With Murray Hidary, a multi-disciplinary artist and tech pioneer. His purpose-driven approach is at the heart of his business success, acclaim as a visual artist, and global recognition as a musician.

Ever pushing boundaries and guided by a strong desire to help people find their purpose, Murray is now focused on touring his immersive musical experience MindTravel across the globe. Over the past five years, Murray has created over 500 MindTravel experiences for over 100,000 people in cities from Los Angeles to London, Paris to Pittsburgh, Berlin to Boulder; in venues such as Lincoln Center, The Theater at the Ace Hotel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Grace Cathedral, and The National Arts Club.

Join us for this powerful and deeply personal conversation where Murray shares his insights on the role of grief, the opportunity we have to transform through the experience of grief, and how to create purpose from deep, deep loss. Murray shares about a tragedy in his own life, the role that music played in the midst of his grief, and how music is unique in its ability to connect with our emotions and transmute pain.

You will hear Murray describe how he creates uniquely personal experiences for individuals that are part of his event audiences, how he combines nature and music, and finally, in an extraordinarily touching moment, you will hear Murray thoughtfully describe how he hopes to die. This is a conversation unlike any other on the podcast. Join us to reconnect with your own grief, to gain some understanding of how to process that grief, and to explore what may come next for you.

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Murray created the first MindTravel experience in 2013. He invited a group to his living room for a live performance of his provocative, improvisational, real-time compositions at the piano and then asked them what they thought of the experience. Moved by their emotional response and the power of music to take the group on a deep inner journey, he moved forward to bring it to the world. MindTravel brings together Murray’s passions for contemporary classical music, visual art, theoretical physics and wisdom traditions. They are the four pillars of an integrated experience that seeks to explore an understanding of the universe at both the visible and hidden levels. In addition to the above, Murray is a Certified Meditation Teacher through the Vedic Center and a Certified Grief Counselor through Our House Grief Support Center.

 

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Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:

  • Find out why Murray says one of the core values that drives him to create music is not just creativity, but connection.

  • “There’s nothing [else] I could think of that can hold the space for both joy and pain at the same exact time.”

  • “I hope that my music gives people the courage to move forward, even with all the pain.”

Check out these highlights:

  • 8:54 There may be times in our lives where pursuing our obvious passions and desires may just not click. … But there are other things we can do with our time that resonate with our core values.
  • 16:42 Listen to Murray share the story of how his current work at Mindtravel.com began: how he combined improvisation, music, and performance and his “aha” moment.
  • 23:23 How attendees of Murray’s events are able to have their own unique experience.
  • 37:15 “Once you come face to face with tragic grief & loss, there’s an opportunity for you to be cracked open so wide through heartbreak, that what happens in the aftermath of that will really pave the way for the rest of your life.”
  • 53:00 Hear Murray describe language vs. music and what makes music so singularly powerful.
  • 1:00:28 Murray shares why music can uniquely connect us with our emotions (and how music helps pain move out of the body).
  • 1:16:04 How grief can inspire transformation and purpose.

How to get in touch with Murray:

On social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mindtravelmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/murrayhidary

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/murrayhidary

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwVLtkJu9rvyUDBBUXW5z3g

Find out more about Murray, including how to join his membership (Mindset Mastery), or get access to a whole library of recordings available through his site here

 

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.

GGGB Intro 0:00
Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit & Great Business™.

Murray Hidary 0:05
We each think our own experience is so unique. And to a certain extent it is – the details of our lives are unique. No one’s living a life like you or like me, or any of your listeners. But we’re all kind of leading those unique lives together. And we’ll all go through similar arcs of the human experience. Right, we’ll all experience joy at some point, loss at some point. And it’s about the embracing of that journey, and relating to each other through that arc of the human experience. And that’s really what the music is the soundtrack to that.

GGGB Intro 0:43
The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit & Great Business™ podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:15
Hello again and welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington working with entrepreneurs around the world. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit & Great Business™, featuring Murray Hidary. Welcome. I’m so happy to have you.

Murray Hidary 1:42
Thank you, Heather. It’s great to be here. Yeah, absolutely.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:45
For folks that don’t know, Murray, this is gonna be unlike any conversation you have heard on the podcast so far. I’ll start by saying that it’ll be a lot of fun and, and really, I’m just excited. I won’t say anything else. But hang on, because I think we’re gonna have a lot of fun today. And it’s gonna be a topic that you’ll find very interesting. And for me, I’m so curious. I just feel like you know, we could probably spend hours together but for those of you that don’t yet know Murray, Murray is a multidisciplinary artist and tech pioneer. His purpose driven approach is at the heart of his business success. acclaim as a visual artist and global recognition as a musician ever pushing boundaries and guided by a strong desire to help people find their purpose. Murray is now focused on touring his immersive musical experience mind travel across the globe. Over the past five years, Murray has created over 500 mine travel experiences for over 100,000 people in cities from Los Angeles to London, Paris to Pittsburgh, Berlin to Boulder, in venues such as Lincoln Center, the theater at at the Ace Hotel, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the grace Cathedral and the National Arts club. Murray created the first mind travel experience in 2013, he invited a group to his living room for a live performance of his provocative, improvisational real time compositions at the piano, and then ask them what they thought of the experience, moved by their emotional response and the power of music to take the group on a deep inner journey, he moved forward to bring it to the world. Mine travel brings together Murray’s passions for contemporary classical music, visual art, theoretical physics and wisdom traditions. They are the four pillars of an integrated experience that seeks to explore an understanding of the universe at both the visible and hidden levels. In addition to the above, Murray is a certified meditation teacher through the Vedic center and a certified grief counselor through our house grief Support Center. So Murray is down in LA, we were just having a chat about being on the same coast. Murray, it’s so great to have you here.

Murray Hidary 4:04
Thank you, Heather. I look forward to the conversation.

Heather Pearce Campbell 4:09
Yeah, absolutely. I just feel like, there’s so much that I could ask you about. So I hope we can, you know, cover quite a bit of it. But I don’t know, I feel like there could be around to this is, you are an unusual person. And I’m really excited about all of your experience and the things that you’re going to bring to this conversation. So I know when we were chatting before I went live, you said your background is in tech. I’m curious, talk to us a little bit about where you started. Obviously, you’ve got some interesting things in your past. Talk to us about your path into tech.

Murray Hidary 4:45
So I grew up with with music. You know, my first instrument was put in my hands when I was five years old, played the piano since I was six years old. And music was really my companion throughout my whole childhood. By the time I got to high school. I knew I wanted to be a composer, I felt like I had my own thing to say with music, versus just playing the music of other people. And when I did attend University in New York, I formally studied to be a classical composer. Now, when you graduate with a degree in classical composition, your pathway to a good living is a bit uncertain. So I’ll leave it at that. And so it was really a kind of a choice of, you know, do I go into writing like jingles for commercials or TV music or, you know, that’s kind of where the money was at in the in the time when I graduated. And so I would talk to other composers that went that route. And while they said, you know, it’s, it’s a good living, it’s exciting, and you’re working with, you know, cool people, and, you know, intense deadlines, but the money’s good, and you know, you can make a real living. But then I asked him this one question, and I said, What did you write your first Symphony, you know, you’re the music, you wanted to write, not just the, the music for commercial projects. And they looked at me, like I had, you know, 12 heads, and they were like, there’s no time for that. Like, it’s, you know, really tough to, to make the time for that. So I kind of got that message early on. And I said, Well, what else can I do to earn the kind of living I wanted to still feel creative, still feel like, you know, excited at work every day, and then do my music, you know, the right the music I wanted to write. And at that time, this little thing called the internet was just starting to bubble up. And you may have heard of it. And my older brother and I, he was more into computers. When I was growing up. I didn’t barely know how to turn on a computer, but he always was getting the latest computer when we were kids. And so he and I chatted, and we just saw such possibility in which all new technologies provide, right? I mean, today, kind of analogous. technology would be looking at say, you know, blockchain, right, and cryptocurrency as an example. And, and certainly, it’s very confusing, but so was the internet back, you know, 25 years ago, right? And, and if, you know, it completely, you know, changed and transformed the world, in the same way that potentially blockchain could and most likely will, right. So it’s, it’s kind of a similar parallel time. And we didn’t know if there was money to be made or not, but it was just so cool. And we were like, We just want to jump into it. And so we did, and we started our company. And, you know, we came from a family of entrepreneurs. And my mom’s an entrepreneur has her own business, my dad works in a family business that my grandfather started, who came here to Ellis Island, you know, at 15 years old, with, you know, nothing in his pocket and built a business. So we come from that, you know, background and so starting our own business was kind of natural for us. And we had no idea we were doing so, but we just figured it out as we went and in a way, nobody back then really knew what they were doing. Truly, right. Right. So we, you know, we were figuring it out, and whatever we figured out, even if it was, you know, 10 minutes ago, we were now the experts in that. And so he because nobody else knew what was going on. So we we really improvise to take a musical term of mine, we improvised our way through and eventually built a very solid company, which we incredibly took public only four or five years after we started it. So it was this incredible journey in my 20s. of, of pursuing, not my original passion, right, which was music, the companies had nothing to do with music. But here’s the thing that I learned, which was, there may be times in our lives, where pursuing the obvious passion of our desires and our dreams, it just may not click, it just may not work in terms of generating the kind of income or financial stability from that pursuit that we might want. Now, we can still do it, right, you know, maybe you want to be a novelist or, you know, great poet or, you know, so you would still write all the time, but maybe the time hasn’t hit yet to really monetize that, that art in that craft. But here’s the thing, there’s other things we can do with our time, that also resonate with the core values that we have. Right? So for instance, for me, you know, one of the core values that drives me to create music is not just creativity, but connection. Right, I actually feel a deep and powerful and profound connection, through music to myself and to others. And the internet. as different as it is it couldn’t be more different than music. It actually tapped in to that same similar value set that I I had, which was creativity, curiosity connection, right. And so I was able to satisfy those values, even though I was doing something very, very different. So I would wake up every day and actually be quite excited, even though I wasn’t going to play the piano or write music or anything like that at the time. But it still was so thrilling, because it was so fresh and exciting. And here’s the thing, I kept a piano Heather in my office for all those years building those tech companies. And at the end of all those days, those stressful startup days, which I’m sure many of your listeners can relate to all the fires, we have to put out as entrepreneurs, the uncertainties, the things that pop up that you like, okay, gotta deal with this. Now. They cause stress, and I would sit at the piano, in my office, my staff, my team would be like, Where’s Murray? Oh, he’s, he’s playing the piano in his office. And, and it just allowed me to reset at the end of every day. So I was fresh, and focused the coming day.

Heather Pearce Campbell 11:10
I love a couple of things about what you said, One, the ritual and how you kept music and piano incorporated in your life. We can come back to that, because I have some other questions and thoughts. But the other part, which is really, really important you talk about, there’s not always an obvious path to do the thing that we’re most passionate about, right. And I think this is really important for people to understand in their own way and on their own path. Because I think so often, you know, you can be in this hard place of like, do I take a job do I do this other thing, people may know what they want to do in their heart. But, you know, there, there can be a way of building a bridge to get there, right. And what you’re talking about, I think, is one of these ways is like finding something that you can do right now, that calls on the same values that you hold, or, you know, some of your greatest skill sets that can still be applied. And maybe you can find meaning or create meaning in this other type of work, that can be really important to eventually get to where you’re going.

Murray Hidary 12:16
That’s absolutely the case. And I I very much believe that. I’ve lived that. I think there’s many things we can do in human expression, right? As human doings, right, that we can, that we can express ourselves in that can be very rewarding, very satisfying and very fulfilling. And it may not be the obvious one, it may be something that we discover by trying something new, which is why I always advocate, right for, especially for folks that are looking to figure out even what their purpose might be, what their passions might be, I actually recommend, are you what, how much time are you spending trying something new. Now, that doesn’t mean a vocation necessarily means watching a documentary you may not ordinarily watch, it means reading a book that is not on your typical, you know, nightstand write a book on your nightstand that might not be there. And so it’s it’s conversations, programs we watch, I mean, just just exposing ourselves to just something that is out of the ordinary for us. And what happens then is the brain starts to connect dots, between disparate disciplines, between different genres, different ideas. I mean, for instance, look at mine travel, which is my current expression in the world. It is a confluence, it’s a fusion had there between music, of course, in particular, Western music, modern, contemporary classical music, minimalism, to be even more specific with the sensibilities of mindfulness of Eastern philosophy of meditation, both the philosophy and the music from those countries and cultures, and which I deeply studied, and those two worlds come together. Now, typically, somebody who goes to conservatory and studies, you know, western classical music will probably, you know, never be exposed to some of that stuff. And vice versa, right, somebody who, you know, lives in a monastery and studies mindfulness and meditation will, you know, may not study an instrument to to a professional level, yet, because I uniquely had my foot one foot in both of those worlds. I brought them together. And that really created what I think I would say, is my unique voice in the realm of music and in the realm of mindfulness, and probably also have their what is the reason why doing that at what I was 22 when I started my first tech company, so what was my real I mean, I was beginning to to I was meditating at the time, but I didn’t have certainly the experience with mindfulness and meditation that I do now. Right in terms of So what really was available? And the same with music and my explorations, right music being the language of emotion, how much had I experienced at that point at 22, that would really fill my music with the kind of emotion that would resonate with other people. Right? It took many years later to gain the experience of life, the experience of loss, to be able to fill the music with the kind of emotion that would translate to the experience of other people. Yeah. And that’s why, you know, I, I shifted later in life to a completely different career, from Tech to music. But it felt very natural, because it was like, Oh, yeah, now I’m ready to naturally do this, because I’ve got all this new experience, right of life, and business and mindfulness and all coming together to form this new expression.

Heather Pearce Campbell 15:56
Right? Well, and clearly, you know, for anybody who has visited your site, seeing your work, you are an artist, I mean, you’re very clearly an artist. And I think the thing that’s so powerful about what you do, is you, you are able to bring, at least in my perspective, your whole self to your work, and you’re able to, like combine all these areas that you talked about just now, and have this really unique expression through music and making it much more experiential. Howndid you get the idea for what you’re doing now? Like, describe it to somebody who maybe hasn’t been to your website?

Murray Hidary 16:39
Right? Right. So, you know, for me, when I put out there publicly, for others to share in for others to experience is giving people a glimpse behind the curtain of what I would do on my own, in my own home, without anybody there. And now I’m kind of secretly inviting you in to this world, I would create this very much an inner world, I would create, but now we’re kind of creating an outward expression of it. And so I would sit at the piano for I mean, hours, sometimes just kind of playing and exploring each improvisation of the piano being a different path down the river. And it allowed me to really get in touch with my emotions to get in touch with my creativity. With my imagination, I would have ideas. And it was these were beautiful explorations in both creativity and consciousness. So I was like, Okay, how do I translate that to an experience that others can partake in without having to play? Right? I mean, I’m the one playing. So I mean, you know, many, you know, most people don’t actually perform, you know, live publicly, even if they took lessons as it gets, right. So I said, Well, I really want nature to be a part of this, because I know how important nature is for my own healing and my own imagination, right? I mean, how many of us, we can all relate to walks on the beach, walks in the forest, where we’re just expanded. And if we’re going through a tough time, you know, we’re healed. So I said, I wanted to be on the beach. And I want to gather everybody there, has my piano there, and all kind of really come together in nature and music. Now, of course, there’s a lot of logistical problems. What do you want to do that? Right? The first and foremost is getting a, you know, huge grand piano onto the beach and not having it ruined. Right, right. So the other is, the acoustics in nature are actually not great at all. And even if you blast it with speakers, it just doesn’t sound good. Especially a nuanced instrument like that, like a solo piano really, where you want it to be an intimate feeling.

Heather Pearce Campbell 19:03
Yeah, well, you’re right, especially with instruments like the piano setting is so essential because of the way that acoustics typically work. I mean, it can make or break a performance right? So yes, oxide and you lose the walls and the you know,

Murray Hidary 19:18
That it’s windy and the ocean sound, it’s beautiful, but it’s terrible acoustics. So I and then right, there’s this this kind of aha moment happened, where I was like, What if I had all the participants all the whole audience in wireless headphones. And now everyone has a deeply intimate personal experience of the music, no matter where you are on the beach, in the park, you are essentially in the first row. Right? And then I actually instead of taking a 600 pound grand piano, I would I would take an electric grand piano, which wasn’t, you know, an issue with the elements and the Salt, air and all that. And what was even cooler is that I made it silent to the outside since there’s no speakers. So people walking by actually hear nothing. They just see me playing the piano furiously, and they don’t hear anything unless you have the headphones on. And the moment you put those headphones on, you’re transported into this soundscape into this other world, where you’re listening to the soundtrack of this incredible environment that you’re in, right? Whether it’s the ocean, or Central Park in New York, or wherever we happen to be. And so people would come, they either lie down on their blankets, bring beach chairs, it’s very casual, it’s very communal. Sometimes they even get up and I invite them to walk up and down the beach, the headphones will work their wireless, they’ll work hundreds of feet away from the piano. So you have people walking all over the beach, finding their own moment, if they’re going through something, they want to have their own alone time, great. And then they come back to the group, if they are with a partner with a loved one, they can go on, you know, a walk with them in silence listening to the music, some people I’ve seen standing in the ocean up to their waist with the headphones on, right? We’re always like, Oh, I hope they don’t. The headphones are not waterproof. But anyway, we’ve lost a couple along the way. Some casualties, Heather, but you know, it’s worth, you know, anything for art, right? So, so people really have this profound experience. And then the magic really happens when you’re in your own world now with the music and nature. And you then look around you and you see hundreds and hundreds of other people also having their own alone moment, their own individual, intimate personal moment, and you’re all sharing that together. And that’s where it clicks, that that’s really what’s happening with the human experience that we’re all in right is, we each think our own experience is so unique. And to a certain extent it is the details of our lives are unique. No one’s living a life like you or like me, or any of your listeners. But we’re all kind of leading those unique lives together. And we’ll all go through similar arcs of the human experience. Right, we’ll all experience joy at some point, loss at some point. And it’s it’s about the embracing of that journey, and relating to each other through that arc of the human experience. And that’s really what the music is the soundtrack to that.

Heather Pearce Campbell 22:35
Well, I love, I mean, this concept of having an individual experience that is still part of a whole because anybody can think back to most musical experiences, if it’s a performance, right? You’re you’re in an audience, you’re sitting in very similar seats, you’re gonna generally have similar viewpoints, similar, you know, to mean, but it is fascinating to think of this twist, and like really being able to create this unique experience, like you say, where people can still be part of the whole, but be walking on their own or in the water or not, like, that part just adds this whole level to it. That just feels I mean, it feels lovely, but also fun.

Murray Hidary 23:22
Oh, absolutely, I had somebody attend this course pre COVID my concert in Central Park about two years ago. And, and they told me that they so so he and his partner went exploring through the paths of Central Park. And they ended up like half a mile from where we were still here, you could still hear it perfectly. And they and they truly, to your point, right, they truly had their own unique experience that anybody else there yet listened to the same music. And that’s what’s so cool about it, you really can make it your own. Some people like to move, they may even want to want to find some abstract movements. Some people, I find that they’re standing on their head, you know, just to experience like an inversion in yoga, whatever. I mean, people are doing their own thing, especially in places like New York, right? And so it’s great, I embrace that, you know, and other people just want to lie and look at the look at the sky. It’s fantastic.

Heather Pearce Campbell 24:19
Well, and this, this idea that allows people to essentially have choice in the way they participate, it becomes this participatory event versus, you know, most you know, quote unquote, traditional concerts where you’re really a receiver, right? You’re You’re really, I mean, you can participate in small ways, but it’s really about like the gift of being there and receiving the music like yours, almost is almost this co creation type of experience, right? Because everyone is going to be different.

Murray Hidary 24:50
There really is this performance art element to it where the participants are expressing themselves in their own way like performers. And by the way, I take notice have that I’m not oblivious to it, I do take notice of it, because I see it all around me, and then actually inspires me. And because the music is always improvised each time, people attendance, different different music, different path down the river, I then work that into the music, if I see somebody kind of dancing in the way they are, or, or I mean, I remember one time we these, this, these storm clouds came in, and I was watching them come in, you know, and I work that into the music. Other times the wind picks up tremendously, like like, and I work that into the music, you know, so each one is unique, unique in that way. And you know, to your point about choice, it really is about a very present to creating more choice for people. Because to me choice, the more choices we have in life equates directly to the amount of freedom we’re able to move through life with. And so I want people to feel like they have permission to feel like they have more choice in what they’re feeling in how they’re moving in what they’re doing, in what they’re thinking all of it. And, and that really is a is a is a big shift for people when they come. And it’s a real aha moment. It’s very transformative. It’s, you know, the greatest feedback I can get is when people come up to me afterwards. And, you know, they’ll tell me, it’s one of the two or three greatest experiences of their lives, you know, and, and often I’ll get people who say, I had no idea what I was coming to. And it’s exactly what I needed, you know, that I get that a lot. I get that a lot, which is wonderful.

Heather Pearce Campbell 26:37
Well it is, I got goosebumps when you said, you know, it’s the top two or three experiences of my life. I mean, that’s phenomenal. I haven’t I have some other thoughts wandering around. But I also wanted to comment on the challenge of performing in nature. So my own personal experience with this, I actually grew up studying classical piano and was pretty hardcore about it for a long time. But my sister, once I was actually kind of out of my avid study of music, but I still had a piano was still playing. She asked me to write a song for her and seeing at her wedding. And I thought like, okay, normally that would be a no, right for most like, I am not a singer, I don’t say I enjoy singing, but it’s not like, that is not my comfort zone. Let’s start there. But I said, okay, because you’re my sister, like, I will do this for you. And I actually loved the song that I ended up writing for, but it was on a boat, she got married on a boat. The piece that I had not considered is that, you know, I bring in this portable piano and I sit down to play. So the boat is rocking. And then literally I am facing into a setting sun. Like, right, and I see anything, I can’t see anything. It was the weirdest hardest, like musical experience, because I have not considered all these other factors. And so here I am, I’m literally like, and I’m pretty. I mean, when I think back on this, I laugh at myself, like what, why did I say yes to this, like, I have motion sickness, of course, I was gonna get sick. I’m like, nauseous and trying to see and I’m burning my eyeballs out because of the sun. It was hilarious. It ended up being fine. But it was really challenging I we can take for granted as musicians, like how much of our environments are contained and safe and controllable, and all these things, right? You remove the

Murray Hidary 28:39
Absolutely. I I’ve had the interesting experience of also playing on on boats and ships, and I can relate to what you’re saying. Probably the most analogous experience was playing at Burning Man, the the festival and if you’re familiar, if your listeners are familiar, there’s these things called Art cars that people have, right, where they have these crazy expressions of vehicles, you know, with flames coming out of the top and I mean, just wild looking vehicles, you know, straight out of the movies, right? And, and, you know, they kind of roam around the desert there. Well, I do this event each year at Burning Man, which is I placed my keyboard on the top of one of these art cars, and they drive it around the desert. And we have hundreds of people at Burning Man following the car on bicycles, because that’s how most people get around and burning them. Right. So they’re everyone’s on their bicycles, and they have the headphones on. And I’m transmitting from the art car, but they are cars bouncing around all over the place. Right? And you know, it’s, I mean, it’s a desert landscape with you know, there’s lots of bumps and stuff. So I have to like anticipate the movement so that I don’t you know, fumble on the piano. So it becomes this beautiful challenge that I like to embrace, you know, when I’m when I’m there and and then of course, you know, one time a sandstorm hit, and so it was a complete whiteout and thank goodness I had my goggles only to protect my eyes but I could not see even the keyboard in front of me. So I just had to feel my way playing continuing as we all you know, forged ahead into the into the Sandstorm for it was about 25 minutes.

Heather Pearce Campbell 30:33
I actually studied piano at Utah State University, I followed a professor who had left Juilliard to become the piano head at Utah State. And while I was there, I took a photography class. And that is where I first got exposed to images from Burning Man. My professor was an avid attendee of Burning Man. And you know, for anybody listening if you haven’t seen the imagery, I’ve never been to an event, but the imagery is just astounding – it’s beautiful. I mean, so artistic and transformative. I can only imagine the experience of being there in person, but the images that I’ve seen have been phenomenal.

Murray Hidary 31:13
Well, it’s a landscape that is so creative and what people do, you know, 80,000 people descend on that patch of desert and create something just wild for a couple of weeks and then it disappears.

Heather Pearce Campbell 31:25
That’s amazing. I can only imagine you riding around on the top of one of those and trying to play that with literally flames coming out. You know, the guy the guy driving it was like shooting flames. Doesn’t feel safe to me. Was this safe?

Murray Hidary 31:13 Hey, it’s all relative.

Heather Pearce Campbell Could you get wrapped in bubble wrap, or something, just in case you fell off? I don’t know.

Murray Hidary I kept a personal fire extinguisher with me, right.

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Heather Pearce Campbell So one of the things that stood out about like the way that you approach your work and even in your description is this idea that, you know, are your your very strong motive to help people find their purpose. Talk to me a little bit about that, what does that feel like or look like for you?

Murray Hidary 34:05
I think where that comes from, for me is, you know, being so present to my own kind of passions, my own purpose. And always feeling in a way kind of this struggle of, you know, when do I really pursue it, it felt like it was always at a reach in a way. You know, as I was doing the technology as much as I loved it. I always felt that I wanted to do the music in a bigger and bigger way. But I didn’t know what that was going to how that was going to show up. So you know, I really can relate to people that have such dreams. Or they want to just make an impact in the world but they don’t know how. And if if the experience that they have with with me and my music can can get them a step closer to that. Then that’s wonderful and a lot of that is is going deeper within, you know, really tapping into the greatest source of inspiration, right? I mean, we look externally for inspiration so often, right we look at, we want to, you know, listen to a great speaker or you know, a talk, we watch a video we go to nature, we get inspired, we use lots of sources of inspiration, but the greatest source of inspiration that is sustainable inspiration, sustainable inspiration that will last not just minutes, or hours or days, but years or decades, because that’s what you really need, right? It must come from within, you’ve got to, you got to source it from within, it could be inspired, sparked triggered from something external, but once you find that’s kind of like the starter log in a campfire, you know, and, and then once you get the blaze burning within you, it could really continue to fuel your mission in life. So if I can provide kind of the setting for that to take place, you know, and it’s gonna be different for everybody, right? I mean, it’s not about people coming to a mine travel experience and being like, Oh, I want to be a musician. No, it’s not that at all right? It’s about No, it’s whatever is unique to their expression. But it gives them It puts them in touch with their own inner self, their truest self, their source, their values, what’s important to them, some for some reason, and I get this from so many people, the music, it just kind of sets your priorities straight, for some reason, that particular music that I share, and it just gets you thinking in a big way, about life, and not the petty way we usually think about things, you know, we can all be all of us, right? I mean, myself included, we can all be so petty at times, so righteous at times. So small thinking at times, we want to be right, we want to be you know, in control, and we want everything to go our way. And there’s a whole other way of being that is so magnificent, and so filled with possibility and so abundant, and so filled with joy. And that’s what we’re talking about here, right is tapping into that, and moving forward, you know, in that way. And I would I would say also that, you know, once you come face to face, you know, which which I did with profoundly difficult grief loss, which I did in the in the sudden and tragic death of my younger sister. This is going back now about 14 years 15 years ago. And it was just devastating. And when you when you are face to face with that level of grief and loss, something no may not be the case for everybody. But there’s a there’s an opportunity for for you to be cracked open so wide through the heartbreak. Because you’re just so heartbroken in that moment. Right at that time when, when someone’s so close to you something something or someone you cared about so deeply, is no longer that you just so heartbroken, because it is heartbreaking. Yeah, that what happens in the aftermath of that really will pave the way for the rest of your life. How you view that moment, right, if you choose to retreat for the rest of your life and eternally, which by the way is can be understandable. You know? I mean, this was my younger sister 12 years younger. But imagine a parent losing a child, right? I mean, that’s the worst thing that can, you know, possibly be, to a certain extent, it felt that way for me because I was so much older and had that kind of relationship with her. But I certainly I was not my parents and how my parents have actually gone through it with such grace is remarkable. But certainly if you know, someone said, I’m checking out like, I just can’t even like you would understand, right? I mean, you just you couldn’t be like, Oh, come on, you know, don’t be weak. Like no, give it Yeah, like, you know, you’d be like, I get it like that. That is hard to come back from. Yeah. And at the same time, that heartbreak can open up such love and access to love, because underneath that profound pain underneath that intense grief. It’s there because of the intensity of the love. You wouldn’t feel that much pain if you didn’t love that much. Right? So it’s about how do we get through back to that love underlying all of it, you know, it’s kind of like having a beautiful glass of water, right? That one day gets all muddy and silty, right just like that. And now you can’t drink it because it’s just all silty and filled with mud. But we can purify the water again, we can put it through filters. Right and for me music was that filtering process. Right. I use music day in day out and it didn’t take you know it’s not going to take one pass through the filter. Right, it’s like, Okay, you got to put it through a whole bunch of times. And little by little, the water starts to clear up, right? Little by little, it goes from, you know, brown and murky and dark to clear, and light. And that’s the process that music allowed for me. And really, that was the tipping point for me see what it did for me. I was like, I think others can benefit from this, no matter what they’re going through, they may not be going through something that I went through, you know, everyone is unique, but, but I think it could I think it can help them. And when you really get that, it’s almost like, you’re compelled to do it. Like it’s it wasn’t like, Okay, let me see what else I can do. And I was just like, no, I got to do this. I got to share it. And that’s when it went from being my own thing to saying, okay, like we said earlier, right? I’m gonna bring people behind the curtain. Yeah, behind the veil and say, Look, this is what works for me. This is what has allowed me to have such transformative breakthroughs in my life. And if it works for you, please take it.

Heather Pearce Campbell 41:07
One I just want to say I’m so sorry for your loss. And that’s a really tough one. I am, lost my mom early in life. And then I also lost my youngest my baby sister. Now, let’s see. 10 years ago. Yeah, she got in a car accident. She was 25. We were actually, that day at the funeral of our stepmother’s father. So we’d all been traveling together. It was a really horrible circumstance. But my mom died of glioblastoma. And so it was a, you know, a 10 month process. And we used to say, oh, we’re so grateful that we at least got more time with her and that it wasn’t just a sudden death. And then we experienced, you know, the sudden death. And there, it’s a different kind of grief. It’s a it’s a different process, trying to resolve that grief. And I want to thank you for even opening a conversation on grief. Because, like you I feel that it can be transformative it. I don’t think any of us get to opt out of it. Right? We all of us, at some point have, I think, a deep, deep grieving experience in our lives. And they may be different. I mean, I think the the grief related to losing a child is in some ways, probably quite different than the grief of you know, losing a different kind of family member. So it’s not to say that they can be equated but it is really interesting to observe what people do with their grief. Yes, well, and like you said, there are some responses that are understandable, and that are forgivable. And yet, when you when you watch somebody really use their grief to transform themselves, the way they relate to their work. It was really interesting because actually, just today I came across a woman on tik tok of all places, and she cleans headstones. She goes to cemeteries and volunteers. And she, and she does the before and after videos of like, what it looked like, and then what it gets transformed to. And it’s phenomenal. And the root of her path was that she went through a really long, tumultuous, extraordinarily painful battle over her children with her ex husband, and it was so painful for her. I think she lost a lot of family members, I think, you know, anyways, I don’t know all the ins and outs. But she said, that’s what prompted her. The whole where I want to go with this is your comment early on about being open about being open to trying new things and open to just viewing things, just seeing things that we may not normally see if we’re not open, right? She had this experience one day where she either heard about or observed somebody else cleaning a headstone. And she thought, maybe I could do that. And she just tried it. She just went and got the supplies and tried it and she has millions of followers, like millions of people who will tune in and watch these headstone cleanings because it’s they’re really powerful. But this is what she’s done with her grief now for like three years and she talks about the transformation that she’s been through during that time and what cleaning headstones has done for her.

Murray Hidary 44:26
Remarkable story, and what a hero that woman is. And I can imagine it starting as such a solitary, personal experience, right? It doesn’t strike me right. It wouldn’t strike anyone as the kind of thing you would do for attention or you would do with it with observation in any way yet somehow has you just I think what you just said was that somehow these this process is now being live streamed to millions of people. That’s wild, and I think Magnum UCLA beautiful, I mean, that’s it’s such a peek into an intimacy.

Heather Pearce Campbell 45:05
Well, and I think that’s how it started for her as she actually said, she needed to create a safe place for herself because nothing else in her life felt safe. And so she retreated to the cemetery. And, you know, we do these rituals of every day just choosing a headstone and cleaning it. And then through that process, like, she’ll get to know a little bit about the person and sometimes do research on them and like, actually feel this connection in a really profound way to what she’s doing. And now, millions of people watch her do this. And it’s really like, it’s one of these weird things that you’re like, Why can I stop watching this? You know,

Murray Hidary 45:44
That’s because it’s so authentic, right? I mean, it’s so has such an authenticity to it. I mean, all of us, you know, everyone you encounter, whether you talk to them or not, stranger, a friend has an internal pain, an internal struggle that they’re dealing with, that we’re probably we may not be privy to, probably not privy to, yet knowing that that may exist in the other person’s experience, can open up an empathy, right? Just knowing that each of us has that, right. Right, it doesn’t have to be the death of a sibling, it could be whatever it is, I mean, there’s, we all have our own struggles. And as you said, you know, grief will touch everyone at some point. And grief is personal, there’s no, it’s not about greater or lesser than grief, it’s just your grief. And how you move through it in a timeframe, you move through it, there’s no short, long medium, there’s no right or wrong, it’s just how you move through it. And there is the ability to bring consciousness and awareness to it, not just being at the mercy of it, right. So that’s where, you know, turning to music, turning to support of friends and family, and, you know, even professional support, these are all wonderful tools to generate more awareness and expression, right to get the pain out of us. So we’re not stuck with it alone. And turning that transmuting that pain over time, into more meaning, more connection with the other person, right, but the person that, that we may, you know, that may be gone. So, and that’s what this you know, the story you’re sharing about the woman who cleans the tombstones, right, she’s clearly creating some kind of meaning. And, and which creates a deeper connection with, you know, the family members that have died of hers and, and really even then broader, a broader connection with many other people, right, she’s not just doing this for the headstones of her family members, she’s doing this for others for strangers, right, and almost creating this, this trans spiritual connection with him, and he just gets kind of remarkable. And that’s but that’s, that’s the opportunity for all of us is, you know, it’s incredible in the, in the grief counseling world, if you go back decades, like 50 or 100 years ago, which is in the realm of humanity, not that long ago. The advice, the professional advice, and this is kind of gonna sound crazy, but the professional advice back then from professional therapists would have been do your best to forget about the person who died. Like do your best to just rid yourself of their anything that reminds you of them and move on in life. That was the advice given the thought that was the best course of action. Now, we know that’s not the case today. And the advice today is really the opposite, right? The guidance is, is of course, you must first accept the reality of it right and not be in delusion around it, we have to have that acceptance of it. But ultimately, that final stage, after we go through that is about creating a deeper connection to the person and having them with you every day. Again, we’re not talking about a literal in a literal sense, but in, in this in the sense that, that their memory is with you and and that that adds something to your life. And you know, that’s that’s the place I was able to get to with my sister through all the tears was that place where every time I sit at the piano now, I imagined her at the other end dancing to the music. So she was a dancer. So I you know and I pictured her there, you know right there with me. And it brings a smile to my face. And and sometimes it brings a tear and that’s okay. But it’s it’s a connection. It’s not the same kind of sadness, sad and pain. No, it’s it’s more like just a expression of love. I just really love Yeah, and I miss her. And that’s cool. And she’s right there with me in that sense.

Heather Pearce Campbell 50:04
Yes. Well, and even your personal example, I think, really is a good one for showing how grief does transform. how, you know, you allow it to transmute, and it doesn’t have to always look like it did at the beginning. And I think a lot of people get afraid they’re going to be stuck there, you know, there. And I think a lot of people just don’t allow themselves It was interesting, because I just went to a women’s retreat a couple weeks ago, which was my first foray traveling and out in the world post, you know, the sort of COVID and so it was an interesting and really wonderful experience. And it’s called the journey to stillness. And I, it was just a bunch of fabulous women that came together to do this work. And I’ve walked with a lot of grief in my life, I mean, from and I’m not saying it’s more or less than anybody else, but the loss of my mom, my sister, you know, seven years and seven pregnancies to get my two children here. So last five, you know, pregnancies along the way that was really tumultuous and hard. And, you know, and things beyond that other kinds of losses, where it’s just, it becomes a thing that’s just with you, you know, and there was one woman there who had really had a hard time processing her grief. And I remember, she asked me when we’d been able to talk for a bit, she was like, how do you how do you do grief? Well, how do you and I was like, Well, I don’t know that there’s any one way through. But for me, the key has been just allowing myself to feel it to feel really bad at times with the reality of the loss. Because if you don’t let yourself actually deeply, deeply feel it doesn’t move. It does not. It will stay stuck.

Murray Hidary 51:50
And distract ourselves from it. Which is really the instinct that most people have is, oh, let me let me not feel this pain. Let me turn the TV on. Let me you know, just go make friends. Let me turn to the bottle turn to drugs turn to other behaviors that will allow me to not feel the pain I’m in. But then of course, once that behavior is done, you’re right back with the pain. And then unfortunately, that’s where addiction, right can be can be started because you just constantly want to numb that pain. And especially when it’s that intense.

Heather Pearce Campbell 52:23
Yeah. What is it? I mean, as a musician, what is it? Do you think about music that has such unique capacity for? I mean, I know that for you, even when I say music, it’s a lot bigger than how most people think of it because of the way that you experience and express music but but to be this combination of like transformative and also allow mindfulness and like how is music that much? How is it that big? How is it that? I don’t know? Like how, how do you think it is such the powerful?

Murray Hidary 53:10
Yeah, I’ve given this quite a bit of thought, because I was equally as fascinated by it as you are, rightfully so. And I think the first thing that’s important to say is, it doesn’t matter. It works. Okay, I’ll say that first. You don’t believe in it? It is what it does. It doesn’t matter. It works. Okay. Now we want to know why. Okay, let’s go there. So we can do I and my best estimation, is that let’s talk about language for a moment. Okay, a spoken language, right, that we’re using right now to communicate with each other is a linear language. And what I mean by that is, we were putting one word in front of the other creating sentences and paragraphs and ideas are being shared. Right. Now, here’s the thing. If we both do that at the same time, it’s, we can’t understand each other, right? It’s just noise. Right? So we have to do one at a time. So it’s kind of asynchronous in that way. So it’s both linear and B, only one person at a time can do it. for there to be any effective and efficient communication. Right? You would agree with that? I agree. Okay, now let’s turn to music. Certainly, we can replicate the same thing that spoken word offers, right? I can take notes and string them into phrases and string them into a song. And if I’m, say a violinist, I can play a nice tune. And let’s say you’re a flutist and you can then play nice tune and we can exchange tunes and there’s a communication happening in a linear fashion. But music can go the next step, which is both people can play at the same time can share at the same time can speak so you know, so to speak at the same time. Now we don’t call that noise, like we do a spoken word, but we call that harmony. We call that polyphony. And it’s not only relegated to two voices, but you can have three you can afford, you can have five, you can have an endless number. And that is the richness of music, the multi layered the multi dimensionality of music, it is not linear, it only goes in one direction, it does go in a linear direction, and it also stacks, right. And as a vertical verticality to it, and a horizontal, horizontal nature to it. And in that matrix of possibility of all the interactions of all the notes, right, you now have expressions of emotion that are taking place that you wouldn’t have with any of them single voices. That’s what’s incredible, right, you play a C and you play an E, individually, they’ll have their impact, you put them together, and you actually get it get something a third impact. Not even a is different than the two individually.

Heather Pearce Campbell 56:07
It’s like the multiplication of,

Murray Hidary 56:09
That’s right. It’s so and then you have we start to stack it, you get this exponential expression. Now, why is that important? That’s cool. But why is that relevant to the question? It’s relevant to the question, because we’re talking here about emotions, right? That’s what we’re getting at. And we’re trying to understand why does music have such a profound impact on us emotionally, and I like to call music, the language of emotions for this exact reason, because emotions are not linear. Look at our conversation just now about grief. We just said it, you know, you can feel good one day, then you can, you know, be hit by a wave of grief. It could take years it could take you know, it just it’s all over the place. And within grief, right? If we think of grief, almost like an iceberg, only 10% above the surface, and 90% below the surface. There’s so many emotions that can be caught up in grief that are entangled in grief, right? There could be shame, that could be guilt, it could be sadness, it could be I mean, there’s a million things in there. That could be anger, there’s tons of emotions, we now we call it grief. But really, grief is a wrapper for so many sub emotions that are kind of drafting along this thing we call grief. So to get through it, really what’s necessary, is to start to untangle this knotted mess of emotion that we’re feeling. And that’s why it’s it’s such a leveling and flooring experience at first because God we don’t even know what we’re feeling. It’s such a mix. And we’re being tossed around like a in a storm on a ship, right? You just being tossed around from emotion to emotion. You’re angry one minute and you’re sad the next minute, then you’re depressed another minute, then you’re I mean, it’s just and you’re laughing another minute thinking about a memory, you’re all over the place. And we have to parse out and untangle these emotions and music can do that, because he can hold all the emotions with it. There’s nothing I could think of that can hold the space for both joy and pain at the same exact time. I can think of things that could do it separately. I cannot think of anything that can do it at the same time. And that’s the power of music. And that’s why it’s so healing because it allows us to feel both joy and pain at the same time.

Heather Pearce Campbell 58:34
Yeah, I love that description. And even in hearing that, like I can think of certain songs like even play like there was a Sarah McLachlan song. I used to play on my grandmother’s piano a very specific kind of sound that came out of that piano but a really melancholy sound but so, so joyfully experienced even when playing it, you know, it is a combination where like, it’s so joyful to play it and you can be streaming tears at the same time.

Murray Hidary 59:06
And you’re so happy doing it. For some reason. It’s bizarre. It’s feels like a counterintuitive idea. But But how many of us turn to actively turn to melancholy music? Why would we do that to ourselves? I mean, really, why are we gluttons for punishment? No, we’re looking for healing. We’re looking for resonance. We’re looking for our pain to be heard and seen. And it is heard through the music. And that’s how I think about it. You know, it’s like we’re when people come to an event I’m like, I want to meet you right where you are with the music. I don’t want to try to be all happy up here just yet. It’s too early for that. No, I want to meet you where you’re at. Dig into the dirt of the emotion get dirty with you. I want I get messy, I want to get muddy. And then we’re going to rise up together.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:00:05
Well, it’s really beautiful to think of music as a container. And you’re right, it feels like it is, you know, has the capacity to be big enough to like, hold all these things. And when I think about the way that we experience music, at least for me, and I’m sure other people can relate to this, like, you feel it in your body as well, right? It’s not just, which I think is what helps it feel so transformative is emotions need to move and we have physical, I mean, just on another episode that I was recording just before this, we were talking about how emotions live in the body, and you feel them. And sometimes you don’t recognize what emotion you’re having, until you actually connect with the physical feeling of it. Right. And music just has this beautiful way of like getting into all those places.

Murray Hidary 1:00:59
That’s, I’m so glad you brought that up, because it is absolutely true. Yeah, emotions are the somatic expression, right of some thought or belief that’s painful to us. And that we do feel them in the body literally feeling in the body and and if not processed, what happens? They stay stuck in the body. Right. And so why would music then be potentially something that could help that? Well, what is music? It’s vibrational. It is by by definition, it is a frequency it is vibrational. It is that movement. And so it is resonating in our bodies, in that sense. And so it can really help move that pain through because each of these emotions also is a certain frequency is a certain vibration to it. I mean, we literalized this, by the way, I mean, we will literally tremble when desperately, tragically afraid, right? Yeah. In tremendous pain. We will tremble. Yeah. So there is a vibrational element to pain. Yeah, and we can use and by the way, there’s a vibrational element to joy, we’ll jump for joy, right, we’ll also move for I mean, there’s a whole spectrum of him. And music can be your companion with it, to help move you through both of those. You know, when I think about, like, what would what would I want my, you know, final moment or my deathbed to be like, right? I don’t think it’s a it’s a thought that is unique to me, I think we might all think that at times, you know, will I be sleeping? Will I be you know, there’ll be some tragic end, you know, in an accident somewhere, or like or what? You know, what, like, what’s the scene gonna be? Right? Yeah, yeah. And I think ideally, you know, this family there, there’s people that I love. There’s nature, I’m hoping I’ll be staring at the ocean, maybe. And there’s music, there is music there. And there’s music there too, to help that transition. To gracefully hold my hand, you know, through that process? And because I think it is that that vibrational quality, where I will be going, right that time, from a vibrating entity, to one that will no longer be, let’s say warm. Yeah. Right. You know, and, and, and, by the way, all the constituent parts of me, which is every, literally every molecule, atom cell and subatomic particle, will actually continue to vibrate long after me. And it will be transformed into something else, it’ll be transformed into soil into a worm into a bird into a beetle into whatever. And, and that’s how it was before me, you know, because originally, every particle and be vibrated, and was forged in the heat of a star somewhere, literally, not figuratively, literally. Right. And we, we all are, and that’s, that’s a violent vibration. And then, you know, exploded and those particles shot across the universe for God knows how many millions, hundreds of millions of billions of years, and somehow coalesced into this planet we call earth. And then and then somehow conspired to become organisms and, and eventually human beings. And it will, will decompose and decay into some other organism. But there’s a limited amount of matter in the universe more doesn’t get created. Just you know, that’s the nature of the law of conservation. Right? The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It just shifts from one form to the other. And that’s all we are, ultimately, and that’s all that music is. Why is the piano especially so evocative. Why does it Why does it call forth from us such a, such an emotional reaction such as sensitivity? Well, I think it’s because the piano, unlike many other instruments, the moment you’ve hit a note, and you’re a pianist, you can hopefully relate to this, right, you hit that you hit the note, immediately, immediately, you’ve just played the loudest that it will play, and then it decays. You can’t hit a note, and then expect it to get louder. The mechanics of a piano don’t work that way. That’s different than say, a violin, right? a violin, you can start softly and then get louder with a bow right by applying more pressure. But the piano can’t work that way. It’s a percussive instrument with strings. So you hit it, depending on how hard you hit it, that will be the loudest and then it’ll decay, you hit another note. That’s the, that’s the peak, and then decay, peak decay, peak decay. So each expression of your fingers on the piano keys are small, infinitesimal expressions of the impermanent. And we then string them together to create the illusion of continuity, and permanence, maybe in a sense of maybe overusing the word, but continuity, let’s say until the pieces over. And the whole piece in and of itself is an expression in impermanence as well. And so I think we consciously or subconsciously resonate with that, as we’re listening, because that is the ultimate teaching. That is the ultimate spiritual teaching, is the ultimate emotional teaching is an intimacy with the impermanent, the moment, we can embrace that. And we can embrace that when we’re confronted directly with it as you have been, as I have been, as many, many have been at all, we’ll be right, as all of us will be, when we are confronted with it, face to face with it. And we invite that intimacy with the impermanent. The illusion of how we think of life can fall away. And we can then be present to a much deeper awareness of what it means to be alive.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:07:32
Love that! Well, that is where it’s interesting, because I think, at least for folks that I know who’ve been through deep grief, there was like this point in time, where life before was a certain way. And then life after was very different. Absolutely changes everything. And I think it changes our experience of joy of everything else. And I remember because my mom passed away when I was 23. And it I remember thinking, like, life was really happy until this time. But even when I look back, it still somehow feels like a false happiness. Like, I didn’t really know what true joy and true happiness was because I did not have that contrast. I don’t know if that makes sense. Oh, it makes perfect sense.

Murray Hidary 1:08:31
It makes perfect sense. It was in a way you were in a dream. Yeah. Which can be lovely, but it’s not reality. And you’re not awake. And I think we all like to be in dreams, but you’re not awake in your dream. And I think most people move through life in, in the dream world. Unaware ready? No, it’s like the matrix it really hear me in the, you know, that movie really nailed it. And it really is like, and at first it could be painful. And it probably will be painful, by the way we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t, you know, sugarcoat it here, it’s, it will be painful. And if we have the courage, to move through that pain, to feel that pain, not to skirt the pain, not to avoid the pain, not to distract from the pain, but to feel it thoroughly to allow it to level us to allow it to allow that pain to have us touch rock bottom. I mean, many people may not go through life feeling rock bottom, because we live in a society that can comfort us enough and distract us enough that it’s not necessary to experience to go through life and hit rock bottom. You could you may but you also have to allow yourself to Yeah, either through negligence of your own life, meaning you know, you get an addiction and let’s say you get smashed To the face, you know, going 100 miles an hour, you know, figuratively and you you’re set into a rude awakening that if you don’t change something, you will absolutely die. Or you enter into it a bit more gracefully through through embracing through embracing the pain. And then you find yourself in the bottom of this abyss, and you find yourself free falling for quite a while. And the free falling is the scariest part because you don’t know how long you’ll be doing that for. And but then at some point, we do find some firm footing, there is a there is a toehold that we somehow can can get, which allows us to push off of see when you’re free falling, there’s nothing to push off of. So what do you do but fall is you have no choice but to keep falling. But once you then get to the bottom of wherever that is, you then have some firm ground to push back up from and that’s the the rise of the Phoenix. That’s the that’s the resurrection. That’s the resurgence that’s that’s the coming alive again, and you do so in a completely new way. Yeah, and you’re never the same. And I think that’s what you’re speaking to.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:11:17
You’re well, and your description of the experience of grief. I mean, like a freefall and even before your description about it being an iceberg, and like so much bigger, like grief is the word that we say but it you know, I appreciated your, the, you know, the description of it actually being so much more than that there’s all these other complex emotions all wrapped up into a big ball. And remember, you know, in facing the that what was clearly the end for my mom, you know, she was way too young, she was my age, she was the age I am now. And, and she had six kids, you know, children who were still in, in middle school and high school. And, you know, it just it felt so wrong. Everything about it just felt so deeply challenging and wrong. And I remember that entire, I mean, the whole 10 months, but particularly the first few months of that. It’s there. I couldn’t describe it in any other way, except you wake up every day and then realize, like you’re in this nightmare. You know, and I think that that can be how grief feels. And I would describe it to people like physically. It was so weird. It felt like my cells were breaking like it felt like on a cellular level, there was just so much pain. And I mean, I even look back to that time and like I couldn’t eat I lost my appetite like that entire year was really a struggle to get through. And yet you’re right there. There’s like some way there’s a toehold at some point there becomes Yeah, yeah, there becomes this way out. And, and you are never the same. I remember looking around at law school classmates and looking at what they stressed out about. And I just had no capacity for that kind of stress. It was like, I don’t know I you know, law school exams did not stress me there was nothing in my day to day life that could stress me because it was just a totally different perspective.

Murray Hidary 1:13:20
Because you then got the big picture. That’s it, you get the big picture, you realize what’s really important. And you realize that Yeah, sure, it is important to do well on your exams and all that but it’s a different kind of important. It has a different sense of scale and relativity to it. Once you are confronted again, like we said, and you become intimate with impermanence. Yeah, on such a such a upfront and close way. How old are you when you went through them?

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:13:46
So she was diagnosed my first year of law school. So I went straight through undergrad and actually the first month or two of law school. So I was 21. And then she passed away when I was 22. So I wasn’t yet. Yeah,

Murray Hidary 1:13:58
I mean, to go through that at such a young and impressionable age, you’re you’re still forming yourself, by the way, your brain was not even fully formed.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:14:07
Right? Well, I, I, as I said, Yes. Like you, I was I was older by you know, quite a few years. My sister Haley was nine years younger than me. You know, my youngest brother, who was still at home was seven years younger, like, I still felt all this responsibility and concern for for their experience. And it was just, you know, it does, you don’t come out the other side of that the same person. And even when I graduated law school, I no longer had the tolerance for things that I may have considered before. So for example, the path out of school, I saw people, you know, that came in with one big idea about what they were going to do with their law school experience, and then really take different paths very far apart from what they thought they were going to be doing. And for me, I looked around and I was like, I just watched my mom die. And like, never get to reap the rewards of all the hard work that she put into. And I was like, I am not for one second, gonna be working a job that I don’t want to do that I because there is no guarantee, there is no guarantee that like, you know, you work for the man or you put in your time and you figure it out. And then you get to the create the thing that you really want in life. Like there are no guarantees. And so that is partly what fueled my own path. I launched my own practice right out of law school, I did things that people thought I was crazy to do. But there was no other way for me. And you know, and it’s partly why I’m so committed now to the path of entrepreneurship, because I have lived the experience of life being so short, and it’s like know, that you know, this commitment to purpose and to like, do the thing that you’re here to do. And let’s help you do it right now, I relate so strongly to that. And I love that you are doing that through music, which is just like one of the most beautiful tools that we have.

Murray Hidary 1:16:03
And look for both of us. It was inspired by this, this extreme loss. And, and it was it came from that. And you know, and these are the kinds of gifts that grief can make available if we allow them to. And of course, we wouldn’t wish these situations these circumstances on anyone. But should they happen? And something like that will most likely happen at some point. The question is, what are how are we going to choose to react? How are we? How are we going to choose to be in the face of that? Will we be brave enough to confront it? Or will we run and hide? And that’s what courage really is right? Courage is moving forward, not without fear, but moving forward, regardless in the face of fear. And it is scary, being confronted with that kind of pain and that kind of unknown on an existential level, yet, should we be able to move forward? There are incredible rewards on the other side. And and I hope that my music and just like your work, you know, I hope that my music and gives people the courage to move forward even with all the pain and all the fear. And that’s, that’s that’s what it’s done for me. You know? What was your mother’s name?

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:17:22
Deanna? Yeah.

Murray Hidary 1:17:25
I mean, and you just can’t imagine. I mean, she was about your age, you saying? So you can imagine, like her experience, like, if you, like, if we always think and put ourselves in her position for a moment in her shoes for a moment. We can’t, but we can try just a little bit. Right. And we can say, What was her life experience? like knowing she was that sick? Knowing the clock was ticking, having all these children? Right, who were so young, so impressionable, so vulnerable? And what was going through her mind, on the one hand, you know, probably trying to be strong, and, you know, and show resolve. And on the other hand, being in tremendous pain, knowing that she wouldn’t see, you know, our kids grow up. I mean, it’s devastating. And, and yet, look at the result of that. Just tragic moment, is the incredible expression. You are what you’re doing in life. And I’m sure I’m sure the rest of you siblings.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:18:32
Yeah, there’s been a lot that came out of that changed everybody’s lives. You know, you can imagine what that does to a family. And, you know, I mean, and it changes us in ways that you cannot perceive coming. And that, you know, even though they feel painful, because our family looks very different now than it did while she was alive, she was the glue. And yet, even what that I’ll call it a secondary loss, right? It feels a little bit like we lost dad at the same time we lost mom. For me, I’ll speak for myself. But even what those secondary losses create is whole new perspectives about connection about what is the meaning of family about what it is that we get to create, you know, through our friends and acquaintances and other people that come into our life and it’s beautiful. Great, right. And it’s all your right that like you look at the trickle effect and what happens from one, you know, poignant example of grief and there’s a lot that comes out of that.

Murray Hidary 1:19:42
That’s right there, the ripple, the ripple effects will continue on and that’s again part of that continuing meaning and connection that is available to create. And that way your mom continues to live through your work and And the work of your family. Oh, beautiful, lovely.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:20:04
Well Murray, I feel like we could talk forever. I’ve already stretched your time quite a bit. I feel like there’s a part two of this conversation that is the relationship of, you know, creativity, and even music and entrepreneurship, right? Because you bring all this wonderful experience to your, your current version of yourself and your work. But for folks that are still listening, I mean, this has been an amazing conversation. Where do you like for them to check out your work online, talk to us about where you show up and where you’d like to direct people,

Murray Hidary 1:20:38
Where people can go to very simplemindtravel.com, doesn’t get any easier. Everything is there, there’s links to a whole library of recordings people can download, instantly, they can just go there and be listening right away. There’s also a schedule of both virtual which, you know, we started to do during the last 15 months. And, and, surprisingly, we found a beautiful intimacy, even through zoom concerts and zoom experience that Yeah, so you can check that out as well. And we even have an online community called mind travel mastery, where we dig in to the kind of stuff we’re talking about, you know, what the, the the real elements of what it means to live a deliberate, purposeful life, right, and music is the rapper. So that we can, allows us to open up our heart to welcome those ideas and actually integrate them into our lives. But we go deep, we talk about this stuff, you know, from what it means to be in a flow state to what love really means, underneath the hood of love, to joy to attachment, what does attachment really mean? How is it holding us back with our expectations of others in our lives, and, you know, really, really powerful conversations that can be transformative. So So I invite people to check out mine travel.com and see what works for them. And if it does, then you’re all invited.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:22:03
Awesome. Well, I love that and for all listeners, be sure to visit Marie’s website and Murray, if you show up on social media, I’m really happy to share your links there as well. I so appreciate the everything that we’ve covered in this conversation. And I feel like there’s more but it’s been really lovely to connect with you. It’s been an absolute delight. Thank you so much. Be sure to hop over. Give us a rating and some love. Let let us know that you like this conversation. It will help other people find it and be sure to check out the show notes at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Thank you. We’ll see in the next episode.

GGGB Outro 1:23:19
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit & Great Business™ podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us, too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.