Friday, February 25, 2011

Passion Party #338 - What Can I Do To Improve Things?

Waking up
a night of strange, busy dreams
head full of congestion
and sadness

These feelings are real
I need to face them and ask
Why do I feel this way today?

Upon knowing,
then my job becomes
What can I do today to improve the specific situation?
The answer probably involves love.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Passion Party #337 - True Worth

How does one become successful?
It has to do with perception
and "being worth it".
It's an inside job
that manifests on the outside.

Why does one attorney work for $100 an hour
while another works for $500 and hour?
Because he/she is worth it.
And true worth
is giving more in value than you receive in payment.

From L. L. Bean
to Apple Computer
from McDonalds
to Wolfgang Puck
this Law of Success holds true:
True worth
is giving more in value than you receive in payment.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Passion Party #336 - Eulogy

Billy Strayhorn was one of the most accomplished composers in the history of American Music. He worked in the shadows of Duke Ellington. As a gay black man in the 30's, 40's and 50's, Billy was happy to live in the background in New York City, and let Duke get all the glory and do all the touring. Billy wrote over 150 recorded songs and 15 Suites during his 51 years on earth, including "Take The A Train", "Lush Life" and "Something To Live For".

At his funeral in 1967, Duke Ellington read the eulogy. He said, "(Billy) demanded freedom of expression and lived in what we consider the most important and moral of freedoms:
1) freedom from hate, unconditionally
2)freedom from self-pity (even throughout all the pain and bad news)
3)freedom from fear of possibly doing something that might help another more than it might himself, and
4) freedom from the kind of pride that could make a man feel he was better than his brother or neighbor."

Four freedoms, still worth remembering and living by.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Passion Party #335 - A Shmammy kind-of Day

As a recording artist
I get to be a member of NARAS
and have the option of buying over-priced tickets
to the strange musical conflagration called
"The Grammys".
As the musical business continues to splinter
a few desires hold steady:
a desire for recognition
a desire for fame
a desire to share one's music with the largest population possible
(not specifically for financial gain,
but that would be nice if it happens...)
a desire to look different enough that when people see you they know you are "somebody", even if they don't know who you are.

The attractiveness of the Grammy telecast
and its worldwide audience
brings out a few unusual stars each year
Even Neil Young showed up looking like a grandfatherly curmudgeon
(he won an award in the pre-telecast).
Bob Dylan actually "sang" on key, a little.
Barbara Streisand sang without asking for all cameras to be confiscated
and Mick Jagger made a great pitch for health food and exercise.

The dress code for the women in the audience was
short, SHORT party dresses and
funny high-heeled shoes.
It was fun watching the women
try to walk in their booty-hugging outfits
on and off the escalators
up and down the steep stadium seating of the Staples Center
It made me want to buy stock in J-Lo's clothing company
and train to be a physical therapist
because all these women will need help if they keep walking around in shoes like that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Passion Party #334 - Go Outside

We live in an incredible world
if we only take a minute
to go outside
and look at it.

Last night was a full moon
and we went outside after dinner
to look at it.
It was an unusually clear night
The atmosphere was perfect for star gazing,
even on our little street in Culver City.
Sirius was twinkling, flashing colors.
Orion was overhead,
and we could see the Orion Nebula
glowing fuzzy at the end of his sword.

Even the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters
were visible above our heads.
I cannot remember a night of so many stars
from our house in the city.

We are surrounded by marvels
if we just go out
and open our eyes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Passion Party #333 - New Thinking

In revisiting Napoleon Hill's book,
"Think and Grow Rich",
I am reminded that we do create our own reality.

I was brought up thinking
a poverty consciousness:
There is not enough love to go around
For me to win, someone else has to lose
Don't expect anything from life, and you won't be disappointed.

Now I know
that I can reprogram my mind to be on a positive path
that I can learn new habits
and if I have a clear vision,
back it with desire and hard work,
and am willing to give what it takes in exchange
to fulfill this vision,
that goal will be achieved.

It may not happen in my preferred time frame
or exactly as I expect
but Life will give me what I ask of it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weather Gods are Smiling

We have a moment of sun in the crazy snowstorms
Evan and I fly today to Hartford CT,
through Chicago
en route to UMass Amherst
for our first BIG adventure
The Weather Gods are smiling, and
the flights are on time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Passion Party #332 - Quiet Time

In preschool
they taught us "Quiet Time"
that time each day when we sat
or lay on our blankets
in silence

Now I need to make time to be silent
getting up at 5:00 AM
rising before the sun
the silence filled only
with the pumping of blood through my body
and the white noise of the electric lines and the cars on the freeway.

Clearing the mind
not trying to figure things out
but just to feel the feelings
letting the mind drift
like clouds in the sky

A time for acceptance
and renewal
creating a fresh start to the day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Passion Party #331 - Make Time to Talk

Dinner at our house
is a sacred time
where we all stop what we are doing
and come together to eat and check in,
sharing about our day.

I never really thought about how
this activity had become a ritual,
a moment of time
requiring that we connect with each other as a family.
It has always been there; it is something I learned from my parents, and I carried it on in my household.

Last night while we were sharing our meal
my son got a text message from a friend.
It drew away his focus, and it never really returned.
This led to a heated discussion about
how rude it is to answer a phone (or even receive a text) while you are in a conversation with another person.

This is why I don't have "call waiting"
and why I leave my cell phone in the car at night
leaving my work day behind.

I want to give my undivided attention
to everyone I meet today.
I will initiate the conversations
and make time to talk.
Really talk with the person
and really listen to what they are saying.

“It’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.” - Barack Obama