That's Power - Education through Music

spiritual health

Slip Into Stillness

Have you ever tried to run away from the silence of a Sunday afternoon?

For years of my life, I certainly tried. It was that one slot in the week when I had no pressing deadlines, no charity work, nothing churchy going on; no classes, choral groups, dates or parties–nothing to distract me from the very challenging business of just being me–by myself.

The prospect of Sunday afternoons often depressed me, because that was the sole time during a frenzied week that I would slow down enough actually to FEEL what was going on inside–my endless impatience to ‘be there’ (wherever there was–most certainly it was somewhere I was not in either my career or personal life)–and my sadness over not having achieved that elusive state yet. (more…)

Knowing What You Unknowingly Know

You are your own best career adviser. The role of an outsider is chiefly that of fog dispersal, a critical yet preliminary and adjunctive role.

Should you stop me in the hallway today and ask the meaning of desuetude I’d have a puzzled look on my face and answer “I know it but no I just can’t come up with it”, my voice trailing off as I felt I disappointed you.

Yet if you’d shown me a sentence in the newspaper like “… after years of desuetude and neglect the old schoolhouse was only fit for the wrecker’s ball”, I’d have said “oh, disuse”, though in truth it’s more likely that you’d not have needed to ask me at all.

Such is as it is with words allowing us not to walk around with dictionaries in our hands or ones and zeros using up memory in our portable electronic devices. What draws a blank in isolation is easily answered in context. Word definitions are great examples of how much all of us unknowingly know, how context guides us to understanding, and how imperfect knowledge is usually sufficient.


Have you hugged your shadow today?

At one point along my path I was involved with a lovely man who did computer graphic design, had been in recovery from alcohol & drugs for ten years and was actively involved with Alcoholics Anonymous.

After one year with me, he’d fallen off the wagon into alcohol relapse, partially because we weren’t on the same page & he was never the right person for me. But I did learn some valuable lessons in his presence.

On his mantel perched one of those cheap statues of a goofy-looking ghost with the slogan he’d put on it: “Have you hugged your shadow today?”

In other words, have you accepted even those dark & squirmy aspects of yourself and your behavior that you’d prefer to pretend don’t even exist?


How Important is Personal Branding?

I recently watched a highly interesting video with John Hayes, CMO at American Express when he discusses the relevance of personal branding in today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing world of business. It makes me think really hard. Because I thought all “personal branding” stuff is just not for me. But recently I am thinking about taking b-school online classes and it seems personal branding is a hot topic there.

All the way through his discussion, Hayes pointed out that branding is paramount to success, not just for businesses and organizations but likewise for personal employment opportunities. John’s approach to the topic of branding was perfect for various students from all sorts of qualifications. He centered on three primary topics: getting an education  – personal brand building, re-invention, and consumer relationships.



Love the One You’re With

It’s dusk at a trendy outdoor watering hole near Piedmont Park. The fragrance of mimosa trees lingers in the air as the six are seated in view of Midtown lights.

Kate Spade, Ferragamo and Armani have all made the scene at this table of gym-toned women and an equal number of buff-bods.

As if on cue, several cell phones ring. Suddenly the others at the table decide it’s a good time to catch up with Voicemail. All at once, every single person at this table is yakking in muffled tones that imply the importance and urgency of each conversation. Not a one is acknowledging anyone else at the table. What’s wrong with this picture?

No, I’m not Miss Manners flogging the rudeness factor, although that certainly plays a role.


Unemployment drops once again. People out of work know different

$862 billion created millions of new jobs and saved the unemployment rate from going to above 10%. That is what politicians want us to believe. People out of work or looking for work know different, a lot different. They know that employers are not really hiring and those that are, want the cheapest people they can get, not the best.

First let’s be clear about the cause of the current economic funk: people are not feeling good about their personal economic situation and have curtailed spending. One major market research company even said that we’re seeing a basic shift in the way consumers spend money that is not going to diminish once the economy improves.

What has happened is that as consumers “nest eggs” (homes) have lost their value they were given the shock treatment that they don’t have enough money to continue to purchase things they want: now it’s about purchasing things they need and even then they are spending less money. (more…)

Celebration of Life

May was rough for me. As much practice as I’ve had living in the Place of Not Knowing (where we all live), preparing for my volunteer role at a GED prep facility and the celebration of my father’s life over Memorial Weekend dipped me deep into the grief that I’ve not expressed–I simply hadn’t been able to feel.

His transition seemed unreal because I was in China last October for three weeks when he left, and I missed everything. Dreary as they can be, burial services do offer some closure.

But this was a Celebration– a family reunion–a 2200 mile round trip.

Cousin Deanna & I grooved to James Brown, Emmylou Harris, Sly & the Family Stone, the Beatles and more on our road trip, and joined my sister, niece and some 20 cousins for a feast at the night before the service.

I shared my book on Orbs and asked everyone to be on the lookout in case Dad decided to show up with us in any photos.


Grizzly Den Weekend

I took another step and swore under my breath. My skies, firmly attached to my ski boots, were getting heavier with every step I took. The sticky wet snow was balling up under my bases. The only way to get it off was to lift my leg and bang my ski pole against them. I tried waxing my skins but the snow still stuck. We had hoped to arrive at the cabin three hours ago, at noon.

I was feeling a little pissed. Apart from the horrible snow conditions, God knows why I can’t pick a cold weekend when the snow is powdery, to go out skiing, the fourth member of our party was having knee problems and feeling a little unsure because this was his first time on backcountry skis and I was beginning to realize the trip wasn’t really shaping up to be a skiing weekend but more a bushwhack/slog on skis. (more…)

The Nature of the Path

The Path does not need to be hard. It can be gentle.

God did not put us all here on earth to have hard, difficult lives, although we certainly have the option for a harder path if those are the lessons our soul has chosen for this lifetime.

Some people deliberately choose a harder path– a choice to live outside of the Flow, ignore it or struggle with it. If we choose that path through ignorance or ignoring the Truth, we can correct that.

But what if we choose it for other reasons: the glorious martyrdom. A sense of self-importance. The admiration from colleagues over one’s “intestinal fortitude.” (more…)

Sunday Musings

My goodness, how totally gorgeous is it outside? It is almost 6 pm and I’ve had a *very* full day and weekend. Where shall I even begin? Friday night, my husband and I walked to the Thirsty Scholar, a local bar, to have dinner and watch the Sox play. We went to bed early to gear up for our Saturday packing extravaganza.

Saturday morning, I did indeed get up early, headed over to Dunkins for a big ol’ box of joe, and some munchkins, reinforcements for our troops of packers, which included my mom, brother, and my brother’s girlfriend. Oh did we pack. My husband tackled our living room, his office, his closet – my brother carted trash.

My mom and brother’s girlfriend packed up our kitchen, and I braved our bedroom, ending up with three huge trash bags of clothes to donate. I didn’t even venture down in our basement storage unit. Everything down there is already in boxes, so I figure as I unpack, I’ll fill up bags again with clothes to donate.