“Let go of the results and accept all possible outcomes, including your worst fears.”
LA-based singer/songwriter, Sean Alan channels the classic luminaries of Nashville and Muscle Shoals, with a bit of Detroit and Philly soul thrown in. His newly penned, but iconically nuanced tracks are reminiscent of Otis Redding, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. We chat to Sean about meditation, music and balance.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
Listening to world music and vintage b-sides. Reading “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie. Watching “Mozart n The Jungle” with my wife.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
Most challenging moment was being squeezed and over committed as an artist, full-time speech therapist, graduate student, tutor, guitar teacher, and father of three kids all while my dad was dying.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Playing music, hanging with friends, spending time with family, getting enough sleep, having a good workout/meditation.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Cliche as it is, family. My wife and kids changed my life and made me a much stronger, bolder, and more selfless person.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Work hard, play hard. Exercise, meditate, eat right, take care of business, but also cut loose and have some wild times to find a balance. It requires discipline to maintain the balance.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
As a singer I deal with serious acid reflux problems, so at the moment, by diet is pretty boring. I don’t ever eat fast food and I almost never eat dessert. Balanced meals, minimal dairy, not too much sugar or chemicals. Lots of protein.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I work out almost everyday, but I mix up how I do it. Some days I run, some days lift weights, some days go to the gym, etc…
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
As a kid of the 90’s, I remember rollerblading around the city, feeling free, jumping off of things, also getting beat up by skateboarders, but I will leave that aspect out for the sake of nostalgia.
What three songs lift your spirits?
Willie Nelson—The Maker
Pastor TL Barret and The Youth For Christ Choir—Just Like A Ship
The Lijadu Sisters—Come On Home
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
Hands down “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. That book saved my life.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Workout and meditate. Also get up and do anything proactively that you know you should be doing, like practicing your craft, or promoting your work, or doing your homework, or dealing with something you’ve been procrastinating on. Clean your house. Do things that require vigor. Let go of the results and accept all possible outcomes, including your worst fears. Life is a series of moments and this is one of the unpleasant moments. Breath your way through it and wait for the smoke to clear. Stay focused on doing what you have to do and try to take care of yourself as best as you can till the storm passes.