"Never hope for more than you are willing to work for"

I found that quote in an interesting blog by Brian Medavoy. Although the blog is about breaking into Hollywood, all the things he talks about could apply to a creative career anywhere. Highly recommended: Getting to Know Hollywood: Sign the Town Before You Sign the Talent

'Social prescribing' has its benefits

Just had to share this article: 'British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons'

When I read an article like that I think someone is finally getting it right. I've always felt that removing music from schools for lack of funds - like it's not important for our development and wellbeing - is a crime. Music is not a luxury. It's a necessity. I know not everyone can afford lessons or instruments or even to join a choir sometimes is impossible. But still we can enjoy music in our lives in a variety of ways. There are many benefits to being 'in the music'. Don't wait!

the ebb and flow of a day

I only have my own perspective, really, but it often feels to me like a day has its own ebb and flow, rather like the ocean tides. Some days, like today, I feel like I am in a tidal backwater and the sea is very very low. Other days I feel like everything flows along at a good clip and I am vibrating with creative energy a decent amount of the time. I begin to wonder if I need those fallow days as much as I need the vibrant ones. It can't sunshine all the time. Perhaps it's enough to sit and listen to the music of the rain.

quality in doing...

It occurred to me today that all my excessive planning might be as bad as bingewatching the latest series on Netflix or spending too much time on Facebook. It's as much not being present as any other overconcern with what happened before this moment and what's going to happen next.

I'd always considered that planning ahead was a reasonably reasonable thing to do. Indeed, how does one get from A to B without a road map. Very true. There does need to be some kind of purpose to one's day and some kind of a sketch as to which way one will go and what one might actually do when one arrives.

I do remember Eckhart Tolle saying something like, you can't think about attaining some future state as that removes you from the now. And, if one is so focused on an intention that one feels a lack in one's current moment... we create an unhappy state that affects the self and those around.

It seems, then, the quality of our 'doing' is more important than an end goal. As I write that it resonates with me.

In working with my students it is all about hearing & seeing the person before me as they are now, today. We cannot push the voice to be something it's not. Our whole journey together is about removing past programming and future expections to experience the natural voice without constraints.

There is a practice associated with that process... the goal is to practice for the sake of practicing... to allow that today's practice will feel however it feels but is the foundation for growth... to embrace the idea that breathing, sighing, and vibrating with sound today is sufficient. That it feels good. It feels good to have practiced being in the moment practicing. ~

the challenge...

I was watching a TAXI TV episode today with two very successful media composers. It was very interesting when they started talking about time. They don't do facebook, they don't watch tv. As they spoke I knew they were right, that there are definitely hours in my day that could be put to better use.

So I began again. Years ago I had a daily journal where I would write down what I'd done that day towards my creative goals. Not big earth shattering amounts of anything. Just a slow, sure walk on the path.

Since I'm working on several things at the moment, my list is Words (for writing my novel); Guitar (must practice as I am taking lessons), Composing (create music), Walk (good for you), and an ancillary item or two like 'pay bills' or 'put the recycle out'.

I remind myself that the goal here is not to be perfect. I may write something that doesn't quite jive or the musical cue I start may not gel, or my guitar practice may still be out of time with the metronome. But a little work on each of these things every day is, first and foremost, acting creatively. Secondly, you can't get to where you want to go without walking the path before it, however overgrown or meandering. ~

maybe one day...

It's hard to allow the fallow days. The times when inspiration seems far away. You pick up the pen or open the document, and the brain seems bent on something resembling a doze. Maybe you just need a recharge. A walk in the fresh air, or something different to do.

I find myself planning trips. I think, well, what if I wanted to go to LA for that film festival. Or what if I got brave and went to England for a week or two. Or Italy. I've always wanted to see Italy. I plan itineraries and price out tickets & hotel rooms. Even though the money or the time or whatever other limitation there is does exist, still, the dream passes an hour or two.

In my exploration of what might be possible or what would be cool I sometimes come across little bits of information. A blog that looks interesting. There are even places that understand travel dreaming and give you the tools to plan your journey.

Whether it's a youtube video, a travel book or a website with suggestions, I always look for the quaint, the cosy, the cute little place just right for someone like me, who doesn't need fancy decor or 5-star dining to enjoy a stay. All I want is a little place that feels homey and safe, where I can retreat whenever needed.

I'm inspired by the thought of my mom who designed her own walking holidays in England and backpacked with a girlfriend from place to place. Three years in a row. Lest you think that was nothing special, they were both in their 70s.

I hope one day to feel brave enough to board that plane and travel somewhere I have not been before. ~

feet of clay...

No one is perfect. That much we can all probably agree on. Each one of us have been influenced by any number of people in our formative years. Even before we understood language, we sensed meaning. Perhaps things were clearer, in a way, more simple. That was dangerous. That was uncomfortable. That made us laugh. That made us interested.

It's hard to know how much of what we experienced when we were young has to do with who we are as adults. But I do believe that if we can become aware of what we have integrated and, if we wish to change it, it is possible. The key, naturally, is the awareness part.

It's not easy to look at my own perceptions and preconceived ideas. Most are not black and white, they are a jumbled mess of voices that contradict themselves but all seem to agree that what ever I do, I'm not doing enough of it, or I'm doing it badly, or I'm doing it wrong, or I should just give it up.

Apparently we have something called a crocodile brain that plays a feedback loop all day long, ensuring that we stay where we are and how we are.

There’s a couple things I want to say about that. First, in ‘The Artist’s Way,’ Julia Cameron talks about identifying these negative things you tell yourself. Then, change the statement to something positive.

My mind used to screech at me that I was too old for whatever creative thing I was pursuing. It would say so in letters as large as the Hollywood sign.


I took that and made the affirmation, ‘I am a young, strong, and worthy singer. I have the right to sing.’

Second thing I want to say is… don’t believe the hype. People are not ‘born with it’ they ‘make it happen’. I’m not a doctor or a psychologist but I can tell you that I believe that most people are capable of change. It just takes work. Consistent practice of a new habit. Determination not to let the past win and affect the future. And perhaps even a sense of satisfaction in at least doing something towards a dream. ~