In early January of 2017, as I entered my 4th 90 Day Transformational Challenge, something was indeed TRANSFORMING.
For years I’d struggled with choosing between my two greatest loves, Music vs. Personal Transformation work.
While I intuitively understood that they were deeply and intimately connected, I had no clue how to “market” them authentically.
I studied and applied multiple modalities of Energy Healing, Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy(tm) and EFT (or Meridian Tapping) for a very good reason… I was MISERABLE.
Being unable to actually perform my music because of my own personal demons and dragons forced me to learn all these tools for transformation. Unfortunately for the longest time, I kept listening to the standard marketing “hypnosis” about “focus.”
I’m sure you’ve heard stuff like this:
- “A man chasing two rabbits catches none.” or
- “Find your niche and grow rich.” or
- “A 100 watt lightbulb can dimly illuminate your garage. A 100 watt laser can cut steel.”
So I tried to focus. I really, really tried. For a while I would focus on music… and then I would give up in exasperation and focus on my “Modern Jedi Mind Mastery” message and methods. But I felt the loss whenever I focused on one and not the other.
If I could only shift my focus in a way that would INCLUDE both, I had a sense that it would cause me to feel really, really happy.
So finally one day it all just came together. It occurred to me that my music IS hypnosis. My transformation work is ALL about each of us singing our songs before we’re gone from this planet. And so very naturally, something new emerged. Sound Healing Hypnosis, where it all comes together LIVE in front of an audience.
It’s a form of delivering powerful, positive hypnotic suggestions to the listener’s unconscious mind without a formal, traditional, “eyes closed” hypnosis session. Over the years as I struggled to overcome my “default programming” of anxiety, low self esteem, shyness, depression, OCD, etc. I began to study leading edge transformational tools and techniques, from Energy Healing, to Hypnosis, NLP, Time Line Therapy and EFT… As I dove deeper and deeper into these modalities the things I learned and began to integrate into my daily life and work began to very clearly show up in my songs… So much so that recently I found that I could literally do a live, spontaneous hypnosis session with my guitar in my hands. New songs showed up fully formed. Old songs reasserted themselves as appropriate… and it all flowed in a natural 20-30 minute “set” that was as much fun for me as anything I’d ever done musically or creatively.
What is a “song bath?”
A Song Bath is kind of my version of a healing experience called a “gong bath” where people lie down on mats and allow the sounds and vibrations of various gongs and Singing bowls to wash over them… In a song bath I start out with whatever is showing up at the time in the room, whatever mood or theme or thoughts that seem to be “up,” and I just start riffing and singing whatever comes in… at some point I move to various songs that “want to be sung” and I don’t always know ahead of time what they are… so a process of “noodling” on the guitar follows each piece and weaves them all together… eventually I work my way back to where I started… throughout the song bath I’m giving suggestions to the people present. Messages for both their conscious and unconscious minds… The people present in the room may just by lying there receiving… Others may get up and dance.
Traditionally when I’ve done concerts, I’ll sing a single song and then the audience applauds. Then I’ll sing another and the audience applauds again. I may introduce a song or tell a story about it. In this Sound Healing Hypnosis format, I just keep playing. I move from song to song without stopping… without talking… because at the end of one piece or song, I may not know what’s next. I take some time to let my fingers just explore the guitar as I allow whatever intuitive guidance is working to bring the next song in. Each “song bath” takes about 20-30 minutes. In between sets or “sessions” I may add some “conversational hypnosis” or “healing stories” that support whatever theme is emerging. And then? Back to the music… The audience can applaud at the end of a set or at the end of the entire program… or not. It’s not about the applause. It’s about transformation.
How is sound healing hypnosis different from meditation music?
Meditation music tends to be soft, with no lyrics. In the case of Sound Healing Hypnosis there are definitely words. It may just be a short simple phrase that I repeat until it becomes a “mantra” or, I may move from soft and reflective to higher energy and intensity. A song from anywhere in my 40 years of songwriting may “show up” and “demand” to be sung. If so, I sing it. The mood and vibe or “groove” ebbs and flows and incorporates themes and metaphors that work on many different levels to “touch and heal the inner places” of those present in the room, including me.
What I love more than anything is the fact that it is extremely creative. New songs emerge all the time. Old songs take on new meaning. I can use my drumming, overtone singing, throat whistling, cool sound effects instruments, whatever feels right. And that is tremendously freeing and pleasurable for me. And as you might know we more towards pleasure and away from pain. The more pleasure I connect with performing my music in this new way, the more I want to do it. And that’s a win/win.
Here’s a play list of the first 4 live song baths I did. In each case I “opened” for my friend Leslie Thornton’s Albany Ecstatic Dance Evolution
I’m really enjoying your recent Sound Healing Hypnosis Session Sound Bath #4! I listened to it throughout the day and used the session in some of my classes.
I work with individuals who have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities, I prefer to say varying abilities because we all have varying abilities that’s what makes us unique and individual. Some of these individuals have little or no verbal communication and limited control of their body. The classes are Modified Adaptive Qigong Movements.
In one of my classes there are a few individuals who are highly agitated most of the time, they are also nonverbal. It has been a challenge for me to find ways to connect with them and help them center and relax. Well….. when I played your song bath #4 they calmed down relaxed and allowed me to do some handover hand movements with them. The energy shift in the room was palpable. When they went back to their rooms after the class the staff noticed the change as well.
Your work is having a profound effect throughout the world.
Thank you Mark!!!
💜In Gratitude With An Open Heart 💜
I have been so entranced in your music the last 30 minutes I failed to notice the dawn creeping upon me. Sitting here in Mother Earth’s glory as I support my mama in taking her final breaths. Love you Mark. Thank you for your timeless gifts to us all. – Mary
Receiving this song bath from you is such a perfect gift….. and such a perfectly timed gift! I thank you with humble gratefulness. I am listening in the midst of doing some correspondence (transformational conversations in fact!) and … it’s just perfect!!! Your sound bath is so appreciated this afternoon. Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!
Rather than dwell on sadness, regret, I’ll instead choose to be with your fine tones, melodies, lyrics and echoes. It makes me so calm and uplifted to listen, to allow your music to wash over me… that I felt compelled to post it on my FB page in order to share it with others. Which I did.
Bless you for being the “Shepard” that you are!!!
With love and every best wish! – Letitia
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