Tag Archive | music

The Little Things

” 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 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. You are your own masterpiece.
I have been duly conscientious for the need to try to remain mindful of today, of the “now” in my life. It is not a new belief concept for me, but it requires patience and focus. My patience is being tested lately.
This has made me forgetful and helped me lose my focus on just the here and now, and enjoy just what I have now.
I am realizing that to also be grateful for the things I don’t think about as often would go a long way to the gentle reminders I need to remain in the now. To NOT get caught up in the problems of yesterday, the worries of tomorrow. Instead, being mindful of all things significant in my life. Better than snapping a rubber band against ones wrist.
Don’t ask. Just trust me.
I ask myself what about the little things? The things in my life I take for granted, What are those little things that serve to be reminders for me. And why are they significant if they are such little things?
There are things I take for granted and that if my life was suddenly spun to another world and I was left without the things I am use to where would I be?
I am a grateful person usually by nature. I believe in gratitude and expressing thanks. I am often aware of feeling grateful for the obvious gifts in 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 it is true. 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. They are significant to my style of homespun happiness.
There are a few others in my life I’d like to be more aware of how significant they are to me in a mindful way. Making a point of being grateful for the “small things” and not taking advantage of or assuming they will always be there.
Just a few honorable mentions from my world in no particular order of value:
Cyberspace: 
For one immediate stand out I look no further than the very keyboard I type this on. And the magic of the Internet I don’t even pretend to understand. Ironically for a lady who is not a fan of technology it has become an important form of communication for me. I know what it is like  to be without though even for just a couple of days.  I’ll not take it for granted, instead I will be mindful of the gifts it brings to my life each day.
Journaling. 
I am grateful I can journal, and feel good about the cathartic expression as well as the personal growth I gain from my introspective reflections.
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 yourself. His suggested questions work for me.
  • What bad habit have you cured today?
  • What fault have you resisted?
  • In what respect are you better?
This ritual of asking and answering for that day’s behavior & actions helps me to be reminded of the times when I am not living as graciously as I could. I am able to sort out the day’s events and process any feelings through my journaling.  Tomorrow is a new day, start anew.
Cloth Napkins
 I know.. I know…. threw you for a loop there did I?
Cloth napkins are an indulgence I feel good about. I rarely use kitchen paper products, specifically paper napkins or paper towels. I usually have both in my home but prefer cloth napkins and cloth hand towels. It feels like a luxury with every meal to use a cloth napkin that I adore. I’m an extremely texture oriented person and am not a fan of the feel of paper napkins.
I am most grateful for being able to use cloth napkins.
 My Neighborhood:
One of the things I know I take advantage of and am rarely mindful of is when my neighborhood is quiet. There are times when I just want the solitude and false misconception that I am all alone in my ‘hood. That the absolute quiet means that everyone has left for the day. (weekends in the Summer) and I have this whole world to myself. This is my favorite time to walk about in the Hood and meet the neighbors pets, look at the gardens, especially in winter, most have some architectural designs that I admire and are only visible when the foliage has gone into hibernation.
Water & Music
 I love a hot shower/bath with music at the same time. Candles are optional.
There is a restorative calm that seeps into every muscles, tendons, and my body’s entire collection of connective tissue. I am magically transformed from the moment of stepping into the hot & fragranced water and the first few chords of someone like Snowy White’s Blues guitar and voice starts to fill the room.
I am in heaven on earth then.
Yet I take it for granted and never give a thought to having the clean abundant hot water nor my Bose stereo that I can move about the house at will.
I am most grateful for the soul grabbing love of friends who know what music moves me and sends it along my way. Never forget those who give the gift of a song.
I know that you cannot create happiness out of just anything  It takes creativity
I am able to touch my own oneness because of these small things in my life that are very significant to me.
They help create this masterpiece I call my life..
Advertisements

Test..Test..

promo_ barefeet blues on beach.jpg

 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©

Reinventing Me

4 January 2013 – I put these words on my new apartment’s refrigerator door:  “Let the music heal your soul”

Fast forward to 2014.

This first quarter of the new year has brought a lot of positives and new happenings in my life. My future is underway, people, things, and events bring slow smiles and quickening beats to my heart on a daily basis. I have chronicled my journey here often, a journey that brought me to a point in my life where reinventing a new lifestyle and what I planned to do with myself became my ultimate focus.

 I’d come to a point in my life where continuing to live authentically and truthfully meant big changes were in store for me, including my martial and living status.

 For that first year I year I devoted myself to recreating a personal and professional contentment. Something that I honestly wasn’t sure of at one point if it would ever be mine again. 

Music has to be part of that and just as my refrigerator affirmation sstate: Music is healing my soul.

Approaching the age of certain can be a bit mind-boggling. Altering lifestyles drastically while in the process can either knock you off your feet, or it can lift you to a feeling great empowerment. I made lifestyle changes including where I physically call home that have brought me a year of personal growth, and recently I added professional growth, that which I’d been anticipating.

 Recreating my life as an independent woman and building a sanctuary I call home became a priority that took the best part of 14 months.  Yet it seems like it was just yesterday I gulped down the fear I was encountering, by making changes that not only affected me, but also affected others  there were days that seemed would never end.

There have been really high points this last year, as well as some really low points. Yet today I cannot find enough hours in the day for all I want to accomplish. Finding time to do “IT ALL” has not been successful. In fact, NOT finding enough time for writing for LBB, two other blogs, my novel, as well as not having the time for blog-hopping has become more my norm in the last year. Despite telling myself that more of my attention could be focused on writing and visiting this community I still find stretched thinly by the end of the day. (Not a bad thing.)

Reinventing my life has taken priority,  and I’m feeling really blessed by those who in my life ” get it” and support me, despite that I’m not being the attentive friend that I typically am.

It’s been a strange dichotomy, slowly processing this reinvention while time seems to whiz right by. Recognizing that this whole process could never be anything but in the universe’s timing has helped me to embrace this past year. Making life altering changes was not something I had ever planned on doing at this stage of my life. Who does?

I’ve discovered that as frightening as it just plain was at times if I had remained where I was I would have been merely existing, not living as authentically and fully; not as I have studied my entire adult life to do. I couldn’t turn my back on that anymore, pretending that everything was just peachy-keen-hunky-dory….when it wasn’t. Learning that letting go of what I had wished for but simply never was going to be was maybe the most difficult hurdle to get over.

To say that starting over at 50 plus years old is not at all an exaggeration. Long time LBB readers have been privy to my writing about the last two years. Two years that involved so many changes, and created so many emotions;  albeit I often wrote in veiled analogies. In 

Recently, as in the past three years of my life, I have been studying life with a learning curve. Learning to accept the things in my life that I cannot change, and to change those that I can, and yes, learning to let go of that which I can’t accept, nor can I change.

Indeed I am writing in cliché, don’t you too tend to think in clichés?

Learning that choices are life’s compromises, with the choices of accepting, changing, or letting go. I wonder if for the sake of this conversation if we could agree that having knowledge is not the same as applying knowledge. Knowing something is not the same as embracing and living that which you know.

Finding out for ourselves just what it is we cannot change, what it is we cannot accept is exhausting tough self-work. My self-realization that being anything less than brutally honest with myself would be the undoing of my happiness and serenity in life. Both states of being I look for with intentional agendas.

Thus being more honest with myself than ever before 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 our world that is too altering to ones serenity and inner peace. Sometimes those choices are less than popular with others in our 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 seem 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. 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 our 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, I think it’s simple. 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 continue to complain 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” to chaos. It’s my stopping point.

 There are signs that a relationship/person is toxic;  If I continually avoid contact with somesurely a screaming sign for me. I am choosing to avoid negative attitudes, gossip, constant complaining, whining, something or 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”

copyright_edit

ttaylor2014 transparency I can say that becoming single again after more than four decades has been an emotionally growing & fulfilling time for me. Not at all the negatives so many ‘warned’ me of. Personally my life is filled with a lot of contentment, and serenity. I’ve created a happy place to rest my feet at, and to lay my head upon.

I like where I am today. 

Music Healing  thy Soul ~

Professionally my writing feels like it has  never been stronger, music has always been a great catalyst for my writing, and today it’s also the basis for the novel I’m writing. Through music I also am finding my niche in the independent music industry, a dream that once was only as a dormant dream has now begun to blossom. Barefoot Music Group is developing into what I have long envisioned, making this last year’s almost dogged determination on my part feel validated by this past week.

New ventures and new adventures:

My recent hire by the blues band Brick Fields as their artist manager has certainly humbled me, to be blessed with these kinds of connections within this music community of incredibly talented independent musicians is what I have been working towards. I faithfully embrace this, this is a passion that runs lifelong.

The cool thing too is that I am first-hand experiencing that to live one’s passions almost 24/7  is one of life’s most priceless riches.

Riches keep paying forward, and repressed dreams do come true.

Work hard, trust and believe:

Apparently I have been in touch with my alter ego on almost a daily basis and we have been working hard without realizing  it was anything but fun, and music .Friend’s have suggested that I stop being in denial about my alter ego. They suggest that I face the music, that I admit openly that I am…. merely a repressed disc jockey.

Well.. okay…the truth.

This is how I think:  If I am listening to music everyone within hearing distance should be sharing in that music. I post music anywhere I’m allowed.  So how wonderfully serendipitous for me that my involvement and passion for independent music will soon extend as well to radio. all that posting and writing about music drew attention. I’ve been offered a radio show of my own, I will be joining the family of DJ’s at Loop radio.net. Although this has not quite sunk in yet, or the details sorted out this past week has me feeling like my birthday came early this year.

So I wish to say; Thank you Sam Jones  Kenny Darkreine  (from Loop radio) So looking forward to your mentoring.

The last year has been a lot of hard work, and a lot of time alone. I wish I could say I have been the kind of friend and family member who was always there,  especially to those who never turn their backs on me, despite my lack of reciprocal sharing. . again the truth. I’ve been a neglectful relative, friend , and an absent blogger.

 Yet knowing that there is this unspoken level of unconditional acceptance between friends, framily, bliblings, and yes, even family is of great comfort. I could not have managed this past year of changes and growth without you in my life, you who are always steadfast in your belief and confidence in me, and where I’m headed, and what I’m doing.

Thank you! Thank you!  thank you for your friendships.

This life that brings heart ache also brings healing factors, I’m grateful for having the open heart to see this is true.

{ a personal side note:  Thank you RC for all the shared music and life wisdom; for without navigating this past  5 months  would not have been with the same clarity I have today)

©ttaylor2014

Lost & Pining

( Note: I started this post a few days ago but at the time could not             finish it. I am leaving it however in present tense. )                  
I missed something today.

I just couldn’t even put it into words, that which I was missing.
I just felt lost.
Today the silliest of things, brought the quickest of tears to my eyes.
t’s been a lovely but weird change in my life, one that has certainly let me be alone lone enough to now know more of what my mom’s life was like for her after raising her Family. Then finding herself living alone for the first time in her life.
Though I refuse to live my life with regret I do wish I had the foreshadow to know then what I know today.
Some Triggers for feelings and memories can come from the oddest sources. The connections not really apparent.
At least right away.
For instance the video that follows below, I actually watched and fell in love with this story over a year ago, and there was not the trigger then for me like there is today. Maybe there was. [shrugging shoulders]
But I just was not in a mind-set that heard or felt it, that is a real possibility because even today it took me hours to recognize where that feeling of lost was coming from. I shared the video with a group, I watched it again, and I was crying before and after,  crying through the entire story.
Twice.
(It is a darling 16 minute story so worth watching)
I didn’t know why or where the tears were coming from. I can be a fairly emotional person I admit, but tears at the drop of an animated video? Tears blurring my vision when a friend shared how paralyzed he is musically because of grief?  I must be crying for his loss.
I thought.
 There were more tears. At every turn today I found myself weepy. The video only was the break in the dam of feelings. There was a disconnect I couldn’t attach to. What was happening emotionally to me?  I don’t cry over nothing.
  I said to myself;  “Self, you know maybe it is just the season and not feeling 100%.”
So many people struggle this time of year and feel disjointed,  they feel disconnected.
There was simply a feeling of being lost that I couldn’t put my finger on.
Like Pine must have felt.

Later while finally sending my daughter a song I’d discovered last week I heard at least a dozen times it was never from the perspective that I heard  today. 
A connection to the tear drops  for me was made through lyrics. 
If you know anything about me you will know that I use music in my life to communicate, to process, and sometimes to navigate life. It’s who I always have been.
Sending my daughter a song is not at all an unusual thing. We share a similar taste in a lot of music, and it’s especially true regarding Beth Hart‘s music. Her lyrics, her style, they are significantly important to both of us.
I will link the pertinent song for convenience:   http://youtu.be/s-h7O0JYLu4
Listening to the song again I heard it from the perspective of a daughter for the first time. I knew then right away what my tearful day was about.
I miss my mom. Simple as that.
My Mom: Penny Taylor  (18 yrs old)mom
In sharing my feelings with my youngest daughter who I was sending the song I told her that ‘mom’s’ typically are the one person in our lives who really do love us no matter what or who we are. It had finally hit me, finally it occurred to me that this is what my loss was about. No matter what choices I made in my life my mom always supported me. I always felt loved by my mom even when maybe I didn’t deserve to be. That unconditional love that only a mother can give.
How awesome that my emotions were mixed between those for my daughter, and those for my mom.
I think this might be part of my life’s full-circle.
©ttaylor2013

A Gentler kind of Reminder ~ Music for the Soul

Some days gentle reminders are needed more than others. 

I got

Peace in my mind…

Peace in my heart…

Peace in my soul ~

This artist’s music has become an influential muse in my life. His music, his lyrics, especially speak to that which I am. And all I am learning from Living In The Moment. There is a genuine happiness and soul to soul connection from Jason’s lyrics that touches deeply every feeling I have experienced in recent years.

I wish to share and if you have never heard Mr Mraz please take some time to study his music,

I think it will do like it has for me; grounding any lost emotions to something tangible.

Thank you Jason Mraz