All posts filed under: Influences

My Favorite Things – All That Jazz

In my next life I think I’ll be coming back as a jazz violist (and cartoonist, of course!)   I suppose I could dedicate myself to learning how to improvise on the viola in THIS lifetime; truth be told, by the time I’m finished with my music gigs for the day, I tend to want to “shelve the axe” and get on to other things (like creating silly illustrations and cartoons.) So to feed my love for jazz, I often end up resorting to just listening to it.  I’m a big fan of Stéphane Grappelli and Mark O’Connor and also recently came across this Gypsy Jazz Viola video that blew me away… How about you?  Do you like jazz?  Any artists or recordings I should check out? I’d love to expand my music library…

My Favorite Things – Recipes for Mindful Living

It’s actually that simple.  But if you’re like me and sometimes forget to do this most profound of mindfulness exercises, I recommend adding a few inspirational books to your mental “diet” as well. I loved, loved, (REALLY loved!) reading Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment by Ezra Bayda, and plan to reread it often.  I’ve also enjoyed listening to Ezra’s one hour talk on Love, Relationships and Spiritual Practice. The talk is conveniently divided up into four 15 minute segments – which makes it easier to absorb and process.  If you’re curious, take a look below: And these days I’m reading Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by Pemo Chodron.  Despite working to “wake up” quite a bit over the past year, I’ve discovered that old habits, thought patterns and fears still die hard, so a new perspective in how to tackle old issues is always welcome. Remember… “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” Pema Chodron

No One Is Thinking About You and Why That’s a Good Thing

Winston Churchill wisely said… “When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.” These words have only recently begun to truly resonate with me.  If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent a lifetime (well, in my case, 1/2 of lifetime, since I’m hoping to reach it to 90-something!) trying to… please  others -and – gain approval Which has caused you to… sweat the little things wonder how you compare – and – question whether you’re good enough Spending your energy wondering if you will measure up is a pretty terrible way to pass your days.  Not only will you spin your wheels needlessly (what IS good enough?), but you’ll probably eventually exhaust yourself and end up either depressed, or, in my case, quite anxious. Getting to the point of not caring what others think is a process that’s liberating in and of itself.  Figuring out how to do it certainly might …