I swear I never once felt bummed out or negative about the accident. It was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt, but I was happy... actually elated.
©2018 Singin String Publishing, ASCAP
March 19, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State
Isn’t it instinctual in every human? We need to feel loved. When we do, we’re happier, that’s for sure. And when we don’t, there is disease... that is, things aren’t right. Nothing feels completely good because there is unfinished business in that, “Something’s gotta change so I can feel some compassion from somewhere!” So you see people do all kinds of wacky things to try get attention. You see people put on airs to try to impress. People will do all kinds of crazy things in their mission to win likes and approval. Some even try to impress with their musical instrument, which isn’t musical, is it? If you were a high school student, constantly bullied, harassed, and obviously disliked, could you see yourself, deeply depressed and feeling no will to live, take a gun to school?
But let’s take this down to a personal level. What can I do right now, within myself to ensure that I’m likely to be liked? Isn’t this an important topic for anyone spending time in the public eye?
People love to see happiness; self confidence; success; deliberateness; authority; grace. No matter the physical attributes, these qualities result in ATTRACTION. People love to be inspired. People need to be reminded that there are great people in the world, those who not only radiate goodwill, but prove that they care enough about something that they work their butts off to achieve so they can inspire and uplift.
Let’s say you’re a... hmm, could be anything, this can apply to anybody. Let’s say you’re a guitarist, kind of new at the craft (or old - doesn’t matter). You have a few issues: 1. How can you exude confidence if you’re depressed? 2. You’re not comfortable performing live. 3. You’re not exactly sure how to act in public. You wish there was one way of being that always works in every situation. 4. You often feel inadequate, I mean really... those other musicians are really THAT GOOD?! 5. You’ve met other famous people who clearly are 100% confident, but you resent their seeming arrogance.
Those issues speak from my past, and here’s what I do to try to present the best face to the world:
1. PURSUE GREATNESS
If you feel depressed, have low self-esteem, or are generally unenthused about life, don’t you need to figure out why? A few culprits I’ve found injurious are: Self indulgence. If I party too much, I’m deeply fatigued. No one can feel empowered when they’re deeply fatigued. How many “mornings after” have you spent realizing this day will have to be a write-off, I’m useless? Yeah, me too. I try to pace myself and stay in control. For a public figure, I’ve painfully found out this is vitally important. I don’t want to lose any more friends.
Thinking too much. If you have a lot of time on your hands, or are in some ways self-absorbed, you can compare yourself to others and make yourself miserable. Solution? GET TO WORK! Think about how you can help someone, maybe someone who feels just like you. You have a disability and feel badly about it. One of mine is the fact that my brain doesn’t work like other people’s. My memory is wacked, and it has come back to haunt many times by people who have felt “taken” because I didn’t remember this or that, or when I see a person I sincerely like, but they have to remind me of their name for the 11th time, or forgetting guitar parts or lyrics.
The good thing about “beginner’s mind,” which is what I call my mental deficiency, is I can make up stuff on the spot, and often do at shows.
Take a look at this video from Blue Frog Studios in White Rock, British Columbia. This is all off-the-cuff.
WHAT IS GREATNESS? These are some ways I choose to define the word:
A great person
1. can always access a peaceful place inside.
2. is not selfish.
3. aspires to the highest good and sustains that aspiration.
4. handles all situations with grace.
5. works hard in a direction that benefits others.
6. doesn’t carry feelings of negativity toward others.
7. is natural, unassuming, and kind.
8. sees the greatness in every single person and encourages that.
9. chooses to de-escalate rather than escalate anger in sensitive scenarios.
10. is open-minded and constantly learning, especially from those who despise
or are jealous.
11. is honest.
12. is tolerant, patient, and forgiving.
Do you need improvement in any of these areas? Yep, so do I.
2. FEEL GOOD
Exercise is the bottom line for good health and feeling good. And it doesn’t need to be an arduous, painful workout. Simply 10,000 steps a day can work for making you be more comfortable in your skin. Add the following to the mix, and live performance becomes more natural: Feel that there is a thread pulling straight up from the top center of your head. That should cause your head to tilt forward slightly. This will help give you good vertical posture. Tuck your butt forward slightly. Be conscious of your diaphragm and remember often to use it for deeper breathing. Often remember to hold your sternum spread, especially if you’re working hard, using lots of air. These specific efforts require a small amount of muscle exertion, but only a very small amount. The rest of the body is completely limp. Practice BASH as often as you can remember to. [This meditative practice was suggested in an earlier blog entitled, BASH] With these practice points, you can be standing anywhere, in line for groceries; admiring a sunset; in front of 10,000 people, and you will feel good! Why?
Because you are in a constant space in the practice of GRACE. Isn’t Life a big dance? Moving with the rhythm solves everything and is the key to how you carry yourself.
3. LOVE THE PUBLIC
They are the reason you work so hard. They are the reason you get paid for performing, writing, and recording. They are a viable means of helping improve our global situation. Sure, after a gig it can be very challenging when dealing with so many wacky people. It’s important to remember you’re wacky too, and just make it work for everyone involved. When you genuinely love and care about people, you have your “one way of being that always works in every situation.” And when you’re standing on stage in front of 10,000 people, your nerves are calmed by the adoration you have for your audience.
4. JUST BE YOU
There is no better Roger Fisher on the planet than me. There will never be another me. I’m the greatest! Of course I can’t play guitar like Tommy Emmanuel, but then Tommy doesn’t write songs like me, nor does he create whole albums with a contiguous storyline that... blah, blah, blah.
You get the point. Most of us have these little mental demons that tell us we’re not good enough; not pretty enough; not well-mannered enough; not accepted. None of that can matter. Why? Because, on our mission, WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS! No matter how hard it is, what diversity and mental sabotage we’re subjected to, or how long it takes. This is what we’re doing with our life, and the small words of some onlooker - even though it may be a dear friend or significant-other, is NOT going to dissuade us. We are committed. The demons will fly away like butterflies once we make that decision. If not, then we better choose a different path.
5. 7 BILLION PEOPLE
You are one of over 7,000,000,000 people on this spinning globe. You stand and perform in front of 10,000 applauding people, six nights a week on your tour. You constantly receive complimentary messages from people who hold you in the highest esteem. You are courted, hit on, sales people and charitable orgs bombard you with requests, you are WANTED! Of course, you can’t help but feel special, but you are one of 7 billion... how special can you possibly be? When a humble person meets an arrogant asshole, the humble person sees through the veil. There is always some feeling of inadequacy or self-doubt triggering the arrogance. The arrogant person is actually weak - something they want no one to know, so they puff up even bigger and the swagger of their walk increases to the point where they become the punch line in other’s jokes. I remind myself: I’m one human. Every single one of us is special.
DON’T EVER UNDERESTIMATE A HUMAN BEING!
So if you want to be comfortable, confident, a beacon of light and inspiration for all around you, and a person any kind of audience will have fun with, choose how you carry yourself.
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
©2018 Singin String Publishing, ASCAP
February 22, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State
[Note to student]
Today’s lesson, per your request, is a refresher in social skills.
To put this in perspective, let’s look at your and my history. It began, I’m guessing, in 2010 when we friended each other on Facebook. You told me you had followed me for many years, loved my guitar playing, and you were a fan of many others too, and you dropped a few names of major people you had been in touch with. We had a perfectly fine relationship via Facebook for quite some time, I always recognized your wit and sarcasm, and appreciated your quirkiness. Then, maybe six months in to our correspondence, you began to doubt if it was really me you were communicating with. The Heart camp had blocked you, and others had blocked you as well, and now you were turning negative on me. I tried and tried to convince you I was really me, unsuccessfully. Then, I stopped replying to you because it made no sense if you didn’t believe what I was saying to you. Then you, in a fit of deprecating comments, UNFRIENDED me.
Months passed. I saw a message from you, apologizing, “Would you please friend me again?” So I did, immediately. Our mutual chatter carried on for maybe another year and then you began to doubt if it was really me again, got negative, and in a fit of deprecating comments UNFRIENDED me again. This whole process repeated a third time. Some months after that, you were begging me to friend you again. I said, “Why would I choose to be unfriended a fourth time?!?” And there was a peaceful silence between us for nearly a year. Now we have begun talking again and I friended you again. We spoke on the phone the other day for the first time. You talked about yourself and talked about yourself and talked about yourself. You’re a cancer-survivor; you have very little money; you’re in need of guitar instruction. You acted like I owed it to you to give you something - me having “a blessed life,” me the rich rock star who never works and always is partying or swimming with my koi, me who you wish could get cancer so I would know what it’s like.
So here’s the lesson buddy. Why am I taking the time to address you at all? Most people would block you and enjoy the peaceful silence. I’m not throwing you under the bus because you don’t fit the description of my ideal pen pal. I’m not giving up on you because you’ve unfriended me three times. I SEE GREATNESS IN YOU, pal. I’m replying to you to prove that there are people in this world who sincerely care about you and people like you - people who are challenged socially. That’s the first lesson... UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for all. It doesn’t matter what a person has done or hasn’t done; it doesn’t matter what crime an individual has committed. We either care for and nurture life or we don’t, and if we don’t, then we are part of the disease. Look at Norway’s justice and reform system. They rehabilitate law-breakers and get them back in to society as positive participants.
Second lesson... it’s not all about you. You and I, assuming we see ourselves as musicians, are servants. We serve the public, providing entertainment, enlightenment, encouragement, and direction to an audience that really needs our service.
Assignment: You probably already have, but read Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. He adeptly describes winning ways to interact between people. One of his points goes something like this: Listen to the person you’re talking to. Really listen and respond with whatever supports that subject. Then listen more. The more you listen, the more they’ll enjoy talking to you because people love to talk about themselves. When you sit and listen to someone talk self-centered, it can become old real fast and you just want to turn it off and get away. Don’t you be the one doing that.
So lesson two requires HONESTY. You have to be able to look at yourself and monitor your own activity, with honesty. You can’t allow yourself to be in denial. If you’re in denial, I’m going to be unfriended a fourth time, and I don’t want that!
Lesson three is RESPECT. Show respect for people by not hounding them with messages. Last night, while I was trying to watch the Olympics, I received 39 messages and photos/videos from you. I appreciate the fact that we’re friends who enjoy communicating with each other (and that’s true) but you must realize that I communicate with a LOT of people. I don’t allow my time to be allocated to anything that gets in the way of my family, friends, or career. The time I spend talking with you should be appreciated, should be respected. Last night, and many times previous, I haven’t felt respected by you. It seems that it’s all about YOU. The best thing you can do to improve your communication with others is show them that you are considerate of their space, and show them respect. Ask yourself why you’ve been blocked by so many people. Don’t be in denial. Be honest. Instigate the change.
If you are serious about being a musician, learn how to communicate using your most important instrument: YOU.
Now you tell me... was this a good first lesson?
©2018 Singin String Publishing, ASCAP
January 14, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State
One of the first realizations I had when learning how to play the guitar was the “flavors” different chords had, particularly the contrast between major and minor chords. Major chords are happy while minor chords are sad. And that difference alone tells the aspiring musician that to express different emotions in songs, we use chords that help tell the story. Add rhythm to the mix and one begins to really sense the value of music: IT MOVES YOU TO YOUR SOUL!
Let’s take a quick trip down science lane and see what’s so powerful about
music, as opposed to the higher wavelength vibrations.
The following includes excerpts from David Fairhurst’s Absorb Physics internet site:
“Sound and light both travel as waves. The properties of these waves differ quite considerably. Sound waves travel a million times slower than light waves. They have wavelengths between 1 centimetre and 10 metres, and will easily diffract round corners. Light waves have much smaller wavelengths, and only diffract through very small holes. This difference is the reason why you can often hear things that you cannot see.”
Also, light is an electro-magnetic wave, whereas sound requires the stimulation of material to travel. But that difference partially explains why music is so powerful in relation to a body. The only places in your body you see light from are tiny holes in your eyes, as they are higher frequencies. When you hear a kick drum and bass guitar, you feel it through your whole body.
To put waves in perspective, look at this: from short to longer wavelengths...
Gamma rays 300EHz 1 exahertz = 10+18 hertz
Ultraviolet rays 30PHz
Radio waves 300kHz
Our hearing ranges from about 20Hz to 20kHz. Radio waves go as low as 3kHz, but that’s different from an audio wave, as mentioned before. Thing is, these are waves that affect us, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
So one difference between visible light and sound is that you don’t feel light the way you feel sound. Sound moves the air, which moves your body, which elicits a physical response and is hence, MOVING. Watch a movie with no sound. Nope...doesn’t work. Listen to the soundtrack without watching the movie... wow, works!
The “aha” moment for me came when I learned that the major scale, played in the key of C, for example, contains the notes, C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. That major scale is precisely the same relationship in every different key. It sounds happy in the key of C. Play that exact same scale in the key of A and it sounds sad. Now we are in a different mode - Aeolian.
mode | mōd
1. a way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done... compare to “mood.”
So a happy-sounding scale merely played in a different key sounds sad. Profound! Isn’t that like the way we choose to look at Life? One person sees tragedy in a situation where another sees opportunity. And it’s everyone’s choice as to what key they choose to see Life in. And isn’t it amusing that it’s called a “KEY?”
The following is a note from my sister, Kay:
“On November 17, 1998, around 1 PM while in a Boeing meeting, I was paged, so responded to the page, and it was the Redmond Fire Department. The woman said after verifying who she was talking with, and without any emotion, “You have a house fire.” My response was, “How bad is it?”, as I visualized smoldering, and not a big concern. She replied, “I don’t know.”, to which I said, “Well, can you find out and call me back?” She said she would call me back but after about 10 or 15 minutes, she didn’t call me back.
I called my friend Carol Strange in Longview, as her husband was my insurance agent and my home insurance had been with his company over 40 years, with no reported claims. When I told Carol what had happened, she and her husband were watching the news on Channel 5 and she said, “Kay, your house is on TV!!!” Carol and her husband Ray were watching my home burn on TV on the local news!
I drove to the top of the hill near my home and there was a policeman there who said I couldn’t go down the street because there was a house fire. I said, “It’s my house!” There were 5 fire engines there, along with my Dad, friend Lana, next door neighbor and another friend. We were watching my home burn, totally destroyed.
Many things happened afterward, but I just wanted to forge on. I received a call from my Senior Manager at Boeing asking what folks at Boeing could do to help me, and I just said I didn’t want to discuss it, I just wanted everyone to carry on as normal, as if this hadn’t happened. It was quite an upset for me and didn’t want to get into conversations with person after person about the same devastating thing; that wouldn’t do me any good, or them either.
Many one-of-a-kind things from Norway including many years of photographs, were gone. Mom said strongly and adamantly, “Kay, don’t worry about those things; they’re just things, they’re not a human life!” She was right, and she just made me do an about-face! I immediately quit crying and said to Mom, “You’re right, Mom, and you just watch - I’m going to take these lemons and make lemonade!!! You just watch, Mom - it’s going to be OK!”
I told my friend Lana, she could have the listing. Lana and her significant other, Joe, both having years of real estate experience, felt that I should have the lot cleared to prepare it for sale. In thinking about this, I came up with another idea. I told Lana, if you do a paradigm shift in your thinking and look at this in a positive way in terms of assets instead of devastation - i.e., the fireplace is still standing; the driveway is an asset; as is the foundation; the landscaping, the water lines, the sewer connection, and electricity going to my home are all still there, which are all assets! Instead of thinking about my destroyed home as a place of devastation, think in terms of all the value there.”
Kay went on to sell her burned home for a good price and now lives in a beautiful house on a golf course with a spectacular view, healthy, happy, and HOME.
I remember clearly the first day I was allowed to walk to school by myself. I was in kindergarten. Maple Leaf Elementary School was about a six-block walk. I went out the door in my yellow rain-proof garment and began walking, thinking with great pride, “I’m a real schoolboy now!” Pausing to look at a mud puddle on the street, I noticed how each rain drop caused a perfect circle in the water, and all the circles intersected in ways that made a beautiful picture. At that moment I thought, “I really love the rain!” And I’ve always loved the rain. It cleans the air, cleans the ground, allows life for all that depend on it. It feels wonderful on the face. In a storm, there’s nothing like that feeling of being cozy and warm in your home while it’s raging outside.
And then the TV meteorologists! Aaargh! “Tomorrow’s going to be another gloomy, miserable day. Expect a 90% chance of rain.” WRONG! Why brainwash and program your public with a negative perspective? A pet peeve of mine, for sure:-)
By choosing to love what most others tend to regard as negative, I’m a happier guy.
Youngest son (he’ll be 18 this Halloween) Roger asked the other day, “Can you tell me your perspective on the law of attraction?”
I replied, “People are attracted to people who are happy, charismatic, intelligent, and having fun.” So if you’re a person who tends to have a gloomy outlook on things, you may find that you have friends who are supportive in this view. And if we take this perspective further, where parents are passing it on to their children, we shouldn’t wonder why the suicide rate among young adults is rising. “More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24.” (2015 CDC WISQARS)
It’s clear we need a paradigm shift. If you love your children, do more than tell them - SHOW them. Spend time with them. Get them out into Nature. Remind them of the beauty that is all around. Figure out how to get them pro-active doing something they love. Teach them to GIVE. There are great movements in our world right now. Among them is Global Citizen. It’s a great org that one can belong to and do good things for the planet. When we become part of something bigger, we then belong to a team. Children... your team needs you! More than ever before in history!
“Everyone's path to happiness is different. Based on the latest research, we have identified 10 Keys to Happier Living that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling.” ActionForHappiness.org
In an earlier blog, I quacked about BASH - a method of practicing meditation anytime, anywhere. In the moment when we are quiet inside, there is no doubt, no fear, no suffering. By practicing getting to and sustaining that state, we become liberated from that wicked dictator, GLOOM.
“The key ingredients to achieving happiness are twofold, yet they are really two faces of the same coin: mental stillness, and being present. When our minds are still, all is well.” (Psychology Today)
The key is available to everyone, always.
The key is probably the most important decision you will make.
THE KEY IS FREE.
©2018 Singin String Publishing, ASCAP
January 4, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State
American society has traditionally been all about achieving financial success. Of course this appealed to the rest of the world’s instinctive need to provide for family, and in the context of freedom and opportunity, the world flocked to America.
For example, in the 1800’s, more than two-thirds of Norway’s population moved to America! They came, traveling usually with a single trunk, riding in the bowels of ships under extremely poor conditions, to Ellis Island. Upon entry, names were often changed to accommodate American’s language barriers, and the New Americans found ways of heading west, motivated by real estate ads that looked wonderful - almost too good to be true.
Many of these travelers wound up at their destination to find they had been swindled to varying degrees. By now, their personal assets had been used to the point where they had no choice but to try to make it work out. After years of hardship, many of these victims of over-ambitious salesmanship committed suicide. Welcome to America!
Now, at a time in history when Artificial Intelligence is promising freedom and opportunity, of course it would be wise to tread carefully. The number of people being displaced from their jobs will continue to grow, along with the number of displaced people by rising tides. The need to come up with a new paradigm of humane living on our planet is what is needed more than the ability to make money on an individual basis - AI is much better at that. In general, humans are no longer needed to generate revenue.
ENTER - The three I’s.
Paul McCartney will tell you he doesn’t know where his great songs come from, he can’t describe how they’re born. No artist I know of can tell you how to create something out of thin air. They’ll all tell you how you can set the table, invite the guest to dinner, light the candles and put on some light music. But how to get the guest to enjoy your meal?... apparently no one knows.
The guest is INSPIRATION, without which, there would be no America - no Artificial Intelligence. Inspiration is way more valuable than money. Without inspiration, there is no home built, no matter how crude. Without inspiration, where is joy?
“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.” ~Steve Jobs
“We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.” ~Ernest Hemingway
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~Winston Churchill
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein
Most of my life I had no problem sleeping - could fall asleep easily, most anywhere. Nights were spent dreaming of a myriad of wonderful and scary things, nonstop, until waking. Now, a solid night’s sleep is the exception. Not one to be flummoxed by not getting my way, I enjoy meditating during these waking times, using the BASH method described in an earlier blog. Something that seems to come out of thin air in these moments are solutions to problems. Could be how to have a complete guitar amp and effect setup at my feet for live performance; could be the finishing design to part of a new koi pond; could be many things... it’s all up to IMAGINATION.
The inspiration comes, and in the quiet darkness, the mind conjures up many potential solutions. When one of them “hits,” when you know that is THE best thing you can do in a particular circumstance, it’s either time to get up and implement it; write it down for future reference; or file it in that place in mind where it will be found next morning.
Peoples from all around the world imagined a better life in America. Having moved and encountering hardship, the Norwegians previously mentioned imagined something better and many of them moved to the west coast, finding conditions more like their home, and prospered, becoming the basis of communities in place today. It’s going to take some serious imagination to come up with the solutions for tomorrow’s world, and we all hold that power.
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know
what you truly want to become.” ~Steve Jobs
“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Logic will get you from A to Z. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” ~Michelangelo Buonarotti
As we all know, ideas and inspirations are relatively easy to have and find, and our imaginations can lead these ideas to amazing places, leaving us little doubt that we hold the answers to the universe in our grasp. But it usually takes a lot of work to bring an idea to fruition.
In 1995, I came up with the idea of a four-album concept entitled One Vision, wherein all four albums are dovetailed, creating interesting, pertinent messages, recurring through the entire project. In 2016 we released the first of those four albums. It took that long, learning various editing platforms; creating audio and video-for-audio; paying meticulous attention to detail, facing deterrents and setbacks, to finish one album! What bro Mike and I are working on, and the way we’re doing it, has never been done before.
invent | inˈvent |
verb [with object]
create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator
of: he invented an improved form of the steam engine.
Thomas Edison combined a passion for invention with a desire to create revenue. There were times in his very productive (he holds more patents than any other person) life when each new invention spawned an entire industry: the light bulb; phonograph; motion picture photography. What one man can do to change the world is amazing. What a species can do to prolong life on earth is something we hopefully will discover. When I was in high school, inspired by authors, poets, and musicians, I decided to be a poet. That was added to the already-existing intention to be an inventor. Each night in bed, I would write something - anything. It didn’t matter what, “Just write something everyday!” I thought. That trickle begat a dribble, which eventually became a stream of free association.
Now, INSPIRED by the notion that people need to provide solutions for conditions we may not even know or fully understand yet, IMAGINATION sets in and voila! The INVENTION of the Three I’s Rogblog. I hope you liked it :-)
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mohandus Ghandi
“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.” ~Dalai Lama
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. ~Dale Carnegie