WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 117 · 1 year ago

#117​ Tim Ringgold - Music Therapist & Author & Speaker - BrianVee WhyWeWork

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Tim Ringgold is a certified music therapist, as well as an author, TEDx speaker and business owner.

Contact Info

Tim’s Profile
linkedin.com/in/timringgold

Website
timringgold.com (Personal Website)

Phone
(714) 616-0388 (Work)

Address
133 N. Dogwood St. Orange, CA 92869

Email
tim@timringgold.com

Twitter
timringgold

...welcome to why we work with your host, Brian V. As he speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which will be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going and keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here's your host to why we work. Brian V. I'm Brian V. And this is why we work today. At the great pleasure of speaking with Tim Ringel. Tim is a business owner, Ted X Speaker, author and certified music therapist. Today I want to ask him how our work ethic is related to our values. Join me today in my conversation with Tim Ringgold. I'm Brian V. And this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure speaking with Tim Ringgold. Good day, Find, sir. Good day. Find, sir. Do you Tim, I appreciate you coming on here. We had a top up our coffee. Here are mug at least. Are you drinking tea or coffee? Some throat coat tea. I think you're It's kind of like when we get older like I go jogging and people have asked me, Why are you jogging on a mountain? This lady? I live in South Korea and she's 60. I think she's like, Why it's it's so bad for your legs. I go because I'm stupid. That's That's why I haven't gotten to that point realizing what is probably best for me, and I certainly should be drinking more tea, I think. Well, that's okay. I've had four cups of coffee today, myself as well. So it's not all T over here. Ladies and gentlemen, don't be fooled. I am drinking decaffeinated coffee. There you go. I'm not. My doctor told me if I really want to get rid of these headaches, that was the coffee. There you go. Caffeine, he added. Cheese and chocolate. And come on now and proper sleep in a proper pillow. And so I'm like, If you would have gave me one, then maybe I would have least attempted that, But you gave me a whole list. It's too hard to manage too much. It's too much. Yeah, one thing at a time. I heard a great um, there's a guy named Joe Sugarman who is a He's a salesman, and he was the inventor of the Blue Blocker sunglasses back in the day, and I heard him speaking at a mastermind event one time. And Joe is in phenomenal shape When you meet Joe. He wears like the Hurley, like under armour like muscle shirts and Joe's play in his mid seventies. Now and he's ripped and you're like Dude, like, please tell what are you doing right? And he's like, It's what I'm not doing any more. And he's like So my mantra is one thing. A year I quit one thing a year. So, like one year it was Pepsi. Mhm. But then the next year was Coke, and then it was sugar like white sugar in my coffee. Then it was cream in my coffee, right? So But it's these tiny increments, increments, tiny increments because we kind of underestimate how long we're going to be around. And when we when we go to make change, we kind of overdo it usually right and then we burn out. So his theory was, and this was 2010, and now you know, BJ Fogs book Tiny Habits is like all the rage. And it was Joe's. Joe was living this, you know, 10 years beforehand, and it was really funny because he's like, You know, pretty soon you'll stop eating pizza and...

...you'll stop drinking coffee. You know, stop drinking alcohol. And then Bill Phillips, who wrote Body for Life, is in the corner. He goes, I might as well die. Just give up everything right. It's like at some point you ask yourself the question, Yes, but what am I enjoying? Am I enjoying anything anymore? But But there is something to be said about that, because as I age I find that I'm slowly letting things go, and I run a really clean machine now, mostly like plant based, no alcohol like sleep eight hours, meditate, cold showers like down the list. Intermittent fasting. But I'm operating physically at a level at 48 that I wasn't operating at 37. Mm, no, I'm really happy with those results, right? So I don't mind letting go of some things, because what it's done is it's actually made, available all kinds of other things, and so it's really been like a net gain. So that's kind of the way I think about it. What am I gaining when I let this go, as opposed to what am I losing? I was I was jogging yesterday and as I was struggling because I didn't jog for a couple of days, So then you struggle a little bit more as I was getting down the bottom of the mountain. There's this guy. I think he must have been older than me. But he was ripped and he was, you know, T shirts and shorts. So we're just transitioning here in the weather like it could have been T shirt, short weather. But he was jacked and just going up the mountain, like, you know, he just started. But I know it's kilometers to that point and he's going like, Okay, I shouldn't complain. I need to do better. You know, I can do better. And I went home, came home last night and were eaten fried chicken and hey, that's all right, man. Everything in moderation, including moderation. So I fully enjoyed my completely unhealthy popcorn last night while watching one division fully enjoyed it because I you know, I'm doing 7, 10, 22 other things in my day that are super good for my body. And so Yeah, that popcorn tastes good with whatever that is that they call butter. I'm sure it's not. I try to convince my dear wife. We went to Costco the other day. I say, Honey, let's try some popcorn. She went like, maybe next time, maybe. Maybe next time there was a huge box. I think you had 45 packets of Wow. Wow. Well, it's Costco, right? Yeah. Maybe we could have just tried one sample, guys. Otherwise you're apocalyptically stocked. It was heavy, too. I was like, Honey, how about Oh, this? Honey, I thought we use this for weight training. When we get you could have a doorstop. Tim, can you let us know of the industry you're in and what you're up to nowadays? Sure. The industry, I mean, would behind you on your on your shoulders. Yeah. There you go. So, um, a hint is that I'm in the I'm in the wellness, health and wellness space, but I'm an unusual practitioner because my modality is music. And I'm what's known as a board certified music therapist. And so I was I started out as a musician. Uh, I was on stage when I was four. By the time I was 16, I was singing for the pope in ST Peter's Square during Holy week like music for entertainment. And and then I went through, like the worst experience of my life. In 1995 my five best friends were murdered and I lived in a small town, and it was just I've never been through anything like it. I mean, I went to five funerals and four days and the pain and the trauma was just, you know, overwhelming. And I sang goodbye at all of my friends' funerals. It was my way to say goodbye and it tore me up,...

...but it healed my community. And the night of the last funeral, I went to a concert. Someone of my last remaining buddy said, You want to go see a show? And I was like, Oh, yes, please and Brian For the first two hours since I got the news, I found peace after giving yourself during those songs for the last 54 days, giving yourself and not actually healing, hoping to be healing other people, then return at this concert. It was full circle, right? I got what everyone was talking about Finally, and I was like, Oh, wow! Because whether it was cocaine, weed, alcohol, porn and food, I medicated every which way I could that week to try to numb the pain and nothing worked. And I mean, I was stacking these behaviors on top of each other and even recorded music. I mean, I'd get high and I'd listen to music, and I'd still feel the pain. But when I went to see live music, there was something about that experience that took it all away. And in that moment, I was like, That's it, This is This is my purpose. This is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life. I'm going to help others reach for music in their toughest times so that I can just pay it forward. And so that's what I do. I help people who are struggling with stress, uh, with addiction, particularly mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and I help them to stay present, open up, be creative, escape that stress in a healthy way, and really reconnect with what's important to them all by using music. Can you do us a favor, Tim, and bring us back. You mentioned singing at the age of four. But what would have been your very first job will get into the process of what you do in your work nowadays. But what would have been the first thing you did for money? I got paid two bucks an hour to mow my neighbor's lawn. Quite common. Long got started. Papers? Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Mowing lawns in military. Uh, 10 11. Right around there. What were you doing before? What got you out of the house? Uh, probably G i Joe. Comic books and action figures. Like I had a habit. Like I needed a fix, you know, of my toys. And my allowance wasn't cutting it, so I needed to do something more as you got older. I know you had more of more of a heavy metal influences that would that be accurate? Did you work in different jobs or were you making some money in music as well as you got up into high school? Yeah, I, uh I always worked outside of music. I wasn't ever getting paid, really. For music. I was I was performing music, mostly through school. Um, and I don't think I'm trying to think, like when I got my first. When did I get paid? Playing music. I was probably 19, and I got paid a bag of weed. I mean, I think that was probably the first time, but until then, it was like I worked in retail for outdoor sports because I was also, I'm an athlete, and I'm an outdoor enthusiast like yourself. So, uh, I worked at a store that sold that kind of gear, you know? And then, uh, you know, then I'd I'd work the odd kitchen job at a at a restaurant where I could get hired. Um, just trying, trying to make a buck. And I never connected that. You know how to make money. Doing what I love that took that. Came along much later because, yeah, I heard the story of it Took you a while to get there into your thirties. But what were you thinking as high school was coming to an end about your future, about what you might do, and and I didn't have any idea. But doing this podcast of why we work, many people do. And for you you had it even spoke to someone yesterday and just that sometimes with all the noise, we get confused with what the message is for you. There is a musical thread that went through it all but uncertainty...

...exactly as to exactly what it looked like. So for you at high school and after what were you thinking for a job and to sustain yourself? That was a real struggle for me, Brian, because I knew two things about myself in high school that my parents didn't want to admit. And that was that. I'm an athlete and I'm an artist. What you mentioned, athlete. Uh, I grew up playing soccer and rugby, and I got I ended up playing in college. I was an international, played for an international team, uh, in the United States, Went to Europe, played, got scouted for rugby, for rugby and rugby. Guys scare me. Oh, they're insane. We we are insane. Yes, 100 play university football. And you know, some guys who did make the team went and played rugby like, No, I'll keep my helmet. Your best man, because they're running at the same tilt. It may be faster, right? Yes, yes. No, no. I don't know if I ever picked up a rugby ball. Whatever you call it, you would have been. You would have been like somebody over inflated this football. Why? I've seen and you know, But I'm like, No, it's all right. Good. Yeah, yeah. Well, you know what's funny about rugby is it's a It's a perfect marriage of football and soccer and having grown up playing a little bit of football but a lot of soccer because my town was like a soccer town. Um, but I was insane enough to play football. I had no problem, no no reservations. Playing football was just so I had all these mad soccer skills, but I got cut from my college team and then I got recruited to play rugby because they were like, Dude, you would be perfect and rugby with that foot from from soccer. And so I immediately slipped right in. Um, but here it was. The challenge I grew up in Connecticut went to a prep school was kind of bread not so much raised. So the joke is that I kind of came out as this artist and this athlete, and my parents didn't come from either background and I listen, we've been doing wrong here. That is exactly what they said. That there was an intervention. Brian, no joke. My mom said I would have rather you were gay because then I would have known you had no say in the matter. It was rough. My parents really pushed really hard on me not to go in those directions. And I was like I was in who's who in American music in 1989 as a junior in high school. And you think this is a hobby, like all the indicators were there, that how I excelled where time disappeared, where I entered that ultra zone of focus, that flow state was either on stage or on the field. Those were the two areas, and everything else in my life was a disaster. Like just not interested don't care total apathy but laser focus, creativity, work ethic in those two areas. But my family really was a very strong dissuade er of going in either of those directions because it was like, you know, in the United States, if you're going to go in professional sports or professional music like those two industries, like I get it as a parent, the 1% of the 1% make a lot and everybody else makes nothing. And so my parents just didn't see a pathway of, like, long term, like financial success for me and either one. So they just kept pushing me to go into politics or economics or business. And so I would try, okay? And I'd be okay in sales because of an extrovert. But I was miserable, and I I remember having a nervous breakdown. After getting a job, I rented a house in the suburbs. I...

...drove a Chrysler New Yorker. I had golf clubs and a tennis racket in my trunk. No joke. This is all true story, which sounds really funny coming from this guy because it's like you did What? What are you in the witness relocation program? Like? I was genuinely trying to be someone else for my parents. And I couldn't picture to your mom. Is this all right? Is this what you're looking for? Because I'm miserable. But are you happy? And so it took a lot of courage for me and and in several extra years before, I just finally said, You guys, listen, there is no other way that I can do this and I had had a kind of like a career ending knee injury in the rugby world. So it was all music as far as I was concerned, and I finally made the decision like I am going to make a career. I don't know what it looks like, but I'm going to make a career out of music. When I was 22 that was when I I made that decision and informed everyone in my life. This is how it's going to go. But knowing that you have a child, maybe you can speak about this because I'm I'm in a group a men's group when we meet and we just started reading Parenting by Paul Paul Trip and it and I think because we're only the introduction. So, um, the idea of parents temptation to be owners of their kids rather than ambassadors and the temptation to whether we're talking about work or success or other areas of our Children's lives. And you know, I don't think it's even a knock on your parents who want it the best for you with what total do right with what they do and how they thought and what limited really limited knowledge we all have about the future, what we think. Okay, I think if he did this or she did this, then this is where they would go. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but that temptation having a child yourself in mind as well, and for me as well, uh, we just we want the best for our kids. And that temptation is like, Okay, if you just listen to me, I know your life is going to go and you know, we can't even paid control of our own because we know it's going to be a good for you. How do you think that? You know, understanding having your own child as well, and and that temptation to become the owner rather than just a representative trying to be a tool to help them in their life. 100%. What a struggle. Absolutely. I know that my dad, for example, my dad grew up in the Depression. He was born in 28 and, um, his dad died when he was five and his mom raised three kids as a single mom in the Depression Now that background of context like you don't follow your dreams, you don't get to follow your dreams. What your passion, right? You don't you don't get a vote on your passion In that context, it's like, How do you How do we eat today? How are we going to keep the lights on and the stove running like totally different? Right? And when he was 17, he got drafted to play professional baseball. But he was a minor and his mom was going to have to co sign the contract and she wouldn't because there was no money in baseball. Back then, he was 17 and 45 there was absolutely no money in baseball and having just scraped three kids through and he was the youngest and he's now 17, she's like, and the last thing I'm doing is signing you to go play baseball. Are you kidding? Like And so I write and I get the world that he came from and that his mind, when I say I get the world, I actually don't I don't even know what that must have...

...been like, but trying to convey the context behind that. He's like Dude I never he goes. I never had a bedroom, he goes. I lived on the couch in the living room till I left home and I was like, What? That's so foreign to me, you know? And so he's like All I can tell you is that was my experience. My experience was like, You do what's right, not what's fun or not. You don't get to follow your dreams and my mom would tell me she was like, Yeah, he was basically told Don't follow your dreams. And so now, as a parent myself, So I have a 14 year old daughter. I have a nine year old son and, um noticing the spirits within their body who they are and noticing who they are and who they're not and what they're good at, What they're not good at what they are interested in, what they're not interested in. Um, it's really interesting because, like I have to just I have to kind of turn off my opinion because it's not my it's not my run. I'm I'm on my run there on theirs, and I have a responsibility to them, right, to keep them safe and developmentally like they don't have a prefrontal cortex until they're like 18 to 24 right? So there's certain things where I have to be like, No, you can't do this and you have to do that whether you like it or not. That's driving my adolescent crazy right now. She's like, You know, you're making decisions for me. I'm like, Yes, that is my job I said. But you're ultimately like I'm We're trying to curate a path, a safe path forward where you have as much opportunity as possible and their structure and stability as a foundation for you. And then you're going to get to a point where you get to jump off and fall, climb, crash sore and do whatever you want. But in the meantime, we have to kind of keep some boundaries. Some structure, like a like a cement foundation is kind of boring, but we're going to try to inform you the best we can about this, you know, emerging world. But ultimately you're going to know about the emerging world more than we are because you're right in it right now. Like she's in twitch, right? She's in tic tac. She understands she's a digital native. You know what I mean? The digital is a second language for my wife and I, you know, we started out in the atoms economy. She started out in the bits economy. So it's a completely different world, and it's it's fascinating. Kind of like, How much rains do you let out and how much rains do you hold in? And that dynamic tension in that process? I think that is the game of parenting opposed to not having any rains at all. Oh, yeah, yeah. Some like math. Go ahead. Yeah, go ahead. Good luck. I mean, developmentally kids have to have structure developmentally. Their brains need structure in order for them to be feel safe and feel connected. And so when you apply structure its care for kids, if you don't supply structure, it's actually mentally detrimental, emotionally detrimental to them, so you don't have to be popular the whole time. That's not your job. Your job is to provide provide structure so they know where up is. They know where down is. It's reliable, it's predictable, and their job is to push right up against that wall, find that boundary and push against it and the analogy I like to give people is. Imagine if someone puts you in a dark room and they turned out all the lights and it's pitch black and they and you're standing in the middle of the room. Your sense, your senses. You start to freak out because wares up wears down the moment you walk slowly and you find a wall. Instinctively, you don't leave the wall, you walk along the wall, find your way...

...using that boundary, and that's exactly developmentally and emotionally what kids need. They need walls that they can push up against and then walk along as they find their way to the door. 18 21 whatever that door is, and then they can walk out on their own. But they need those walls to be able to push up against and know that there's something there that they can lean on and press against. It's reliable, it's steady and they can lean on that. And that's really an important thing. I think that a lot of younger generation, their parents are afraid to impose on their kids. Yeah, I heard someone say in reference to something else, but I like the word just grueling it. I understand the son, daughter. This all seems grueling to you, but it will be good for you. And I think you and I, or at least we have some things I heard you say Another podcast and read is we've experienced some things that were just hoping that our kids don't need to experience for them to figure. Oh, maybe I shouldn't go down that path. That shouldn't be something. At 70 I'm trying to cut It might not be Coca Cola. It might be something else, right? We don't. Come on, please. If you could just take my word for it. There's a whispers that to my kids a lot, there's a There's this great, uh, story, and I won't tell the whole story. But the story talks about, um, ways we learn in life, and some of us we learn through others where we can listen and hear someone else's experience and learn from it and just go prescribed. You did it. I don't need to do that to know. And so the example might be with the stove. So the stove is hot, kid, don't touch the stove. The stove is hot. One kid will go. Thanks. I won't touch the stove. And they won't because they the way that they're wired, they they don't have No. They have no problem relying upon the experience of others to kind of inform them and fast track their way as they navigate. And then you have my daughter who's like, how other kids. Then you have my daughter, right? How hot is it? You know, and so she's got a personality where she's like, I know you told me the stove is hot, and I will touch it just because you told me not to. And I'm like, Cool. You're someone who has to touch the stove yourself. You have to have that personal experiential knowledge. You need to do it yourself to understand it in your bones. And I can tell it to you seven times and you're going to just go. Thanks for sharing, but I need to find out for myself. Okay. All right. Well, that is if that is the way you're wired. And that's how you want to experience this lap in this physical body. So be it. I'll be here along the way to bandage up your finger when you burn it and I'm not going to make you wrong for touching the stove. I'm going to encourage you not to, but at the end of the day, she recognizes this in herself. I recognize this in her and we have a pretty good partnership where I tell her I'm still going to tell you it's hot. That's my job. Your job is to decide whether to listen or experience it for yourself. I can't tell you what to do. In that case, I can just make a recommendation and there will be consequences. You're going to learn right for yourself. And my son's great. He'll just take my word for it. I'm so grateful that they're both not their hand holding hands going together. Hey, like this. See you, Dad. Get the bandages ready. That's my daughter is 11. My son is seven, and I see that with my daughter, and I'm glad we're having this conversation because it allows me to think a little bit more clearly than what I have normally been thinking about being a parent, and that's why I like this little group into. But my son, like seven, is asking so many questions and repeating the...

...things that I've said weeks later. Like Papa, I shouldn't do this because you did that right, Like that's right, right? And it's just Those are great great moments in my dog moments. Go ahead. Do you want to touch the stove? It's there. But I did tell you, You know, you want to go out there with your friend and you know someone with a phone and go on playing and not actually playing. You know, this is what's going to happen. This is going to be a habit, and you can see her kind of kind of sneaking away and not really listening. And those are It's a great conversation. They're amazing. And I'll tell you the one we had. Maybe it was last night even, Um, I don't know how it came up, but I said it was my wife and my two kids, and we're all watching one division right now. We're enjoying it. What is that? Is that, um, it's the It's the series from, uh, and the Marvel Avengers. They did us. They're doing a series on Disney Plus and, uh, it's Wanda and vision from the Avengers. And it's this you know the ongoing storyline from the Marvel Comics universe after the Last Avengers movie? Are you, uh, Netflix family as well, or Yeah, yeah, yeah, we love it. So what we try to do is we try to find a show together that we all will enjoy, and and it gives us something to chew on, you know, from an entertainment, uh, and just dialogue. But somehow I don't know how it came up. The drugs came up last night, and I just said, in the most honest tone of voice, I said, You guys, please, just whatever you do, just come to me before you go do any drugs. Just come to me and do them with me first. And my wife was like, Yes, listen to your dad. And it was the funniest thing because it was like, I think I just said that, right? Like, as opposed to, like, don't do drugs, don't do drugs. Like as if, Right, that that's good luck. It's like, just say no good luck. You know, um and I was just honest. I was like, Listen, just come to me every question you have, Bring it to me. Don't ask your friends. I will give you all the honest answers. I will have all the honest conversations with you with no judgment about any of it. Just just come to me. And they were like, you could see them like this is awesome. Thank you. And I was like, You're welcome. Listen, your little spirits in a body, you're trying to figure this stuff out. I'm not going to be the one that you need to fear coming to because you're going to get scolded because you're going to think every dark thought under the sun because you're a human being. You're gonna try dumb things because you're a human being. I know this because I did it all. I did it all. So I'm not going to come here and pretend like I'm better than you. And I've never done anything. And I never thought anything or felt anything. So like you. Anything you want to bring to me, you're safe coming to me with it. You're never gonna get in trouble. You're never gonna get scolded and giving them that psychological safety, um, feels weird because it's totally the opposite of my upbringing. But in my upbringing, I also went off the deep end of exploration and, like Taboo and over doing stuff. And I did all I mean there by the grace of God here, by the grace of God, am I. I did so many risky things and and I'm lucky to be alive. You know, I'm just lucky to be alive because any number of things that I did along the way I could have killed me or landed me in jail. So I just want them to have like, uh, kind of like a conciliatory like a wise old elder that they can come to and crash any idea against and not get in trouble for it. That's right. And that goes back to the the ownership. If we're trying to own...

...our kids and think that we can control every moment and thought in there were just squeezing them like putty or whatever, and they're just gonna pop out of there and be gone guide and doing all those things and they might be might see them physically. But there, there, you've lost them, checked out, and and that's unfortunate. I think I had a upbringing where I was able to do whatever I want it. And and I rebelled, So I don't know what the what the point was, but I went and I don't want that for me because I want to show them a loving family at home and that we are here and to support them. And I was actually thinking I haven't said it to them yet, But I was thinking just the other day, And like, if my kids want to do drugs or, you know, whatever it is, I think I would want to be there for them, right? And I was like, I don't know if I thought I'm going to do it with them. Maybe I did. I was like, whatever. A little bit more minor, like, I'm not going to do some heroin with them or anything like that. But I'm gonna be there and to support them. And I've talked about drugs with my kids, even though they're young info. I live in this culture in Korea where drugs are drugs are bad, right? Don't do drugs, Okay? Right. And I think people have a fear and well what? It wasn't reminding when you're talking about your dad. Is Korea the war that they had in the forties. There's still people alive that remember that, and so they have this hardworking mentality. But the kids don't have that because just like your kids or my kids, they've grown up in this digital age. And, you know, Korea is doing very well and they don't know. But the parents are so worried of you know what their parents went through through the war. So they're holding on to this. And no matter how it's looked upon like people, Koreans who think about going to Canada or going to the United States sec, so many drugs, so many bad people over there, how are we going to do this? And then so they control them even more. And then you just you know, they're just spring springing off into all these different directions. And I think, you know, being that soundboard, being there for your kids and being honest that, you know you're going to have these temptations. You know I can't keep you in my home forever. But I do want to have an open door that you're always welcome to your like I understand, and if I don't understand, let's have a conversation and help me understand a little bit better what you're going through. Yeah, right. It's a great It's a great journey. I mean, it's it's a facet. And I remember when where my wife was pregnant with our first one of our friends. He said to me, He said, Tim, you've done a lot of things in your life He goes, But you're going to love being a parent. He goes. It is just the most fascinating journey. And one of the things I learned early on and it hasn't changed is that almost every day like this was more prevalent when they were like toddlers. But it's still I'm seeing this happen pretty regularly now, even with them at nine and 14 is like, You wake up and they say or do something that they didn't say or do yesterday, and they didn't know they were going to say or do it today and you didn't either. And so you're all in this, like exploratory sandbox together, witnessing this emergence, which for me, so just to kind of back up and drop the spiritual like nuke. So for me, my belief system, my framework that this whole thing is informed by is that I you We are tiny, individual ations of this non physical energy that came into form to experience itself for no reason other than experience. And so that takes morality and it goes away. You. We invent ideas around agreement as social beings so that we don't blow this thing up really quickly. So we're in this kind of communal expression experiment...

...as humans, and we're all parts of the same hole having individual experiences within it. But it's a collective experience, which means that what I do impacts you in some way, which you do, impacts me in some way. It's a collective yet individual experience, but the point is to express myself how I want to and experience expression and learn along the way what I like. What I don't like, what helps others, what doesn't help others, what might hinder others and, like, who am I to direct or control the experience of Ali and Julian, whatever their actual spiritual name might be? Because inform. Right now they're playing the role of a girl and a boy. But who knows how many times they have incarnated as a human? I don't know I don't know how many times I've incarnated I We waved the magic men in black memory pen, so we forgot it. Also, we would seem really real. And this idea this backdrop creates a fascinating opportunity for discussion around the dinner table as so because what I'm witnessing in front of me are these emerging spirits in body and developmentally, they're having to navigate how to control the machine, the developing machine that they're inhabiting, which is this meat suit, which has boundaries. And so it has hormones. It has, like, you know, a developing brain and and they're having to navigate this little spirit inside this body is having to navigate how to use the machinery, and sometimes it's clunky, and sometimes it works well and and I'm watching it take place. But meanwhile, I'm having the same experience. Yeah, so we're kind of having a communal experience of this, like journey of exploration. But we're having it together, so to me it's fascinating. It's just fascinating. And so there are dinner conversations are really deep at our dinner table. They're really fun. They're often quite existential, quite philosophical, quite spiritual, because they've kind of been coming up inside of this framework, and it's pretty cool. Like my daughter right now is super into paganism and Wicca. She's kind of leaning into, um, like this emerging sense of herself in connection with nature deities spirit. And she's we we pay her to read nonfiction books that are personal growth, spiritual growth books. We pay her 20 bucks a book saying with our son, This is our way of incentivizing them to, like, read developmentally new high nutrient material. So right And then she has to write like a three paragraph summary and presented an email it to Mommy and Dad. She gets a 20. So the last two books you just read, we're on witchcraft and she is coming like she is like meditating on her own. She's performing rituals on her own. She is having all kinds of spiritual experiences right now on her own. She's 14, and she's guiding her own spiritual journey. I'm not getting in the way of that. Are you kidding me? Go for that. You know, like she is dialed in. And who am I to say? No, you go do the even though people have been celebrating spirituality that way for tens of thousands of years. You shouldn't. That's not for me to say so it's been really just a joyful, joyful journey. Sometimes I just look at my son and daughter and, like you used to fit on my chest from here to here. Now, look at you. You're talking sometimes talking back to I wish I had you as a parent growing up. Do you know how many bags I could have bought for, you know? And I would have read, too. And dude,...

...we would do. Are you kidding? We would have had you as an entrepreneur. Like I'm utterly unemployable. Like I know this about myself. And my daughter is definitely also And we're trying to explain this to her. It's pretty clear, like we're like, Look, we're going to you're you're going to teach you, like how to, like, make money to do what you want in the world. Like we're gonna put two and two together for you, and she doesn't want to. I'm not ready to get a job. Where I didn't say Get a job. You're gonna have to make money in this world in order to do what you want to do. and we're going to show you creative ways to do that. That are outside of the 9 to 5. And neither my wife nor I are parents were at entrepreneurs. Um, we didn't have any mentors models for that. And so, me being an entrepreneur, my wife left the corporate world to become my business partner. So now we're entrepreneurs together. We work from home. Our kids are, you know, growing up in this environment, and it's like we're going to show you the way and you can take it or leave it, but we're gonna We're gonna We're gonna show you the way. And, uh, that's what my daughter said. Was it yesterday? Day before? Say, Papa, I want to start a lemonade stand sweet. Do it. This is where Well, she wanted to do it in another place that we're thinking about being at one point. Do it now. It's You know, yesterday I think it was 25 26 degrees or whatever. You're 70 something. That's pretty good, right? It's pretty nice. Summer summertime is going to be 40 something or you're 100 something right. You can sell some lemonade. Here, Go do it like she's allegedly figure that one out. So not everyone has Children like ours. Or, you know we will struggle in. Our kids will grow up and have their own problems as well. So when you come across people for your profession, what is the process that you go through with helping people with anxiety or depression or addictions? What does that look like generally for you? Yeah. So, historically, um, my company works with, uh, a like a nationwide treatment center for adolescents that are struggling. And what my company does is we're part of an interdisciplinary team, and we provide music therapy groups every week for the kids who are at that treatment program. And the kids are usually 13 to 17. Um, and they're struggling with anything from anxiety to depression, self harm, disordered eating, suicidality, substance use disorder and and the substance use disorder is usually an attempt to try to regulate the other mental health issues. And so one of the big mistakes that most people make is they think that drug use is a problem. Drug use is not a problem. Drug use is a solution. Addiction is a solution to a problem. It's just a crummy solution. It's a solution that causes more problems than it solves. But people who don't have trauma and don't have mental health issues don't get addicted. The overwhelming majority of humans on the planet use mind altering substances on a daily basis without for any problem. A small percentage of them have problems with it. But it's not because of the drugs, because if it was, everybody who used them would be addicted. So, for instance, like a phone Oh, absolutely screen addiction 100% right? Um, but the overwhelming majority of adults and teens use, experiment and have throughout human history. Primates even use mind altering substances, so it's not the substances, so we all want to just take that out of the picture. What they're struggling with is some sort of physical, emotional, social or spiritual pain. They've got pain in their self, and that self is a physical self, an emotional self social self in a spiritual self, and they don't know how to process that pain. And so they reach for something else in order to self...

...soothe, because that's what the nervous system does. Doesn't this go completely? And I've thought this before, but against the criminalization of people with, you know, narcotics of something or the use of, or even to some degree, even the selling of right, all of the above right and how horrible it is that people are spending many years in prison for having a substance. When the reality is they should be in some sort of clinic. They should be getting treated for their for their pain. Yes, absolutely. You can't punish the pain out of people. Is a quote from a friend of mine, right? It just gives them more pain. You just re traumatizing them. And and across most developed countries, they have just a completely upside down. Um, really. And it there's a great book, and that way I won't go too far down the rabbit hole. But I just finished reading this book called Drug Use for Grown Ups by Dr Carl Hart. Dr. Carl Hart is a world renowned, uh, substance use researcher, neuroscientist, um, and well known across the world for his research. And And the point he makes in the book is that we criminalize people, particularly people of color around the world. But we criminalize them for altering their consciousness. And your consciousness is sovereign, it's yours. And if you really want to say that you're free, then you're free to do with what you want with your consciousness, so long as it doesn't impact anyone else. But you're very much not free to do that. And what happens is you have people who are in pain who are trying to alter the pain so they're altering their consciousness to address the pain and we criminalize them, and we punish them for that. So in treatment, what we're trying to do is we're trying to show them basically a heal the pain, whatever it was, find the source of it and treat it. B teach them better tools for regulating their nervous system. So when they are stressed, how do they regulate when they are down? How do they regulate back up when they're up? How do they regulate down? How do they regulate their nervous system in a healthy way? Because they've probably been taught poor tools. And so music is one of those tools that helps a body regulate in a healthy way. So we show them through active music, making through music, listening through songwriting through relaxation through creative arts, we show them how to reach for music in order to help them stay present, help them to open up and process things that are having to talk about it. How to really use creativity as a coping skills because creativity is the muscle we used to solve problems in life, how to escape stress without medicating and then how to reconnect with something outside of ourselves. Because, as as the four part physical, mental, social spiritual beings, we are wired to connect, that's what mammals do. We live in relationship from cradle to grave, and so we're not meant to do this on our own. And so when we physically disconnect and mentally disconnect and socially disconnect and spiritually disconnect, it creates discomfort, dis ease in the mind body and then it triggers cravings to self soothe. So we want to show them how to reconnect with something outside of themselves that's safe. Why music So powerful is that the beat the beat right? Just in the beat. The beat is safe. The beat has no opinion of you. It has no judgment of you. It doesn't tell you to do anything. It doesn't. It doesn't influence you in any way other than it influences your heart rate and your blood pressure up or down. Um, so you can connect with the beat and now you're connected to something outside of yourself that's safe. And that for a lot of people who have trauma and trust issues, initiating some sort of safety, some sort of safe connection to...

...something outside of themselves is the first step in their healing. My mom was in Excuse me in palliative care last year, and there was the music lady would come by, and at first I was like, You know, I just I think I was defensive of anyone coming in to see my mom like, you know, what's your angle? What's going up? This lady had a cart. I think I think she had a computer, a tablet or something where she can get sheets of music. And I was like, um, okay, go ahead, go ahead. And then my mom was happy, and then she was playing all kinds of songs and then my answer in there and they were singing. And then I'm like, This lady is pretty good. It's very, very helpful and, you know, in palliative care of all places. And I'm just like, it's really good for these people to be getting together and singing and kind of getting away from or, you know, there is some soothing and some healing that's going on as well. But I realized that then, Yeah, I My Ted talk is based on the work I did on a palliative care team, because oftentimes it's the anxiety that existential anxiety that people are having in tough times. Am I going to make it? What's going to happen if I don't really deep questions are going on in the back that might crash up against dogma or theology or culture or family and being able to softly very comfortably address or escape that space through something that they've trusted their whole life, which is music. It's like bringing an old friend in the trusted advisor, and it just like the Ted talk The line was when the when the meds fail, the docs prescribe music because we trust music it We let music into very sacred, very personal places for each one of us, and there are things that we've thought or when we've heard songs, songs that told our story or told what we were thinking or feeling that we never told anybody else. But that artist in that song shared the exact emotion or the exact feeling or the exact thought. And in that moment we knew we weren't alone. That's really, really powerful and at a very deep level. The human being really appreciates that she won me over when she started taking requests. So I was started listing off songs. But I just thought, you know, these would be in particular good healing songs for my mom. And I was like, How about a Martin Luther? Uh, there's a song that he sings and are saying it wrote My re fortress is our God and she had no idea she went in. A couple days later, she came back. I got it, I learned it. I'm ready. And she sang it and I was like, Wonderful! That's our job. She really won me over. And it wasn't you know, I think she came from a different viewpoint, but she she didn't care. She just you know, I'm just going to do this for you. What about in your position? I know you only have a little bit of time. You might even be at the near near the end of your time, actually. So just if you could a tip for people getting into maybe your line of work or in work in general. Um, And also, what is some adversity that you have faced thinking of other people in the adversity they face in their work? And what what suggestions would you or encouragement would you give to those people? Yeah, I have a funny litmus test for whether or not a line of work might be right for you, and I call it the Starbucks factor. And the Starbucks factor is, if you consider going to work and then you think, Well, I better stop at Starbucks first. It might not be the right place because what I found...

...in my career is I don't need Starbucks before I go to work, because I am so fired up about the idea of healing people with music. But there was a time early on in my profession when I was working with a particular population and I I took the work because I was new and I was taking all the work when I was new for the experience. But there are some clinical populations that music therapists resonate with and some we don't and And I noticed there were some groups where I needed a cup of coffee before I went to see that group and I realized I was like, You know, I don't think I meant to work with this group because there are other groups I can't wait to get there. And there are some groups where I can't wait to get to Starbucks first. So the Starbucks factor is a good thing to think about when you're considering the work you're going to do. Are you like, Well, I better caffeine up 5 60 cents I paid the other day for a coffee. What am I doing? Yeah, yeah, And you might go broke, you know, at the same time. So chances are there someone else who will do it better, and we'll experience more joy. And so get out of the way and let that person express themselves in that vein and keep looking for what the right slipstream is for you. Because my experience is when you when you're working in a field that is right is like a right fit for you. Time will become your enemy because you won't have enough of it because it'll go too fast. And that's what anytime I am on the court or on the field or I am in the studio or on the stage, time goes by too fast. And that's when I know I'm exactly where I want to be. I don't like your pressed encouraged. We can. We can go like five more. That's cool. Okay, encouragement for people are facing. I mean, you deal with this on a regular basis. It's part of your profession of people who are discouraged but still work and wonder how they can put their feet on the ground and face this day. You know, one is the Starbucks test, right? Like maybe they shouldn't be doing this. But also encouragement for people who maybe this is for them. But they're still discouraged. Maybe their pain in their past. How how do you How do you deal with that yourself? And how do you encourage others? You know, a couple of couple of thoughts come to mind. Um, the first one Is this you? Me? We are far more resilient and strong than we realize, and the only way we find our own strength is in the presence of resistance. So adversity is something to lean into because that's where you discover your strength. All people who are strong are strong as a result of resistance training. So your muscles are. They grow in the presence of resistance, not in the presence of ease. They atrophy. And so I think about that mentally and spiritually as well that when you find yourself in the face of adversity, lean in because this is this is the moment where you'll discover more about yourself, then during the easy times may not feel good, but I don't believe that I'm here to feel good all the time. I don't think that's the point. I think the point is, the degree to which I go through adversity is the degree to which I can appreciate when things are good. So I think that's an important thing, is leaning. We live in a convenience culture and a comfort culture, and I think that kind of robs people of the real joy. Like the real highs in life are only experienced in so far as their relative and counterbalanced by the by the struggles and so, so lean in Don't don't resist and and discover something about yourself. You're gonna find something on the other side and one of my friends he says everything you want in life is on the other side of your comfort zone. Mm. So don't just just quit the...

...bitching and lean into it and and see what you can discover and what you might discover. Well, you don't know. And working in recovery, I meet people at their lowest point. I see people broken, broken and a shell of where they were at one point in their life. And then I see them rise like a Phoenix and live life to go on and do amazing things that looked impossible at the time that I met them for both them and me. I don't I don't see anything good happening here, but that's possible. And I also see people not make it right. And so every day that I'm still breathing, I've got a shot. I've got a shot at something and I don't know what it is exactly. And that's what makes the game worth playing because while there is some predictability in adulthood, there is also possibility. And I Could I You know, I have a podcast in 2021. And I have, um my own summit platform where I've I've done two summits now, uh, on stress in 2020. I did not have a podcast. I mean, in 20 in January 2020 it wasn't even a possibility. It wasn't even on my radar. And then this giant juggernaut called Covid 19 drops, and my speaking career goes away as I know it. And I'm now home in front of a screen 24 7. And the first thing I do is I did 40. Facebook lives in 40 days, just playing acoustic music to comfort people. And then I realized I really liked some of that material. How am I going to get that out to healthcare workers who are struggling fast? I could invent a podcast, and I could release a song a week. Suddenly I'm back recording. I think I've recorded 22 new tracks since May of 2020 none of which existed before lockdown. That is fascinating to me, because in the midst of all that chaos. There was a complete opportunity that I saw and just Okay, let's go for it. So, you know, if you're still breathing, you've got a shot they're taking my I don't know because we watched. I liked Andy growing up because I felt I had a little hard knock life and I heard my son saying the other day, It's a hard knock life and like, I don't know. But the point is, these when in reality this adversity that we face is good for us, as you talked about the wall need to atrophy and the resistance that's necessary to allow us to appreciate. Be grateful for things. And I hope that with our Children and your Children as well how can people reach you? Tim finds her Find me online. Uh, Instagram is at Tim Ringgold Facebook. Tim Ringgold, my website tim Ringgold dot com with two gs, and, uh, if you go to my website, you can take a relaxation vacation for free. Uh, you can download a 15 minute guided tour through one of your best memories. I'll walk you out of the stress at the present, get you back in touch with one of your best moments of your life so you can bring that experience back to the stress of the present. So you can be at your best whenever you need it. And that's my free gift to anybody who takes the time to come find me online. Tim. One final question. Why do you work? Um, I work. Mm. Wow. That's a good question. Why do I work? You can edit all the silences. I think of the layers because there's like, there's multiple reasons why I work. Um, I work because one of the reasons that I'm inspired to work is this I work because I want my kids to experience...

...the planet with their five senses. What I mean by that is, as I grow my business, I have the ability to take my kids out of the little bubble that they live in in Southern California and go places and experience other places with their own hands, not on a screen, and for me, the ability to provide that opportunity for them. I know, as I grew up, any time I left the United States like the little blinders in my head. Mm. You know, I grew up in Connecticut, and any time I left New England, it was like I saw a wider view of the world. And then I got the opportunity in high school to go to Europe several times and my view of the world and of the United States and what I had changed drastically. And so. One of the reasons I work is to provide my kids with that ability to take the blinders off and see the world with wide open eyes. We hope we can have them appreciate what you're doing in your sacrifice for your work as well. And for your family. Tim Ringgold, business owner. Ted X speaker, author and certified music therapist I appreciate your time, and I appreciate the work that you do. This has been great. Thanks, Brian. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian Wien. Be sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they too, can be encouraged in their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive yet joyful day in your work.

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