Something caught my ear in this interview the other night.
Sting (Gordon Sumner) talks about how much it moves him that people come up to him and tell him how his music has been a theme in their lives, or his music changed their lives, or had a profound effect, whether they got married, fell in love to it, etc.
And he joked "I just got into it to find women."
Well, of course, he found Trudy. And has had a gaggle of kids while finding her. But I digress.
In the research behind "Flipside: A Tourist's Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife" and "It's a Wonderful Afterlife," and now "Hacking the Afterlife" I've filmed people under deep hypnosis talking about their "life planning sessions."
I've reported my own five different between life sessions, but it was in my first session when I asked my guides the question: "So why did I choose my life?" and the answer was "Every thought, action, word or deed contains your energy. So if you write a poem, sing a song, write a book, paint a painting - every talk show you do - some part of your energy, who you are as a soul, your heart - goes into that work. Whether you work in a bank, or move digits around on a board, some of your energy goes into that as well - but if you're doing that work with your heart, then it can be a healing energy."
I said that I chose a lifetime in film because I felt that combining words, visuals and music I could help heal people. And then I said "I just wish I'd chosen someone more successful at it." Which elicited a laugh from my spirit guides and the hypnotherapist doing the session - the only time I've gotten laughs on both sides of the veil.
But Sting did the same. When he signed up for this lifetime he wanted to help heal people with music. He's an amazing singer, gifted musician, and has explored a variety of different styles. But at his core, it's not about the content of each lyric, it's about the intent and heart that he brings to his work - and that is attached to the music and lyrics and stylings - which directly affects people on the planet.
And they come up and say it to him; aloud. "You changed my life. Thank you."
There's no greater honor then to sacrifice your life for others. There's no greater gift that you can give then to give your heart to others.
Yes, he's had a great journey and path, and yes, he's had pain and sorrow and suffering too. It's written in his face. But when someone comes up to you and says "Your music helped form who I am as a person" you need to see that was what he signed up to do. It's healing. It's helping. It's why he's on the planet.
Some years ago, I reviewed Sting's show at the Wiltern when I was writing for Variety. After the show, I got to meet him backstage, and then for some odd reason, I was on a plane the next day to go to Italy. And when I got off the plane in London, and went to the passport agent, Sting was standing in line behind me. And I turned and introduced myself. "Hi, I'm Rich, I met you at your show the other night."
And he nodded, used to fans and fandom. I added "I write for Variety." The look on his face reminded me of when I was sitting next to Van Morrison and said the same sentence. Van said "I don't talk to the media" and got up from the table. "But I'm not The Media" I said. (And I had my film "You Can't Hurry Love" pay him $30K for the use of "Wild Night" in a clip, but I forgot to mention that part.)
Anyways, he seemed chagrined that a "critic" was in the same line as him. Moments later, I was going to the kiosk to catch the British Air flight to Rome, and he was there too. He waved me over and introduced me to his wife Trudy. "This is Rich Martini, he wrote the Variety review."
She brightened, and he said it as if it was something he'd actually read. I thought "Wow, polite guy." I tried to not hover or talk too much other than to say I was a fan. On the plane, I sat in steerage, but as I left, passing through first class, I saw the sweater that Trudy had been wearing sitting on the floor. So I grabbed it and when we got to customs I shouted out "Oh, Missus Sting! You forgot your sweater!"
It was worth the laugh. "Mrs Sting" couldn't have been more appreciative.
But wait. There's more. About six months later, I was talking to someone on his staff, and they said "He's coming into town. I'm sure he'd want you to have a ticket." I wasn't reviewing the show, was reluctant to call, but I did. When his personal assistant said "Why are you calling?" I said "Well, I saved Trudy's sweater on the plane." And his assistant said, "Do you realize how many people call me every day to get free tickets to his shows? And you're calling because you saved her sweater?"
I mumbled, "Well, it was a long story, but it was because I write for Variety..." and the assistant interrupted me. "You wrote the Variety review?" I paused. Uh-oh. Maybe they didn't like it. Gulp. "Yes."
She said, "That was the best review I've read. (She may say that to all reviewers, what do I know?) It covered his life, his journey, his writer's block, and talked about finding his voice when he went back to his father's hometown..." I blushed... over the phone. She said "What night do you want tickets for?" So I went to see him again, sat in the seat like any other fan. He's great.
Some years later, I ran into him at an art gallery. I said "Hi, you don't remember me but..." He interrupted me: "Rich Martini" he said. Shook my hand. "Thanks for saving my wife's sweater."
This guy is something else this Sting.
So I know he's going to read this post. He's that kind of a guy. Checks stuff out, remembers it, soaks it in, turns it into a song. If not him, then his assistant, or someone out there in the ether will pass it along.
He will read this blog, this memory down life's lane. And I'm here to tell him that the story he told on Colbert is the essence of why he chose to be on the planet. How do I know that? Because in the 35 cases I've filmed, the 7000 I've examined from Michael Newton, and the 2000 from Dr. Helen Wambach - they all say the same thing.
We choose to come here. And we choose to do the work that we're going to do so we can help other people.
I print transcripts of these filmed sessions in the book "Flipside" and "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" and "Hacking the Afterlife." And the film "Flipside" is actual footage of people saying these things. Consistently. Over and over and over again. Under hypnosis. And in the latest book - not under anything at all.
So Gordon chose this life - chose this name, which is not only associated with bees, but is a musical term, like a cymbal being smacked - a "sting" - On behalf of all those people on the planet that you chose to change their lives; thanks dude.