Back in 2006 I held the world’s first Canine Concert.
It was a publicity event to promote my 1998 book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, which was revised, expanded, and reissued in 2006.
Many people donated their time and talents on a mind melting hot and humid Texas day to help me.
Little did any of them know — including me — the karma we triggered.
Let me explain…
The Canine Concert was a playful hoax, a publicity stunt, an idea given to me by the legendary prankster Alan Abel.
Alan is a genius.
He is a “professional media prankster.”
Before and beyond Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, Alan, as one newspaper called him, was “The Rembrandt of the ridiculous.”
Alan started his career in the 1950s with a fake organization called S.I.N.A.: the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals.
The crusade wanted to clothe critters.
Alan made national news, ignited a craze, and became infamous.
Alan helped me get media attention for my book The Attractor Factor with a fake lotto win in 2006, which was turned into the short documentary Humbug!
He also wanted me to run for U.S. President later, on the “Common Sense” platform.
But I went to Alan for ideas on promoting my Barnum book.
He offered the Canine Concert.
The idea behind it was to put on a show “for dogs only.”
I thought it was wild, didn’t know if it would work, but was willing to try it.
I sent out a survey to my list to find out what kind of music their dogs liked. The majority vote was for rock and roll.
So I went looking for a local rock and roll band that would be willing to play at a sound level only dogs could hear (like using a dog whistle), and who would play for the fun of it.
I’m a lifetime member of the Society of American Magicians, and knew many entertainers through the local magic club. Many of them donated their time to help me. And one (hypnotist C.J. Johnson) introduced me to the band, Porterdavis. The group agreed to play at my wild stunt.
There were more volunteers, of course.
I had a beautiful live mermaid (Lisa Nicks), a performing magician (John Maverick), an MC (Kent Cummins), P.T. Barnum (played by Kevin Coyne) and even a protesting cat.
Three news crews came to film the people, the dogs, and me.
We all had a good time and we parted after the event.
And here’s where the story gets juicy…
Years went by and one day I received an email from Daniel Barrett, the lead singer for Porterdavis.
He wanted to have lunch and ask for some advice about a career change.
I remembered him, of course, and agreed.
Over lunch, Daniel told me he was planning to start a program to help first time musicians write, perform and record their own music.
What Daniel didn’t know is that my secret dream was to write, record and perform my own music.
Think about this.
Daniel had no idea I wanted to become a musician.
I had no idea he wanted to help people become musicians.
Yet we met — years after he did the good deed of helping me at the event — and our karma balanced out.
Daniel has so far produced five of my 15 albums, including an album with me, Daniel, and Grammy nominated singer Ruthie Foster.
Is this all amazing or what?
But the story doesn’t stop there…
We’ve been having problems with our wireless Internet for a long time.
I finally jumped online and searched for someone nearby to come to the rescue.
I called a listing and left a message.
I didn’t think much more about it.
Later the same day, a fellow named Randy called me back.
“Are you the Joe Vitale that’s the self-help guy?” he asked.
“Some say I am.”
“Then we met years ago,” he explained.
“Yes. You gave me my first job when I moved to Texas.”
“Yes. I was the protesting cat at your canine concert.”
I was surprised, delighted, and impressed.
Again, a good deed from years ago returned.
Karma had balanced the tables again.
Neither Randy or Daniel (or me) had any idea that their giving in 2006 would lead to new business and new friendships almost a decade later.
And Alan Abel, the man who offered the Canine Concert idea to me, is still (at age 90) writing and hoaxing. I’ll be publishing his autobiography soon, so he won out in this karmic play, too.
There are probably lots of lessons in this story, but here’s a big one:
Give joyfully and without concern for return and the good karma you trigger will come back to you multiplied and spilling over.
You don’t need to do everything with money in mind.
Sometimes helping a good cause, or helping a friend, without concern for pay or pay back, can lead to spectacular unexpected miracles later.
Call it good karma or canine karma.
Either way, it’s pretty cool.
Do it and Expect Miracles.
Note: There is a DVD of the event, created by Nerissa Oden, for sale at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-First-Canine-Concert/dp/B000V246RK/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452085530&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=canince+concert.
How many butterflies do you see around you?
Right now, in your home or office, probably none.
But you will probably notice a few later today – maybe in a magazine photo, or on television, or out in nature – at least until my question evaporates from your consciousness.
In researching goal setting for my upcoming talk for the Texas Association of Magicians (TAOM) convention in Austin, Texas on September 6, 2015, I was reminded of our RAS.
RAS means Reticular Activating System.
It’s at the base of your brain stem.
It’s job is to basically sort through the millions of data bits surrounding you in any one moment to deliver the seven bits that are relevant to you.
Numerous authors gave their own names to this natural tool of survival and selection.
In 1960, Maxwell Maltz wrote a breakthrough book called, Psycho-Cybernetics. In it he called the RAS your “servo-mechanism.”
Seems like an odd name to me, but it worked for Maltz and legions of his readers.
Either way, there is something in you that will help you attract your intentions if you activate it.
So let’s look a little closer…
How does your RAS select what’s relevant?
Basically in two ways:
1. Anything to help you survive.
2. Anything related to a goal.
Survival is the default setting.
Your brain is designed to help you stay safe and reproduce.
You don’t have to think about it. It’s hard wired into your brain.
Most of the work of your unconscious is around the idea of keeping you here and assuring some aspect of “you” remains after you’re gone.
But you can also program your mind for additional filters.
For example, whenever you set a goal or intention, you are programming your mind to help you attract and achieve it.
You are inserting a new command into your RAS.
It will then begin to filter those 10,000,000 bits of data in every moment to deliver what is relevant to your goal or intention.
But how do you program your RAS?
The best way to get a new command into your brain is with a goal or intention that fulfills these three qualities:
2. Vivid Imagery
In other words, a goal needs to be fueled with emotion (love, hate, or fear are the biggies), it needs to be vividly clear as an image (the mind responds to pictures), and it needs to be repeated (to get it installed in your mind).
When I asked you to look for butterflies, I was temporarily turning on your RAS to look for butterflies.
Without an emotional reason to see butterflies, or a clear picture of what butterfly you wanted to see, and without repetition, you will soon forget all about butterflies.
This is true for anything you want to attract or achieve.
Your mind is designed to help you achieve your goals, but you have to tell it what you want.
Why not do that right now?
1. Select a desire, goal or intention.
2. Find an emotional reason for wanting it.
3. Create or find a clear image of it.
4. Look at the image, and feel your desire for it, every day.
Of course, you still need to take action.
Wallace Wattles (of The Science of Getting Rich fame) said what you want will arrive through natural means.
Don’t expect a Hollywood movie style Harry Potter production of your goal, but do welcome it if it comes that way.
Expect Miracles – and do what you are inspired to do.
Meanwhile, enjoy the butterflies.
PS – I’m speaking at the TAOM convention because I am a lifetime member of the Society of American Magicians, the organization founded by Harry Houdini. But I’m far less interested in magic tricks as I am in real magic. If you want real magic, too, then please click right here.
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.
Here’s an update on the Texas Wildfires situation that I asked you to help resolve in my last post:
The last I heard, the largest fires are mostly contained or stopped. The people I personally know in the Austin or Houston area have all returned home. And rain is expected by mid-next week.
All of your praying, meditating, visualizing and more, have all helped.
But we can’t stop now.
There are at least 1,500 people who lost their homes.
All of the fires are not out yet.
And we need more than a little rain.
To get an idea of the size of the fires, one fireman told a reporter that the fires are “beyond man.”
He was explaining that firefighters on the ground aren’t going to be able to stamp out or hose down fires so big that I could see them from the air on my plane ride home.
What do you do with fires this large?
Besides whatever the firefighters can think up, you also pray, visualize, intend and anything else you can do internally to bring peace to yourself and to the planet.
And to be clear, when I suggest that our inner world is creating our outer world, I’m asking you to look within and see where you may have “fires” burning within you.
Where have you maintained anger and/or a lack of forgiveness?
Even if you don’t think your inner state helps create the outer experience, wouldn’t you agree that finding inner peace would be good for you?
Again, please find love and peace within yourself, and release all anger and forgiveness issues.
When you hold on to anger and resentment, the energy system you burn up is your own.
It would be healthy for you to let the issues go, and it just might assist the planet in healing, too.
As I mentioned in my last post, do whatever meditation or technique you know to reach that inner place of serenity. Use ho’oponopono/Zero Limits or Tapping/EFT, or anything else you know of or can think of.
Meanwhile, we also still need to help others. Here are a few places to donate:
American Red Cross of Central Texas
Austin Pets Alive
Capital Area Food Bank
Austin Disaster Relief Network
Catholic Diocese of Austin
I’m not affiliated with any of the above, and they are Austin, Texas based as that is near where I live. You can do your own Google search to find other places to help or donate.
Again, what we need is inner peace, especially in times of high stress.
The outer dangers and scares aren’t a call to fall into fear, but a door to experience faith.
Thank you for your help.
PS – What’s more important than serenity while taking action?
I love you.
Please forgive me.