Recently, I finished listening to module 1 of Amplify (by Steve Pavlina) for the first time. I went through all the workbook exercises for those lessons and tried to come up with short answers in my journal. So, here are my thoughts on the course so far.

Module 1’s theme is “The Frame Game”. I am familiar with this idea as I have worked with experts in removing limiting beliefs or with CBT (where you examine your thoughts, actions, behaviors, responses, etc. and you explore alternatives). So, this concept is not new to me. I understood it right away. I think even if someone did not know about these ideas, they could easily learn them through his presentation on the topic. Sometimes, I feel very limited in my thinking when it comes to trying alternative frames. That’s probably normal because we’re used to seeing things a certain way. But, I know I could always ask someone else for their thoughts to find new frames that I haven’t yet explored.

The workbook gives different exercises for you to do to explore new frames. For example, there’s one about your relationship with your inner muse. There’s another about personifying threats in your life and examining your relationship with those threats. Even if it seemed external, I felt like a lot of these were just a reflection of myself.

Though, one that seemed external/unknowable to me was figuring out life’s intentions. I have a distant relationship with life outside of myself, so I don’t normally think about what a higher being wants from me. I used to think life was positive and that the seemingly negative events were guiding me to a greater path. But after a particular hardship I faced, I wondered if that were really true. I wondered if life had good values or if it could be secretly hateful at times. I wondered if it were just neutral and that it would just allow the worst things possible to happen to you. I still don’t know what life really wants, needs, or desires. But through the last call we had, Steve mentions how the flow and resistance you feel can be indicators of what life intends.

The course focuses on creativity, but it made me think about my experience with hearing a command voice. Basically, this is an experience where sometimes my body moves without me controlling it, or something will make me talk out loud without me controlling it, or will say something in my head similar to a thought but more like conversation. At first, I found it to be an interesting experience, and I thought “Universe” was trying to guide me and help me with achieving my goals/dreams. And, I’d often say, “Hey, I am Law of Attraction! Let me do it on my own!” And then when the command voice stuck around, I tried to be friends with it, and for a while I was on this high of life. And then eventually, it became very negative and suicidal. I didn’t understand why this was happening at all. Why would a higher being want something to encourage me to kill myself, when I was trying to spread positive messages with the work I was doing?

Recently though, I thought, what if this experience were to teach me about the struggles of suicidal people or people with mental illnesses in general? I used to think that it was so simple to remove limiting beliefs and to change your thoughts and that this same idea could be applied to the content that I was hearing from the voice. But when I tried to do see if the voice had limiting beliefs and if I could remove them, it didn’t seem to follow logic or emotion. Sometimes, it actually became worse. It can be like an unexplainable physical illness. Sometimes, your body fights against you. Some people are allergic to water, for instance. Some people’s intestinal tracts tear or rip up when consuming fibrous vegetables or fruits. Some people function at a high level for years, and then suddenly develop hearing a suicidal or threatening voice.

A while ago, I came up with the possibility that perhaps the voice has no limiting beliefs. It might be open to any possibility, even the possibility that we can willfully live a life of negativity, so why not explore that. It’s possible, but I’ll never really know what motivates the voice to act in a particular way. It often blurs the line between truth and what I label as storytelling. I don’t know when it’s telling me something it actually feels or when it’s making up a story, or if it simply has no feeling at all.

I’m not trying to spin hearing voices into something positive. It’s something I would never wish for anyone. Some people experience hearing positive voices. Psychics sometimes claim to hear spirit guides. Personally, I never wanted to hear voices in general, because I don’t want it to hold so much power or influence. But, having a command voice taught me more about mental illness in general, and how it’s not always so straight-forward. There are probably other reframes that I haven’t even considered yet.

I don’t have a favorite lesson from module 1 as of now. All the lessons are useful. I do think I will have to return to some of the lessons, particularly the one about social, individual, and life-level intentions. I want to expand on what I came up with for life-level intentions and see if I can come up with more. So far, I’ve come up with life wanting to express itself through me, and life wanting to destigmatize mental health/illness.

So far after enrolling in this course, I’ve signed up for BMI (performing right organization) for my music, I’ve set up my original song for release in less than a month, I’ve created lyrics videos for my song for both YouTube and IGTV when it releases, I’ve released some merch for my music (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but procrastinated on), I’ve livestreamed, and I’ve created a worksheet that focuses on habit change through identity. I don’t know if these are directly related to enrolling in the course… I would think so because you can be influenced by the people you interact with, and since it’s a creative group, I guess I would be inspired to create more in general.

In terms of my music in general though, I still have ways to go. I haven’t worked on music production for the past week. I got sidetracked focusing on health goals such as exercising or reaching my food goals. Though, I have been actively trying to find a new music producer to work with. I’ve been leaning more into the idea.

Module 2 has 11 lessons, so it will be another 3-4 weeks before I review that if I’m keeping my current pace (3-4 lessons a week). Module 2’s theme is “Opportunity”. I think this is what I was interested in learning more about before signing up for the course, find opportunities to share your art or music with more people, or finding golden opportunities in general. So, I’m looking forward to it.