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Music & My Soul

broadway showsI’ve been thinking a lot about music recently and how it has completely shaped who I am as a person. I can’t remember when, but I was roughly nine years old when I saw my first Broadway musical. It changed my entire life. It was as if from that very moment I understood joy – which up until that point I had so little of. It was the purest form of joy I had ever experienced. I always thought some day my creative expression would come a live on one of The Great White Way. There is still that glimmer of hope, a glowing ember. It literally ignites and explodes inside me whenever I see a live performance.

Over the years I have seen and performed in too many shows to count.  Of course none of my performances have been professional, but they have all been incredibly rewarding, uplifting, enlightening and full of learning and growth.

Music in general has become such an integral part of who I am. I have a scary uncanny ability to remember lyrics to almost any song I have heard more than once. The words just stick. More than enjoying listening to music, I love to sing. I was a vocal major at the High School of Music and the Performing Arts in Manhattan before Marc Gafni’s abuse temporarily destroyed my life.

I sing all the time because it brings me that same pure joy from childhood. I sing in the shower, in the car, on my walks, around the house… It brings me comfort which is good for the soul.

20160227_075224Yesterday morning on my walk I was listening to a play list of love songs. I was singing along (as I usually do) to each when it hit me. Ninety percent of what is being said in these lyrics one could apply to the universe and our relationship with it.  I have a weird eclectic taste in music, but here are some examples with snippets from parts of each song:

  • All Of Me (John Legend)

Cause all of me – Loves all of you – Love your curves and all your edges – All your perfect imperfections – Give your all to me – I’ll give my all to you – You’re my end and my beginning – Even when I lose I’m winning – ‘Cause I give you all of me – And you give me all of you

  • Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Phil Collins)

Can you feel the love tonight – The peace the evening brings -The world for once in perfect harmony – With all its living things – There’s a time for everyone if they only learn – That the twisting kaleidoscope moves us all in turn – There’s a rhyme and reason to the wild outdoors -When the heart of this star-crossed voyager beats in time with yours

  • For Good (From the Broadway Show Wicked)

I’m limited. Just look at me. I’m limited. And just look at you. You can do all I couldn’t do. Glinda… So now it’s up to you, For both of us. Now it’s up to you.

Like a comet pulled from orbit – As it passes a sun, Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood. Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better – But because I knew you. I have been changed for good.

  • Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Belinda Carlisle)

When I feel alone, I reach for you – And you bring me home – When I’m lost at sea I hear your voice – And it carries me

In this world we’re just beginning -To understand the miracle of living – Baby, I was afraid before – But I’m not afraid anymore

Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth? Ooh, heaven is a place on earth. They say in heaven love comes first – We’ll make heaven a place on earth

  • Smile (Uncle Kracker)

You’re better than the best – I’m lucky just to linger in your light -Cooler than the flip-side of my pillow (that’s right) – Completely unaware -Nothing can compare to where you send me – It lets me know that it’s okay (yeah, it’s okay) – And the moments when my good times start to fade – You make me smile…

Once again it brought on this overwhelming sense of gratitude. You can love so much – the universe and its supreme power, your partner in life, your parents, your children, your friends, what you do with your time, and most importantly yourself, and what you give back to that which you love.musicNone of these songs are spiritual to say the least, but segments of their lyrics can apply to your relationship with the universe and it’s view of you; to you relationship with other human beings and even that with yourself. Be grateful for all these relationships.  I think we must be grateful for the gift of music, it certainly can help us stay motivated to keep moving, and it can bring us closer to all that we hold dear, lyrics or not.

On Being Happy

The more interactions you have with other human beings the more you learn how important it is to surround yourself with individuals who bring you joy, lift you up, support your dreams and see you for who you really are. Most people learn this the hard way. Never feel guilty about removing the toxic people from your life. These toxic people not only make your life unbearable, but they will sabotage any effort you make towards being happy and improving yourself. By ridding your life of toxic relationships you are protecting your spirit. Once you have found who you really are, are comfortable in your own skin, can nurture your dreams and the dreams of those you love, protect that at all costs. Ferociously guard it. Coming to this place spiritually, intellectually and emotionally can take years of self-reflection. Don’t waste your efforts on toxic people – life is too short.

toxic people

Your past is just that, the past. And although there may have been many painful experiences in your life, it is those experiences that have led you to where you are today, and have helped you grow as a person. You have learned from both the negative and the positive. Use what you have learned and try not to repeat prior mistakes. This is not an easy task. We tend to gravitate towards the same type of people again and again in order to resolve something possibly entirely subconscious. These relationships can be wonderful, or they can be toxic. They can bring about enlightenment, or continued suffering. They can appear as relationships with friends, family, significant others, co-workers, employers…anywhere. Assess your relationships carefully. Are they toxic or are they a positive influence in your journey? Do not waste your energy giving your best self to those who do not give their best selves in return. Your spirit cannot afford to maintain toxic relationships if it is going to grow, flourish, and be a positive energy in the world.

Surround yourself with support and love – learn to both give and receive support and love. Help others, and be a light in all the relationships you have chosen to cultivate. All these things can help you achieve whatever goals you may set for yourself – weight loss, a career change, realizing a dream, raising a family, exploring your spirituality…happyholidays

As I will be busy with a variety of holiday and wedding preparations, I may not post till after the weekend. For everyone who celebrates Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful holiday surrounded by positive people who bring you joy.

A LOT to be Thankful For!

Got my stitches out today and all is healing well. I have about 7lbs to lose after my 2 weeks of sitting around. I can drive again and in a few weeks should be back in sneakers. Look out 7lbs, I’m coming! I hope to be able to bear more weight on them soon, as I have an audition the first week of December. Looking forward to this weekend as Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday because there is no religious connection to it at all; Just food, friends and family.toes today

More than ever I am so thankful for my home, my health, my family and friends. I am truly blessed in so many ways. I’ve been through the deaths of many family members and close friends in the recent past, many of whom were way to young to die. It certainly has brought a deeper meaning to appreciating what you have. Telling those you love that you love them while you have them. More importantly showing them how much you love them with acts of kindness, forgiveness, compassion, affection and encouragement. Value what is most important – the relationships that support who you are on a daily basis. Make certain those you love know unequivocally that you love them. No one is promised tomorrow.

Don’t argue over petty things at gatherings; enjoy one another’s company. If that means banning topics such as religion and politics, do so. Maybe sing together – there is something about joining voices that brings people closer and raises everyone up.

I am thankful for my new connections with other survivors, past and new friends and the potential currently spinning in the universe to see justice for many. Even when you are depressed and fighting negative feelings you can find things to be thankful for. If you can’t ask someone for help and believe me they will show you that you have more blessings in your life than you realize.12191883_10153670807663398_8719728543179573189_n

Tomorrow night we are going to see one of the largest light shows in our area Prairie Lights – something we have always enjoyed doing together. We are doing our Thanksgiving on Friday for numerous reasons. Our menu will be a cross of traditional and eclectic. I will post the recipes people really enjoy on the blog and on the recipe page to share. Some of these will be more health conscious than others, LOL, but like everything food related – MODERATION is the key. After our meal we will start the tree decorating with our friends and family there. As we come from different backgrounds we have an interesting secular, Chanaristmas tree. Being raised in a Jewish home I was always jealous of the Christmas tree and I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me having one of my own now and waking up in the mornings, having coffee by the twinkling tree lights – looking at all the memory filled ornaments. Pictures of all will follow.

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