Ever since my personal songwriting lesson with rock icon Melissa Etheridge in November, my conversations have changed. Now I refer to Melissa in almost everything I say:
“According to Melissa…”
“When I was with Melissa…”
“Melissa told me…”
“What I learned from Melissa…”
“Melissa puts it this way…”
My two hours with her were so impactful that I think about it every day.
I’ve listened to the audios (Melissa was kind enough to let me record my time with her) several times. I even transcribed the audios so I can get the information visually and not just audibly.
Apparently, life changed forever when I sat with Melissa in her home.
Since so many people liked my “Attracting Melissa Etheridge Part Two” post, I thought you might enjoy this third installment. If nothing else, it’ll give me a chance to say Melissa’s name a few more times.
When I sat with Melissa and her loving spouse in their kitchen, she wanted to know about my life in music.
“Music is sacred,” she said.
“Music is life. Music is nature. When you break reality down, and the dimensions down, it’s all music,” she said. “Tell me about you and music.”
So I told her about growing up hearing the crooners, from Frank Sinatra to Perry Como. But that was mostly because my father played their music. The breakout music for me was Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond.
Melissa loves them all and added she is a huge Neil Diamond fan.
She held each one as if it were a blessed gift from above.
She studied the photos of my band and wanted to know about each musician.
She was impressed that my drummer has the same name as me.
I was really touched that she was so interested and present with my music and me.
And then she wanted to know about my current music.
“Let me see your journal with your song ideas,” Melissa said.
I handed it to her, which I’ve never shown to anyone.
“This is your safe place to write any ideas,” she said.
“You have to throw just anything in there,” she explained. “Believe me, I didn’t think my song ‘Somebody Bring Me Some Water’ was a good thing. And I almost didn’t put ‘Come to My Window’ on the album. I didn’t think anyone would understand it. We are the worst critics of our own ideas.”
I found that fascinating, shocking, revealing and encouraging.
If Melissa Etheridge can doubt her songs, then it’s okay if I do, too.
We just can’t let the doubt stop us.
“You need a safe book and a safe place and a good pen,” she said.
“I regard the connection to the Universe when you write as a sacred place,” she added. “And Divinity is only going to come when you are lined up with it.”
That’s when she told me to only write from inspiration.
“Get excited. Look forward to writing. I walk, read poetry, and I believe greatly in the power of cannabis connecting us to the Divinity,” she explained.
Well, she lost me there.
Cannabis isn’t legal in Texas.
I had given her a copy of my newest book, The Miracle.
I still kick myself for not taking a photo of her holding the book. I still see her in my mind, smiling bright, congratulating me on the new book.
Why didn’t I take a photo of that?
I told her I wanted to write a song about miracles.
“Miracles is your big overall subject,” she said. “What is it about miracles? You have to break that down to get to your core message.”
I showed her a few lyrics in my sacred book.
“Ohhhh, nice!” she said, clearly impressed. “Do you have any music for it?”
“You get to choose what you do next,” she explained.
“You can work on melody, chords, more lyrics,” she advised. “You get to choose.”
She urged writing from the first person, like I do in most of my blog posts and books.
“When you come from your personal space, the music is super powerful,” she explained. “So stay away from ‘you’ in your songs. Write from your own perspective.”
That was a big takeaway for me.
As a copywriter, I was trained to write about you, not me.
But as a songwriter, Melissa suggests I write from my view.
Writing from the first person is what I am now doing with the songs for my forthcoming new album.
“Our job as artists is to help people to ascension and a wakefulness,” she explained. “Thus we contribute to the societal reality that becomes better.”
She explained how she wrote the song ‘Pulse’ about the Florida nightclub shooting.
“What I’m trying to show, and the chorus is, you know, I am human, I am loved, and my heart beats in my blood, love will always win, underneath the skin, everybody’s got a pulse. So how simply can I say this big old thought that I’m trying to get out is yes, a man came in and shot 49 people, killed them all with a gun, and do you know why? Because he is in so much pain.
“And if I don’t look at him and feel as much sorrow and sadness for him as I do for everyone who died and everyone who went through that experience, then I’m losing out, then I can’t get past this. If I believe in the duality, if I believe in the good and evil and that there’s evil, well, then I give all my power to that. So how can I gather energy to forgiveness and even understanding beyond the forgiveness? Because forgiveness still implies good and bad.”
“Forgiveness still implies good and bad.”
I didn’t realize how deeply Melissa dug into her own thinking and her own soul to create such masterpieces as ‘Pulse.’ It made me reflect on my own songs and songwriting.
I decided right there I had to be even more focused on my messages.
“As a songwriter, you’re always coming up against cliché,” Melissa explained. “So I always dance around the simple, the cliché even, yet sometimes the simple is right on, and then take the thought one level deeper.
“My junior year English teacher gave me the best advice I’ve ever, ever had. She said, ‘As a writer, you want to write just above the masses, just above. ‘ You want the masses to be able to understand, but you want them to reach up.”
That was more food for thought.
Make listeners “reach up” to fully understand.
We talked more about my idea to write a song about miracles. She wanted me to brainstorm and ad-lib and free associate. As I did, she kept urging me to write it all down in my sacred book.
“Editing is the fun part. You can do that later. That’s where the craft of songwriting comes in.”
When I said I used the phrase “The Great Something” as a way to hint at God, Divinity, or the Universe, without alienating anyone, Melissa lit up.
“Oh, that’s good. The Great Something. Write that down,” she said, pointing at my sacred book.
And it’s going to be the title of my forthcoming album.
“Miracle is a little weak just from overuse,” she told me. “People say it was a miracle their car started. Well, not really. This is why I use a thesaurus. You want to dig deeper, find other words.”
She added, “Be as specific in your writing as you are in your writing.”
I loved that line, even though I had to think about it more than once.
“Be as specific in your writing as you are in your writing.”
As you can see, Melissa and I covered a lot of ground in just two hours.
At another time I might share her singing advice, which I also found profound, but let’s stop here for today.
Again, thank you, Melissa!
Come to my window!
PS – My other posts about Melissa Etheridge are at:
Note: You can watch Melissa Etheridge sing her song ‘Pulse’ here:
Whenever I want to improve in any area, I get a coach.
I know this to be so powerful, that it’s the reason I created my own Miracles Coaching program almost a decade ago. I had learned that whenever I got a coach, my skills accelerated.
When I wanted to get healthier, I went and studied directly with Bill Phillips, the legendary fitness guru behind the Body-for-Life movement. I received five honorable mentions for my success way back in 2004-2005. I received three medals for my transformation a few years ago, too, one of them presented to me by Bill Phillips himself. (!)
When I wanted to learn how to play the saxophone, I studied with Grammy nominated legend Mindi Abair. We turned my fanship into a friendship. And I went on to play sax on several of my songs, and even created an entire album of my own baritone saxophone music. (!)
When I was interested in bodybuilding, I went and studied in person with a great winner, Frank Zane. While that was more than ten years ago, I still call up in memory what I learned in person from Frank and apply it today – over 10 years later. (!)
When I wanted to dramatically improve my skills as a musician, I went and studied in the home of rock legend Melissa Etheridge. That coaching experience transformed my life. I began to apply what I learned directly from Melissa to my songwriting. My new album, to be recorded in January, will be dedicated to her for all her influence. I’m even drafting a song about her called (of course) “Melissa.” (!)
Why is it so important to get coaching?
Because I know I don’t know it all.
Because I know learning on my own takes time.
Because I know the best can show me shortcuts.
Because I know this is an investment in my growth.
Because I know once I delete limiting beliefs, I accelerate my success.
Because I know it’s the number one way to transform my life forever.
In every case when I sought out coaching, my skills made a quantum leap forward.
And this is why you need to consider my Miracles Coaching program.
The evidence is overwhelming that it works.
It doesn’t matter what you are trying to attract or achieve.
What matters is that you “get clear” of any limiting beliefs in the way of what you desire.
Coaching can help you clear your path.
With every person mentioned above, I found limiting beliefs in myself that I had to change.
I still remember Melissa Etheridge pointing out a belief she heard me say that I didn’t hear. A coach can be a mirror and relay back to you what you aren’t even aware you are saying.
I still remember working out with Frank Zane and him saying he listens to what people say as they exercise. Their self-talk, spoken out loud, reveals their limitations.
Again, coaching is powerful.
PS – I wrote about my coaching experience with singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge right here on my blog. Get a sense of the power of it. Go see https://www.mrfire.com/law-of-
PPS – If you want coaching with *me* personally, consider a private mastermind. Details at http://www.MiraclesMastermind.
Back on September 1st I wrote about how I used the Law of Attraction and the Law of Right Action to attract legendary singer-songwriter-guitarist Melissa Etheridge.
At that time I hadn’t met her yet or had my songwriting lesson with her.
Well, now I have.
As I write this in Los Angeles, I had my session with her yesterday, at her home.
She met me outside her door, hugged me, gave me that Melissa million dollar smile, and said, “I didn’t know you were a fan.”
A “fan” is an understatement.
I’m a fan-atic.
I’ve been in awe of her performing and her music since around 1995.
To be standing with her was surreal.
As it turns out, Melissa is a fan of my work, as well as the work of the rest of the teachers from the movie The Secret. She’s personal friends with Tony Robbins. (Tony introduced ho’oponopono to her and her sweet spouse.)
She reads all the deep-end metaphysical books. She says she began around 2003 by picking up Ken Wilber’s The Theory of Everything, which is like learning how to swim by being dropped in the Atlantic ocean.
Her spirituality and understanding of manifestation has helped her awaken and achieve even greater levels of success in more recent years.
She told me that laying on her back, with cancer, and watching the movie The Secret, forced her to think about what she wanted in her life.
“If I am this powerful being who gave myself cancer and can create whatever I want, then I want healed, I want to make more music, and I want to win an Oscar.”
Of course, she went on and did all of that.
My time with Melissa was about songwriting, but she began it by asking about my life in music, my books, and then showing me her guitar collection.
Her favorite guitars are in the trailer that goes on the road with her. But she has a guitar room with them lining the walls like playable art.
And she has a studio with old and new and prototype guitars. (Ovation is releasing a ME electric in January). She also has more guitars in storage.
Of course, I related, understood, and told her of my own collection, which she says she wants to see one day.
We went in her home studio to focus on my actual lesson.
We each had a guitar. I had my songbook, where I jot ideas and snippets and songs. She said the songbook is sacred. (Later, I had her sign mine, making it even more priceless to me.)
From there she had me pick a song idea. She wanted to know the why for writing a song.
“What’s important to say in the song? Why do you want to write it? What’s the intention for it?”
She told me how she wrote some of her own songs, first thinking about why she wanted to write them.
She explained that for her song, Pulse, she wanted people to know that the person who went into a nightclub and shot dozens of people did so because he was in pain.
She also explained that for the Al Gore slide show about global warning, she wanted people to know that “I have to change,” not anyone else.
I found her to be a deep thinker, cutting to the core with her messages.
I told her about wanting to tell people how they could be happy now, and manifest their lives using the Law of Attraction, and more.
She nodded, accepting my reasons.
From there, for Melissa, it all begins with what I call a brain dump.
“Just write words,” she said. “Let it be okay whatever comes.”
She also advised to “fall in love with words.”
She uses a paperback thesaurus to look up other words, so she isn’t using too common or too cliche of words.
While I had been using Masterwriter, a popular software for songwriters, I found using a printed thesaurus slower but more enlightening.
The time spent looking up a word gave my mind time to think, and the alternate words were often surprising and triggered other thoughts.
We began with me wanting to write a song about Miracles, since my new book is titled The Miracle.
But within minutes the song became about The Great Something, a concept I write about in my book The Secret Prayer.
Instead of saying God, or Divine, or Universe, I refer to the super power behind all of life as “The Great Something.”
Melissa loved “The Great Something”‘ because it made you want to know more.
In a song, it would make you want to listen.
I got excited watching the song unfold with Melissa’s help.
Melissa often writes pages of words and phrases, knowing that later she will edit them.
“Editing is the fun part,” she told me.
She pointed to the back cover of my album, One More Day, to the line, “Self-help messages in 3 minutes or so.”
“That’s the challenge,” she said, smiling bright. “To condense pages of ideas into a three minute song.”
“That’s why I’m here,” I said. 🙂
Her songwriting template, more often than not, is to write a verse, then go right to the chorus, then to a versus, chorus, bridge, and chorus again.
“It’s stating the problem in the verse, and often a solution in the chorus,” she explained. “The next verse might spell out the problem more, and the chorus will again offer the upbeat solution.”
One of the biggest insights for me was the idea of writing in the first person.
Melissa says that first person songs are more personal and hit home with people.
Second person, or ‘you’ oriented songs, are one step removed from the listener and have less impact.
More often than not, she writes in the first person.
I started to play with the idea of writing The Great Something song in the first person. I instantly felt more connected to the song, and felt more power in the message.
I also saw myself get more excited and inspired.
“Always write from inspiration,” she had told me earlier.
“Get to that place where you have tingles of excitement for whatever you are about to write,”she added. “Never write without the tingles.”
She doesn’t meditate but often walks in nature, looks at trees and flowers, reads some poetry, reviews songs from people she admires, from Bruce Springsteen to Neil Diamond, all to ignite her inspiration.
I told her I smoke cigars.
She didn’t seem to relate to that.
Of course, she lives in a state where cannabis is legal.
Later she asked me to sing for her.
Now try to imagine that.
I’m a star-struck beginner at singing, sitting in the home studio of a rock and roll legend who has the most soaring voice of all time, and she says, “Sing for me.”
That’s like having Elvis ask you to sing.
Well, I did.
I also played a little instrumental, to give her a sense of what Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon and I create.
I was off key, out of step, and out of tune, but I did it anyway.
Melissa smiled big and said she bets the recorded versions with the band are stellar.
I then asked about singing advice.
Melissa took a breath and gave me a long, wise, hypnotic answer about watching the Ed Sullivan Show on TV and being influenced by Tom Jones, Janis Joplin, Robert Plant and others.
She noticed their joy in singing was what was so captivating.
She went on to say she wanted her music to be ballsy, not girlie.
She didn’t want to sing head voice, though she could.
She wanted something deeper and harder.
I related and told her I often felt more comfortable singing with a baritone guitar, which lowered my voice into my chest.
“That’s a good place for your voice,” she said. “It’s at home there.”
She also gave advice on performing.
“Never perform sitting down,” she said. “It cuts off your breathing.”
“And always eat, be hydrated, and get plenty of rest, so you can deliver your performance with full power.”
I’ll be processing my time with Melissa Etheridge for the rest of my life.
I found her open, loving, generous, spiritual, fearless, talented, present, friendly and wise.
She even invited me to speak on her next cruise ship concert. (!)
I was a fan (fanatic) before meeting her in person.
Today I’m in love.
Hey Melissa, I want to come over – again!
PS – Please note that whenever you have an expert coach you, your experience and expertise leap in incalculable measures. Melissa Etheridge heard a limiting belief come out of my mouth that I didn’t hear and I was the one who said it. We all need a coach. Consider Miracles Coaching.
Because everything programs you.
You don’t have to be consciously focused on conversations around you, or the media blaring news over TVs in a bar or restaurant, or billboards in your field of vision as you drive, or even the music playing in the background as you work, walk, rest, exercise or lounge.
It’s still all programming you.
Your mind is picking up around 40,000,000 bits of information in every second.
Even right now, as you read these words.
You’re not aware of it all, thank goodness, because another part of your mind is filtering it.
That other part lets you become aware of only what is necessary to your goals and survival.
But that other part is also receiving all that other programming.
When it comes to attracting more of what you want using the Law of Attraction, you need to become aware of this hidden programming, and consciously surround yourself with what supports you.
And that’s where I want to talk about motivational songs.
Music can program you for lack and limitation.
I’ve written about this many times, explaining if you can’t seem to get what you want today, it could very well be due to the Rolling Stones singing “You can’t always get what you want” into your brain since the 1960s.
What we need to do today is carefully choose what we allow into our heads.
We have choice.
You can still listen to the Rolling Stones, or any other band you love, just with an awareness of the lyrics and the consciousness to prevent any limited thinking programming.
You can also search for more upbeat, positive music.
For example, more and more music is being called “healing music” and “self help” music. It’s music intentionally created to motivate you, inspire you, or even enlighten you.
A quick search brought up these top motivational songs:
You can of course create your own playlist of self-help or motivational songs.
Meanwhile, let me share some of my own adventures in making motivational music:
Back in 2011, when I began recording my first album, I consciously decided to make it a “meditation meets the blues” recording.
We also recorded it in record time (no pun intended), so I could be on the cover of Austin All Natural magazine announcing my first ever music album.
We succeeded, too.
My next album in 2012, was my first singer-songwriter one.
I knew I wanted to create songs that helped me feel inspired and motivated. The album title track, Strut!, was a rally call for people to “strut around” when they felt down.
It’s the positive psychology principle that just smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, will change your internal state.
Fake a smile to feel a smile.
Strut to feel like strutting.
My first major music video from the Strut! album became, over the years, my all-time most watched video. You can still see “Everybody’s Going Through Something” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzT_yljj-SU
At this point I’ve recorded five singer-songwriter albums.
I’m going to record album six in January, after my private songwriting lesson with the legendary Melissa Etheridge next week. (!)
I’ll again attract my all-star band back into the studio:
Together we’ll make more motivational songs.
But I’m not the only one creating music to help people.
In the last few years of making music, I’ve met many other artists creating their own forms of motivational songs, or healing music, and self help music.
For example –
I could go on.
Obviously, you have choice in what you listen to.
The Jive Aces, a really cool swing-jump-jazz dance band from the UK, has a video that makes me smile whenever I watch it. Over 2,000,000 have seen it. It’s “Bring Me Sunshine” and you can watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXvJ8UquYoo
The point of this post is to help you remember to consciously guard the roads into your mind.
Whether it’s audio or visual, you want to feed your brain what will nourish and support you.
Listening to the right music is one key way to do it.
Meanwhile, dance, sing and strut your stuff!
Here’s a deeper insight into how the Law of Attraction actually works:
I’ve noticed that as soon as I sign up for a seminar or workshop, changes begin.
It may be just the decision that triggers change, or it may be something more esoteric.
Let me tell you a true a story about how this works…
A few weeks ago I decided to go back into the studio with my band and record my sixth singer-songwriter album.
As soon as I decided to do this, song ideas and new opportunities came to me.
For example, one day I looked in Facebook and there was a notice that rock legend Melissa Etheridge was doing a crowdfunding campaign for her new album.
As you’ll see in a minute, I’m a huge fan of hers.
I scanned her offerings and there was one for a two-hour, in-person, songwriting lesson with Melissa herself.
That excited me.
It also made me nervous.
After all, I’m a newbie as a singer-songwriter and Melissa is a goddess at it.
But as I say, “A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.”
I decided to go for it.
Within 24 hours, new energy for music hit me like waves of hot electricity.
I started writing new songs almost instantly.
Yet I haven’t had my session with Melissa yet!
As I mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Melissa Etheridge. Have been almost twenty years.
I fell in a hypnotic trance when I saw her on TV around 1995, scorching the screen with just her voice and acoustic guitar on an episode of Unplugged.
I mentioned her in my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.
I’ve seen her perform live numerous times.
I was a card carrying member of her fan club for years.
I bought a guitar signed by her.
I bought and read her autobiography.
I bought her song books to learn how she wrote her hits.
I tried to meet her, too.
She was going to be in the same organization I’m a member of (Transformational Leadership Council) and I thought I’d see her at one of our retreats.
I still haven’t met her.
But I will, when I have my private songwriting lesson with her.
And knowing I will, and knowing I will discuss my singer-songwriter passions with her soon, has turned on some “music production” switch inside me.
Just this morning, as I was working out, I received an entire song.
It just sort of “appeared” in my head.
I knew it was good because I couldn’t stop humming it.
I jumped off the treadmill and wrote the words down.
It was a complete song.
Everything was there.
I was amazed and delighted that it came with no effort and came by inspiration.
But it came AFTER I booked my lesson with Melissa and BEFORE I’ve had it!
Throughout my life I’ve noticed that when anyone makes a decision to attend an event designed to improve them, changes begin.
I saw it when I signed up to do a fire walk decades ago.
I saw it when I registered to experience The Forum seminar long ago.
I saw it when I signed up for Bill Phillip’s Body-For-Life challenge ten years ago, and more recently when I registered for his Transformation Camp and personally trained with him.
I saw it when I booked a saxophone lesson with Grammy nominated sax player Mindi Abair.
And I see it almost daily when people join my Miracles Coaching program.
As soon as they sign on the dotted line, and know they are committing to change, the change begins.
I’m convinced it’s the decision to change that does it.
The decision sends a solid message to all parts of you that you are going in a new direction.
Suddenly your mind has a new target; a new goal.
Instantly your brain goes on “alert” for anything to help you with the upcoming changes.
There may be a more esoteric reason for it, too.
When you declare you are going to do something new, the Universe takes note, applauds you, and sends you support.
As Goethe put it –
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.“
Decision is the key.
It’s like turning the ignition switch on to engage the Law of Attraction.
Decide and things happen.
So, if there is something big you are considering doing, I say DO IT.
Just Do It!
Show your support for your desired change by signing up for it.
Make the decision.
It’s a concrete way to tell yourself and the world that you are doing something new, and you and the world respond by beginning the change that very day.
And yes, I am VERY excited to meet and learn from the rock icon herself – Melissa Etheridge!
PS – Learn more about Miracles Coaching.