Monday, September 28, 2009

Passion Party #71 - What I Did For Love

In 1976 I kissed today goodbye
and pointed the Dodge 100 van towards Los Angeles,
along with two like-minded friends.
I did it to find my future.
I did it for love.
Over the years I have walked through fire,
through broken relationships and broken hearts,
through therapy, both physical and emotional
I did it to find myself.
I did it for love.
I raised one child and am raising another
I found the love of my life.
I did this for love.
I built a business so unlike my father's
I did it for financial stability
I built it on love.
Now I awake early and greet every day
and open my heart.
I can do this
I do it for love.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Passion Party #70 - The Party

Summer is ending
and it felt like time to throw a party
to celebrate good friends
and children growing
and music filling our lives
so we had about 60 of our best friends over
to eat, drink, and listen
to some bluegrass, some opera, a few art songs, a clarinet duet, a Haydn Cello Concerto, a new bossa nova that Meredith and I wrote, some jazz, a couple of folk singers...
a wonderful day of eclectic music
and musicians
showing their talent and
their passion.

There were two performances dedicated to Steven, who died of cancer this summer before turning 20,
and it reminded me again
of how music helps us speak the unspeakable
and share the language of our souls
a direct connection
that words cannot begin to express.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Passion Party #69 - The Why, Part 2

"All men should strive to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why."
- James Thurber

The How is easy.
The How you can watch on Youtube
or various other places on the internet
You can buy a book on How at Home Depot.

The How is uniform
the Why is personal.
The Why helps me grow and evolve
especially if I get to the deeper questions.
Once I get beyond, "My Dad was too busy to love me" or "My Mom smothered me" or whatever your story is...
Once you get unstuck from the story that others made you be the way you are and start realizing that
you - you - made choices to run from some things, and towards others...
And then, Why?
The Why is hard, but profound, and worthy of the search.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Passion Party #68 - The Bath

Last night as I lay in the bath
sweating away the anxiety from another day at work
everything became clear, I could answer all of life's questions.
I had clarity and revelations
I would call Ben Bernanke and tell him what to do with interest rates.
I could explain why the banks aren't loaning money
and could tell you when happy days would return.

Then I went to sleep
and this morning, as if waking from a dream
I remember nothing.

But I feel at peace
My heart is open, ready for another day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Passion Party #67 - Prepare for the Unpredictable

How does one
prepare for the unpredictable?
We think we know life.
On The Weather Channel our computer models help us track where the possible hurricane might go
but life is unpredictable
the twists and turns are not neat
the variables in life are still too great
for Google's search engine.

Not unlike a good boyscout
I need my moral compass
to find True North,
my intuition unclouded
so I can let go, accept,
and know internally which way to go
when the unpredictable invariably arrives.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Passion Party #66 - Involve Others

The biggest dreams involve others.
I am not the kind of person
who can write in a vacuum
Nor am I the type, like Charles Ives,
that can compose symphonies knowing that they most likely won't be performed in my lifetime.
I need people to write for
I need a deadline to get it done.

Thinking about it is one thing,
talking about it with like-minded individuals is another.
Working with other to make it a reality -
this is where the strength lies
And it all starts by sharing thoughts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Passion Party #65 - What I Choose To Do

Today is all about
what I choose to do.
My calendar is open today, and I choose to fill it
- with a morning filled with focus, reflection and exercise,
Gratitude for a wonderful weekend
filled with music performances from Idyllwild Arts Academy
and a sense of letting go of our teenage son
as he rapidly grows into a talented, caring young man.
- with a day filled with focus
completing the loan files that need to get done by the end of August
and designing the next ad campaign to create business
for September and the rest of 2009.

The summer speeds by, basically done,
and the Fall season and events are rushing towards me.
The year compresses, falling in on itself
and now more than ever I need to
seize the day
and make it count
Now more than ever.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Passion Party #64 - A Passionate Day Checklist

__ Meditate
__ Journal
__ Exercise
__ Kiss and/or hug someone I love
__ Talk with a friend
__ Play music
__ Do at least one thing to move my music career forward
__ Do at least one thing to produce "bankable results" at my office.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Passion Party #63 - Money, Part 7

Everybody has what I can "The Number".
It's that number where you say,
"I need $X a month to keep all the bills paid".
The monthly "nut".
But there is another number
It's the number where you say
"If I make $Y a month, I will be comfortable."
This is the number that allows money to go into the retirement fund, pay the taxes, the vacation account, the school fund, etc.

I have found that, when my income is at X or below X
I work harder
And when my income is at Y
I work less
until I discover my income is back at X
and I start to work harder again.

But what if I made Y my new X?
I have earned Y, so I know it is possible.
I have seen other people in my business earn Y times 5,
so I know it can be done.

If Y becomes my new X, then
I can set a new Y, a new upper limit
where I can feel REALLY comfortable.
This is an outrageous, big, goal
especially now
in this time of recession and fear.
I like it a lot.
Y is my new X.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Passion Party #62 - Frugal Fest

I went to a business lunch yesterday in Brentwood
at a very fine, stylish restaurant
and I had a $17 cheeseburger.
After the ice tea, tax and tip the lunch came to $28.00.
The restaurant was quite full of people,
businessmen and women, as well as families,
and I thought, 'Well, no recession here!"
But at our table the conversation turned to the fact that each of us has a brother or sister that had recently lost their job and was looking for work.
So today
I think it is time to join
Frugal Fest
the celebration of clipping coupons,
having dinner at Happy Hour restaurants
or better yet, eating at home,
and re-using those plastic bags, turning off the lights, etc.

The Latin root for frugal, "frui", means to enjoy
and it refers not just to being "cheap"
but it reflects economy in the use of resources,
money and otherwise as well.

Today I can remember that it feels good to live within one's budget
it feels better than
any $15 Martini
or $17 hamburger.
It is hard to set a budget and live within it,
but today I am willing to be frugal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Passion Party #61 - The Why

I read a small article yesterday.
It was a list of the 10 things to do to get to your goals.
It was very seductive.
I remember a time when that was all I needed,
a list of 5 or 10 things to do,
and "Just Do It" was my motto.

It looks so simple on paper
But there is a deeper, more important game to play.
It is not the What You Do
and it is not the How You Do It.
There are huge websites now where you can find how
to do most anything, from how to fold a shirt to how to fly a fighter jet.

The what to do is easy
The how to do is easy
It is the Why that matters -
Why am I doing this?
Why is it important to me?
This is the drive behind the drive,
where passion lies waiting
to be awoken.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Passion Party #60 - Moments

There were moments this weekend
so brilliant:
Sitting on the beach with the clean wind
blowing in from the West
blasting my lungs open...
Speaking with my son on the phone, hearing his excitement about his music camp experience...
Seeing the joy in my wife's face
when she returned from her students' recital,
her teaching and talent having been validated...
Rehearsing new songs with Courtney for a gig next weekend...

And then finally seeing Take 6
at a fundraiser for the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra
O My God
The level of talent that these six men brought to us,
each individually amazing
and collectively almost unbelievable
I witnessed the Joy of Music
the Power of faith and Friendship (and practice!)
They carried me to a place beyond hope
to actuality - it can actually be this good
Life can be this good.