The Zen DJ

July 12, 2017 by Jeff Heidelberg

Air traffic controllers, Super Bowl Referees, DJs. What do these have in common? They are some of the coolest jobs in the world but they all carry stress. Strangers and friends often comment that I have the best job in the world as a mobile DJ. Yes without a doubt I can say I am very fortunate to play in some of the most beautiful venues and work with some of the most inspiring people in the city but these friends and strangers don’t see the stress that comes with our profession.

Hopefully most of you have some way of relieving stress. Whether it is fitness, vacations or just yelling into a pillow, a simple action can help us gain clarity and calm ourselves down.

Although I am not a psychic, I have a feeling that some of us have unhealthy forms of stress relief. Alcohol, cigarettes, social media or even worse pushing it off to the side in hopes it will fade away. For a portion of my life, I found relief in social media and whiskey.

While sipping my sweet bourbon elixir I would get stuck in what I call the social media triad. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Refresh screen and repeat. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Repeat until you have forgotten about your problem, your phone dies or the whiskey has run dry.

I knew this habit was unhealthy and was not solving my problem. While stuck in my stress I remember reading an infographic about the habits of successful CEOs and top performers. One characteristic most had in common was meditation. Now me being a middle-class, white male who was raised Catholic, I thought I am not in the mood to switch religions and start an introspective journey. However I knew I needed a change so I gave it a try.

The first few mediation sessions, sometime called sits, were nothing short of awkward and painful. I sat in my bedroom trying to calm my brain but the voice in my head kept on talking about my day, the song stuck in my head and how my lower back was killing me.

After a few days of working on the practice, I began to notice a slight change. I was calmer. The good and bad days still occurred but I was able to change how I viewed them. One small bad moment did not derail me like it used to. When in times of stress, I was able to calm down my breathing and focus on the task at hand. Even better I was able to stop and truly enjoy the good moments. The moments that allow us DJs to say we have the best job in the world.

My friends and family also noticed a slight change in me as well. In the small amounts of time I would get with them, they would often say that they felt I was with them not just physically but mentally as well. That all of my attention was with them. Isn’t that the least we can offer to our friends and family?

The Zen DJ’s Guide To Meditation

1) Find a place that is away from distraction. If need be, tell your family, coworkers and friends that you will need to step away for a few minutes without interruption. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes if this is your first session
2) Find a comfortable position preferably with a straight back. This could be in the tradition cross legged seated position, in a chair with your feet on the floor or lying on your back
3) Begin a series of deep breaths. Trying to fill your stomach up with air and exhaling slowly and fully. Your body should begin to relax
4) CRUCIAL STEP! When your mind begins to wonder and thoughts creep in, acknowledge them then move your attention back to your breath. Do not beat yourself up if your mind wanders. Gently bring your attention back to the breath and carry on
5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your timer goes off

That is it! Remember this is a practice. Much like any skill in life, you will need consistent practice to develop your meditation. I consider myself intermediate on the skill level and I still have good and bad meditation sessions. Breathe and enjoy every moment.


I want to know if any of you have tried mediation or have a way to relieve stress. Tweet at me @thejeffyj or slide into my DMs on instagram @thejeffyj

Jeff Heidelberg Jeff Heidelberg (10 Posts)

Jeff Heidelberg currently lives in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH. From an early age, he enjoyed entertaining his family members with jokes, dance moves and whatever he thought was funny. This passion for entertainment carried on as he began working as a costumed character at Kings Island, an amusement park located north of Cincinnati. His love for DJing began after buying a Numark Mixtrack off of his friend in college. Mesmerized by the plethora of special effects and “scratching” aka Jeff moving his hand furiously on a live deck he began playing at local parties and charity events. Jeff is currently a Sales Rep, DJ and Master of Ceremonies for Party Pleasers Services in Cincinnati, OH.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Misc, Mobile DJ Performance Tips