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Unblocking Creativity during Thanksgiving

If you are frustrated, stressed or extremely busy, all these can hinder your creativity for a  few days or for a few months. Especially around the holiday season, it can be very challenging. The goal is to prevent any type of creative hinderance so you can keep moving forward in your pursuits.

Here are 5 tips on how to stay creative during the holidays:

1)    Comparison – Being in the information age with constant updates, tweets, facebook and more, it’s so easy to think that someone else’s life is better than yours. If we get too busy looking at what the next person has, we can forget to be thankful for what we have. There’s always going to be someone who has more and someone who has less. Instead of comparison, think on ‘what makes your life special and unique to you and only you’? Be thankful and think on those things instead. This ultimately will help keep you focused and creative to get you where you want to go on a daily basis.

2)    Attitude of Entitlement – It’s easy to think we should be further along than where we’re at. Other times its easy to slip into being ungrateful for what we have. This tends to follow comparison. When comparing yourself to others in where they are at in life or what they have, the attitude of entitlement can tempt you into becoming discontent. Shake this off. Instead, look around your studio, your friends and family and focus on the good things. Truly give thanks for the bare necessities that are easily taken for granted. You’ll soon find a new found source of energy and creativity.

3)    Think about What You’re Thinking About – Anyone who’s worried all day long knows how to meditate – that is, meditation on worry.. So what have you been meditating on lately? Are you keeping your mind on positive things as soon as you get out of bed…and throughout the day? Or are you sabotaging yourself with negative thoughts? Spend 15 minutes thinking about what you’re thinking about. Be honest with yourself and let it be ok to have negative thoughts. Process them and then move on. Think about what you’re thinking about… see how much better you feel and turn your negative thoughts around to thanksgiving.

4)    Relationships – Relationships can make or break the holiday season. Focus on bringing new life and love into your relationships this Thanksgiving. Surprise that special someone with flowers or jewelry…bring your mom a sweet potato pie. We can’t go through life with catcher’s mitts on both hands. You’ve gotta be able to throw something back once in a while. Thinking of others can lift heaviness or irritation and introduce a new found spark of creativity.

5)    Watch what you Speak: – So what do you hear yourself speaking about? Are you speaking your dreams and goals or do you gripe and complain to anyone who will listen? What you say knowingly or unknowingly effects your creativity. Do a test on this. Speak good things about yourself and music for 15 minutes and see how much more inspired and creativity you feel.

In summary, think about what you’re thinking about. If focused on negativity or pessimism scares away creativity and the ‘good vibes’ you need to transfer to your music and inspiration. If you’re having trouble getting a music kick start during the holidays, take 15 minutes and try a few of these steps to get back into your creative vibe.

If you want additional info on the subject, contact us for a training consultation.

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Need Encouragement to Pursue your Music Dreams?

this music article blog post was incredibly inspiring to me and I want to share it with you. I have included an excerpt here.

With the challenges our country is facing these days it’s a miracle just to get out of bed in a good mood. Watch the news for 5 minutes and you’ll be bombarded with fear-based headlines and emotion evoking drama. Everywhere around us the media has it’s pull, through advertisements, TV and the internet drawing you into it’s fantasy, the lies and unrealistic messages. I know for my own personal peace, I have to close my eyes to these things and take a deep breath. I check in with Truth and say the magic word within my spirit that brings freedom: “No.”

  • No, I will not believe that i have to be a size 2 to be beautiful.
  • No, I will not believe that I have to try the latest trend, sport the latest designer, or shop every seasonal sale.
  • No, I will not believe that I have to go into debt to feel good about myself or keep up with the Joneses.
  • No, I will not believe that because I have turned 30 that my youth is gone and it’s all down hill from here.
  • No, I will not believe that I have to be the perfect mom and have the perfect child. It’s impossible.
  • No, I will not believe the nay-sayers, or the superficial when it comes to anything I do creatively.

Guard your heart, if you’re a dreamer because every day our dreams are under attack. I’ve had my music critiqued so harshly by a friend…telling me how I should change it, that’s it’s too this or too that.

Ummmm….where’s YOUR art? Oh, yeah you’re creatively blocked, I forgot. So you’ve decided to take on the role as a critic huh?

On the other hand, I ‘ve had teachers and friends who have encouraged me, told me that I’m talented and that I have something special to say through music. I’ve had people pick me up when I was down and slap me silly until I got what they were trying to say: “You’ve got something special, kid…now go bless the world with it!”

Many times we succeed in life because other people encourage us and we think about their affirming comments to the point that we believe them. Anyone that has ever been told, “You can do it!” knows how easy it is to turn those inspiring, confidence building words into goals that are accomplished and realized.

Discouraging words from others such as, “You’re not good enough, smart enough, talented enough or pretty enough” often weigh us down the hardest because it’s so difficult to shake them off. What could be worse than other people doubting our dreams? When we doubt them ourselves. When we are the ones that are sabotaging our success by negative thoughts and self pity like, “I suck at this” or “I”m never going to be as good as…” (fill in the blank of someone’s success you admire).

The other day I stopped and checked in with the world. I looked around and could literally feel everyone hustling and bustling. Trying to make ends meet, trying to meet this deadline, trying to get dinner on the table, trying to fix their credit score, trying to land a job. Everyone is so busy, busy, busy. All of us are just trying to fulfill our dreams as quickly as possible. It seems that ever since the recession started people have been more desperate than ever to make ends meet. In a world that seems to be speeding up, it all can come upon us rather unconsciously if we don’t watch it. There’s nothing wrong with being busy – our family sure is. But I dare to ask this question: Are we busy with a motive of fear…or busy with a motive of joy and inspiration? If we have the right motives we can take on and conquer so much more without the added stress.~

Everyone wants to succeed until they see the price tag of success.

Oh. This is going to take endurance? Perseverance? Patience? Sleep-less nights? I’m going to endure struggles, testing and challenges? I have to invest my time AND my money??

Oh. Never mind.

I often say that I didn’t choose to do music. That music chose me. Why do I say that? Because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, trust me I’ve tried. I’ve tried to have the back-up plan, the Plan B and the ‘somethings to fall back on’ but none of those ever worked because my heart wasn’t in it. I’ve never felt more at peace, more fulfilled or more passionate then when I’m behind the mic or writing a song… Every time, I think….”Ah, this is where I was born to be.” Unfortunately, with music brings the music industry and a whole ball and chain of discouragement that I’ve learned to regulate and be on guard with, in my life.

No matter what dream you have – whether it’s in the arts or the market place you have to have a thick skin to see it realized. You have to keep your eye on the prize and withstand every test, every trial every challenge. You CAN do it! As long as you don’t give up!

Success in every aspect of life begins with a thought; so does failure. If you think you cannot do or attain something, chances are you will not be able to. Your mind has that much influence over your life.

There’s a passage in scripture that says,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4

Hold up. Consider it JOY when facing trials!?! That makes no sense… Or does it??

I believe that James is talking about our ATTITUDE about our struggles here. Let’s face it, if you are on this earth you are going to have challenges. If you breathe air you are going to face problems from time to time. It’s just a fact of life. But how we look at our problems determines how fast we overcome them. How we think about our obstacles can determine if we rise above them or sink beneath them. So here’s my advice to you and also to myself: Learn to encourage YOURSELF. And keep yourself surrounded by those who encourage you, and dump the ones that don’t. Not only that… Learn to encourage OTHERS.

I know a thing or two about sorrow. I’ve faced it head on and embraced it with reckless abandon. And what I have learned, is that after every storm I come out of …I take a hard look at myself and think, “Wow. I didn’t know I was that strong.” I think that often times we get challenges just so an inner strength can rise within us. Perseverance must finish it’s work in us so that we mature.

If you are going through a difficult time right now, let me remind you that this probably isn’t the first challenge you’ve ever faced. You survived the last one (and probably learned some valuable lessons through it) and you will survive this one too. Your trials are temporary, they won’t last forever. Better days are on their way. Just keep your attitude “up” instead of “down”, and remember that this is just a season and it will pass.

Don’t let the hard times change you for the worse. Let the hard times change you for the better.

And if no one ever encouraged YOU in your dreams, let me be the one that does. “GO for it!!!”

  • Yes, you can accomplish the dreams that God put in your heart.
  • Yes, you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are.
  • Yes, you have talent and gifts that only you can share with the world.
  • Yes, you can get out of debt.
  • Yes, you can work and be an amazing dad at the same time.
  • Yes, you can be healthy and strong physically.
  • Yes, you can fix and nurture relationships that have gone wrong.

Whatever it is that makes your heart sing when you think about it – You CAN do it!

Blocked Creativity Equals Creativity Lost Forever

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. (Martha Graham)

…How many times has a hook, a song idea, or a poetic/song’etic mood come to being and thoughts of ‘I don’t have time’ or I’ll do it later’ flood your mind? Would we truly realize how many ‘great’ songs we were capable of if we wrote ‘every single one’ that came to mind? Maybe. Maybe not – but we will never know…

Do not block or deny your unique voice but instead, let it be heard in your mind and on paper whenever and wherever inspiration strikes…
Just get it out, you can always finish is later. If not, blocked creativity equals creativity lost forever.

How to Avoid Music Creativity Distractions

“We are always doing something, talking, reading, listening to the radio, planning what next. The mind is kept naggingly busy on some easy, unimportant external thing all day.” (Brenda Ueland)

Ever notice creation of your best melodies and song ideas happen in your car or right before sleeping. Why is that?

..There are no distractions.

Of course, it’s easy to zone out and be available for music creativity when you have no distractions. That’s just not realistic though. With today’s music technology and social media explosion, you’re daily bombarded with distractions. It gets easy to forget that undisturbed focus is essential in achieving your music goals no matter what they may be.

But if you never allow yourself the freedom and the time to write, the time to enjoy the work you have done, the time to live and enjoy life, or the time to just ‘be’ and do nothing, is it possible you may be too busy or distracted with projects and tasks that do not lead to your ultimate dream?

Tutorial: How to Avoid Music Creativity Distractions.

1) Create a schedule for yourself.
2) Make time 1-5 times a week, even if its 10 minutes to slow down life.
3) Write a song, make a beat, do something fun or don’t do anything at all.

The point isn’t the results for this specific tutorial.
The point is to practice making time and to focus on the important things.

Strengthen your ‘making time muscle’ so that no matter what deadlines, urgency or crisis is in your life you learn to do what is important to you.. You do what will ultimately inspire you to keep moving forward.

By holding yourself accountable, practicing and improving on these 3 steps, you will not only avoid music creativity distractions but also find yourself achieving more parts of your dream every day.

Massaging your Music Creativity into a Finished Beat

“Creativeness often consists of merely turning up what is already there.”
(Bernice Fitz-Gibbon)

At first, being creative is a very subtle entity… It is that voice and those thoughts that quietly give you amazing song and musical ideas… Sometimes, the mind is too noisy or busy to understand. Sometimes, it’s easy to hear but not listen – We hear ideas but don’t write them down. Other times, there are ideas that have potential, but need massaging. These ideas usually visit you the most often and often get neglected the most too…

The process of massaging your music creativity starts with ‘intent listening’ when inspiration speaks. Then take action.

By turning down inner noise and focusing on those abstract, crazy, and very personal ideas, more music creativity and possibilities begin to unfold. When you are open and always listening, more ideas can be heard. Very rarely to often times never is a great song or music production ‘inspired to perfection’. They are handcrafted, reconstructed, and massaged to perfection – massaged to sooth the ears of others…

Massaging your Music Creativity into a Finished Beat is a process which begins with ‘turning up’ what you may miss on a daily basis, capture it, and then edit it to excellence. The power of rewriting and editing is beyond comprehension. New lyrics, different rhythms & rhymes, new melodies, entirely different arrangements, or new music can all be added to or subtracted from any composition… The problem most have is holding on to their baby in fear of change, fear of it maturing, fear of becoming something bigger and greater, fear of success…

Tutorial: Massaging your Music Creativity into a Finished Beat:

  1. Constantly capture your new ideas
  2. Edit and re-write your ideas until you push your own personal boundaries.
  3. Take a break from starting new material until all your beats and songs are finished.

This process will keep you from having ‘thousands of unfinished beats’.

Massage your music production until you are ‘caught’ up and can finish one beat at a time before moving to the next one. This will keep you super charged creatively and also give you a hefty beat catalog.

By the practice of massaging your muscles of ideas, songwriting and music productions can transform from infancy to maturation overnight.