Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Unlocking Your Awesomeness: Interview with Jason Stephenson

Today’s interview is with Jason Stephenson founder of the awesome Relax Me Online site where he provides truly beautiful music for meditation, yoga, hypnosis, and more. Jason is what I like to call a ‘Meditation Guru’ and has been studying meditation for over 15 years. I was thrilled to ask him a few questions about meditation, music, and motivation!

How did you get started meditating? Where did you learn so much about meditation and the importance of it?
It was really by accident as to how I started meditation. It was a usual Monday morning train trip from Wollongong to Sydney, from my home city in NSW Australia, up to the big smoke - Sydney. I was heading off to work and this morning I was feeling uneasy. Over the past months I had not been happy. Work was just that... work. I knew there was more to life. What about my dreams of acting and singing? They had been put on hold whilst I continued in a job that drove me into the ground.

Today something was about to overcome me on the train trip. My friends could see that I was unsettled on this trip and they were asking me what's wrong. I had no answers. We were about half way to Sydney when the train pulled up at a little station called Otford. Otford is known for its beautiful national parks and nature reserves. Something overcame me. I was compelled to grab my bag, jump the seats and get out. And so I did. I had no idea what I was doing. Well, maybe in some ways I did. I needed time to think. I made it out of the train door just as they closed and the train left. Along the train platform I could only see one guard. I was the only one there besides him.

So here I was in business clothing, black shiny shoes and getting off at Otford with my backpack heading up the mountains. At this point, I can only tell you that for the first time in 5 years I felt a freedom unlike anything I had ever experienced! It was overwhelming. Continuing up the steep incline things were racing through my mind; "What will my boss say?" (I had no mobile phone with me), "What am I doing?", "Where am I going?!" I had no idea, but all I knew was something exciting was about to happen. I came to a rocky outpost overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful day and not one cloud in the sky. Taking a large breath of freedom, I breathed deep and began to relax. Not think. Just relax and be in the present moment (first time in years!!!)

Looking out over the big blue I sensed this amazing peace within me. Oh, I can't tell you, but wait, as they say, there's more! Closing my eyes, I pushed my backpack away from me, took off my shoes and just breathed. Bird life was abundant here and it was heaven to my senses. This WAS high quality ambient music. The birds, the ocean waves crashing way below and little lizards scurrying in the bushes - the sounds were relaxation music in progress…of a natural kind.

Now I must have sat here like this with my eyes closed for what may have been only a few minutes... 5, 10 or 15 minutes at the most. I've no idea. But it felt like eternity. Suddenly, I totally 'let go.' I was totally free within of everything. No thoughts were present. No sounds. No nothing! I was simply living in the moment. Suddenly, what I can only describe as "waves of peace" washed over my entire body huge, pulsing waves. And in those moments of peace I knew that everything I had ever wanted to be, everything I had, everything I dreamed of... was right here, right now in this present moment. Even all of the people I had ever loved - and even the ones I had not yet met, were with me in that present moment! All of the ambient music I had ever listened to before was all rolled into one - just through being with mother nature herself. Sure I know this may sound unreal and farfetched to you, but it was real. Within those few seconds, I had touched 'nirvana', 'heaven' or call it what you will. These moments changed my life forever. This was my very first meditation experience - not even setting out to meditate, I encountered it. No meditation music, no chanting... only silence and mother nature. It's kind of ironic that I now operate an online meditation music and ambient music store with Relax Me Online, many years after this experience. I left the national park that day, feeling new, refreshed and a changed man.

The following day I went in to work, handed in my notice and went ahead and pursued my dreams of acting and singing.

I know you grew up surrounded by music, did you always know how powerful music can be?
Oh yes! I have always been a highly sensitive person and picked up on music from a very early age - and the powers of it. My parents were both musicians so I was constantly surrounded by beautiful music and powerful voices. From as young as I can remember, music tapped into my emotions like no one or nothing else. It was my comfort. I was a loner during my school years, so music gave me all I ever needed. It was my best friend.

Would you mind explaining a bit about the healing power of music?
Music heals on many levels. Sounds (which are actually vibrations) can affect our emotions. Music can make us feel alive, happy, sad, joyful, and at peace. It can also be distracting and irritating to us if we choose to listen to the music that does not ‘fit’ with us at a particular time.

Music has been proven on a scientific level by Japanese Dr. Masaru Emoto that it can actually change the crystalline structures of water once frozen. He discovered  that when he  played classical music to a glass of water and then froze it, the crystals in the ice when put under a high powered microscope  were perfectly symmetrical and beautiful. He found the opposite when  he subjected the water to heavy metal music. The crystals were scattered in appearance and out of alignment.  The results of this experiment were nothing short of remarkable. And if you think about it, the human body is made up of around 70% water… Music must then affect us on physical levels too.
Could you also talk a bit about brain entrainment and how that helps people relax, heal, etc.?
Brainwave entrainment is something I have only discovered over the past 3 years, although has been around for decades. It’s a rapidly growing field that involves the study of how changing brainwaves by natural means, will allow people to effortlessly enter states of increased intelligence, creativity, relaxation, pure energy, and more.

Researchers and scientists have found that different bands of brainwaves, are associated with different mental states. For example, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are much different than the brainwaves of a person who is awake. There have been many scientific studies on this field, although more could be done, however “Big Pharma” would not fund these studies as there is no money to be made in natural healing. The studies have shown that brainwaves not only provide insight into an individual’s mind and body, but they can be stimulated to actually change that person’s mental state. And this is where brainwave entrainment recordings come into play; by causing the brain to produce, or decrease, specific types of brainwave frequencies, it is possible to bring about a large variety of mental states, and emotional reactions.

I have received countless letter from people that my recordings I produce have helped with lowering of blood pressure (one lady even come off tablets altogether!), assisting with depression and anxiety, deeper meditation etc. Personally, I love it for meditation.

For someone who has never really meditated, would you mind sharing a few easy tips to start meditating today?
First tip would be to start today… now. This moment, if only for 5 minutes…close your eyes, take a breath and re-connect with yourself. Meditation is not about trying, it’s about being. Just be. Yet many find it so hard to be in the present as we are expected to multi task today with so many things going on. Today, more than ever before, we need to slow our minds down.

You can turn your waking life into a meditation by learning to be in the present moment. When you walk, you can be meditating. Just walk. Be present. Feel the earth under your feet. Connect with your breathing. Allow thoughts to come and then go. Don’t try to push them out. Just observe them and send them on their way. So many people get angry when they cannot stop their minds from racing during meditation. This then defeats the purpose. Over time, your thoughts will become less and less when you begin to live in the moment. If a thought enters, just allow it to drift off like a cloud floating in the sky.

A guided meditation is a good way for a beginner too as this aids the mind in learning the techniques of connecting to the breath, and having a visualization can assist the mind from wandering.
Reading a bit about you I discovered that at one point in your life you began seeking a deeper peace within yourself. Would you say your wonderful site has helped you find even more peace and in what way?
I guess Relax Me Online is another part of my journey of healing and relaxation and returning to the source. In building this site, I have the opportunity on a daily basis to listen to beautiful music and produce music for others that can heal and relax them too. So it works for me and it works for my customers. This is a part of my journey to help make the world a more peaceful place. 

I also discovered you work with crystals, would you mind sharing a bit about crystals and their healing & restorative properties?
Like music, crystals too have energy. Everything is energy. I think Einstein said that didn’t he? Everything IS energy. And that goes for crystals too. Crystals come from deep within the earth, and not only look pleasing to the eye, but many people gain from touching them, meditating with them and even using them as healing tools. Some say that the power of crystals is all in the persons mind that is using them. If that is the case, then I still say it is a wonderful thing - even if it is a ‘placebo.’ Never underestimate the placebo effect. Find more information on Jason’s crystal site here. 

Are there specific things you do each day to keep motivated and optimistic?
For me, I write a list of to do things each morning with a cup of tea in my hand.  This helps me keep on track.  I pray and meditate. These are my times of peace and healing - and they are a part of my life - my connection with God is a personal one. We have a thing going on, God and I. I love my communication with him.

Coming Up
Thank you Jason for your lovely & helpful answers! I so enjoyed learning about the day you played hooky from work, climbed up a mountain, and for the first time in a long time came into the present moment! Check out Jason's website and learn to come into the present moment! Check back next Tuesday for more awesome tips on ‘Unlocking Your Awesomeness’ from EFT Practitioner & Reiki healer Ludmila Gin.
If you’d like more information on EFT please visit my website. Also check out my latest YouTube videos & please subscribe! Thanks for reading~