« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#162: Amos Lee, Reaching Out Through Music

2018-11-20
Musician Amos Lee started meditating in college as a way to cope with his mother's breast cancer diagnosis and his own Generalized Anxiety Disorder. For two years, he was going on retreats and meditating two hours a day. Lee knows what it's like to face personal hardships, so he views his music "as a service," a way to reach out and comfort people who may also be suffering. He talks about how working on his new album, "My New Moon," was therapeutic for him, writing about some very personal experiences. Finally, Lee performs a song he wrote after witnessing his grandmothers passing, in this touching episode. Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail at 646-883-8326.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC this is the ten percent happier vodka in her. I was thinking so interesting and truly brave Andrew useful when really well known people speak honestly about their struggles with mental health issues, and we have a case. In point this week, aimlessly you may have heard of him very well known singer. Songwriter has said gold with anxiety for a long long time and turned to and continues to turn to meditation as one of the things that help them he's had plenty of room real difficulties in his life and you're gonna hear a really regulatory, and I think, as I said before, brave and useful interview come up on the show, also he's the first of our musical get
to actually bring his guitar into the studio and he's gonna play us off the air, as we say in television, although were not really on the air here is gonna play us off the pod at the end. So you want to listen for that as well, so that come up first, though your voice males here number one way: Dan, my name's Karen and Ivan following you quite a bed. I have been doing meditation to help with my anxiety and panic attack for that guy. I just wondered how long it took before you recovered from panic, or if you still have it, I practice about three times a day and exercise, and I see it there are best. I don't do drugs. So I admire you coming forward. There's a lot of us out here so yeah I just do still have it is it gone? Is it not gone? Is it just a little bit the panic I mean so thank you and thanks for everything, you're great guy,
Thank you. I really appreciate saying that I am. I really admire how aggressively me. That's not the right way. but how assiduously- maybe that's the right, where you are pursuing your treatment for this very difficult thing, panic and anxiety it can widow your life down to nothing if you're, basically, everything that makes you anxious or gives you a panic attack you avoid then you're. You may not be left with much, and so the fact that you're going out through it and you know meditating and seeing a therapist in exercising all the things you need to do according to the experts is awesome, so you asked about my situation in eight it. In my experience. I dont have a sense that there's a cure for this stuff, I think
I can really get at the root causes and make a bunch of life hacks to make it to make your life much easier, but you're the these. These to me, they seem like chronic conditions that you can mitigate to a great extent, but I dont consider myself somebody who's. You know not at risk panic attacks anymore, absolutely not so. For me, the most useful things have been done: I'm just going off what my doctor told me many years after I had my own air panic attacks that you know you have to treat your self like up thoroughbred horse. She needs a really take care of yourself. So I My eye on getting enough sleep, pre careful, my diet, I'm very aggressive, but my exercise, although That's because I'm an nun are narcissist and dead. Adaptation and you know it medication. My
was prominent, panic attacks have been on national television. There is a great medication. Class of medication is called beta blocker. which are non narcotic and you can take em if you're worried about having a panic attack and it will It won't change the way your ac is not gonna aside taking him. Et I drug, where all the sudden, your little dopey it really just blocks. As I understand it, you're the physiological symptoms of a panic attacks of your heart rate can't get that high. So I find that in credits, the closest thing to a silver bullet I've ever encounter in its use by people who have to perform from surgeons too. Ballet dancers to public speakers the world over. So it's that's another thing that I found to be incredibly useful, so I think there are lots of ways to get at this in
and impersonally in my life. I feel like I'm in a much better place, and I was after I had. Those panic attacks is not doing drugs, removing cocaine from the system as it is pretty useful, but I dont consider myself cured and I'm not sure there is such a thing, art voicemail over to better thought, women, Escargot area. I have been on my meditation practice Europe for several years now, immediate watches about, or five years now, practice twice a day about twenty minutes a day, and my question is: how do you know when you shit up your practice from say twenty minutes to thirty minutes or an hour once or twice a day, and even taking that a step further, you keep on talking about going
reed shriek and I want to know how you know not just how to know when you should be ready for retreat, but even more importantly, how do you pick a retreat in which to go to end the length of time? Banks keep up the great work and I hope to keep on hearing from you every week. It is you normally to pop up on my podcast. Thank you about thanks lot in that question, salami. see if I can remember at all show in turn of your daily dosage of meditation. I think that just such an individual thing, one thing I would say- based on my own experience, is maybe don't get too ambitious in a way that makes it unsustainable So if you're doing twenty minutes a day and you all of a sudden, you decide to do three hours, air two hours a day My one worry is that you could well first. I worry that it might be a response
in some way, a man who know the situation in your life, but I don't want you to start neglecting your kids are your spouse or your job. So that's one thing but set second. He assuming none of that gonna happen. I worry that you will may be set yourself, for failure and then dear ego will swooping until your whole story about how Europe failed metal, later and then you're really of the wagon, so I would wreck and an incremental approach. Personally another way to gauge. You know how much you should be sitting every day is. If you have a teacher, you know, if you go to a man Detention class once in a while, and maybe talk to the teacher afterwards or if you have an individual relationship with the teacher that can be a very useful thing did a sort of talk it out with somebody. So I give my bottom line is: if you're it shouldn't it up daily dosage, I think go for it, but just maybe go for an incremental approach so that you don't know, run off a cliff here in terms of meditation retreat.
Look it's a little bit like the thing people tell you about having a kid: it's never a good tough! I mean there, always inconvenient, and it's always gonna seem at least- and I am speaking from only from my experience here- that it it's it. It's always a painting. Find the time to do it and I always kind of dread, doing it and yet It is the time in my experience when I make the biggest leaps in my practice, and I have the most profound experiences I read. becomes a sort of molecular early understand the things were talking about on this pipe cast and that you read about in great books about meditation or Buddhism, so I highly recommended at any stage. Frankly, I didn't my first meditation retreat after a year, and I often tell people when my old can lines from having spent for an f nearly five years speaking people
We have our meditation post, publish publishing my first book. Is you don't have to go into meditation retreat in order to be a successful meditated? I think if we do in just a few minutes a day. That's fine and I went on my first retreated as writing a book and I needed some stuff to write about so that was frankly part of my motivation, I also really did understand that, for me, meditation was used for practice and that a meditation retreat was a great way to. It was obvious to me as a great way to up my game and I have been recommended, by people who I really trusted and admired, including SAM Harris who's, been on the show before them as a well known, podcast, her an author and also dark doktor Mark Epstein was also on the show before it is a well known author. But both of them had recommended to me and I was really taking it seriously as a result of that too. The one piece of advice. I often give people a ban, I was, I was texting with the guys from the minimalism podcast who have become friends therein, I going on a meditation retreat,
I was telling them they wanted. on a three day retreat and my advice is actually go. First, seven the ten I know that sounds super daunting, but in my experience on these retreats you're really offering until day for five when that is that the volume of your mental chatter can go away, way down and that's when really interesting things can happen again him in my experience and You know that the guys from minimalism resent, but what we don't you just don't have the time to do that and that's fine. Three days is better than no days, but so I wouldn't tell you dont. Do it if you only have two or three days but takes see Firstly, the rather radical notion that, seven to ten days, maybe the move, ok and the final part
What you asked me is, how do I know were good meditation retreat is. I do not consider myself a comprehensive expert on all the meditation retreat offered in this country, but I do know too of the spots that I really can unreservedly recommend and those are Spirit Rock which is north of San Francisco and the insight meditation society which is in Bury Massachusetts, be a r r e Massachusetts. They both have websites, Google em, look at the retreat calendar find one that works for you and go for it. Those places. I honestly believe you cannot go wrong at those places and they have just enough phenomenal lineup of teachers are right. Good luck to you go for it. Let's get to our guest, its AMOS Lee pre famous guy very high.
push musician and, as we have seen from so many of our guests on the show people who just make it to the highest echelons of our culture, often there dealing with pretty heavy stuff in their personal life and AMOS quite courageously is willing to come out talk about it at length here and the role that meditation has played and, as I said, he sings s song so here is a misleading we'll go to meet you two! Congratulations on the direct. Thank you very excited about it. What would have died into it in a big way Let's start with the wood meditation, if you're, if you're cool with so you you you flirted with it, how did how? And why did they come back? Oh, I think actually did more than flirt meditation right, yeah got on base, I on base, I was not sure which bases honour how I got there, but started in college and My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was in South Carolina an account.
rock my world, and I wasn't. I was also at the same time, having pretty major anxiety issues, because I have a. I have a generalised, anxiety, disorder and I've had one since I was a kid and I never medicated because, as you know, maybe you know some people who have these things a lot of people with generous anxiety disorders, don't like taking pills and I happened to be a very physically sensitive person so like if I'd take something down, I'm I get down so I wanted something that would try to help and I was drinking or had I didn't really have music. Yet I was just starting to play music, but I was having panic attack three or four times a day, wow, so I decided that I was gonna. Try to do this meditation thing and I was introduced to it through our comparative religious literature course. I took when I was in Massachusetts.
I took a semester at Umass Amherst, and I had this comparative religious literature class we read everything from I've heard you talk about Buddhism beyond beliefs, we read actual Leah Re Book appear our enlightened mine, which is another really great book about Zen Buddhism. That's his guitar yeah! That's my that's my own We read the legend of ball sham the cloud of unknowing, so he got into mystic Texan and books from all traditions, with the light, the legend of drawings, but the the professor of the class was an ordained. Athletes, priests minister and also a Zen priest, so he was the super deep guy who had lost a child and gotten into studying Buddhism. So I went on a retreat with him and
We did a as in retreat in western Massachusetts, where we dared sitting walking chanting, sitting, walking, chanting, silent, rich for four days, and that was sort of like me going headlong into it. This way beyond but way beyond flirting? Yes, and then yes, he, I didn't tell you any of this. So after that I was pretty devout Buddhist forever. Two years in college, when every one else was, partying and drinking. I was playing guitar meditating two hours a day while and relief focusing heavily on like doing my mala beads and reading tax and got really deep into it, then came the music and one. I became a musician and started hanging around musicians as I actually. This is what I really want to do. I thought
I never really thought about going into the monastic life. I flirted with that in my mind, but I never did it obviously, because I felt like I didn't want to be sequestered I wanted to do good in the world and I am not saying that monks don't do good in the world, they do great in the world, but I wanted to be active. I wanted to live in the act of world. So what happened from there when you got into music? Did you completely abandon Buddhism and meditation now philosophically I'd. I still I mean I feel like I practice compassion as much as I possibly can at it's funny, because I read I really like Herman has has, however haste. He might have said it by the dark yeah, and so I read Siddhartha Arthur Bunch Times. I came to the conclusion that the Buddha wasn't the Buddha until he was the Buddha and weather. means to me. Is he wasn't really? I guess he was driving
to find something, but I dont think I dont this is my interpretation that He really knew what it was he was going to find and then Cabin is like. Oh, is this an can how I was with music, I didn't really now I was gonna, sit under the tree. And find it, but I did so. I sat under the tree and I was like this is what I've been waiting for, so I did abandoned Buddhism and mine and my thought process, but I wasn't as interested in going down the long path of becoming like a super devout. Buddhist too, is just ever. day practicing practicing practicing meditation, maybe going into a monastery, but Your heart, in my mind, is a really great book. Carozza, I think her name was,
I want to mess it up. Issues! Irish irishwoman, I dont want to say it them. I might say someone else's name, more Moreau, Helen or more Moira, Halloran, it's a great book. So basically, it's this woman who I think was living in Boston and she wanted to day she found herself sittings as in all these random corners in her house completely unprompted by any one in her life and she moved to Japan and became the first and priests, priestess or priest since many many years and it was her coming to terms with a lot of hardship and patriarchy and self. Doubt, and I just really related to her writing and to her experience and how wrong open she was about it. It's a really beautiful book but question question about you so you got into meditation initially sounds like the initial impulse was because of generalised anxiety disorders, and he did it very seriously for
couple years and then stopped did help with anxiety, and then, when you stop, did you find the anxiety coming back? Well, anxiety for me- is its chronic condition. We're not gonna. Have it and something that I like to talk to. My fellow anxiety suffers about, as I don't think it's going away. Don't try to cure yourself, just understand that you can manage it. It's manageable, it's gonna come back stronger, I'm just gonna go away, but it's an. I found that the acceptance of that was a big mine change for me because at first when I was having panic, attacks and major anxiety issues, I just no. It was happening. It was sort of the late Earl Music, the midnight
Isn't it having people would say panic, but it's not like today where so many people are very aware of what a panic attack feels like in my particular brand of panic was very strong and it was even kind of like there might have been a little break in there at times for me, because I was really offering like psychotic break. Maybe maybe there was a little bit of a break in there. For me, I think we're. I couldn't really tell the difference between things. But I've always been very and in engaged in overcoming things I am wasn't like you can even fight it. I wasn't trying to fight it, but I did this programme which I'm not I'm not on here
the plug anybody, but I'm just giving you my experience at a program called it attacking anxiety, and it was a twelve step programme done by this woman, AIM Lucinda Basket and is very twelve steffy. So for the for those of your audience, members who might have anxiety, disorders and dont want something that we know twelve seven. But what I mean by that is like there's a power, greater than you. You know all that I didn't really. I didn't really get into that part of the programme, but it has helped me so much to identify what would happen to me to know, I wasn't alone because that such a big thing for people who suffer from all kinds of stuff- you know you're not alone, and that it should be have you very practical means to like change or thought process like replace or negative thoughts like you talk, a lot about witness just be a witness. You don't have to be an active demolish, urges be a witness
so the thought comes up. Are you should be worried about X Y, see right now and for ever and then you can recognize? Oh, no, that that's just a bunch of thought. The hour. At least I can say. I know that this will pass. I know that this will pass and also I can handle it. Those were big things for me. Those those statements like I can hand it's gonna, I'm gonna, be ok, I'm not gonna, lose my mind. I'm not like me. Maybe so day. Who knows what my diagnosis will be, but at this very moment I can handle this an yeah. the attacking anxiety course did you do that around the same time that you were doing the meditation near it was. It was sort of maybe a little later that I did the program, but the the meditation was definitely happening. It was all I was going to attack out like it's like the program says I was going to. I was going to really go headlong into this thing and and
they said. Did you find that when you took the meditation other makes that somehow the anxiety take up in some way that you got worse or The cognitive tools they learned in attacking anxiety was at enough to kind of corral it it. It helped begin the corralling process again, I still feel like. I still have anxiety issues like I you know there are nights in the past where I've been on stage, and I don't I don't know how things manifest for anyone else, but my mind at this This very strange kind of out of body experience from like what, if my my mouth stops working and I can't get any sound out or what, if I forget, every thought that I've ever like really out their stuff and I'm in the middle of a song and no one else knows it, because I'm just up their singing and the like This feels cool and meanwhile internally, unlike what, if I forget every word that I've ever learned TAT had ever been
oh now, man, I'm cool, Cobb leg again witnessing it is a big part of it. You know it's like witness the witness, no, it will pass and so Another thing has been really helpful for me as exercise, and these days I meditate walking. So I don't sit Lotus, but I walk and I observe and I've that being ups and observer. Unfortunately, on that famous, which is good, what do you mean? You're, not famous, even at the top of the billboards, hurt it's a weird thing I have. I have sort of carved out place for myself, where I can walk around ninety nine percent of the world and be unnoticed and also have a decent career, where I feel very connected to my fans. So yeah there's there is a cool little niece that I found that I'm trying to preserve myself while promoting my music. So you you feel, I you walk out him.
look! This is meditation. You run yeah, you can walk through the world and turn that into my photos, exercise I do yeah and I use it because it helps me do two things helps me stay active and it helps me clear my mind and when recently one I've gone back into meditation enough- and I was doing a lot over the winter. While I was making this new record that I may call my new moon there four days where, like when we are in a recording process, is just so much information and it's so much analysis that meditation can be really helpful in those moments just to be like I am I am going. to just disappear for a little while into this thought, and then you know meditation does it doesn't work like that for me, but it slows my mind down gradually. the more I meditate, the slower I get
in this case, you're talking about actual seated meditation yeah I got back. I got back into some seated meditation, but an it's interesting though. the seated meditation I done over the past couple years. I've. I'm wearing, because, like the Tom waits quote that out his stumble back on his. If I exercise my devils, my angels may leave too and when they leave their so hard to find It's a great Tom weights on, but I always think about that. I'm like I don't want to get to healthy signal, right anymore. So I think that such an interesting question I am not creative in the way you I mean, I write books, and so there is creativity in there, but I'm not come during songs out of thin air or conjuring fictional. all stories, although I am actually kind of work on a fictional thing, the way you are but
I wonder I mean I once heard a great meditation teacher. My meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein asked about things. Beethoven are much. I can remember that basically saying this guy, this great compose was miserable. Would he have made such great stuff if he wasn't and Joseph after was maybe you were made better stuff? and I find that drink as this is deeply held belief and grave communities, you need to have at least some misery, and I guess I why would I would add something else that which is that I've I'm, not a meditation, measurable and manure been doing coming up on a decade. I decade, think eliminating all the devil's is on the table. Asia is on how many have so. I just feel like work where there is a great quote from this hindu teacher and actually deduced from Boston Buddy you he gave you changes named around us very famous in meditation. Immunity
he says meditation does not annihilate you're neuroses. It makes you a connoisseur of your Nora ha ha. I would argue that that's kind of increased visibility into, machine and the hand, the machinations of the mind would put you in closer touch with your honor sensitivities and give you my. gimme, a better leg up advantage in the writing process. Of course again I carry out that with the effect that I'm not running song. So do I know what the word for Stevie wonder. No, he was wearing the transcendental meditation. In fact, he sings on it in the songs of the keel, songs in the key of life a transcendental meditation, thousand dead men patient.
yeah. He gets into it. So you can listen to Stevie Hotelier, but Stevie genius anyway. So I mean maybe it's just the kind of thing that like it, if it, if he goes into an into his meditation state, he gets clear. He feels better. That's wonderful! I guess for me, I'm a little bit more anxious about losing, so I hear you ethically one of the things you describe your shovel colleges and as a sort of relieving folks and exercising and not drinking or taking pills, because you thought he would make anxiety worse but you're, the music business. I would imagine there is no shortage of powders and pills right and an potions.
How do you what your attitude toward all that now I dont judge, I don't do do know I'd. Why definitely like a martini- and I like I like wine, so I definitely indulge there. I just think that today- and I know people very close to me- and I've lost people close to me who have done the potions in the past is in the pills, and it's a scary time out there right now, because you don't know what you're taking some of the time and with the opioid epidemic and fentanyl being cut and everything you know again, I don't judge people who use, I don't judge it, addicts, I think a lot of people are self medicating. I know people in my life who grew up on diagnosed and were self medicating until they wound up,
in prison and then and then they got their their diagnosis and then the whole. Then then, like I just wasted fifteen years of my life, because I just didn't know but yeah there's a lot. I mean there's lots of that and in a lot of jobs. So these days I think music is actually may be more professional and focus than a lot of other stuff. These days it mean return, my knights and eighty six in the abundance times where you would roll into wherever what studio and there's a place. Cocaine there waiting for you but, like I don't know if you ve heard, but the music industry does really can sell any records anymore so that that played Kane is now like. You know. Metro card is like well, you know, get get, get home safely, work hard post on your instagram and you know keep produced music. But it's interesting man, because I know young musicians these days. And they're so focused. So many
Now that I know that we heard the tragic stories you know we ve heard over the past couple weeks, a lotta, a few young musicians have lost their lives. Yeah and its every time. I hear it, I'm just like it devastates because I hate, I think, is I don't was not my things all of our thing. I don't I don't like when people feel alone in their stuff, and if she a lot of times idle, I just lost a friend two weeks ago and we don't know what happened, but it makes me want to cry for him that he may be. He felt so alone that he wanted to just go away. I himself now again it is his right to do what he chooses with. His life, but it breaks my heart and I I want to reach out to people through music in that that sort of the mission of this latest record is to reach out to people who were maybe grieving or a feeling. Some way and let them know that they're not alone through the music and also through the live experience stay too and more of our common
patient is on the way after this. So you just woke up your phone is lighting up with headlines and push notification and a text from your mom saying? How do I click this? Ok, maybe that's just me, but if you want to get up to speed, check out the new podcast from ABC News Start here literally the ground was shaking I'm right milking and every morning we're gonna. Take you to the store What's the matter with fast fresh in Silo Robin Mauler, Michael Cohen, calling only twenty minutes start here: listen for free and apple podcast, or your favorite podcast app. I know a bit of a story behind this new record. He can tell me the story. I, if I understand correctly, was it a chance meeting backstage. Yes, there is
there were. There have been a couple real important influences on this record. The first happened in New York State actually, and it was to parents, they came back after a show of mine and they told me that they had lost their son to cancer. and that the music mind, the music that I was making was really big part of their healing process, and even in the last days of his life, they would all share the songs together and up until that point, I never really even considered that reality. I think I was just oblivious to it like. Why was just making my music and playing my shows and hopefully in my own head with mild negative self talk about whatever it was that I was going through at the time.
And that was a real moment of clarity. For me, where I recognise that I could really be of service to people and I changed my entire opinion of how to approach my job from that moment and up front since then its and its helped me actually immensely as a performer too, because When I have those demons of doubt crawl onto my shoulders, I I just focus back on those two or I think about someone in the audience. It only has to be one person who I can go. They are here because they really want to be here, and this has been a healing like experience for them
I don't know how hard it was for them to get here? Maybe they had to drive three hours and get a baby sitter and parking. I better just do your best be of service like take take, I take the audience journey very seriously in the way I approached the every show. So that's really. If I we ve had a lot of entertainers and an answer. musicians in that chair. Nobody, I've never really hurt anybody and I love it describing music as a service. I mean it's a Hetty term. No, but I like it that there's no if you are in judgment in my voices, positive judgement now your judgment in my own voice, is generally, where most of the judgement that I have come to the third and most of us, especially those most willing guy for sure AIR, but when I say the word went when I say the word service, who comes from a lot of places like first of all its.
interesting word, because it means a lot of different things. It's like it is a thing is a service. You can go to a Catholic or a jewish service at a funeral service, a communion, a communion you can go to you can have service, you can be of service as well as a very wide spread word, so I think of it in that I want to be present with. You and an value, your experience as much as mine, if not more- and I think that's always been where I come from it as Us- a service like when I worked in the restaurant industry. I waited tables you're there to be a server right. This fine of a fine word to use- and I were they loved the job. I worked at the olive garden. I was a server, the olive growing and that hard yeah you gonna run back and forth and get to fill the bread radically basket yeah. I got my steps in those days,
It was part of my head off, I laid all you can eat. Bread stated that the deal it soup, salad and sticks are at an yeah, yeah suicide sticks and also unlimited beverages. ok, that's alone folks, man hungry and is an interesting business smile to because you're sort of feeding them before they eat. And what I mean is the Entre is sort of secondary. It's a weird thing: it's a weird model, but it worked for them and its were worked for me because It was that this a service job where I was like, I don't feel it getting the third, both salad for these people, but I don't know if this is the only night they're gonna have out for the next three months, and this is a special time for them. and I want to make sure that at least I'm paying attention, so the roots worst sort of spread then? And I was able to take those lessons- that I learned at the olive garden again not play, anything that here and there about where an
of them into a new arena, which is an artistic emotional place which is much more meaningful for me, then salad, Yes, oh what I'm going say before before that was but what I hear a lot of in what you in the foregoing is: is it natural capacity in Europe for empathy, which I say that with some envy on end, because I don't know how how good I am at that If I could see myself as if I predict myself into the olive garden job again, would not no disrespect for our garden, but just just in terms of the running back and forth to Sir Red sticks, region, However, I think I might be lost in a black hole of self absorption and self pity where as you got some of that for sure, but then also They won't- maybe this is their only night and whereas I don't know that that addendum postscript whatever
suffix on the on the on the thought loop would have come in for me, so I just want to point that out, which is cool. I think yeah I mean for me as a writer. Also, empathy is hugely important. I get bored, of my own stories a lot and something that I have always really enjoyed and wanted to do more of was living in someone else's scan and I've. I've brought up Quantum leap a bunch of times off you, that show from the eighties, with Scott Bachelor, yet dizzy player. A superhero using he said of the superhero he just he can help. The premise of the show is this: dude, is somehow found a portal and I don't know all the details, but he found a portal, so he can experience things indifferent points of history as different individuals. Oh I vaguely rumoured I write goes confusing with another show, with like a regular guy. Has a superhero. That's probably called my secret identity, which was Jerry, O Connell. Look man, I'm older than you know, you're a thief
authorities over her own on forty one. But you look thirty three oh no, no other meditation. I sleep in I smelled something new it's. Not it's not that the Jerry O Connell show either there was a show, the guy with care We blonde hair and eyes his memory in the opening sequence of him being on top of a building with a cape on a jumping off, but he's a regular GAO did. I know you're talking about its eye by war, that costume as a kid for Halloween. Oh God, what was it? all this is horrible see this is why put my phone away, because I would want to google this right now, whatever we know what it is, but I didn't have a thing lightning, older s, chest! Yes! Well now your listeners will be experiencing this yelling at their pod. Cast on the train is going it's. This show. Dummy Yes, I'm not sure where we went to with that, but now I'm just thinking about that
we were time a quantum leap yeah so well as a writer and- and I think that that was the whole point that was the point of that show to me- was how to cultivate more empathy in your life, and I you know I come from not unnaturally empathetic mother who is who raised me on empathy that was sort of what I was fed every day. Don't judge you know like we ve, we ve had a lot of hardship in our family. So when you see it first hand and you see how people deal with hardship with compassion and love, I think that breeds empathy rather than putting of offence. A walked up and saying: that's not my problem. How is she is, she is, She is around man. Yes, she had. She had breast cancer twice, she fought it, it did it. Is it too? I mean you know all the survivors out there, I'm giving you my love right now is it is tough and up, but it it opened up a door.
into understanding how hard that journey is for people, and now I work with two organisations, one of which is called musician don't call and they what we do is we go bedside for people who are well enough to leave and we play for them and the other. Innovation is melodic carrying project and they stream shows live concerts to mostly children who are quarantined so they're, so sick. They can have visitors. And I did a show with them where I met this little girl named Maya, glad heart who is going back to the record she inspired a song on the record little light, because she was really sick and
her family welcomed me into their home as a stranger coming into their suffering in which people can be very protective of, and they offered me a look in an hour and a light in, and I just started sending her songs and playing her face time tunes and we became super type buddies and You know getting back to the empathy place, having those experiences with my mom and also going through a lot as a kid and raised on these. This ideology of empathy and compassion, just it hurt sometimes because your with her and she suffering so much. You just want to make her better but
her grace in her strength, inspired me so much that it also helps perspective. So I'd be onstage some nice. Maybe when my service mechanism isn't working in my brain and I think about her, I think about while she I mean she she's, probably nauseous, as hell she's, no hair, she has been to school and six months. She doesn't know what her diagram it's gonna, be I can get up here and do this tonight, and I am amazed at the kid this some of these kids that I mean how strongly and how wise they aren't. This little girl is so wise, so how's she doing She is intermission, six months Yes, I'm wearing this little beaded bracelet. She made me and this weird stinky rope that she sent and there it was his thing you before I put it on, but wearing it for the last year straight. You know it's got his moments, but when, where this until she's a year-
Earn remission, but she seems good offer scans, keep coming back clean, so yeah she's doing great. So is this kind of fourth right look at suffering the theme of the new record. It's part of it death. I mean it's a big part of it. It's it's not only there's it's my own cause. I lost my grandmother two years ago and I was there with her when she was so the story is that she was in the hospital. We didn't know that how sick she was so she was having, and if this is part of, but you show we not to at myself so long ago, so she I was having this week. Bad stomach issues like what we thought was reflux and
The diabetic and something that I learned through this process has. If you know someone who is a diabetic and female, especially and they're, experiencing a lot of stomach stuff, it could be their heart and it was her heart, so her pain was so bad. She had to sleep upright at night and we had no idea. We just didn't know that it was her heart. We thought cuz. We all have our. We all have reflux all of us in my family, so we thought I was her reflux. She was eating tums and everything so much. I remember talking to her grandma got. You know. I got my reflux to I try this other medicine, try that is my grandmother- was the sweetest human being on the put on the planet earth that eight kids by the time she was thirty one. She raised them all with the utmost, loving care and
she was admitted to the hospital in the doktor came in and said she is ninety six percent blocked across the board like if she can make it to the morning we're going to do a surgery on her. We think we think we can get some openings in there for her, and so initially we were completely devastated and then, when we got this news, just make it too morning we were all like super pumped. We like yes, she's gonna, make it to the morning, and so she got stable. She got into her bed, we were there with her and at so the family was now trickling out. This is getting to be nine or ten it's getting late past visitor hours, so they would only allow a few of us to stay and my mom is not a person who leaves so and she's the oldest girl and her mom was her person. So we stayed at around one thousand one hundred and thirty. She got afib and it got very.
bad like her vitals were all over the place and it was just really my mom and my aunt But my mom and my aunt were just it- was such a excruciating experience to watch her suffer so much cuz. She was basically having a massive heart attack. She was having heart failure. She conscious for this. She was conscious for it, but she was in and out because her vital, like her blood pressure, was like a very low heart rate, was racing and then falling in like the whole time I'm staring at her. You know her vitals and I'm like just make it to morning. Please just make it to morning and then about four. I realized like I was just sitting in there with her and also I've been around people actively dying before
she's, not making it. I hear the like there's a certain kind of breathing that starts to happen like she's, not making it, and I called my mom in and she you know she came in and shoes like lost it and it was a hard moment. So it's not just other people's stuff. It's it's our stuff on this record too, and so I wrote a soft for hot her car I wrote a couple songs for her once called hang on, hang on and about the experience of fun of just No, no, you know being there with her and and Saint Police Day, but she wasn't she she couldn't, but I wanted her to so it's not just this record as a partially about being apathetic and some friends of mine who have passed away,
It is also about our own suffering and my mom and mine and my whole families, and I think I think, some of the songs for on this record or hard for her to here and listen to because their its raw. Like it. That's what was happening and hang on hang on is for me, probably the most emotional experience on the record. There's another song on the record called all you got is a song which came out of it a funk ear and funder than I thought it would, and I was kind of open turkeys and I wanted to be. You know, complete emotional devastation here. I want some fun cause: it's music, But that the basis of that song was when she was in these moments, where I knew the first of all this. My grandma was like the Dalai Lama to me she was like that's the Buddha she got it. She's is understood everything and am. I was with her in the moments where she just look up at me
we guide and to the side and try to smile, but she wasn't even strong enough to smile, but she was trying and ass. She couldn't talk anymore because it intubated her because there were trying to just keep her lungs working so I did was Grabber hand and saying to her and I sang her my grandfathers favorite song, which, if you knew him he was a wild man, his favorite song was born to lose, which is four I get her from and my grandma. My favorite stuff was like what a wonderful world somewhere over the rainbow. So I was just I just sang to her because there were no words for me. There were no words for me to say to her you're going to be okay. I mean I'm not going to say that to her I'm here with you. She knows that so I just sang or some songs, and did what I could with her, and so music has played a huge part, not only in my home suffering, but my friends, and I am always the guy people caught when there's a few.
so much like a funeral singer guy. So a lot of people who pass I go in and do some songs with Eminem I'm just very grateful to have music to be that bridge. For me not only into other people's healing and pain, but also just into their hearts in the shows and make him feel better. You know in those moments where they're not grieving music as a service yeah, you got your guitar, we do not place on them I would love to. I wanna make sure I don't overwhelm your system here. He said before you, you you're you're, more comfortable play music talking all that you did a damn good job on the talking I have to say. Thank you. Let's see if this this thing is in tune, I think it is saw play hang on hang on. For you,
we never live do We never left you then day We nevertheless have to you. see you in so much pain, how but you didn't want to be here, anyway, So
You already come so far. We never say do even now we might have found their way. We never do to see Anna worse day, there forever but it didn't work that way. yeah,
morning, Jew lovers, bread lovers, prayer Is we ve now? They love us. While we stay in there in the shadows. Now farmers lovers were we know lovers. Hang on Yeah
Can you be morning, com morning b
a special tax. Thank you really pressure emphatic forthrightly. I use that word twice now confronting mortality at getting people to think about that, because so important. We talk a lot on his back ass. I think that in and of itself as a big service gear, I remember reading the art of happiness, not something to the tune of. I think that the door Mamma said something about. Imagine yourself in a casket every day when you wake up, and you know that
hey how about a morbid thought first for that for the start of the day, but you do you do appreciate stuff like I don't. no about after life. I don't really think about it very much, but I do definitely think about how we affect each other in this one, and I wish more people could do that. People have faith especially like what can you do? Can you not focus on that lets focus on this one? This is important. Let's not sell a thing. We don't know about, let sell what we know about. We have abundance, we can share it. We can make each other's lives,
better, but now. I understand why some people like an escape. I definitely understand that you know I think, about people who were born into slavery and were like the next life is for me, like Jesus gonna. Take me there, and I understand that I and I dont short that and I hope that it happened, but in modern times with with us in our culture were where people are preaching about abundance and then the hereafter. I want the abundance to be saved for a firm that here and now. I first for sure for me setting aside any metaphysical questions about the here and now versus the hereafter. I definitely think think being integrity or mortality is not morbid.
Then in a pejorative, its enlivening it's. What year makes you not takes it for granted? Definitely yeah before before we go, give us the name the record again, and also where can we find you in social media everything sure? Well, the name of the record is my new moon it, song written that the title its track as Sancho Whisky on ice, which was written for a friend of mine who passes written for his mom and his moms confronting her her grief, and so my new moon, the title of the record, a sort of based around the cycle of renewal and also the ending do we know, which is which do we know how to deal with utter darkness in his utter darkness, a renewal for ourselves, and maybe that is the case, so it's called my new moon, social media. I get. I I've never done this before at aimlessly. I think I dont really now. Are you closed? I am starting to pose
summary I'm very slowly, dipping my toes into the social media world Instagram is M: zero, ass, l e facebook. I think it's just AMOS leave something Pham page or whatever, but yeah reach out? I appreciate you haven't me on here. Think it's really great, that you have a voice and your sharing with people to try to make their lives ten percent happier. I appreciate that thing, very much thanks for coming on- and I know you ve got your pic after toward from an absolutely love without thanks. Ok, that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please
take a minute to subscribe rate us also, if you want to suggest topics, you think we should cover or guests that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this podcast Lauren Efron just go ahead and the rest of the folks here at ABC who helped make this thing possible. We have tons of other broadcasts, you can check them out at ABC News broadcasts, dot, com, I'll talk next Wednesday, there's not a person in America who hasn't been impact. It in some way the corona virus pandemic, but every community there are pockets of people who are sitting up. every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of proteins for one of our ten, and these are America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new plants from Ebay, see news you going
from damaged and even worse. I she went back to my office inside crying because it's not fair hearing here, making sorry that our community smiled faintly moraine. This is essentially inside the from the urgency by the police cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves. No one's way, there's always a risk that I could breathe is home to my kids. Are my husband or my parents? Listen to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast revision, podcast him.