Can you share with us a little about your background, experience and your passions in life?
Hey! Thanks for taking the time to read! My name is Basil Simon and I am a musical life coach. I sing, I compose, I produce and I write songs for myself and other artists.
I am the owner of Jumbojam records. I am also the composer of the Sealand national anthem and have had music published for TV, radio and film. I am currently working on new music with my production partner Frank Pels (Womack & Womack).
In 2011 I had the great pleasure of working with Gary Barlow, Olly Murs, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa during my inclusion on the X Factor show.
I made it to the last 16 of the overs category before being released after having a serious heart complication in boot camp. Who knows what might have been if I had been a smaller human instead of large and round!
More about Basil's story
So…. a little about my background. Well…. I was raised in middle class Manchester in an area riddled with bullies. Being called ‘Basil’ at a time when a pointless glove puppet was famous on TV called ‘Basil Brush’, didn’t help my popularity in any useful manner.
Another TV character called ‘Basil Faulty’ was having a similar disastrous effect. My alcoholic violent mother and I lived in a cold house with broken windows, mold and rats.
There was no father in my life and my mother arranged for me to be baby sat by her solicitor from the age of 4 onward.
‘Uncle Paul’ was a very calculating and intelligent pedophile who used me for his twisted pleasure all through my childhood. This secret served to help me develop an eating disorder from a very early age.
I was addicted to jam sandwiches aged seven! The feelgood factor they delivered was desirable stimulus for a very troubled child!
A bad home life plus street bullies regularly chasing and beating me, helped send me over to uncle Paul regularly who was living a very wealthy lifestyle.
I got to be a part of that if I just accepted the cost in terms of sexual exploitation. The eating disorder developed right through my adult life and by the age of 45 I was 36 stones in weight. (228 kg – 512lb – one quarter of a US metric tonne).
I had to agree to a dangerous operation or die. I agreed even though the operation might have killed me anyway. I figured my long suffering wife’s life would improve no matter what the outcome was and so I proceeded.
The operation was a success! She got her husband back! Once the food party was over my addictive centres focused on drugs and alcohol, this was the next episode in my self destructive story!
Today I weigh around 20 stones (still a pavement cracker!) and have been clean from all substances for 18 months. (A big thanks goes out to my support group!)
Needless to say – this challenging history gave me a lot to think about.
In the end I endured and gained wisdom from trauma. I survived against the odds and today share my best thoughts and observations through my music and my writing to help others.
If nothing else…. the one thing my history has taught me is that nothing in this existence matters more than ‘Goodness’.
Goodness is my core principle and my guiding light in all things I do.
What would you say are your top 3 core values in life?
Goodness. Truth. Integrity.
If you could choose any new skill to have, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to learn new languages. I don’t seem to possess the right memory skills!
If I could learn say …Spanish? then I could communicate with more humans on this planet and share my music and knowledge to a much bigger portion of Earths inhabitants!
If you could select one piece of advice that you feel the world needs to listen to and bring into reality, what would it be?
The serenity prayer springs to mind here. I am not religious but there is some inspiring words in that bible book thing.Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Click To Tweet
So making realistic decisions is the first important thing to understand. But … crucial in all the decisions we humans make; our decisions must be GOOD!
When we have a clear idea of what constitutes goodness and try to adhere to that in all things we do and say, then we become a part of the human solution.
Who is your virtual coach/mentor, and why?
The only mentor I have in this life is my sponsor in my support fellowship. He is a very wise and impressive man ten years older than myself who has successfully remained clean and serene for over 31 years.
He has taught and guided me how to live with a crazy addict brain using love care and commitment in accordance with the 12 step program. His name is ‘Ray’.
I actually knew about him before I met him or was even in the support group because my brother in law had him as his sponsor and asked me if I could write a song for this amazing man.
I did agree and you can listen to ‘Ray of Hope’ by Basil Simon on YouTube. Now, when I hear this song it feels like I thanked him for helping me – before I ever even met him! Freaky!
What is your “secret ingredient” for a happier and fulfilling life?
If we remain open minded we are then always capable of learning.
If we remain capable of learning then we can grow.
When we grow we become fulfilled and happier as a result!
Which habit do you think is making you a better, happier, and healthier person?
Self maintenance. This is something I failed to do for such a long time. Once I started to love myself, take care of myself better and monitor myself properly I gained balance and harmony in my life.
Eating the best I can, taking regular exercise, maintaining my hygiene and remaining committed to living in the solution all help to keep the stresses of life down to a minimum, keeping me healthy and encouraging a good mental health state.
I have also learned that I do need stimuli in this life. Previously the stimulus I was choosing was destructive.
Now I choose stimulus that is productive. This definitely helps good mental health.
How did you build this habit?
My mentor/sponsor helped me to understand how my living habits were sabotaging me. My choices of stimulation were designed to help me avoid the raw me.
The raw me is the feelings I experience without any stimulation. Because the raw me was always an uncomfortable place to be I turned to destructive stimulus as a solution.
Food, drugs, alcohol are all examples of this. I learned through application that self maintenance had major benefits. From there it just became a question of discipline!
Crucial to this whole process was understanding my innermost self. Understanding who I am, why I am, where I came from, how the world shaped me and why I feel the way I do in my raw emotional state.
Facing these things led to me forming the habit of healthy self maintenance.
What helps you when you are stressed or anxious?
Anxiety and stress used to be a major issue for me in life. It resulted in heart issues. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks. I used to react angrily to many situations and was constantly frustrated when life failed to conform to my ideals.
In the end I learned that I was the creator of my own stress. I was distressing myself with my own imaginings. I would have expectations around situations and people that were actually unrealistic.
I learned that acceptance of the natural order of the world was crucial to experiencing any level of harmony in life.
When the wind blows the branches, and leaves fall from trees cluttering the ground we do not become anxious or stressed about that. We accept this as the nature of the tree.
Why would words falling from mouths of humans be any different? When people say things they are just being themselves according to their nature. I do not have to react. (unless I am effected practically, then I must be assertive)
So I keep my reactions under control by accepting life on life’s terms. These days I accept the human weather as a passing phenomena.
If I ever do find myself getting uptight I put myself into check and immediately realize I need to calm my expectations and practice acceptance.False expectation is the mother of all resentment. Click To Tweet
What book changed your life, and in what way?
The Green and Gold 12 step working program. This book changed my life. It allowed me to gain a true spiritual understanding of myself and my relationship with my life.
It helped me investigate my own behavior, nature and relationship with life and understand where I had real opportunity for growth.
I did have a good approach to my life prior to finding this book but the Green and Gold was the icing on my cake of spiritual awareness! (for me…’Spiritual’ = deep understanding of the innermost self)
Are you into journaling/bujo? If yes, in what way do you journal?
In a way I do operate my own bujo. I write articles online via social media, blogs and Quora. This provides a way for me to document the most important observations and events of my life.
Do you practice mindfulness? If yes, why did you start and what do you like about the practise of mindfulness?
For me mindfulness is very much looking after the mental welfare of others. In turn this looks after me. When I speak or perform an action my first priority is to do so in a way that is comfortable to others. (I do not always succeed!)
Being mindful is a central consideration for me as a person practicing goodness. Being mindful developed over years but I think was originally born from fear and paranoia.
I learned at an early age that saying or doing the wrong thing could get me hurt. As I grew through life this of course matured into becoming good intention, rather than being a reaction through necessity for survival.
On a daily basis I have a practical, personal way of being mindful. As I slip through the timeline of my life I constantly monitor events, actions, interactions and my part in things.
Every night I think back to these events. I do a personal inventory. If I see that my part in something was inadequate and falling short of goodness, then I make a note to address that the following day.
This might be a comment I made, an action I performed or even something I should have done but didn’t. If there is anything that requires treatment I make a note. I make sure to take care of my side of the street.
Making amends is for me a big part of being mindful. When I go to a person and acknowledge my mistakes then I stop that person harbouring concerns about me and potentially suffering mentally.
I have learned that if I fail to be mindful with people then I can create concerns in regards to me in others. Those concerns can then amount to resentment.
Resentments can then add up to being disrespect. Disrespect can then create dissent, vengeance and malpractice against me.
Not good! Being unmindful is a great way for me to sabotage my own life!
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Make a list. I write down on paper everything that needs to be addressed and decide on just one thing that would be a good first step.When we are marooned in a world where we are overwhelmed we need to regain some sense of control. Click To Tweet
Often it is the big picture that overwhelms us. When we break reality down into small sections we are better positioned to understand and address it.
The very moment I start to work on that first item on my list a wonderful thing happens. I immediately gain a new sense of being back in control!
I have a plan and executing that plan provides instant benefit!
What is the most unusual thing you are grateful for?
Today, I have no toothache! I once had an agonizing toothache and ever since I occasionally reflect on the fact I have none right now!
It truly feels like something to behold as magical!
What makes a “Good Day” a good day for you?
Each day experienced without toothache is indeed a good day!
What question I should have asked you by now that I haven’t yet…? What would your answer be?
How am I today? – glad you asked!
Well…. today I am grateful for not having pain. Arthritis has been a problem after carrying around such a heavy body most of my life and wearing out my joints.
Today I do feel in harmony with the world, everything is as it should be. I feel driven by my mission to deliver my best creative and intellectual works to the world with the fullest intention of encouraging positive human understanding and growth.
As a result I am currently planning the release of a new album to be called “Flowers on the waste ground”. This is also the title song and was written in collaboration with my production partner Frank Pels.
This song is a metaphor highlighting the importance of seeking out the good in the bad. The recent global pandemic has certainly challenged us all to remain positive and I believe that right now it is vital we appreciate the good things present in our lives.
The sense that the world has changed demands we re-evaluate our attitudes and priorities for how we can live in the new human solution.
This new album will be an album for thinking developing people! Anyway… this has been nice… I hope you have a wonderful day but now… I will go and roast vegetables!
InsightWhen we have a clear idea of what constitutes goodness and try to adhere to that in all things we do and say, then we become a part of the human solution. Click To Tweet
For anyone interested in gaining an idea of what goodness might be please do feel free to visit Basil’s official website where he has prepared a good definition of ‘good’ v ‘bad’.