Tag Archives: musings

Diva flashback to the Mozart Alleluia

So, I am working on some projects from home and one of them has to do with using video for things like web conferences, one-on-one’s and such that thanks to the magic of the internet, we no longer have to drive anywhere to “meet” with clients. Part of what I needed to do was to look back at my old YouTube channel that was started way back in 2008 or 2009 when this blog started and carefully examine it for modern things like metadata, descriptions and keywords.

At the time I did the videos, they were for the purpose of teaching my choirs and musicians songs through demonstration, and putting them up on a quick video meant the person could practice as much as they wanted at home during the week. If this is your first day with me, I’ll cut you slack on not knowing this unshakeable pillar of my music as ministry philosophy:

Thou shalt not sight-read for Jesus on Sunday, but shall prepare thyself first privately and then with thy fellow music team members before leading worship in community.

Ten years ago, I was also using Windows XP and the original MovieMaker (best software ever) that Microsoft discontinued. The jerks. Still not happy about that which is why when my Windows 7 laptop fritzed this spring, I finally bailed on PC and made the switch to a Mac mini. Now, I am learning to use iMovie to edit video. In the meantime, I use my little iPhone 4S with no editing. Hey, it still works, okay? Don’t judge.

In other words, I wasn’t on the YT channel to listen to my songs and stuff; I was supposed to be examining it for the upcoming overhaul to make it search engine friendly, something it desperately needs. It’s bad. So before I can take the next step in what I am working on, I need to get my SEO ducks in a row on an existing channel. The good part of that is that I can then see if the metrics change substantially or not to know if I’m doing it right. Back to the digression.

Of course, one cannot help but hear oneself singing in one’s own videos running on the screen while trying to figure out how I need to completely change out every single one of the 80 plus video descriptions. Both the bad descriptions and my caterwauling were painful.

A few of the videos made me laugh more than cringe at my squeaks and bad hair due to the purpose I recorded them. This one is the Alleluia from Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, a coloratura favourite for its zippy scales and high notes. A young friend was trying to learn the song so she asked me to make her a video. No make up. No fancy clothes. Accompanying myself (shouldn’t do that, especially for a classical song).

Hope ya’ll get a kick out of this 10-year-old, no frills Diva flashback 😉

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Release old emotions

Why do we hold onto emotional baggage?

Something triggered a bad experience memory over the weekend, and threw me for a loop. Literally knocked the energy out of me like I got sucker punched a second time around. I realized the original experience was met full on with my anger, which fueled a lot of positive things at the time after chemo, but one emotion I did not let run its gamut at the time was grief.

The other day, I finally went through the expulsion of that emotion over the original event as well as in empathy for the person I saw go through the same thing this week. After not “stuffing it” back down but just letting it flow out, I was tired and napped for two hours.

When I woke up, I was groggy but felt so much better. The next day, I woke up feeling like such a weight was off my shoulders due to the emotional closure I finally allowed myself to process.

If I could tell my younger self one key life hack to keep myself sane through tough times, it would be not to stifle emotions about bad things as you live through them.

Sure, maybe at the precise moment in time, you are required to maintain full control, but I’m talking about soon afterward when you have alone time. Let it all out and don’t tell yourself you “shouldn’t feel that way.”

You are human and you have emotions.

Emotions are not rational, so stop trying to rationalize them away.

Let it out!

Let it out! 

Primal scream, cry like a little kid, dwell in the emotion and ACKNOWLEDGE it.

Don’t throw a pity party in Victimville or plan revenge on anyone, just admit you were not cool with the matter nor the people involved and that you realize you’ve been holding onto resentment and any other named negative emotions holding you back from your life being fully amazing in the now.

Let it have its say however it expresses itself.

Then release it and let it go out of your energy field.

Pretending crap didn’t happen to you will always come out eventually down the road, most likely when a stress moment brings it out.

Seriously. It’s gonna come out.

Do you want that happening when you’re in control of the setting to expunge it from your energy record, or do you want to risk it coming out in ways that affect your personal and professional relationships?

Crap happens. So does joy. Why is it acceptable to be super happy but not acceptable to cry when you’re an adult? Why make yourself miserable repressing emotions you don’t like?

Be human and feel what you feel so you can move on.

Not only do I feel amazing and energetic today, I woke up this morning full of joy and confidence knowing I purged an inhibiting emotion that spent a long time weighing me down. My whole energy field feels better.

Ah, wisdom of years.

(Photo credit: Pixabay.com. Image by Alexas_Fotos  from Pixabay.)

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Old dog, new tricks

One of the focuses on the Business Communications class was doing oral presentations incorporating media and technology. In today’s world of business, there are some great video conferencing softwares available that 20 years weren’t even imagined. Some take this for granted, but those old dogs like myself learning new tricks appreciate how far along technology has come in communicating. Take a look at how YouTube has evolved from an artistic creative studio to a full-blown platform for soap boxing anything you are passionate about. Of course, sometimes the best video software available can be a toe stubber when you need to upload the aforementioned carefully crafted and edited video to your course DropBox only to discover that the file size exceeds the 15MB limit allowed. Alas, sometimes the Golden Oldies can’t be beat for practicality and universal application!

I am an old dog at public speaking in front of a room so I tend to go about it on autopilot, but upon reflection, I realize I do have a strategy for preparing them. My No. 1 tip to anyone is to prepare and plan and practice well before you need to actually give your presentation.

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What empathy is NOT

Another Communications discussion had to do with emotional intelligence and how it relates to communicating in a workplace, especially with those whose communication style and personality are much difference from your own. Communicate is what I do for a living, and my “in the trenches” viewpoint about all the platitudes and abbreviated lists floating out there of “shoulds” was different than any of the other students. What empathy is and what it is not is something that if you do not understand, you will create chaos in your life about nonsense that has nothing at all to do with you. Bottom line: you cannot “fix” anybody else.

Interestingly, most of the articles I found on my search as well as over the years all seem written from the perspective that people are not self-aware in general to truly know their own behaviors, thoughts and emotions and therefore lack the ability to be aware of those things in others. Kendra Cherry’s 2018 article on Very Well Mind cited and was based upon a 2011 American Psychology Association study, and she pulled from it five typical things we read in such self-improvement articles: increase self-awareness, practice self-regulation, improve your social skills, become more empathetic, and work on your own intrinsic motivation.

I agree with the need for self-knowledge and monitoring as it strongly assists in retaining anything else learned. It is a good practice to spend time contemplating what your goals are and what motivates you. It is also good practice not to be rude to others, to listen when others are speaking, and to behave at all times so as not to inflict one’s own drama upon others nor run with scissors causing chaos.

After years in ministry where people confide all manner of emotional traumas to me and I get the opportunity to talk them down off the ceiling, I consider myself to be a competent operator if not somewhat of a practical expert on empathy and what it is and what it is not. If I had not long ago learned the difference between being “caring” and being “empathetic,” I might be in the asylum by now. Continue reading

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ISTJ Poster Child

One of the Communications assignments was to go through the Myers-Briggs Personality Type testing and then create a discussion post about your own communication preferences. I do know myself well enough to laugh at my own quirks and feel everyone should have at least some level of self-awareness in order to curb the reactive-monkey behaviors running rampant in the world today. Just saying.

I think I am the ISTJ poster child: OCD in my need to be thorough and organized before jumping to a conclusion too soon. I used to be very Sammie Safety, can’t be too careful, but I’ve mellowed in my old age and laugh at myself when the old impulse kicks in. My mother tells the story that when I was 10 months old and began walking, I tripped and fell down, got an owwie, and then spent the next few months crawling until I apparently felt it was safe to try walking again. Obviously, cautiousness is something my package came with. Continue reading

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How to Play Well With Others, aka Constructive Disagreement

So, now that my brain is able to relax a little after a whirlwind year of coursework, I’m looking through the various discussions and essays from my file. Most of the ones from my Business Communication course tied directly to the ministry work I’ve done and my perspective is therefore often different from most people’s. This past year was the first time I needed to use APA style instead of the MLA I had been used to.

Way back in the mid-1980s when I got my first job in a law firm, I found the concept of “argument” to be one I very well relate. Since I began writing in middle school, most of the work I have drafted was to persuade or convince the reader to adopt a certain viewpoint based upon the supporting ideas I presented. A legal argument presented by an attorney in a court of law is also an attempt to persuade a judge or jury to incline toward a certain leaning or understanding based upon the presented facts and evidence as well as supporting rules, regulations and laws, taking into account any extraordinary or extenuating circumstances. As a seasoned volunteer manager thirty years later, I can say that understanding how to persuade without “arguing” is something many people simply have not learned to do. Continue reading

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Getting ready for 2019

So I discovered the awesome graphic playground site known as Canva this past week and am loving it so far. Love even more that it’s free.

Changed a couple of things ya’ll may notice, including the banner or header graphic up top on this blog as well as on my other site, Big Black Dog Studio‘s Facebook page as well. I like how the graphics came out. Continue reading

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