Hey, I’m Imperfect!

“Owning our story can be hard but nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that light.”  ~ pg. 6, location 258

This quote closes the introduction to Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection”.  This is a book I will reread time and time again. Often I am reminded of my imperfections, leaving me secretly wondering (in my heart)  if I am good enough while my head said that everyone makes mistakes.  Guess what:

Image by karin ramaker via Flickr

It is generally easy for me to forgive others for their imperfections and mistakes. It is generally more difficult for me to forgive myself. Admittedly, the self talk is generally something along the lines of “What will they think when they find out I goofed up?” Yup, shame is my buddy.

If you, too, have struggled with similar thoughts, I highly recommend reading this book along with following Brene’s blog: Ordinary Courage.

Lest you think I am down on myself, I’m not. Rather I know:

“…I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” pg. 1, location 174

Imperfect Beauty
Imperfect Beauty by ToniVC via Flickr

Keep Your Head Up!

Facial emotions.
Image via Wikipedia

Last week on the Music Sparks site I shared the need to “Weave Me the Sunshine”. I seem to have my emotional antenna up these days. First, I decided to purchase “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown, Ph.D. I’ve just started reading the book, but I am finding it a fascinating read. Vanessa Busch describes general premise of the book as:

“…above all other ingredients of living an emotionally healthy life is the importance of loving ourselves. In the grips of what she took to be a breakdown, or midlife crisis, Brown came to understand she was experiencing a “spiritual awakening” and worked to explore its significance and the interaction of knowing and understanding yourself and loving yourself. She intersperses her own personal journey with research and clinical observations of others of the work of living a “wholehearted” life, or “engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.” The point is to embrace life and oneself with all the imperfections, releasing the stress of overdoing and overworking. Brown offers exercises for readers to plumb their own emotions and begin to develop the kind of resilience needed to stand up to unrealistic expectations of others and ourselves.”

Be watching for future posts about my journey through this book.

Next, I heard a song this week that speaks to emotions while riding in the car with my teenage daughter. Take a listen.

Do you think it speaks to dealing with our emotions in a genuine way? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below,

7 Link Challenge – Musical Gems Version


My friend, Michelle Erfurt put out a challenge on Music Therapy Tween for a 7 link challenge. This seemed like a simple challenge. The questions only apply to the dates of August 2010 – July 2011. So here we go!

  1. Your first post of August 2010:  Music Connections – Learning This was a part of a series. It was taken from presentations I had done.
  2. A post you enjoyed writing the most: Celebrate National Kazoo Day   Is there anything more fun than a kazoo?
  3. A post which had a great discussion: Finding Your Tempo Giusto   This was a book inspired post. I love sharing my thoughts on my reading.
  4. A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written Three ideas for Musical Breaks  I wish this was a post on this blog. Rachelle is great a capturing thoughts.
  5. Your most helpful post: Help with a child’s goal Is there anything that makes you happier than helping a child meet a goal? For me there isn’t much.
  6. A post with a title that you are proud of: What are Your Six Songs?   Having a couple other blogs follow with related posts made me proud. It is a way for me to feel like I am meeting my goal of getting people to explore different facets of life.
  7. A post that you wish more people had read My Music Therapy Aha! Moment I want people to know how work, degree, employment grow out of things that bring joy to life. This is my story.

Now, it is your turn! Share your 7 links my blogging friends.

Launch Update

Yes, I was caught by my daughter in the act of reading “Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition” by Michael Stelzner. For a business book it is an easy, comfortable read.  The book is divided into roughly five sections. Each chapter has an intro, detailed information and closes with a summary.

The first chapter is looks at marketing and introduces the main principle of the book. The second section provides a foundation of a new business system plan. (Guess what, SMART goals apply to business as well as therapy and education!) Click here to continue reading.

Wading through a Jungle of Junk

Image by nuanc via Flickr

Part of creating Musical Gems, was my desire to share other aspects of my life that aren’t as wrapped in my business life. I know we are all like precious gems with different qualities and flaws. I know there are many aspects to our lives, just like well cut stones. Having shared my thyroid cancer journey, I thought it was time to take you on another journey of mine: office organization.

Papers, books, instruments, props, files are big issues for me. I have tried various methods over the years and can say without a doubt, my biggest issue is filing. I’ve read “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and “order from Chaos” by Liz Davenport. I need to get the filing done and make order from my chaos. Making myself find the time has been an issue.

Q: So why do I share this issue with you?

A: So I have encouragement and a feeling of obligation to someone with whom I don’t reside.

Q: What am I planning?

A: To finalize a system and stick with it for a year.

What I already know:

  • I tend to be a piler not a filer. So I need to pile during the day & file at a set time each day. I need to make it a “no excuse” habit.
  • I do better when things are clean and organized but when I am in creative process I need my piles of resources out physically around me. So, I have to find my balance.
  • I tend towards an “I might need that someday” attitude but have become much better at letting things go. As calendars are cyclical, I have to look at annual use not just monthly and daily use in making decisions on what to keep and toss.
  • As I age, I am learning more is good only to a point. And, as my business/professional life has become more defined I am able to have less need for diversity.
  • Currently, our office is in a bedroom which means some of my files are there and some are in my business corner elsewhere in the house. Because of how we chose to live in and use the space in our home all the papers and books won’t and can’t come to one room. So, I need to create a system that works for me and my family. The instruments and props will need to continue living outside the office.

So here’s the deal, I have a lot I want to get done this month. Over the next couple week, I’ll post my trials and triumphs. I ask you to post only supportive comments back to me. In return, I will honestly share my process with you.

Simple Pleasures

Cover of "Simple Pleasures of the Home: C...
Cover via Amazon

“The moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are free…”  (lyrics by Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown)

These lyrics make a profound statement.  Simple things can bring us joy.  Many of them cost little or nothing.  A wonderful resource for simple pleasures is “Simple Pleasures of the Home” by Susannah Seton.  (You may locate a copy of this book under “Fun Stuff to Buy” at the bottom of this page.) When I need a new idea to add to my repertoire, I often flip the pages of this book.   Here are a few of my winter  favorites:

  • Eating dinner by candle light.  (we also breakfast by candlelight on December 13th.)
  • Baking cookies with the family.
  • Making & eating smores.
  • Lighting a fire in the fireplace.
  • Playing in the snow with the dogs and my daughter.
  • Curling up with a blanket and cup of hot tea while reading a book.
  • Singing with friends or family.
  • Playing holiday music while decorating.

Pleasurable moments can help relieve stress.   So taking a little time with small pleasures can be important to your health.  You will notice there is a mixture of alone and group items on my pleasure list.  Fun with family & friends helps build relationships and builds on positive memories.

So why not bring some simple pleasure (and maybe some music) to your life?