Go on holiday out of season to the Black Forest area in Germany with my family (the location stated here is my preference at the time of writing – the actual destination will of course be decided upon based on our preference as a a family unit at the planning and execution stage)
  16. Be grateful every single day for all the beautiful people in my life, and all the precious experiences they bring me daily. I love you all, thank you
  17. Attend and immerse myself in the Unleash the Power Within seminar in April 2017, held by Anthony Robbins (I am so excited about this!)
  18. Develop and grow my personal and professional relationships so they provide more value for both parties
  19. Look after myself; meditate, exercise, eat healthily and breathe
  20. See the lesson in every set back, failure or fuck up – learn from it, and move on
  21. Appreciate the beauty in every second – make time for it, soak it in and live it

What are some of your key goals or resolutions for 2017? I’d love to hear about them in the comments – it can be truly inspirational when a group of people collectively share their big dreams, goals and ideas.

Thank you for joining me in the thoughts for the last few months; I look forward to sharing more with you over the next year. I want to wish each and every one of you health, wealth and happiness for 2017 and beyond, and tell you that I believe in you. Anything you want is yours, all you have to do is go after it with a passion so fierce it’s infectious.

Remember; the sky is NOT the limit – we are limitless because our minds are limitless.

Happy New Year Everyone!

With Passion,

Jamie

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Question: Is there any such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’?

Well, that depends.

The question I’m really asking here is: are there any experiences, situations or physical entities that are inherently good or bad? Put another way, when all human perception is removed from the equation, is any given experience or situation still either good or bad?

I’ve given this a lot of deep thought over the years, and my opinion is that there is no such thing as good or bad; only experience. You see, to sub-classify a given experience as good or bad is fine, but ultimately they are still both the same thing – an experience or event in space-time. Added to which, isn’t it the case that the way we classify experiences is based solely on our own individual perception of them, and that perception, in turn, is the product of the sum total of our personal experiences over the course of our lives? I would argue so, and that being the case, it is clearly possible that two different people living through the same experience can interpret it completely differently; one classifying it as good, and the other as bad. It’s the same experience, yet viewing it through different sets of values and different conscious filters can affect a huge diversification of perception and interpretation.

So who’s right – is it good or bad?

The late Henry Ford has the perfect answer to this question:

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right”

If you interpret a situation or experience to be good, then it’s good. If you interpret an experience as bad, then it’s bad; either way you’re right because ultimately the only interpretation that matters in your World is yours. This starts to highlight the principals behind why we have so much personal power to control our own destinies, and why it’s important that we recognise it and use it to the best of our ability.

To elaborate with an example; we all know people who seem to enjoy living in a perpetual state of self induced helplessness. It is those people who tell themselves that they don’t stand a chance of succeeding in life, or that they’re not good enough, that start to believe it – and when the mind starts to believe it, it achieves it.

Every single thing we have produced as a species on this planet started out as a thought, an idea in someone’s head. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Every single system, product, structure – everything; it all started with a thought, a dream.

These creators, brilliant men and women so intent and passionate about the dreams in their minds eye, and so relentless in their pursuit, found ways to literally manifest their visions into existence. Where focus goes, energy flows.

And just look at all we’ve created over the millennia; from the great Pyramids of Giza to the International Space Station orbiting our planet.

Think now about the old saying, ‘life is what you make it’ – well, that’s true in more ways than one. Control of your perception is one of the keys to fulfilment and happiness. You will always find things in life that you class as both good and bad, but it’s important we realise this is merely a classification of the experience based on a lifetime of conditioning and your resulting perception of the situation. This level of awareness will empower you to see the good in everything, even if that’s the simple realisation that there’s a lesson in everything – good and bad – and that all lessons have value for those who are willing to be open to what they have to teach.

You receive what you perceive.

Another way to explore this principal is to consider the statement, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. I resolved myself at a relatively young age to the fact that roughly 50% of people in the world will find me physically attractive (thinking back, possibly a little optimistic) and 50% of people will think I’m butt ugly, deriving great confidence from those odds! Again, that same sentence can be focused and interpreted in at least two different ways – I could be pleased that half of the people I meet will find me attractive and put my focus into that mindset of positive thinking, or I could put my focus into being upset and devalued because half the people I meet will think I’m completely unattractive. Which one would you rather put your focus and energy to? At the end of the day, your assessment of another person’s physical appearance or personality is your own personal opinion coloured and governed by your own personal preferences, values and what you perceive the definition of beauty to be. There are no inherently ugly people, just as there are no inherently beautiful people – just a bunch of opinions, and we must see them for what they are.

Control your mind, and you will control your life – you can change anything in a heartbeat by changing the way you perceive it.