Saturday, July 5, 2014

Be Free from Unhealthy Relationships

By Rhonda Findling 

If you want to be free from unhealthy relationships, then the first step is not to call, text, e-mail or even Facebook a person that you: 

· Have broken up with or has broken up with you 

· Have determined is abusive 

· Are highly attracted to but they are not returning your level of interest (for whatever reason) 

· Have an unhealthy connection or relationship with

· Is presently in your life but you’re trying to not act needy with 

When you contact someone you're not hearing from or trying to let go of, there can be a pleasurable rush of adrenaline from the anticipation of seeing them, hearing their voice or reading their message. But this rush is just a temporary fix, which you may have to pay a tremendous price for. 

Even if the person does respond positively when you contact them, it may be momentarily thrilling or electrifying, but soon the anguish will return, because the problem is still there. Nothing has really changed. You're still not a couple or the person remains emotionally unavailable. You'll just have to start detaching all over again, doubling your efforts. 

If you've ended the relationship because someone was doing something that you experienced as hurtful or refused to tolerate any longer, contacting them would take away your credibility for the boundary you set. By initiating a contact you would also be colluding with the behavior that you already told them was unacceptable. 


When you contact someone you're trying not to act needy with, it's often impulsive. Acting on impulse can make life exciting and dramatic but it can also put you at risk because you are not reflecting on whether it's a productive behavior. You're not thinking of the future and consequences. You're just acting in the moment. 

So if you're thinking of making a contact, take time to reflect. Sit on your feelings. Endure your anxiety. Don't just do something because you feel like it. There could be disastrous effects if you do. 

Call people in your support system to discuss any impulsive urges that come over you- whether to see, e-mail, call, or text them. Discuss and process your feelings with safe reliable people Remember that feelings do pass. Feelings are only temporary, which is why it's important to hang in there even when the urge to contact them feels unbearable. 

You have to do whatever it takes to endure urges to make a contact and move past them. As you do this more and more, you will feel yourself gaining emotional strength. 


Clinging is any behavior that demonstrates holding on, not letting go. This can be exemplified by activities ranging from a compulsive phone call, text, or e-mail when they haven't responded to any of your previous contacts. Contacting someone who is not reciprocating your interest, or has rejected you is a form of clinging. The urge to cling can be irresistible. You know with your rational mind that your behavior isn't appropriate, but you are driven by a compulsion you feel you can't control. You may experience actual discomfort when you don't carry out the compulsive act. 

It's essential to remember that clinging behavior causes most people to distance themselves even further. If someone has issues about intimacy your clinging will make them feel closed in and claustrophobic. They may feel that they have no room to breathe from your relentless trying to get them to prove that they're not going to leave you. Your clinging also makes you look emotionally hungry making them feel that they'll have to endlessly supply you with reassuring love which will scare them off. 

It's human nature to have a hard time falling in love with someone who's bombarding them with phone calls, texts or e-mails. A clinging person doesn't leave someone a chance to long and yearn for them. They are so available another person doesn't have the space to fantasize about or miss them, which unfortunately is sometimes what falling in love, is all about. 

Why clinging is not productive 

There are people whose psychological problems prohibit them from having a relationship. These people are married to their pathology. Your chasing them will not break through their defenses, resistances and impairment. 

Sometimes their lack of response or reciprocating is not even about you. It's truly about them. It doesn't make a difference because no matter who it's about; they just can't do it. They can't be there for you. You must face the truth of their unavailability so you can let them go and move on. Bottom line, you can't force another person's feelings, motivation for relationship, or emotional health no matter how many rules and programs you follow or implement. 

In fact if you don't chase them around you'll get an opportunity to see what they do when they don't get any prompts or reminders from you. 

Action steps: What you can do when you want to cling 

· Go on dating sites online. It will also show you the abundance of people out there. You might also meet someone new who is even better than your ex or a person you're trying to let go of. 

· Distract yourself - do whatever it takes to not think about your ex or a person you're trying to let go of even if it feels counterintuitive. 

· Call someone in your support system. 

Writing exercises 

-Think of a time you were clinging to someone you were in love with. What were you feeling? What was behind the clinging? Was there another action you could have taken to not cling? 

-What does it feel like to show someone that you have been clinging to that you are now independent? Does it feel empowering? 

Action step/ Writing Exercise: 

·The next time you feel insecure or lonely, try not to reach out to the emotionally unavailable person you are currently attached to. Instead, see how you get through it on your own. Write about your feelings that come up in your journal. 

·Try to imagine life without the stress of an emotionally unavailable person's confusing behavior. Get to know how it feels to have emotional space free of them. Write about your feelings in your journal. 

·Visualize yourself in a relationship with someone who's sure of their love for you. Someone who makes you feel secure. Someone who has never disappointed or betrayed you. Describe your relationship in your journal? What is that person like? How do you feel with them? 

Spiritual Tip #5: Surrendering To What Is 

If you're trying to hold onto someone even though you know it's a hopeless situation then you are resisting the inevitable. When it's time for someone to go you can't fight it. The relationship time with them has passed, even if it hurts. Surrender to what is. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

9 Common Traits Of Happy People

Happiness. It’s the term thrown around more often than any other term when people are asked what they are looking for in life. A loving partner, a fun high-paying job and endless world travel are also amongst some of the most common answers, however all of these are preference-based means to the one ultimate end, which is happiness. Being so sought-after, I thought I’d comprise a list of common traits that seem to be found in happy people -and I’m talking about the genuinely happy people, and not just those who appear to be so on the surface.

By compiling this list I’m not suggesting that these are the only keys to happiness, I’m simply shedding light on some common characteristics I’ve come to find.

1. Love Themselves For Who They Are

On the surface this may sound incredibly egotistical, but by it I simply mean that they are truly comfortable in their own shoes. They accept and embrace themselves physically, they maintain their true character traits regardless of whether or not they receive approval and they work to make the best of the human experience they are living -rather than wallow in what others would define as weaknesses or shortcomings.

2. See Relationships As An Extension To, Rather Than The Basis Of The Human Experience

Relationships, whether friendly, familial or romantic, are certainly one of the greatest parts of the human experience. However, far too many of us let their presence or absence, and even more so the value we attribute to them dictate our overall happiness in life. I’ve found that genuinely happy people tend to find complete contentment within themselves, and see all relationships as the awesome extension to their self-content. It’s often when we are not looking for others to fill a particular void, or to make us feel a certain way, that most of the truest and most-valuable relationships are formed.

3. Embrace Change

Life is a constant lesson and happy people tend to be well-aware of that. Not only are they always open to change, but they truly listen to suggestions, respect and consider all opinions and take criticism constructively rather than offensively.

4. Celebrate Rather Than Compare Themselves To The Accomplishments Of Others

Jealousy is a killer, and as Gary Allan once said, “You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.” We are all capable of accomplishing anything in this life and are the only ones that are going to find the drive within ourselves to do it. Rather than observe and compare to those who have accomplished, the truly happy tend to celebrate it and use it as motivation to accomplish things within their own lives.

5. Never Dwell In Being A Victim

We’ve all been the so-called ‘victim’ to several things in life. Whether it be an unexpected break-up, getting fired from a job, or even something as serious as the recipient of domestic abuse. Truly happy people tend to be those who choose not to dwell in it. They choose to let the victimization strengthen them, rather than wear it as a badge of weakness or as the thing that makes them consistently worthy of receiving sympathy.

6. They Live In The Present

As fun as reminiscing about the past or fantasizing about the future can be, nothing will ever be done in anything but the present and happy people tend to realize that. Not only do they realize it, but they tend to use it as motivation to make the most of it. In addition to being motivating, presence can also come in handy for truly appreciating those moments of relaxation, allowing yourself to be truly in them, rather than projecting future concerns into them.

7. Trust That Everything Happens For A Reason

This can very easily be paired with the choice to not be a victim, but happy people tend to trust the process and existence of everything in their life. They know that nothing is ever too big to handle and choose to embrace what life is currently throwing at them rather than cowering at the sight of it.

8. They Don’t Let Money Dictate Their Lives

Nobody is denying that in this world right now we all need money to exist, and as a result many of us spend the bulk of our lives doing things that help us earn it. What I’ve found to differentiate happy people is that they don’t let money be the ultimate dictator in their life. They still make sensible choices within their means, but they never let money: A) prevent them from pursuing a so-called “risky” passion, B) be the factor that is blamed for why their life is so miserable, C) complain about how little they have. There are creative ways to do everything in this world, and seeing money as only being possible to make in the standard ways is the most crippling thing to that creativity.

9. Look Within For Solutions

One of the most powerful realizations a genuinely happy person will often operate based on is “change starts within.” The empowerment that comes as a result of not only realizing this but even more so in using it as the backbone to everything in life can be quite remarkable. There are thousands of books, mantras, techniques and practices out there that can all help us to find solutions to so many things in life, but they all require one thing to truly be serviceable: the consciousness to support them.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What Is Going On In Thailand

What started as a coup d'├ętat is now moving into the 'purge' phase. On May 22 the Thai military, after six months of political bickering, dumped the elected politicians and said 'enough was enough'. The street protests were not peaceful and people died, many more were injured. So decry the move away from democracy if you feel so self-righteous but realize that many good Thai people are alive because of this move to peaceful progress rather than a continued, and violent, stalemate.

One thing is very clear, three weeks into this regime. It has been brilliantly planned and executed, so far. There is no way this coup was a whim of General Prayuth, fed up with political talks going nowhere. There is a grand plan behind all this, 'grand' being the key word. The re-writing of school's curriculum to reflect the true nature of historical battles rather than the rather romantic versions Thais have learned as they grew up. Students will also be taught about the nature of corruption and how it has been such a bad influence in the Kingdom. These changes of the curriculum are not whimsy, they have been carefully researched and planned. They are grand and worthy plans indeed.

Let's move south to the former tropical paradise, now euphemistically called 'Phuket Inc.' Greed-gone-crazy as a chair and table on the beach has grown into elaborate 150 pax beach clubs in a matter of four or five years. And not just one establishment. Literally hundreds of unregistered, unlicensed, illegal constructions have sprung up along former pristine beaches to overcharge silly tourists for the pleasure of a beer or a hamburger overlooking the west coast beaches. Now these establishments have seven days to reverse time and remove the buildings, some extremely extravagant and expensive. This wasn't a knee-jerk decision - this has been clinically planned and executed with documents and the legals all carefully prepared.

Look no further than the Phuket's very own 'Day of the Long Swords', D-Day for the local taxi and tuk tuk industry, when the army and police moved in, arrested 95 taxi drivers (plus a few allegedly corrupt officials), pulled down their little 'gang huts' and, in one swift motion, dismantled decades of rife corruption, intimidation, extortion, bashing's and even deaths in the battle for their slice of the lucrative public transport income pie. You don't have to be half smart to realize that public transport in Phuket has been priced well in excess of world standards - around five times the price of similar services in the capital, Bangkok, or more. Now the roads are free to be repopulated with a useful, workable and fair public transport 'system'. Again, this has not just been a 'good idea', it has been thoroughly and strategically planned. The replacement plans were already worked out it seems.

Then there is the country's broadcasting services. On Day One of the coup all TV and radio was taken off air and only the government stations allowed to broadcast. (In those first few days there were calls for a new music director of the military-run radio station with a handful of folksy, patriotic Thai songs playing on high rotation. But I suspect even these songs had been carefully picked for their benign nature to start the process of 'healing'.) Three weeks later and all cable services, local and overseas, have been restored. But small commercial 'community' radio stations in Thailand are still off air as the purge sorts out the 'real' from the purely political. This is going to take longer than we might think as the many thousands of small radio stations need to be individually checked for technical compliance (and political compliance one would assume). But there seems to be a plan to all this, hammered out over time, not merely in the hours or days following May 22.

Importantly, there was a detailed 'road map' to a return to full democracy issued days after the coup. Was this document hastily hacked together by the military PR department in the hours following the official Coup? Of course, not. It is clearly a well-researched document with the hand of wiser political academics seen in the writing and preparation. This road map details the many stages of social and political reform necessary before fruitful elections can be considered in the former Land of Smiles.

In 2014 every business, event or idea needs a catchphrase. The Military PR Department (they obviously have one) have come up with the concept of 'bringing happiness back to the Thai people'. It cuts through the politics of colored shirts, the long decade of bickering and offers the Thai people what they love and appreciate most.

So, the hand of detailed and rigorous planning appears behind just about every move of the Thai Junta so far. The longer you live in this wonderful place, the more you realize that there are firmer hands on the steering wheel than the elected politicians. Whether it is a plan to De-Thaksinise Thailand or just restore civility and pave the road ahead, it IS a Grand Plan.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ben Hardy the man who built "Captain America" for "Easy Rider"

The man who built one of the most famous bikes in the world, Ben Hardy … Ben Hardy, born Benjamin F. Hardy, was an African-American motorcycle engineer and chopper builder, who is best known for creating the customized choppers for the characters ‘Captain America’ and ‘Billy’ which featured in the 1969 Peter Fonda road movie Easy Rider, a movie which influenced more people to take an interest in motorcycles and choppers than any other.

The “Captain America” bike, made from a then 20 year old, heavily customized Harley-Davidson “Panhead” is considered one of the most iconic motorcycles ever built, one which captured the zeitgeist of a generation and became an anti-establishment symbol…

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Power of Disengagement

Playing Mind Games

Life should not be lived through a series of mind games, but from truth and looking deep within.

For better or worse, many people have been raised to believe that communicating in an honest and open way will not get them what they want. They have learned, instead, to play mind games or go on power trips in the service of their ego’s agenda. People stuck in this outmoded and inefficient style of communication can be trying at best and downright destructive at worst. We may get caught up in thinking we have to play the same games in order to defend ourselves, but that will only lead us deeper into confusion and conflict. The best way to handle people like this is to be clear and honest with them 

As with all relationships and situations in our lives, we must look within for both the source of our difficulties and the solution. Reacting to the situation by getting upset will only entrench us more deeply in the undesirable relationship. Only by disengaging, becoming still, and going within can we begin to see what has hooked us into the mess in the first place. We will most likely find unprocessed emotions that we can finally fully feel and release into the stillness we find in meditation. The more we are able to do this, the less we will be bothered by the other person’s dramas and the more we will be free to respond in a new way. In the light of our new awareness, the situation will untangle itself and we will slowly break free. 

Whenever people come into our lives, they have come for a reason, to show us something about ourselves that we have not been able to see. When unhealthy people try to hook us into their patterns with mind games and power trips, we can remind ourselves that we have something to learn here and that a part of us is calling out for healing. This takes the focus off the troubling individual and puts it back on us, giving us the opportunity to change the situation from the inside out. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Master the Path of the Peaceful Warrior

Guest blog by Dan Millman 

Of the many factors that shape our lives -- geographical location, family dynamics, resources and influence, beliefs, self-concept, support systems, motivation, relationships, luck, karma or fate -- our sense of self-worth is the single most important determinant of the health, abundance, and joy we allow into our life. 

To the degree we doubt our worthiness, we limit or sabotage our efforts, and undermine our relationships, finances or health. Ever wondered, for example, why so many young actors, who gain sudden wealth, fame, and celebrity, go on to self-destruct with drugs and erratic behavior? Or why many able-bodied people live on the streets, reduced to begging for spare change. Or why some people continue to accept abusive mates or undesirable work conditions? 

Once we understand the lessons of self-worth, we are in a better position to help such people -- but first we must help ourselves. So, as we proceed, note the following points: 

No one else can give you an improved sense of self worth. Self-worth comes from doing what is worthy. 

Your innate worth has never been lowered, compromised, or touched by fate or circumstance. It exists as a fact of life, like air and trees, and doesn't need to be raised, revitalized, or earned. 

To make this topic relevant to your own life, let's start with: 

Self-Reflection on Self-Worth 

Consider the following questions, and answer "Yes," "No," or "Sometimes." 

When fortune smiles on you, do you think, "This can't last?" 

• Do you find it easier or more 'natural' to give than to receive? 

• Does your life feel like a series of problems? 

• Does money seem scarce or hard to come by? 

• Do you find your work or relationships unfulfilling? 

• Do you work long ours and lack leisure time? 

• Do you resent or envy people who take frequent holidays? 

• Do you feel driven to work more, do more, be more than others? 

• Do you overeat "comfort" food, smoke, drink alcohol daily, or use other drugs? 

• Do you feel uncomfortable when you receive praise, applause, lots of attention, gifts or pleasure? 

• Have you turned down or passed up opportunities in education, work, or relationships and later regretted it? 

• Do you seem to get sick or injured more than other people? 

• If someone asks the cost of your services, do you price yourself lower than others in your field to be "fair"? 

If you answered "Yes" to a number of questions, did these circumstances or situations just happen to you solely through bad luck? Or is it possible that the choices you made, and actions you took, led to where you are? By acknowledging your role and responsibility in your current life, you find the power to make different choices. 

That is not to say that someone who is robbed at gunpoint or run into by a drunk driver somehow "attracted" or "drew" such experiences due to low self-worth -- such ideas are superstition or magical thinking. 

But when we make choices that lead to difficulties, it is worth understanding in this context. For example, if you were abused as a child, the abuser was responsible -- not you. But if you are abused as an adult (say by a troubled spouse), the abuse itself is not your responsibility -- but the choice to stay with that person may point to low-self worth. (This is not about blame, but it is about acknowledging our role or responsibility, which leads to the power to change.) 

Discovering your unconditional worth can help you expand fully into the world. It begins with a first step -- awareness of the problem is the beginning of the solution. 

Taking Charge by Taking Responsibility 

Sometimes bad things just happen -- a toss of the karmic dice: a hurricane or freak storm, or earthquake or other natural disaster -- we may become a victim of circumstance. We can only make the best of those circumstances and learn from them and grow stronger. 

But much of the time, our lives are shaped by the choices we ourselves make, and the actions we take. So if life isn't going well, ask yourself this question: "Who's doing this to me?" If the answer is "someone else" -- if your boss or spouse or partner or another person appears to be the cause of your suffering -- then ask yourself, "Who chose to be around this person? Who chose this job. Did I truly have no other options? Or do I believe that 'beggars can't be choosers'?" 

Maybe it's time to take another look. 

We end self-sabotage only by taking responsibility for the choices and actions that created it. Only when we stop blaming our boss, the government, our parents, spouse or partner, children, circumstances, fate or God can we change our lives and say with conviction, "I chose where I am and who I'm with, and I can make other choices." 

Taking responsibility has nothing to do with blame or finding fault. Rather, taking responsibility is taking control, because it represents the power-moment when we recognize the degree to which our difficulties are self-generated, and that what we created, we can also change. 

The Heart of Self-Worth 

We don't always get what we deserve in life; we get what we believe we deserve. So the problem is not your actual worth, but your perceived worth. Most of us have lost touch with our intrinsic goodness -- our courage and humanity -- allowed our worth to be covered over by memories of a thousand transgressions, real or imagined, so that we feel only partly deserving of life's blessings. 


Ask yourself: "How deserving am I?" Then give a numerical rating, somewhere between 1 to 100, based on how deserving you believe you are. Come up with whatever rating feels right and true for you. 60? 70? 80? 90? 95? Why? 

Bear in mind that you have been subconsciously rating yourself since childhood. Now we bring it into the light, and consider how this self-perception has shaped your choices and your experiences. 

Our sense of self-worth (or deservedness) comes from many influences, beginning in our early years -- how we were treated by parents or other caregivers (as judgments placed upon us by others become internalized). Abused children, as well as people from stable and loving households, but with extremely high standards, may both grow up with self-worth issues. The source of self-worth issues is complex, and does not come exclusively from how well or poorly we behaved. 

But whatever the reasons or sources for your internalized level of worth, the purpose of this week's session is to draw it up from the depths and into the light of awareness. 

Self-Worth and Self-Sabotage 

As I've noted, self-worth is a subconscious self-assessment of your perceived value, goodness, and deservedness. You allow yourself to receive only those people, experiences and blessings that reflect your sense of worth. 

Success involves talent, effort, and creativity. But first and foremost, it requires a willingness to receive. As the saint Ramakrishna once said, "Rain or blessings may pour down from the heavens, but if you only hold up a thimble, a thimbleful is all you receive." 

The Choices You Make

The central theme of self-worth is that you subconsciously choose (or allow into your life) the level of people and experiences (both positive and negative) that you believe you deserve. Until you come to realize that life is full of cactus, but you don't have to sit on it. 

In any moment, you are free to choose the high road, by being kind to others, working hard, finding supportive partners, and following good role models. Or you may burn bridges, use drugs or alcohol, or choose destructive relationships. Through your choices, your sense of self-worth influences whether you choose to learn easy lessons or more difficult ones, to strive or to struggle. 

These choices are not conscious. We don't wake up one morning and say to ourselves, "I think I'll sabotage my relationship today -- oh, no, I already did that last week; today I'll sabotage my finances." 

Some of us get in our own way and block success or abundance -- we start but don't finish that schooling or training that leads to a better career opportunity. Or we experience great success but self-sabotage, self-destruct, or don't allow ourselves to ride the wave and enjoy it in perspective. 

Looking back on your life, have you wondered, Why did I say that? Why did I do that? Have friends or loved ones advised against a choice or action, but you did it anyway because you just felt you had to? Now you understand the source, and can finally get out of your own way, and make more positive, empowering choices and to take actions to build a new life -- whether in the realm of exercise, diet, rest and recreation, travel, improved working conditions, more education or training for a better income -- the world opens up to you. 

Your Innate and Unconditional Worth 

Coming to appreciate your innate worth has nothing to do with entitlement or putting yourself above others. Rather it involves a basic recognition of your essential value as a human being -- realizing that you have done the best you could and made the best choices you could see at a given point in your life. More important, unconditional worth does not have to be earned; it belongs to you just as it did when you were a young child. 

Let's say someone invited you in to gaze upon their newborn child or month-old infant. Most of us would gaze into that infant's wide eyes and rate it 100 on the deservedness scale. You were that child once. When did you start subtracting, and why? Because you made mistakes? Said unkind things? Weren't always respectful or kind? Had slips of integrity? (Well, if you were already perfected, you wouldn't be living on this planet!) 

Each of us is a H.I.T. -- a human-in-training. It's time you recognize that you've done the best you could each day of your life, taking into account your own baggage, information, limitations, wounds, and struggles. You made the best choices you could see at the time. And now the time has come to appreciate your innate worth and choose the higher roads of life. 

The Power of Grace 

Even when you don't feel very kind, or brave, or deserving, the roof over your head continues to shelter you from storms, the sun shines upon you, your chairs keep supporting you, and so does your life. Life itself is an unearned gift. This is the hidden meaning of grace. 

If you have debts to pay, then pay, then pay them forward in the currency of kindness to others -- not by punishing yourself. Not ever again. It is not necessary. It never has been. 

Daily Life Assignments: 

(1) Remind Yourself: Write out the following words on a post-it, or piece of paper, and post it on your bathroom mirror so you see it each and every day: How good can I stand it today? (Because that's how much good you'll allow) 

(2) Just Imagine: Let your imagination drift to a better life. Fantasize yourself as the star of a new movie of your life. You no longer have to be an extra or bit player, being told by others where to go and what you can or can't do. In this exercise you become the director, the writer, and the star. 

• Imagine, just for a moment, how specifically you might have an improved relationship (it may be with your current partner, but with some different elements); or, if it is a troubled relationship, then with another partner. 

• Now do the same in the workplace -- your current work, or another career or calling. What kind of work situation might you wish for? 

• Let your mind drift to another area of life -- what possibilities might await you there? 

For any and all of these areas: 

• Is it possible to draw closer to your dreams? Why or why not? 

• What steps might you take? 

• Who is stopping you? (If the answer is "me," then this "me" can instead become a friend and supporter.) 

Most of us have been our own "worst enemy" sometime in the past. Can you recall a choice you have made or action taken that you now see as a subconscious act of self-sabotage? What will you do to avoid such sabotage in the future? 

How have you responded to favors, gifts, or opportunities? How might you respond differently now? What advice might you give yourself, as your own best friend, about allowing yourself to live a more abundant, enjoyable life? 

The next time an opportunity arises that might interest you, or someone offers to give you something or do something for you -- instead of the reactive, "Oh, thanks, but I couldn't" open your arms and heart and mind, and say, "Yes! Thank you!" (Even if you don't feel deserving.) 

When you are alone, in quiet moments -- as odd as it may feel -- every once in a while, open your arms wide and say to an imagined person, or to life itself: "Yes! Thank you!" And let this be your approach to living -- from now on!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Guitar Center and Music Group Break Up

Guitar Center decided to terminate their 20-year relationship with music gear manufacturer Music Group.

Guitar Center

Instead of just "citing irreconcilable differences" or quietly ending their supplier-retailer relationship without comment, both companies have provided some interesting stories in the wake of their business break up. Obviously, the more interesting bits for us guitar players would be those related to GC(Guitar Center)'s publicized financial woes, but let's also look at the "who broke up with who" stories on the side!No doubt that this messy break-up rocked the entire music industry, especially since the two companies provided some juicy details about the split.

I first got wind of the news from Bugera's Facebook Page (Music Group Brand) where they said and I quote:

"After 20 years, Guitar Center recently decided to terminate our relationship. Frankly, it became increasingly difficult to do business with GC as they sought to increase their profits, which would have forced us to increase our prices to you. We didn’t agree."

That by itself is revealing e a statement, so I dug further and found that Guitar Center was the first to move, terminating their relationship with Behringer (part of Music Group) on May 16. An online press write up says that the break up was due to Behringer's "continuous attempt to force unfavorable changes into agreements" and their "revision to unreasonable business terms late last year".

For the details, let me quote the GC Spokesperson:

"Decisions like this are never made easily. There are rare occasions where the integrity of the relationships and agreements we make with vendors are challenged, despite the potential impact to the bottom line or overall sales. We can’t speak for anyone else in the industry, but we’d had enough of watching Behringer try to do business this way. It’s not the way we like to work with people and it’s not productive. They made some questionable choices that put us into a position to develop a contingency plan. As we re-evaluated that plan several weeks ago, we found that it would allow us to build better relationships with other vendor partners in the category. When Plan B starts to make this much business sense, it became clear we didn’t need to tolerate this anymore. We’re focused on where we can succeed in partnership with our new vendors and we’re excited about the future."

Music Group's CEO and Behringer founder, Uli Behringer himself responded to the story of Guitar Center. He signed a press release and said that they were surprised by the public statement issued, which put the Music Group company in bad light. Here is the rest of Behringer's statement regarding the break up:

"Over the last year, due to GC’s highly publicized financial situation, we were forced to evaluate their credit worthiness. As a result of their credit rating, it was determined that they were a high risk and we were forced to put them on business hold. We certainly respect GC’s decision to discontinue business with us and we thank them for our excellent 20 year relationship."

So now that they have parted ways, what does the future hold for Music Group and Guitar Center? From an outsider's point of view, Music Group seems to be doing well in terms of business, and on their press release, they boasted that "The Company experienced a historical record revenue last year and also celebrated an all-time record revenue in April in the United States."

Guitar Center however is another story, Wall Street Journal reported back in March that the giant retailer is to be acquired by one of its creditors, Ares Management. While the LA Times reported in April that a debt-for-equity swap already happened giving Ares Management more control over the retailer in-exchange for reducing their debt.

So what does Guitar Center have to do with us guitar players when we can buy our guitars elsewhere? We should remember that many small business gear manufacturers are dependent on this giant retailer, so if anything happens they will be affected.

Instead of naming these small manufacturers, maybe we should name the biggest guitar manufacturer that is "closely tied" with GC, Fender! As it stands now, Fender itself are having financial worries, recently closing down one of its US based facilities and selling the Guild guitar brand. Analysts are keen to say that Guitar Center's worries will unfortunately have adverse effects to the already ailing popular guitar maker.

In light of these developments we will have to wait and see if the current GC management could turn the business around, it's not over till it's over.