You ARE creative. Let me inspire you!
A fresh new start. These first few days of January are filled with magic and wonder! And this year, 2020, begins a new decade! Wow! How did that happen? My sister reminded me that we’ve seen 7 decades on this earth. No, that does NOT mean that I’m 70! Yet. And as Alice Cooper said at his Christmas Pudding concert and fundraiser in Phoenix last month, “70’s the new 30”. Or was it 40? Either way, age is just a number. But I digress.
Last year was a difficult year for many people around me. We lost my sweet Father-in-law who was living with us. My dear husband was his primary care giver and the last 9 months of his life required daily wound care and nearly 24/7 monitoring. His passing was a blessing for him and my husband Steve. And the time he spent living with us was a blessing also! What a joy it was to get to know him better, and what a sweet man he was. He will be missed.
One of my very first Zentangle® students, and a friend of mine passed away last year also. I understand she had been ill, and it happened quickly. She will be missed also. And another student of mine lost her mother. This is certainly a reminder that none of us are getting out of here alive, none of us know how much time we have, and we MUST make every day, every moment count!
Often, we look to the past and remember the difficult things, the losses, the missteps, the hurts. We should remember these things, and we should let them go. They no longer serve us. As long as we remember the lesson, we can release the pain.
But oh, what joy can be found by looking back and searching for those wonderful things, you know, the good stuff! The things that made you smile the biggest. The ones that make your heart swell by just remembering. What things made you the happiest? What are you most proud of? What have you been blessed with?
I think this is the first time I’ve ever taken the time to really think back to these moments. And because I was taking a look back across the past decade, there were LOTS of moments to remember! If you haven’t done this exercise, I highly recommend it! My inspiration for doing it this year was Marie Forleo. (I LOVE Marie! ¤ and you can check out her “Decade in Review” series with the link at the end of this post!)
There are definitely too many wonderful, magical moments to list here so I’m just covering some of the highlights:
I did say there were too many to list. I’ll bet your list will be longer than you imagine. I hope you do take time for this exercise. It’s so empowering to remember those proud and happy moments!
To tell you about this personal accomplishment, I want to begin by telling you a little story. A long time ago in a galaxy far away, no wait, that’s another story… I moved to Phoenix Arizona in 1996. I took a job in a field I knew with a Fortune 500 company. I met some amazing people, and many have become dear friends. Back then, one of these beautiful souls asked me to take a “Special Interest” class with her at the local community college.
The subject was what I like to call “Goofy Shit”, or “Goofy Stuff” if you prefer. This class in particular, Roots of Consciousness, was one where the late Frank Baranowski was the facilitator. Frank was a renowned regression hypno-therapist and host of the talk radio show Mysteries Around Us. In class each week he brought a new speaker to the classroom. It might be a Numerologist one week, ghost hunters another. Each speaker was fascinating and one particular session had a deep emotional impact on me. It was the class where Frank introduced us to Robin Miller.
Robin Miller was a keyboard player and he brought a small electronic keyboard that he used to fill the room with beautiful music. What I remember, (true or not, hey, it’s my memory!) was that Robin had never taken a lesson and his music was inspired by angels. As if they were making the music and he was just the instrument. Kind of like automatic writing only with music.
I loved the music. It truly was angelic! I bought a CD right away and I couldn’t listen enough. It relaxed me and made me feel safe. I gifted one of Robin’s CDs to my psychic friend and masseuse so I could be lifted away when I got my monthly massage.
When I began teaching Zentangle classes in my studio, I started out using the flute music of Rick Roberts cofounder of Zentangle. I love it too. It was just not long enough for my entire class, so I added more music from my library and of course Robin Miller’s music was included in that playlist. I even bought a new CD with Robin’s latest music to add. My students love Robin’s music as much as I do and last year, I started using Robin’s music exclusively in my Zentangle classes.
Last year I also created a YouTube channel for Angel Whispers Art. I am posting videos of me drawing Zentangle patterns. I edit them to keep them short enough to watch, however, I don’t want to lose too much of the zen that can be had just by watching. The program I use to edit my videos has a very limited amount of music to add to a video, and I’ve pretty much used them all, at least all that are appropriate for my videos.
I went to Robin Miller’s website to see if there was a way for me to contact him and found a form to send an email. My message was to introduce myself and my business. I explained about the music and my videos and I asked if I could use his music in my videos. Angel Whispers Art is so small that I have nothing I can offer in exchange except to provide all credits for his music along with links to his website. My message must have been lost somewhere in internet land. I never heard back from Robin.
This past Fall my husband and I spent a week in Cottonwood Arizona. It is VERY near Sedona. I adore Sedona and take any chance I can to go there. Anyhoo, I know that Robin Miller lives in Sedona and performs there as well, and I had this idea that I might try and see him perform. If I could get up the courage, I might also ask him in person about using his music in my videos.
My dear husband Steve made a reservation at Sound Bites Grill, the restaurant where Robin was playing during our visit. When the time came, and we were in Cottonwood, the weather was not nice. We were really past the peak of Fall colors and it was raining and cold. A lot. I started to get nervous about talking to him. What if he didn’t want to let me use his music and that’s why I never heard back from him? What if my message did get lost and he says, “No.” if I ask? I was thinking that the weather was a good excuse to cancel our reservation and stay in. My husband was having none of it!
We were taking this little vaca to get away from the routine and spend some time planning for our businesses (Steve has his own business he’s trying to grow). We were doing just that. Planning and setting goals for 2020. Steve insisted that we go. And I realized that the worst thing that could happen was for Robin to say, “No.” If I didn’t ask, the answer was surely “No”. So, I put on my Big Girl Panties as they say, and I sat down and wrote a note to Robin on a card I got for this occasion. In the note, I explained my request, in case I didn’t have an opportunity to talk to him.
When we arrived, I asked the hostess to give him the card for me. We were seated near the stage where Robin was performing and as luck had it, he was finishing up a set. The hostess gave him my card and pointed to our table and Robin came over to welcome us. I was so nervous; my heart was racing! I was seriously starstruck!
With a crazy shaky voice, I introduced myself and I knew that this was my opportunity. So, I began to explain what was in the note. The instant I asked if I could use his music, without hesitation and without letting me finish my sentence, he said, “Yes!” What? He said, “Yes!”
This man, whose music I have loved from the start, and who I am starstruck by, said yes. Without even knowing me or my business. I went on to explain that I couldn’t really offer him anything other than full credits and links to his website. He said that was enough. I still was not sure I believed what had just happened.
After Robin’s break and before going back on stage, he stopped by our table and thanked me for what I wrote in the card. I’m smiling now just remembering the moment. We enjoyed our dinner, Robin’s music, and I left with several more of Robin’s CDs.
I believe I’m a pretty confident individual. And even I have my moments, times when I let the story in my head take over and grow into some monster. Before I know it, I’m afraid to take that step, talk to that person, whatever it is. Has this happened to you? I am not likely to be alone with this.
My experience with Robin Miller last November in Sedona, will serve to remind me that I don’t need to be afraid to ask for something. If you don’t ask, the answer is ALWAYS NO. What do we have to lose? Just a little footnote to the story; In the note I wrote for Robin, I told him it was OK to say no to my request. Once I wrote those words, it really became OK for me if he said no.
What have you been putting off because of the monster you’ve created with the story in your head? Share your story in the comments below, I know I’d like confirmation that I’m not the only one! And even if you’re not ready to share, I hope my story helps you find your courage to pursue something you dream about.
For anyone who missed it, I featured one of my videos in my last blog post. My very next video will include Robin Miller’s music. I’ll be posting it soon, I promise! Until then, you’ll find my YouTube Channel here.
If you’re looking to learn how to draw Zentangle patterns, and you learn by watching and doing, please take a look at my YouTube channel videos. If you do and you enjoy them, please subscribe to my channel!
To watch Marie Forleo’s Decade in Review series click here.
Frank Baranowski was a wonderful man. I was blessed to know him, and I remember the times in his classes with joy! Thank you, Frank! If you would like to learn more about Frank, I found an article that might be of interest. Find it here.
Robin Miller is an amazing soul with a heart of gold. We need more of that in this world! I cannot express enough gratitude for generously granting me his permission to use his music. Please explore his website and if you are so inspired to purchase a CD, I recommend “Dreams of Heaven”, however, they are all beautiful! You can find out more about Robin, where he’s performing, and purchase his music on his website: www.robinmillermusic.com. You will not be disappointed!
For more information on Zentangle and the Zentangle Method of Drawing go to www.zentangle.com
If you’re new to Zentangle or you’ve never taken a class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) I recommend you do! To find a CZT near you check out this link: Find A CZT