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,

Love,

Trella

 

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What is your “Path With A Heart?” Know it–for it is the only path that is any good.


path 2If I  don’t “make it” as an artist, should I quit?

That isn’t the question, that isn’t even the even the…That misses the whole point.  A musician friend on Facebook posted that he was discouraged about not making more money with music and not getting emotional support from community and family–thus he was thinking of quitting.

I wrote to him:

either or, do or not…anytime there is a side we must take there is stress…No side needs to be taken, this is Zen so it may go by un-clarified…but…no need to choose a side…An old Zen Koan said, Eat your food wash your bowl. Get up, music, eat sleep, live, take out trash, feed dogs…life.. The path with a heart is the only path that is any good (paraphrased from Carlos Castaneda).

GET A DIVORCE FROM UNLOVING PARENTS

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.

Wes Montgomery Relax It’s Friday + Philosophy

I found the following words in my stuff and it hit home with me, maybe with you to.  It is by Sir Laurens van der Post, an anthropologist and author from South Africa. A movie was made about his life in 1996.   The second quote below pertains to happiness and affirms: Meaning is more important than gratification.  Think of Nelson Mandela going through that horrible treatment in prison and yet I believe even then he was doing fine because he knew all along his purpose.

 

The spirit of man is nomad. His blood bedouin, and love is the aboriginal tracker on the faded desert spoor of his lost self; and so I came to live my life not by conscious plan or prearranged design but as someone following the flight of a bird.”

 

“The Bushman in the Kalahari Desert talk about two “hungers”. There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; But the Great Hunger, The Greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…

 

There’s ultimately only one thing that makes Human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is the have thrust upon them

A life without meaning…

There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness….

But of far more comfort to the soul…

Is something greater than happiness

or unhappiness and that is meaning.

Because meaning transfigures all…

Once what you are doing has for you meaning,

It is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy

You are content—you are not alone

In your spirit—you belong”

(Sir Laurens van der Post from Hasten Slowly, a film by Mickey Lemle)

 

 

Jazzin’ the Day Away

I am posting a jazz guitarist video today to start my day of practice off right.  The arpeggios are getting easier all the time and I think if I can break the sound barrier so to speak, that place at which most people would quit because they don’t see how any of the drills will make them able to play actual improvised jazz, or even to take the songs they currently know and play them in a much more enjoyable arrangement..

So, yes, in spite of all the lack of proof that it will work, I will practice on in despair, like a mountain climber that knows that even if they reach the top they will most likely not make it down again due to hazards of nature…

That sounds so drama-queen-ish but it is how it feels to work and work for hours on one song and then play it and realize it does not sound good yet…

But I will go on because part of me knows that the day will come, in a month, a year, or 2 years, or more, when I will play well, when each song will be up to par, when I will have the gigs, respect from my fellow musicians, and most importantly, when I will use my new guitar skills to compose songs that I feel will make a difference – will help one or more people to learn, gain a new insight or be free of some mental anguish, due to the message and love in the song that I sing.

I don’t mean that I will be a star or that my video  will go viral, just that the ones who do hear my music will benefit from it.

This is almost like going back to a time when live performers were everywhere, before they had computers, TV, or even radio.

The world I want to live respects  songwriters and musicians of dedication, not because they are famous or because the are “trending” on social media, but because their music is glorious, like a beautiful painting by a master painter.

So enough of my rant, here is a video to inspire and entertain you and me:

Can A Waitress Play Jazz Guitar (good if not great?)

Today I have a nice dog to keep me happy and I begin another day on my jazz guitar adventure.  Yesterday I was thinking how I previously believed (and often still do) you have to be a genius to play jazz guitar, and  have a super sharp memory, lightening quick reflexes and tons of musical talent.  Then, thanks to a book called Zen Guitar (not exact title, will add later) I thought more productively, and less judgmentally, about the odds that I will ever get good at this.   And this term came to me:  memory stacking.  As a waitress one must remember all the orders, personalities, condiments, and so on.  One needs a good memory for detail.  So is jazz guitar harder than that?  Yes…and no.  If broken down, one skill within the jazz training foundation may tax the memory as much as what a food server has to do within a given working day.  So, if it is like one day, I thought, I don’t have to be smarter than a waitress to play jazz guitar, I just have to only learn and attempt to reproduce ONE thing at a time…

Kind of like, stacking the jazz guitar skills one atop another within my mental circuitry: Memory Stacking.

…Until I have a giant multi-story building…or jazz mansion so to speak.   Will see how that works as I continue on my jazz adventure.

One more thing…before I start daily practice I often find a good jazz guitar video.  Today I will go for 5 hours, with this good example:

 

How to Shut Up (while not suppressing) your inner Critic.

 

You cannot suppress this voice/person/belief system that lives in your head.

You will only make it stronger.  You must come up to it and say,

“Hello, what is your opinion about my (music/writing/clothing/weight…)” and let it/her/him reply.

Then kindly say, thank you for sharing that, now I need to get back to what I do best, writing/playing/being joyful…

This person will lose the desire to bug you when you stop taking the bait.  Just like an external person.  If you are polite but do not let them jerk your chain they will get bored and stop their negative chatter about everything and anything.

The magazine “Real Simple” suggests some tips for controlling your inner critic:

  1. Pluck the weeds – when you have a thought, decide, is this a weed that needs to be plucked so my lovely garden can continue to flourish?  Focus on the thoughts that are beautiful blooms.  You can only focus on and embrace one thing at a time- by the time you immerse your feelings into the astounding  beauty of what your eyes and your heart behold, the weed/critic will have forgotten the point it was trying to make
  2. Rewire your brain – every thought we have paves a neural pathway, making it easier to have the same response over and over again. When the path is taken millions of times, it gets on auto-pilot.  Be aware of this, for example, every time I work on a new jazz technique the critic assures me I am too stoopid to play jazz – so I will recognize this, and take note of things I have mastered that I originally thought I never could.  At first this counter-thought will seem like a lie, I am just fooling myself, but just go along with it, and the next time the critic on auto pilot returns, insert that same response:  “Look at what I have accomplished that proves your criticism is wrong”.  Each time you do this, the new and self-loving neural pathway will get bigger, to the point that you will replace the critic with the warm,  loving supportive inner you that treasures each effort you make to excel at your dream of being a jazz guitarist/author/dancer/painter…or ______ (insert whatever is your passion.

Jazz Guitar practice today

A late start my practice.  I intend to practice longer and better, with more presence, today than i have before.  I intend to relax my hands, be kind to myself and let my creativity flow even as i am memorizing things…i will add in what i can of improvisation and not judge myself compared to Joe Pass…  Here is a video for jazz guitar to start my days’ practice: