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From Death Sentence to Dulcimer Meditation with Kevin Roth the Author of “Between the Notes: Practical Ways to Find Your Inner Groove and Dance to a Beat That Makes Your Heart Sing”
Episode 2752nd June 2023 • Beyond Adversity with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
00:00:00 00:41:23

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Kevin is a musician that specialises in the instrument Appalachian Dulcimer. He is also a life coach and the author of the book Between the Notes: Practical Ways to Find Your Inner Groove and Dance to a Beat That Makes Your Heart Sing.

In this episode, Kevin shared her journey to finding true success and happiness when he is diagnosed with a disease that endangers his life.

Since childhood, Kevin has been born with an innate love for searching music and spirituality. And he also thought that happiness comes from fame and fortune. So at the early age of 13, Kevin started his career as a musician.

Later in his career, he realizes that being rich and famous does not bring him happiness. And suddenly, he was diagnosed with a disease and given a lifetime limit.

At this moment, Kevin is determined not to give up and fight for his life. This ultimately leads him to be a life coach helping people manage adversity in life. At last, Kevin finds happiness in life.

Kevin Roth talks to Dr Brad about his book “Between the Notes: Practical Ways to Find Your Inner Groove and Dance to a Beat That Makes Your Heart Sing”, which can help people learn not to give up and survive any hardships towards true happiness.

Furthermore, Kevin told Dr Brad how he practices and manifests spirituality. With the help of Robert Wolf, an author who writes topics such as seal realization and non-duality, and also a highly regarded spiritual coach, Kevin learned everything is one thing–everything is God.

Kevin Roth’s story is a motivation, an example that no matter your problems and challenges, there will always be a way towards peace and joy in life.

This episode of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must-listen for any people who are sad, depressed, or mentality down because of the adversities in life, searching for a story of a person who didn’t let his circumstances eat him away; instead, he chose not to give up and fight to live, ultimately leading to him finding the true success and happiness in life.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity and purpose.||





Dr. Brad Miller 0:00

Our guest today is Kevin Roth. He is an experienced and quite accomplished musician. And he has written a new book called Between the Notes: Practical Ways to Find Your Inner Groove and Dance to a Beat That Makes Your Heart Sing. He's also a man who's had his share of challenges and adversity in his life. And Kevin Roth, Welcome to Beyond Adversity, glad you're here.

Kevin Roth 0:27

Thanks for having me.

Dr. Brad Miller 0:29

Dude, it is awesome to have you here on Beyond Adversity. And you got really a fascinating story. And as far as your accomplishments and accolades in the field of music, but you also have had your share of challenges both professionally and in your, in your own, in your own right in your own health. For instance, I'd really like to hear a bit of your story on kind of a synopsis of your story of what sort of things you came through, in order to come to a point of writing this book, and then we'll talk about who this book is for. But tell us a bit about your story, my friend.

Kevin Roth 1:06

all over the place. And about:

Dr. Brad Miller 3:04

Well, it's a fascinating story in a nutshell, and we're gonna unpack it as we go along here. But I did want to understand for a moment that you are, had this artistic spirit about you, as a part of your, your vibe, and who you are, as a human being. And that seems like it's been a part of the whole process of healing and wholeness and coming, coming together out of your disease, but also out of your sense of unhappiness, as you said about when you were rich and famous. So this is an issue not only of your physical disease, but it's an issue of the heart, was it not?

Kevin Roth 3:45

Oh, for certain, yeah. You know, life is a balance of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.

Dr. Brad Miller 3:54

That's and me and music integrates through all those things, in many ways, doesn't it resonates through the spiritual and even, you know, the physical act of making music and, and the, certainly the emotional aspects are all related to a musician's life.

Kevin Roth 4:14

Well, even as a young kid, I wondered where the music came from, because I wasn't reading music. I was an inquisitive kid, being on this planet, never felt like it was home, but I didn't know where home was. So my search was always for a sense of that inner voice calling kind of come home come home. I didn't know that direction and I didn't know really what home was because I rejected religions. I didn't like religions. I like spiritualism. But so eventually, I learned my spiritual worth and direction and that's really where the happiness is that, you know, when you change would look at things that things you look at change, right?

Dr. Brad Miller 5:04

You know, we're gonna talk about that here in a second. But I'm just curious about the dulcimer just for a minute here, just because I have a really good personal friend of mine, who's a quite accomplished, recording recording artist in his own right of the dulcimer. And he loves that. And he just talks about it. And you know, he plays it beautifully, but he talks about it in a real, affectionate terms. Hey, what drew you to the dulcimer and because it's not, you know, it's not electric guitar, you're not rock star kind of thing. It's a, it's a folk kind of a thing. But is there something's really particular about the dulcimer that speaks to you and speaks to people.

Kevin Roth 5:43

Well, it's very simple to play. It's very elegant. It's very sweet sounding, sounds like a cross between a harp and a guitar. And that's what initially attracted me to it sound. It was one of those moments like when you meet someone, and you fall in love, you just know it. Okay, so I knew that was my magic carpet ride.

Dr. Brad Miller 6:05

Well, in a little while, and I don't want to touch it too much deeper now. But that is a historical part. That dulcimer is an integral part of one of your methodology. So that that you teach people and I want to talk about that in a little while. But let's, let's talk about you know, this, you found yourself in a circumstance both in your emotional life, and in your physical health, where you're kind of a bad place. And then you said that you took some action, you did some things in order to work out of that and work into a better place, musics a part of it, I get that. But be a little more specific about what some of the actions that you took, in order to get out of these bad places that you were at the unhappiness. And you know, you said you also really dealt with your disease in this way, too.

Kevin Roth 6:53

lot of time. Now, that was in:

Dr. Brad Miller 8:59

Well, you you're on a pathway, your journey, as you talked about in your, in your book, you're now on a journey that's on a pathway towards something that's productive and good and meaningful, as opposed to being kind of stuck in a place of meaning, less pneus. And you're on this pathway. And you you mentioned a couple times already have already, Kevin about your spiritual nature of this. And so let's just go there for a second you said that you're part of what gave you a sense of purpose and meaningfulness use your spirituality. And you said you weren't religious in the sense of traditional religion. Tell us what you did that what do you How did how do you practice that? How does that manifest your spirituality in your in your life now?

Kevin Roth 9:42

Well, when I was recuperating in my apartment from surgery, I was watching Netflix and I found a, a documentary on a guy named Yogananda. It was an Indian guru, and I watched the documentary and I thought But it was interesting. And then something in my gut said, look into the CVS, a church or a fellowship near you, which I didn't think in anywhere in the world in Kansas, there would be a Yogananda Institute. I thought his teachings were interesting. They were about self awareness, Self Realization. So I googled it because I always trust my gut. And I found one not even a quarter mile up the road for me.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Oh, really? And you were living in Kansas at the time. Okay. Yeah.

Kevin Roth:

Kansas City, Missouri. And so I went, and it gave me great relief. Yogananda talked about that everything is God, basically. But I didn't feel he was my guru. And I wasn't looking for a guru. I was looking for peace of mind. And he gave me a lot of that. So I googled more about Self Realization. And I came upon an author named Robert Wolf, who wrote about Self Realization and non duality, and a teacher named Ramana Maharshi. And I began to read Romanus work and Roberts work based on Romanus teachings. And it was like seeing the dulcimer I knew immediately that that was the truth. So when I moved out to California, where he lived Robert wolf about, I don't know, six, seven months later, I just called him up and asked, Can I come? Meet him? Because I had some questions. And they said, Yeah, come up. And I brought my adult summer and we talked about non duality and God and things. And he said, I played him a song and he said, No one's ever done that before. And I said, What do you mean? He said, No one's come here and play. I said, Do people come? And he said, Yeah, I saw, I had no idea that he was a highly regarded spiritual teacher, people from movie stars. And in Hollywood, because he lived maybe about an hour and a half from there. She just regular guys like me, would seek him out. But he wasn't a huge, I mean, he's just like an ordinary guy. He didn't look like a guru. He didn't charge money, he didn't preach anything. And I became a friend of his and a student of his. So I learned about non duality, and which is basically that everything was one thing, everything is God. And that's what I should learn.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Yeah. Well, you talk about in one of your book, you you say you had your aha moment or epiphany. And one of them was an inside job. Is that part of this process here that you had to change the inner life? In order to have transformation?

Kevin Roth:

Yeah, I mean, I have clients who are Christians, Buddhists, atheists. You know, I teach from every point of view, and you can read whatever you want. But it doesn't take hold unless you really investigate it inside. So when you know, Jesus said, The kingdom of God is within you. That's that sentence alone is enough for your entire life. If you just read it, it's just words. But if you investigate it, what do you where is the kingdom? What is this? What do they mean by this? And as you ask, I find, and my clients fine with students find that the answers are revealed, but you have to kind of go to the water to drink, you know, doesn't come to you?

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, the point is, you have to be very intentional about it, you talk about your journey, and so on and your your book here about you, you have to go on this journey. But that means you got to go you got to take action, you got to be intentional. You moved from Kansas, or from Missouri to to California, and you saw it, you picked up the phone and you you call this your mentor, you went to his house, you played music, you did things you didn't wait for it to come to you. And I think so many so many people see what you think Kevin, so many people kind of kind of wallow in their misery so to speak. They let it take you know, what's going to happen to me, I'm not going to hit the eternal lottery and somehow another but you can't that didn't happen unless you participate in the process. And so I'd like to talk to you a little bit more about your process, then, that you are all about, about what you do, then what are the actions? What are the activities? What are the habits and maybe this is where we can talk a little bit about delsey meditation, what are the things that you do and teach the processes?

Kevin Roth:

When a client comes to me, a student or client, whatever you want to call that person, they really end up being family. I asked him what don't you want in your life? And then what do you want? So people feel stuck, whether it's stressed out or in debt, but they're not clear. They don't know why they have A lot of fear and fear is false evidence appearing real. So the first thing I do is I, I work with a client and I find out who they are inside, what's their heart's desire. And then I find out what's holding them back in the process is to work through what I call mindful awareness. So when you build a do something, you're mindful of why you're doing it, you're intentional about how to look at things differently. So I had a client, who, you know, had someone call them all the time and text them all the time and was driving them nuts. And I worked with them. And I made them realize, or they came to realize they didn't need to answer the phone. They didn't need to. But they, yeah, sure. So when they decided not to do that, or to do is just once a day, they felt the freedom. And they said, Wow, that feels great. So that's the kind of what's one of the things I do is teach about mindful awareness. And in the book, I talked about the steps that you can take for balancing and things like that, you have to realize, Brad that everything is the mind.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Yes. So you talk about you talk about designing your life. And you integrate this, what you just said, are about everything's of the mind, what are the things you do that you tell your your clients, about how they're going to design their life, you know, based on your model here?

Kevin Roth:

Well, let's say someone comes to me, and well, I'll give you a great example. I had a client come to me, and she, she said, I wanted to always be a musician, but I've never learned to be because I've got work and I've got kids, and I've got this. So there's no me time. She's giving, giving, giving except to herself. So she learned actually to play the dulcimer. And then she had doubts. She said, You know, my church asked me to play but you know, I don't want to play. I'm not very good. They're not gonna like me. And I said, How do you know that? That's true. So she went, and she played and not only did they like her, but they asked her to play once months. That didn't.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Yeah. So she cratered. And she created a false story. I had to edit this. And you've helped her if I'm understanding this correctly, recreate a new story. And then she applied it, and and affirmed her new story is that a part of what happened here?

Kevin Roth:

That that's a part of it. But the bigger picture is that her desire wasn't to be an IT worker, her desire was to be in music. So instead of spending her entire life until she's at the age of 65, or 70, and then retiring, putting her life off, until then, I taught her how to integrate her role as a musician. I mean, yeah, her her soul with her role for solving her heart wanted to be a musician. Her role was as an IT worker, but she didn't need to work 50 hours a week. And so she made time to I call it me time, and then her life improved. And then she became more here, she was fulfilling worker,

Dr. Brad Miller:

I think so many people are, feel stuck, whether they are or not, they feel like they're stuck. They're stuck as the it worker, they're stuck as a mom or a dad or whatever, you know, they haven't seen a ways to live a sense of fulfilled life. And one of the things that can do that, of course, is disease, you know, when you had your, your prognosis, which didn't sound good, there was our realities hit you in the face there. And you have chosen then to face realities in a different way to rewrite the story. And one of the things I found a little fast, I just, I've just curious about it as much as anything. And we've touched on it a couple times. And you have developed something you call delsey meditation. I hope I'm saying that right. And one way you apply your music, talents, to helping people with meditate, meditation are unpack that for me, please, what is that all about? If somebody wants to be a part of that.

Kevin Roth:

Don't see meditation as an extremely simple way of playing the dulcimer and giving your yourself time and space to listen to your inner voice. So how this works is when a child is in a when a baby's in a crib crying and wailing and carrying on. The parent winds up this toy above. Then the kid's mind goes to this toy and whatever he was going crazy that unless he's hungry or less he needs to change changed. it quiets his mind because

Dr. Brad Miller:

mesmerised or entranced by the music and the motion, that type of Yes.

Kevin Roth:

So what I teach people is how to create that kind of music on the dulcimer. And I've taught, I mean, you can be five years old and learn to do what I'm talking about. Because it's very slow. There's nothing to read. And all you're doing is your lower body, in your mind, keep it quiet enough to ask yourself, what do I really feel about this situation, or what should I be doing today, and it gives you clarity. So if someone doesn't know how to play a musical instrument, I, I have a shameless sales pitch here. I have cosmic dulcimer as I call them, which are made with wounds that are very mellow for a meditative sounds. And I teach Dawsey meditation to certain clients. I have an album out about it, and I'm giving workshops on it. And then they can learn if they had a dulcimer, then they just come in they, they talked about it, but it's not just playing simply, there's a process that the music is one half. The other half is to ask yourself, if you take a breath or two, what's bothering me. So let's say you know,

Dr. Brad Miller:

so there's some some breathing and meditative type practices that are integrated with a dulcimer or substitute type. Okay, now,

Kevin Roth:

it's not difficult, you just kind of take a deep breath and relax. And then you put the adults in your lap and you strum the strings, maybe a few notes. And then you ask yourself, What's going on? So if you like, one day, I was thinking, what should I be doing today? And what came to me out of nowhere was buy flowers. And I never buy flowers. And I thought, why should I buy flowers, but I knew not to question it. Because this is the subconscious inner voice talking. So on the way to buying flowers, and on the drive back, I worked through everything that I thought I should or shouldn't do that day, and I got home and I was very peaceful. So listen to the question. The difference between doing delsey meditation and just journaling is that when you're journaling your mind is working its mind by mind. This kind of anesthetize is in a way the mind a little bit because you're lowering yourself so that we're very peaceful. And you can ask yourself, you know, what's next? Or how do I feel about the situation? Or what, you know, sideways and so on?

Dr. Brad Miller:

You know, I really love that turn of a phrase here. Maybe you didn't even mean to do it? I bet you did. When you say lullaby in yourself, what does that even imply? We talk about a lullaby and a child. We're talking about, you know, singing or music or something, to calm and put to sleep. Really, that's what that's about. Based on that what you're saying, to calm yourself, to put yourself in a calm state. I believe that's why what you're saying by Lola by yourself, and that's, that's not a bad place. That's not a bad place to be. I wouldn't thing.

Kevin Roth:

Yeah, the truth is, is that most of us are very hard on ourselves. We're very critical. So if you just do something really lovely, like just kind of lullaby yourself, which can be done with adults summer, because you're not reading music, you're not concentrating on music, you're just you know, you can think of wind chimes, and you just kind of run your fingers to the wind. That's kind of what it's like, except it's on a stringed instrument on your lap. So you're soothing yourself, you're being kind to yourself.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, if you're feeding yourself then you can relate to others and relate to the world in a little, little different tone. And I was interested when you talk with your flower story for a second about the fruit and when I first heard you felt a leading one of the terminologies I might use as a leading to buy flowers, I thought maybe you were led to buy them and give them to somebody. But no, this was something for your own self in order to feed your

Kevin Roth:

I actually have a date night with myself once or twice a month.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Not a bad deal. Not a bad deal. And a data and a date night can be just a time of quiet, can't it? It doesn't have to be go to a concert or whatever it could be, you know, just a time for quiet good.

Kevin Roth:

Yeah, I'm a really good cook. So I love to cook. I like listening to jazz. I hang out with my dog. I like candles. I don't answer the phone. I have some wine. Sometimes I put little bubble baths together. And I just have gratitude. And just say, you know, I know you want to get a lot done, Kevin, but you're doing good, you're alive. Everything's cool. And I send my mind out to the babysitter.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But this may this may or may not may or may not be what you talk about in this one chapter. Bring your book which just kind of struck me it's about the something about tacos and love is that what is a taco and quiet time? Is that kind of what this is about? You know, just to take care of yourself?

Kevin Roth:

No, I tell a lot of stories in the book that people love my storytelling.

Dr. Brad Miller:

I guess I guess I'm curious about that story, my friend.

Kevin Roth:

Yeah, I'm gonna tell you about it. But you know, actually, at the end of each chapter, there are lyrics to song. And there's an accompanying CD called songs from between the notes so you can actually listen and hear as long as audible. So what happened is on my birthday, I was looking at a taco stand. And there were these two immigrant guys sitting having Coronas eating tacos and laughing their asses off like, they didn't have a care in the world. And right behind them was a guy in a business suit, holding a taco talk to him on the cell phone. And I thought he had blood running down the side of his hand, it was really taco sauce, okay. Here's a guy who has, from what the appearance was so much money, right? And this guy, these immigrant workers, but he I don't know what they're making and can't be much, and who's happy, who is happy. So he was on the phone, the the guy in the business suit, yelling at someone about money. And the other guys was just simply having a taco and corona and laughing their ass off. And I thought there's your birthday kids, Kevin, you don't need money to be happy, you don't need to be in debt to be happy, you don't need to do it, this guy is doing fighting in self. So that's what the pocket story was about.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, that's, that's an awesome story. And Sally Kike lots of neat, neat stories here about angels and music and, and silence and all the various things that you have, in fact, the you know, the, like the even the the title of, of your of your of your book between the notes indicates that you're looking through the thick of between the lines, you don't between the nodes, there's meaningfulness, their sense of purposefulness in the margins of life, and that that's a cool thing. Tell us about somebody that you've impacted with your work here, Kevin, either a with two people, you're You've mentioned a couple of people here, but I'm interested in a story about where you've seen somebody who they've had that aha moment that you've described, or where they have had a moment where they have just come around to enjoy their life. Tell us a story about a person you've impacted.

Kevin Roth:

Well, I obviously won't mention names because everything is, you know, kept comfortable. But there was a woman who came. And her husband had died, he was in the hospital. And she needed to go home to take a shower or just get some clothes. She had been with him, you know, day and night. And he said, Please don't go, don't leave me. And she said, I'll be right back, I'll be back. And she left. And while she was gone, he died. And for 12, or I think maybe 14 years she carried around this guilt of leaving her husband at that moment. So we worked through it, and she became Free of the guilt. And she resolved it inside herself. And she called me at well, it was on Zoom. In tears, she said I just can't believe how free I am. And on occasion, when you know my time with the client is done. Let's say we're working on a specific problem or or project, whether it's six months or two years, it doesn't matter. My clients often call me up out of the blue, when something really major is going on. And they say, you know, this horrible thing just happened. And I think this is what you taught me and I think I'm doing the right thing, but I really need to talk. So what that tells me is that they trust me, and that it's a wonderful, wonderful blessing really to be able to have someone whose life you've impacted, call you at times when this horrible thing has happened to them. And they just feel like I can call Kevin and just you know, for even just one session, just talk to

Dr. Brad Miller:

him. That's awesome. But it's just that there's almost nothing nothing better than when someone wants to share life with you whether it's a celebration, or whether it's you know, some difficult moment. If people have given you the privilege of During the their life, there's that's an awesome time and it gives you meaningfulness to it as well, doesn't it?

Kevin Roth:

Oh, sure. I mean that, you know, one day I was sitting in the car in San Diego, this was maybe four years after the whole melanoma thing. And I've been clear of melanoma, and this lady just out of the blue, I thought, why did you survive, there was a 70% chance you were going to be dead. And what came to me immediately was to do the work you're doing to open up spiritual awareness for people. And again, I don't care if it's Jesus, or Buddha, or Peter, Paul and Mary, it's all the same God. And you, I just think that you need something, even if you don't believe in God, you believe in nature, you need that piece. And then you need to know how to control your mind, so that you're not a victim of your mind.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, I think that's commendable and awesome. And you've made a an inroad to help you to speak into the lives of people who have a need, you know, there's so many people Kevin, and see if you agree, who are in this place, sort of like where you are at, at one time, that sense of feeling unhappy, even though you get money in, you know, in some, some fame and, and the influence of that I, I noticed, for instance, that one of the one of the endorsements on your book was from was from Peter was, I mean, Paul Stookey was that her that was? So you know, that's a very well known person for Peter, Paul and Mary. And I'm not sure what the relation was there, but you had enough relationship that he endorsed you, your, your book, those are all cool. That's all cool. There's nothing to say. But that's cool. But you also have shared that you had a sense of emptiness, and loss. Of course, you had to deal with whatever the health ramifications of your disease, you're all that and you worked your way through it and now are speaking to to the lives of people. And so many people are in those positions of emptiness and loss and meaning less and less. And people need need to speak to that I was know that Google does a thing where every year on the first year, they put out what are some of the key search terms that they haven't Google on their key phrase at the end of 2022? Ended? 23 was how can I change was one of the top search terms in all of Google. And I thought that was interesting. That means people are longing to change, they're not satisfied where they are. They want to be someplace else. So yeah, so what I want to ask you then about that, if you've I, obviously, you have found a process here for you. And you've mentioned several parts of, of the process here. And you mentioned how your life is better, and how so the people you've worked with is at a better place as well. And you're looking good, and you play music, and you've got some great, you've got a new book out here. If people want to know a little bit more about you and about what you're about, like if somebody says, okay, you know, Kevin, if I get on your website, or if I find out more about you, what are they going to what are they going to discover if they want to be talking to you about some coaching or some or some guidance? What are some steps that they would take with you?

Kevin Roth:

Well, the website is And you can order a book, or you can have a free 30 minute consultation. If you think you might want some coaching or teaching. And we can have a conversation, it's totally free, see if I can help you. And if not, I can possibly recommend something else. But a lot of people like my YouTube channel, they're really enjoying the book because they're finding their own journey within the book. And like I said, I love working with clients, and giving workshops and you can do all of that you can reach me through my website,

Dr. Brad Miller: And that's also they can find out more about your music as well. Is that a part on your website as well? So that's good.

Kevin Roth:

Yes. Yeah, there's a music website,

Dr. Brad Miller:

Okay. Well, we'll put links to both of those at our website, Dr. Brad When we want when we publish this episode, again, the book is called Between the Notes: Practical Ways to Find Your Inner Groove and Dance to a Beat That Makes Your Heart Sing. His name is Kevin Roth. He is our author guests here today on beyond adversity. Kevin, thank you for being our guest on the Beyond Adversity podcast.




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