Don’t Worry Be Happy

May 19th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

Several years ago when I first heard the Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t Worry be Happy” I will admit I thought it was quite cheesy. You see I grew up a metal head and we all know the writing is on the wall in the name “metal head” i:e’ stubborn, knucklehead, and “dumber that a bucket of hair” were applicable to me during that phase in my life.

You see metal head to me is a natural progression in life that we must face. We must enter the belly of the beast and go to war and find who we are. That is the genius of the music. However it is a phase one of many and we are always connected to and respect our roots. It is just important we see the wisdom in other types of music as well and not become mono-theistic in our musical beliefs as well.

The road to enlightenment is a long hard one but what the hell I sure have enjoyed the journey and I am nowhere near “enlightenment” yet but I am a lot closer than I used to be.

I was at a Marilyn Manson concert recently and I had a great time. I like Brian (Brian Warner is his real name) and his message. While I was at the show I couldn’t help but notice how many of his fans seemed to not get it though. Here is a guy who is on a mission to “wake people up” and who definitely has the intellect and courage to back up his message. His book is called “The Long Road out of Hell” and it is an incredible story of transformation.

I highly recommend reading it.

There was the cat next to me who every time I would look over to him he would tip his Budweiser to me and say “Marilyn F”in Manson dude” I would tip my beer back to him and he would say it again. “Wooo Hooo! Marilyn F Manson dude!

Gandhi has this great quote he used to say that was something like “I do not have a problem with your Christ, I have a problem with his followers” I always liked that and I couldn’t help but think Brian must feel that way sometimes. Then I read an interview with him where he said exactly that.

A few years ago when all the fear based control freaks where blaming him and his music for the Columbine shootings. Michael Moore took the time to interview Brian backstage and ask him what he would have said to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Brian said ” I wouldn’t have said anything, I would have listened to them. No one else did”

Wow, I still get goose bumps when I read that.

My friend says that when you get goose bumps that is “consciousness” letting you know that the truth is present.

I love that and I got goose bumps when I heard that. hehe

I have no desire whatsoever to get into mosh pits these days. I did when I was younger and not getting laid. I feel that mosh pits are just a type of tension release. Several years ago I was hanging out in The Czech Republic with my friends Milan and Patrik.

They had taken me to this heavy metal concert in the middle of the woods were we saw this band “Fleas and Lice”
It was hilarious there were no women at all except this really thick blond girl named Ludmilla or something liked that.

She was shaped like a cinder block and she kept throwing her drinks on me. It was hilarious so I just kind of went with the flow.

So any way all the guys take their shirts off and tie them around their waist. Then they start moshing into one another around this big bonfire. The whole thing was so surreal I felt like I was in a Dali painting or something.

Not one to spoil the fun I joined in haphazardly and made an evening of it. In the town I was in Brno everyone walks and there is a pub on every corner. Why don’t they do that here? It would totally alleviate all the “drinking and driving” controversy.

Anyway I was sore as a Rugby player and we all waddled back to this pub in the village and sat down for some beers. All the guys were laughing at me and asking me what I thought about the concert and I remember looking at the guys and saying. “You guys need to get laid”

They thought it was funny and started talking about starting a band and touring the world and getting chicks and it was fascinating to see their eyes change from a “squinty anger” to childish gleam when they talked of the women they would meet touring the world.

There is so much anger and frustration in a lot of todays music it makes sense and reflects that about 96% of our culture is not truly happy and following their life’s bliss. I read a great interview with Stevie Ray Vaughn when I was in high school that is a great testimony to opening the heart. I liked it so much I framed it and put on the wall at my parent’s house.

Here it is:

‘Ya know, right now the most important thing in my life is to make sure you understand that, first of all I thank god I’m alive today, and I mean that. You see, I spent too many years of my life thinking that the big party was the whole thing. It took me quite a while to find out that the real deal is to be able to be enough of a person on your own to know when somebody loves you and cares about you. You see, we are here, as far as I can tell, to help each other; our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our enemies. That is to help each other and not hurt each other. And sometimes to help them we have got to help ourself. So that we will know that they are around in the first place. Are you listening to me ? Thank you. I’m glad to hear that.

You see that its a big world out there; with enough pain and misery in it; without me going around and helping it out by hurting myself; and consequently, those that care about me. What I am trying to get across to you; is please take of yourselves and those that you love; because that is what we are here for, that’s all we got, and that’s what we can take with us. Are you with me?’

Stevie Ray Vaughan

I had quite a shift in my heart and consciousness after reading that and I was 18 at the time. Almost overnight I started getting into music on a deeper level. I started listening to Bach and Beethoven and Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.

I didn’t bail on heavy metal and I am proud of my roots it’s just strange that I found myself not identifying with it as much. On special occasions I would be drawn to it but it became rarer and rarer to a point where I just seemed to evolve out of it altogether for a while.

In college I dated this wonderful girl from a small town in Texas named Indira. She left home on her own at 16 and did an amazing job of making it on her own, She never went to college or anything but had a down to earth wisdom and connection with nature that was deep.

I had heard about this scientist in Japan that did a study with plants and water molecules where he studied the effects of negative stimuli vs. positive stimuli. He would take one vile of water and curse it and then read the molecular structure. It would create a state of dis-ease in the water and affect the biology in a negative way. When he did the reciprocal with positive stimuli the molecular structure would thrive and respond in a positive way.

This is no big shock if you really think about it. My first job in high school was at a Plant Nursery and Indira had a lifelong love of plants and gardening. One weekend we were at a nursery and I suggested we do an experiment. We bought two of the exact same Ivy plants. We decided to water them both at the same intervals and give both of them the same light. However one plant we agreed to talk to it and also play it music.

Indira was really good at this. She would wake up and water it and talk to it like it was a little baby. It was very cute and we used to laugh at how extremely deep she got into this. I would take my Bose stereo and put on Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier and Brandenburg Concerto’s. I also played John Coltrane’s a Love Supreme and Kulu Se’ Mama for our plant.

The other plant we did not touch or talk to. Just water and the same lighting. Being a musician I couldn’t resist so I started playing the second plant some heavy metal and gangsta rap. I played it Slayer’s Dead Skin Mask and I played it some crazy old school gangsta’ rap I had in my collection. The difference in the plants response was gigantic. Indira’s plant as we called it affectionately thrived and grew like crazy.

We kept it on top of an armoire I had in my bedroom and it eventually grew vines all the way down to the floor. The other plant just stayed the same and never grew much. It did not die but it seemed to just atrophy and it also had a yellowish gaunt like tint to it. We used to talk about our experiment a lot to friends and when they came over they always wanted to meet the plants.

Just over a year ago I met a wonderful girl that lived in an apartment in Las Colinas. We only dated for 8 or 9 months but we learned a lot from each other. The first time I was in her apartment I noticed this old shriveled up plant on top of her shelf. I don’t know why but you can put me in any home or building where there is a plant or animal that needs attention and I will find it. I was drawn to this one and I took it down off of her shelf. I picked all of the dead leaves off of it and watered it. While I was doing this she was saying “Yeah I don’t have a green thumb and I pretty much kill anything that is green” I told her “The only thing that is keeping you from being successful is your story about why you are not successful, watch this”

We started doing the same thing to that plant. I even taught her transcendental meditation and we had the plant sit with us when we meditated. Whenever we would leave I would take the plant down and crack her blinds and let it bathe in the light.

This plant thrived and just to see what it did during those few months brought back everything I believe front and center.

“We are our attention”

This girl needed a lot of healing. She would sleep with a mask on and earplugs and take Ambien just to sleep. When I would stay over she had this little ritual where she would go through all these little steps just to get ready for bed. If I would move even in the slightest bit she would say “Eric! are you going to keep moving” I could wiggle a toe and she would give me the evil eye.

This was cute at first but you can imagine after a while what a challenge this was. I was sleeping on pins and needles.

If I would move in the slightest bit she would eventually grab a blanket and go and sleep on a couch. Did matter if it was my house or hers. Can you see what a stumbling block to intimacy this would be? When I first met her I asked her “if there was no chance of failure at all what would she do with her life” She said “I would be a mother” I got goose bumps and said “Wow”

(There is truth showing up again) She had major PTSD (post traumatic stress dis-order) from her last relationship and it was a challenge to overcome. Out of respect I won’t mention details here but it was a great lesson in the fragility of our hearts and life.

As she got more in her ego and masculine side she decided to get a PHD in psychology. Get this studying “Close romantic relationships and intimacy. Another one of my heroes Joseph Campbell said this extremely enlightening quote:

“Would you rather go to Heaven or a lecture about heaven?”

She gave up on love and chose to study it instead. At that point I knew I had to let her go. It was her Kharma and her path. It was hard because I loved her very much and it was hard to love her. Her own father called me a saint for staying with her as long as I did. It is funny those that are the hardest to love are often the ones’ that need it the most. I have always believed that so it did not make my decision any easier. Also part of love is being a man and realizing if you truly love somebody, set them free.

I wonder how many of us do that in our lives. When I met Chet Atkins years ago he told me that he gave himself a an honorary degree “Certified Guitar Player” CGP

He used to sign his autograph that way. I told him I was going to school for music. He raised his eyebrow at me (he was 75 years young at the time) and said. “Get the hell out of there as soon as you can and get your PHD in results.”

Damn! I will never forget that! LOL

Sleep is such a re-invigorating and essential part of life I would always want to enter into that state as calm and aware as possible. The Dream world is fascinating to me and I feel it is just as real as the world we know when we are awake. Carl Jung one of my heroes did amazing work on interpreting your dreams. There is a book by a Dallas based psychiatrist named Dr. James Hall entitled “Jung Interpreting your dreams”.

Every night we receive messages from the deepest recesses of our subconscious minds: you dream. But often these messages are cloaked in mysterious symbols and imagery. Only by learning to understand and interpret these these can you fully take advantage of the knowledge and power hidden within your dreams.

Jung believed deeply in a phenomena he called the “collective subconscious” where he found that all cultures ancient and modern had common symbols and imagery he called “archetypes” that consistently showed up in our dreams.

He de-coded these mysterious symbols and imagery and shows you how to as well. Amazing stuff. I met Dr. Hall a few years ago. After I read the book i was so intrigued with his work I wanted to meet him. I called his home and his wife answered and set up our first meeting. Unbeknownst to me Dr. Hall previously had a stroke and was paralyzed. He was still able to hear and type using a special device. I would ask him questions and he would type his responses on a computer screen. I learned a lot from him. He still after all he had been through had a great sense of humor and I remember thinking if this guy could be happy. I should definitely don’t worry and be happy.

I once heard elegance defined as “taking the complex and making it simple and defined” A great example of elegance would be an Aston Martin a bad example a Trans Am. A great example would be Audrey Hepburn a bad example Pamela Anderson.

A great example Duke Ellington a very bad example Kenny G. I think you get my drift.

Me and my muse have been collecting a book’s worth of our favorite powerful and eloquent quotes that I plan on publishing soon. One of her favorites is one that I think is a very elegant synopsis of the subject matter here. It is simply this:

“Nothing has any meaning except the meaning that you give it”

We love that one and it is so elegantly coated in absolute truth.

Years ago I was at the park playing basketball with my friend Dennis in Houston where I grew up. I had to leave and get home and these thug guys wanted me to stay because I had the only basketball and they wanted to play more. They wanted me to leave the ball and I knew if I did I would never see it again. I had never seen these guys and they were not going to be there next time as they had said. They were extremely pushy about it so I just left. As I was leaving two of the guys kept calling me asshole. “Hey Asshole” hey bitch, wassup’ bitch” blah blah blah and etc. I just kept walking and went home. Dennis came after me and started to walk along side me and he was upset. He wanted to stay and fight the guys. You see Dennis grew up in the streets and was a boxer and did not like to back down from things so he felt we should stand our ground. I had a little different take on things.

Dennis said to me “Hey Eric, why didn’t you respond to those guys back there? why didn’t you go after him? He called you an asshole?”

I stopped dribbling my basketball and said “Dennis, my name is not asshole. It is Eric. As far as I am concerned he wasn’t talking to me”

Then Dennis says “WTF! Eric you have to be kidding me. What is that some kind of reverse psychology bullshit” I went on to explain to Dennis that I meant what I said and that I do not respond to anything but the sound of my name. I felt really good about that and for me it was a lesson in applying “nothing has any meaning except the meaning that you give it” I went on to learn a lot from Dennis as well about fighting and defending your honor.

We were at a party a few months later where my drummer at the time was being bullied directly by these jealous guys about his girl. They physically attacked us and that was a completely different situation and fighting and defending ourselves was justified and just as enlightening.

I remember the feeling of honor I had after defending our friend when he was in a situation where he could have been hurt. After running the guys off and them saying they were going to get their friends (you hear that one a lot) We all went to Two Pesos and had a late night victory dinner. It felt good to bond with my guy friends that way like a Tribe after victory.

So remember “you are your attention” and “nothing has any meaning except the meaning that you give it.”
So follow your heart and stay true to finding your life’s bliss and staying the course and enjoying the journey.

Until Next Time;

Much Love and I look forward to seeing you at my show on Friday June 13th!


  1. One Response to “Don’t Worry Be Happy”

  2. By folly on Nov 1, 2008

    Hmm. Good post.

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