John Mayer Grows Up
I debated (kind of) long and (somewhat) hard before I wrote this blog. I wondered if my thoughts on the borderline playboy of singer/songwriters, his new album “Paradise Valley” and his seemingly new life were worthy of space on a blog mostly about health and fitness. Then I thought, why not? I certainly do not think I’d be as healthy as I am, both physically and mentally, if I did not have music. Plus, life is not just about a perfect squat, a new kale recipe and meditation. Life is about what happens outside the gym. The conversations and memories that happen over sharing good food and possibly some wine. The moments that may not have happened were you not fit enough to endure the climb, swim, trek, airport obstacle course, etc. The experiences you encounter when you find yourself somewhere unexpected because you listened to your gut. And for me, tonight, my life is about lying around on my bed eating coconut ice cream and listening to John Mayer talk about his new life.
I prayed for a John Mayer transformation. John Mayer’s music was/is a guilty pleasure for me. Not because of its top 40 status or because I was embarrassed when caught humming one of his songs … I felt guilty about loving music from a total D-bag. I hated that I loved him and his music so much because, from the buzz in the business, this guy was sleazy with a capital S.
In a recent interview on NPR called “Q”, John talked about his transformation and how forced vocal rest, basically silence, fundamentally changed what he valued and the direction of his life. It forced him to see his life through a different lens and realize that so much of it was B.S. The attention. The paparazzi. His relationships. Hmmmmmm. Silence. Meditation. Do we see the connection here? (OK, so maybe it is about meditation).
When we begin to tune out external noises, including the sound of our own voice, we begin to sense the rise of something much louder. Our thoughts. Spend enough time in silence and most likely you’ll notice a pattern to those thoughts. Stay there a little longer until those thoughts begin to quiet down, and yet another voice begins to bubble up. The voice of the Self not directed by mind or thought. The true Self rooted in silence, stillness, always at peace, always in love. The more we spend time with and are guided by that voice, the more our life moves with greater ease, freedom and clarity. And as John Mayer discovered, the less we need the external world to keep us happy. Amen. My new friend was forced into silence because his career depended on it. Why wait for doomsday circumstances to sit in silence ourselves?
I, for one, am thrilled to witness celebrities dispensing wise advice and sharing stories of personal transformation. (See my previous blog on the wisdom of Ashton Kutcher.) Because the fact of the matter remains that many more people will listen to Ashton or John than will listen to me. I don’t care how the intelligence gets spread. Let’s just get it heard.
Tonight, belly flopped on my bed, coconut ice cream container in hand, I am hearing it in the form of simple straightforward music courtesy of John Mayer, and I am grateful to be reminded of the beauty of simplicity.
Listen to the John Mayer interview here (starts at about 35:00)