Category Archives: change

No Resolutions Only Evolution’s…

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No Resolutions Only Evolution’s…

A woman has many faces as she goes through her life. It’s like we need more than one hair-do. We have many, many changes in the evolution of our lives. We have, we learn, and we grow; we view life differently, and life views us differently.
Sharon Stone

This year I am making no resolutions! Instead I am making evolution’s.  I have plans to evolve into a better musician, a better human being, a kinder and gentler person. I want to evolve as a writer and artist. Last year at this time my future looked very bleak indeed. This year I have high hopes! We have things this year that we didn’t have last year. This year we have a full 5 piece band that is working. This year I have a job as a free-lance writer for a company that actually pays me what I am worth. This year we also have a small acoustic side project going on. This year the only thing missing is Mike finding a good day job that still allows him the freedom to keep pursuing music, I know it will happen with a little faith and good karma. This year I am changing my stage appearance. Over the years it went from heavy black to pinstripe outfits to hippie. This year I don’t know what I am shooting for, I guess you will have to wait to see. This year I promise to keep my anger in check. I kind of lost my mind at the end of this year and spewed a bunch of crap that I shouldn’t have, and for that I am sorry. I am human, and I make mistakes. This year I also promise to forgive myself. This is the year of the sublime evolution! Happy New Year to all my friends and family, I love each and everyone of you for all your love and support and only hope I can give back 1/10th of what you all have given to me! With that I leave you with Fleetwood Mac, enjoy! :)

Reflecting….

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Reflecting….

I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. Tony Robbins 

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog almost a year ago. I started writing this blog on New Year’s Eve 2011 and as it almost dawns on New Year’s Eve 2012 I was thinking back at the amazing amount of changes that have occurred in our lives over the last year. When I started this blog Michael and I had just gotten back together after a forced separation due to legal circumstances. We almost broke up several times at the beginning of 2012 and, in fact, I almost left him and he almost left me more than once. We both struggled with bouts of alcoholism, me more than him. We went through the AA program together and are stronger for it. This last year I have hit some of my darkest nights and yet at other times I have seen some of my brightest days. In the last year we have lost “friends” to betrayal and back stabbing, we have lost musician friends, but at the end of the day our relationship has grown stronger through all the trials and tribulations. We have grown closer as friends and our love has grown deeper. We have managed to regain something through our music, that something special that has always been the glue that held us together.

During the last year I gained some of the lost time with my daughter and grown closer than ever to my mother. I have become a better rhythm guitar player and taught myself to sing in Welsh. I have learned more about myself as a musician in the last year than I have in 42 years of life. We have played some really fantastic gigs over the last year, and have many more to come. I moved up in the writing world from being an internet writer to writing for a real magazine and making my worth for the articles I write. My photography editing skills are getting better and better and I am continuing to work on my dream collage. I have no idea when, if ever that will be finished. It’s an ever evolving dream journal in images. 

I have seen friendships end and new friendships sprout. I have also seen friendships that I thought were dead in the water re-sprout with new life of forgiveness and understanding. With each dying flower a new one sprouts in its place, a more beautiful one I believe, richer in color and smell. At the end of the day, and almost year, life is very good. It is as hard as it ever was, but we are happy, and I know that come what may Michael and I will continue to grow together, to love together, and to perform together. Life is very good my friends!

With that I leave you with The Supremes and the beautiful Diana Ross…

It’s Amazing….

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It’s Amazing….

I’m amazed that things have panned out the way they have. I always say I’m so lucky, though my mum always says, “You make your own luck.” Orlando Bloom

That quote pretty much says it all. This has been an amazing week! The jam is going incredibly better than I could have ever expected, we have this amazing gentleman, Taduz Lemke, that is going to showcase with us. I got a new freelance writing position with a magazine, and our band has been asked to sit in on a 1/2 hour set at a venue that Michael and I had played years ago. This has the potential of blooming into a regular gig. This isn’t everything, we have been asked to play at a benefit for a premie baby named baby Maxwell and it is opening up doors to us that I never knew existed. This must be the week where I collect on some of my unspent karma points my friends. The band is doing fantastic and I am ever so proud of the progress we have made in just at 2 weeks together. We are getting ready to record some demos so hopefully I will have something for you to listen to very soon! With that I leave you with Sir Paul….

Falling Down

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Falling Down

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

Ok let’s just get this out of the way right now. I fell off the wagon. Don’t ask me to explain how or why it happened, because I honestly don’t know. Am I blaming some one or some thing, hell no! I did this all alone. However, the cool thing is I have my program and all my friends rallied around me to brush off the dust and apply ointment to the skid marks. I am still loved. It’s great to be an alcoholic because I have a village of Indians that stopped to see what fell off the wagon and rallied together to see what they could do with it….Yes, I can laugh because I may have fallen but I am not down for the count. I am loved and for today I am happy and sober.

Happy Birthday 2 Me!

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Happy Birthday 2 Me!

Yeah, I know I drink a lot, I know I do because I’m a writer and that’s what I do, I drink. I’m not like those people out there, I can control myself! I can, if – that – if I wanted to, I could, if I wanted. I can! I can!~Gwen Cummings, “28 Days

I had almost, not quite, but almost forgotten that it was my 60 days. 2 months, sobriety birthday yresterday. I almost forgot because I have been too busy being sober. I know that may sound crazy, but it’s really not. What is crazy is the amount of years, months, days, minutes and seconds I wasted of my life drinking into a dark hole. I can’t believe how busy my life has become since I put the bottle away for good. My music has taken a precedence in my life, I’m accomplishing more than I ever could have believed was possible. One night of my life a week is dedicated to “sober” night. It’s an open jam that I host on Tuesday nights at a coffee house and we get a huge turn out from my friends in AA and it gets bigger and better every week. We are getting more bookings than ever and now, by the grace of my sobriety we are booked to play at “John Doe’s” for a two hour acoustic gig in mid September. After that we have the Indian Creek Festival. I also have the distinct honor of representing my family and our Welsh heritage at the Scottish festival, where all the Celtic nations are represented. My grandparents would be so incredibly proud. I owe all of this to my persistence in remaining sober, the love and support of my beautiful husband and my wonderful family. Thank goodness I am a stubborn person. The very quality that makes me an obstinate person is also the same quality that saved my life. For that I am grateful! 

 

 

Do What You Say You’re Going To Do!

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Do What You Say You’re Going To Do!

 If what you say is based on what people want to hear, rather than what you intend to actually do, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in the difficult position of having to break your word.

Why do people tell others that they are going to do something and then not do it? And then….then they wait until the last moment to tell them that they are backing out. This is something I will never understand. If I have a gig to do and I know that I can’t do it I let people know at least a week in advance or at the soonest possible moment, it doesn’t matter whether the gig is paying or not, the importance lies in the fact that I have people relying on me and if I chose not to be there and don’t let them know until the last possible moment it puts them in a bind to find someone to replace me. It’s not fair to the people relying on me to be there and do my part because every person is a link in the chain of whether something is going to work or not and when I let them down I am breaking the chain of whether a gig is going to be successful or not. With music there aren’t 100 other singers that can just step in and take my place, or bass players, or guitar player, etc…You get the picture. If you can’t do something then don’t say you will…It’s that damn simple, there are no feeble excuses as to why you suddenly changed your mind after making a commitment. Here’s the thing, if you do things like this chances are the people that were relying on you in the first place are going to lose all trust in you and there probably won’t be an offer for a “next” time. You just blew any potential there might have been of something good. Say what you mean and mean what you say!

Do Not Enter!!!

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Do Not Enter!!!

If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere. Marilyn Monroe

I have been religiously going for my bike rides everyday, 7.5 miles. I ride 7 days on and take one day off. Yesterday I had to miss my ride because I went with my mother to the doctor. Well, to my disappointed surprise, my bike trail was blocked this morning at both ends. The trail I take constitutes about 2/3′s of my ride. It used to be that I would not allow a “path closed” sign to deter me from anything. I pretty much did whatever I wanted without regards to the consequences. Ah, but for sobriety I would probably still be riding that dangerous path. “So, what did you do?” I’m glad you asked. I went a different route. I doubled up on the other part of my green belt ride, the part that was, of course, not blocked. I got finished early because it is not as long a route as the other way, but for a day or two that is ok. However, since achieving sobriety I rely on a set schedule and I don’t like disruptions. It throws me. My day is filled from the moment I rise until the moment my head hits the pillow. It’s all good though, the path will open again shortly and things will go back to norm, for now I will adjust. 

Marital Space

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Marital Space

“The night is mine, my own time, to do with it as I will, as long as I am quiet. As long as I don’t move. As long as I lie still. The difference between lie and lay. Lay is always passive.” ― Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale

We all need space, space of our own, time of our own. It is fruitful for us to all have a little alone time. My husband has been laid off a little over a month now and I am ever so grateful that he finally returned to work today. Whenever he is home my whole schedule gets disrupted and I get 80% less done than I would were he not laid off. I am not really sure why that is but him being home everyday is a constant disruption to my rehearsal time, my house cleaning and a plethora of things. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband very much and he’s my BFF, but spending time together ever day and night. day in and night out gets very wearing after about a week. So, now I am back to my regularly scheduled program, YAY~

Sorry about the crazy Pantera video, but I like it LOL!

If You Could Feel What I feel Then You Would Know What I Feel

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If You Could Feel What I feel Then You Would Know What I Feel

I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them. Judith Wright

When you stop using mind altering substances, such as alcohol in my case, you are forced out of your little numb closet into the world of feelings. Suddenly you realize you are alive and you can feel. Those feelings can become overwhelming because when you begin to feel again every emotion begins to take on the proportions of a bright painting in the vivid neon colors that are so intense they hurt your eyes and you are powerless to turn away from the painting even though it burns your vision. Yesterday was just such a day for me. I went through my day just as surely as if I were a  zombie plodding along going down some strange path and going through the motions without knowing why I was doing that or where I was going. I wasn’t numb, in fact I was far from it, I was in a deep pensive funk that I couldn’t seem to shake and I burst into tears at one point for absolutely no reason.  I guess instead of taking the day off from my normally busy schedule I should have kept busy but I had no way of knowing that my mind was going to be in such a turmoil of mixed emotions. Sometimes being too busy can be a very good thing. 

It’s Not Fair!

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It’s Not Fair!

Sarah: That’s not fair! 
Jareth: You say that so often, I wonder what your basis for comparison is? ~ From The Labyrinth

I am going to whine so beware….LOL! Now that I have quit consuming my calories in mind bending beverages I am putting on weight. I have started riding bike, 7.5 miles a day everyday, to keep my weight and shape, but it’s not fair! I don’t eat anything out of the ordinary or glutton myself, but my families gene pool sux! My mother weighs in at 275 lbs and my grandmother weighed very close to that when she passed. I have always watched my weight and been super sensitive about my appearance. It’s good that I have put on weight, in November I was very sick and shot down to 125 lbs, but hell’s bells do I have to starve myself to keep from weighing over 150 lbs. My good weight is 140, that’s when I look the best. I stand 5’9″ and that is the perfect weight for my bone structure. However, the only way I get to maintain that is if I eat like a freakin’ bird.Well, I have been on the bike riding routine for less than a week, so I’ll just keep on keeping on, but dam, I still say it’s not fair. Ok I am over it now!

Luminous Caduceus

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Luminous Caduceus

Aquarius Horoscope for week of August 2, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
In old China, people used to cool themselves by sipping hot drinks. After taking a bath, they buffed the excess water from their skin by using a wet towel. When greeting a friend, they shook their own hand instead of the friend’s. To erect a new house, they built the roof first. You’re currently in a phase of your astrological cycle when this kind of behavior makes sense. In fact, I suspect you’re most likely to have a successful week if you’re ready to reverse your usual way of doing things on a regular basis. 
How’s your fight for freedom going? Are you making progress in liberating yourself from your unconscious obsessions, bad habits, and conditioned responses?

What’s true about the word “God” may apply as well to “soul“: Much of the meaning has been sucked out of it. It’s a flabby ghost that has lost its life force. Say “soul” and you’re liable to numb your listeners’ attention. At best you may inspire them to picture a vague floating blob that feels more like an abstract concept than a real presence. That’s a shame, because the eminence that’s lazily referred to as “soul” is as crucial to you waking up tomorrow as your heart. 

“If you need to visualize the soul,” wrote Tom Robbins, “think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It’s a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved.” 

As part of the Beauty and Truth Lab’s ongoing crusade to wrestle the English language into a more formidable servant of the ecstatic impulse, we’re pleased to present some alternate designations for “soul.” See if any of the following concoctions feel right coming out of your mouth: 1. undulating superconductor; 2. nectar plasma; 3. golden lather; 4. smoldering crucible; 5. luminous caduceus. 

If none of these work for you—or even if they do—create your own terms. 

P.S. Here’s Robbins’ conclusion: “By waxing soulful you will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what the ancients considered a divinely animated universe.” 

OK Rob Brezney, a very strange astrology for the week. If I read this right I am supposed to reverse my way of doing things, unthink the way I normally think. I am supposed to liberate myself from my habits, obsessions and conditioned responses. I am supposed to find a new definition for the soul, I liked #5 Luminous (brightly lit) caduceus (healing staff carried by Hermes). To me that is an epiphany of internal healing.

A Different Person

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A Different Person

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis

Everyone says I have changed so much in the last month and a half. Mike says I am a ray of sunshine. The funny thing is I know that I have changed inside, deep down inside. I am still crossing the monkey bars and learning how to cross while holding onto a banana and not fall. I am like a child learning all about myself for the first time, the exception being that I am an adult with a vast array of experiences, and some not very positive at all. The fact of the matter is that I am still grumpy, and at times, downright cranky. That’s just part of who I am. The banana I hold onto is the goal that once I cross the monkey bars I can eat my prize, that golden, yellow, delicious banana with its rich fruit wrapped so tenderly in a protective peal. I find that I am tired a lot more than I used to be and I don’t always feel like a ray of sunshine. There are days I just feel down and depressed, there are days that I just don’t give a shit. The fact is is that I am human and I still feel things, just differently because now there is no numbing, mind bending substance to take it away. I have to face my emotions head on and that isn’t easy after such a long and devoted career of inebriating myself from feeling anything. In this new life full of changes and becoming a different person the knives are very real, the pain they inflict deep and I don’t have the Novocaine to stop it like I used to. Yes, I have been given a whole new set of tools to deal with my hurts and ills, but they are still there and more real than ever, and that is hard! In the beginning of sobriety we are more than happy to grasp the banana knowing that one day we will be able to partake of it’s wonderful fruit, but no one tells you you have to swing across these precarious monkey bars of emotions and feelings to the other side before you can really enjoy the fruit, and if you drop the banana you get to start all over again. The thing that no one tells you about is the flood of emotions that may seem like they are going to overtake you. This flood of emotions happens because we no longer have a mind altering substance to blind us to the tidal wave that is rushing our direction.  

Body and Mind

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Body and Mind

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr 

Ok, so here’s the deal. Now that I have changed my mind’s perspective it is time to go after the body. Since I am no longer drinking my calories and I am eating normally instead of going days without eating, choosing to drink instead, I am starting to put on some weight. So, now that I have the mind in line it’s time to start taking care of the positive effects of what is happening to my body. My family has this terrible problem with obesity and my body image has always been of huge concern to me. My mother is pushing 275#’s and my grandmother weighed just about that when she passed. Excuse my vanity Buddha, but I like looking good and I don’t like little pockets of fat sticking out all over my body. I made a command decision yesterday that I would take a 1-2 hour bike ride every morning. So this is it…day 1 of the beginning of a new path for me…the path of caring for the positive effects happening to my mind as well as my body. Wish me luck!

Inside Out

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Inside Out

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. George Carlin

I will be the first to admit that I am a cynic. I have lived my life distrusting of other peoples motives, because aren’t all humans urged by the need for some personal gain of their own. In reality I have always questioned people’s sincerity and motives, whether they stemmed from the true spirit of giving of themselves to another purely for unselfish motives or if their input was driven by self-serving motives. My circle of friends is small, my circle of acquaintances large. I keep the ones who I know have no ulterior motives close and everyone else I keep at arms length as acquaintances or even further away than that. The more I get to know a person determines the distance of their relationship with me directly in proportion to their motives. Being cynical isn’t hard, in fact it is quite easy, in truth it is being optimistic about the human race that is hard. It is my genuine hope that I will one day learn to not be such a cynical, distrusting person, but it is a very hard thing to do when you find that a majority of the people you meet on a daily basis are only becoming acquainted with you because they “think” you have something to offer them rather than in the genuine spirit of friendship. They extend a hand to you as a “friend” with motives untrue and fettered by wants and desires.

 

 

Character Defects

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Character Defects

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank

Last nights topic, character defects. I’ll be the first to admit I am a walking character defect. I’m a control freak and I am, to a certain extent, OCD. I have been told that I need to ask a HP to remove my defects of character. No, not a Hewlett Packard! HP is my higher power. Well, being the person that I am, I have to say this. No one, and no thing is going to remove defects of character for you. You are responsible for you and your behavior and the only person that can change that is you. Yes, it is great to have an HP, whether it is your concept of God, a green haired troll doll, or a far away star. However, I do feel that we, only we, can change certain defects in our characters. That is something that comes from within us, not outside of us. Who’s fault is it that I fell down the rabbit hole of drinking, no ones. I am solely responsible for that chaotic miasma of self-indulgence and self-pity. For that I take full responsibility, in this way I have no one to blame if I fall down the rabbit hole again and end up having drunken conversations with a disappearing cat, a rabbit on the run and a stoned caterpillar!

Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

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Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. Ernest Hemingway

Today is my birthday! Not in a literal sense of the day I was brought into this world. It is my 30 day birthday of the day I woke up and decided to get sober and embrace the idea of sobriety once and for all. Sure, I have had attempts at sobriety over the last 10 years, but this is the first time I have embraced being sober and have had every intention of staying that way! If you have followed my blog you would know that since I started blogging on December 31, 2011 I have been up and down in my sobriety. What has changed for me now is that I have found a support group, a sponge (sponsor), I have included my family in my sobriety, I have a therapist, I am working the program and my attitude has changed. Am I excited about having my 30 days? Hell yes! Even one day is hard, not to mention 30! 31 days ago I was in hell. I had fought my battle with the bottle over and over again until I was so exhausted from the fighting I was ready to give up once and for all, literally. I told Michael all I needed was a bullet and a shovel. Yes, I was in that black of a place. Today I am so grateful to my friends, family and the people who have given me their support and love. Today I am sober. Today I am happy. Today I am FREE! 

Here’s a list of things I have accomplished in my sobriety over the last 30 days:

  • Learned over 20 new songs on guitar and vocals
  • Played 4 new gigs
  • Completed some new drawings
  • Started a dream collage
  • Made a plethora of new friends
  • Found out that I can love myself
  • Found out that I am stronger than I thought I was
  • Started forgiving myself and others

I’m sure there are many that I am not thinking of but the point is that I am moving forward in my life instead of standing in a puddle of stagnant water that was sucking me down into a hole I may not have been able to climb out of. Thank you to all who have helped me on my path and thank you to those of you who may not be aware that you did…..Peace, always….Jaz

At the Speed of Sound

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At the Speed of Sound

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. David Herbert Lawrence

Oh hell! Things are picking up so fast for us musically, it seems that every day we are adding new songs to the set list. Lately we are meeting and increasing the community of musicians we speak with. Gigs have been weekly and sometimes twice weekly. This insanity, coupled with my Buddhist studies, sobriety work and a 100 miscellaneous other things. We have a very heavy schedule and my poor house is not getting cleaned like it normally does. Mind you, it may sound like I’m whining but I’m not. I think I am simply amazed at how insanely busy things have gotten. I still manage to get to my studies every day, I write in my journal everyday, find time to read ppls blogs and blog myself. And I even found time to complete a sketch this week!

 So all in all life is good. I still have my moments where I feel a lot of pressure, and frankly my sleep schedule is completely messed up, ciest la vie!

Rearranging the Furniture of My Mind

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Rearranging the Furniture of My Mind

There’s no getting away from it: you have to clean. Anthea Turner 

I am in a new place in my life. I live in the same house, all the furniture is the same, the pictures on the wall are still the same. There are some of my favorite photos, some of my better paintings and of course the wall of music. The knick knacks haven’t changed, there’s my collection of vases, his collection of steins and some clay sculptures made by my daughter and myself. Yes the house is the same, the difference is I am slowly but surely rearranging the furniture inside my house. This is what is going on inside my brain right now, I am slowly removing all the crap and baggage. It’s a long process and sometimes I wonder if I will ever get rid of that ugly couch that has been weighing in my mind for so many years. I think I may be able to get rid of the frame, but I’m sure the cushions are going to stubborn themselves to death and always be hidden in a dark closet in the living room of my brain. If this all sounds a bit confusing, what I am referring to is sobriety and the stubborn couch cushions are triggers that hit me every so often and make me want to have that first drink on the path to oblivion. Yes, I know they will probably always be there, but over time the sharpness of the image is fading, the colors aren’t as bright. Each day gets a little easier. Excuse me while I go straighten that picture that is on a slight bit of a tilt.