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So I usually get my inspiration to write blog posts weeks in advance and I’ll write a series.  For the month of October, that has not been the case.  As a result, I feel compelled to pull back the veil today and share with you something that happened very recently that humbled me and in all efforts to be authentic these are moments I feel strongly the need to expose my vulnerability.  I don’t know about you but as this year has “dragged on”, I have found it more difficult to remain positive and upbeat when surrounded by the chronic “Debbie Downers”.  When I get into these particular funks, I tend to go one of two ways, completely shutting down (drop kids off and go home and hide until time for pick up) which has not been an option because of the havoc that is family life right now or become a work-a-holic.  Well because home is Grand Central Station and there are many areas of the house that need constant attention…I wish I had a clothing pile to hide behind (one is currently growing in the closet but will cease to exist very soon when the husband finds it and I’m busted).  I have turned to the latter (which typically pays off) BUT this weekend I had a wake up call that gave me time to reflect and really think about my message and how I implement and “practice what I preach”.

Most weekends, I try to do work projects from home, on the sly because I need hobbies (and a life away from the fam) but have been too lazy to pursue them.  This particular weekend, I overbooked myself, because I have this delusion that I’m SUPERWOMANNNNNNN!  What delusion am I speaking of?!  If you are reading this, you most certainly have suffered from the same “I’ve got this” complex…I can do anything, any time, anywhere, no problem with one hand tied behind my back and doing a cha cha, juggling and driving kids to their activities.  Well, Friday went off without a hitch, in fact, I was euphoric about how well the day and events went.  Fast forward to Saturday morning, I’m scheduled to do an all day Halloween event with my girls to promote The Garrett Music Academy (our music school).  I have to get up early and set up prior to the event and then man my booth the rest of the day…by myself…with two 9 year olds….and I forgot to bring chairs….do you see where I’m going with this?!  I had a hard time getting up and I felt fatigued but I pulled down deep and pushed through because I wanted the opportunity to promote our lessons and services to the community while my children had a chance to have fun when this year has been a perpetual “dumpster fire”.  It started out great and the event was packed.  I was so excited to see little people in costumes and the cares of the world seem to melt away for those few minutes.  Later that morning, it is getting hot, I’m dressed in all black (my standard GMA uniform) and I feel the sun beating down on me, despite the tent I have erected to prevent such from happening.  I send the twins over to a food truck, (side note:  I’m in the best spot possible, next to the bathrooms and the food!!!), to get me a bottle of water and something to eat.  The dummy that I am, I brought breakfast but in my haste to unpack the car and get it moved to respect the event staff’s request to park offsite, I left said food in the car…didn’t forget the coffee but did forget the nurishment.  

Fast forward to 11:00 am, I start getting a headache…followed by a feeling of nausea.  I think, “oh, I’m just hungry and I need to drink my water…” so off I go and take a few bites and take a few gulps of water…then I feel dizzy and I realize I need to sit down but I can’t because I FORGOT THE CHAIRS!!!  So, I do what anyone with only half a mind would do, I sit up on the table but as I do so, a group of children come to the booth for goodie bags so I’m back up again.  This goes on for about an hour before my daughters return to the tent after having some holiday fun dancing and trick-or-treating.  Upon their arrival, I sat down on the cold asphalt…it felt good and  I quickly realized it would feel even better if I lied down, so under a table I went, hoping for relief from the headache and nausea.  This was my attempt to hide how awful I felt from the children while keeping my commitment to the organization to remain for the entire event and represent my company.  Notice, I say attempt because you CAN’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM CHILDREN!  The girls grow very concerned and take over all duties of the booth while I fight to stay conscious and not get sick.  I’m having an existential crisis with myself about the situation when she appeared….a very sweet woman that saw the feet sticking out from under the table and came to investigate, as if there was a possible sighting of the Wicked Witch of the East and she found her way from under Dorothy’s house to my table.  Her face pops up over mine and she starts asking me about how I’m doing, am I ok, do I need help….and then nothing.  This is when it all goes black and I feel my stomach give way and I feel my body start to shake.  I wake up minutes later to the sounds of my one daughter, Juliette, crying hysterically while Charlotte is soldering through, tell people to come over and get their goodie bags and sign up for music lessons…while using my phone to call her father and 9-1-1 (my daughter has learned this part from her momma and when in crisis, focus, focus, focus).  

Now, I am fortunate, there is a health booth at this event with several nurses and the angel that first found me was an off duty EMT.  I am surrounded by loving, caring people that jumped into action to calm my children and stabilize me for the ambulance ride.  They then watched over my daughters until my husband arrived to pick them up and I couldn’t be more grateful.  I am met at the hospital by my husband and the gravity of the situation truly hit me when he entered the room:  I put all that I teach others, the need for self care, making non-negotables a priority, making mental health a priority on the back burner.  I didn’t listen to my body, my mind as it told me earlier in the day I needed rest.  I didn’t listen to the “you are doing too much”, I was trying to please others…I was violating the very principles I teach, living from the inside/out not the outside/in.  I let others’ perceived needs and expectations overrule my health and well being and now I was experiencing the ramifications of those choices.  

I’m not sharing this to put myself on the cross, to present myself as a martyr.  What I am trying to say is that even if I forget sometimes to put my non-negotiables, my health, my self worth, my needs, before my work and I have come to realize that as an educator, I need to consistently emulate what I teach.  You are watching me, my children are watching me and while I don’t say this to imply that I’m going to continue this journey with the mindset of thinking outside/in, what this was is a wake up call – a RUDE wake up call!  I am grateful for the outcome because I have been reminded how important my message is and that I must apply it to my life without fail.  Be You, Do You, Share You, these are all principles that require personal forgiveness, acceptance and progress.  I needed this weekend’s incident to happen to redirect me back to the basics and for that, I am grateful.  Sometimes, you just keep a wake up call to gain perspective and while rude, at least I’m not hitting the snooze button.

If you are moved by my blog, please comment below with your story.  If you would like to see how much can change your quality of life and perspective, call us at (410) 286-5505 or email info@garrettmusicacademy and we will start the journey with you.  Be sure to follow us on social media as well on Facebook (@garrettmusicacademy) and Instagram (@thegarrettmusicacademy).

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When you want to do something, a goal, a desire…what is your motivation? What makes you excited to be alive?   Is it for the glow the task will bring you as you further your life’s mission and gain experience and knowledge or is it to gain adulation and praise from others?  Are we driven by creating a greater good or by vanity?  Dig deep for this and take a hard look in the mirror.  What are your motives?  On the surface, we are social by nature, beings that thrive and advance when the collective works together.  I am asking you to look below the surface, deep within where insecurities and the “real self” lies.  

We are in most ways, motivated by how we want others to think of us – we want approval, to be adored and appreciated.  We want to be the one to save other people. Whether it is our children, parents, spouses, friends…We want rose pedals tossed at our feet while the masses shout our name over and over and over again.  We have a tendency to say “yes” when the answer we should say “NO!”.  We have a tendency to volunteer when we have so much to juggle between family, work, home projects, shopping and well, somewhere in there should be sleep.  We are overwhelmed, overworked and overstressed and because we want others to like us, we create a superhuman persona that only leads to burn out, resentment.

Sorry to start this blog on a negative note, but I felt it was important to be real and address the elephant in the room that most of us, as parents or caregivers, we tend to do.  We self-flagellate ourselves because not only do we want to be THE BEST VERSIONS OF OURSELVES…but we want to win the popularity contest as well.  While trying to still take the title of most popular and most likely to succeed, we put our best face forward on social media…All while the reality is we are exhausted trying to meet the imaginary expectations that we think others have for us.  This isn’t high school, we are not posing for the yearbook and reality is quite different when you are adulting.

Wake up, buttercup…I’m here to tell you….what other people think of you, your image, your family, your life is none of your business.  That’s right, I just said it, IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!    Sorry to be so blunt but, we are among friends and tough love is in order for you and for me.  I am just as accountable so this message so we all need to lend our ears.  What drives us, what should bring us joy and passion and ease and flow should be the desire to be better for ourselves.  We should be so in love with who we are and what we stand for that we are part of our “why”.  

When I think about the various passages written by Charles Dickens, where the emphasis was to think of charity and resist the temptation of greed and vanity,  while “God bless us, everyone”, still rings true…I am constantly reminded of the words, “Humanity is my business” and I remind myself the importance of giving myself to others; however, in the twenty-first century, there need to be boundaries.  Saying “yes” may feel good for the first 5 minutes but when we have said “yes” to a multitude and we are only able to give a small percentage out and only have a small percentage left in reserves, no one benefits.  

Boundaries save us from ourselves…our unrealistic expectations, our insecurities, the “I got it” attitude.  When healthy boundaries are put into place and the word no is used, it provides quality assurance that we are giving the best of ourselves without draining our emotional coffers.  What should motivate is quality, not quantity.  It isn’t how many interactions and obligations you have but rather the quality.  Give your best and be your best…be you…share you….the rest will all fall into place.  

If you are interested in music lessons and how they will change your quality of life and improve your mental health, visit our website:  www.garrettmusicacademy.com or email info@garrettmusicacademy.com and we can enroll you or any member of your family for private music lessons for any instrument including voice.  Be sure to follow us on social media as well on Facebook (@garrettmusicacademy) and Instagram (@thegarrettmusicacademy).

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The other day I was stressed out, frustrated and well, just done!  The morning had been chaos from the time I opened my eyes and I was convinced that was going to be the tone of the day.  As I love to start the day with a good argument, the husband and I got into a “heated” conversation and I found myself muttering words that I had to insure my children could not hear.  In fact, the words I was using I wouldn’t want my mother to hear but out they came…like rain from the sky.  Now, in addition to this, I find my body completely rigid with fury, with my hands clenched at my side, my jaw locked in a scowl and my pace at a stomp.  Yes, I hate to admit it but I had regressed to the actions of a toddler.  

Now, here’s where it gets even better.  I’ve had enough of the verbal tug of war and decide I’m going to go to my bedroom to slam the door, mutter, scream into a pillow…finished my tantrum in peace (yes, I’m Captain Maturity).  As I round the corner and start up the stairs…wait for it…I come face to face with the biggest, hairiest spider I have seen in years.  And as if said spider shared my mood, it reared up on the back four legs and gave me a show of the fangs.  OH HELL NO!!!!  So I do what any reasonable person (yeah, right) would do, I yell for my husband to come and see the monstrosity on our step.  He, too, is impressed by her size  and then proceeds to ask me what I want him to do about it….I’m about to die from arachnophobia and he wants instructions.  Well, his instructions, to paraphrase, were to find the biggest shoe/boot he could find and bring it to me.  Armed at this point, I slowly approach and with all my might, I twack the step.  Pulling back the shoe, the spider is very much alive and unscathed…oh and extremely mad.  I twack again…same conclusion, same reaction.  Now I’m rapid firing the shoe up and down with pure desperation because that this point, I’m only serving to move the spider closer and closer to me.  Mind you, husband is still standing behind me observing, with a smirk, because he is waiting for me to freak out and ask for help.  Nope, not this time.  I keep wacking and finally the monster was anilalated – and thank goodness because I was about to gaslight the house and walk away.  

Now what is the moral of this rambling story, boys and girls…well, I realized that I was given a very quick reminder that I needed to get myself in check, that my “old” habit of getting angry, using inappropriate language and acting irrational and immature when I am not in control and I feel insecure and scared.  With the spider, I had to pause for a moment…that spider represented the anger I had manifested right in front of me to demonstrate the hurt I was creating for myself and my family.  As a result, I’m working consciously to take a deep breath when I feel scared, insecure or have the realization that I’m not in control and try to find a positive thought or affirmation to self soothe and return my thoughts towards joy.  You see, if you allow the negative to consume you, the end result is mental, physical, emotional and spiritual damage to YOU, YOU, YOU (did I say YOU?).

Old habits die hard but they do die with work, perseverance and commitment to change.  Making the conscious effort over a course of a few weeks, one can find themselves with the ability to reprogram perspective and worldview. Joy/Flow/Ease or Anger/Frustration/Chaos…which do you choose?  For me, it is Joy!  

If you are moved to action by my blog, please comment below with the old habit you would like to dispose of.  

If you are interested in music lessons and how they will change your quality of life and improve your mental health, visit our website:  www.garrettmusicacademy.com or email info@garrettmusicacademy.com and we can enroll you or any member of your family for private music lessons for any instrument including voice.  Be sure to follow us on social media as well on Facebook (@garrettmusicacademy) and Instagram (@thegarrettmusicacademy).

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So you are walking along, minding your own business and it happens.  You are blindsided by someone, some circumstances that you were (or weren’t in most cases) prepared for.  You are hurt, angry, frustrated, discouraged.  That feeling burns in your chest, your stomach…your head starts to throb.  You begin to question yourself, your circumstances, your spiritual beliefs.  This could be short term or last many years.  So when it is your season of test/challenge, do you act or do you react?  Are you absorbed in the details of the problem or do you go directly to searching for solutions?  The choice you make will determine what amount of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual resources will be used.  Will you stretch and challenge beliefs and values to overcome your situation/circumstances or become passive and just accept it as “it is what it is”?    While I believe It’s ok to challenge God, the Universe, yourself, what becomes a problem is when one becomes “stuck” within this well of negative emotions, fixated on the problems, not the solutions.

There are always solutions, they just need to be imagined, dreamed, found.  What I have discovered in recent months is what happens when I relax my thoughts and meditate during the day or listen to soft music while I sleep.  I began this practice when pregnant with the twins as a way to relax my body (tense from constant brushes with early labor) and my mind while exposing the girls to music while in utero.  While my main focus, in my mind, was to help them grow and develop through stimulation and exposure to positive elements of the environment, I later realized after pregnancy that this pattern or routine was actually very beneficial for my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being and would later save me.  
When faced with stress and anxiety while building the Academy, transitioning into being a mother to not one but two babies, dealing with marital challenges, health challenges, death and loss all within a 4 year span of time…I found myself not eating, low energy, lethargic…punishing myself because I thought I “deserved everything that was happening TO ME”.  I accepted my circumstances as my new “normal” – as a mother and a business owner.  I felt isolated, depressed, hopeless.  But there was light and what I have come to realize with age…and beauty I might add, is that I don’t have to “accept” anything.  I am the author of my life, my reality is self made.  God pushes me daily to grow into the woman he intends to make an impact on the wonderous world he created…thus my point…are you someone that acts or someone that reacts.

In a time of uncertainty, fear, instability, be the cause and the effect within your microcosm.  Know that you have the ability within you to create your reality.  You have the ability to find happiness, create joy, find solutions, realize dreams.  The power has been given to you, USE IT!  Make the decision, today, this minute TO ACT…BE THE CAUSE AND EFFECT IN YOUR LIFE!  Not a sermon, just a thought…

If you are interested in music lessons and how they will change your quality of life and improve your mental health, visit our website:  www.garrettmusicacademy.com or email info@garrettmusicacademy.com and we can enroll you or any member of your family for private music lessons for any instrument including voice.  Be sure to follow us on social media as well on Facebook (@garrettmusicacademy) and Instagram (@thegarrettmusicacademy).

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So my husband used to have a Little Debbie snack drawer, in his dresser, when he was younger.  He would sneak boxes of confection up to his room to stock up on sweets to eat later then there wasn’t an authority figure around to keep him from his unlimited buffet of cakes, oatmeal pies and swiss cake rolls.  It was the bottom drawer of his dresser and it has been a family joke for years among his parents and brother.  I thought it was funny, myself, until I had to commit the same action.  Yes, I have a problem to admit…I hide in my closet to consume junk food and wine.  There I said it…I hide and eat so my children will not ask me to share.  Sometimes when I can get away from the house childless, I’ll secretly go through a fast food drive-through to fulfill my cravings for junk and then I’ll drive around eating the evidence and then disposing of the trash before arriving home.  

So is this about food…not necessarily…it is about having time alone to enjoy something that is pleasant without feeling guilty or providing justification because it goes against the examples we are trying to set as responsible adults.   It’s about being me, Krista, away from being Krista the wife, mother, source of intelligent life (ok, I’m going a bit far with that one).  When you become a member of a family, you become THE family.  As a caregiver, you lose what makes you an individual because your sense of self becomes about those you are caring for.  You become selfless which is admirable; however, it is important to keep your needs, your wants/desires/interests, your non-negotiables part of your daily life.  These are usually the first to go and we tend to forget how important and instrumental these are to our sanity until they cease to exist and we find ourselves burned out, resentful and emotionally drained.  We then hide for a few minutes of quiet, solitude in a closet, bathroom, laundry room…all places we think THEY will not find us.  Well, I’m here to tell you, THEY WILL FIND YOU!!!

So what am I getting at?  Well, I am making the argument that if you are happy, your family will be happy.  Incorporating non-negotiables (activities you can do each day that give you physical, mental, spiritual and emotional peace) will help you navigate the day when you have fulfilled your needs first. It isn’t selfish to think about yourself and your well-being.  It is selfish to not think about those things.  I spent years running myself into the ground tending to children and my business and never having anything left for friends, other family, my husband…let alone myself.  I would be exhausted, resentful and irritable.  Does this sound familiar?  If not, you have the non-negotiables and you are using them.  If reading this makes you feel like you are literally looking in the mirror, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!  Your children, husband, other humans, animals, etc. will not cease to exist if you take ten minutes to quietly meditate, 30 minutes to read a book/take a nap/listen to music.  Life will still be there when you return mentally to it but it will be more tolerable…even enjoyable. 

I will be the first to admit that I don’t consistently practice what I preach; however, I have my daily non-negotiables that must be complete for my sanity.  You see, I’m a bit of an extremist, if I want donuts, I want to eat them in peace (with a glass of wine – and yes, this is at night – not reduced to day drinking yet) without the constant, “Mom, can I have one?  Are you going to eat that?  Can I have a taste (as said child sniffs loudly and tries to lick it to make it unappetizing to me)?”  It’s about having something just for myself and at times, it is childish.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to share.  There are a few things I don’t want to HAVE TO SHARE.  
By social standards, just for admitting that I would be publicly judged for not demonstrating what we are expected to teach children, “You must share in all circumstances”.  For my sanity, I have learned in my old young age that that is not necessarily true.  Sometimes, we need something all to ourselves to feel fulfilled, to feel relief, to be able to just breathe.  So if hiding in my closet with a package of donuts/peanut M&Ms/dark chocolate bars with a glass of wine that pairs well (yes, I do have standards), then I’m going to do it.  So, where will you hide?  When will you drop the gauntlet on your non-negotiables?  Come to this side of the street, the grass really is greener.

If you are moved to action by my blog, please comment below with your list of non-negotiables.  If you would like to see how much can change your quality of life and perspective, visit my new website, www.iamflawsome.me or email me at krista@iamflawsome.me  and I will start the journey with you.  

If you are interested in music lessons and how they will change your quality of life and improve your mental health, visit our website:  www.garrettmusicacademy.com or email info@garrettmusicacademy.com and we can enroll you or any member of your family for private music lessons for any instrument including voice.  Be sure to follow us on social media as well on Facebook (@garrettmusicacademy) and Instagram (@thegarrettmusicacademy).

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The Small Business School Podcast

I had an awesome time chatting it up with Craig Staley on the Small Business School Podcast! Listen to the episode below and share your feedback.

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There are days that I cannot, no matter how hard I try, to find the good and positive that surrounds me.  I think we all have days like that, the “nothing is going right, everything is going wrong…I’m Eeyore” kind of day.  

Here is a very recent example from Chez Garrett:  I took all three children on a smoothie run and while we were driving back, enjoying said beverages, one of the twins (the dramatic one), proceeds to spill half of her “treat” all over the console and front seats of the vehicle.  I paused, took a deep breath and tried to think about how I could possibly drive the car with my feet while perilously trying to scoop up mass quantities of strawberry puree and whipped cream and fling them out my window before being soaked into the carpet or pooling in my cup holders and console…Well, that was my fantasy.  The reality was a wet, sticky mess, a child screaming as if she was being chased by hybrid werewolves/vampire/zombie/aliens through a field of thorns, about the whip cream loss, and panic cries from the other two in the back seat as they clutch their drinks in fear they will be commanded to share.  

Suffering from short term hearing loss, discombobulation due to wet pants-itis and extreme frustration, I pull over to yank every possible napkin I have ever saved in my glove compartment to start the triage process while my son is exclaiming that he needs to “go to the potty” so loud that Australia could hear him.  Final straw, yes, we were reaching it but on the radio came the Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and I did a 180-degree mental turn from quietly cursing and shooting lasers from my eyes to laughing, nodding my head and getting back in the car to limp home and clean.

So what is the moral of my story, you ask?  Well, first, whipped cream loss cannot be used in the “reason by insanity” plea nor is it a reason to scream three octaves above your speaking voice.  Second, things will go wrong…there will be bad days…but the actions/reactions/situational issues that occur should not define you, define your perspective of life or cloud your reactions.  Think about how you handle trauma, disappointment, loss, mistakes…what is your conditioned response?  Was I angry, frustrated, and stressed?  Yes, and I allowed myself to feel those things but I will admit I felt guilty about it.  However, I saw my daughter’s face, and how my reaction affected her and I realized that how I react, how I present my mood, how I view the world directly impacts her.  Over time, she will see that circumstances will define her, society and others’ expectations will define her, my worldview and my reaction to adversity and disappointment will help define her.  She can internalize the examples around her to paint her mood, level of resilience, and mindset for a lifetime.  What is important to note is, I may not be in control of the outside forces (as much as it pains me to say) but I am in control of myself.  I have infinite control and power over my thoughts, my attitude, my ability to push through adversity, and how I interact and treat others.  My ability to address and respond to life will evolve over time as I age, gain experience and education, and surround myself with like-minded and positive people.  So, what will I represent to my children as they grow and develop their own paths, will I be the phoenix or will I be the fire?

Looking in the mental mirror, how do you see yourself?  Do you define or do you let others create the image you see?   I worked with a voice student today that has an incredible voice.  She began her singing aspirations at an early age and sought education and mentorship from Broadway veterans.  She has auditioned countless times and faced rejection.  She has worked hard over the years and has an incredible gift.  She is a perfectionist and is always looking to improve the tone of her performance.  When I see her sing, when I hear her sing, I see a confident, strong woman…all the barriers and caution she has built around her disappears when she sings.  She embodies the emotion of the song she sings.  That’s the essence of vocal performance, good technique but what connects you with your audience?  Your presence, your emotional connection with lyrics, how you relate to, and present to the senses the intention of the song.  When asked for her perspective, she is clear that she doesn’t see what I see.  She is an artist that has insecurities from past criticism, missed opportunities, someone that isn’t good enough.  Well, she is more than good enough, SHE IS ENOUGH.  The key is knowing that while we are not perfect, and never will be (I might add), we are a work in progress.  Progress, not perfection…say it with me…progress, not perfection.  

Let me give you a visual.  Think of a large, tired, old bird that has landed in their nest.  This bird was once vibrant in song and with color but life has made this bird weary, she is tired and wants rest.  In this bird’s final moments, she bursts into flames and the heat of the fire that has been released from within her, the essence of who she once was, consumes her physical body and ashes are left.  While tragic, magic is about to begin.  Over time, the ashes come back together and from this mound of ruin comes a more beautiful, strong, bird that has luxuriously colored feathers, a crown that flows down and falls among her wings.  She is stunningly beautiful in song and physicality.  What has happened?  Out of chaos, disappointment, fear, restlessness, struggle, etc. came beauty.  She is progress, not perfection.   

When presented with this story, the fire seems to be the nemesis, the evil that consumes and destroys but I want to challenge that.  The fire is what comes from within, it is the burning desire, the listlessness of being trapped in repeated, limiting patterns.  The fire bursts forth, destroying the old, destroying the disappointment, destroying the limiting beliefs, past hurts, old resentments.  What comes out of the internal devastation is the beauty of new…the beauty of the evolving mind…the beauty of progress.  Stepping into the fire, stepping into the vision that you are meant to be, taking chances and risks and becoming your dream…that’s bold…that’s the Phoenix.  So how do you plan to show up going forward?  What will your Phoenix look like?  What impact will this resurrection have on the world around you?  Represent who you truly are and what you are meant to be.  Step into it, own it!  

Do You, Be You, Love You…Be Flawsome.

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I am a rocker chick. I spent a good portion of the late 1980s and early 1990s working with a local rock band as a manager and roadie and could run with the best of them.  Hairbands were my preference and specialty (although I did enjoy alternative classics from Depeche Mode, the Cure and Suzie, and the Banshees) but I did expand my tastes to include more “contemporary” bands and artists such as Incubus, Tonic, Breaking Benjamin, Adele, and Pharrell.  I like to dance around, shaking my booty and singing at the top of my lungs…not in a Tom Cruise in Risky Business sort of way but you can get the picture.  Well, that changed when I had the twins….much like going from a car to a mini-van, I lost my mom “coolness” because now my days are consumed with children’s songs such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old McDonald, B-I-N-G-O  and any song by The Wiggles…*sigh*.

Rocker-image

After loading up the diaper bag, snacks, juice, and both children, I turn on the vehicle to listen to 1 of 4 CDs dedicated to the genre of Children’s/Toddler’s music.  I would find my eyes glazing over, only to be snapped back to reality when my daughters would start singing which has become my joy (particularly since Charlotte had a speech delay).  But, now because our commute to appointments is usually an hour one way, I find myself really listening to the lyrics.  What can be quite disturbing, yet comical, are the themes of these songs:  the death, dismemberment, and destruction.  Let me give you a few examples that I know I sang as a child and never gave much thought to –

Exhibit A – This Old Man

A song about a little old man that goes around “playing knick-knack patty whack” to a numbers game…well, child, I’d run away from this old man right now because he is beating you on your thumb, your shoe, and your knee before wreaking havoc on your door, a hive, and a gate before finally somehow getting to heaven.   Sounds like he has an anger management problem to me….

Exhibit B – Ring around the Rosey

A song about the Black Plague in London and the need to sniff posy flowers to ward off the stench of burning flesh and death…interesting choice for a children’s song that involves children linking hands and dancing around in a circle before collapsing.  Playing dead doesn’t seem appealing anymore…go figure!

Exhibit C – Rock a Bye Baby

Create insecurity in your infant singing this one…now, unless you live in a treehouse, I cannot fathom the necessity to put your newborn’s cradle up in a tree, let alone an unstable tree that will cast the inhabitant out at the first hint of a wind gust.  Are you kidding me?!  I would have nightmares, too, if someone sang that not only will I sleep in an insecure location but that I will fall to my potential death in the process.  Better get the Department of Social Services on the phone for this one.

Exhibit D – London Bridge

A bridge that collapses…do I need to say more?!

There are also songs about being manipulated into rolling out of bed (Six in the Bed), eating rancid peanuts and dying (Found a Peanut), and duck dismemberment (Allouette).  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of children’s songs that are silly, witty, and educationally based.  My children love to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (which comes out Binko Binko Ittle Star), and the Alphabet Song over and over.  Those are the ones that I have managed to weed out on the radio apps I have and use often as background while we play with play dough, color, sit on our potties (theirs, not mine, just for clarification) or dance around like silly people.  While I know adult music is full of angst, heartbreak, and complicated emotions, these are emotions and situations that we as adults can relate to.  I think childhood is a time of innocence that should be preserved as long as possible.  We are given years, in adulthood, to process the cruelties of love won and lost, the guilt of regret and grief related to personal loss.  Maybe I’m selfish but I want my babies to stay babies for as long as possible and if I can shelter them from the harsh realities (even if they are just songs) for just a little longer, then I’m doing my job. 

By the way, old man, you’re on notice…take your “patty whack” elsewhere or you’ll know the true meaning of those words.

Good night!

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So it’s morning…alarm may or may not go off (no judgment from me).  You are conscious, lying there and you have a choice:  approach the day either in a positive or negative mindset.  How are you wired to view the day, your life and the world will impact the circumstances, opportunities, and experiences you have…so the question is…how do you plan to show up?

Showing up doesn’t just entail your mood, it is how present and committed you are to your day, your relationships, your circumstances, and well, your life!  Think about how you get ready to present yourself to the world:  you shower/bathe, brush teeth, get dressed, put on shoes, gather necessities and accessories, and out the door you go.  Well, the way you show up to life is the same way.  Much like getting dressed, you have the power of choice – do you show up, going all in and be present in every moment, acknowledging and owning your feelings or do you find yourself camouflaging to hide your flaws and insecurities, taking on the characteristics and expectations of others?

Think about entertainers, they are famous for their ability to be a chameleon.  They take on the persona that is required to be on a stage, whether they are an actor or a musician.  Examples would be the persona Elton John has portrayed on stage with his elaborate outfits, his baroquesque pianos, and buoyant personality.  David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Bruce Springsteen, Arianna Grande, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and others all show up in a larger than life persona.  In opera, the cast shows up to fill the shoes of their characters.  First responders show up each day to help, protect, and serve others.  Parents, working on little to no sleep, doing the balance dance between career and family make the choice to show up.  What about you?

I didn’t always show up.  Sometimes, I would just dial it in.   Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t as if I didn’t want to “show up” or take my roles as wife, mother, and business owner seriously.  I was intimidated and overwhelmed.  THEN IT HAPPENED!!!  You see, I’m the Mayor of Crazy Town…apparently I ran for office and won without registering or running a campaign. I’m pretty sure I was nominated by my husband without the option of drawing straws.  Now that I pause to think about it, I’m also the Town Council, the Secretary, Treasurer, and Cleaning Committee.  Now, this could be a prestigious job, if it didn’t involve just being the charge over the three kiddos that while I’m hiding in a backroom closet on a work call burst in and proclaim, “I need time to myself!”  Honey, I haven’t had time to myself since 2010…but I’m not counting the days (it has been 3,654 days, 87,696 hours, 5,261,760 minutes and 315,705,600 seconds at the time of this writing – not that I’m keeping track).  Where am I going with this, you ask?  Well, my point is that while my life is busy, chaotic, and an all-around hot mess at times, I changed my mindset about one year ago and that shift changed my attitude, my perspective, and my relationships to a “positive frequency”.  

Positive vs. Negative Frequency

There are two ways to process information and life; from the inside/out or the outside/in.  When we allow circumstances, other people, media, social standards, etc. control our view of the world, we give up our power and we are processing subconsciously life from the outside/in.  Outside influences become incorporated or take over control of your subconscious and what tends to rule your conscious thoughts are negative.   This can lead an individual to believe life is happening to them and they are collateral damage.  Over a period of time, as this view expands, a naturally negative perspective forms, and the frequency or energy and vibration (movement of energy, ions, and molecules emitted from our body) are negative.  Think of two magnets with the negative charge aimed at each other, they repel.  The same is with negative frequencies.  Based on the Law of Attraction, “like attracts like” so if you think negative, the theory is the Universe (being Catholic, I use God, whereas others tend to use Universe or Source as their term of reference) will continue to send negative to you.  It becomes a vicious cycle with no end until you make the “conscious” decision to change your “frequency”.

When you process the world from the inside/out, you step into power, you control what influences your worldview.  When you realize you have internal power and are in control of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions, your subconscious is programmed with positivity.  With the Law of Attraction, you think positive, your frequency or vibration draws more positivity and positive experiences to you.  Do you see where I’m going with this?!  Positive brings positive, negative brings negative….guess which one I prefer?

So, armed with this information, how do you plan to show up in life?  Do you plan to show up like a boss and seize the day or will you give away your power and let others in the world rule you?  Are you going to find the good even in difficult situations or will you spend your time wondering why everything is happening to you?  Are you going to look at your blessings and show gratitude or will you look around and wonder why others have more than you, that you don’t deserve or not worthy?  Well, I’m here to tell you, you are worthy, you are deserving, there is enough, you are enough, you are beautiful….so you do you and continue to be flawsome!

Does this blog impact how you see yourself and the world?  Are you getting anything from my words?  If so, please comment below your takeaway from my writings!  Also, interested in private music lessons or music theory?  Visit our website:  www.garrettmusicacademy.com.  Interested in programs that address mental health through the influence/art of music, visit my website:  http://iamflawsome.me/.  Be on the lookout for my first book, Be You, Do You, Share You….Be Flawsome!  More details to come very soon. 😊

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Music is not just an art but a universal language. 

Music can convey emotions like happiness, anger, love, disappointment, etc. – in ways simple words cannot.  Through the pairing of melody, harmony, and words, thoughts, and feelings are transformed into stories.  These narratives bring to life the innermost parts of the self through vulnerability and strength.  Music is a tool all can use in times of chaos and calm in ways we can all relate to regardless of race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and geographic location.  Listening, singing, or playing music can reduce stress through movement, influencing thought, and sparking conversation.  

We are experiencing a double whammy.  We are struggling as humans to deal with the continued existence of a global pandemic that has threatened physical and mental health and shut down entire economies.  To compound this stress, we are dealing with social and racial issues that have plagued the United States for hundreds of years that have festered, boiled over, and become background noise, for some, until the next act of violence brings escalation.  Tensions have come to a head and, as the collective come together and demands for reform become strong, there is one constant that all have been returning to and using to make the message loud and clear…music. 

Think about the messages made in turbulent times:  Vietnam, Gulf War, Los Angeles Riots, 9/11…think about the music you may have listened to.  When I think of these snapshots of time, particular songs come to mind (and yes, they may date me so don’t judge and keep your old lady comments to yourself 😊):

This is a very short list, songs that just came to mind in a stream of consciousness; there are so many more.  What is important to note is that if each person were to take a moment and think, research and seek out songs that were written specifically for peace and took the time to listen, sing and truly absorb the messages, people wouldn’t simply “tolerate” each other.  There would be a conscious movement for humans to embrace and love one another for each unique difference and nuance.  Look to your left and look to your right, these are your neighbors and like music, each is a work of art that was composed by our Maker to make a mark on the world.  What will your song or symphony say about you?

What can you do, say or sing that can make a difference today? 

Comment below and share!  

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What makes you who you are? This may be an uncomfortable question for most – to strip down to bare bones. First, you should think about the context of my question.  Am I asking you about what physically makes you who you are or am I going deeper? 

Dig deep, look deep, what does the mirror into your soul reveal?  Who are you and what defines you?  What adjectives would best describe you? I think coming to terms with and accepting the characteristics that create the person that you are is key to loving and accepting yourself – body, mind, and soul.  But in order to create a self-love for yourself…I heard a term today that made me pause.  I’m not kidding, I came to screeching halt (and yes the record scratch did occur in my head).   The term was “flawsome” and I think that is the BEST WORD EVER!  

Why would I love such a word?!  Well, think about it – are you perfect?  I sure as hell am not, I am as far from it as one can get.  We have flaws, imperfections. We are a work in progress, much like a musical composition.  Perfectly imperfect….”FLAWSOME”!   Think about how a composer approaches a song. What will be the compelling theme (what to say) and how to say it with words/lyrics and melody?  There are changes in dynamics…forte for loud and piano for soft and crescendos to add passion and calm.  These along with the choice of note combinations (major vs minor) reflect anger, passion, sadness, love, happiness, excitement:  the emotions that make us human.  

Also, as we are complex as human beings, there are multiple facets of self that can impact our “flawsomeness”.  In addition, there are two sides to each person, their public side and their private side.  The private side is the part of your personality that shows your true inner self. Your true feelings, thoughts, and motivations.   Your public self is what would be considered your ideal self – the person you want society to see and approve of.  This is the portion of yourself you show on social media, at work, and in the midst of your friends when you want to put your best self forward.  There is truth in your public self as there are portions of your private thoughts, perceptions, and core values that you share but your interactions with others are more guarded.  

The purpose for each “version” of you is to protect you at a subconscious level.  Why would you need “protection”?  Well, when we share our innermost thoughts, beliefs, and core values, we show our vulnerability. We shed our outer shell…our mental suit of armor.  When this happens, your interactions with others are authentic and your “flawsomeness” shines through.  When you are authentic, you have successfully merged your private and public selves to be made whole. 

The same can be said in a piece of music.  Think about your favorite song. It is an expression of an individual’s authenticity:  the vulnerability of a person sharing their experiences of love, hate sadness, etc.   The artist is letting you get a glimpse of their private self, their private thoughts, pain, and circumstances.  That takes bravery and confidence, something you have inside of you, too!

The moral of this story is, be you…do you…share you!  You might impact someone’s life in a positive way, make a global impact with words, gestures, and honest emotions.  Remember, you are perfectly imperfect!    Be kind to yourself, accept yourself.  Don’t place limitations on yourself. Life (as well as music) is fluid…the process is fluid.  Be fluid, be authentic, be you!

Did my words have an impact on you?  Do you want to share your own experiences?  Comment below and share with us your thoughts on this subject! 

If you would like to learn more about how music lessons can impact your quality of life in a positive way, reach out to us through phone, email, or chat!   Call us at (410) 286-5505, email info@garrettmusicacademy.com or visit our website at www.garrettmusicacademy.com and we will help you schedule lessons, rent or purchase an instrument, repair your instrument or join our community!    

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“We will see you when everything returns to normal,” is a phrase that I have seen and heard multiple times in the past two months.  As a parent, daughter, teacher, business owner, friend, and sister, I understand the logic and can rationalize why our world has shut down.  I can also rationalize the importance of social distancing and the need to retreat for self-preservation and the good for the collective.   What I have difficulty understanding and accepting is the term, “normal”…what does that mean exactly?  Yes, you could spout out a definition from Merriam-Webster to me but that isn’t what I mean.  In the sense of today’s world, when comparing yesterday, today and the future, what is truly “normal”?  Is it what others tell you it is/should be or is normal what you make for yourself based on where you are mentally?   What happens when the world “opens back up”?  As we become accustomed to isolation, no longer communicating or interacting in person, no more hugs, handshakes, etc.  where will that leave us? How will children understand the importance of social interactions and cues – these are not exactly skills you can learn/acquire on YouTube or TikTok.  

Within weeks of our stay at home time, my five-year-old son has completely come undone because everything that was “normal” to his five-year-old brain is no longer.  The structure of going to school, the schedule of going to the library and the park, the time with his babysitter away from his parents…all his norms disappeared overnight.  This made me think if this is happening to the social and emotional health of a preschooler/kindergartener, how is affecting those of us that are older.    

We are social creatures by nature.  We seek out others for comfort, emotional support, and humor.  We gather together to celebrate and mourn and when the routine of going to social gatherings, work, school, etc. is removed, it makes us lonely.  I am, by nature, someone that thrives in my work.  I love what I do and I have intentionally separated my career from my home life as best as a small business owner can.  Because of the current health crisis we are in, those worlds have collided and I find myself struggling to maintain balance, let alone sanity.  Thus, the hazards of being a psychologist and a musician come up.  How do I remain emotionally healthy and available to my family while thriving in my much loved passion as a teacher and musician?!  Where do I get the socialization I need to complete my mission while still making sure my children complete their class assignments, get dressed, eat and attend to their self care?  How do I maintain these standards when I haven’t worn a pair of pants in weeks and my pajamas have become my “casual wear”.  I pity my neighbors that have become accustomed to seeing me walk my puppy, Ghost, in seven different varieties of plaid PJ ensembles, no makeup, the messiest bun possible topped with sunglasses and flip flops being followed by a five year old in crocs and a green bowler hat.  I’m not sure if they will necessarily wish to survive the pandemic because the zombie apocalypse, a stick welding labrador pup and the leprechaun in charge of Lucky Charms are having a parade 10 times a day.

Now that I have digressed into my personal fashion and existential crisis, let me tell you what is keeping me quasi-sane.  This week, I have discovered a number of local and national musicians, DJs, television personalities and lecturers, that have blown up Facebook, Zoom, YouTube and other platforms to break up the monotony of Thisday, Thatday and Someday to provide much loved entertainment, memories and laughs.  We can listen to new projects or be swept back into nostalgia with classic covers.  You, too, can see the original cast of Hamilton sing on Zoom the opening number of the musical while swooning at the sight of Lin Manuel Miranda in a t-shirt while touring the many vacation spots in your house.  

Social distancing doesn’t mean community distancing and I think the pendulum has swung so far to the right that it is going to make it difficult to return to where we were.  Concerts and other live music events will most likely have to evolve and if so, what will that do to the human experience?   What will be the long term social and psychological ramifications?  I’d like to hear from you and what your experience has been….what have you done while home to find an outlet?  How are you coping and where do you see yourself and your mental health once this pandemic is over and you are free to roam, again.  Tell me in the comments below and let’s share so that we as a community can survive this isolation together!

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I didn’t want to get up this morning.  I have been told many times that waking up at the same time every day, regardless of circumstances, helps with coping with stress and gives the person time to consciously decide how they will approach their day albeit positive or negative.  I didn’t get up on time, I ignored the alarm and I didn’t want to get up.  I wasn’t grateful, I wasn’t thinking positive, I just laid there wishing to just stay put.  With isolation comes a loss of time, day, routine, and social interaction.  That in and of itself makes one question reality…what is truly real in life if what is around us is perceived from the inside out.  If that is true, our situation and how we perceive and react to it is based on what we consciously believe.  So, if I want to believe that this situation sucks and that life as I know it is over and I need to eat every donut in the DMV and binge-watch the “Great British Baking Show” (don’t judge me, for all you know, I’m just setting the scene), then I will approach this pandemic with depression, guilt, and 20 extra pounds.  But, that doesn’t have to be my reality – as much as I wished it away, there is a new “normal” and change is threatening.  So in the face of change and threat, I find myself needing the inspiration to improve my mindset and become positive in difficult situations.  So what has become the magic elixir for dire times…music.

Yeah, yeah, I hear the mutters of, “how can music change the fact that we are shuttered in our homes, that we can’t see friends and family, go to restaurants and shopping, we are not working and, well, the fact that toilet paper has become a luxury and we might be resorting to lettuce in the bathroom in the coming days?”  Well, music can change your attitude, music can improve your mood, music can shift your focus.  I have found myself listening to popular music again and having daily dance parties with my children, something I haven’t taken the time to do in years.  I am now writing music again and loving it.  I have started relearning Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude and falling in love with the Romantic Period.  I am now learning the ukulele and guitar to become more proficient and to learn a new skill and relieve stress.  

This change of scenery, this change in the world where we have been forced to look inward is giving us all the opportunity to grow as individuals in so many ways.  This has given us our time back, time we were using for commuting back and forth and stretching ourselves through overbooked schedules.  This has provided us time to be more present in the moment, how you choose to be “present”, whether it is finding the positive and being grateful or looking through a negative lens is completely your choice.  I choose to filter out the noise of the daily news and press conferences and listen to music:  classicial, rock, jazz, pop…and even country (again, don’t judge me, not one of my favorites).  Each song has its own story that can remind us of pleasant memories or hopes that we have for our futures.  

Like all storms, this pandemic will pass.  It is up to you how you weather the storm and what type of person you will be on the other side.  Was the social isolation a motivator to improve your life and relationships or will it be a dark memory that will haunt you?  I hope you chose the former rather than the latter.  

Do these words move you?  If so, what music are you listening to?  What is your favorite song that you relate to?  Tell me in the comments below so we can create an ongoing playlist that might just change the world!

Music is for everyone, regardless of age and ability.  Interested in learning an instrument, including using your internal one?  Then email me at Info@GarrettMusicAcademy.com to sign up with the Garrett Music Academy for private, online music lessons from the comfort of your home.

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Our very own Krista was on The How To Entrepreneur podcast. This is an episode you do not want to miss. Please take a listen and share with all who you know!

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Life is interesting. Each day comes with its own set of joys, sorrows, challenges and big wins…an emotional roller coaster set by what is around us and how we think and feel.  The same can be said for each person that walks this planet. We are all individuals, one of a kind, wondrously made with strengths and weaknesses that mirror no other. How does humankind, its creation and existence affect music?  Think in these terms, each song, sonata, symphony is a combination of notes that are brought together in a series or pattern that create a story or narrative that gives the listener or musician a snapshot in time. Memories are built on the same principle and as our experiences grow, the collection of sounds and narratives grow as well.

Here is a question to ponder…does a song truly end?  Well, to the theorist, the answer would be “Yes”…when you reach the double bar lines at the end of written music (this is your period or exclamation point if you were writing).  While structurally true, I don’t think music or songs truly have an ending – much like life. We can get into the great debate that life has two definitive occurrences; death and taxes; and the destination of the soul is based on your internal belief systems.  Well, life is ever changing based on the environment one finds themselves and so is music. As a universal language, music speaks to the soul, and the influence of each is mutual. What you think, your mood, your situation/circumstance, environment will influence what you listen to.  The same can be said for how music is created.

Think about how composers create…it is based on mood, thoughts, situations/circumstances and environment.  Physical illness, mental illness, loss and addiction: the series of centralized themes found amongst the world renowned composers such as Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. I had a conversation recently about creativity, composition and mental health with a local mental health provider.  We talked about the work and studies by Dr. Richard Kogan and Dr. William A. Frosch, two psychiatrists that have looked at creativity and mental mindset within the most famous composers across Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras.  Dr. Kogan is unique essentially because he is a classically trained pianist that went on to become a well-known and respected psychiatrist. I would highly recommend reading some of his work and presentations to get a better understanding of how brain structure, environment and mood disorders have generated some of the most famous musical works of art.  I have provided a link to one of the articles that highlight this work Creativity and Mental Illness: Richard Kogan on Rachmaninoff.

What I constantly remind myself is there are good and not so good elements to people and it is when the not so good comes out.  HOW it comes out will give you a true indication of character and where a person is in their life’s journey. The same can be said for music – is it an expression of someone’s positive experiences, thoughts and beliefs:  love, joy, passion, elation, gratitude or is it an expression of negative disappointments: anger, disappointment, depression, anxiety or heartache? Because we live our lives day to day with twists and turns, our song is never truly complete.  It is a symphony that writes itself minute by minute…daily. And, though some will debate this with me, after our physical form is no longer present, it is the memories we created with children, friends, family and others that continue to write our song.  Life is truly an unfinished symphony that continues on through the generations. What does your symphony speak about you?

Tell me about the music inside of you by writing in the comments below.  Tell me how music makes a difference in your life and if you want to know more about private music lessons or music therapy options, email me at Krista@GarrettMusicAcademy.com.

As you may know from reading the blog, I usually choose a cause for donations that varies.  Well, I have a cause close to my heart where music has made a huge difference. The ARC of Southern Maryland is an organization that provides services, job and life skills training for developmentally disabled adults.  I have had the privilege of working with this group for over 10 years and the miracles I see weekly from the impact of music is great.  The joy of song and the freedom it provides cannot be quantified or fully described in words. As a result, this group will remain my focus going forward and I ask that you consider providing a small donation or monthly support for these amazing individuals.  To donate, click the link below and for every donation of $50 or above, with email confirmation, clients will receive a special gift!

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What are these invaders, what is the impact and why should we care?

I heard it all the time…“It is just in your head!”

I was in an abusive relationship and when we would have an “incident” and I had a reaction – that was the standard response.  Not pleasant or true but it became an ingrained part of my daily self-talk. “It is all in my head” lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and image – which further caused me to entrench and invest myself in this toxic relationship.

I became lost, no longer an individual but was identified as an extension of this person.  It took seventeen years and him leaving the relationship to set a path of healing in motion that would last a multitude of years.  While it would be easy for me to play victim, at this point of my narrative, that would be wrong. I allowed myself to be placed in this role and become this miserable person because of my internal dialog.

“I’m not good enough.”

“I deserve this treatment.”

“This is what my decisions have caused, I just better learn to live with it.”

What followed would be a contentious divorce, therapy with several professionals, a lot of self-help books, podcasts, seminars and prayer that I finally realized that I wasn’t damaged, a failure, or worthless.  I was depressed and anxious because of the wiring of my brain that had taken place over an extended period of time. I needed to stop with the negative self-talk that perpetuated the negative feelings I had about myself.  I’m not going to tell you that I don’t have bad days (now) and that all negative self-talk has disappeared…BUT little by little, day by day, it gets better with tools and dedicated work.

When I use the word “work”, I mean taking the time, opportunity and putting in the effort to make changes within and around myself.  What we have learned in recent years is that the brain is plastic. No, that doesn’t mean your brain turns into a hard piece of matter but rather, as an electrical and chemical organ, it can change based much like the shape of a muscle, it will be wired and communicate with itself on what experiences, conscious thoughts and exercises it is exposed to.  If it has been wired to react to negative events with fear-based reactions that last well after the perceived threat has passed, then that fear response will become the standard whether there is actually something tangible to react to. The same can be said for feelings of peace and calm when presented with difficulties, because you have conditioned your brain (over a period of time) to react/behave a certain way, that becomes your “normal”.

While I won’t get into details in this blog, I wanted to share some of my own life experiences for those students and clients I have worked with over the years that have struggled in similar circumstances – who have either disclosed it to me or suffered in silence.  When something or a reaction is not relatable or we have no frame of reference, it is easy to dismiss it as an irrational reaction or make the excuse that the person is crazy and they are either irrational or “that it is all in their head”. Well, I’m here to tell you, the reaction someone has to difficult situations, hormones, trauma, etc. is very real biologically and emotionally, particularly to them and the people surrounding them.  Think of it this way, your brain (the largest organ in your body) runs the entire ship. If something is off with the captain, the ship will not steer or maneuver the environment and your reality well. You can find yourself just circling day after day with no course, unable to move past the negative, tired, unmotivated feelings that come with it.

While reality is a personal creation (we each experience the environment around us differently), what we surround ourselves with can be shared.  Toxic breeds toxic, positive breeds positive. For some, self-cutting becomes the release. It is a way for the person to redirect their attention and release internal pain, frustration and self-loathing to an external source by creating an injury.  To create a wound, there is a release of energy. That energy has been repressed for a number of reasons but regardless of the reason, it needs an outlet.

For others, the outlet is self-medication in the forms of alcohol and/or drugs or other addictions such as gambling and shopping.  While there are a number of ways to create an unhealthy outlet to suppress the hurt and pain, this doesn’t have to be the path of least resistance.  You, my friend, have the power of release through your words…whether spoken or written, your words can set you free. Take a piece of paper or open your journal and write.  Get it all down on paper. Then I suggest that you take one of two options. The first option, take the written thoughts and burn them, tear them up, flush them and send them out into the universe, away from you.  This exercise is to remove the power of the situation, the hurt, the anger from your brain, your body, your-self speech and destroys it. The second option take those words and put them to music. Write a song that will express what you went through or going through that will remind you of what a warrior you are.  This, too, is therapeutic. While your words are expressing the trauma, you are disassociating the emotional power they have (had) over you.

Not a writer, pick up that iPad/tablet or phone and voice record your thoughts.  Then, the suggestion would be to listen to the recording once and then delete it or again, use your words to create a song of your journey.

In the coming month or two, I am considering a workshop for those that want to take those words and learn more about journaling, shifting one’s mindset through music composition and the therapeutic benefits to setting their words to music,  If you are interested, please send us an email to Info@GarrettMusicAcademy.com.  I know quite a few people that feel helpless, depressed, anxious, worthless or just plain tired and they still do their best each day to put on a brave face…just know that I know. I’m here for you and love you!

❤️ Krista

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https://youtu.be/2Z5HDA_K1Lg
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Every year, we hear the same motto, “New Year, New You”…well, while that may be a good sentiment to start fresh with the beginning of the year, it also implies that what makes you who you are needs a complete makeover.  I don’t know about you, but while I have regrets in my life, it is the mistakes, the scars and the bad decisions that have led me to where I am. Ultimately, I have an appreciation for the blessings I have gained through people I have met along my “journey”, my personal relationships and my business.  While I am always gung-ho about making changes within myself, each new year, I have recently found that it isn’t what surrounds you that matters as much as what comes from within you. I know it sounds strange, but change needs to start within and work its way out over the course of time to be lasting.  

It is said that it takes 21 days of consistent behavior to create a habit.  The mind and the body usually take between 4 to 6 weeks to adjust to change, when incorporating a new behavior into a daily pattern.  Think of this theory in relation to music and the development of muscle memory. You make a series of movements, a pattern, to learn a song.  Over time, those series of movements become automatic and you are able to move through a song without thought. That comes with an investment of time, energy and patience.  After a period of time, those series of notes or composition, make their way into the subconscious or muscle memory. This is the area of the brain, the sensorimotor strip within the parietal lobe (you can find this specific area by tracing your finger from the bone right behind the tip of your right ear straight across to the tip of your left ear).   These movements are stored in electrical and chemical form, much like a piece of paper in a filing cabinet or computer file, within a series of neurons chained together. Music is demonstrated then through behaviors through the body where fingers, voice, etc. express the notes that are written in the composition.  

The question then is, “do you have the time, energy and desire to make a lasting change?”  “Are you willing to do whatever is necessary to make that investment a success?” Change is about making time to create conscious thoughts that become subconscious information that is expressed in behaviors/actions, in essence, a fluid movement from the top down.  It is within that pattern that change takes place within the person that will then affect the environment around them: improvement in mood, memory, gross and fine motor skills that in turn bring pattern recognition, positive social interactions, and movement fluidity.

With the beginning of 2020, vow to produce and not make an excuse to make changes in life that will improve the quality of it.  This is a new decade with infinite possibilities and opportunities that are only limited by you. As you are in charge of your time, how will you spend it and what is your desire to make improvements permanent?  Comment below with what you vision for yourself and what actions you are planning/willing to take to make it happen.  

If you are interested in how music can change the quality of your life, contact us and we will schedule you with a member of our professional music instructors to make your conscious idea a lasting behavior.

(410) 286-5505 or visit our website:  www.garrettmusicacademy.com!

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