I Can Help Anyone – Even You – Quit Smoking – For Good.

Did you know that I have created a program to help people quit smoking?

It’s true. I smoked for 8 years, over a pack a day, and then quit – 18 years ago.

The method I developed worked so well that I intentionally ‘tested’ its effectiveness on each of the first three anniversaries of my Day One – by smoking a cigarette.

I could only get through a few puffs before I had to put it out. And I haven’t had a craving in the fifteen years since.

Why was it so effective?

Because I unraveled the entire matrix of physical, mental, emotional, and psychological triggers that made it impossible to quit the first dozen times I tried.

And I can help you – or someone you love – do the same thing.

Whether you’ve been smoking only a short time, or for years, I can help you quit for good.

No patches, gums, hypnosis or other BS – just a straight-up re-programming method.

You can access the program for free right here:

Love Yourself Image

Love Yourself to Freedom – Quit Smoking for Good!

 Go QUIT, will ya?

And let me know how I can help.

We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends

How often do you let others help you dream or fulfill a dream?

I spent the weekend in San Diego, first to play an afternoon potluck gifting gathering on Saturday and then a Sunday service at Om Center for Spiritual Living.

The gathering on Saturday turned into an extraordinary experience of this allowing; it was unexpected and completely inspiring.

First, some context:

On Thursday, modern entrepreneur coach Marie Forleo announced this year’s B-School Scholarship Contest, and a close ally suggested that I write a song and apply.

The rules are simple: make a 90-second video describing your business – who you serve, how you serve them, and why you do what you do – and post it on a specific comments feed set up to receive the videos.

I was hesitant at first, but I sucked it up and wrote the song in about 15 minutes, including a call-and-response section that I figured I’d ask the crowd on Saturday to help fill in.

Well, that’s exactly what happened – and not only did they help me shoot the video that I submitted for the contest, but we actually spent a good two hours trying to get it right!

I’m really proud of the end result, and grateful to that group of folks for helping me to dream and to move forward with fulfilling a dream. I couldn’t have made as good a video without them.

We’ll know on Friday whether or not I’ve been awarded a scholarship.

Meanwhile, I invite you to ask for help in dreaming and fulfilling your dream – for as the African proverb says, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with others.”

Here’s the final #winbschool video:

…aaaand here’s the blooper roll:

It’s never too late to start again

Today I built an introductory series of emails that all folks who subscribe to my email list from now to forevermore will have the honor and privilege of receiving for the first 9 days that they are subscribed.

This is news because after spending a decade building my email list as a way to stay intimately connected with the folks who I met along the way who were communicate deeply with the folks I met on the road, I’d hit a wall and was fearful of sharing much of anything for about a year and a half.

Now, I realize that it’s never too late to start over, and I’m giving myself permission to be AWESOME with it.

The 9-day series of introductory messages is intended to be a tour of and an invitation to plug into the online world that I’ve created as a troubadour, as a writer, and as a servicer of the human spirit, and I hope that folks enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it for them.

If you’re already a Shawnslist subscriber, and you clicked through to see this post, congratulations! You’re one of the ones who really gets what’s going on here and I’m so glad to have you in the mix. You were automatically subscribed to the new list, and you should receive your first email pretty much right away.

If you’re coming here from Facebook or some other place, make sure you fill out the form below to subscribe to Shawnslist and receive 9 days of inspiration and connection in your inbox.

And whoever you are, I invite you to ask yourself if there may be some place in your life where you want to start again.

If there is – take it from me: It. Is. Never. Too. Late.

Enough.

After about a year or so of allowing this platform to lay here fallow, I have finally decided to re-engage with my work as a transformational troubadour – and this website and blog, in all its glorious imperfection, happens to be the perfect place to start.

I learned something about myself recently that has been really helpful.

I learned that when I don’t feel good about myself, I tend to go completely blind to all of the great things that I have created, built, grown, and achieved – and that blinds me further to the great things that I am yet to do.

The precursor to not feeling good about myself?

Thinking that I ‘should’ be further along or somehow being or doing something different that what I am – right here, right now.

Enough! I say.

As in… I am enough. This is enough. You are enough. We are enough.And enough of this nonsense of believing otherwise.

Nugget of Goodness

Finally, something that I listen to and go, “aw yeah”. And this after a number of snafus tonight, including a bunch of tracks going missing. I had to throw away another piece earlier that held such great promise in helping to close the gap between what I hear in my head and what comes out in the recording.

Fortunately, the muse smiles upon the dutiful creator, and I was rewarded for continuing to work with a little gem that comes closer to the quality that I’m yearning to create.

The Spring Training Sessions continue with this little piece of mouth-music. I’m a step or two away from saying “#$%^ it” and setting my laptop up as a looping station and playing that live from now on, with the guitar-song thing as a bonus.

It’s My (Vagabond) Birthday!

I have been a vagabond since April 1, 2010.

On that date, I moved all of my possessions out of the room I was renting in Cedar Park, just north of Austin, Texas, and began living full time in my 1986 Chevy G30 diesel box truck, affectionately known as Big Red.

Big Red

Big Red was originally a “hotshot buggy”, a US Forestry Service vehicle that transported men and equipment to fires wherever they happened to be; the vehicle record showed that it served mostly in Arkansas, then Mississippi. I traded my car for it with a district fire chief in San Antonio who needed to get it out of his driveway “before my wife divorces me.”

For the first 23 months, I lived as an urban nomad in and around Austin, with the exception of a late-summer 6-week journey to Maine and back; Austin is a fantastic place to be an urban nomad, as there are places to shower for free, the police are generally pretty chill about such things – as are Austin’s residents – and wifi connections everywhere.

I very much enjoyed this time, and even though Big Red had many problems, including a failed transmission, the adventure of every day life was absolutely worth the headaches.

When motor mounts go bad...

When motor mounts go bad…

In March of 2012, I launched myself onto a greater adventure, setting up Sunday morning services as route-markers throughout the southwestern United States, and accepting every invitation that came my way to gather with folks and share music with them. I did 100 gatherings in 100 days, making my way through Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, and even Kansas and Alaska by the time the 100 days were up.

Big Red died on Day 75 just south of Pueblo, Colorado. I put out a distress call to my online “audience”, who rallied to make sure I could finish the tour. I did so, and when it was over, I released Big Red and 99% of my belongings – including 18 years’ worth of journals – allowing myself to become a vagabond with no home and no vehicle, free of anchors and free to serve those who desire to receive my gifts at close quarter through being a Host.

Since then, I have lived and eaten and rested and played with dozens of gracious and generous Hosts, many of whom I am certain will tell you that having me in their space was an extraordinary experience. There are a few who wouldn’t tell you that as well, I’m sure, as not everyone is really ready to receive my gifts in such a direct way, and I’ve also had to learn the finer points in the art of being a great house-guest.

One such Host had this to say recently in a discussion on Facebook:

I had the privilege of sharing a house with Shawn for several months, it was one of the best most generative times, I have experienced. If you can get him to live with you, Do it, you’d be blessed. He has carried me back from battle, figuratively speaking. He has inspired, me challenged me, catalyzed my growth, etc. We will dance around the same fires forever. Most Respect & Most Gratitude mutually given and received

He’s referring to a six-week period during the summer of 2013 when I stayed in his home with he and his family; his wife was recovering from cancer treatments, and while recovering from a nasty stomach bug I picked up in Mexico, I helped usher in a new era of creativity and harmoniousness within his family structure. Such a joyful assignment!

Here’s a fun little video I made with the girls one day – a homemade production of “Annie”-ish:

Other examples have perhaps been not quite so dramatic, but beneficial nonetheless; I haven’t asked for testimonials as of yet, but I am sure there are others who have been similarly affected by my presence in their homes. Perhaps this post will generate a few!

Meanwhile, I’m sharing all of this for a few reasons:

1. Four years as a vagabond feels like something to celebrate!

2. I’m always looking for ways to share “my story” – and because my story seems to be so dense and rich with experiences, taking a little piece of it like this and focusing in on it helps to further hone the main points.

3. I am currently challenged to find a way to communicate that I am something of a unique phenomenon, and that my work does NOT begin and end with the time that I spend onstage – that I am actually a provider of value everywhere I go, including (and perhaps especially) for the folks who invite me into their homes and provide a spare bedroom or apartment so I can rest and write and work on recordings and videos and whatever else I’m working on. The perception seems to be that I am taking more than I give – while I am always striving for, and more often than not achieving, the opposite.

4. I would like to grow this aspect of my offering to the world; to make Hosting Troubadour Shawn a sought-after experience, where you know that when I’m coming to town and I stay with you, you’re going to have fun, you’re going to have conversations that rock your world and open up vast new realms of inspiration and motivation to go after the things that you want in life, and you’re going to feel great knowing that you provided a clean, comfortable, welcoming landing place where Great Work has been done.

I am truly grateful for the generosity of my Hosts – past, present, and future – and for the opportunity to make my presence be a boon to all who take me in, and I look forward to continuing to provide inspiration and fellowship to those who choose to embrace my presence as a wandering troubadour in their space.

What about you? Are you down for Hosting Troubadour Shawn in your space? What kinds of things would you want to talk about and/or do? How would you like me to contribute to your immediate environment? And WHEN?

You can either share privately by email or in the comments below.

Bridging the Gap between Live and Online, Good and Great

There’s such an element of radical surrender to being a performing artist and public figure. Graciousness, gratitude, generosity – these are the currencies of the 21st century, and they require faith in the ultimate perfection of the universe.

There’s a gap there, right? The gap between the feeling of the live experience and the feeling of being cared for in the same way online – not to mention the gap between the quality of what I hear in my head and the quality of the content I create.

In this case, perfecting the art of blending real-world participation with online action calls for being generative in a way that is new and fresh, exciting and challenging. Putting it all out there for folks to receive, enjoy, and appreciate on one end of the spectrum – and ignore, judge, and dismiss on the other.

This past weekend I performed for the first time ever in a public venue within 15 miles of my hometown. I’ve done this all over the US, in Mexico, Australia, and Canada so far, and so breaking the ice in spitting distance of where I grew up felt like a big deal – both to me and to those from the area who know me and love what I’m doing, a handful of whom came out and participated in a joyful evening of song, story, and sweet connection.

I recorded the whole thing, and am wondering how much of it to release publicly, as I’m never really clear whether or not it’s “good enough” to be put out there for public consumption. Maybe you can help me bridge this gap between keeping it all to myself for fear that it’s repulsive as opposed to attractive?

I don’t know, really; all I know is that I’m in Spring Training for this year’s touring, performing, and producing online content, and the signs point toward putting it out there regardless and having faith that it’s all perfect. So here’s a little snippet of the show; let me know how you like it – or not – in the comments below!

Spring Training

I’ve always loved baseball.

When I was a kid growing up in southern California, oftentimes Sundays were spent traveling to either LA or Anaheim to watch the Dodgers or the Angels; my heroes were guys like Steve Garvey, Steve Sax, Fernando Valenzuela, Reggie Jackson, Mike Scioscia – and even Tommy Lasorda was one of the dudes I watched with rapt attention when we’d make our way to the games.

And as fun as the actual season games were, sometimes the really fun games were the ones that happened during spring training – real games with a real score, but really just a warm-up for the regular season. The freshness of the games in those early months were always so great to be a part of; intimate in a way, and sweet.

Well, I’m in my own version of spring training right now; this blog, this website, and the desire that burns within to deliver fresh content that informs, inspires, and entertains is driving the action – all while simply enjoying the process of learning to make good videos that sound good and look good and truly represent the quality that I’m aiming for.

Here’s the first Spring Training Video, created in response to a prompt from a friend on Facebook who asked for the tune after I posted the lyrics to the last verse on the Troubadour Shawn Facebook fan page.

Enjoy!