Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbac
Dear Creative One,
In order to lend a likely alliteration to the month of March, this month Music makes melodic meaning merge with our mere mortal but malleable minds mainly because music magnificently musters up the mysterious methods of both creativity and anti-aging.
So welcome to the March Music Muse Flash and as you read this I would appreciate it if you would indeed march to some music. I think it would greatly enhance the Muse-letter's meaning for you and amuse me as I imagine you marching. You can march to a different drummer if you like, but that's ironically rather cliche'.
I have XM radio playing on my laptop right now. I’m listening to Jill’s Writing Music Channel (JWMC). Well, on XM radio it is actually called Audio Visions,"cerebral new age music”
- Sounds of the Galaxy: Surrounded by nature, inspired by poetry with soothed, dreamy, flowing electronic and acoustic music and voices. That description just came out in italics without any help from me– I think if we could see new age music floating through the air, it would actually be in italics. As I listen, a woman with a slightly italicized accent, periodically and seductively whispers “You are listening to Audio Visions.” I reply responsively periodic in my seductive but assertive loud whisper, “I know, I haven’t forgotten.” Listening to new age music reminds me of the recent SNL skit where Raiin Wilson wears a long red wig and plays the harp. The skit spoofed a new age group trying to play a dreamy, soothing song but fails because they have so much rage toward each other. New age music is very spoofable indeed, yet, it’s easier for me to write to its non-intrusive vagueness then say rhythm and blues or Motown mainly because I've tried writing when I’m dancing and its dangerous. Classical music gives me a crick in my nose and rap music just makes me want to organize my silverware drawer- it must have to do with all the lyrics about forks.
Listening to music while writing can help us tap into the music center of the brain where the inspiration is driven by the emotion, memory, or vision that the music evokes. Sometimes the rhythm of the music can create a cadence where words want to simply fall out on the page. Once I went to a painting workshop where the instructor put on various types of music and we painted according to the differing rhythms. I painted a series of large green peppers and each type of music made each pepper look different. Some loud frenetic music made me paint one that looked anxious; I entitled it Nervous Still Life .
Then another time during a writing workshop, I put some bouncy music that sounded like someone walking and asked the participants to write to the rhythm of the music. Most of the writers had wonderful pieces about walks through neighborhoods, cities, or dreams – but this one guy, at the beginning of the exercise said, “This is really annoying, I don’t think I can write to it.” So I asked him to start with the sentence, “This is really annoying ..”and keep going. He rapaciously wrote for more than the entire allotted time. Cathartic mania motorized his pen with this liberating conduit of permission - which is sort of off-of the-subject of music really but then again it shows that irritating music can get you in touch with emotions that pour into sublimated writing.. and sublimated writing can be better than therapy, medicine and sometimes mangoes (a delicious M word).
Another M word: This link is a MUST for some rhythmical mirth.
My friend and Muse Facilitator Jeanne Hillson sent that link.
Join me for a retreat, a class or a teleconference.
Find out more about Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching and see a full list of creative resources.
For Jill on caffeine being interviewed by Christopher McAuliffe on The Coaching Show click here and go to Feb 7 segment 3.
For Monthly Muse Columns at Creativity Portal.. beam here.
More about the brain and music
Musician Profile: Scott Kalechstein
Scott Kalechstein is a dear friend of mine and one of the most creative people I know - you will soon see why. Scott not only has several wonderful CDs out but he also makes songs up improvisationally, out of the blue and sometimes the pitch black. Sort of a musical genius one might say (I got to design two of his CD covers, see if you can guess which ones).. Enjoy his humbly inspiring interview.
Where did you receive your formal training?
Let me check my records.... No, I don't believe I've had any. Oh, yes. How could I forget? For formal training I completed the entire graduate course curriculum at UCLU (Undisclipined Creative Laziness University). I am very proud that I stuck with it and eventually received my N.C.W. (No Credentials Whatsoever).
Creative time of the day for you:
Hmmmn, let me see... I would be classified as a classic nocturnal morning person with numerous afternoon spurts of creative expression. Any time of the day or night is good enough for me to give my creations the attention they need to speak to me. So, my final bottom line answer is that being a creator is a full time job... 24/7!
Do you have a mantra or motto?
Yes, it's this: 'Live without a mantra or a motto." Sometimes I add, "Enjoy the irony. Or not."
Key to your perseverance
If your definition of perseverance is pushing through when the going gets tough, then I have no perseverance. If there is struggle in my creations I take a break or move on to what is fun and easy. I practice no pushing, no shoving, no force against myself. My inner critic says I lack maturity. Yet I have nine fully produced CD's and more keep coming...
Favorite studio music
Me. Mine. It's way cool, far more entertaining, inspiring and insightful than most of what commercial songwriters and recording artists are doing these days. When I get tired of being inspired by me, I listen to lots of other independent singer-songwriters that have made it big in their own minds and in the hearts of their audiences.
Best advice received
Validate yourself. Repeat when necessary.
Next big goal
To be present, peaceful, balanced, sober, and happy most of the time. Also, to fully inhabit and own my magnificence in a way that inspires others to own theirs.
When screw-ups become memorable highlights because I flowed with them and didn't shut down the creative flow by making myself wrong.
I know I've made it when ...
I cease to think there is such a thing as 'making it' and notice that I am fully engaged in giving my gifts and celebrating my life as it is right now. In addition, I am happily building towards a seven figure income. (Six figures is so last millennium!)
Most favorite achievement
My latest CD, "Something New'. It's hot stuff!
How you get ideas for writing your songs?
By living a full and rich life! Also, by being silly, soulful, playful, vulnerable, and imaginative. Songs come through my adventures in relationships, from my meditations, from my therapy, and from regularly listening to and schmoozing with the following inner characters, listed in no particularly meaningful order: God, my inner child, my inner critic, my higher self, my anger, my joy, my sorrow, my ecstasy, and my anxiety. Songs also are likely to come to me when I am engaged in moving past my comfort zones, when I am finding irony and paradox in life, and anytime I come out of hiding and connect with the playground of people and possibilities in the world.
Where people can see and hear your work?
My goodness! I do everything from parties to corporate trainings, from house concerts to presenting keynotes and troubadouring at conferences. Folks can start by sampling my CD's. Also, at my site one can easily sign up for my free muse-letters, which will mysteriously come to you once every two months or so and tell you when I am coming to your part of the world to perform.
Dear Muse: Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Tools
Letters from Readers:
Dear Polyhymnia, ("the one of many hymns"),
There must be a muse of productivity somewhere, of discipline, could you extend to her my invitation to come and sit on my shoulder? I relate to the issues presented on this website all too much -- I relate to everything in the world all too much. I could talk and
talk and talk and read and read and read, but when it comes down to WORKING,
I am stricken by terror. Even if I start, the whole time I am having fun (all two minutes I can withstand of it) I am fighting those pesky issues which I see the coaches here know all too well! I guess at this point I just want a quick fix. I'm 46 and I've spent my whole life trying to get over this. I decided to bite the bullet and I've been in several bands now, and have tons of little snippets of song starts. I practice for two minutes at a time, since that's all I can do. I affirm my head off, tried meditation and EFT, failed at getting diagnosed ADD, am on antidepressants, did therapy up the wazoo. I'm still dragging my feet and mostly just obsessing and being bored and sleeping instead of learning and working and .. having fun! Someone .. please help!
At my wit's end
Beam yourself here for the Answer from The Muse
Got a creative dilemma personally, at work or existentially? Try the Dear Muse.
Dear Muse Link
Recommended Links and Happenings
Congratulations to newly certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaches:
Sally Evans in Denver, Colorado firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Trachtman in Saratoga, New York and Woodbridge, CT Honorcreating@aol.com
Sue Messer in Davenport, Iowa SUEMESSER3@aol.com
Spring Creativity Rejuvenation Retreat: May 18 - 20, 2007 (Registration Closes March 19th) Treat Yourself to a Journey with Jill Badonsky and the Nine Modern Day Muses in a beautiful setting in rural Massachusetts - Experience the creative principles that can help you manifest your dreams and love the process. Enjoy new ways to make art and writing easier. Discover, in person, the power of music to unleash imagination, movement, and relaxation. Be pampered and nurtured - you deserve it. To find out more go here. email email@example.com for more information.
For more nurturing read best selling author, Jennifer Louden's new book: The Life Organizer. Thank you Jennifer for writing another incredible and inspiring book. Jennifer wants to give you a fre.e 52 weeks of mindful questions and a fre.e audio recording -- just for visiting http://www.thelifeorganizer.com. If you're curious about living from your heart instead of your head, if you're tired of living from "To-Do" list to "To-Do" list, visit http:// www.thelifeorganizer.com for another option for you whose dreams and visions are larger than the squares on your calendar.
Recordings of ELEVEN teleclasses by Marney Makridakis and I (including a fre.e class on writing!) are available at http://www.artellawordsandart.com/workshops.html There’s even an entire series called the “Kid’s Menu Sub-Kid-Tion Series” where you can get recordings of a whole series of 10 classes we did last year for a deeply discounted price. Hope you’ll check it out, if you’re drawn to do so.
Go here and click on Cherries by Lisa Loeb
Anti-aging Potion #4: Administer Music
Music is indeed a potion of agelessness.
Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
You find the music that works for you - you pay attention to the songs that shift you. I can not remain in a bad mood when I listen to Natalie McMasters or most Celtic fiddles, but that music may annoy you. Music preference is as individual as personality.
Suggestion: Take a little time regularly to explore music through the Internet or stores where you can listen through headphones before buying. Inside of a song there is a portal to another space. Capture music in the many ways we can do that these days. Find a theme song, a song that shifts your mood, one that calms you, one that makes you laugh, one that energizes and empowers you. Have a medicine chest CD or ipod full of songs. Enlist some imaginary back-up singers when you need a little support. Listen to music while you cook, garden, create art, write a letter, conjure up other worlds, arrange your silverware drawer. Music can guide you emotionally, move you to dance, make you cry, transform despair to calm and make washed up boxers ascend stairs in Philadelphia.
When we fully listen to music that we love, we release healing, rejuvenating endorphins.
Of all the creative art forms, I maintain that music is the most special. Music encompasses so many things that are creative... writing, storytelling, poetry, imagery. I think the voice is obviously an instrument, but further, I think every musician who picks up an instrument to play actually morphs into a whole new instrument. When music is integrated into other art, it can totally change the perception of that art. And music is so culturally diverse, it is truly one of the most basic and natural forms of art. ~Deb Thompson
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~Maya Angelou
Rena Tucker, portrait artist (that's one of her's up there), recently was transported by a musically enhanced guided imagery to a creative room... Here's what she wrote:
In my creative room, I can do anything.
I can dance
or just sit
and do nothing.
I can just be, if that's what I want.
Anything I need appears,
because it is a magic space.
It has a soft, beautiful chair
and a chandelier that shines
the perfect light.
It is cozy
and all just for me.
The art I create
in this room
already exists in magic -
in the ethers.
When I pick up a brush,
it's more like a magic wand
that wipes away the white
to reveal the colors
and the shapes
that were there all along,
hidden from mortal eyes
by a spell.
transported by music
Find the music that transports you and sets your toe a tapping. It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing. Doo-wat doo-wat, doo-wat doo-wat, doo-wat doo-wat
Have an italicized March 2007.. it's the only one.
sample some tunes at a Music bakery
JILL BADONSKY'S EVENTS AND TRAININGS
Trainings, Classes and Workshops Full Descriptions Here
March 21, 2007 Thursday 7-9 p.m. Drop-in Spring Solstice Writing Workshop: Book Works in Del Mar Prompts, triggers, and play become the springboard for short creative writing pieces. All levels of writers.
April 1, 2007 Thursday 5:30pm pst 6:30pm Mtn, 7:30 ctl 8:30 p.m. est
FRE.E Creativity Coaching Teleconference: How Kaizen-Muse Keeps Going Where The Secret Stops
This call will focus on the new movement to use our power to manifest a fulfilling reality and the steps that really ensure success amidst fears, self-sabotage, and unrealistic expectations. Find out if you are someone who can benefit from a model of creativity coaching that is helping hundreds of people break through self sabotage, procrastination, overwhelm and difficulty making time to answer your creative call. email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the call code. With author and creativity coaching pioneer, Jill Badonsky, M.Ed. Visit www.kaizenmuse.com
APRIL 26th, 2007 Thursday noon PST
Replenishing the Creative Spirit : 10 Guides Through Resistance to Joy
Jill takes the employees at Scripp's LaJolla on a journey to authentic manifestation through creative thought and action. Apply and get a job at Scripps to attend. :) email email@example.com to hire Jill for your group or company.
MAY 9th, 2007 Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
What The Secret Left Out: 7 Keys to Authentic Manifestation
North County Women in Networking (NCWIN) at the Lake San Marcos Country Club, CA 1750 San Pablo Drive. Through humor, story and practical techniques that have unleashed creative power for thousands of women, Jill Badonsky will share 7 tools that will gift you with the power to create a fulfilling reality.
MAY 18- 20th The Muse is In Retreat Spirit Fire Ranch Massachusetts
Registration Closes on March 19TH!
MAY 20 -22nd Stay Two Extra Days and Learn to Facilitate Your Own Muse Groups email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
OCT 12-14th 2007 Ten Anti-Aging Potions (and a Spot-Remover) Retreat
Spirit Fire Ranch Massachusetts
Experience youthfulness in creative thought, action, and pampering with Jill Badonsky.
For full class descriptions click here