Well, I did it again.
I wrote about attracting Grammy nominated saxophone sensation Mindi Abair last November.
I attracted her again the other night.
While Mindi performs with the legends – from Aerosmith to Bruce Springsteen – and is a legend herself, she rarely if ever performs private acoustic house concerts.
She’s done it twice now for me and my friends.
And we all love her.
I can’t say enough good things about Mindi.
Not only is she beautiful and mega talented, but a warm, loving, fun, generous person, as well.
Her seventh solo CD, Wild Heart, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category. Featuring special guests such as Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Max Weinberg, Booker T. Jones and Waddy Wachtel, Wild Heart is my favorite of all her albums (so far).
She played tracks from the recent album: raw, acoustic, and steaming with emotion. And she and her keyboard player, Dave Yaden, a Grammy winning songwriter, hung with us for almost six hours.
They didn’t have to.
They wanted to.
And everyone was amazed, happy and grateful.
A highlight for me was having Mindi teach me how to control my breathing for better saxophone playing.
The basic idea is to make a slip of paper stay stuck to a wall by focusing your breath a few inches away and keeping the air flow out steady, so the paper doesn’t fall. (You can watch that lesson at http://youtu.be/LQDUS9tFbAk)
Another highlight was Mindi sitting on my lap, swooning to the thought of my own saxophone album, Afflatus.
And both Mindi and Dave answered our questions, which was remarkable and educational, as they openly discussed music, improvisation, and breathing, to where to get hot pants and sexy boots. We also learned about hack-sawing a mouthpiece to get it in tune, the musician’s crush, and more.
As in the last private concert, Mindi introduced each song with a story behind it, which brought the songs to life in a more intimate way.
A poignant story was about Mindi’s sax, which was stolen last January.
She had a custom made alto saxophone which was her baby, her pride and joy, and her workhorse. She took it everywhere, used it daily, and relied on it for her income.
It was stolen out of her car.
While she was devastated, it turned into something great, as she attracted a new Yamaha Custom Z alto sax and her own signature Theo Wanne mouthpiece.
While the theft was not perceived as good at the time, she later saw it as the Universe kicking her into her next growth spurt.
As she put it, she was an instant Buddhist – learning non-attachment on the spot.
I love this woman.
To nourish us all, Nerissa made pizza and brownies from the grain-free, gluten-free, all natural recipes in her bestselling cookbook, Bread-Free Bread.
All in all, another unforgettable evening with the astonishing Mindi Abair.
Please go get her albums and enjoy this terrific woman’s gifts.
Her site is right here.
PS – You can see the first private house concert with Mindi Abair (and guitarist Randy Jacobs) online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEZahXwrTeQ
NOTE: Just a friendly reminder: you can still pre-order my fifth singer-songwriter album — the one where the songs are like 3-minute self-help books — and with Grammy nominated singer Ruthie Foster on one steamy track — at a dramatic discount at One More Day: Life Lessons in Hypnotic Song. This will be a limited edition collectible booklet and CD package. You’ll want it. I’m no Mindi Abair, but I also play sax on the album.
Reading as much as I do, it’s hard to narrow the stacks of great books down to a handful of memorable classics. Here are the top ten books that really stood out and made a difference in my life in 2014:
Best Books 2014
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. This may be my favorite book of the year. Yes, there are plenty of self-help books that say virtually the same thing as Sincero’s book, but almost none do it with attitude. I love the humor, honesty, intimacy, personality, and daring of the author. I love the book so much I reached out and interviewed Sincero for my podcast. She’s sincere, funny, open, and a living badass of the polite I-won’t-hurt-you but I’m-going-for-my-dreams-so-stand-back sort. Fun, wise, empowering. Read it.
Spartan Up! by Joe De Sena. This one lit a fire under my butt and made me want to get out and run up steep hills with my shoes on fire. Since I’m already working out intensely, thanks to personally training with Body-for-Life fitness legend Bill Phillips, I didn’t feel compelled to enter a Spartan endurance race. But I found this book inspiring, motivating, and heart pounding. I love his concept of “obstacle immunity,” which means hard core exercise builds inner strength to easily handle the stresses of normal life. He’s right. After intense exercise, traffic is nothing. Great book.
The Science of Living by Emmet Fox. This book clearly explains the teachings of New Thought pioneer Emmet Fox, most famous for his little books, such as The Mental Equivalent and Make Your Life Worthwhile. Though Fox taught and published in the 1930s, The Science of Living is a recent publication based on his private classes with metaphysical students. I love its clarity, plus it made me feel like I was in the room with him. This fully explains what the philosophy of Mind Science is all about. A true gem.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I’ve read this 1937 classic before, of course, but after reading a recent biography of Carnegie (Self-Help Messiah), I decided to read it again. It is a masterpiece. I am in awe of Carnegie’s conversational writing style, powerful stories, and crisp message. I wish just one of my books was this good. The message, while simple, is as relevant today as it was over the last several decades. Priceless.
Making the American Body by Jonathan Black. I found this book hypnotic. It masterfully tells the story of the men and women who shaped fitness in the United States. That may sound boring to you but believe me, the feats, feuds, and fuss of the often egomaniac men and women who urge us to get fit is an entertaining, enlightening, and even appalling read. My only disappointment is the author somehow left out Bill Phillips, who is a living legend in fitness. Otherwise, riveting.
A Moment in Time: The Steve Reeves Story by George Helmer. I’m one of the biggest Reeves collectors in the world. I have the famous body builder/movie star’s gym, car, clothes, trophies, and more. My collection is impressive enough that Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) came to see it. This long awaited biography, by Reeves’ personal friend and executor of his estate, is mesmerizing. The hundreds of photos are worth the price of admission alone. The stories are alive. It’s a loving tribute to a legend; the definitive biography of the original Hollywood Hercules.
The Devil’s Horn by Michael Segell. As you may know, I’m now a saxophone player. (Afflatus, my baritone sax album, came out last month.) This is the hands-down best book ever written on the dramatic roller-coaster history of the sax, an instrument once considered the “devil’s horn” by some while others swooned to its cool sound. It was once the most popular instrument in the world (until the guitar got plugged in). The man who invented the sax – named (no surprise) Adolphus Sax – went through business failure, ridicule, controversy, political manipulation, envy, and even a death threat. An astonishing book.
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Nicholas Herman, later known as Brother Lawrence, lived in France in the 1600’s as a kitchen working monk. He dedicated his life to constantly living, working, playing, and praying “as in His presence” at all times. “His” means God. If the God word pushes a button in you, exchange it for Divinity or something else. This little book of conversations with, and letters by, Brother Lawrence has been changing lives for centuries. It did mine, too, and deeply influenced the writing of my forthcoming book, The Secret Prayer. There are numerous editions of this holy work around, many published in English for the first time around 1895. Highly recommended.
Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? by Mary J. Lore. I love the direct simplicity of this well crafted book. It helps you understand what your thoughts are doing, whether you are aware of them or not. Of course, once you are aware of your thoughts, you are now separate from them and more in control. A practical, inspiring guide.
Willpower: The Owner’s Manual by Frank Martela. This brief book surprised me with the 12 tools it describes for “doing the right thing.” I expected fluff, I got wisdom. People often resist will power, thinking it is pure ego or pure pain, when in reality will power is what you often need to align your desires, achieve your intentions, and attract what you want. Great book. Will yourself to read it.
And here’s a bonus title —
You Are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza. I’m not a fan of so-called scientifically based books describing how the world works, mostly because I can’t follow their terminology and the authors often disagree with each other, but this book is easy reading, easy to understand, and truly eye opening. Dispenza explains how it is possible to heal many “incurables” with thought alone, by detailing how the mind influences everything. In a way, this is a manual on how to create the placebo effect as needed. I read every word. Fascinating.
What about you?
What did you read this year that moved you?
Please post your comment below.
PS – My list of best books for 2013 is at http://blog.mrfire.com/best-books-of-2013/
People usually marvel at the speed at which I get things done –
I personally don’t think it’s such a big deal. It’s simply what I do.
But I’ve noticed that when people get close to me, they also begin to get things done faster than ever before.
How is this possible?
Why do some people never start a project, others take forever to complete them, and others never finish them – yet I and those close to me start and complete at warp speed?
For example, my wife, Nerissa, just completed her first book, a cookbook titled Bread-Free Bread. It consists of almost 80 recipes, all of them created from scratch. They reveal how to make “breads” out of vegetables, seeds and nuts. The book is already a bestseller.
But here’s the interesting part: she landed a publishing deal and began the book project before signing it, worked night and day for two months to create, develop, test and retest the recipes, as well as take color photos of each dish.
And she did it while having two surgeries, selling rental property of 17 years, buying a new home for her mother, having bathroom remodeling and construction workers interrupting her, losing our beloved cat of 15 years, and maintaining her activities in local politics.
But how was this possible?
She’s not alone.
Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon is my partner on several music projects, such as Aligning to Zero.
When I told him I had an idea for more original healing music, created with my baritone clearing electric guitar, and with prayers read by me, we took action and broke the speed of sound.
We created all tracks, from zero, in about four weeks.
A few weeks later, we were selling the album.
It’s called Invoking Divinity.
Some musicians take years to get their first album done.
Some never do it at all.
How did we do it so fast?
These stories of time distortion and instant results don’t stop there.
As you may already know from a previous blog post, I heard a baritone saxophone for the first time in January of 2014.
I loved it.
I bought a vintage bari sax in February.
In March I started playing, improvising, and learning.
Thanks to my music producer’s belief in me – Daniel Barrett said I have a supernatural connection to the sax – I was in the studio recording an all sax album in October.
In November – yes, this month – barely ten months from first hearing the bari sax – I completed it.
It’s called Afflatus, which means “divine inspiration.”
And by the way, that’s my tenth album — in just over three years.
How is this possible?
What’s my secret to instant productivity?
It’s this –
I move as if I am on fire.
I treat ideas as gifts from the universe.
When they arrive, I do my best to act fast, if not instantly.
I also watch my mind for any excuses or doubts, and remove them at once.
The more I am clear, the faster I can create.
That’s worth repeating —
“The more I am clear (of limiting beliefs about what is possible), the faster I can create.”
And I surround myself with people who encourage and believe in me.
The result is a win-win.
I get projects done, and others around me are inspired to get things done, too.
Inspiration is contagious.
It ignites fire in others too.
I’ve often said, “Money likes speed.”
Well, the Universe likes it, too.
The faster you do, the faster everyone benefits.
And lest you think I am producing mediocre work by moving so quickly, keep in mind that several of my songs have been nominated for the Posi Award (considered the Grammy’s of positive music), my music video called “Be Kind” has been seen (at recent count) over 90,000 times, my albums with Mathew are all best-sellers for us, and the team that helps me create my singer-songwriter music are celebrity musicians, award winning musicians, and even one musician in the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve even had three Grammy winners involved in one album.
And my books – such as The Attractor Factor and Zero Limits – are bestsellers around the world.
I am producing top quality at top speed.
You can do this, too.
One more example:
A few years ago I was invited to be on the cover of Austin All Natural magazine. I decided I would create my first album in three months, and feature it as the cover story. It would announce my debut as a musician.
But I also went to Mathew Dixon, and to singer Sarah Marie, and told them if they, too, completed new albums within three months, I’d see that they were included in the magazine.
We could support each other.
It’d be a win-win-win.
We all went to work.
Remember, we each started from nothing.
And we each had the same three months to get our albums done.
We did it, too.
We completed our albums and were featured in the issue.
Again, inspiration is contagious.
This is the secret of great productivity:
Light a fire in your heart and let the flames of passion drive you to completion.
Knowing that others have done this helps you erase any mental limitations that may have been slowing or stopping you.
Doing it with others, or with others who believe in you, also collapses time, excuses, and perceived limits.
Truth is, I don’t know that we have any real limitations.
But what fun it is to test the limits.
Light a fire and burn.
PS — If you want help in achieving and attracting your desires, check out Miracles Coaching.
At my recent presentation at Sundance in Utah, I invited everyone to think of a problem that they wish would go away — a nagging one that seemed to stick no matter what — one that they never even tell anyone about because it hurts so much…
I wanted them to feel the block — whether a block preventing them from attracting money, health, love, or anything else — so I could help them release it once and for all.
I then played just four of the eight tracks from the new healing album, “Invoking Divinity.”
I knew the inspired music, calming 432 Hz frequency, and clearing ho’oponopono prayers would help them melt anything in the way of their experiencing bliss right now and being free to have, do, or be virtually anything they could imagine.
Did it work?
Here’s what one person said..
“As I listened to Invoking Divinity for
the first time, in my mind I thought about
something recent that had happened to me
that was very painful emotionally.
“Each time I thought or talked about the painful
experience, I couldn’t help but cry. Even though
I tried to let go of the emotions, it seemed like
I couldn’t. When Joe Vitale asked me to think
about something that needed clearing, I immediately
thought of that event.
“As I listened to the first track, sure enough,
the tears streamed down my face. I felt the emotion
of the event very deeply. Somehow, by the third track,
the pain was gone. After all this time, just sitting
and listening to your healing music soothed my pain,
and then completely healed me. As the fourth track
started, I began to have clear inspiration about what
I should do with my class (I’m an elementary school
teacher) and particularly with some of the students
that struggle for one reason or another.
“Not only did the music heal me, it opened up a portal
to inspiration for me. I believe this shift from within
me will create miraculous positive influence on my
students and many others. Thank you, from the bottom
of my heart, for the blessing of your healing music.
Now I have a deep desire to get the music translated
in Chinese so my Chinese-speaking family can benefit
like I did!”
Huai Nan, China
“Listening to your newest album Invoking Divinity was
profound for me, thank you for healing me, thank you
for inspiring me– again.
“That was probably the best 20 minutes I could ever
spend. Moving from track to track on the CD and just
feeling my energy shift was absolutely profound. Your
music is a blessing to humanity.”
Thank you, Steve and Yang Yue.
The eight tracks (40 minutes total) on the album are a combination of subliminal and audible clearing prayers and Divine music.
All I played at the event were 20 minutes of audible sounds and prayers (just four tracks).
Imagine what all 40 minutes could do for you!
Please do yourself a favor and go discover the power of “Invoking Divinity.”
Story, photos, audio samples and more are at http://www.InvokingDivinity.com
PS — If you want to raise your vibration, relax, clean, clear, and experience heaven, just go see http://www.InvokingDivinity.com
I’m in the recording studio with Grammy nominated legend Ruthie Foster and award-winning singer and producer Daniel Barrett. We have joined forces to create an album together.
I’m flattered beyond belief that these two superstars want me on an album. After all, I’m relatively new to being a musician. And I’ve been a long time fan of both of them. To be in the studio with them is mind boggling.
I was so excited to record with them that I showed up for our first session thirty days early. (!)
But what’s really interesting is how we are all stretching ourselves.
For example —
Ruthie is famous for her singing but not her lead guitar.
On our album, she is playing lead electric guitar.
Daniel does everything, from engineering to singing and more, but he doesn’t play the drums. Or at least didn’t.
On this album, he does.
I’m a newbie to music and don’t have all that much experience doing anything (even though I’ve released eight albums in over three years). I certainly am brand new and uncomfortable on the saxophone.
On this album, I am playing a baritone saxophone.
What’s going on here?
Each of us is stretching out of our comfort zones.
When you stretch your comfort zone, you reach a new level of comfort and confidence.
When Daniel, Ruthie and I go into the studio, we talk, share, joke, and play. Out of our openness, we come up with songs. Out of our willingness to take risks, and exceed our comfort zones by pursing our desires, we create new possibilities.
The result is magic.
And some pretty cool music.
This is an important lesson for each of us.
You have “comfort zone limits,” too.
When you find them and nudge them a bit, you extend your power and attract new results.
We aren’t doing daredevil stuff in the studio.
We are taking what we haven’t done before but want to do, and focusing on making something happen by doing it.
We are simply following our inspiration and taking action to create something new.
Yes, there is often fear involved, but we feel the fear and do it, anyway.
We turn the fear into fuel.
Here’s an example —
One day, while Ruthie was playing lead electric guitar (and truly wowing me at it), I received an idea for a song.
I jotted it down.
As she kept playing, I started singing the song in my head.
The lyrics and her melody seemed to work together.
When she was done playing, I did something daring.
I said, “I want to sing!”
This was a huge move on my part.
Singing at all, any time, any place, has been a challenge for me.
I’m new at it.
I’ve been insecure about it.
And to sing for Ruthie Foster — one of the best singers I’ve ever heard in my entire life — was a courageous even outrageous thing to suggest.
Even though Ruthie had mentioned just the day before, “I like your singing, Joe. You can sing with me if you want,” I didn’t feel ready to leave my comfy mindset and step into her arena.
But I wanted to push out of my comfort zone.
My heart was racing but I knew I had to do this.
Daniel and Ruthie are loving and supportive, and urged me on.
After all, each of us was doing something new.
We were all stretching.
So I took a deep breath, got in front of the mike, and belted out my tune.
After I sang, Daniel said, “That was some of the best singing I’ve ever heard out of you.”
I looked over at Ruthie and she was beaming a sunny smile and nodding her head in agreement.
It was amazing.
Daniel’s drumming, Ruthie’s lead guitar, my vocals — it was a stretch for each of us but it all came together into a powerful new song that will be on our forthcoming first album.
And that song will probably be titled, “Stretch Yourself!”
All I’m reminding you here is do what you fear.
If you have a dream but feel nervous about it, that’s good.
It means you care.
The next step is to get up and do something about it.
Your comfort zones are invisible lines in your mind.
You can melt them with a little stepping forth.
I’m packing up my baritone saxophone and heading back to the studio right now.
It’s time for Saxman Joe to do his thing.
What are you going to do today to stretch yourself?
PS — Ruthie Foster told me she got an “Aha!” from listening to my song, ‘Reflection,’ off my latest singer-songwriter album of the same name. You can hear samples of all the tracks on that album and grab the CD (which comes with a collectible, limited edition booklet, and with a surprise gift) over at http://www.ReflectionCD.com
BONUS: If you’ve never heard Ruthie Foster sing, watch this…