Tag Archives: helpyourself

Loneliness during the Holidays

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Gertrude Abercrombie’s “The Stroll” (1943). Credit Credit Oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Gertrude Abercrombie Trust

Loneliness is a worthy foe, and with the rise of social media, most of us are suffering from it in some form – especially this time of year. It’s easy to feel isolated in tense family situations or even parties.

Striving for connection along with a healthy dose of self-care will get you through the season.”

So how do we cope? I’m glad I ran across this article today. It has some fantastic actions we can take to combat loneliness, especially this time of year. Along with the list from the article, I would add these things:

Encourage Friendships

Having a social life and human connection is important for us to thrive in our lives. A lot of people are shy about reaching out, or inviting people to do things. Do It!! Same sex friendships are particularly important in my opinion. If you have trouble meeting people then volunteer for something you care about…. and/or get a pet.

Having Pets

Animals are awesome. If you don’t, or can’t,  have one, volunteering at the local shelter is a great way to interact cats and dogs, and to be of service at the same time!

Go to a Gym

It took me awhile to build up to it, but now I go three times a week. Working out keeps my blood moving and my endorphins running. I think more clearly, and I’m able to make better decisions. And I have more energy. Exercise is the best thing for everyone.

Limit Alcohol

I’m personally sober since 2005, but if I wasn’t I would severely limit alcohol and stay away from drugs. In my experience these things end up making loneliness much worse.

Limit Sugar

This time of year is next-to-impossible to eat right, but I SO stay away from eating sugar. It keeps my blood sugar steady throughout that day so there’s less moodiness.

Good Night’s Sleep

I strive to get a good night’s sleep every night – which means eight solid hours in a dark, cool room.

Practice Gratitude

List ten things you’re grateful for when you feel low and it will completely change your thinking and mood.

Walk in Nature

I take a walk in nature everyday with my dog. Looking at trees, grass, and feeling the warmth of the sun brings me lots of joy.

Be Creative

It doesn’t matter if you’re good at it. You’ll probably improve as you go along anyway. I’ve taken multiple creative paths and it feels so good to create something. Write something or pick up and instrument… or a pen!

Be of Service

Get out and be of service to people. Being of service in some way is crucial.

Get a New Job

I know from experience, if you’re unhappy with your job, you HAVE to make a change. Life is too short and we spend too much time there. Anyone can do it. Make a plan, get some training or education, and DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock Pen an Open Letter to the Next Generation of Artists

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Here’s some inspiration for us all from some truly brilliant musicians. ❤

“To the Next Generation of Artists: we find ourselves in turbulent and unpredictable times.
From the horror at the Bataclan, to the upheaval in Syria and the senseless bloodshed in San Bernardino, we live in a time of great confusion and pain. As an artist, creator and dreamer of this world, we ask you not to be discouraged by what you see but to use your own lives, and by extension your art, as vehicles for the construction of peace.
While it’s true that the issues facing the world are complex, the answer to peace is simple; it begins with you. You don’t have to be living in a third world country or working for an NGO to make a difference. Each of us has a unique mission. We are all pieces in a giant, fluid puzzle, where the smallest of actions by one puzzle piece profoundly affects each of the others. You matter, your actions matter, your art matters.
We’d like to be clear that while this letter is written with an artistic audience in mind, these thoughts transcend professional boundaries and apply to all people, regardless of profession.
FIRST, AWAKEN TO YOUR HUMANITY
We are not alone. We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. What this world needs is a humanistic awakening of the desire to raise one’s life condition to a place where our actions are rooted in altruism and compassion. You cannot hide behind a profession or instrument; you have to be human. Focus your energy on becoming the best human you can be. Focus on developing empathy and compassion. Through the process you’ll tap into a wealth of inspiration rooted in the complexity and curiosity of what it means to simply exist on this planet. Music is but a drop in the ocean of life.
EMBRACE AND CONQUER THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
The world needs new pathways. Don’t allow yourself to be hijacked by common rhetoric, or false beliefs and illusions about how life should be lived. It’s up to you to be the pioneers. Whether through the exploration of new sounds, rhythms, and harmonies or unexpected collaborations, processes and experiences, we encourage you to dispel repetition in all of its negative forms and consequences. Strive to create new actions both musically and with the pathway of your life. Never conform.
WELCOME THE UNKNOWN
The unknown necessitates a moment-to-moment improvisation or creative process that is unparalleled in potential and fulfillment. There is no dress rehearsal for life because life, itself, is the real rehearsal. Every relationship, obstacle, interaction, etc. is a rehearsal for the next adventure in life. Everything is connected. Everything builds. Nothing is ever wasted. This type of thinking requires courage. Be courageous and do not lose your sense of exhilaration and reverence for this wonderful world around you.
UNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE OF OBSTACLES
We have this idea of failure, but it’s not real; it’s an illusion. There is no such thing as failure. What you perceive as failure is really a new opportunity, a new hand of cards, or a new canvas to create upon. In life there are unlimited opportunities. The words, “success” and “failure”, themselves, are nothing more than labels. Every moment is an opportunity. You, as a human being, have no limits; therefore infinite possibilities exist in any circumstance.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO INTERACT WITH THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU
The world needs more one-on-one interaction among people of diverse origins with a greater emphasis on art, culture and education. Our differences are what we have in common. We can work to create an open and continuous plane where all types of people can exchange ideas, resources, thoughtfulness and kindness. We need to be connecting with one another, learning about one another, and experiencing life with one another. We can never have peace if we cannot understand the pain in each other’s hearts. The more we interact, the more we will come to realize that our humanity transcends all differences.
STRIVE TO CREATE AGENDA-FREE DIALOGUE
Art in any form is a medium for dialogue, which is a powerful tool. It is time for the music world to produce sound stories that ignite dialogue about the mystery of us. When we say the mystery of us, we’re talking about reflecting and challenging the fears, which prevent us from discovering our unlimited access to the courage inherent in us all. Yes, you are enough. Yes, you matter. Yes, you should keep going.
BE WARY OF EGO
Arrogance can develop within artists, either from artists who believe that their status makes them more important, or those whose association with a creative field entitles them to some sort of superiority. Beware of ego; creativity cannot flow when only the ego is served.
WORK TOWARDS A BUSINESS WITHOUT BORDERS
The medical field has an organization called Doctors Without Borders. This lofty effort can serve as a model for transcending the limitations and strategies of old business formulas which are designed to perpetuate old systems in the guise of new ones. We’re speaking directly to a system that’s in place, a system that conditions consumers to purchase only the products that are dictated to be deemed marketable, a system where money is only the means to an end. The music business is a fraction of the business of life. Living with creative integrity can bring forth benefits never imagined.
APPRECIATE THE GENERATION THAT WALKED BEFORE YOU
Your elders can help you. They are a source of wealth in the form of wisdom. They have weathered storms and endured the same heartbreaks; let their struggles be the light that shines the way in the darkness. Don’t waste time repeating their mistakes. Instead, take what they’ve done and catapult you towards building a progressively better world for the progeny to come.
LASTLY, WE HOPE THAT YOU LIVE IN A STATE OF CONSTANT WONDER
As we accumulate years, parts of our imagination tend to dull. Whether from sadness, prolonged struggle, or social conditioning, somewhere along the way people forget how to tap into the inherent magic that exists within our minds. Don’t let that part of your imagination fade away. Look up at the stars and imagine what it would be like to be an astronaut or a pilot. Imagine exploring the pyramids or Machu Picchu. Imagine flying like a bird or crashing through a wall like Superman. Imagine running with dinosaurs or swimming like mer-creatures. All that exists is a product of someone’s imagination; treasure and nurture yours and you’ll always find yourself on the precipice of discovery.
How does any of this lend to the creation of a peaceful society you ask? It begins with a cause. Your causes create the effects that shape your future and the future of all those around you. Be the leaders in the movie of your life. You are the director, producer, and actor. Be bold and tirelessly compassionate as you dance through the voyage that is this lifetime.”

Astro week of August 5th

@lefawnhawk

This week is the 4th quarter of the Moon, the “darkest” time of our current lunar month.  This week we rest and wrap things up; all in preparation for the rebirth of the New Moon in Leo this coming Saturday.  It will be another eclipse too.  If you go out at sunset each night this week, you will see the moon’s light diminish until she completely disappears into the fiery light of the Sun.  Don’t overschedule yourself or work too hard. Take some afternoon naps. Focus on finishing things – next week is the time to start new projects or habits.

Monday, August 6 – Moon in Gemini (Mercury still retrograde), Venus into Libra and Uranus stationing. Lots of energy, communication and ideas flying around today. Be slow and thorough, and handle one thing at a time. Don’t get caught up in other peoples’ instability. Venus in Libra is very happy! Do some art or hang with friends.

Tuesday, August 7 – Moon void of course in Gemini all day, and Uranus retrograde in Taurus. Stay home if you can or work in your garden. Today could be really crazy, with lots of unstable changes happening all around you. Careful while driving or on transport. Keep slowing yourself down and doing one thing at a time. Don’t act on impulse this week.

Wednesday, August 8 – Moon in Cancer. Spoil yourself. Go to a spa. Eat whatever you want. Uranus still stationing overhead, so avoid social conflicts. Connect with your inner voice, and hear what it’s telling you. Is life sending you in a new direction? Embrace it and go with the flow. Revelations abound. Don’t overspend.

Thursday, August 9 – Moon void of course in Cancer all day. Avoid important negotiations or conversations. Today is NOT the day for a house meeting. Keep a cool head and a discerning heart. FOCUS ON YOUR OWN LIFE. Let your creativity wander.

Friday, August 10 – New Moon in Leo begins. A splendid day. Allow yourself all the pleasures available. Assume leadership if needed and tackle responsibilities. Let your light shine. Good night to see a performance.

Saturday, August 11 – New Moon eclipse in Leo at 2:58am. Be creative, hang out with family and children, and let your light shine some more.