Wednesday Wellness: Information at your Service

Happy Wellness Wednesday! I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays as I noted so many of my friends and creatives struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my journey towards Wellness, along the yellow brick road, acknowledging all things shiny along the way.

One of my first jobs was working at the bookstore at the mall. I loved to work the Information Desk. It was a really neat way to be helpful and also learn things along the way. Many times somebody would ask me a question and I didn’t even know that I knew the answer until they asked. This continued as I moved on to the bigger flagship bookstore. I would put books on hold for myself, but after a few days return them to the shelves, as it seemed just thinking about them helped me realize what I needed to about them. Information was everywhere. So many books, so much information. It was my job to help people, but they were helping me, too. They were helping me develop my intuition.

I’m only just realizing that my current job (of twenty years!) is kind of like that, too. People come to me for assistance, and I assist them. They might ask me for information. I might know the answer, or I might know whom to ask to get the answer. I am providing information, as well as learning information. Sometimes still, I am able to provide the answer, not even realizing that I had already known the answer until that very moment. A little glimmer of a whisper in the back of my mind comes forth. And I am humbled.

The Doctor is IN

I am NOT a doctor. But I can help you find a book.

My dear friend Noel was a kindred spirit, and we both used to improvise playing piano.  When people said they liked her piano playing, she’d say “Isn’t it great? It’s the Holy Spirit!” She had a way of playing a song that is commonly known as “faking it.” There are Fake Books published, and this means the basic notes of the melody are noted and lyrics, but no other music is provided, only the Guitar Chords. It is an outline for the recipe of the song, if you will. There are many ways of making chocolate chip cookies, but in the end, they are all chocolate chip cookies. I love to improvise as I play piano, in fact, I even ignore the written accompaniment, now. If you listen hard enough, you can play the tune. You can play notes, or you can play music. You can follow a recipe, or you can make a cookie.  Are you with me?

So often something reminds me of something else.  Many times, I find myself looking for something, when, in fact, I find something else which I had been looking for before. Whomp, there it is.

Call it The Secret, the Law of Attraction, remote preparation, seek and ye shall find.

I truly believe that having an open mind allows one to perceive truths one might not otherwise recognize.

Everything in your life thus far has prepared you for the next moment. It’s synchronicity.

This afternoon as I drove around during my lunch break, the 80s station played that song “Pure Energy” by a group called Information Society.  Upon entering a place of business, I heard their radio station playing “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha.

What I know for sure, is that I am not yet aware of all that I already know.

What do you know?

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Monday Music: Open Mic

Welcome Back, Friends!

I have been away from the blog for some time, and I am sorry about that.  I took some time to work on my career, and that has proven fruitful.  I am still planning creatively, writing intermittently, and micro-blogging on Facebook & Instagram. Life continues, presenting us with one opportunity after another. Can you see it?

This morning on my commute, I switched radio channels and happened upon some lovely acoustic guitar picking. On the 80s channel, this can only mean “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi.  Isn’t it funny how just a few notes from a song can take you back in time?  I was instantly back in a dark, windowless downstairs pub, sitting in the corner with my big 80s hair, surrounded by a bunch of rowdy collegians, facing my first “open mic. ”

(I bet I have a pic in an album at home- check back again- dear reader!) (I WONDER- might I even have a recording of “Love Song” ?  A few years ago, I had some tapes converted to dvd. HMMM.)

Please enjoy this excerpt from my book Dee’s Dishes.

Way Back Wednesday

During my freshman year, two friends and I entered in the Open Mic Contest at The Pub, which was then downstairs from the Brickpile (grille) at St. Mary’s College. We were underage, but that didn’t seem to matter at the time, they let the three of us in. I was not prepared for how rowdy it would be. Did I mention that we were all in the Chapel Choir? I recall vividly how I wore my pink turtleneck sweater and my big hair somewhere between Deanna Troi and Elaine from Seinfeld, complete with a big pink scrunchie atop. [It was still the 80’s.]
The emcee was stirring, the first act a nasty comedian. The 2nd act: 2 dudes with guitars singing Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive. The 3rd act: 2 dudes lip-synching air guitar to Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive. The crowd booed them off the stage. We three lowly and somewhat naïve freshmen were completely distinct from the scene. I asked my friends several times if they wanted to bail. They said no. It was soon our turn to perform my original work, simply titled, “Love Song.” Amazingly, the crowd quieted respectfully, as I began playing the introduction on the old, out- of- tune upright piano in the corner of this dark and dusty pub. As the composer,  I had the unique advantage of substituting notes on the fly, as not all of the piano keys worked! I subbed an A in the bass line- that’s okay, I remember thinking,  A minor is close enough to C major… My two confident friends aced the duet, singing sweetly and dramatically. The crowd cheered respectfully.
And soon after, we left. We didn’t even stay to see if we had won. It so wasn’t our scene.
So now whenever I hear Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi, I recall that night of uncertainty, with a smile.

Wellness Wednesday: Music

Happy Wednesday Wellness, Friends!  I have been away from the blog, as I wasn’t feeling too well, myself  But I’m back- sharing my perspective on wellness for my creative friends, readers, writers, and art-makers…

music

Recently Sirius XM Radio announced the Billy Joel Channel.  I was delighted, as I have a free trial for another little bit here, and I can enjoy Billy Joel music 24/7 while I decide if I will subscribe.  Billy’s music has been so special to me and my family, and I had even seen him perform in concert several times.  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to listen to his music more often.  He has an expansive catalog, covering decades of music in many styles and voices.  So much of his 80s and 90s music is central to my individuation, and I kinda love the 70s throwbacks, too.

My new car doesn’t have a CD player in it.  Yeah, it was kind of surprising to me, too.   There is a wonderful USB auxiliary port which connects to my phone quite nicely.  But it is not the same as popping in a CD.  (Don’t even get me started on my mix tapes.)

I have been enjoying the Sirius satellite radio free preview and have my 80s music channels pre-sets all dialed in.  Yes I know people don’t say dial in anymore.  My kids correct me whenever I talk about “taping” TV shows. “We record, now, Mom.” Yeah, whatever. Tape.

I was not prepared for how wonderful the Billy Joel channel would be, and how it has helped my wellness journey.  I dig the music and it is a treat to listen to it in live versions.  But I also love the callers’ testimonials and Billy’s recorded words about certain songs and phases of his life.  I love how he plays piano as he’s talking and plays his own music in the style of Mozart.  Brilliant.

His music is so melodic and his lyrics so poignant.  They can take me back to a time or take me to a higher place.  I do also enjoy the rougher rock side of his music, that may be as black as my shadow gets, LOL.  I love rediscovering the reflective gems that are typically the last slow songs on his albums.  Souvenir. The Night is Still Young. I could go on and on…

I’ve recounted some wonderful concert memories for my kids, including the best triangle solo ever!  I’m teaching my young daughter the echo vocals on River of Dreams.  My son now drums along.

If you ever need to release some Pressure, try teaching your kids to yell “Pressure!”  in the car whenever Billy Joel sings it.  Great way to relieve pressure.  I promise.  Try it!

What’s your go-to music?