Tag Archives: music

Baking a Cake

Waiting is not something many of us are naturally obliged to do. Instead, it grates at us in way like no other. More than that, it can cause us to doubt ourself, and the power behind our ability to shape our future. It can even cause us to doubt that fate is a cooperate force, allowing for our say in anything. Waiting for many of us, is our Achilles heel.

But for a moment, please look at waiting as part of the plan, and not an impediment to the plan. Please do yourself this great favor and look at the making of your desires and future similar to the way one makes a cake. First comes the idea to make something. Usually this is brought on by noticing the absence of this something from one’s life. We damn these moments in time when we feel lack, and yet those moment are the very things that cause us to identify that which we desire. Once identified, we now need to move forward.

Due to knowing what we don’t want, we set off to imagine that which we do. We scan the world around us deciding what ingredients we want and what ingredients we do not. In our mind we begin to put together the recipe for our desire. We aren’t going to add ginger this time around because our experience with ginger in the past has shown us that it was terrible to our tongue. Ginger is out. Nutmeg is in. It’s a process.

The recipe for our desires is much the same. By being married to the wrong partner it was shown to us what we want in the right partner. By working a job that did not feel right it was shown to us the possible avenues that may feel right. By living in the cold we were given the chance to fully understand that we want only to live in the warmth. This happens on a small scale. This happens on a large scale. But it never stops happening. Not only do we walk through the contrast, the contrast is all around us. And so the process continues.

We let our desires settle into our being just the same as we place the batter-filled pan in the oven. Our work is done, we feel. But I don’t believe that is the case at all. Waiting is part of the work. We must be faithful while the cake bakes. And each and every time we doubt that its working, we cause a delay. We open the oven door repeatedly causing the oven temperature to plummet. And sometimes when panic sets in we take the cake pan out of the oven completely. We question what we did wrong. We question if the oven is working. We question everything. Our job is to keep the oven temperature steady and strong. We do this by having faith.  Keep the door closed, and know that its working.

Faith is the fuel that causes the cake to bake. So keep the faith burning.

Sane

Free Your Soul

FreeMySoul

If in this moment you find yourself doubting, or suffocating under the weight of the world – don’t be afraid – shift your focus. Be gentle with your shift. But shift you must. Move your mind, your body, your soul.

There are times when I have to pull away from the world around me. A moment like that arrived today. As if powered less by my mind and more by the energy within me, I stood in the sun and closed my eyes. When my center is lost, it can always be found when I place myself back under the sun.

We all have something that resets our compass, balances our equilibrium, and helps us to once again realign. There too will always be those things that jar us, or push us off course. Try not to hush the voice of your knowing in lieu of obeying this louder voice of fear. Often in life it is the softer voices that speak the truth; those using volume do so to camouflage the emptiness of their words. And I can assure you empty volume is one of the speech patterns of fear. Remember this the next time you find yourself afraid. It takes a trained ear to hear this soft voice, but if you have one lesson in life worth learning it is that of learning to listen – as all you need to know, ultimately, will be whispered to you from within.

Do not think that all things need be quiet to hear one’s inner voice. It’s not so. Fear is the cupped hand over your ears. Your ability is always with you, only muffled. Remove the hands. Once freed, you will hear even when standing amidst chaos. Freedom is the one thing for which we all long. And the greatest challenge in life is making it our own.

Your very being is free; ever-moving, ever evolving. Fear is constrained; a confined energy. So release yourself. There are fewer energies freer than music. So if you have found yourself completely out of touch with freedom, dance. Energy always seeks like energy. As the energy of music freely moves in the air, the body is compelled to move with it. Your body seeks freedom. Give it a moment untethered by fear; untethered by the stress of life.

Whether the melodic sound of rain falling to the ground, or music filling my home, I tend to surround myself with the energy of life. It is my medicine. Often, it is my religion. It is what soothes me. It is what inspires me. And without fail, it is that magnetic force that helps me find my true North. Without it, I’m lost. If today you find yourself afraid, if the world around you has left you feeling powerless – adjust your energy, shift your focus. If you can’t envision something that allows your breath to flow free, then surround yourself with freedom and allow it to cascade over you. Whatever it may be, make sure to listen to the music that frees your soul.

Sane

Thank you to everyone who listened to the first episode of The Rich Life. I was stunned by the number of listeners. I haven’t a clue how I came to be so blessed to have such a wonderful audience. But you can be sure I plan to keep you.

Driving Meditation

I’ve always been fascinated by the way the mind changes when driving down the open road; how one’s thoughts spread across the miles. At least, such is the case with me.

When the road is given a chance to unfurl beneath me, so do the long ribbons of thought within my mind. Thoughts held tight and constricted like a ball, loosen. Like tightly weaved fabric, once the threads relax, they soften. Released are the concerns that once held my mind knotted. New ideas suddenly move in where previously there was no room. Fantasies are given a chance to whimsically dance. Hopes and daydreams take center stage without conformity or  boundary. Old memories long forgotten suddenly reappear. And sweet recollections are played over and over, allowing me the chance to savor every nuance that escaped my focus while in the moment of doing.

If you didn’t already know, now you do – I’m a driver. I tend to like that spot that lives behind the wheel. But then again, I like that spot when it comes to my life, as well. During times when my mental senses won’t loosen, characters sit speechless and the only thoughts filling my mind are one’s of frustration – I go for a ride. I escape. As the rpm’s and music elevate, all that tightened my mind dissipates. I’m given the chance to meditate with the miles.

I have to believe that many of us gravitate to this place of physical movement, as it provides us with the tangibility of the energy that moves around us. We become one with the movement that forever swirls without our notice. As our gaze is directed forward down the road, our peripheral is entertained on both sides by the world gliding effortlessly past us. We are the embodiment of energy on so many levels, our form, our thoughts. It is no wonder we resonate with the feeling of being propelled across the earth.

I have solved more problems, arrived at more revelations and had the most delicious thoughts behind the wheel. Many a scene from my novels was scribbled onto the back of envelopes while traveling down the road. The title for my second novel, Chasing Nirvana, fell into my mind while driving through the twisting Hollywood hills. And so did the irony that rests invisibly behind the title.

One day I will take that long road trip along Route 66; maybe not in a vintage convertible as I see it in my head. I do like my comforts, after all. But one way or another I will make the trek. And when I do, I’m certain a trilogy of words will emerge, a new invention will be conjured and some of my fondest memories will be allowed to play on a continual loop.

How it is that moving down the road allows me so easily to move within, I do not know. Quite honestly, I don’t need to know. What I do know is, we all look for a way to loosen the tight threads of our mind; strings of every day life; the bundled cords of routine and obligation. Just like our body longs for sleep, our mind longs for release. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t look for the subtle liberation of a good drink, meditation that takes us to that place of stillness or the open road where our mind is set free. And with that, whether you are chasing, escaping or just allowing your mind to run untethered – enjoy the ride.

Sane

Tuesday Panties and a Rabbit’s Foot

johnnycupcakes.com

When I was a kid I had a pair of lucky undies, or so I thought. I also had special day-of-the-week panties. I was continually wearing a Tuesday panty on a Sunday, and Friday panty on a Monday, and so forth. But I was convinced my mojo was totally going on when I wore the correct pair on the corresponding day. But, just like the lucky underwear, It really didn’t matter. Even though for the longest time, I was quite certain it did. As a kid, I had no need for logic. I just went with whatever – worked – or seemed to work, at the time. I wasn’t picky.

When something good happens, it puts a chink into our psyche. We are, on some level, forever changed from the experience and the peaceful memory it causes. The human condition will then try to do all it can to replicate, and play over that experience. Something in the mind tells us to mix up the same potion, or listen to the same song, or do whatever we did the first time that stirred up and conjured that experience. It was good then, so let’s relive it now. If this means wearing a certain pair of undies because the last three times we wore them we aced our spelling test or the cute guy smiled at us, then so be it. Often, the mind leaps over common sense when looking for happiness.

These little psychological glitches work in the reverse, as we all know. Supposedly, I’m still riding out an eight year bad luck streak from breaking a mirror. It was a big mirror too, does that matter? Even the most logical among us wonder what if, upon seeing a black cat cross our path. Especially when heading to the doctor. But, I don’t believe in luck: good or bad. I do however, believe in being open and allowing of good things. I can not turn a blind eye to those things that make me cringe, but I do feel if my eye is more focused upon that which makes me smile and feel good, then I will become more in tune and in harmony with those things.

I feel, more than a rabbit’s foot or bauble of good fortune, we possess the power to bring about good things. And we do this first by looking for them. And if we train our eye, then it takes less effort. Life is a conglomeration of all things. Because what is good for one, may be bad for another. Both need to exist.

Life is unpredictable, both for the good and the bad. What’s interesting though is that sometimes within that which appears so unlucky, is the one thing that will bring about a positive change. I no longer try to throw the gavel down either way. Instead, I try to see the good in most things, and if no good can be spotted then I try to simply ride it out while broadening  my view. Sometimes this means, looking and looking and looking. And when I don’t give up, it is usually in that far off corner, where I’ve never looked before, that I find just what I need.

Sane

Written to Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen

Stones

veiledhaven.com

For much of my life, I’ve been engaged in battle. The worst, was the battle against myself. One can easily drown in their discontent. Like a violent wave, it can pull them under. But there are those who walk into the deep water; as they do, filling their coat pockets with stones: heavy memories, bitter disappointments, and painful insecurities. Once under, some kick violently to reach the surface; others relinquish the fight. I chose to shed the heavy coat, and in the doing, I shed the stones.

Upon reading my words, or upon hearing me speak, it is known instantly, I do not  bury myself under a coat or shroud of any kind. There is no mask or pretense. Although protective, I live quite exposed; my true self revealed through words, spoken or written. Swimming underwater, I said goodbye to all that weighed me down, and the need to be anything other than me.

My life isn’t quite how I want it to be – but after many battles – I am. And from that vantage point I write; content with myself, both the good and the seemingly bad. Because both, its fair to say, form the buoy.

The opening from my latest novel: Safe People.

Chapter 1

Bertie stood naked. Mimicking her motionless frame, her mind remained unmoving. As the hot water showered over her body, she inhaled the steam, and exhaled tired breath. For the moment, she didn’t think of the past, nor of the future. And after escaping into the gentle spaces of mental inertia, she looked down and wondered what was worse: the scars she wore on the outside, or the ones she tried to hide on the inside. 

Post written to: Walk by Foo Fighters

No Room For Logic

aninepoundhammer.com

It’s an interesting thing, reading the reviews written about one’s books. For the most part, I can pay no more attention to the good reviews than I can the bad – as both have the potential to sway me. And when it comes to writing, I don’t want any factor contributing to the words I write other than the creative energy that moves my fingers.

When a writer considers the fact that their words will be read, it prevents the words from flowing at their natural pace. The creative mind pulls back while the logical mind steps forward. There are many good uses for my logical mind, but writing isn’t one of them.

One thing though, comes from reading reviews; I am given insight into the minds of others. Even if I don’t like what they say, there is value there, at least from a creative perspective. Some have said that the love expressed in my first novel was spot-on; others have said its unrealistic. A few have said it was cheesy at times. As much of the novel parallels my own life, the feelings expressed are factual. And I can say, the best kind of love is the kind that steps deeply into the pool of unabashed expression, a.k.a cheesiness.

Not everyone though, gets the chance to experience such a love. And when they stumble upon it, as an observer, it strikes against their heart. Most want it, but feel the pain of never having had it, or having lost it. When young, we want only to love deeply, and with abandon. After aging, we become embittered toward that which we can’t seem to obtain; wealth, health, happiness, and love.

The words spoken by lovers of yesteryear were intense to the point of appearing unbelievable if spoken today. Instead, today’s world works hard to mold us into generic beings when it comes to emotions; we keep our feelings guarded. We punch onto a keyboard computer generated letters. No longer do we have the romance of a hand written note. Instead of a face staring at us from across the table, we have one-dimensional pictures by which to identify ourselves. Harsh words are said with ease due to the buffer of anonymity and cyberspace. In a world of full exposure, we are more hidden than ever. We have truly forgotten the art of love, as well as the art of expressing what we feel. What hasn’t changed, is that we feel and want with the same intensity.

We live in a sheltered world. Yet, our hearts, want for the innocence of true love, and the ecstasy of being loved with fervor. It only seems unrealistic when we believe it to be out of the realm of our personal reality. A reality we want, but are too embarrassed to admit.

With that said, I hope for everyone, that before they draw their final breath, they too feel the type of love that shakes them to the core. Because, that’s what happens when the soul falls in love. The soul has no need for logic, nor to temper how it feels.

If we are to dance as if no one is watching – then write as if no one is reading, and love as if you’ll never get hurt.

Sane

Written to The Logical Song by Supertramp

This Is My Wish

vintagegal.tumblr.com

I have to wonder, does the sun get lonely. So often it is watched with longing and soft sentiments, but nothing more. Does it whisper to the moon upon their passing. And when it does – does the moon smile, and reply.

There are those who live with one foot in this world, and one foot out. Never once do they know the feeling of sublime complacency. Instead, they hover between the two: the world that displays these words before your eyes, and the world where the words were formed.

The ethereal world that sits just beyond our view, sits blatantly in mine. Often, I wish it weren’t so. There are two kinds of writers: those who write and those who write from the soul. The latter, like the sun, is never quite at home – regardless of how bright they shine, or how natural they may appear. Don’t let this scare you. This isn’t lunacy. Lunacy is to deny what is. It takes unquestionable sanity to claim it.

When I cry, my soul cries. When I laugh, my soul joins me. And when I write, my soul speaks. I have to imagine, this is felt by those around me. Perhaps that is why I hold most at bay.

When I sit this weekend, and pour my first glass of Côtes du Rhône, I will be making a wish. Instead of blowing out candles, and casting that wish into the stars, I will send it across the world within this missive. And that wish is: That everyone sees their beauty. That they not battle their demons for too many years before coming to peace with who they are. And if, like me, they only have one foot in, let that foot be firmly planted.

That is my wish. The telling of it, is my journey.

I never feel alone when I sit with the sun, or the moon. Perhaps because we know how the other feels. They are as much a part of this world, as they are a part of the world beyond our eyes. And yet, we both just keep soldiering on.

Sane

Written to Into The Mystic by Van Morrison

Must Have Rhythm.

Rhythm 2

I’m far from a love guru. And if my past marriage serves as any indication, I’m either quite bad at picking out a partner or being a partner. I can no longer tell which. But I’m hoping not the latter. But now, perhaps due to being so removed from love, I can see it with more objectivity. In doing so, I feel one of the most important aspects to a successful union is having compatible faults.

One’s faults are just as valid as one’s strengths. We tend to fall in love with someone due to their strengths, then hate them later for their faults. Yet both were present at the beginning; the one just hidden under the glow of new-found love. In time, once the dust has settled, the other’s faults seem to sprout like tulips on a warm spring day. Truth is, they were there all along.

Oddly enough, faults aren’t the proverbial noose that’s forever dangling, ready to strangle the relationship. In fact, I feel, there’s as much balance to be found within our faults as there is within our strengths. The trick is finding harmony. Even the best band sounds a bit shoddy if the other instruments aren’t there for one another to bounce off of. The sounds need to mingle, using one another as a platform. Maybe for a brief moment, but rarely do two lead singers put on a good long-running show; just as a drummer rarely looks for another drummer when forming a band. I could be completely wrong, but I think relationships, both romantic and not, work much in the same way.

Using this metaphor, I would have to say that I’m very much like the drums. I’m steady, and provide for most, a very secure foundation where they’re free to express themselves; be themselves. Yet, all the while, my voice is always heard, my intent and driving force, always felt. And like the sound of the first hit against the bass drum at a concert, I tend to cause action; rallying the troops even when not meaning to. But nothing sounds better than when the sound of the bass guitar saddles alongside that of the drums, creating a rhythm that moves people without their deliberate thought. And once the guitar is allowed to fill the air, the drums can move from merely providing a beat, to expanding into varying forms of percussion; offering an explosion of sound. Within one another’s weaker areas, the other brings fullness and balance. The best musicians know when to enter into the song and when to pull back. It’s in that flux that the most astounding music is created. It’s in that same flux that the best unions are formed.

So when it comes time to look for, or allow in, a partner – never turn a blind eye to the things they themselves are trying to ignore or trying to downplay. Because, dear reader, often hidden under their charm, their beauty and their lure, is the very thing that will one day cause the two of you to make beautiful music.

Sane

Written to Young the Giant’s: Mind Over Matter

Fully Expressed

It’s that time again, when the afternoon sun lingers in the sky lazily as if reflecting upon the busier days of summer. Its autumn. My favorite time of the year.

Like Spring, Autumn reminds us of the cyclical nature by which we all live. The very world around us forces us to bear witness to the miracle that is life and death. The vibrant birth of all things colorful and green, now entering its final days. The circle of life that is nature.

As the leaves shift in color, a bit of melancholy fills the air; due to the visual reminder that all things change. All things, good and bad, must come to an end. Only the hand of God would signal the shift from life to dormancy with such brilliancy and beauty.

Nature never intends for things not to change. Change is all nature knows. Change is all nature does. The very cycle that is life, hinges upon change. The smell of the air changes. As if from long days baking, the earth emits a tired, yet beautiful perfume. The wind blows as if to remind us that something breathes beyond our view; something colder, something harsher. And the sun, when making its appearance, does so with little restraint. Instead it reveals its heat and magnificence with unabashed confidence. Nature, while alive, never forgets to live.

Whatever this divine source is that made all things, did so knowing there’s more to life than utilitarian function. Life is an expression. There’s a woman I know, who’s gentle disposition and delicate face always struck me much like that of a perfect rose. Both inward and outward, she was lovely. A when young, I wished to be more like her.  Nature never wishes for anything beyond what it is. From the moment it emerges, it lives in full expression. Therefore, when a tree ends its cycle it does so knowing it has lived, and it has lived well. This gentle woman, whom I’ve mentioned, passed away last night. And as I sit here, with my days steadily unfurling beneath me, my heart hurts and my mind wonders. Her soul ended the life cycle, knowing it had done all it had intended. Did her mind know this as well? I will never know. Like the trees that turn color to remind us that all things change, and that all things must come to an end – I will look upon her passing as a reminder. We can’t control change. We can no sooner control nature’s cycle than we can control the positioning of the stars. But we can be in harmony with change. And while doing so, live a life that is unabashed and fully expressed.

In memory of the girl with porcelain skin, and Farrah Fawcett hair for whom I wanted so much to be like. Your gentle spirit, and easy smile, will be missed.

Sane

Written to, Symptoms by Atlas Genius

Man Cake

peachridgeglass.com

In need of the latest, hippest word used to describe a handsome man, I browsed around at UrbanDictionary.com for awhile. Having read a few entries, I can now say that my mind is the proud new owner of a few images I wish I could disown. However, I did find the term: Man Cake.

My blog posts are personal; intimate portrayals of what lives in my heart and mind. This is the first entry however, where I reached out to friends and colleagues. Quite simply, I wanted to know: what a woman wants most in a man. Their answers bolstered my belief in what rests behind the eyes and within the heart of a quality woman.

Thus far, not one physical, nor external, attribute has been mentioned. No large gender parts. No hefty bank accounts. No bulging muscles. No sports cars. No Armani suits, and no French accents. The votes are in: women want kindness and honesty.

When a woman knows herself – she then knows what she wants in a man. The more she allows her depth to rise to the surface, she is drawn to equal depth in a man. To the man with slick hair, and flexed muscles – you may indeed land a woman. I question, however, the quality of the woman you’ll land. It seems superficiality attracts superficiality. Whereas, depth and quality gravitate toward depth and quality. Like wine to an entrée – it’s all in the pairing.

Good women tend to want a man who flies below the radar. His strength solid, but not flaunted. His mind keen, but with no desire to force his intellect upon others. His compassion genuine. His humanity touching beyond those closest to him. Like good lighting, humility and humor always make a man more attractive in a woman’s eyes. As does honesty and integrity. Women don’t want a man who clamors for the spotlight. Instead, they’re drawn to a man who’s content letting it shine upon others.

Men probably cringe to hear it, but women like a man that’s as strong as he is tender. There’s a primal need within every good woman to have a man that can span these two extremes. Men can’t fault women for wanting that, anymore than women can fault men for wanting a woman who’ll imbue into his life nurturing gentleness, yet unleash upon him her passions in the bedroom. We all have a reason for wanting what we want. With our desires deep and spanning, we want someone to fall into line with those desires; in the doing, we find balance.

I tend to like a good Pinot Noir regardless of my entrée. Something about the mix, suites me. When it comes to the man in my life, the same proves true. We all have individual tastes to satisfy. When I want to nibble upon an ear, it needs to be connected to a very clever mind. When I want to be held, the arms that hold me need to be genuine and sincere. And when I want to hear someone’s laughter, it will be the voice of one that sees life with the same twisted view. It takes a long time to discover what one wants. It’s all acceptable – our wants and likes – just pair it well.

Sane

For those who are curious, this blog was written to: The Pit by Silverspun Pickups