From A Life of Matter To A Life That Matters: Jason Garner’s Journey From Music Industry CEO to Spiritual Warrior

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“It’s not about finding peace, it’s about being at peace with what we find.”

Jason Garner


Imagine yourself a top executive at the very apex of the music industry food chain. Your job requires you to travel the world first class and wine and dine the biggest musical acts on the planet like Jay Z, Beyoncé, Coldplay and John Mayer. And you’re making so much cash, you’ve twice been named to Fortune magazine’s annual list of the top 20 highest paid executives under 40.

Now imagine walking away from it all. Why? 

Raised by a single mom in a series of unstable living situations, Jason Garner learned early and often how to look after himself. With street-wise hustle and natural salesmanship, he worked hard in school and later even harder in business.

Scrapping his way from a weekend job at a flea market to owning his own concert company, by the time he was 37 Jason had become CEO of Global Music at Live Nation Entertainment — the world’s largest concert promotion company and arguably the most important corporate entity in the entire music industry.

It can safely be said he made it.

Unfortunately, never once did Jason pause to take a breath. Operating on the misplaced belief that in order to be loved, he had to be the best, Jason would have happily pursued his career path all the way to the grave.

But then something happened. Something that would change everything.

In the wake of his second divorce, the single mom that was Jason’s everything contracted stomach cancer. Her sudden death brought his life to a halt and his ego to its knees. Compelled to re-evaluate his life top to bottom, Jason finally asked himself a most important question:

what really matters?

To answer this, Jason did the unthinkable for someone in his exalted executive position: he quit his job.

And for the first time in his life, Jason actually breathed.

For the next several years, he immersed himself in the study and practice of health and spirituality. He got to know himself and the inner-workings of his mind. And he met the woman of his dreams.

Today he is both student and teacher of all things spiritual, mindful and meditative. A man who has spent literally thousands of hours sitting cross-legged with Masters of body, mind and spirit. A journey to wholeness that has left Jason far happier and more personally fulfilled than he ever was in his envious capacity as a prestigious CEO in perhaps the sexiest business in the world.

Jason shares his fantastic voyage to self-love and self-acceptance — from living for matter to living to matter — in his quite compelling memoir … And Then I Breathed: My Journey from a Life of Matter to a Life That Matters. Plenty of further insights can be found on his thought provoking blog at jasongarner.com.

Jason is a beautiful, special soul. His courage, commitment and warmth (he signs all his e-mails with “Big Hugs”) inspires me to do and be better. It was an honor to sit in his vibration and I’m proud to share this conversation. A conversation that traverses the elegant arc of Jason’s life with a focus on all things meditation & mindfulness, including:

  • living for matter vs. living to matter
  • dogma-free spirituality
  • spiritual entrepreneurship
  • radical selfishness
  • self-help vs. self-love
  • opting out of the ‘American Dream’
  • mindfulness in the pursuit of goals
  • measurable metrics and personal joy
  • self-discovery & being present in life through loss
  • the role of mentors in business & spirituality; and
  • the warrior monk mentality

Today’s question: Are you living life “for matter” or “to matter”?

I’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,

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SHOW NOTES

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Background, Context & Reference:

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Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

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