Reflections of a Golden Year

self reflection

In hindsight.

I should be sleeping, it’s after 3 am on the 8th morning of this brand new year, maybe it’s the hour and lack of sleep that is inspiring these random thoughts, I keep thinking about 2014, reflections of this past year.
The last month of 2014 I spent listening to and cleaning up a year’s worth of music I had collected during the year. It might sound like work but that is not how i see it. Nothing makes me feel my memories more intensely than songs I associate the memories with. I think you know what I mean. Certain songs can take me back to being 13, 16, 21…..and to 2014.

So much navigating life and the rollercoaster of emotions I processed through this music. Listening to some Beth Harts is always a catalyst for me and as I went about musing over 2014 in hindsight a thought crossed my consciousness;  I’ve no clue where it came from or the connection if any to my music menu tonight, but it interested me. Like many cultures I grew up with a folklore that said the year you turn the age that is the same as your birthdate is your “Golden Birthday. Some call it the “Champagne Birthday”  So me? I was born on the 14th, hence my 14th birthday was my Golden Birthday.

Following that folklore in my random thoughts it occurred to me that since it had been 2014 and that I was born on the 14th day 2014 was to be my Golden Birth Year!

January 4th 2012- The date I began my life all over again….. in more ways than even I had imagined on that day.

Two years ago I opened the door to a tiny new sanctuary where there was only a hint to the many significant changes that it would soon help create what I have chosen to refer to as my “Second Season.” During these past two years I grew, mentally, spiritually, and physically stronger.

By 2014’s end I felt whole again. Finally.

I thought a lot about the year 2014, that my birth date is the 14th, I thought about every person, every event,  every lesson,  each that 2014 brought to my life, And changes, changes that don’t resemble anything I knew my life to be prior.
Right up to the end of 2014 I had the benefit of even more change.

 

self reflection

 

2014 brought to me the lesson of what being alone single means in all it’s singularity. I found after first fearing the worst; holiday’s alone, means that being alone has nothing to do with feeling alone. I have to admit that with all my bravado of declaring that I no longer will attend holiday functions out of a sense of obligation or old traditions that I soon was feeling fear. Fear as those dates got nearer that I’d find myself lonesome, AND miserable. I’d not ever been alone on Christmas Eve in my life.

There were times in my life I craved being alone, snippets of alone time as any sibling and/or parent knows is a rare commodity. Rarely do I remember alone time that I was mindful of at the moment though, or even what it felt like to be alone.
I do remember being alone had nothing to do with me ever feeling lonely. I never connected being alone in the context of loneliness.
Today that context is often referred to because I live alone, I am predominately a solitary person. I find myself feeling compelled to negate the assumption made that because I live alone means I’m also lonesome. (Yes there are rare times) I’m fueled with rationalization that I want to explain.
But I don’t.

Living alone for someone who’s neither an introvert, nor an extrovert; but both, comes with mixed feelings AND mixed messages.
I’m fascinated by how many of us are navigating life as a single, and intrigued by the “tricks of the trade”of living life singularly.

I think embracing living a single life comes easier if a person has prior acceptance that being alone is not only just okay, but also emotionally intelligent. Time alone that doesn’t come with the sense of need to fill all the empty-space up, to not fill the silence in, this is a precious commodity of time that I find especially valuable for checking in with myself. To do a self-inventory of my life and who I am today.

 

who you are

One of the most precious lesson’s I’ve discovered during 2014 has been how vital my serenity is to my life. Literally. I realize immediately today when that serenity is being threatened to be jeopardized. I don’t question when my radar goes off alerting me to chaos that is approaching the fine balance I try to maintain. There was a time in my life when I didn’t trust that radar because there was so much outside interference, too much static.

2014 was the year I began to recognize how important to me living single is to my serenity. I’m not sure it will remain to be true for the future, what I do know is my expectations of what is needed for me to maintain the peaceful authenticity that makes life worth greeting each sunrise.

I’m not ready to give that up.

 

 

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Pre-New Year’s Eve Party on Barefoot Rock n Blues >>>>>>This Sunday (12.28.2014)

Let us begin training together for the biggest party of the year.

Join Barefoot Rock n Blues this Sunday evening to help get in shape for ringing out 2014, and for singing in the New Year.

Looking forward to y’all joining the fun…. with bells on!

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A Christmas Gift ~ Live Performance of “The Angel’s Gift” by Siberian Solstice

 

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{posted originally on Barefoot Music Group}

Barefoot Music wishes you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy 2015 with this very generous gift of Siberian Solstice’s performance of The Angel’s Gift -performed at the Defiance Christian Church, Ohio USA – recorded and produced by Ken Richer.

Feel welcome to share with your family & friends.

 

 

 

 

Band Members:

Dave Coonrod – Bass

Dave deal – Keyboard

Tom Spraque – Main Vocals

Steve Parker – Percussion

Marie Moore – Keyboard

Jeff Montgomery  -Guitar

For more information about the band and their shows: http://http://www.siberiansolstice.com/members.htm

 

The Wonder of Being Winter Struck

winter_2014winterstruck_2014

I love the snow

Its pristine sparkling dust that dances through the air

Softly it falls,  a soft down on the ground

Seeming to soften the hard edges of a cold winter’s night

All of God’s critters seeking shelter, each of us snowbound

It’s as quiet as a forest,  to my wonder and my delight

 

I love the snow.

Each flake like a diamond from the sky

Here inside, tucked in by warmth, and with little sound

I’m mindful of the wonder that has struck with such spectra

It fills the room with an aura of romance and  nostalgia

 

I love the snow

And listening as the wind begins its lonesome song.

As each snowflake lights up my sight

They feel like candle light

I’ve never seen the snow so bright

As on this winter’s night

 

Random thoughts & photo inspired by a cold evening during Winter’s fierce first storm ~ Oregon’s High Desert  USA * November 19 2014

(photo-shop enhanced)

 

ttaylorcopyright_edit2014

Traditions, Changes & Honesty

I’m doing things different this year.

My self-imposed challenge this Holiday season is to create new traditions for myself that are no longer dependent on other’s expectations, or a sense of obligation to anyone, or anyone to me.
Not knowing exactly what direction these new traditions are going to be has been a bit bewildering…..

Making a choice to not abide by the past traditions that Christmas always held for me has been mind-baffling and emotionally tugging, yet I’m excited about the possibilities of creating new traditions that speak to me and for the life I live today. This isn’t to say I won’t be connecting with my family & friends. What it does mean is for the first time…ever…. I am not going to participate in something merely out of a sense of obligation and expectations to past traditions. I want to create new one’s, ones of my choosing,  ones for all the right reasons in this second season of my life.

But I had no idea where to really begin beyond the desire……..
…..then while pondering thoughts ran through my brain THIS  meme below appeared in my FB feed today, December 5th, 2014.

christmas to do list

I love how the universe works.

Deeply breathing in the “Reason for the Season” without any sense of reluctance is absolutely the new tradition I am looking for. Right at this moment though I can’t even imagine how this will feel.

 I now have a “To Do” list that speaks to me and what I want to be mindful of this Christmas; and how to get there.
Giving myself permission to put my energy and focus exactly where it serves my spirit for the first time in my life is so  exhilarating I’d go as far to say it’s intoxicating. With that being said I don’t expect everyone in my world to understand or “get it”.  I hope though that for those who I matter to in their lives they won’t judge my attitude and actions. Or lack of actions as the case may be.

 No one has been privy to living in my head and my heart;  and only a few know that I had been living a state of mind, heart, and spirit that was literally watching my life slip away.  I thought all my passions…all my fire… had been extinguished.

How wrong I was.

I had merely let my passions become stifled. I had given up on hope & dreams. It matters none today why I had,  as long I know that I have the choice to grab everything about life that feeds every aspect of who I am.

No more stuffing that which serves my mind, my heart, and my spirit.

No more swallowing my feelings, my anger, my needs, my disappointments, and the biggie…. drum roll please…..NO MORE loneliness despite being in a room full of people.

This for me is another step to an authentic independence from other’s to make me or my world happy and complete. Having been on both ends of that spectrum looking to other’s for my happiness/contentment; AND being someone who others’ had looked to for theirs.  It  is a bittersweet realization to find that I had buried so much of myself to fit the idea of who other’s wanted me to be.  I take complete ownership for teaching others that I was okay with this.

It’s really self-sabotage, yet we all do it. Especially we women do it. We all have been conditioned by society to believe it’s the righteous way to live life by being a full-time martyr……then to follow-up with feelings of resentments and complaints  afterwards. I know I did.

That is until I found comfort in my self.

I’m retiring from the “Martyr Membership” that I belonged to all my life away.

I’m putting the “Merry” back into my Christmas. 

keep calm reason for season

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas hat truly feeds your own Reason For this Season.

 

 

 

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ttaylor 2014

 

 

Choices

This past 20 months in my life has been about learning to accept the things in my life I cannot change, and to change those that I can. When I say accept or change this does not mean I have chosen to settle for the things that I cannot change, it means I am finding ways to make living around those things,  or without those things, ….. or even some people.
Sometimes we need to make choices in our lives that involve choosing to disengage from anything or anyone that brings a toxicity to your world that is too altering to ones serenity and inner peace. Sometimes those choices are less than popular with others in your world that just do not have the benefit of being privy to the entire history of the relationship you have with yourself.
Toxicity comes into play in our lives in many forms. Trying to find ways to rid ourselves of that which isn’t serving our body, minds, and spirits can be trying. Maybe even feel impossible. Finding the right answers can be difficult and painful. Also there might be criticism from those in your inner world who don’t agree with you, especially if the toxicity is coming from another person.
People toxicity happens in different ways by different people. Deciding that someone is bringing a toxicity or chaos to your life is a damn tough decision. I know. I had to draw some very clear lines in the sand of my life. Some people I love had to go. That’s really painful to my heart yes. Yet my spirit, my soul, sees this as a time in my life when I’ve been the truest to myself.
So, what do I consider toxic for me? I honestly don’t think there is a lot to my criteria. It’s also going to be different for each of us because of own personal tolerance levels for chaos in our lives. In fact some people thrive on that chaos and feel empty without it. My threshold for tolerance of chaos seems to have diminished as years gain on my time on earth. But as examples of what I have disengaged from for the purpose of making my point suffice it to say that if another in my inner world cannot be first transparent with me about who they are and their life than we have a problem from jump street for any real relationship beyond being merely acquaintances.
I’m not talking about people who are troubled cannot be part of my life. I am troubled. BUT I don’t want to be manipulated by that chaos that the person has no intention of changing. They may even like where they are because they can complain and run on and on about it rather than find a way out of it. Sound cold and heartless? Maybe.
I am saving my sanity and my health.
I am a piece of work in progress. I don’t have the room for anything that just continues to spiral out of control with no agenda, no intentions. I have to say “so long.” There are signs that a relationship/person is toxic, continually avoiding contact is surely a screaming sign for me. I am choosing to avoid negative attitudes, gossip, constant complaining, whining, AND what I choose to call extreme dependency on me for another’s happiness. It wears on the body, and the mind. It took a long wearing me out to understand that I need to not hesitate to cut toxins from my diet and physical environment, so why would I not cut the toxic relationships from my life?
I know why. I was avoiding the major conflicts that I knew it would inspire if I made the choice to disengage, and even leave relationships. Conflicts with others and conflicts within myself. 
Hurting others feelings and treading on their hearts is not something that makes me feel good about life, or myself. I had strong arguments for staying put that had nothing to do with me. Yet I knew deep down inside my soul that I had to find the courage to tell those in my life the truth. I had to tell my then husband of 42 years that I was living a lie. I had become miserable, it was not about blame for me but about change. That was for me the most painful relationship to disengage from, but disengage I did. That relationship is more of an acquaintance now, albeit one with a long history and family together. Almost two years later I can say it’s good.
That I have moved away from toxicity in my world has been liberating. But it’s been frightening too. My whole compass to my spirit was set askew and those first 12 months were spent grappling with old and new relationships, and filtering out those that despite everything tried still brought chaos and toxicity to my life.
I’m just now in reflection defining how I did that in terms of “How To’s” I’m not going to pretend and write that it was easy. It took me two years to come to this decision and then 6 months of almost solitude to figure out how to make it happen. So my how to list will be fairly generic and simple because each of us has our own dynamics we are dealing with. My big pivotal disengagement will likely be different from yours, but I think the “How To’s” still apply.
First though there is a core belief system that I truly believe one must embrace to get to the level of disengaging from toxicity.  My close friends and family hear me recite these two mantras often.  1. That we accept the love we believe we deserve. 2. That we teach others how to treat us.
From those two core beliefs I began to create an intended agenda to detoxify my interpersonal relationships.
I first began to recognize the signs of toxic people. Any continued negative impact on my life had to be “disinfected” if you will. You know if someone or something is creating negative havoc in your life. Your spirit will be screaming at you if you stop for quiet moments and listen.
Next came drawing those lines in the sand. Creating boundaries around myself that insulates me from the negative energy that brings all the toxicity that disease can.
It’s not comfortable getting honest with yourself, nor being honest and standing by how you feel. But doing so allows you to move on and be in the space that feeds your heart, mind, and soul. Toxic people may not just go away because you recognize the need to have a line drawn with them, they may even become angry and spiteful. That’s okay. ITS’ their anger and their spite. For this reason I learned I don’t need to defend my choice to remove myself. It’s about who I am and how true to myself I am.
It’s okay to make the choice and stand in life to say; ” No more thank you. So long”
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ttaylor2014

A Promise To Dance In The Rain

Found in my Reader yesterday ~

Happy Anniversary!

Barefoot Rock n Blues Special Encore w/ Trevor Sewell

 

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This Friday, August 29th, 2014. 7pm GMT – 1pm EDT
Hear Trevor Sewell’s newest album release in it’s entirety in this special encore presentation.
“Face To Face” is a beautiful acoustic compilation of Trevor’s signature style and sound an independent (and spontaneous) project recorded at Capital Records Studio in L.A.
I personally fancy the music of just a musician & their instrument, no bells, no whistle’s. Just the pure music.
Hope y’all will be joining Barefoot Rock n Blues on Mixstream Radio on Mixposure.com

http://www.mixposure.com/mix_radio/

 

In Trevor’s words:

This album is very different to my usual electric offerings as I just wanted to see what the songs were like when they were completely stripped back to just one guitar and one voice – it was completely unplanned and there was no set list. I was in Capitol Records in Hollywood to record tracks for my new electric album which will be released later in the year and the engineer set up my acoustic and a microphone and as I liked the sound through the headphones I just said ‘ Can I make an acoustic album while I’m in position’ – Joe the engineer just smiled and said ‘why not?’, so that’s what happened and less than 3 hours later the Face To Face album was in the can – we could have easily gone back and added lots of other instruments but that would have defeated the purpose so the only rules were no overdubs just one guitar, like I say there was no set list so I just played songs that happened to pop into my head at the time and Joe let me know when we had ten tracks. To sum up, although this was recorded in a studio it is in every way a Live album, so if anyone comes to my solo shows this is a good representation of what it sounds like. Capitol is a great place to record in and I managed to get started on my new electric album later that afternoon but with the bonus of an unexpected extra album already recorded, so all in all I think it was possibly one of the most productive days I’ve had in any studio – If Carlsberg made studios … thank you Capitol. ”  

~ Trevor Sewell  

That’s Friday August 29th @ 7pm GMT-1pm eastern

where: http://www.mixposure.com/mix_radio/

Barefoot Baroness Juke Joint by the TrueVulgarians

You might know I began a radio show called Barefoot Rock n Blues in June, what you might not know is that the community of independent music maker’s and listener’s at Mixstream Radio on http://www.mixposure.com/mix_radio is a close community of friends. The support by everyone involved has continually impressed me. They all welcomed me with warmth that touches my heart, I am in awe by the music and joy they bring to my world.

(Noteworthy for me is that this post is my 550th Barefoot Baroness post)

I’m sharing a proud event in my life, my radio show. I am also with this post sharing a proud and humbling gift I received. I am still truly blown away as well as honored by this song The TrueVulgarians wrote, performed, and recorded for me. What I thought was going to be a 30-40 second promo spot is actually an amazing & awesome song by these talented people.

My deepest gratitude & thanks to Bill & Jackie- The amazing TrueVulgarians. I became a fan immediately the first time I heard their music. *See links below for more music and information about this fantastic brother-sister duo.

For now I just can’t resist the impulse to share here, despite it being pretty self-serving on my part. So I hope y’all will forgive me on that aspect and just enjoy the music, because that is after all what this is all about anyway….. The Music.

 

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Barefoot Baroness Juke Joint

by The TrueVulgarians

https://www.mixposure.com/barefoot-music/audio/18323/barefoot-baroness-juke-joint-by-truevulgarians

 

             ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For more on the TrueVulgarians

http://barefootmusicgroup.com/2013/10/29/please-meet-independent-music-duo-the-truevulgarians/

http://barefootmusicgroup.com/2014/01/09/double-shots-with-the-truevulgarians/

 

Tune in Sunday evenings @ 8pm eastern to Barefoot Rock n Blues for the very best of independent music.

www.mixposure.com/mix_radio/

 

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Redefing Fear

Family members hurt us. Friends betray us. And life keeps us moving forward with the pain in our hearts and scars on our souls.

And we are also the other part of that same dichotomy for others in our own lives.

Most people don’t set out to cause hurt and pain to others, and maybe this is why we embrace forgiveness for ourselves and other in these situations. Maybe so we can heal the wounds, and maybe leave a less noticeable scar on our hearts.

I hope.

Treading on other people’s joy and expectations by making an unpopular and frightening choices is something I found difficult to do, and because so it fed into my fear of making the drastic life changes I needed.

So I could gain back some serenity in my spirit I leapt off a cliff with no idea what my landing would be like.

Today I am grateful that I embraced the fear anyway.
.
That fear…it had been screaming at my own spirit that something was terribly wrong in my life….for some time.
Part of the fear was about having to admit I had been living a life that was not what it seemed to be to those close to me….
…. admitting that what seemed to be…really just wasn’t the truth… was difficult & frightening.

That fear though was maybe in the end more of a motivator than I realized.
I have tried to spend my life living to be as authentic and as genuine as I can; and here I was living a bold face lie in my personal life.
I found that I was using my fear as an excuse to not change that about myself that was not genuine, and causing chaos for my spirit.
Pretending to be happy when the truth is that the very air space I was in had become intolerable and a far cry from living any kind of serenity. The hypocrisy and chaos alone that it created was in the end what I just couldn’t reconcile with.

Thankful today I am for that fear which told me something serious was going on that I no longer could ignore.

Grateful for that fear helped me redefine my life and where I wanted to take it.

Humbled that the fear itself was not my hindrance, but instead my liberation.

©ttaylor2014

Life’s Desire’s

If life is just all about surviving, getting by, and keeping things the way they are, then how can we explain imagination?
If it is just about sacrifice, selflessness, and altruism, then how will we explain desire?

I also wonder; if it is only just about thinking, reflection, and spirituality, then how can we explain the physical world?
I think the answers are in the big picture, I like to think it can be all-inclusive, and that wanting it all, that desire, that’s what helps mold and shape who we are, and our interactions with our world.

What do you think?

©ttaylor2014

Good… Good… Good Vibrations

 

Vibrations.  The good kind… there has been an energy field filled with such Good Vibrations that I can’t help but celebrate.
Good vibrations from those around me, from the events happening in my life, and those I love. Good vibrations seeming to spark one to another.

It’s a contagious thing. 
Some might even call it the great secret of life.
I don’t think it’s a secret. it’s simply something that needs to be applied. Practiced if you will. 
In our physical world there are different rates of vibrations, these all can have vastly different results and effects. In the physical world both negative and positive are a must for each other to create the machinations sought out by living. Vibrations of our physical world are vastly different from the vibrations on a spiritual plane. Having an awareness of the difference is important. Realizing this and applying it can create the difference between productive energy for the soul….or energy that which feeds no one, nor anything.  And depletes everything good.
While in the spiritual dimension negative energy is a considered a lower vibration because it’s a heavier and more dense energy, while positive energy is a higher vibration, it’s lighter and far more subtle. My sense about negative energy is it weighs me down, it almost makes me feel claustrophobic, if that makes any sense to you.
Whereas I find with positive energy a feeling of lightness lift from my shoulders. I feel liberated. The difference between negative & positive in my mind can be like the difference between pain and joy. I tend to feel negative energy as an emotional hardship and what  it can cost me and those I care about can be rather expensive.
For me negative energy is confining  While ppositive is liberating.
Learning early on that spiritual energy attracts more energy is a fundamental key to one’s own serenity. With personal experiences I trust that the energy I project is exactly what the energy I will receive in return. I  embrace all those good vibrations surrounding my life. I can choose at any given moment, any given circumstance or scenario   just which polar side I am going to hitch my wagon to,,,,,, and because positive attracts more positive… as does negative attract negative… I choose to circle my wagon around the Camp of Positivity. 
After watching patterns develop around me these last 24 months an awareness came to me that  there is an absolute connection to the spiritual energy plane that corresponds with circumstances on a physical energy plane. These patterns have helped reinforce for me that with every positive thought and action I create its tenfold,…. the more positives I apply the more positive goodness results.
It’s a magnetic force that I cannot ignore.
It’s magic, yet it’s not. The polar side of that is just as true and I choose NOT to draw or pull the negatives into my life. 
This is where and how my making choices in how I think and where I let my emotions take me is so symbiotic. No thought exists without there also being an emotion tied to it, even when we may not be aware, our subconscious is aware. Becoming keenly aware of how my thinking affects my emotions… and  in turn how my emotions affect my thinking is liberating.
It’s empowering.
It’s imperative that the self chatter I create be in the positive habit. 
It matters a whole lot what we’re telling ourselves when we think no one else is listening. 
This basic understanding I want to point out this is simply in my humble opinion part of my emotional intelligence. An emotional intelligence that continues to grow and foster in my life  that I find great serenity in today.
I am convinced that with continued awareness and walking with an open heart and mind that this belief enables ordinary people like me to effectively take charge of my way of thinking, and thus the quality of my life. 
The feeling (emotional) function of our physiology is our internal monitor detecting at any given moment how we feel we’re doing in the given circumstance;  and because the human spirit is so tremendously complex we experience a vast spectrum of emotions, from pain to joy, sadness to happiness, frustration to satisfaction….and throughout these emotions we’re critiquing how we’re feeling. Most often berating ourselves… negatively. 
OR MAYBE NOT…
There’s enough negativity out there in the world that is not even directed to each of us personally, yet we can be affected. I see no benefit by adding to the vibrations any negatives from my camp.
My thoughts and my feelings are wrapped around this mindset:
”  I don’t want what I think and feel, (whether it be out loud or merely if I internalize) to be of the negative and dis-empowering kind.  I am choosing to allow no room for negatives.”
Choosing as often as I can only those ” Good, Good Vibrations.”
In living my life being mindful of how my words and internal chatter impact others and myself I have witnessed just how one good vibration sparks another.. and another…..
I learned a new word the other day. “Orenda”
 [aw-ren-duh, oh-ren-]

noun  ~ a supernatural force believed by the iroquois Indians to be present, in varying degrees, in all objects or persons, and to be the spiritual force by which human accomplishment is attained or accounted for.
 
Maybe it’s another word for Good  Good Vibrations”
 I have zero doubt that what is taking place in my life and others around me in nothing less than “Orendu.”
 

 

 

©ttaylor2014

Reposting Words….that ring true still today

** For transparency sake you might like to know this post was written almost a year ago. I continue to have reasons to be filled with enormous gratitude, and my own words below still ring true within myself.  So albeit cheating really I thank you for indulging me. I think this repost is a timely one.

I believe this is a case of practice what I preach.

 

Above all else it is about leaving a mark that I existed. I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a great purpose and that is why I make works of art.”~ Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Today I know how that life itself is a work of art. one in which we all have a great purpose in. We create art in our life on a daily basis.

WE are our own masterpiece.

I have been conscientious of late for the need to try to remain simply mindful of today, of the “now” in my life. It is not a new belief or concept for me, but it requires patience and focus. My patience was being tested lately.

This has made me forgetful,  and  it also helped me to lose my focus on just the here and now, and to enjoy just what I am living right now.

I am realizing that to also be grateful for the things I don’t think about as often would go a long ways to remaining in the moment. I need to remain in the now.  Not get caught up in the problems of yesterday, the worries of tomorrow. Instead being mindful of all things significant in my life….

 So, I ask myself what about the little things?  The things in my life that I take for granted?

There  are things I tended to take for granted if my life, and when I was suddenly in another world many of those things I took for granted were gone, so my priorities changed. For the better.

I am a grateful person usually by nature. I believe in gratitude and expressing thanks. I am easily aware of feeling grateful for the obvious gifts in my life. Gifts like my Faith, my Hopes, my Dreams, on being loving, on being loved, on peacefulness and contentment. These are the things happiness can be built on and I am thankful each morning and night for these gifts. And for those in my life who are my gifts.

Yet there are those small, seemingly unimportant things in my life I would not want to be without; like the flowers I am able to grow each spring and summer. In the grand scheme of my life, important? Probably not. Yet my world would be flat without. There are a few others in my life that I’d like to be more aware of how significant they are to me. In a more mindful way.

Making a point of being grateful for the “small things” and not taking advantage of them, or assuming they will always be there is important to me. So much so I try to make gratitude part of my daily self-inventory.  Or aka “self-observation.”

Seneca, the Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman and dramatist, suggested the idea of “self observation” by making a daily self-inventory of ourselves, by asking as we bring our day and evening to a close the questions of ourself.

His suggested questions work for me. What bad habit have you changed today?  What fault have you resisted?  In what respect are you better?

And I add: Who and what am I grateful for today?

This ritual of asking and answering for the day’s behavior & actions helps me to be reminded of the times when I am not living as graciously as I could be. I am able to sort out the day’s events and process any feelings. Often through music and journaling.

I know that you can not create happiness out of nothing at all. I know that it takes a “Whole Lotta Love” and everyday significance. I know that I have been remiss of being mindful to appreciative the many seemingly small things in my world which really do hold great significance.

 I hope to now have created gentle reminders that will prompt me to stop, take a few deep breaths, and realize where I am at this moment in time.

I know this; I am able to touch happiness because of these many “small things” in my life that are very significant…at least to me.

They help create my own masterpiece.  What’s creating yours?

 

 

 

Signature 2013

 

 
 

 

Test..Test..

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 Firsts
First times for everything usually create a lasting memory.
I’m happy to say that even though I’ve lived a lifetime I’m still experiencing Firsts.
My journey of this last two years has been filled with a lot of Firsts, and most recently I had the great joy of doing my first live, on the air, radio show.

Barefoot Rock n Blues has been such a long chased dream that when I ran my first test show it felt surreal. Yet I found the nervous energy I felt funneling right into the very music I love, this very music I will now have the privilege of spinning for other listeners – now as a DJ.

There’s a bit of technical work and learning curve that goes into creating a live radio broadcast, and I’m not someone who is technically inclined.
Setting up the broadcast software would not have been possible without the help of the Mixposure Team.
The team is just one of the reasons I’m delighted to be invited to DJ for Mixposure Radio, I am proud to be joining the team. I have been a listener and member of the Mixposure community for about a year, it feeds my passion for independent music.
A radio station that devotes 100% of its air time to Independent Music is where I wanted to hang my hat, and with Mixposure’s long history with independent music & artists; and that it is owned and operated by independent musicians & artists I feel like I found a home.

Because Mixposure has confidence that I have something worthwhile to bring to their mix (pun fully intended) and that I have the support and guidance from the other six DJ’s I even am feeling a bit of confidence too now. I have had two test shows which reaffirmed to me that doing something that you love is never work. Everything worked like a classic textbook case for the broadcast software, my set-up and microphone checks were tweaked with the help of an amazing technical engineer whose handle is Daddy Rabbit. He left his rabbit tracks permanently imprinted on my heart.

A big shout out to Mixposure’s Dazed and JimE for their confidence in me. And to my friend and mentor DJ Doug Dickens. They have all been the strongest of supporters whose warm welcomes were what allowed me to “Just Breath.”

I’d like to say thank you to Doug Dickens for he’s become my mentor (even when he might not have wanted the job) I look to him often for guidance. He & his beautiful wife have both become dear friends.

Also I want to thank Brick Fields Music from my heart and soul for the use of their song “Barefoot Woman” as my theme song. There is a bit of a serendipitous back story to how this came to be that I will share another day, but suffice it to say that since I fell in love with Brick Fields music & especially their song Barefoot Woman amazing things have happened. I am convinced that there is a much more powerful force at work in all our lives.

Thank you Rachel Fields & Larry Brick.  I love you Brick Fields!

I’m including the song here for some added enjoyment to listen to as you finish the post.

http://youtu.be/SeZPEeZlagQ

Both tests, while having three definite listeners who could give me live for feedback was priceless. I felt sincerely like I was simply sitting with a group of good friends listening to fantastic music while we chatted about the music.  That there was a microphone in front of me became a moot point.

Yet..firsts sometimes come with blunders, while in the moment of the first test, I was so caught up in the music and making sure I was following directions that I forgot to turn the mic ON. OOPS!

Testing my stream, my microphone, and my first time jitters was empowering for me to say the least, giving voice to my desire to share music with as many people as I can is such an enormous feeling of satisfaction. I’m actually quite blown away. I keep repeatong lately that this is a dream that I have been chasing for a very long time. Since being a young child I have had an affinity for radio and the music it brings to my world. Albeit there had been a time I became disillusioned with what commercial radio had become. Even the once Avant Guard of the late 60’s radio with FM frequency and stations playing whole albums and longer tracks has changed drastically today. Because of my distaste for what commercial radio had become prior to the internet I had remained in a time warp musically, I wasn’t hearing new artists to my ears very often. I listened to NPR- National Public Radio & our local college stations.

The internet changed all that for me. And Mixposure Radio.

Today I am an avid fan of internet radio streaming and my passion for independent music fell right into place. Now I am proud to be one of those music messengers’ who help promote independent artist’s and their music. The perfect extension to my artist management agency. I am so enamored with how this universe works its magic in our lives I’m in awe once again.

Believe in something strong enough, and never lose sight of hope for the things in your life that moves your heart & touches your soul, and dreams really do come true.

Am I excited?

Oh yeah!

Barefoot Rock n Blues debuts June 22 @ 8pm eastern on http://www.mixposure.com (Click on radio & Listen now)

I hope you’ll be listening in, and if so I would love your feedback.

ttaylor2014©

Found: Empathy & Compassion

Empathy and compassion are the paths that point to finding the road to living a life with great serenity.
Not everyone knows this experience.

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My small world is filled family and Friends whose empathy and compassion often not the socks off my bare feet.
I want them to know this 13th day of May 2014 just how much I cherish their caring thoughts, prayers, actions, and genuine feelings for me. I’m one very blessed lady and I never wish to take that for granted.

I was prepared mentally,  physically, and spiritually to have a surgical procedure called a Cholecystectony, the fancy word for Laparoscopic removal of my Gallbladder. I wasn’t prepared for deep sense of love and care I have been shown by family and friends. I don’t mean to suggest that their empathy and compassion are new to me.
Not at all.
I am feeling their care in a new way, it’s me whose feeling the loving care as incredibly blessed gifts. I think for sometime I wasn’t the person who was in touch and mindful of that feeling beyond an awareness that it was there.
I hope I wasn’t actually taking it for granted before,  I think I simply was not giving the compassion from those in my life the reverence it deserves. They deserve.
Empathy is not something everyone gets to experience,  yet it is needed to be able to embrace a sense of compassion.

There are people in my life, close family, and friends who became family by choice that I best describe them as ‘Empaths’. They know what I’m living. They, because of their gifts of empathy and compassion feel deeply what I feel.

image empathy is about standing

They’ve been beside me and privy to my journey of becoming a strong and independent woman, witnessing my  many “first times in life” experiences through the last two years, and they never judge, only support me with their unconditional love and acceptance of who I am.
I’m so blessed.

Self serving post this is, it is All About Me.
It’s important to me that those people in my life hear me say that I am touched in ways again today that leave me completely humbled by your friendship.
And your compassionate loving caring ways. You might think it’s nothing to take a few minutes to phone to just see how I am, I on the other hand think it’s priceless.

I especially need to give a ‘Mama Shout Out’ to my daughter Janis, she has been my personal nurse, confidante, chef, medical insurance specialist, and my heath advocate. As my daughter and best friend she reminds me daily just how imperative it is to be genuine with those in your circle of love, and the reasons behind the joy I find living an authentic life. I love you Cupcake & Thank YOU. ♡

My family/framily = my bros & niece’s, my two ‘sis-out-laws’, my two best gal-pals they know who they are, and last but certainly not the least my artists/clients-partners in music, all of them deserve big love from me for their most amazing support.

I’m deeply overwhelmed with emotions that y’all inspire within my heart and soul. I just needed to express it out loud.
THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!
I love you all to the Moon and Back.

 

©ttaylor2014

 

Listening

LISTENING IS A VERB.
Sitting with a close friend whose no longer conscious, his body quietly shutting down as he is in the final stages of terminal cancer came with great heartache. As I sat talking to my friend about everything, and about nothing, my mind went to an abstract thought about listening. I think being good at listening is one of the ways we can humble ourselves with others, and with our world.
  Quite possibly l was avoiding what my heart was feeling, but that’s another post, for another time. This is about listening.  
As I tend to do when something catches my attention I began thinking about it. Listening; observing how I listen, and later I began reading about it.
We crave the sound of another’s voice. Our human voice’s triggers laughter, tears, anticipation, urgency, often time love, and even comfort. Our ears are the complex instrument that for most of us we use to identify, perceive, and decipher speech and sound.
Our internal receiver & amplifier if you will. I’ve heard in the past, and just recently again I read that hearing is one of the last senses to leave us as we die.
Listening as an art isn’t something everyone does on the same level, and for a variety of reasons. But even in the worst case of environmental conditions for listening for most of us our brains act like a fine piece of software and reconstruct words, allowing us to decipher the gist of what is being said.
Cognitively we have learned how to pick up on clues and isolate them out, and sounds yes, but just as important to ‘listen ‘to are the lip movements, smiles, frowns, pauses, stammers. Our brain’s stitches them together in a commonsense of order which we use to communicate. 
I’m curious how often I miss something important being said because I heard only the gist of it. 
I was listening, I received most of it. Right?
The majority of what we think we hear is a product of our imaginations. Apparently without being conscious of it we tend to fill in missing gaps in other people’s verbal narratives. We often correct grammar, interpret accents, add punctuation. and even substitute words all the time our brain’s word processor is creating what we hear as the other person speaks. 
How many times have you known what someone is going to say before they have even finished?
Nothing about listening is passive. I had no idea there is an actual name given to this phenomenal effect, let alone that there is literature written on the topic.
It’s a process called ‘Phonetic Restoration’- Briefly, it’s a survival skill we all make use of that allows us to decipher communications, for instance when the captain of the ship is trying to communicate to frightened passengers over a public address system in a full-on roaring wind storm. The passengers get the gist of the warning.
Let Wikipedia have a go at it, a better explanation:
For reference compliments of Wikipedia: – Phonemic restoration effect is a perceptual phenomenon where under certain conditions, sounds actually missing from a speech signal can be hallucinated by the brain and clearly heard. The effect occurs when missing phonemes in an auditory signal are replaced with white noise, resulting in the brain filling in absent phonemes. The effect can be so strong that listeners do not even know that there are phonemes missing. This effect is commonly observed in a conversation with heavy background noise, making it difficult to properly hear every phoneme being spoken. Different factors can change the strength of the effect, including age and gender.
This effect is more important to humans than what was initially thought. Linguists have pointed out that at least the English language is full of false starts and extraneous sounds. The phonemic restoration effect is the brain’s way of resolving those imperfections in our speech. Without this effect interfering with our language processing, there would be a greater need for much more accurate speech signals and human speech could require much more precision. For experiments, white noise is necessary because it takes the place of these imperfections in speech. One of the most important factors in language is continuity and in turn intelligibility
I find I’m being more mindful now when listening. Intentionally I sit back, relax, and just listen with every sense. Being aware of how much concentration it takes to follow and absorb every word of a verbal exchange is daunting, but an amazing experiment.
Talking isn’t necessarily a requirement to be a participant in communication.
We also convey what we mean with our glances, how we tilt our head, smiles & facial expressions, these all become part of the exchange. Silently we can orchestrate the arrangement of a conversation, influencing its course, and its outcome.

 

Writing about listening needs to include a word on words. Words are a key element to communication, an obvious component of listening. 

Apparently our brains create about 500 hundred words per minute (wpm) when in a quiet environment. Our brain’s have a tremendous large appetite for auditory stimulation. Most of us speak about 150 words per minute, that is assuming we are using full sentences when conveying a desired message. This leaves a lag of about 350 words. (using the 500 wpm theory) We make use of this lag to listen to our intuition and perceptions. We engage, we listen with our eyes as much as with our ears.

It’s said that a good listener is also a good spectator by following a discussion along while also scrutinizing facial expressions and body language.

Yet even with adopting these listening practices we might not come away from a discussion with the ability to repeat what was said verbatim, or to remember things such as dates or names. But we will have absorbed the entire concept creating our own perception’s of what was said.

 

I don’t think we need to beat ourselves up when we come away without complete recall of important details such as dates and names. According to one major university study intellectual content only accounts for about 7% of all verbal communication.

Surprise you? Did me.

What we share between a speaker and listener’s is more than sharing mere words. We feel vibrations in speech, even though it’s not always audible. Some tones trigger auditory responses, some affect our moods, and some create unexpected thoughts or memories.

What we don’t hear in words we register with our other senses. Being good at listening ultimately means to use our entire being, all of our senses as a sounding board for what other people are communicating.

I intend to pay closer attention

. .

©ttaylor2014

Barefoot Rock n Blues ~ Sharing The Love

Originally posted on Barefoot Rock n Blues :

promo_heart and mic_edit

Sharing the love of ALL Independent Music on Barefoot Rock n Blues this Sunday, 15 February @ 8 pm eastern.

Where: www.mixposure.com

Join us in our interactive chatroom during the show and chat with the artists and listeners as we all experience the music together live streaming

No registration is required to tune in to the radio or to join us in chat. Simply sign is as a guest on the spot. Instant access AND did I say it’s free? The finest independent musicians on the internet world wide.    www.mixxposure.com/mix_radio

A little warm-up music: http://www.mixposure.com/barefoot-music/audio/18323/barefoot-baroness-juke-joint-by-truevulgarians

View original

Barefoot Rock n Blues Tonight- Rain Songs (01.18.2015)

Originally posted on Barefoot Rock n Blues :

promo_rain and barefeet_edit

Tonight’s show is especially for the Pluviophiles amongst us who find peace and comfort in the rhythm of rain when it falls.
First up a warm-up set of new releases and new artist’s to The Mix…..
…… then let it rain!

Radio alone –   www.mixposure.com

Chat room & radio –  www.mixposure.com/mix_radio

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The Mixstream/Mixposure Radio 2014 Awards

Originally posted on Barefoot Rock n Blues :

promo_mix admin page

The MIX 2014 Music Awards

Welcome to the Mixposure.com 2014 Music Awards.

There will be 4 categories this year.

These are; Best Country Song, Best Rock Song, Best Blues Song, and Best Songwriter of 2014.

The songwriting competition is open to all indie artists as well as working artists who want to be heard, recognized, and rewarded for their songwriting talent. There will be one award issued for this category and all genres of music are accepted.

….Please post any questions you have here in the comment box here or at MIX.  * see below

The Rules:

1. You must be a member of Mixposure.com to enter or vote

2. One song per genre, per artist. Let’s avoid crossovers everyone. If it is close to multiple genres, pick one genre only.

3. Voting is by registered Mixposure Members. One vote per person per genre. We have it locked down…

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Transformations by David C Deal & Company ~ A Journey of Transformations Through Music

transformation edit_album cover

” Sometimes, in the midst of a perfectly ordinary day one is unexpectedly flooded by the magnificence of “what is.”  Perhaps that moment of awesomeness and clarity arrives while watching a storm or absorbing a piece of art or kneeling with intention in a church. If blessed echoes of the past and visions of the future fade from existence as the unknowing silence of the INFINITE PRESENT emerges. With patience and grace one comes to know the incredible richness of “what is” as a revelation of GOD”S face and the mind is forever transformed into a MIRROR OF CREATION. 
~ David C Deal’s Transformations
Intricacies and nuances that go beyond what a listener can hear with just one journey through this album; “Transformations” by composer, musician and producer David C Deal with the contribution of many *talented musicians I found to be wonderfully true.
After several listens its depth of layers still captivates.
Transformations is aptly titled, as the listener is taken through a definite transformation that for this writer resonates deeply within.
A journey of self-revelation through song is a personal quest, yet the genuineness of what musician, songwriter, & producer David C Deal created with this odyssey resonates easily within ones own spirit. With the above quote from the album’s CD cover I think there’s not much more that necessarily needs to be said, but I found myself after many listens feeling compelled to share this album with the world. And there’s no better way for me to share it, save for being within the sound of my stereo, than to write about it, and to spin it on my radio show.
Opening the album with its intro of the first strike on piano keys by David C Deal’s with the addition the beautiful earthiness of the flutes by both musician’s Andrea Bak and Earth Songs (Native American Flute) sets the ambiance for this journey of “Transformations.”  The journey begins to unfold with intrinsic feelings when one’s own spirituality is touched upon, immediately with the organic feel of the instrumentation and the beautiful organic feel to the track “Graceful.” we have begun.

From the first track be ready for this amazing odyssey to begin. As I listen again for countless times the second track “First Contact” creates for this listener an intensity in my spirit that with its cascading piano building the emotions,  it seems to have stay with me even long after I turn my stereo off.

 
This album and its significant spiritual journey through the music and lyrics composed by David,  each track feels representative  of the ‘phases’ we all might well know personally on our own spiritual quest for transformations.
 
I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish by writing this review, for the many who have heard this album they know first hand the awesome experience this music is. So what I write I decided must not interfere with a new listen for anyone. I thought about expressing what each song brings to one’s heart and soul from my perspective, but in the end decided that if I did that it would be an absolute spoiler for someone’s first journey through this collection of music.

Suffice it to say that because of its spiritual impact on me, which I wasn’t expecting from a progressive rock point of view, I was and still am in awe and blown away. Blown away by the impact on me personally, where my life is today, and how easily each song resonates within myself. Blown away by the complex music compositions, and blown away by the sheer beauty that the musicians execute in every stanza, and in every note. 

 I have been living the album daily for several weeks, added to my daily devotional time, it was while reflecting about what it was I wanted to say in this post here I realized that much beyond remarking on the phenomenal musicianship and talent of each, and the messages of faith and hope, it would deny the new listener the experience of discovering for themselves the messages held in each song. To discover yourself the emotive ministry that comes from these collaborations by these amazing talented people should come first hand in my opinion..

 I will add that I truly believe that your enjoyment and experience would be greatly enhanced with your listen through headphones and zero distractions. I even will go as far to suggest that your first time listen you intentionally set a time of solitude and a quiet environment to listen and experience Transformations. I also suggest that you may be inclined to feel things not felt before, if so; allow yourself the gift of embracing everything this music inspires within your heart and your soul. 
I will simply close with three additional details. 
 
. * Credits to the masterful musicians:
David C Deal – composer, keyboards,vocals, producer
Kevin Peters – guitar
Tim Vargo -guitar 
Tom Hannah -guitar
Les Brooke- vocals, bass
Cynthia Lugo – vocals 
Ned Clark – vocals 
Andrea Bak- Flute
Earth Songs – Native American Flute
David Coonrod – bass
Andrew Vargo – drums 
 
 Transformations is available for purchase @ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/daviddeal
and for more about David C Deal and his music @ http://www.davidcdeal.com/
Lastly;
I believe in sharing forward that which touches me to my core; which is exactly what this beautiful odyssey through music does…over and over…and again.
So significant I find it that with abundant honor I will be sharing David’s “Transformations” in one set to open up my Barefoot Rock n Blues radio show for 2015.
THIS SUNDAY HEAR THE ALBUM IN FULL!
January 4th – Sunday 8pm eastern 
Join David & I in the chatroom during the show.
 
 
 
 
 

 ttaylor 2015