It is December 2014 and I am writing my story. How did I get here though? Well it’s an interesting story of coincidences really; only we all know that there is no such thing as a coincidence, as we used to know it. A coincidence in our usual way of thinking, suggests that there is a strong element of chance attached. However, if we follow Carl Jung’s philosophy of “synchronicity”, everything happens in combinations that are meant specifically for us. Jung defines synchronicity, as “the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer.” This alters the meaning of a coincidence to be simply that certain things happen together to create connections with each other, and they are happening for our highest good.
Steve Jobs best described this phenomenon when he said that “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.” (Commencement speech at Stanford University 2005). After seeing/hearing this speech, I made a commitment to myself to follow my intuition more often.
One year earlier than when Steve Jobs addressed a gathering of new students at Stanford University, in 2004 I brought home a course catalogue that I found at the chiropractors, from the Relaxation Centre of Queensland. It introduced me to the singing workshop that kick started me on my singing journey. Thank you Mikal Neilsen! Mikal spoke often of his singing mentor (Chris James) whom I decided I just had to meet one day. When Chris finally came to my town, I was unemployed, so I had the free time to attend ALL his free demo sessions at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival, which I had also been given a free entry ticket for. I even rescheduled a job interview so I wouldn’t miss him! We established a great connection and Chris invited me (as his guest) to do a full 3-day intensive with him so I could become his local support person in my area when he was running events. Therein began my journey into sound and healing.
In the same year as Steve’s commencement speech (2005) I started my business and called it Evolutions. This business was to build on my love of singing and to use my talents and share with others so they could build confidence in their ability to sing, without judgement. I chose the name Evolutions to embody the continual growth people could expect to achieve as a result of playing with me. I registered a domain name, got an Australian Business Number (ABN) and started running workshops (now called PLAYshops). I also had to register my business name with the Queensland Office of Fair Trading. Six months into building my little business, I received a letter from The Office of Fair Trading, telling me I could not continue to use Evolutions as my business name, as it was “similar” to other business names already registered and it might cause confusion in the market place. I wrote back to them with a very convincing argument as to why I should be able to keep the name, only to receive a letter giving me 28 days to change it before they shut me down! I was devastated! Little did I know then, but another layer of the master painting had just been laid down.
So, I began a process of brainstorming for potential new business names. I wrote down hundreds and hundreds of names and nothing got me really excited. At the time, I was reading a book (I wish I could remember what the book was, but obviously it doesn’t matter) that, among other things, introduced me to Carl Jung and the concept of synchronicity. I was struck by the connection between this concept and what happens when we start to open up and listen/hear our own voice. We experience the wonderful healing effects that sound and song have on us, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, with each inexplicably linked to the other. So, my new business name. Singchronicity was born – a perfect marriage between singing and synchronicity.
I developed a lovely website at http://singyourvoice.com and as the years rolled on, I have had the exquisite pleasure of opening many people up to discover their true and beautiful inner voices, written over 100 songs, and recorded a CD in 2008 called “Sing For Joy” (available through CD Baby & iTunes). I continue to work in a more left-brain world in a traditional day job at a large local council, thinking, no, knowing, THIS CAN’T BE IT! It does give me one rostered day off per fortnight, which I use specifically for my creative pursuits though.
So what is the next dot? Looking backwards now, I see many of them. The next one, I think, is that I began a practice of what I call “collecting modalities”. I wanted to be able to offer a diverse range of vehicles through which I can help people to grow and find their true selves. As I look at each modality that I have acquired along my path, I can now see that each of these was gifted to me through a string of synchronicities too! I never realised that until just now, as I am writing my story. Singchronicity would no longer be just about singing! It is about tapping in to your intuition in a variety of fun ways that can include singing, creative art, guided visualisation, movement and rhythm to come to a deeper level of self-awareness
My quest to find suitable venues to run playshops over the years has led to many fruitful connections in true synchronicity. In 2008 one of my workshop participants (Joan Warbrick) told me about a place called Angels Rest that was available for hire. When I looked into it, I found something left field again changed my course somewhat…..Spiritual Art classes!
So that year, I booked a Father’s Day treat for myself, my wife Kerrie, and her father and mother into a surprise day at Angels Rest, Tamborine Mountain to learn pastel painting in a rainforest setting. It was intended to be a father’s day present for Kerrie’s dad, but I came away on cloud nine! I could paint! My spiritual art mentor here was Irena Kirpichnikova, a gifted teacher and all-round beautiful person. You can see my pastels at http://creativejohn.com.au Watch how she reappears later in my story too! I have done a number of sessions with Irena over the following years and loved every one of them, but haven’t done much outside of these class times.
The next dot came to me in 2011 through a website that I had subscribed to, called the Daily Om. I subscribed to a course about Art for your soul, where Anne Marie Bennett introduced me to SoulCollage®. Well, it was like the flood gates had opened and I made more than twenty cards inside a couple of weeks! Funny thing about SoulCollage® is that it is loaded with Carl Jung philosophies about imagery, archetypes and synchronicity. My mate Carl keeps popping up everywhere I look! Funny about that!
The process of SoulCollage® has the creator of the cards using them to do readings upon themselves. I was so drawn to the process that I decided that I wanted to become a facilitator. However, Karen Mann, the only trainer in Australia, lived in another state & I didn’t want to travel, nor could I afford to. So, I put a proposal to her to assist her in coordinating facilitator training in my state and together we got a group together. I completed my training early in 2012. So, what has SoulCollage® got to do with my other art-making stuff? Well, firstly it gave me a renewed confidence in my artistic abilities and talents, as well as the interpreting of the cards I made, gave me greater insight into myself as a person and a spiritual being. Not only was I learning a lot about myself, but I was also guided to share all of this publicly, which was a huge step for me. See http://email@example.com and read my stories.
In 2012 I was also drawn to ThetaHealing® through a physical crisis, went to a free demo night and found a severe back condition instantly healed. I committed myself to learning how to do this so I could pass it on to others and practise this in person and over Skype across the world.
In 2013, I found an article in the local paper (or, should I say, it found me!) about a new gallery, Art & Design Precinct, which had opened up and was looking to hire out space to artists. I followed this up with a view to running singing Playshops and SoulCollage® Discovery Tours. I joined their Facebook group and was able to keep up with what they were doing. My efforts to run workshops here were a total flop due to poor take-up, but I joined their mailing list and maintained contact.
Also in 2013, when I wanted to do more in harmonic sound healing, I “discovered” that a local guy, Trevor Gollagher, whom I had done some personal development work with in the past, also taught sound healing. Trevor also came to me through my singing workshop clientele, as was student of Jonathan Goldman. Trevor advertised a course, just when I was thinking about chasing one up to do, so I am now qualified in Sound Healing as well. Whilst qualifications are not the key ingredient to any modalities I take on, they do help me to maintain insurance, which is often required when hiring venues.
It was now 2014 and I was heavily involved with my SoulCollage® and joined a SoulCollage® group on Facebook. In February 2014, I wrote a song called “Callin’ on Angels” asking them “what am I going to do?” You can listen to it here: http://reverbnation.com/johnrodriquez/song/20032988-callin-on-angels
Then I read a post by Ginette D’Silva, who had just signed up for a 21-day painting meditation challenge being offered by Whitney Freya. I went and checked out Whitney’s website, saw what was involved and was inspired. I went out and bought myself some art materials, subscribed to her updates and started the 21-day challenge myself. However, an email from the Art & Design Precinct distracted me, and early in 2014, I found myself participating in a “Journey to Abstraction” acrylic painting workshop and I was hooked! I displayed my first abstract acrylic painting, Fleur Galactique, as part of their exhibition a couple of months later. I am so loving this decision I made to trust my intuition and have just realised now about the synchronistic timing of my question to the angels being answered!
Some 6 months later (July 2014), I wrote a song called “I Surrender” which was all about letting go and stepping in to the flow. You can hear this at http://reverbnation.com/johnrodriquez/song/21303483-i-surrender
Very shortly after writing this (September) in yet another connection of synchronistic dots, I reconnected with Whitney’s updates and began producing 21 watercolour paintings in 21 days. What a blast and what a boost to my self-confidence! Not long after this, I decided to do her Creatively Fit Coaching Course and have gone from strength to strength.
In the process of promoting my singing workshops, I met Karen Mudie, at one of my Playshops and struck up a friendship with her. She later joined a choir I was in, and offered Remedial Massage and Reiki healing services which I followed up on. I had learned Reiki many years ago, but never really got into it as a practitioner. As I developed more into abstract art-making, my interest in Reiki was reignited and I went and studied under Karen to learn how to become a Reiki practitioner myself. Reiki energy is often infused into my paintings now and I will complete my Reiki training early in 2015.
In July 2014 Mikal Neilsen (my original singing mentor) comes to the fore again with a program called “Living on Purpose” that he was offering over the internet. This was happening at exactly the same time as when I was writing “I Surrender”!
I was instantly attracted to doing this course, so I registered and began a process of further awakening to really discover my life’s purpose. It was during this coaching, that I came to learn that my life’s purpose is to “Make a Difference and to Share Great Love”. I will know when I have made a difference by seeing the sparkle is peoples eyes. I became aware during this program that I should not restrict myself in my perceptions of the ways I could make a difference and to be more open to other possibilities. I also came to the realisation that this did not necessarily mean I would have to quit my formal day job to be able to make a difference but to be vigilant for opportunities within my current setting.
Being open and looking for ways to make a difference at work, the following opportunity presented itself to me that very same week! I was talking to a manager at work about mental health and wellbeing and what we could do to promote it. She indicated that the Council was open starting up a meditation session but didn’t know anyone who could facilitate it. I immediately said that this was something I could do and we agreed to discuss it further. Knowing how the Council works, I believed they would want someone “qualified” to do this who had the “proper insurance”. Through a previous yoga teacher that I had remained friends with, I located a Diploma in Meditation Teaching course that my current insurer would accept for public liability coverage, once I graduated. I enrolled in the course and commenced running sessions at work and have had positive feedback, with attendance numbers slowly building. This IS flow!
There is a whole host of other music related synchronicities that I haven’t gone into here, that took me on the path to starting up a community music organisation called Singclusion, designed to bring people together through singing.
As I am working through my creatively fit coaching course, I am developing a mind map of how I can use my creativity at work in my traditional day job, to reengineer my role to be more aligned to what I want for the future. I have already foreshadowed to my CEO (a fan of Dan Pink’s) that I will be knocking on his door in the New Year to discuss some ideas around creativity at work.
In 2014 I also made a commitment to myself to undertake an art apprenticeship with Irena Kirpichnikova in 2015, my original spiritual art mentor that I started with back in 2008. In December 2014, I undertook a guided Solstice Journey with Cat Caracelo, also a SoulCollage® facilitator I had connected with through Facebook. This journey has re-affirmed my knowing that I am on the right path for me with regard to my creativity. See my Twelve Days of Solstice Journey creation at http://wp.me/p4Cp7G-6K
So, the energies are bubbling away, escalating into a fervent yet focused frenzy to pave the way for the year ahead….look out 2015, here I come!