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Your Life’s Work

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It’s already inside you…

In Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book 10 Secrets to Success & Inner Peace, I read “Second Secret: Don’t Die With Your Music Still in You” eagerly looking for some good suggestions or anecdotes. As a lover of music, I surmised this would be information I would understand suggesting one should let your voice sing the songs of your heart–let the music speak to and from your inner thoughts. I was more intrigued when he quickly spoke of

Khalil Gibran’s quote: “When you are born, your work is placed  in your heart.”

That quote from the Lebanese-American poet, writer & philosopher Khalil Gibran is familiar to me because a friend had gifted the book, The Prophet, to me in the early 70s.  Each time I read a part of that book, I feel emotions & challenges that stir my heart. I  began to believe my dreams could come true and I would only need to let life move through me and ultimately I would become the person I wanted to be. I read and re-read the book and do still today because it gives me confirmation that I have been and am following the path of my heart, the emotional & intuitive side of my brain. The book lies on the table in my library–ready to pick up anytime and renew my spirit and find additional strength.

But let me warn you here, this is not a “one and done” approach to living your life. It takes multiple starts and restarts and more research and discovery. However, if you do not become active in your life, you’ll miss even the smallest reward. You will need to begin and adjust and re-assess. Living in peace is part of your life’s work. You have within you the strength and perseverance but you will need to apply your work your entire life. That’s why it’s called your life’s work.

Because I am a music lover, it’s easy to see why the words of Henry David Thoreau became my words to live by (I first read them in my senior year 1965).

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music he hears however measured or far away.”

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From the days of my teen years, I heard a different drummer. I could often be found reading and listening to music. I loved singing along to the radio, record player or in church.  Predominantly I was listening to my parents music not the new rock and roll (later known as “The American Songbook”). I believed I should saturate my heart with music and it would emit from me to others.

There was an early turn in my thinking and the time I spent contemplating my life and future role in it. I read all kinds of books–adventure, history, mystery, biographies, literature. I spent my senior year reading The Bible through (I’d had a strong upbringing and training in the Word). I knew deep inside there were things I should decide upon and knew those things would begin my journey into adulthood. It was at this time I began to form my impressions, expressions and directions. I was choosing a road map for my life. I’ve never regretted the routes I’ve taken or detours forced upon me…it’s not all wonderful, but it is all important.

As Dr. Dyer said, we should listen to the quiet voice in our hearts–the center of our emotions.  In reality the music was a part of my heart, part of my life’s work. I had the training and education to make a living with the skills I had developed. But there was always something more that spurred my passion resulting in my energy being stronger, more vivid–the sound that lived in me. I could find a certain peace when I melded my thoughts with the sounds of beautiful music. I learned I had the choice of making my life and my thoughts peaceful. I became enthusiastic about creating more calmness and purpose in those moments–I listened to the strings, horns, rhythm and words of music. But more than that, I let the music accompany my daily life choices. I let it set the pace. I let it move through my body and soak deeply into my soul.

Let me insert here about the word enthusiasm: it comes from the Greek word “entheos” which means the God within; (iasm) is the passion you feel inside. Those are the brain messages directing you to a certain path. That is where you find your life’s work–inside you.

Rudyard Kipling says: “If you can meet triumph & disaster and treat those two impostors the same…yours is the earth and everything within it.”

This encourages me to be compassionate about what my thoughts are and how I need to be heartfelt in my direction. Only then can I proudly and without hesitation claim my own music.

Music is more than the notes set to tune and timing.

Music is more encompassing than just the notes put into sound.

Music is the pace you keep as you step  through life’s highways.

Music is part of the foundation upon which I’ve built my life’s thoughts.  Music is the decision-making portion of your brain where you will be able to select the true and passionate choices for your life.

In my 20s I was making adult decisions–marriage, children, life’s work–and it was then I knew I had different goals than many of my friends. And early in my adult life I would make a decision that would lead me into the direct path of a life changed. I know what Gibran means when he says your life’s work is inside you.

It is extremely important to know the things that bring peace to us; we need to seek those things. We must be true to ourselves and carry our commitment forward to all whose lives we touch.  That truth must first ring in harmony for us or we cannot represent peace and harmony if our notes are not in tune.

Don’t try to be something you are not;

Be all you can and even more but never less.

To say you should not die with the music still in you is to remind us that unattended, the things of the heart may wither and die. Seek that note which represents your emotions then let it resound to all around you. Soak in all the peace you can find; let it grow inside you and reach out to others; let it reverb back to you with even more harmonies; only then can we give all we have to give living our purpose and singing our music all our days.

Never let the last thoughts of your life be “what if I had…”See the source image

Listen here to:  “If” – A song by Six Elements – https://youtu.be/yNaNKwGVkh0

If

 Poem by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream- -and not make dreams your master;
If you can think- -and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on! ‘

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings- -nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And- -which is more- -you’ll be a Man, my son!

(1895)

 

Dr. Wayne Dyer. 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace. Hay House Inc., 2001

Gibran, Khalil. The Prophet. 1923. Translated into more than 20 languages.

Thoreau, Henry David. "Walden," Chapter 18, 1966; originally published 1854.

Kipling, Rudyard. Poem "If", written 1895 (poet lived from 1865-1936).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Is My Other Language

thP7Z7MNNR  “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”― Maya Angelou 

I know how that feels.  When you don’t know why you are in physical pain, sometimes you have to dig deep inside your soul searching for solutions or just some method with which to cope. When we are dancing on the mountain tops, it’s easy to know what those feelings are. But when we are in the dirt of the fields or the slosh of rain, it may be harder to define. Sometimes what grows in those places are the absolute sounds of life and death—whether in the songs of hard-working people or the small pensive voice of a child.  And what emerges out of pain and joy is MUSIC—haunting or joyful; loud or soft; simple or complex. It can tell a story or carry you away on a note you’ll swear is part of Heaven’s angel choir.

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I’ve heard some people don’t know about music.  How is that possible?  How can people not be able to sing? How can a human live in the world for even a short time and not hear the thousands of songs of the birds, the mating calls of the animals or the psithurism in the air. [1]  For me, music is felt not just heard.  Deep in the soul the notes make a sound that runs through my body.

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Music is communication∼

A means of reaching deep into our inner beings∼

Healing us when we’re sick∼

Energizing us when we’re down∼

Uplifting our spirits∼

Wiping away our tears∼

Filling us with laughter∼

Music is inspiration∼

In a study about the effects of music on pain, I can confirm there is a correlation.

5 Ways Music Makes You Happy©

The idea that music can help alleviate pain is not surprising, since the right music can “soothe the soul.” Recently, researchers set out to investigate the effects of music on pain and depression in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder distinguished by severe musculoskeletal pain, followed by fatigue, sleep and memory and mood issues. (The Alternative Daily©) [2]

The study regarding those diagnosed with FMS is very personal to me.  I live with that diagnosis and daily seek methods to ease the overall pain and the effects of fatigue and sleep interruptions. It took years before a doctor finally gave me the information that could provide me some answers. You don’t get over it but you can work within it.

Without even knowing why, years ago I discovered that listening to music made me happier and more serene.  Music plays constantly in my head—a hum often turns into singing words—a phrase or entire songs.  I just have to sing them—it’s like I have no choice.

Music has always been a part of my life.  I grew up in a home full of music…all kinds.

My mother sang in a gospel church group.     thN06QGA3H

My father loved cowboy & western music.    th64GCV245

 

They both loved Big Band Music.                     th43Y2H3RY

 

My mother was also a huge Frank Sinatra fan as well as the other “crooners” of that era. We listened to songs of the 30s, 40s, 50s as well as classical music. We heard those who sang what is called “The American Songbook” (defined as songs from the 20s to the 50s) backed by some of the best orchestras of our time–Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Ozzie Nelson, Les Brown, Guy Lombardi, Lawrence Welk, The Dorsey Brothers, Artie Shaw and more.

Some of my best arias were heard as I pumped the swing higher and higher for hours singing many songs I knew and some I just made up.  It seemed like it took my sister all day to return from school so we could play—I wiled away the hours singing.

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My favorite one to sing was “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” (1948) by Moon Mullican (click link)

https://youtu.be/RlrK8nuvodI

I had been singing in church since I was a little girl.  The first chance to enroll in choir came in 4th grade, and I was delighted! As my voice developed I worked with the choir master learning harmonies and adding to my repertoire . A few years later I began singing with a teenage trio who traveled to churches around the geographic region. Singing was not only my hobby, my pleasure, my gift…I found it made me happy to sing. If the song was more sad or one with deep meaning, I discovered I could deliver that message to the audience as well.

And the music around my home never stopped. It was the early 1950s and my sister and I listened to all the music available on radio. We were so lucky to have many 78 rpm records later adding some 45s purchased from our pooled allowances. And then there were the 33 1/3 vinyls.

I must interject this: Did anyone else ever subscribe to the Colombia Record Club where they sent you a 33 1/3 vinyl record each month for a penny? Well, we did and learned if you didn’t reply to “do not want this month’s record,” you’d get it anyway. We kinda dreaded those days our daddy would come home with mail that was the size of a medium pizza box. That meant we were going to have to pay full price for the record because our “cancel this month’s order card” did not reach the company within the cancellation time. What a huge promotional moneymaker.

The music in the first half of the ’50s was the light-hearted lyrics reflecting the Post WWII Era. Some of the singers hitting the charts had been singing since the 30s & 40s, such as the Ink Spots, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby.  Joining those were new voices singing new tempos, lyrics and beats. A few were: The Crew Cuts, Guy Mitchell, Gale Storm, Four Lads, Dean Martin, Joni James, The Platters, Gogi Grant, Patti Paige, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney, and Perry Como—and all considered “parent friendly.”

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Some songs of the early 50s that would later be called “country” were immersed into the pop radio stations as well. There were the great story songs from Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Conway Twitty, The Browns, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, and Eddy Arnold.

By the mid 50s, however, the sounds were changing as younger performers were trying to grab up the expanding youth market appealing directly to young people with money of their own to spend. Yet, all that “white American complacency” could not hold back the vitality of Black R&B music, so a whole new sound emerged—Rock and Roll.

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In the South, where Country and Western had ruled the charts, Sam Phillips (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 1986) opened the Memphis Recording Service – the first place a black musician could go to record. Phillips’ motto was “We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime.” [2]

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Cracks in the dam broke loose during the summer of 1953 when Elvis Presley came to the Memphis Recording Service to make a record, ostensibly for his mother’s birthday, but with hope of being discovered. In this initial session Elvis recorded “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.”[2]

thQZS0SUXOSoon the youth declared Mom & Dad’s music wasn’t “cool, Daddy O.”

Another movement in musical style was when the airways of the 50s became filled with harmonies of new groups capitalizing on those smooth sounding groups of the 30s & 40s. The listener now could sing along high or low or in between. The great harmonies were a favorite of mine. I had heard music all my life that moves along closely above, below and between the standard note.Music Notes in Circle

It would be when I was away from home visiting friends that I first began listening to the Rock ‘n Roll of the 50s & 60s–Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jackie Wilson, Bobby Rydell, Jimmy Clanton, Bobby Darrin, The Diamonds on my friend’s portable record player.  Soon my sister & I would purchase the 45 rpm records (and the insert to play on a standard spindle).  Some of those music makers came and went; others with true talents moved through the decades such as Paul Anka, Bobby Vinton, Elvis, B. J. Thomas, the Platters.

blues musicBecause black R&B groups now had the privilege of being played on radios and appearing on Dick Clark’s Bandstand, more and more performers echoed our thoughts. The likes of Chubby Checkers, Ronettes, Supremes, Coasters, Sam Cooke, Shirelles, Chuck Berry, Hank Ballard, Otis Redding were among those who gave us music to which we could move, dance and sing along.  It was the beat…always about the beat…pulsating and destroying the old safety nets with a virile, passionate new sound. Kitschy as the words may be, we enjoyed singing lyrics like “take out the papers and the trash,” “like a long neck goose” “He’s a clown that Charley Brown” or “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop.”

If you want to revisit the 50s, here is a great link to that era:    

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/QuartzM386/_1950s__billboards_top_100_songs_of_the_fifties_/

In the early 60s, I was enthralled with the music and chance to dance & sway to it.  In my Texas school, every Friday night we kicked off our black flats and penny loafers so as to not scratch the gym floor and danced the night away (you wanted to make sure your socks were fashionable & clean).  There was a song just for this phenomenon: Danny & the Juniors released “At the Hop” in 1957. But it was a more romantic song that closed every Friday’s Last Dance–Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are.” I fell in love every Friday night to that song.

Close your eyes and let’s go back to the sock hop

https://youtu.be/NEH3uqbpsm8

By the mid 60s music was changing forever because of the social battles and protests from people my age. The turmoil came to us daily in the headlines and from our televisions. It wasn’t long before I began to listen to the pop songs that would lead us through one of the most challenging & controversial decades—my coming of age decade.  

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Lyrics became arrows shot toward enemies–perceived enemies–who may never would have been in another time and place.  Death and hate filled our newspapers and our television sets. The world changed our minds, our country and seemed the music would be forever dissonant.  While I always knew music was important to me and those around me, I began to realize it was a manner of speaking desires, expressing your emotions, protesting events, resulting in a manner in which what we do with music often becomes a part of who we are and who we become.

5 Ways Music Makes You Happy© further states:

What is really telling about this research is that we’re built to identify with the music and the songs we listen to — whether uplifting or sad. Music is extremely influential. So it stands to reason that through positive music, you can create a happier and more fulfilling life. (The Alternative Daily©) [2]

Can it be argued that music is a picture of who we are with our good feelings and positive sentiments contrasting  with how we express our ill will and hate? Some say it has become that in this 21st century.  Because music is such a blessing to me and so important to my well being, I just choose to listen to what makes me serene or contemplative. That was true in  the 60s 70s 80s 90s and still today.  I trend more to the melodic or less violent lyrics or even the softer instrumental arrangements. I’m fully aware music expresses the story of love, the story of struggle, the hopes and dreams, and the joy of living. I don’t need words of hate and distress in my life, so I choose to let the notes float to me on waves of beauty.

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When I study the paths my life has taken, I don’t regret but hopefully learn there are some things that should remain. Music is one of the essentials which should remain in my life. When a note, be it an instrument or the human voice is formed, it should be used for the good of ourselves or others.

Through it all there was the gospel and religious music.  I learned those notes and words listening to my mother practice in church.  I sang along with my daddy to the radio while we traveled in his truck. I sang along with my grandmother while she played the piano, and she taught me the harmony notes. My sister and I both lent our voices to our churches for years.

And this is why:

 

When was the first time I sang? My family tells me it was long before I could pronounce the words. But it didn’t stop there! Soon I began dancing to the music that we would play on our record player (Dinah Shore’s Button & Bows was one of my routines). I never was afraid of being in front of people, so singing to audiences was a normal part of my life.  I’m not sure if such confidence was a part of my personality or simply part of wanting to hear & sing all the music I could find. And I still do!

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Learning is one of my favorite hobbies. So that means if I hear some music I enjoy, I must research it and discover who wrote it, who performed it, what year it was introduced, etc. In the midst of that research, I find other music and musicians and introduce them into my music library thus making it a living/changing tribute.

In these years of electronic advancement, I’m delighted for programs such as Pandora so I don’t have to carry around CDs, casettes or 8-tracks.     I just plug in my phone and let the notes lead me down the road.

See the source image

Join me here again for

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Old Roads

[1] Definition: psithurism (sith-err-iz-um). (rustling whispers of the trees on
a windy day)
We can’t see wind, only the things it moves. Likewise, we can’t hear wind 
unless it’s flowing past something that makes it vibrate; this causes it to
adopt various sonic guises depending on what it interacts with.
[2] https://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-ways-music-makes-you-happy/ 
5 Ways Music Makes You Happy ©The Alternative Daily 2019
[3] Copyright 1996-2020. Michael Rich. All rights reserved. 
WWW.FIFTIESWEB.COM is a creation of RichWeb and is not endorsed or 
sponsored by or affiliated with any of the products, services, programs, 
celebrities or entities mentioned herein

[4]https://www.nme.com/list/100-best-songs-of-the-1950s-1155

Changes

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

If you’re wondering what it takes to change your path or your goal, it’s obvious that comes from inside you. No other person can make that decision for you. Sometimes you want

someone else to step up;

someone to make the big decisions;

someone to decide for you.

Many years ago I had a huge decision to make about my career. I had thought of the good/bad; the pros/cons. However, I struggled with that decision seemingly longer than I should. I must say here I spent many hours teaching my children that when  you are making decisions, you should make a list of why you should do something and why you should not.  They understood a pensive attitude toward decisions was a good thing.  Taking time to decide is very important.

I took time.  I thought of the consequences. I weighed the options. I announced to my children I had made my decision! The next morning I called the company to which I had decided I wanted to hitch my star for a great career.

“Oh, yes. I understand. I’m sorry as well.”

The job I was so eager to start had been filled by another candidate. I no longer had that option. I was sad. It was not a good look for my children to see. The next day I went to work at my same, boring job. Then one day, about 6 months later, I was offered a similar job within that same company–better, more interesting, more pay, and all the things I had thought the other opportunity would bring me. That job was a spring board to something much better and more rewarding.

I have used a similar test for many changes in my life. I still believe snap decisions are not usually as successful as those we ponder. But we must remember delay can change our path. If we’re willing to take a chance, change may be the best for us.

We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.

Ken Levin

 

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My Autumn Soul

Our body and our minds can take us only so far. 

Our spirit can lead us all the way home. 

Susan Jeffers

 

It is in the colorful changing of seasons that I feel as if my heart renews into a deeper hue, a truer tone. The masterpiece is in the beauty of the land, but the magic happens deep in one’s soul.  The autumn palette always makes me feel more strongly about life around me.  I feel the need to match the colors and enhance them and blend them into a new portrait.

Why is the desire of autumn more intense, more desirable to me? Perhaps it’s because I feel in colors and think in tones. That somehow makes me an artist, and I can paint my own journey and write the stories that present themselves along the path.

 

The quieter you become the more you can hear.

Ram Dass

 

Listen here to “Autumn Leaves”

https://www.bing.com/search?q=the+autumn+leaves+song&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

 

 

 

Believe

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.

Bern Williams

Angels are like lighthouses passing by in the storms

Karen Goldman

 

 

 

Forgiveness

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.

He who is devoid of the power to forgive

is devoid of the power to love.

There is some good in the worst of us

and some evil in the best of us.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

Understanding Yourself

This is what I want from now on:

a slower pace~

a more centered existence~

and the feelings of perfect happiness to be found

in the moments I come home to myself.”

Linda Weltner

 

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Acceptance

Finish each day and be  done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well & serenely
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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Any Man’s Death…

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”


John Donne,
No Man Is An Island

 

Sometimes it feels that the world gets smaller each time a person’s life is lost.  I appreciate that it’s human to feel a twinge of sadness even if you didn’t know the person.  Even if you knew someone that knew the person, it should render us at least sympathetic.

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Then sometimes we go for a while and the memory gets less.  Maybe we should pledge to never let the memory become so vague it walks out of our thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

HOPE IS LIKE A PATH

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Hope can neither be affirmed nor denied. 

Hope is like a path in the countryside. 

Originally there was no path–yet,

as people are walking all the time in the same spot,

a way appears.

Lu Xun

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