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March, 2009

"Let Go of the Bad and Go For Good"

by Webmaster

This morning I watched a rerun of the Actors Studio with Conan O'Brien while I worked out. I found a recurring theme in what O'Brien said and in the messages of the commercials. I stopped my work out to capture three of them. If they're not exact quotes, they capture the essence of what was said.

Chase the wind, no matter which way it blows. (allergy medicine commercial)

It's okay to dream. You don't know how it's going to turn out until you try it. — Conan O'Brien on Actors Studio

You're always looking for that crazy, weird idea ... that's beyond formula. — Conan O'Brien on Actors Studio

In these crazy economic times, we may need to branch out, to do more things, to add more tools to our tool box.

Last month, in "Keep Your Momentum Going", I listed potential new tools and techniques to learn and implement. From networking with club owners to learning to make music videos for YouTube, they all have one thing in common: they require change.

Change can be scary. It requires that we leave our comfort zone. We have to risk something: failure? looking foolish? letting our friends and family down? letting ourselves down? It's so easy to do what we've always done, the things we know we do well.

Some people are more change-ready than others. Some people are driven by boredom or the need to try new and different things. Maybe they're not afraid of failure, of looking foolish. Maybe they know that failure is not usually fatal and looking foolish might just come before a spectacular accomplishment. History is full of people who were laughed at before the succeeded in doing something spectacular. There's even a children's story about that. It's called "The Ugly Duckling."

I tend to be driven by the need to do new things and an openness to opportunities that come along. Last year I read a review of a book about 6-word memoirs. The title was "Not Quite What I Was Planning." I wrote two for myself: "Got lost and wound up here" and "Been there. Done that. Now what?"

My premise last month was that if you're a musician, and you might have fewer gigs that you want because of the economy, you might have "free" time on your hands. I made suggestions that might fill up that free time with more paying work, if not right away, at least down the road.

Even if you are still playing as much as you want, these were good ideas and you might want to check them out and implement them anyway. You just might be change-ready and want to do some new things.

And, if you already have a full life, you might have to get rid of something to make room for something new. What do you get rid of?

Aries Free Will Horoscope for week of February 26, 2009

Beware of people who act like polite jerks or tone-deaf music critics or emotionally numb lovers. While they may be able to teach you a lot about what you don't need, they're not worthy candidates for enduring relationships. Now let's turn our attention to the question of who exactly does belong on your future team. What encouraging voices should you draw into your inner sphere? What smart adventurers should be solicited as staunch allies? Which respectful helpers should be rewarded for the good influences they've had on you? It's an excellent time to make those determinations.

You don't have to be an Aries to appreciate the good advice in that horoscope. It's appropriate if you want to change some of the aspects of your life: get rid of the negative influences ("polite jerks" "tone-deaf music critics" "emotionally numb lovers") and attract more positive influences ("encouraging voices" "staunch allies" "respectful helpers"). Any time is a good time to make a change like that.

Visualize what you want. See your allies. Hear their encouragement. Feel what your helpers contribute. Create the bright new future in your mind.

Let go of the past. Concentrating on it still focuses your energy on what you are willing to give up: the person who let you down (or put you down) and/or the process(es) that didn't work. If you focus on it, you will get more of the same.

I was told repeatedly by people who are not in my life now, that I shouldn't (wouldn't be allowed to) sing. Those people are no longer in my life. Now, I have two bands in which I am encouraged to sing, and my songs are requested by people who come to hear us. Several of my songs are on CDs and people buy those CDs so they can hear my songs again.

I co-wrote a song, "One Lonely Rider," with Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Ernie Martinez . It's on his CD, "Where I Make My Home." It was played as background music at the January Arvada Center annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Ernie told me that people bought his CD because of our song. A song I wrote, "Already Gone," was recorded by Bob Turner and is on his CD, "Nice Place to Visit," and on the 2007 Colorado Bluegrass Music Society CD , "A Collection of Songs from 'Bands on Call' IV." (I don't sing on those recordings.)

But, I recorded several of my songs, and one of them, "Sandstorm From Sedona," is also on the 2007 Colorado Bluegrass Music Society CD , "A Collection of Songs from 'Bands on Call' IV." I recorded two of my songs with Shalom Feivel & Rocky Mountain Jewgrass , "I'm In It For the Food" and "Hitchhiker," on the CD "Live At Swallow Hill." [Note: Two more songs, "Hitchhiker" and "State Line Cafe," were included on the 2009 Colorado Bluegrass Music Society CD , "A Collection of Songs from 'Bands on Call' V."]

There is sheer joy of knowing that someone bought a CD because of a song I wrote. It's not about money. It's about knowing that my song touched someone in some way, and they want to listen to it again and again.

But, my point isn't about songwriting or recording or selling CD's.

My point is about ignoring the negative voices and going ahead with my dream, and accomplishing my dream. Yeah, I risked looking foolish. And, it wasn't all that easy. I walked away from a band not knowing if I'd find another band to play music with.

I'm grateful for the strength to leave my "polite jerks or tone-deaf music critics or emotionally numb lovers" — those people who, in the guise of friendship and love, did their best to put me and keep me in what they viewed as my place.

Letting go isn't easy. It can be painful, anger-full, and tearful. It can be scary as hell!

The butterfly was my symbol when I divorced my husband 30+ years ago and went out on my own for the first time in my life. I made a needlepoint pillow in white with a yellow butterfly and the words: “You can fly, but the cocoon has to go.”

Imagine the fear of a self-aware caterpillar as it spins its cocoon. And look at what it becomes when it emerges from its cocoon.

The negative people are known, familiar, and somehow comfortable. Their negativity tells you it's okay to stay the same, do the same, be the same, even if it isn't successful or satisfying.. They want you to stay a caterpillar.

Now, let them go and spin your own cocoon. Who know what the new you will be? How high will you fly?

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