My goals breathe, do yours?

Uncategorized Dec 31, 2020

Happy last day of 2020! Clink clink!

 

Today is New Year’s Eve and I feel the buzzing energy. Everyone is bustling about with “New year, New me” excitement. People are setting goals, celebrating what went well in 2020, releasing what went awry (yes you can laugh), and tapping into the joy and promise of the flip of the page into 2021.

 

I for one really enjoy setting goals and intentions to achieve my dreams. I give them all specific colors and places to live in my calendar. I write them down in my journals, I say them in affirmations and they get delegated specific time and energy in my life that I set aside in advance. I plan them out step by step with strategies and systems, so then all I need to do is show up and follow through. I like setting myself up to win. I like helping others win. And not just win, to do it with sparkles.

 

Moral of the story is, throw me in a Paper Source with a vision I care about and you will lose me for a good two...

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My biggest lesson of 2020

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2020

I consider myself someone who keeps herself close to her goals in general. So especially when the end of the calendar year approaches, I pull a fine tooth comb through what has happened, what worked, what didn’t work and most importantly what did I learn?

 

Today I’ll be sharing my biggest and most impactful lesson of 2020.

 

This past year seems more significant than most as we all moved through the pandemic. Most poignantly for me, I lived alone through the pandemic. Incredibly daunting at first, I utilized one of my favorite and most effective things I do with my mind: to choose my perception, in doing so I choose what I experience, and ultimately, I choose my reality.

 

I reframed it to myself as a “free meditation retreat” that had been a big surprise to receive. No airfare, no thousands of dollars in tuition, just a short walk from my bedroom to my meditation cushion! While still challenging, like a traditional retreat would also have...

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I stand on the shoulders of giants

Uncategorized Dec 11, 2020

I stand on the shoulders of giants.

 

My mom has been powerful her whole life. She’s music educator giving the gift of music and connection to all she encounters. She was raised on a farm with her three brothers doing all the same tasks they did and when she married my dad after her proposed on the marching band field, she hyphenated her name.

 

At the time this was radical, however as her daughter, these were things I never thought twice about. By witnessing my mom just be who she is, she showed me that womxn can and should be effective, independent and have an important impact on making the world a better place. She showed me that womxn have equal value.

 

My older sister Erika is not only my role model, I’m lucky to call her my best friend. Growing up I watched her battle life threatening bouts of asthma where she would be hospitalized for weeks at a time. I watched her take it all in stride, move through with courage and many times with a smile. I...

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Why musicians are actually ahead in the pandemic

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2020

Yes, I just said that. Yes, you read that right.

 

Musicians are actually ahead in the pandemic.

 

Before you run off with a plethora of reasons why I’m wrong, hear me out and let me tell you why.

 

If you are a successful musician, you have command of your mind and your emotional state at a level that most human beings will never attain.

 

I will say that again.

 

You have command of your mind and emotional state that most human beings will never attain.

 

There is a reason why being a classical musician is the second most stressful job behind being an air traffic controller.

 

Think about what you do for a second. If you’re a classical musician, you sit in an orchestra and play exposed solos. Solos that have an extremely specific way that they are supposed to be played and have been played that way for hundreds of years. So every single person will know if it’s correct of not, if it’s amazing or…. Less than amazing....

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Radical acceptance and the bedrock of gratitude

Uncategorized Nov 25, 2020

I believe in using my life as a class. If my life was a discography, the events and lessons are the songs.

 

The years and eras are the albums. The moments, a melody. Each contributing member answers what works, what doesn’t work, and what works some of the time.

 

Each has a feeling and information. Some songs or even entire eras beg the question, “Who am I?”

 

My life has and continues to be a class for me when I’m able to notice it.

 

Last week I went for a “pre-travel” COVID test. I had long awaited plans to see my sister, brother in law and niece. My three favorite people on the planet.

 

I had done all of the quarantining and gotten groceries delivered. My car was checked and I was ready to go. I just needed that negative test and then I’d be on my merry way for a safe and legal visit for the holiday

 

 So I waited, eyes peering out over my mask and happy to be checking off my final box. Check off the...

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Navigating the pandemic as a musician: Ten ways to thrive

Uncategorized Nov 19, 2020

Let's talk about the pandemic. The elephant in all of the rooms. The thing I sometimes forget about in my day to day at home, but the thing that is very much alive and well. As I write this, we are amidst a huge surge here in the U.S., closing in on a year of this global health crisis and I am nine months into what I’ve been calling the “virtual universe”.

 

As a musician, I’ve been dealt a specific deck of cards as a result of COVID. The more musicians I connect with during this time, the more I realize the unique and numerous challenges that we face in our current reality. So today I’m sharing with you what navigating the pandemic as a musician has been like, how mindfulness has been my guiding light throughout and how I’ve used this guiding light to support and create a new reality amidst the storm.

 

The weekend of March 17th, I was supposed to play a concert. I was playing a cycle with an orchestra here in Chicago. I was even...

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It starts with....

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2020

A long time student of mine and I have playful banter. It’s a hoot and a half! We have a ball and get a lot done at the same time - the combination I constantly seek with any student or client. Through years of this dynamic he has blossomed and we have a rhythm as a learning team. Something I can now say to him with no explanation are these three words:

 

It starts with….

 

No need to finish the sentence. He immediately smiles and then sits up, feet hips width and flat on the ground, hips square to the piano, and his wrists enter the sweet spot blend of activated and peaceful.

 

“It starts with” means everything he does at the piano is affected by the way he sits down. The way he sets himself up decides if he plays at his potential. “It starts with” applies to his physical and mental foundation. What is he thinking and what he is believing  are the bedrock for his mind and heart. It all starts with how he shows up and...

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On Creating Worlds

Uncategorized Nov 05, 2020

Last week one of my piano students told me that she really missed going to concerts. She said that what she loved was being able to completely check out.

 

She loved checking out of where she was and checking in. Checking in to another world.

 

In her pieces that she is preparing, we talked about what kind of worlds she wanted to create. What world would she make and invite her audience into? What kind of a place would they be checking in?

 

Swirls of colors, truth, dancing, Pride and Prejudice meets Phantom of the Opera meets Les Mis, mounds of food, hearty characters and bold lines were among her descriptors. One piece would be a world of festivities and glow, another a dreamscape with an honest navy blue undertone and deliberate acknowledgement of pain.

 

She smiled as she shared her visions.

 

Both worlds stunning in their own way. Both worlds consciously chosen and then carried out through her craft.

 

As artists, I believe our job is to create...

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How I teach intuition and self trust

Uncategorized Oct 29, 2020

How many times a day do you second guess yourself? Do you ever question your ideas or choices?

 

Do you ever think, I couldn’t possibly know what to do, I should really ask around before I make a move, right? Or, I know I feel this way, but I’m going to give this person, this idea, this experience the benefit of the doubt, only to discover later that your inner voice was spot on?

 

If I had to boil down one skill that I could permanently master and never need to consider ever again, it would be intuition. Or said in another way, self-trust.

 

We live in a world where second guessing is second nature. I operated this way for almost my entire life. I looked outside myself for the answers. It was a repetition of ending up on paths, in situations and emotional states I didn’t want to be in. I would experience disappointment after bailing on an amazing venture, knowing I hadn’t done what I truly wanted.

 

If only I had trusted my inner voice.

...

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Why Greta Thunberg is leading adults

Uncategorized Oct 23, 2020

A striking teenager from Sweden is spearheading the climate change movement for the world.

She leads protests, spoke at the UN, and traveled the globe spreading the urgent message of climate change and the effects on the collective.

Yes, a young person is leading the fight against the largest threat to humanity.

Her name is Greta Thunberg.

Rather than world leaders (aka adults) taking bold action in front, she is doing it.

She is the one making a ruckus. She is the one making change.

Why? And how does she do it?

I began to notice and wonder as I watched her enthrall the world. And to those who are not enthralled, I watched as she pissed them off to no end.

Her impact is powerful and great no matter which way you slice it.

I watch her and the adults around her. What does she do? What does she believe? What are the adults in her life doing? How do they act and what do they value?

What I realized is that Greta lives the pillars of Mindful Music. Not only that, the adults in her life do...

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