Six Ways To Begin Again

I have to begin again on my blog so I found this great list of things about that very subject, written by Collin McCarty, and a song by one of my favorite jazz singers; although not an exact match for the topic, his voice is worth a listen…

1.  Begin to see yourself as you were when you were the strongest and happiest you’ve ever been.

2.   Begin to remember what worked for you (and what worked against you), try to capture the magic again

3.  Begin to remember how natural it was as a child – to live a lifetime each day.

4.  Begin to forget the baggage you have carried with you for years:  the problems that don’t matter anymore, the tears that cried themselves away, and the worries that are going to wash away on the shore of tomorrow’s new beginning.

5. Tomorrow tells us it will be here every new day of our lives; and if we will be wise, we will turn away from the problems of the past, and give the future–and ourselves–a change to become the best of friends.

6.  Sometimes all it takes is a wish in your heart to let yourself…begin again.

What has worked for you when you decided to begin again? I hope you’ll share in the comments.  Happy Holidays,




Top 10 Ways to Feel Beautiful Today

beauty eHaving a hard time in life?  Me to!  Lately I have been depressed and worse…I have also been ecstatic with joy…Neither one is who I am, or is more valid.  Today I want to stack the deck in favor of the joyful, so I will use the following list as my guide.

1. When I second guess myself, I will stick with the initial instinct and tell the second guesser, thanks for trying to protect me, but there is no danger here.

2.  When I have the tiniest of a good feeling I will jump up and down to acknowledge it and feed into it, ask it what it needs to get bigger and to stay around

3.  When I feel anger I will breathe slowly several times and say “I am completely stopping”, “I expect nothing”  “I now focus on____(and name the task)” and “I trust my inner resources”, “I embrace the here and now”

4.  When I begin to slip into time gobblers, or what i call Time-Sucks,  that divert me from my art and important things, I will stop and say “Time-sucks, you suck, I don’t want you yucky yuk” (i.e. Facebook, multiple You Tube videos, trolling on Netflix for that great show I never seem to find…)

5.  When I begin to berate myself for not having gotten farther in my goal (in my case guitar playing) I will think back to where I was 6 months and 1 month ago and be awed by how much better i have become, then continue to practice with loving acceptance of where I am now

6.  I will notice each time I use “either-or” thinking:  Whenever I feel stress, I will ask, what am I thinking now that is forcing me to take one side or the other…and then I will say, there is no black/white, I don’t have to choose this or that, I can rise above both choices unto a higher purpose, that of loving kindness in the here and now.  For me, stress caused by a nagging need to take a side on something is really anxiety about the future, and makes me miss the present moment entirely. I relinquish anxiety about the future

7.  I will let go of the past:  Pictures of things that happened long ago, whether happy or not,  will be swallowed up in the river of now,  will float down the stream with the flotsam and jetsam of all that is, which I call Siddhartha’s river – I have a prior post about this.

8.  I will gently contemplate as the spirit moves me, about what to write in tomorrow’s post, knowing that starting my day writing a post helps me to embrace my inner knowing and that writing these posts is one way I can add more love to the world

9. I will take a pause before eating or drinking anything and ask, is this choice going to make me feel good, while I consume it, and directly after, and an hour later (for me many foods cause me to have pains and such so this is important for me).

10.  I will begin my practice by watching and listening to the masters (my one allowance in the you-tube zone) and embrace this:  When I see great art/music and hear it, the part of me that can enjoy it is also the part that can create it.

I hope some of these resonate with you, readers. If so, share a comment or 2 and thanks for stopping by.


toxicI have read many self-help books written by people who had the parents we all wish for—these books are helpful because they describe a parenting style—supportive and loving—that sets the tone for a child to develop into a competent adult with high self-esteem.

And in describing the parenting style it empowers the reader of such books to clone, as it were, that style—becoming their own loving parent—the one they never had.

Even better, I have read self-help books by people who had horrible abusive parents…and these people become best selling self help authors, just as the ones who had loving parents.

So, which one are you? As you see, it matters not what circumstances you came from—either upbringing can lead you to the success and joy you want as an adult

Get a loving divorce from un-loving parents – by releasing the defeating messages, your parents’ legacy.

Have you ever heard a successful person credit their parents’ unconditional love as the key to their success? Have you felt jealous? “You see, they had good parents so naturally they have a happy life, are wealthy, have a wonderful partner….Wish that was true for me.”

Guess what, just as many successful people had awful parents who told them they were no good, grew up in foster homes with no parents to speak of, or with criminal drug addict parents, or worse.

How is that possible? Because you can use your past as you choose to use it. Those who’ve succeeded at their life’s mission in spite of “bad” parents, have decided to make that the very reason, or motivation for their own success—their key to empowerment. But they’ve become their own unconditionally loving parents, by the way they think and the way they treat themselves.

 Learn to release the messages from those who raised you—messages limiting your joy, success, ability to live the life you want and deserve. Conversely, keep any helpful, encouraging messages from mom, dad, and others you met in childhood, highschool, college, or elsewhere.

Keep in mind, the “divorce” from those who raised you cannot be an angry one, because then they still have emotional hooks in you. Make it a loving divorce, acknowledging those who raised you did all that they could with what they knew at the time.

Accept Compliments: doing so fosters your enjoyment of the transformational process.

Compliments are a form of prosperity, of wealth, even better than the material kind, and they lead to more treasure—material and spiritual.

Do you shun compliments for what you’ve done, feeling “I did not do that well”, or “That person does not know how much better I can do”, or “That just was not very good so I don’t accept their compliment”. Well, this will keep you performing poorly. Learn to accept compliments with grace—they are a gift—better yet, give one back. The good vibes keep flowing with mutual compliments. Rejecting compliments, outwardly or in your own thoughts or feelings, hinders the flow of creativity and energy.

So, rejoice in the ability to accept a compliment—respect the giver as the insightful person who loves and cares to support your good efforts—and love yourself for those efforts. Your powers of productivity and love will double or triple. With that power you can hone your skills, increase your self belief, and  sustain energy for intensive training, practicing, art or whatever you have planned for the day.

If You Don’ Know How, First Learn HOW to know HOW: Blogging Will HELP YOU LEARN

learnToday I have pain from my hours of guitar practice. But I will not let that stop me.  I can take ibuprofen, stretch my arms and hands every 30 minutes. That should do it.

Today I am breaking through on how to play improvised jazz. It is all in the scale patterns. Memorizing them in each key…then, when I am playing a song, based on what key it is in, I can improvise all up and down the fretboard using scale patterns one through seven.

Never thought I would be able to – and I still don’t know how YET.  But I think I know HOW to know HOW. When it is a more complex goal, this step – how to know how – could make all the difference. I will let you know how it works.

If you are wondering will I ever post music of my own, this blog is for me to say things that I don’t have to worry about anyone judging.  Since I work in music, a potential client reading about me doubting my skills could be detrimental to me getting gigs.

I love WordPress and this community.  It has helped me to start each day taking the ZEN attitude – by writing what I know and feel spiritually. Without this blog it was hard for me to stay positive.

This blog/writing a “journal”, is life changing. IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BLOG – GET ONE!  Or at least start journaling.

Blogging brings about huge personal growth for people like me–people wishing to get beyond their baggage and to realize their dream. I have dreamed all my life of success in music.  I am on my way now,  BY GEORGE!

I’ll Send All My Loving, to You

Yes, it’s a Beatles song…not a very good time for me, since i played yesterday at a coffee house and was pretty miserable about the many mistakes I made in my songs.

So I figured the best thing to do is send love to YOU.  That, is, you, who are reading this.

Why would i do that?  It is better than withholding love, or spreading hate..  After living over half a century I finally just learned what happens when you withhold your love..

If you have a falling out, or a “neutral” relationship with someone in your family or even a former friend or the like, and that person dies…you will be in a lot of emotional turmoil if you never attempt to repair that rift.  That happened to me.

My mother who recently passed was not close to me as an adult.  As a child, I worshiped the ground she walked on, but as the years went by, she–a devout Christian–began to proselytize more and more:  a big turn off to me since I am a Zen kinda person who thinks that much religion divides and causes war.

So, as a result of this I did not show love to her.  Not that I was mean, but in the last few decades it was “How are you..Fine…ok bye” (typical phone conversation).

Now in that most wise hindsight, here is what I could have done, which I call “the loving way” to deal with people who you have a rift with .

I could have said “I respect your religion and I want to love you, I DO love you, you were a great mom when i was a little girl, and I have amazing memories of the wonderful magic you brought into my life, but now it feels like we are cut off emotionally from each other.  I don’t want that.  I would like it if you would accept that I have different views, and if you would accept ME as i am, i.e. a “non-believer” then I think our rift could be healed.”

I am not sure exactly what would be said…it doesn’t really matter.  The point is, I could have said ANYTHING, and it would have been better than her dying without me ever saying that it hurt to be cut off from each other, It would have been better to just cry with her, to talk to her about how hard it was to have an SOB for a husband, to tell her that I always felt she was so much better than me, what with her exercising every day and always eating small portions.

So, the take away from this is, it you have a rift with someone, especially a parent, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  You will be so much better off after they die, you will have a memory of them that will rest in peace, rather than a memory that is full of anguish and guilt.


Not pursuing your passion is a form of self-abuse…

passionIsn’t it?  You have that passion…think back:  When you were about 6 or 7 what did you get engrossed in?  What could you do for hours and not even notice the time passing? Then life happened and you had to earn a living, have kids and all.  But here and now is a fresh new chapter in your life, in which to pursue your passion; are you not in anguish if you don’t do it?  And isn’t  that anguish–from denying your passion–a form of self-abuse?  That is, aren’t you the one deciding to deny yourself the pursuit of your passion? Further, if you are abusive to yourself when practicing or pursuing your talent, critiquing every line, every note, every move of the foot, isn’t that self-abuse? When you chide yourself for not practicing your art, ask yourself this:

Am I avoiding my art practice  because I can’t stand another session of cruelty inflicted on me from my inner critic?

I found out why I never wanted to practice, when I realized what I was saying in my head, and sometimes out loud, was so counterproductive and downright abusive, cruel and sadistic. I thought about some bad boss or parent who treats a person like this, and then says, “What is the matter with you? Why are you so lazy?” I don’t approve of those people, yet I was being just like that to myself. NO MORE !!! When I stopped it, I increased practice time from 0 to 3 hours.  When I not only stopped being cruel, but started being kind and loving and gentle to myself when practicing, and caring  for myself as one would a little child playing with a new discovery/instrument/color crayons… I increased the time to 6 hours a day.  Now I can keep going indefinitely.  My plan is to play 6 hours a day for the next 600 days and see how my jazz riffs and improvisation are at that point.  THEN let that critic try and tell me I suck at jazz guitar.  HA! The silver lining in playing music or doing other arts is that you find out that cruel person is in there, and you cannot allow it anymore. If you did not do your art, that person would be in your head being cruel all the time —you would not notice the damage being caused. The art is the vehicle that necessitates you becoming the person you want to be, the kind of person you would admire, respect and cherish. When you decide to create beauty and meaning with your art, you have an automatic inner therapist/coach who helps you to release the baggage, low self-esteem, and soar with your talents…

The following is an excerpt from “Unstuck” by Jane Ann Staw which discusses this issue. This book is great for those faced with writer’s block and similar afflictions:

(When afflicted with writer’s block), “to write is self-punishment, each word a weapon that will be used against you.  Understanding this danger, you can begin to see that it’s not because you write best to deadline, or because you are discouraged, that you cannot sit down to write. It is because writing exposes you to a barrage of your own insults and criticism. Knowing, even unconsciously that we are setting ourselves up as targets for such abuse we…” (would be crazy if we DIDN’T avoid writing).

Peace with my Past

All my life I have had this sad feeling whenever i think of anything past, people who’ve gone, jobs lost, a lost time in my life.  Today i will reframe this — I don’t like the sad feeling, like things were good then but now nothing matter,  That is an habitual response whenever something triggers a connection to a past person or time or place.  Currently i have a new response when those feelings are triggered. I have researched physics and other writings about time- that it is an illusion – this concept enables me to be free from pain about the past or wistful nostalgia – as if those times were better.  Since my mom died recently it is more clear than ever to me, that the present is all we have. And the “have my cake and eat it too” in all this is: Since there is only now, all those things that trigger in my memory are not really PAST.  They are all part of the here and now, not gone.  Feelings i had then, i have now, if i choose to.  Feelings of pain about the past, or regrets, become suddenly light weight and no longer have power to depress me, once i realize there is only now and that all that has happened, will happen and is happening is all RIGHT NOW. That all i AM is here and now – I am not the past, nor defined by it, nor a victim of it, anymore than if i were to see a movie in which a person was victimized and from then on i would be a victim.

When you think of the tiny dot of time that humans have been alive, it is easier to realize that my tiny amount of time on earth, my past, present and future is all one event, not some long drawn out linear thing… This is going somewhere…umm…it means that the pain, the draining of motivation, that accompanies thoughts and feelings about past things…can be obliterated… How can that be?  Here is how; When i think of a past thing, like my mom in the kitchen when i was 5, since i come from the vantage point that time is an illusion, i don’t need to feel some deep sadness that my mon died or that i am no longer this little child without the harsh experiences of an adult. because really when I was 5  i was also 50, and when i am 50 i am also 5.  I have access to all times, feelings, happiness, innocence, to the blazingly bright and perfect worldview of that little girl, only now with the wisdom of a zen guru added in, making live all the more amazing and opened to all the best infinite possibilites.

The past no longer has to be suppressed – i used to suppress thots or feelings about the past –that can be triggered in many ways, many times a day: a song, a photo, driving by a place i lived before.  I suppressed the feelings because i wanted to prove how the past didn’t matter, that i was smarter now and did not care about it.  The suppressing ate up my energy and enjoyment of the present.

But now i don’t have to suppress it. that means i can be in power in the present, allow the feelings to occur, and acknowledge they are part of the here and now, not some past tragic/happy thing that is gone forever..then if they help me do better in the here and now I enjoy the feelings/thoughts  of the past, if they don’t help, i say to myself – that is an illusion just as time is an illusion – that event from 1960 or whatever is not determining my here and now, except to the extent i can learn from it…