1) How did you become this powerful messenger using music?
It has been quite a process! All along, these songs have been spawned out of my spiritual development and consciousness work, which has been a life-long quest and passion. My passion for this work is the driver and foundation for the music. The songs keep pouring out of me, as if in some sort of a musical conversation with source and the divine. My songwriting process has always been a therapeutic means for me to encapsulate the lesson or epiphany that I need. They are deeply personal yet, as I began to share them, I realized that they are universal. Once I fully recognized this and accepted that this is a gift I have been given – a useful gift to humanity – I stepped in and began to fully own the fact that it is my calling and my purpose. As Gandhi said, “There is a force in the universe which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.” This force is clearly flowing through me. The energetic response is released through music. So, in essence, I have been becoming a messenger all along and I am still in the process of becoming it. There is so much work to do in me, which will ultimately be reflected through music. It is synonymous with the concept that awakening happens in steps and stages and layers. Everything up to this point has all been preparation, experience, skills building, closet clearing, shadow work, dream building, and dismantling that laid the foundation for what I knew all along – that this powerful force in the form of music could flow through and benefit humanity.
2) What was it like to quit your job and begin serving and touring full time?
My heart immediately expanded and my soul immediately danced, but (quite honestly) my head took a while to catch up. I would have done it a long time ago had it not been for my head, which is probably always the case with this sort of thing. At this point, almost one full year away from the “day job,” I can honestly say it was the perfect time. It always is, of course, as the universe knows this to be true. But, oh, how wonderful for your whole being to recognize it as well. That is the true stepping in and stepping up to watch the universe line up and conspire with you. When you fully step in and get out of the way, well, that is about the most powerful and most humbling faith-building exercise one can ever experience.
This is not implying that I have not been tested along the way! The tests and validations come in waves. In full disclosure, it was not a mind blowing, “wow-life-is-finally-now-amazing-and-I-can-finally-get-on-with-it” kind of feeling. It was a more subtle feeling inside, like I was stepping into a more sacred role in this life. I was no longer about the superficial or the money and no longer serving the wrong master. It was actually quite humbling and serene and perhaps anti-climatic in a way. Probably like the difference between happiness and joy. This is joy.
3) What and who inspire you to create your songs?
Staring into the trees. A vulture soaring overhead. A glance into someone’s eyes. Sitting in traffic. Reading a good book. A phrase in a discussion with friends. Hearing a powerful piece of music. Watching a good movie. A quote from Rumi or Hafiz. All of these are conversations that source is having with me to inspire a song. I have become a good listener and dictation tool for source. In short, the natural world, wisdom, and consciousness expansion inspire the songs. That is the purpose of it all.
4) What are some of the themes that are prevalent in your music?
Mostly I write songs that have been personal tools for me to transcend where I am, awaken further and further, expand my consciousness, and put an end to the trance that I have been in. The beliefs that have been holding me back from fully experiencing this gift of life that I am. I call that part Trance-End = Transcend. The themes are all about transformation, growth, awakening, leaning into life head on and wide open, opening up the windows that have been shut for many years, airing it out, stepping in, stepping up, stepping out, softening, appreciating, believing, breathing, gratitude, forgiveness, nurturing, witnessing, traveling, harnessing the invisible power that we all have and we all are. Plus, I write some songs about “so-called” death, because it is inevitably the one thing that we can’t not believe, so it gets everyone’s attention. A true trance-ender.
5) What touches your heart most when you are performing?
Feeling the oneness of hearts beating together, seeing the faces smiling together, watching the tears of remembrance flowing and walls coming down, experiencing the pure essence of spirit, sensing the divine flowing through my instruments as I open up to them, and then noticing it all filter into each soul in the room as they echo back their remembrance with a simple nod or just that look that says, “Yeah, I know.” This is truly something that grabs my heart every time – feeling the divine speaking so clearly and so universally. For me to be a channel to this is my portrait of honor, humility, and gratitude etched into my heart each and every time. Knowing that this will be carried into lives and touch so many more hearts and souls creates the ripples.
6) Tell us about your new CD putalittlemoreloveintheworld.
The title track says it all. It is one word, one statement, and is – in fact – a movement to do just that. Put more love in the world. For the most part, we complicate matters tremendously, particularly when it comes to spirituality and philosophy. We all seek and crave love and acceptance for who we are, what we are, and where we are on the path of our life. We all want to be loved. That is clear. So the golden rule is to treat each other as we wish to be treated. If we want love then we give love. Give love even when our hearts are achy and not feeling like loving, and especially when our hearts are contracting. So the message is big, yet simple. The CD is a cornucopia of spiritual insights, rich tones and textures, completely accessible songs, and life-enhancing messages that will leave seeds of transformation in many minds and in the collective consciousness. It has tones of rock, pop, folk, and Americana, but is more seeped in spirituality than musical genres. Each and every song carries a powerful message of depth, transformation, and insight.
7) Tell us about your Gratitude Concerts.
This is the “mission” part of my work. It is where I get to give back to the communities who have so graciously supported my work. After a long weekend of events and workshops, I usually end up with a free day. That is when I usually schedule these gratitude concerts. They are primarily for those who can’t get out to hear me in venues and such. I serve in correctional facilities, cancer centers, hospitals through Musicians On Call, schools for developmentally challenged, retirement homes, homeless centers, and more. It is always at zero cost to the service organization and always a joy to give back. I also donate my time to teach mindfulness through conscious breathwork and meditation to cancer patients and to inmates in maximum security prisons.
8) How do you live your own philosophy – walk your talk – in the world?
It’s a never-ending devotion. Practice, practice, practice. It is easy to get caught up in the trance of life, even (especially) fulfilling the mission that you were put here for. You have to take time to tune your instrument. I spend most of my life consuming and experiencing spiritual and inspiration content, sitting in the essence of the lessons and diving deep inside to catch the resonance within. When I start to feel the resonance, this is where my attention goes, and – not so ironically – where songs come from. I use the techniques of breathwork, mindfulness in all activities, and some other intermittently regular practices of yoga, meditation, and Qi Gong. I believe if you hold true to the philosophy that we are all apprentices and there are no masters, you will leave the ceiling wide open for continuous expansion. I feel I have a lot more expansive possibilities in store and much more work to do.
9) You also do workshops and retreats with your partner Shannon…what are those like?
These retreats are a joy. It is an honor and privilege to work with my beloved in these retreats and workshops. It is something that we both thrive on doing and I see us doing many more. We love to travel to beautiful places to experience the energies that invite such sweet spaces for transformation and growth. Our last retreat was in Costa Rica; we called it Zen to Zipline. We had a wonderful group and it was a truly humbling and beautiful experience to see the work sinking in and knowing it will be carried into individual’s lives and communities. The retreats and workshops allow us all to take a deeper dive into the songs and messages. The music is the soundtrack and often the starting points for the conversations and is neatly framed around lessons, experiential exercises, activities, and group discussions for the purpose of allowing a space for transformation and growth to occur. We also use breathwork, yoga, and other practices to open up each participant to full engagement in the process so that spirit can do its work. These events are the backbone of the true work that we are here to do.
10) Where can people sample and buy your music?
All in one place, WWW.BOBSIMA.COM. You can hear seven songs in their entirety and purchase both physical CDs and digital album downloads. If you stream music through Pandora, you can also set up a Bob Sima station. The music is also on Amazon and iTunes.
11) How can people bring you to their hometown or events?
Contact us through the website or direct email to BOOKING@BOBSIMA.COM and we will have a conversation about concerts, Sunday services, workshops, retreats, yoga festivals, business events, and any other creative idea that will integrate this music with conscious intentions. We are always open to collaboration and co-creating the perfect event for your desires. We travel domestically and internationally, and are at the service of spirit to get these messages out to the world, one community at a time. One extremely effective way to find me in your local area is by making a personal introduction to your local theater, yoga studios, listening room, holistic health centers, spiritual centers, and other venues that might be interested in sharing and spreading this music and message to their clientele. First-hand referrals from a local citizen is often more significant than us sending a press kit and making a cold introduction. If you can gather several people to rally for this music, that is even more influential. I do concerts in community theatres, churches, listening rooms, commercial venues, and sometimes even in homes (which are called house concerts). I also design intentional concerts, which means we create a theme to build on and incorporate some interesting additions like vocal toning, meditations, breathwork, and a traditional concert set. I support corporate events and retreats; provide musical keynotes at conferences; and deliver workshops on breathwork for stress relief and on expanding creativity for organizations.
12) Where and with whom would you like to see your music being integrated with ideas of conscious capitalism?
Capitalism and corporations have grown so far beyond what anyone ever envisioned and can be looked at as both a blessing and a curse. There are many things at this moment in history that are not sustainable and are, in fact, clearly guiding the human race into a direction of darkness and a state of imbalance. My intention is to point the music toward corporate leaders who have resources to influence positive shifts that impact a vast number of people and communities. This music provides additional fuel for empowerment and taking action. It can actively resonate through the walls as that daily reminder – that supporting soundtrack – for conscious business decisions. My charter is to offer a musical conversation that will add entertainment and poignant punctuation to some of their events and training. I often comment that I would like to sit with the executives of Walmart, Starbucks, and other major corporations who have the ability to make small yet significantly impressionable changes for the higher good of society.