Bye Bye Box

This summer I did a “reboot” for my brain.   My mind had been bombarded for years with poison darts and digs to my spirit. Since my brain has been boosted, I’m ready to embark on a sensory safari, prepare to launch, my long-lasting legacy – by offering my expertise in creativity, observation, insight, and idea implementation.

 

Many people fit in the box. Some people feel boxed-in.

A few people think outside-the-box.

I think about boxes. I build boxes. I certainly don’t “fit in” the box. Are you aware of my previous boxes? Did you notice my new business boxes?

What will I create as my future un-box?

Creative Coaching Company

Would you like to go outside your “inner-box” and discover the life you were designed to live?

  AsB

Big Bully Boys

“You’re always at work!” a hateful soon-to-be X said to me.  He attempted to imprison me in one of rooms in my home — the one that was set up as the new income producing “guest room.”  It was OK if he was on call 24/7.  I worked 7/24, but my work never received respect. If he built something – it was an engineering feat.  When I painted walls and wood, it made everything come to life.  What did I hear?  “You just painted it . . .”

So cunning (con-ing) it was for me to pay rent in my own home – to work there.   Slowly, steadily my income was drained as I deposited my salary the  “joint account.”    I inquired about work outside the businesses to get additional income so I could have money.  Nope. “Just work your business more.”  So I did.  I worked and worked — and built and nurtured more amazing businesses.

It was just a few months earlier he said, “Get a job!”  Then came “You can’t afford this place” followed by “You don’t want to share the profits.”  — and those were the less ugly comments. The abuser used sever bullying and fear tactics to destroy everything I built for over 20 years.

The next-door un-neighborly lawyer joined in the stalking and harassment every Sunday afternoon that fateful summer of 2011.  4.5 years later, the knot is not officially untied.  Starting over has been the biggest challenge in my life to point. Yet, I always remember how precious it is to be free from attack. Freedom is a crucial element for living.

Stop Bullying in Schools Bullying stops here.

Business Buzzards


The other day I was reminded of the unlikely product that showed up at a nearby gallery only one block down the street during 2010. It didn’t take long for them to add art classes — I had been offering those since 1994. But a pretzel?! I developed my own amazing pretzel recipe. I twisted my SofTwizts completely on my own. Have you ever heard of a gallery offering pretzels? Me neither. What unmittigated gall. That “downtown” gallery included Philly Pretzels within a couple months after snoop-scouting my studio coffeehouse. Whenever mARTi came up with another innovative idea, it was quickly included in another local (or gov’t funded library) business.


The latest stab in the back was the obvious buzzard business picking by the people who became replacements in my long-standing location. After perpetrated abuse resulted in the evacuation for my safety and employees/customers, I witnessed my brains being picked publically, perhaps with the aid of customers I advertised to obtain 😦
To add a twist of the knife of this knowledge, the location where the businesses I nurtured for over 2 decades — is back on the market within 1.5 years after my forced evacuation.

One of the advantages of an internet business is the sleuth-snooping will not directly impact my wallet and survival. When we speak of Cyber Space — that terminology gives me a bit of hope. I can create and help people around the world and my ideas are not as easily duplicated (except for downloading).

“Thin”spiration

Welcome to a new “creative” blog writer who is discovering her place in the “wireless” world. She fits well into my iCygnet blog. Dana is developing her designs. We can encourage her to keep pursuing creativity. You are always Good Enough — just the way you are.

Danadinomyte

anorexia-bulimia-treatments3-14-15-   One of the many things I love about blogging is being able to interact with people through comments. On several of my outfit of the day posts, I received comments from girls telling me that I was their “thinspiration”. I must admit, I had no idea what that meant. Of course I googled it, because I was too curious not to. The search results were surprising and slightly disturbing.

The Eating Disorder Glossary defines thinspiration as, “Any form of media, print, pictures, videos, etc. that are utilized in an unhealthy manner to promote continued weight loss.” Please listen to me as I’m telling you, I do NOT want to be your thinspiration. I am anorexic.

I was diagnosed with Anorexia in January this year during a week long hospital stay. I can honestly tell you that there is nothing glamorous about crying on the bathroom floor after…

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Cleat, Coach, Courtesy

At what point did we (they), as a society become so self-centered that children are no longer taught MANNERS!

Today was an example how the “ME” generation treats other people.    I walked into my local Starbucks and noticed that there was a long line waiting to be served.   I set my laptop down on a chair to “reserve” the little side table designated for one/two people.    As soon as I walked near the counter, in came a large group of girls in soccer outfits.

I decided to relinquish my place in line because I knew the Baristas would be inundated with non-stop drinks to craft — one at a time.   Shortly after cleaning off my table (helping the employees who make your drinks, clean the tables, mop the floor, sanitize the restrooms)  I noticed the entire area in front of the counter was getting piles of dirt clumps from their cleats.

The generation long past the 1980s may have been on their way to a game, yet there was NO understandable reason that the woman or man coach wouldn’t have mentioned to the group of 15 girls to kick the dirt off their sneakers before entering the drinking/eating/food establishment.  Forgetful?   Busy? OR how ’bout — inconsiderate!

Considering I was born in the generation when we still had respect for our parents, teachers, elders, aunts/uncles AND business establishments, I simply said in a kind way.   “Could you ladies step outside for a moment to kick off the dirt on your sneakers?”   The women coach said “It will be OK.”   I looked puzzled and said “but they are getting dirt all over the floor.” She continued to explain “We’re on our way to a game.”

Frappuccino – founded in 1993

The next thought came in my mind was Why didn’t they wait till AFTER the game to get drinks?   I was flabbergasted by the arrogance of this “role model (?!)   The “coach” just showed, by her words and actions that it did not matter if they walked into a private, open-to-the-public business, and drop dirt from one door to the next.    She showed her team that they were ENTITLED to their behaviors.  The male coach in a short time (I went to my table stunned by their discourtesy) commented “You better get used to it.”

REALLY?   I’m expected to get accustomed to arrogant, disrespectful children — Nope, not gonna happen, though I may need to look the other way — or leave — when I notice such disrespectful behavior in the future.

The topper-off was when the male “coach” turned to me attempting to make a point by saying “I guess you’re here for the Free wireless . . .”    Well that did it!     I looked him straight in his face and said “NO.  I bring my OWN wireless.”  The children were noticeably mocking the situation.    BUT, there was the last girl in line who actually appeared sincere, and said the cliché expression “Have A Nice Weekend (Day)” .   I said “Thank-you.”   That ONE child may be the only person on her team to carry consideration into the future.

What the world needs now — is not LOVE — that’s over exaggerated with the expressions of: I love pizza, cellphones, cats/dogs, Starbucks, ice cream, the NFL.

We miss you Emily Post.  What the world needs NOW — is MANNERS.

Boobies or Bullies

October is a month of crisp cool air for those of us living in the Northeast.  Although autumn involved two of the worst events in my life, the fall remains my favorite season.

BreastCancer      Breast Cancer   Breast Cancer

October is the month designated for observing and screening for cancer.  The color PINK is everywhere you look — ribbons, shirts, pins — hair and food. Boobies are easier to think about and discuss. We get images of nurturing a life of an infant to a sensual adult pleasure.  What’s not to like about boobs/breasts?  Fundraisers for awareness, screening and survivors receive wholehearted support — emotionally and financially.

The reports of school violence astound us.  Random shootings for revenge trouble us.  We have become aware of ministers, priests, teachers, coaches, counselors who have crossed the line of comfort to criminal.  It takes years for most abuse victims to step forward from the shadow of silence and confront the creeps.

October is also Domestic Violence awareness month.   But who wants to hear about Bullies? Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness.   The title — just makes us uncomfortable.  And, it should.

Most of the criminal acts are not seen on a surveillance camera that caught an NFL player who kicked and punched the person who loved and trusted him.   No. Most violence is of a coercive nature. It happens inside the victim’s home – where we are told to keep the offense behind closed lips and doors.  Consider the Stockholm Syndrome.  One of the multitude of strange lines the abuser said to me was “You talk to your mother too much.”   Here is a helpful link to know the signs.

circle-of-violence  Power-control-wheel-9-Clare-Murphy-PhD

The best decision I ever made in my life was getting out of a long-term abusive relationship. The worst part of my life occurred after making that decision.   “Classic Abuse” is what it is called —  impossible to know what is happening when you’re in the middle of it.
People asked “Why did you put up with it?” “Why didn’t you leave sooner?” In addition to corrupt court counsel, I experienced over 2 years of blame and bullying from “friends” and family members.  I never blamed them for not noticing, asking or mentioning what had ALL the signs of abuse (isolation, overworked, siphoned income, covert physical violence, stalking, and harassment).

The legal system continues today in the ongoing problem with abuse of power and control through delays, discounted facts and archaic language in documentation.

If you ask “How are you?” — try to pry or she (he) could die from the effect of avoiding the topic of bullying – a not yet full blown version of abuse.  I was a private person in a public position – operating nearly eight successful businesses by the time I had to evacuate my home/town.    We were all in it together — one abuser leading — the rest of us were left in shock from the result.

No More Silence. No More Violence.

NO more

Thank you to the people I’ve met in my transitional life’s journey.  Those who listened with kindness and no blame.  I’m still not completely free, but I’m doing fine and flourishing.

Persistence, Practice, Perseverance

Last month I moved into “middle age” (55). Or is that 40 — 30 — 20?   Who knows what middle age really is?   Doesn’t it depend on the total length of your life?   And who knows what age it is while we’re living it?

I owned and operated several businesses from age 21 – 52. The reactions and questions were not gender or age-blind.   Now that I’m an official “senior citizen”, I have a bit more stigma with my age and experience in the workplace.

I survived the standard social pressures of youth, but decided to make the most of my time to study and pursue a subsequent career by working days/evenings/weekends — my choice.  My dominant career mother and nurturing career father encouraged me. They provided what was necessary for me to learn the skills for my own career.   I had persistence. I practiced. I persevered.

At 55, I am about to embark on a new career.  Some folks lose jobs due to “downsizing”, “economy”, death of an owner, environmental disasters.   I’m starting over, not by choice, but by control and conduct perpetrated by one person and an antiquated legal system.

X vs XY Chromones

X vs XY Chromones

Men Mimic the Muse

Men Mimic the Muse

As a woman with incredible drive, I have more knowledge, stamina, experience than most youth.  I’m anticipating my new career to be an extension of  life experiences from many years developing concepts through creativity and consistent character.

Senior citizen means I’m at the top of my “game” without having to jump through hoops to get results.  Well, that’s what I’m counting on from this month on.

Solace in Sweets

Solace in Sweets

“Becoming a senior citizen should not be a time for sulking or melancholia. You are a survivor otherwise you wouldn’t be celebrating today. Survivors have lots of things to do and full lives in front of them yet. So take a weekend, a day or a few hours and just reflect on the good things that have filled your life to date and then start planning to enjoy tomorrow with joy and gratitude for the chance to be the best senior citizen ever” (source: My Thinking)

My Music Medicine

There were two comments made to me — about me — in the last year that I have been pleased to keep active in my memory:

1. “If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want to be there with you.”   I knew what my colleague meant by the statement.  She had witnessed my broken aura.  She knew I’d find a way, a solution and anyone in my close proximity would benefit from my instinctive, inventive, inspirational ways to survive.   Another person I told about the complement, totally missed the mark — replying that I’d play my oboe to keep happy.   That’s not at all what the comment was about.

2. When you play oboe, I see a white glow around you.  You bring life to the notes.  This comment was especially impressive.

The Auric Field – Aura is life. It is the energy that animates our physical body. The auric field exists in different layers sometimes referred to as harmonics because of the color fields they emit. Each layer of the auric field is a body just as real and alive as the physical body. Each layer is a mini world with its own sense of purpose. The magic of the auric field is in how these mini worlds intertwine and dance with one another. These layers interconnect with one another determining our experience with our physical reality.”

Treatment Tunes

Musical Resonance

Music Therapy

I currently perform with the Sunbury City Band.  It doesn’t provide income — most of us professional musicians can’t survive on our highly skilled craft.   But band is part of my “music therapy”  — priceless reward of camaraderie.

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

My next therapeutic session will be providing music for others during a Sunday at Six program at All Saints Episcopal Church of Selinsgrove.  Second Sunday at Six (10/13/2013).   My mother (Mariam) will accompany me with piano on four pieces. One selection will be for unaccompanied oboe.

The proposed program is a mix of traditional folk music, standard ballads (instrumental version) and film theme.  Hope to see you there — if you’re in this country or county.

Dreading Treading

Fitness_Equipment_Gym_Equipment__Commercial_Treadmill_RT-C008[1]

Tonight was a breakthrough in my process of discovering the “joy of fitness.” I was informed that in the early morning, by 6:30 am, the place is full — the fitness center . . . Who in their “right mind” would think of exercising that early in the morning. Oh actually — not any right-minded people — nope, only left-minded people. My first day at the fitness club was completely overwhelming and stimulating — sounds, bodies, TVs, machines everywhere.

The contraptions look daunting. I see an eerie similarity to a Medieval torture device. But no, these are modern engineered machinery to improve human condition and endurance. Go “figure.”

fitness_equipment[1]<
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And by the way, I have to take breaks often to build my brain muscle i.e. — writing a blogpost. Tonight was a new adventure for me. I was sensing a need to try something different and this week I visualized my plan. There it was right beneath me . . . as I tread lightly on the mill. I set the speed to low, held onto the side posts — and flipped around. That was it. My mind slipped into a form of euphoria. I was treading backwards!

Don’t think that’s an easy task for someone — particularly me — who can trip and fall on a flat, dry, non-moving service while not even walking!

Can’t say I’m adept with large motor skills, but this was a breakthrough. I hadn’t been that coordinated since the days of marching band. We were expected to march in tempo, hold an instrument, count, turn on cue — and even walk backwards.

Left - Right - Left - Right

 

Scramble Up Stress and Smile

Written by Christina Major*

There are some cultures that eat swans, and it’s considered a transformational experience. We don’t, at least I don’t.

SwanEggs

I do eat their cousins, chickens and turkeys. And their eggs. They are delicious and good for you.

TurkeyEggs

The science shows 1 egg a day, for most people, are healthy and can reduce cholesterol. They are filling and can help a diabetic control his or her sugar throughout the day.

images

Eggs can also relieve stress. Look at it; it’s sunny and yellow (or orange if you are getting the good, free range kind). The cholesterols in them help stimulate regular, low-level feel good chemicals. They are inherently warming for our system. While no study has been conducted on eggs and depression, I have noticed in my clients adding an egg always leads to feeling better.

SunnySideUpEgg

Here’s a great way to add an egg to your day: Scramble 1 egg with some peppers, mushrooms, spinach and onion. Add a small side of sweet potato home fries. If you set up the night before, it can take a small 10 minutes to cook breakfast. Now, you have a hot, filling and healthy breakfast to start your day right!

SmileyEgg

 

*Holistic Nutritionist & Naturopathic Doctor

As an owner of a thriving nutritional and lifestyle consulting business, Christina knows health is not just a condition, but a true state of being! Her clients are people who modern medicine has swept aside; not truly knowing what is causing their problems.  Christina spends the time with her clients to really learn who they are and what is causing their problems.

ChristinaMajor

Bookless Library, Artless Gallery, mp3 Opera House

539w[1]

Are we headed to pagless books, bookless libraries, computer classrooms, digital galleries, big screen dance stages, mp3 auditoriums? How do you think the future of the performing, visual artists and writers will change in the future?

iQ, mEq, uQ, eQ, WeQ

While working on my website and emails today, a tweet popped up about college students and getting grades for their emotional intelligence.
I clicked on the link and read through the artical.  I reminded me of the book published in 1998 called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Kindergarten

The question was whether college students should be given grades for emotional intelligence?    (the question)

Then I read a comment from a person who asked “give credit for breathing?”   That got me thinking — look out folks.   I’m back at it again, analyzing.   So, consider the fact that at age nine I started learning to play oboe.  My lungs not yet fully developed (that process is completed at age 12), and there I was holding an instrument in my hands in which I had to, ever so slowly, hold and control my breath.   hmmm, I think.  I became a professional oboist about 12 years later (getting paid to perform and/or teach).   Did I get “credit” for breathing or for controling my breath?   I sorta think so.   You can see my breath condensate (my science knowledge) on the inside of this oboe.  Does that makes my invisible breath real?

MarigauxPlexiglasss

At what point will we as humans, begin to accept that emotions ARE part of our existence.   They are as real (or unreal, sometimes) as our breath.  Emotions ARE real.  Ask the folks who lost a loved one in one of the countless, senseless shootings across this country and world.   What is the worst part of a death — not the loss of the body — but the loss of the spirit of the person, the personality, the air space the person occupied, the feelings that came WITH the person.   Emotions can not be replaced with things or money.   They ARE real.  They need to heal just as any other part of our body needs to heal after a “boo boo” or down right surgery.   Emotions are housed in our brains.

Subjective. Sure.  So is art, music, writing, reading, dance, sports, medicine, lanquage, science.  Lots of subjects are subjective.  What we need is a form of measurement like the mathmeticians have managed to get to work in their favor.   “It’s all about the numbers.”  — one of my very unfavorite comments in the last year.   There are SO many aspects of life that are “priceless” that have nothing to do with numbers.

iQ vs eQ (the difference)

Poder These:

iQ – intelligence quotient (answer)

eQ – emotional quotient (answer)

mEq – abbreviation for milliequivalent

hiQ – (answer)

uQ – university quotient — OK, this was odd

WeQ – wind erosion eQuation, worry emotionality questionaire, war event questionaire, work experience questionaire (check this out)

wiQ – Waring Intimacy Questionaire, Walking Impairment Questionaire, (huh?)

theyQ – alien emotions — just kiddin’ (or not?)

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream. (answer)

The Long and Winding Road

Winding-Road[1]
The path to peace is a long and winding road for survivors of violence.
There may be no guiderails. We get near the edge or end of the road often feeling discouraged.
But when we look around, we discover great beauty and comfort during our travel to wellness.

0_A_winding_road[1]

A problem that really exists – Media, Advertising, Family.
People believe and perpetuate what they see, read and hear.

Time to Heal
_____________
End the old
Begin the new
Reflect and hope
This is a safer year.
_____________
Meet new people
Find new places
Comfort and help
This is a better year.
_____________
Replace a memory
Discover a talent
Peace and laughter
This is a happier year.
_______________________________________
Transitions_Address_Logo[1]
_______________________________________
Songwriters: LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

_______________________________________

Fall2011 – Voices

Winter2012 – Voices

Summer2012 – Voices

Fall2012 – Voices

Wonders of Work

There is nothing in the world other than art and oboe that I enjoy participating in more than WORK.  There are so many benefits to working that go beyond a paycheck.

I started my first job at age 17 at McDonalds.  I was assigned to the grill and made burgers, fries, milkshakes, egg McMuffins.   I had to clean floors and empty trash in the seating area.  Unless I had a rehearsal or concert, I worked exclusively on weekends. I was glad for the work and money. I never had the attitude that the “job” was beneath me or not appropriate to my future career. (Best employee 11/10/2012 – Kara)

 

By the time I was in college, I started working part-time as a tutor.  I tutored Music 101 students — non-music majors who needed assistance understanding the difference between the sounds of instruments and certain composers music.    I was a conscientious student. Though I was an art major, the music professors recommended I tutor students who needed help with their class.   I found ways to relate the student’s area of study to music and enjoyed working in an area related to my degree — education.

Before I graduated from college, I was hired for an official art teaching position.   I taught drawing, design & graphics, 9th grade general art, jewelry, pottery, art appreciation.   I formuled ideas, assignments, graded, displayed, prepared supplies, disciplined.   No one needed to monitor me.  I was self-motivated to do the best job possible.   After two years of temporary positions, I divided a paper into columns to mark the pros and cons of the current job, but decided to take a full-time position that required me to move. I retained the connection with music colleagues after the move.

 

I planned to remain in the school system for at least 10 years. I stayed 11.5 years. The entrepreneurial spirit that I exhibited since selling pewter jewelry at age 16 needed to be nurtured. I was 32 when I “retired.” The adventure of working every day had just begun.  I never needed someone to coach or prod me to work. I began building an amazing business that developed into a marvelous merging of art, and music. The final addition was a coffeehouse. A restaurant was not in the picture as I was growing up — definitely not a dream. But what a joy the inclusion of coffeehouse was to my art studio. Sometimes, it barely seemed like “work” even though I was on call about 98 hours a week.

  

I loved all my jobs that were destroyed by a hostile spousal takeover.  My pay was nothing to brag about, but the connection to my family of art, music and coffeehouse friends was “priceless.”

50 Shades of Grey

humanae-project

Tonight I met the sister of a classmate from my High School.  I had the chance to let her know how much I admired her family for being the only black family to enroll in my small town school in the 1970s and ask what it was like for them.  We knew we received a very good public school education and acknowledged the respect we gave to teachers who were in charge of our education. We reminisced about the “old days” as they were — but mostly admitted how glad we were to move on in our life from High School.  Over 35 years later, this wonderfully educated women transcends the prejudices of society, towns and gender based systems that still exist regarding race and gender.

This is a re-blog from 2012 and seemed very appropriate to re-post after seeing

It’s interesting how much our country is shades of grey, yet our choice tomorrow is between “black and white.”

When I taught in public school in the 1980s – early 1990s, there was a principal in the school who saw everything black or white.  That always infuriated me — as I KNEW there were many shades of grey.  I’m generally tolerant of varieties — I’m an artist and musician.

Thank you Miss Clairol, I’m not yet ready to let my hair go completely grey.

This is one of many light to dark brown hair dye colors I will use till I decide to go “silver”

NaturalInstincts

Of course nature has its share of grey animals. Some furry, some scaley, some slimy, some leathery.

  

Sometimes birds are grey before their feathers change to either white, black or pink (flamingo)

 

Check out the baby panda who starts out pink and ends up white and black.

 

This is just a small sampling of grey paint colors:

With only a little research you can discover all the shades of human color — and I haven’t seen much black OR white:


This portrait project seeks to discover every possible human skin tone.

That’s quite a project!