Photo of Jonny Barefoot playing guitar

Jonny Barefoot: Open for Inspiration

Jonny Barefoot is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, childrens’ music teacher from Toronto, living in Japan.

Jonny’s passion is to hear the music in every aspect of his life. Jonny and I know each other from when we were teenagers. I’ve always been curious about his experience in Japan, and invited him on the podcast after we reconnected over social media. In this wide ranging conversation, Jonny catches us up on life in Japan and we explore the intersection of culture, spirituality, religion, education, and one of our favourite books – The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.

Conversation highlights

  • Jonny shares what it was like to move from Toronto to Japan.
  • From teaching English to teaching music to children through the Music Together program.
  • A look at the indigenous spiritual culture of Japan in contrast to Jonny’s Catholic upbringing in Canada.
  • Consistency of practice – whether it’s music, meditation, going to church, or writing down inspiration when it comes.
  • Creating music in COVID times.
  • The importance of owning your style.
  • Highlights from The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo.
  • Creativity and spirituality as open practice vs imposing structure and willing things to be a certain way.
  • Jonny shares the inspiration behind his latest album, Sunrise in Reverse.

Memorable quotes from Jonny Barefoot

On owning your style:

“And then at that point, I thought yeah, I think I’m really going to own this sound. This is mine and I’m gonna let this grow inside me. And it was like a search was over.”

On practice:

“If you approach it like that, it’s I’m going to go and teach this class because that’s what I do every day. And that’s the practice. I’m going to sit Zen, that’s what I do every day. And that’s the practice. And whether it comes naturally and fluidly and flowingly, or it’s a absolute drudgery, it’s still what you do.”

Mentioned in this episode

Jonny Barefoot’s album Sunrise in Reverse on Bandcamp

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Laura’s interview with Brad Warner: Letters to a Dead Friend About Zen

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki

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Free Your Inner GuruSelf growth and leadership without the hype, hustle & hubris. 🎧 Podcast & Community for Discerning Seekers
❓❓Q: What's the story behind Free Your Inner Guru podcast and community? ❓❓ A: If you're like me, you appreciate knowing a little about the origin story behind any project. Plus there's stuff here to know before listening to the newest episode with Dr Janja Lalich: When Self Help Turns Cult. (This is a long read, continued in the comments - if you prefer, go to the ORIGIN STORY link @freeyourinnerguru bio and read it as a blog where I’m keeping it updated.) My name is Laura Tucker. In my professional life, I've been a teacher, corporate trainer, salesperson, self employed business consultant, gym owner, and leadership coach. My favourite things to do are read, write, ride my bike, hike and travel, preferably with a camera in my hands. I'm intensely passionate about outdoor nature photography. ⛰️ I lived in Toronto, my original home town until 2005, at which point I packed up my dog and fledgling consulting business, and moved across Canada to Kelowna, British Columbia. I wanted to be closer to big nature , so I could use my camera more in my daily lifestyle. So, given all that, why do I host Free Your Inner Guru? While I was working as a consultant in the automotive industry in 2008, I went on a #personalgrowth journey. We were in the throes of the Great Recession. I needed something to keep myself uplifted while I supported my clients through a challenging economic period. TURNS OUT, I'M A SEEKER I didn't know it at the time, but I was in "seeking mode," looking for answers to the big questions we ask ourselves about life when the going gets tough. Continued in comments πŸ‘‡

Laura Tucker

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