Posts from the ‘Music’ Category

Living in the Now

Good Morning Beautifuls!!! It’s a rainy Tuesday morning here in Kansas, and it’s making some farmers (*cough cough..”dad”*) very antsy about having to wait again for the corn to dry out so harvest can begin. Then the non-stop slightly controlled chaos begins XD

This morning, I was thinking of my future (as you have gotten that is the main theme seemingly of this entire blog 😛 ) and I came across this quote (and yes…it’s from Star Wars):

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I was talking to my cousin for just a few short seconds, but it’s why I love him so much–because he can sum things up in a few seconds. But we were talking about our futures and stuff, and he told me that if he could go back in time, he would have walked out of his job because he was unhappy with it and found something he loved doing. Advice being: find something you love and take “risks” in your 20s, so in your 30s you’re doing what you love and can be happy with it.

Check, check! As we found out–that was what I needed to do this summer and what I decided to do with working toward building my music career, Beachbody coaching, and personal training career. These are things that make me happy and I enjoy doing them. But don’t get me wrong–there’s still stress there. For instance: there’s this crazy little piece of paper that seemingly controls our lives–yes, I mean money.

All these things I love doing require the greenbacks, the dough, the moolah: but as I learned at school–it will take more shelling out at the beginning before you see the “refund” later. But let’s be honest, that shelling out is hard to do. I mean, I’m 24, single, living in my parents house because I don’t have any cash to shell….it wears on a person, it wears on me. But why should I be anxious for the future. What will that get me? Nowhere. I’m an 8 on the Enneagram which means I like challenging and being in control–but I see that I can’t be in control if I really want to succeed. So I have to trust that the One I trust in has it all in control and that my future is what it is: yet to come.

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Yes, I’m shelling out money, but in the end I’m creating relationships and connecting with people I would have never even thought about contacting before. I’m helping people on a physical, mental, and soulful level–which is what I want. So what’s my point?

My point is that I’m taking everyone’s advice:

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And like the quote said above, “Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment.”

Live in the moment, be present. In our world today, we are delved into our technology (computers, phones, tablets), that we miss nature around us or meeting new people next to us. We miss out on experiences because we are afraid of the risks involved. Don’t be afraid!!! Take risks (smart ones!!!), live life, meet new people, go for walks with no music, connect with nature, take trips, travel to new places, try new things–LIVE!!! Be in the moment and the future will take care of itself.

I’m saying this to myself. Because I need to hear it. It will all work out and I’ll be fine. I’m smart with my spending habits and savings, so that way I can take trips, do things, and (yes) shell out money to the things I’m building.

So have a great Tuesday everyone!! And don’t forget–live in the moment today!!!!!

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Sorrow Will Turn to Joy

tumblr_n6o0k4ri9i1slbk1yo1_1280It’s time!! School starts today and it’s kind of exciting to see all the kiddos again!!! So far, they’ve been very excited about continuing their music lessons and grow in their musical skills–so I hope that continues.

Last time I spoke to you guys, I talked about the fear of success. Because of that post, I have taken steps, baby ones–but still steps, to getting my dreams off the ground and flying. Of course, there have been obstacles that have popped up, but that’s normal. After all, life can’t be that simple.

All summer, I searched and searched numerous jobs, and none of them turned out like I thought they would. I started getting disappointed and frustrated that, for another year, I would be stuck in my parent’s house trying to figure out what to do. It didn’t matter how many times I prayed, what my devotions said, the reassurance of family and friends–I felt discouraged and defeated. I had writers block on my music, couldn’t find any gigs, the jobs I thought were great weren’t, family issues arose, and life just seemed to be spiraling out of control. On the way back from KC after an interview, I was just sitting quietly driving. No radio–just me, the hundreds of people in their cars, the road, and God. I was feeling discouraged and I didn’t know why, when a sentence popped in my head. “Don’t be like the Israelites wanting a king.”

Woah. Wait. Hold the spiritual telephone please–don’t be like what? Initial wondering makes you think and wonder if you came up with that on your own, but in the moment I was in, it couldn’t have been. I really feel there was a point to it, and I needed to listen. Driving along I-29, I figured, “Lisa. If you’re going to be doing something for the next 5 years while you’re building your music career–don’t you want to do something you enjoy?” (Thus my problem with job searching, I can’t just do something to get by, I want to enjoy it :/ But is that a bad thing?)

So while this was all going on, a friend of mine (and my Beachbody coach)–had reached out to me and asked if I had ever thought about being a coach myself. My initial thought was, “yes, but I don’t have the money to do it, and I don’t know anyone that would be interested in Beachbody that would even make me remotely successful in running my own business, sssooooooo what’s the point?” Of course, I never said that out loud. (Until now 😛  )  Through the couple summer challenges I had been on with her, she just subtly hinted at me about it, but she didn’t push the issue. I could tell she wanted me too, but I think that’s where she understood me. Even though we’ve never met face-to-face, and have only known each other for what…a couple of months?….she understood that I needed time. Which I did.

There is a point to all this–I swear. 😛 And it goes along with the fear of success post! 😉 (Look at me tying everything together XD)

Anywho–going back to doing something you enjoy. I wrote a bit about my personal story and how I got started in weight loss and becoming healthy. Why it was important to me and sharing my journey with the world wide web. But I think I might have missed an important point–my point for everything I do–whether it’s writing music, performing it, working out, or teaching–I want to help people! I want to help young men and women (and more elderly men and women too) reach the potential that I know they’re capable of. This is why, I finally put my foot forward and signed up as a Beachbody coach myself.

Now you’re thinking, “Holy Hercules’ ghost–another one.” WAIT!! IT’S OKAY!!!! I’m not going to bombard you with sales pitch, ’cause like I said–I want to help people!! And that’s not the only reason I became a coach– I did it because I believe in the workouts and Shakeology. I’m also becoming a personal trainer, so I need to coach people!! Both online and face-to-face.

I’m still doing music–music is my passion and what I’m called to by God. I still believe that. I’m also still writing my novels because…well, because I like writing. I need creativity and creative jobs to survive. My brain has been wired for this and I feel the most at peace when I’m in these areas and doing them. So why not just add my athletic side to that? 😉

What drives you? What passions push you forward? Who do you know that pushes you to the next level? Because writing these randoms thoughts and letting you all know I’m a Beachbody coach–that’s terrifying to me. But it’s who I am and I can’t be scared of it. Just like I can’t be scared to follow my dreams: to do music, to write books, to be me. A teacher once said, “Do what you’re passionate about and follow it with all your heart. Because there’s enough people in the world who have settled–so be amazing!”

As classes started yesterday, I was excited for some reason. I woke up this morning and turned in my substitute teacher application in and was excited. I look at my agenda and have started planning things for my students, and I’m excited. I see what I’m going to be learning in my classes–and I’m excited. I have a few people who are already interested in what I’m doing as a coach and have asked to learn more–I’m excited. I got a logo made, business cards done, 2 songs almost completed, and have met connections in this area that want to help me grow my music–I’m excited!!

If you would had told me this summer, I would feel this way right now on August 16th, 2016–I would have laughed at you. But now–no–

I’m excited!

Fear of…Success

Well hello there world wide web! Long time no hear! It’s been a couple busy months since we last spoke, and lets face it…I’m terrible at remembering to write. Course, it would help knowing what I should write about 😛 (Writer’s block anyone?)

With all the graduations that had been happening, it made me kind of think about what I would say to a graduating class should I get the chance. And this thought came to mind: what if, what if it’s not the fear of failure that holds us back from following our dreams–but rather the fear of success?

The fear of success? Is that really a thing? Can someone actually fear success? But why would they? Isn’t success the one thing we strive for? So who knows if this is actually a thing, but I think that it is possible. And I think it’s actually the one thing that has probably unconsciously kept me from pursuing my dreams to pursue my career in music. So let me explain my thoughts:

The fear of failure is obvious. If you’re really curious, this is called Atychiphobia. The fear of failure just means the we are aware that we can mess up big and so we don’t push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. We don’t want to mess up. We don’t want to fail and have people look at us with that smug, “I told you so” look. It keeps us from following our dreams and achieving what we are possible. Curiously, I looked up the fear of success and I came up with this. It is a real thing as Atychiphobia, with the same symptoms and all but instead fear of success is labeled Achievemephobia (someone correct me–Google can lie sometimes). 😛

But the question returns–why would someone be afraid of success? Again I turn to my own life this past year. I dream, I have big dreams, big plans that I would like to see my life go. I would love to sing, write songs, and perform for a living. It’s my ultimate goal in life. As I have worked a part-time job teaching, and applied to many jobs that aren’t very ‘creative’, I’ve come to know–I was meant to perform. I was created to sing. Going through school, our teachers gave us the reality that trying to work in the music industry would be hard and a lot of ground work. Failure is eminent at many steps along the way. (Fear of failure established) So the question is, how will you react and you will get right back up and ride when you get bucked off.

So fear of success? (Ok, I’m not going to say that I’m going to be the next big hit on any country radio station…..though that would totally and extremely amazing) But subconsciously I think, what if I did become successful. Doesn’t even have to be music related, just successful in general. It could mean that success may pull me away from my family. (I’m very family-oriented and seriously, I love being around my family as much as I can). Especially since my grandpa just died, I know that I only have a bit of time left with my grandma’s…but does that mean that I’m sacrificing my dreams and life to hold on to that? Success may require me to move to one of the coasts (O_O) It could mean being placed into a spotlight where people don’t agree with me, I will be judged, I will have to make big business decisions, and I’ll be pulled away from my home church.

…………….but I have a gift. Something I want to share with the world. A gift that God has given me to use to His glory, and I also don’t want to waste that. I’m a farmer’s daughter, a Kansas princess, and yes–though success could possibly pull from what and who I love….it doesn’t mean that I’ll be gone forever. Good bye isn’t forever. It’s not good-bye, it’s just see ya later. Aloha Oe.

Following your dreams are scary. There is that risk factor. There will be moments of failure, but failure teaches us that there’s always another door to go through. I read this excerpt out of a book, and it really stuck with me.”The thing about fear is that you can’t just ignore it. You can’t pretend it isn’t there, jut out your chin and keep going, because one day, right at the worst possible moment, you’ll slip and fall, and that fear will come bursting out and leave you shaking and helpless. No, the thing with fear is that you have to embrace it. You have to know it like an enemy, you have to understand how it makes you think and feel, and how much it twists your mind and reason. Once you know all that, it can’t surprise you. It can’t control you–you control it.” ~Sally Malcom (Stargate SGA-01: Rising)

Where’s all this going. I have decided that I will take that quotes advice and I won’t let fear, either of failure or success, hold me back from the journey and path that God has placed ahead of me. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know it has to do with music, and it’s something I need to share with the world. Also keeping in mind what Tim McGraw says, “Hold the door, say please, say thank you. Don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t lie. I know you got mountains to climb, but always stay humble and kind. When those dreams you’re dreaming come to you, when the work you put in is realized. Let yourself feel the pride but, always stay humble and kind.”

Don’t fear failure, don’t fear success, know how they make you feel and you can control them. Be happy, live life, and be humble and kind.

 

 

Music Mondays: The American Legend

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

What up everyone?! Well hope that everyone had a great weekend. I did but didn’t. I mean, it’s going toward the end of the semester and because of this, it’s like every single teacher feels like Opra and decides, “FINAL PROJECTS FOR EVERYONE!!” Ok, so I might be a bit melodramatic on that last part, but for those college kids—isn’t it true? Well it’s Monday, which means it’s Music Monday. I hope that you have enjoyed these posts so far and that you’ve learned a bit more about Johnny Cash and what influenced him, and how he influenced the U.S., not just socially but politically. Of course, this is the last post on him, so it might be a bit shorter then the others. But as my dad always says, “life is like a roll of toilet paper. It’s a lot shorter and seems faster toward the end.” (Yeah…that’s my dad for ya). So on to Johnny!!

As I did research on him, I realized, like I said in my last post, that the impact Johnny had on the U.S. is kind of like an underground river. It’s there and it affects so much, yet no one can really see it. Oh, and I realized that I forgot to mention in my last post, that Johnny along with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson created a group called “the Highwaymen”. They made several albums in the ‘80s and ‘90s but it was in the ‘80s when country music started taking a decline as a genre. This was the same that could be said for Johnny. He felt that his label was ignoring him, and so (while fighting a lot of health problems), he dropped them, and then hired Rick Rubin out of American Records to help him make a new sound. Here he made my four favorite albums—the American albums: “American Recordings”, “Unchained”, “Solitary Man”, and “The Man Comes Around”.

The American Recordings

During this time, his health also started to decline. Between diabetes, Parkinson’s, and numerous respiratory ailments—he kept working, especially after June died from heart problems. He lost his soul mate, and this caused Johnny to become very depressed, so he turned to the one place he knew he would be okay—his studio. Here he stayed, recording new music before his own death on September 12th, 2003 at the age of 71. June and he left behind 7 children between the two of them.

True love even to death and beyond

In his whole career, he recorded over 1500 songs, including a cover of Trent Reznor’s “Hurt”, which became a staple and statement for Johnny Cash in his last days. (This song is probably one of my personal favorites.) I absolutely love it. It tells Johnny’s life in a beautiful way, even though he never used heroin. There’s just something about the song that reaches deep into your emotions and pulls you in. It’s beautiful).

Johnny was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was ranked #1 of the 40 greatest men in country music, sold over 90 million records and 45 albums, and he received numerous awards and honors between the CMA’s, Grammy’s, and MTV. He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6320 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. These are just a few examples that show how much he really has affected our culture.

According to an article I found by Richard Phillips, Johnny was a very contradicting person when it came to politics. He was friends with numerous politicians—both democrat AND republican. He believed in equality for everyone, but he didn’t let social issues pull him one way or the other. This is true for not only social issues but political sides as well. (He viewed each side accordingly. Shouldn’t that be how we all should act?) However, just like with Vietnam, he didn’t agree with our invasion of Iraq, and as Kris Kristofferson would say, “I think he’ll be remembered for the way he grew as a person and an artist. He went from being this guy who was as wild as Hank Williams to being almost as respected as one of the fathers of our country. He was friends with presidents and with Billy Graham. You felt like he should’ve had his face on Mount Rushmore.”

What more can be said. He was a respected man that helped start the 21st century. When people think country—they think of Johnny. Course, I’ve said this before in my previous posts as well. His LIFE was an impact on our culture. He showed America what it was like to live the “American Dream”. What it takes in order to reach dreams, to keep pushing no matter what odds are stacked against you. He showed us what it was like to find your soul mate, and what a successful life really looks like. To Christians, he is the prime example of the “prodigal son”, the one that left and then came back. I think all of us have a little Johnny inside us. A little “Cash” the monster and “Johnny” the saint. He gave the working class a voice, he came to us on our level, and didn’t look down at the working class—he considered himself the working class. This is the reason I decided to write about him for this creative project; because, Johnny is you, he’s me, he’s every American at some point in their lives. He showed us what it meant to walk the line.

The American Legend

Hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and look to Wednesday for Weight loss Wednesday. It’s been a battle but hey, I’m almost to my November goal!! 😀 So until then, this is the Farmer’s Daughter!

Work Cited

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-johnny-cash-20131031

http://tasteofcountry.com/johnny-cash-things/

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2003/10/obit-o02.html

http://www.biography.com/people/johnny-cash-9240610#final-years

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0143599/bio http://www.johnnycash.com/biography-8.html

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2003/10/obit-o02.html http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/johnny-cash/biography

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-artists-of-all-time-19691231/johnny-cash-20110420#ixzz3HqjooLyr

Music Mondays: The Man in Black (Continuation of my Creative Project)

“You’ve got a song you’re singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you’ve got to make them think that you’re one of them sitting out there with them too. They’ve got to be able to relate to what you’re doing.”

~Johnny Cash

 What up guys!!! It’s that time again, Music Monday with Johnny Cash! In post 2, I’m going to touch shortly on Johnny’s work with the U.S. Air Force, and then move on to his professional singing career. This will hopefully include some of the influence of his music during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

After graduating in 1950, Cash would move around for work until he joined the Air Force for a four-year enlistment. While in Texas for basic training, Johnny met his future wife Vivian and then he was sent to Germany with the 6910th Security Group. While there, he was a radio intercept operator where he picked up and translated Soviet radio transmissions. (So does that mean he was technically a spy?) The Air Force was also the place where he created his first band with some buddies, (called the Landsberg Barbarians), and it was also the place where he wrote ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. He was with the Air Force until 1954 and discharged at the rank of Sergeant. Once back in the states, he married Vivian and they moved to Memphis where Johnny worked as an appliance salesman while trying to get his music career started. (Maybe that’s why I like him so much. He’s a real life success story).

              Handsome devil ain’t he?

At this time, he teamed up with two of his older brother’s (Roy) friends: Marshall Grant and Luther Perkins. With the help of Marshall and Luther, they became Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two. With our recent discussion about the country genre, we discussed rockabilly—and these three were a big part of the rockabilly influence due to their blues/country/western sound. In ’55, Johnny, Marshall, and Luther went back to Sun Records in order to convince Phillips to allow them to cut a record. With his cry for new material and original songs, Johnny wrote “Hey Porter”, “Cry, Cry, Cry”, “So Doggone Lonesome”, and they recorded the every popular “Folsom Prison Blues”. However, Johnny and the Tennessee Two weren’t propelled into fame until the writing and releasing of Cash’s most famous song, “I Walk the Line” in 1956.

Johnny, Vivian, and their girls

Now here’s where everything started to go downhill for Johnny. After “I Walk the Line”, Johnny started using drugs and alcohol in order to help with the pressures that this new touring life brought him. He was doing almost 300 shows a year. Things started becoming more and more tense at home, as Vivian wanted Johnny home more, and then she had enough and filed for divorce in 1966. During this time, Johnny tried to take his life on multiple occasions. He was also a troublemaker of mass proportions. Cash and Company would do crazy stuff at hotels like: bringing 500 chickens into a hotel and letting 100 loose on each floor, flushing cherry bombs down the toilet, and even stabbing a replica of the Mona Lisa, because it, “didn’t reach his standards”. With a 9-year battle with drugs and alcohol, Johnny and Vivian were divorced and then he met June Carter. They toured together in 1967 and became best friends. With June and her family’s help, Johnny was able to kick his habit of drugs and alcohol, and in 1968—they were married and Johnny turned back to his Christian beliefs. (Aaaahhhh, best friends and soul-mates! It’s so CUTE!)

         Aren’t they just precious!?!?

As time went on, Johnny hosted the Johnny Cash Show. June wrote and Johnny sang their most famous song “Ring of Fire”. He was on movies, wrote music for TV, began to write books about his life, and in 1980, became the youngest member of the Country Music Association Hall of Fame.

This is just the main points of his life. I have read numerous autobiographies and biographies of his life, and he is just plain fascinating! In one of these books, I read that “I Walk the Line” could be taken in two different ways—and that Johnny probably sang them in both ways. One: a guy singing to his lady, and two: a guy singing to his Lord and Savior. Johnny’s influence was felt throughout America. It could be said that he was the voice of the country. The song, “Man in Black” is a political statement inside itself. He sang in prisons, went to Saigon, and sang for the troops. He never mentioned the Civil Rights movement or Vietnam—but his songs at that time held a rebellious tone to them. On singing in prisons, he stated, I kept thinking I could have been down there listening with the prisoners. Only been in jail twice, and just overnight, but you don’t need much to see what it’s like. Both times it was for pills, dexedrine. Second time I woke up in a Georgia jail not knowing how I got there. Could’ve ended up on a chain gang, but the jailer was a fan of mine and he let me go”.

            One of his mug shots

At some point or another, every good artist out there today has some sort of influence of Johnny Cash. He is like an underlying river that forever runs, even after his death. He’s the face of a man who reached the “American Dream”. He came from a lowly sharecropping family, became a famous musician, hit a low point and then came back to rise again. Johnny was a voice to the broken and the down-and-outs. He was the Man in Black.

Music Mondays: The Man in Black–The Early Years

After about three lessons the voice teacher said, “Don’t take voice lessons. Do it your way”.

So, I have to do a creative project about an artist that had a social or political (or both) influence on the U.S. I sat here for a while wondering who I could choose. I mean, there’s artists like Elvis, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, George Strait, The Beatles, and that’s just to name a few. I sat here playing and playing with whom I could pick and that’s when it hit me! Why not do one of my favorite artists of all time, the man in black himself–Johnny Cash! There’s a story about Johnny that not a lot of people know about. I mean, yes, they did make a movie about him, but there is so much more to the man and how much influence he had on America.

A man of many thoughts: the great Johnny Cash

For this creative project, we’re supposed to show the social and political influence, but make it fun and creative–hence the “creative project”. Since I like to blog, I figured I’d share my findings with you guys! It occurred to me, the best place to start is where all good stories start…the beginning. With that in mind, for this first post, I will be hitting Johnny’s early years.

A young John R. Cash

Johnny was born as John R. Cash on February 26th, 1932. He was one of the 7 kids that would be born to Ray and Carrie Cash in Kingsland, Arkansas. Ray and Carrie were 3rd and 4th generation Americans, but their ethnicity was of completely Scottish decent. Johnny grew up during World War II, and in the time of American prosperity, but even though America prospered—the Cash’s were relatively poor, and what some would consider “white trash”. Growing up, Johnny and his family farmed cotton and other crops on about 20 acres in Dyess Colony. As sharecroppers, they worked hard every day, and to escape from the hardship and troubles they seemed to have, the family turned to music. (Huh, sounds like my family 😛 ). Johnny’s life was surrounded by his mother’s folk songs and hymns; he also heard the working songs of the other sharecroppers.

The Cash Family (can you find Johnny?)

Being raised in Arkansas, he was surrounded by the sounds of rock, blues, country, and gospel; however, he was most influenced by gospel because of his mother. Carrie would sing to the family every night on a beat up guitar, and sensing that Johnny had a gift of music (he picked up a guitar at 12 years old) she pushed him in his musical endeavors. Carrie was also a devout Pentecostal and her faith helped solidify Johnny’s faith in God as well. His mother and gospel music were the two things that influenced his musical career. It influenced him so much that, when he first started looking for a record deal with Sun Records, he wanted to do a gospel music album. But Sun Records owner, Sam Phillips, didn’t like the idea and instantly nixed it. However, even though Phillips wouldn’t do a gospel album, Johnny mixed rock, blues, country, and gospel together to make his unique sound.

While researching for this assignment, I found an article that was done by Rolling Stone. It talked about 10 things that we might not have known about him. One thing was that Johnny apparently had to overcome bigotry. This surprised me, because I always knew that he was a HUGE advocator for the minorities, so finding out that he was involved with an incident with a black soldier and a white woman surprised me. However, when asked about it, Johnny replied that he blamed the bigotry on growing up in Arkansas—which makes sense with the time period that he grew up in. He told a friend that he, “never disliked blacks,” which is the Johnny Cash that I grew up with.

So this is part 1 of 3 of my posts on The Man in Black. I know some of this information is really easy to find online, but I hope that you loved reading it and you might have learned a little about Johnny’s early life. In post two, I’ll be talking about his musical career!!

This is the Farmer’s Daughter. Until next time ya’ll!!