Tag: songwriting


3-Minute Self-Help

I’m living my “bucket list” dream of being a musician by recording my fifth singer-songwriter album (my eleventh as a music artist).

The songs on this new album are apparently better than ever, as legendary musicians are saying the lyrics are “perfect” and “hypnotic” and “every song is a favorite.”

Drummer Joe Vitale

Drummer Joe Vitale

Drummer Joe Vitale – yes, he has the same name as me – who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has created over 200 albums, with over 50 being gold (and many platinum) records – asked me how I came up with the songs for this new album.

Playing a Versoul baritone guitar on the new album

Playing a Versoul baritone guitar on the new album

Here’s what I told him:

1. Intention

I have an intention to turn one of my messages into a song. In other words, I have positive messages – the ones I spend entire books writing about – and I want to morph them into songs people want to hear.

2. Inspiration

I have a Cuban cigar (now legal) and relax. Anything could help, as long as it relaxes me, and lets my mind drift. This mind wandering is what allows me to receive a song to match my intention.

3. Implementation

I pick up an acoustic guitar — usually the one Tony Nobles made for Ray Wylie Hubbard that I later bought – and just ad lib a song. I let it be nonsense or sense. I try not to judge too early. I want the song to come to me, from the muse or my mind, or the dance of both.

4. Record

I then turn on the voice recorder on my iPhone and record what is coming. This may be an entire song, a few chords, lyrics, or other snippet. Doesn’t matter. I record it.

5. Revise

I then transcribe the song, so I have the words on paper for me to tweak or approve. I usually spend a lot of time bringing the message into rhyme and polished form. I’ve learned you can polish inspiration.

From there, it’s a matter of living with the songs and seeing if they take more refined shape and that I really like them.

After that, it’s time to get my band together – Daniel Barrett, drummer Joe Vitale, Glenn Fukunaga and Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon – and see how they can help me arrange the music to fit the message. (Sometimes I have guest artists, as well. Grammy nominated singer Ruthie Foster sings on my new album.)

The result is a Hypnotic Song.

And because they are generally three minutes long, the songs are like 3-minute self-help books.

My new album – the one we just completed recording – contains the best songs I’ve ever written so far.

From rock to jazz to poetry to sing-a-long, there’s something for everyone.

It’s called “One More Day: Life Lessons in Hypnotic Song.”

You can pre-order it at One More Day.

Coming Soon - "One More Day"

Coming Soon - "One More Day"

I’m sharing this with you today for a few reasons:

1. I want you to go for your dreams, too.

Whatever your secret positive desire, you deserve to experience it. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Do it. Now.

2. I want you to set intentions and trust that inspiration will come to you as a result.

While intentions can be limitations, they can also be directives. Use them as starting points to “call forth” something great.

3. I want you to be fearless.

Being a musician in my sixties is a wild jump for me, yet it is not only working, but working flawlessly. My music is well received, my songs and singing are getting better and better, and I’m having a blast. Had I not faced the early doubts and fears, I would have missed this incredible life.

Sing your song, dance your dance, live your life.

Pre-order the new album “One  More Day: Life Lessons in Hypnotic Song” by clicking right here.

Expect Miracles!

Ao Akua,


PS – I posted this brief video on Facebook and 12,000 people viewed it there. It’s a sneak peek at a song off the new album, with me describing the depth of it, and how it moves me. See http://youtu.be/xiELqAr1Exk or you can see it on the album site right here.

Member BBB 2003 - 2015

Member BBB 2003 - 2015


The Princess Behind Fear

The songwriting workshop I attended last weekend triggered a breakthrough in me regarding fear.

During the first morning, famed singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard gave a presentation on his insights from a long career in music. He talked about many things, including fear.

He paraphrased poet Rainer Maria Rilke, from the book Letters to a Young Poet, saying fear was a dragon who turned into a beautiful princess once you faced it.

Ray Wylie Hubbard and bored dog

Ray Wylie Hubbard and bored dog

I made mental note of that insight but didn’t do anything with it. I just liked it as a way to reframe fear: it looks scary but it’s a mirage that will turn into something beautiful once you face it.

Later that same day I had a one-on-one session with famed singer-songwriter Kevin Welch. I was telling him about my songwriting and began by saying, “The one thing I’m afraid of doing…”

Ray Wylie Hubbard and Kevin Welch

Ray Wylie Hubbard and Kevin Welch

As soon as I heard myself say “I’m afraid,” I stopped in my tracks.

I flashed back to Ray Wylie’s talk earlier the same day.

“Fear is a dragon…who turns into a princess…once you face it…”

I suddenly realized that I was saying there was a dragon in front of me and I didn’t want to face it; I was also realizing the dragon would transform into something wonderful once I looked it in the eye.

Right then and there, I owned the very thing I feared.

I announced to Kevin that I was going to do exactly what I feared.

That breakthrough was so deep and undeniable that I still smile when I think of it.

I now feel free and empowered and unstoppable.


Because I faced the dragon and it became a princess.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”  – Rainer Maria Rilke

Consider: What are you afraid to do?

I’ve often said that your wealth is hiding under the very thing you are afraid to do.

I learned this when I faced my fear of ridicule and released my 2001 book, Spiritual Marketing, which in 2005 became The Attractor Factor, and in 2006 got me into the hit movie The Secret.

My career skyrocketed when I faced down that fear.

Rilke and Ray Wylie are suggesting your fear hides a princess.

Songwriting Workshop

Songwriting Workshop

Face your fear — and meet a princess.

How cool is that?

Ao Akua,


PS – If you’re at all interested in songwriting, I highly endorse the weekend retreat held by Kevin and Ray Wylie. It takes you from wherever you are — beginner to advanced — and builds on what you bring to the table. Even Bob Dylan would dig it. I’ll be doing it again. It’s that good. It’s held outside of Austin, Texas, every month, for just a handful of people. Get details right here.

Member BBB 2003 - 2011

Member BBB 2003 - 2011