For a long time now I have been on a journey of self-discovery into what my purpose here in this life is. As a boy I was very clear on what this was. I was an avid reader and writer and I knew I wanted to grow up to write books too.
But then, as a teenager, I discovered rock n’ roll and this became my new dream. I lived it for many years, first in my mind, and then, as a young man, in reality. I got to perform on stages in front of giant crowds, make great albums that genuinely sold like hot cakes and enjoy my own sweet, brief taste of rock stardom.
Then it all came crashing down as I struggled with issues around focus, self-belief and let’s just say, an overly enthusiastic taste for the nightlife.
Desperate for Answers, I Searched Within
Years went by in an aimless daze of parties until one day I woke up, mid-30s and boom – I was about to become a father. This caused me to look at myself and for the first time truly consider my legacy. I went within and asked my Higher Self: what am I here to teach my child? The answer came: Persistence.
So I threw myself back into music with as much time and effort as I could muster for the next 8 years.
Four years ago, a second child came along. Again I went within and asked: what am I here to teach THIS child? The answer this time was: Self-discipline. So I persisted with my music (despite the challenges of being a decent parent while pursuing the music life) and I practised self-discipline, slowly changing my many undesirable habits for the better. It’s still a work in progress but I am proud to say I am no longer a slave to any food or drug addictions and I am a fitter, healthier, more productive man than I have ever been.
But something was still missing
The problem was that while I was making great music with cool guys that I love being around (still am), I just wasn’t getting enough traction with it to turn it into a career. I could make many excuses about how it is such a hard path to follow when you’re no longer in your twenties and you have kids and a mortgage and all the rest, but the bottom line is this: I just didn’t want it enough.
So I was searching, and again I went in and asked: what is my path? What is the Higher Plan for my remaining years?
I asked this during a particularly deep and peaceful meditation, good energy and physical bliss coursing through my body. Suddenly, a few minutes after asking the above question, my head tilted right back of its own accord and my throat started to pulsate with an intense, blissful energy. My Higher Self answered my question with the following words:
Write and Speak
That was it. Just “Write and speak.”
But I lacked confidence. What did I have to write or speak about that others would want to read or hear? My Higher Self understood my wordless self-doubt and continued:
“Fear not. I will give you the words. Just write and speak.”
So I committed to this new path wholeheartedly. I had always wanted to write books “one day”, but suddenly I just knew, with absolute certainty, that “one day” had come. The time to do it is now. Once I made this commitment, some amazing things happened to help – and to hinder – my new mission.
When the Student is Ready, The Teacher Appears
The first thing was that I discovered a teacher online, Joanna Penn, who has shown me that, in contrast to what I mistakenly believed, there is a good living to be made from writing fiction. The Indie Author Revolution is happening now and with it comes the sparkling promise of (for those who can execute) a real career writing art for art’s sake. (She probably thinks I’m a nutcase online stalker by now, so Joanna, if you’re read this, please know I am not crazy, just enthusiastic!)
Just after I had started reading Joanna’s work, I had an intense vision in a meditation. Here are my notes from my journal that day (October 24th, 2015):
A shadowy woman rider on a horse, among the trees in a forest. She hands down to me something, like some paper or an envelope. I read it and then I sprout wings, transforming from a man into a kookaburra and I fly straight off and up to a round door in the side of a mountain like a hobbit door. The door opens to reveal a tunnel, round, straight through the mountains, possibly with doors off the side but I fly straight through and emerge out the other side of the mountain, into the sunlight. I am an Eagle now, there is the sparkling sea below me. I soar through a perfect blue sky. Free and powerful.
I pondered the meaning of this dream and came to the conclusion that Ms. Penn was the rider on the horse, her message re the Indie Author Revolution was what she handed me. I turned into a Kookaburra which is very significant to me because where we live here in the mountains of South Eastern Australia, we share the environment with many kookaburras and they do frequent our backyard a lot. I often watch them sit patiently on a branch, head cocked to one side, waiting for their prey. When they see a tiny lizard or worm, they pounce, swooping down without delay to grab their prize. So for me this was, in the dream, a message that the prize is there for the swooping, I just need to swoop.
I have been searching for so long for a direction that feels right for me and this does, so I am swooping baby!
The tunnel through the mountain, with the doors off to side, represent the work that must be done to reap the benefits of the successful author’s path (represented by the Eagle energy at the end of the dream). I will need to stay focussed; not stray down any interesting side alleys. Anyone who knows me can tell you this is has long been an issue in my life (I find a lot of things very interesting).
This, as noted, was less than two months ago, but when you know something, you just know it. Straight away I started a new first draft of a novel. I have been getting up early as often as possible and writing before work and now I am half way through at 40,000 words. I have also pulled out an old novel that I wrote ten years ago, which I still quite like. I am re-editing that now and will publish next year. I am also intending on re-editing the non-fiction works that I have halfheartedly marketed here at Rebel Zen and releasing them properly.
A Bump In The Road…
But what about speaking? This was different, I am very comfortable with writing, but speaking not so much. I mean, being a singer, I have been bantering between songs on stage for twenty years, and I am very comfortable with it, but this is not the same as public speaking per se. But the message was clear. It was “write AND speak”, not just write. And this makes sense as most writers (especially non-fiction) supplement their incomes with speaking gigs.
But that didn’t make me feel any more confident.
And then my voice buggered up. Isn’t that strange? After 20 plus years of singing and shouting (not to mention smoking my fair share), I make a commitment to learn public speaking, get VERY scared about it, and suddenly I can hardly talk and am diagnosed with a rotten little thing called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux.
Long story short, it can be managed through diet (even the mainstream medicos believe this) so I called on my increasingly awesome powers of self-discipline and stopped consuming caffeine and acidic foods (fried foods, tomatoes, spices, etc) and over the space of two months is has cleared up to about 90% better.
A Gift From The Universe?
But still, how am I supposed to even start with public speaking? I had no idea. Well, again it looks like fate has stepped in to help. A few months back I made online “friends” with an interesting bloke from the US called Tiamo. I started listening to some of his online talks (he is a professional speaker and musician) and I really enjoyed his stories and his laid back, laconic style. Being a friendly fellow, I reached out to him online. He turned out to be quite supportive and just recently, as it turns out, he has launched an online course called the Fearless Speaker Academy. I mentioned that I have this blog (and the email list of 6000 people) and he in turn offered to give me a free membership to the course if I would spruik it to my readers.
Hey, I’m not too big on woo-woo cliches, but if that isn’t the Universe providing then I don’t know what is.
So yeah, I can’t tell you if the course is any good or not, because I haven’t started yet but I am pretty sure it will be excellent. I have listened in on a couple of Tiamo’s webinars and talks on the subject and the man, while humble and chilled-out, knows his stuff. He’s given me an affiliate* link to a free gift that he has for us all, so if you’d like to grab this with no obligation to buy anything, click here. If you have any interest at all in public speaking, then I think you should!
Meanwhile, I will continue on my journey and to keep me accountable, I will continue to blog about my progress here.
Oh and by the way – if you’re wondering how YOU can use meditation to get in touch with YOUR higher self, then I suggest you have a look at this book I wrote called Psychedelic Meditation. Although the focus of the book is about feeling good via meditation, in fact it is the same process I use to access my Higher Wisdom.
*an affiliate link means that should you decide to buy anything from Tiamo, I get a small percentage, so you’d be helping me keep this blog happening 🙂