Prosperity and Love: I approve of myself

If you want lasting prosperity and love you have to approve of yourself one hundred percent.

This is what Louise Hay says.

Nina and I are reading her books right now.

I want lasting prosperity and love, for sure.

Louise says that when you are feeling disapproval for a person or situation try saying "I approve of myself" a whole bunch of times.

Ideally looking yourself right in the eyes in a mirror.

Do you think this sounds dumb?

I don't.

I think Louise is probably right that there's a distinct correlation between how we feel about ourselves and how we react to others.

Another story from the road:

In Brussels, which I love to spell and pronounce as Bruxelles, although the Belgians think the French spelling is a bunch of bullshit, in Brussels there was a man who did not approve.

I was playing my favorite European small club Cafe Bizon.

The owner likes me, the bartenders like me, there's a very large framed photo portrait of me on the wall on the left side of the bar.

I dig the whole scene there and I feel very accepted.

This one man came to the show, and he was a friend of the owner, so he felt very included and felt like he already knew me or could be very open and frank with me.

He saw my light up sign on my merch table, the one that says "COURTNEY YASMINEH STUFF" with a heart and a big smooch mark.

He approached me at my merch table when I was selling and autographing merchandise, and he said in his sassy European accent, "Oh, what is your name? Miss Stuff? Is this you, Miss Stuff?"

And I'm immediately thinking, "Who the fuck are you?" And also, "You should probably shut up and get out of my face."

But I say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying."

He points to my sign and says, "This looks ridiculous. You have to change this. Maybe this is cute in America but here it just looks like 'Jasmine' is your middle name."

Oh brother.

Way to find something to pick on dude.

So I just laughed and ignored the guy.

Then we finished the show and everybody was on Cloud Nine with us because the place was packed like a can of sardines and everyone was singing along to the old Danny Whitten song at the end.

It was a great show.

I went to stand by the owner at the end of the bar afterwards and everyone was coming by and saying how awesome it all was.

But then here comes the same disapproval guy.

He decided he should give me some more helpful feedback.

He addressed the owner of the club and myself, saying, "You are a great performer. Beautiful. But you have ruined the night with your constant begging for money. It's disgusting. It makes people hate you. Yes, they love your voice and the songs, but you give them a reason to leave with your talk about how they need to buy your cds and how you are passing the hat for donations for your tour. You must never do this! Maybe Americans will tolerate this but you are in Europe! We are sophisticated people. We cannot be told to give money. You must never mention money again, and we will give it freely if we think you are worthy. We all know you don't make enough money. Obviously, you are not playing an arena, you are playing this small club. You don't have to explain this to us."

I looked at the owner.

The owner said, "My friend has very strong opinions and when he drinks they are even stronger."

We all laughed.

The man said it all again.

I stood quietly, being chastised.

I thought about the whole thing.

I knew he was right and I also knew he didn't know what it was like to play these kinds of shows in these kinds of places the way I'm doing it.

That night, two beautiful women who are fans and friends of my music went around the club with the club's own musician tip bucket and handfuls of my brand new cd.

They told people that I was on my own independent tour in Europe and that I needed their support.

If people put in a decent amount, five euros or more, they handed them my new album.

We got a few hundred euros over my base pay that way that night.

While the two women were doing that I was announcing that they were coming around and that if people put in a nice donation they'd get the new album as a thank you gift.

As the women walked around the two level bar, which was packed with people as I said, my trio played more great songs for everybody.

I didn't say to the man that this additional money we made would never have happened if I hadn't made that big deal about it.

I can't prove that.

But before I became determined to "monetize" my performances, I never made much in tips at all.

Like maybe ten or twenty bucks the whole night, much of it in ones or coins.

I am looking forward to the upcoming days when I play a concert for a ticket price and none of this talking about money is necessary.

But it isn't true that people naturally see a need and fill it.

I think most people assume that the band is being paid, and well paid if it's a packed house in a nice club.

Our pay for that night was guaranteed at two hundred euros, about two hundred and thirty dollars at most.

That does not create a profit when taking three people on tour.

The supplemental tips and merchandise sales are crucial to make the tour profitable.

If I don't talk about these things on the microphone, no one will pay attention to this aspect of the situation.

I didn't tell the man any of this.

The owner looked at me and the man looked at me.

They waited for me to respond to the man's disapproving speech.

I said, "Well, my friend, you are certainly right about all of this. But I will just say to you that you have not walked a mile or ten thousand miles in my shoes and you can't see it from my perspective. But I thank you so much for showing me what it looks like from yours."

As I think of this story now I think of Louise Hay saying that you must approve of yourself one hundred percent.

I agree with her that when you are feeling disapproval from a situation or person, or when you yourself are disapproving of something or someone, the antidote is to repeat over and over, "I approve of myself. I approve of myself. I approve of myself."

While you're repeating this mantra over and over you are much less likely to tell anybody to fuck off.

Also a good thing.

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