Kurt Vonnegut courageous decision
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Kurt Vonnegut on Choosing Our Stances and Creating Reality


“We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

Kurt Vonnegut

Words matter. They form our version of reality.

Through our words, we create our feelings. And the feelings give more power to the words. They make them true.

When we convince ourselves that we’re too busy, for example, we create that reality. We feel busy. And so we may lose focus and become stressed.

We create many of our limitations by pretending they already exist. We act the part, we talk the talk, and so they come to be.

But we could also “pretend” that we have all the time in the world. We can choose to believe we have plenty of time to do anything we want.

(Ray Dalio suggests we can’t do everything we want to, at least not at once. But we can do virtually anything we want.)

We can pretend to be anything we want. And we can pretend to be however we want.

We can “make believe” we learn things easily. We can try on consistency and patience. We can imagine ourselves calm and aware and engaged.

Then we simply pretend we’re not pretending, and it becomes reality.



allen mathews classical guitar

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s.  Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well.  I struggled with excess tension.  My music sounded forced.  And my hands and body were often sore.  I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward.  Then, over the next decade, I studied with two stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist).  In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifullyClick here for a sample formula.


I came on board three months ago and I’m loving it more than ever. I have maintained my practice pattern. I’m sticking wholeheartedly with the program as written. That makes it easy to see what I NEED to work on rather than just playing the shiny places I’ve gone beyond…..I’ve learned to focus 100% on what I’m doing that very minute….I’m developing strength in my left hand...I spend time with the videos in the evenings and always find something more to help me. I’m not looking for info anywhere else. Everything I need is right here in The Woodshed. You say “Jump” and I say “How high.” I’m so grateful I found you. You speak in a language I understand.


-Gloria Mader

Allen: Just wanted you to know I have thoroughly enjoyed The Woodshed program. I'm in Level 1C and love how every part works together. It has improved my "general" playing already.


-Lydia Chance


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