This thought brought to you by nearly 12 years of hardship, trials and tribulations and a ton of goofing up along the way and figuring shit out the hard way. Think about this one for a hot minute. Our social support system is critical to determining whether or not we keep on pushing through with goals and aspirations or if we give up. Do you really want it? Do you like the idea of wanting it? I’ll use my experience as an example, please let me know if you can relate…

I have spent so much time in my own space, developing my craft, fighting to be heard, struggling – really struggling. Some people, often closest to me have told me to give up. Others call me stubborn, or even just plain stupid. It’s not like that to me. It’s not a choice. I would rather wonder where my paycheque was and continue to make positive impact in the lives of others than go work for some company and build their dream. I truly don’t know what I’d be doing if I was not a catalyst for lifestyle change in others’ lives.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about the next thing, the next way to inspire to the masses, another promotional strategy to communicate my message …the list goes on and on… it’s really quite a thing for me. My overactive mind still sometimes gets the best of me and I find myself reeling these extravagant thoughts and dreams of creativity and purpose in so that it’s fuel to the fire. But at times, it goes unnoticed. Actually, I feel like most often it goes unnoticed. That’s okay though, except for when it crosses a certain line. I am human and emotions do play a role.

More often than not, I’m the butt of most insensitive jokes. What’s batshit crazy about that, is that the jokes come from people you wouldn’t expect. Just little shots from those on the sidelines, not really sure what I’m doing behind the scenes and clearly not in tune with how the words they speak may affect others around them.

“Will you pay me in exposure.”

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This is a real example from a real person in my life. A person I would have in the past called a friend. Harmless or not, the demeaning nature of this comment temporarily derailed my train from the tracks of my greater purpose. It was like a callous shot in the arm. A sting from a wasp. Albeit temporary, I’m not going to die (thank the heavens I learned this past summer that I’m not allergic to stings!) it still hurts like hell.

Why?

Because it’s from the perspective of an individual closer to me (although now that could be argued) than a random person. A person that knows (some of) my story and has seen my growth, seen my shortcomings and been there on the path for some of it. They were not alongside me shoulder to shoulder, but ironically enough I met this person and had a positive impact on their lifestyle. Typical me, years ago we met and  I provided my professional services to incorporate wellness into a lifestyle darkened by poor nutrition, alcoholism and inactivity, stress and so on and so forth…. So the comment itself bamboozles me. And feel free to use that word when given the opportunity this week. It’s under-utilized. Anyway, I know my value and was miffed by the lack of discretion. I felt like calling them out with something like:

“Hello, we got on so well because we learned from each other in times of critical need. Now you want to dismiss the work that I do because of whatever insecurities or predisposed commentary you have about my business practices…”

I did throw fire back, unapologetically – as this wasn’t the first time this individual made the exact same discerning comment. I laughed it off the first time, something like 6 months ago… but once the knife is in and turned a couple times around it’s hard to not take things personally… you know?

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However, today as I look back on it, I have let that shit go. It was not a personal attack against me. Who knows what the people around us are going through. They could be just reacting and projecting a story they have in their head about you. And that brings me finally, to my main point. Ta da! See? Full circle…

The people we hold closest to us in our personal lives have a story they’ve built up about us. So no matter what you accomplish professionally, no matter how much experience you gain in your field, you’ll always be “sonny”, “baby brother” or “one of the boys”, “daddy’s girl” the “party girl” or “wild child” or whoever you were to them when they met you.

You’ll only become a prophet once you leave your hometown.

 


 

Now, for those of you wondering what the heck I was getting flack on Facebook about anyway, I actually made a calling for an IT/Web design tech savvy person to bounce some ideas and see what they would recommend for a project I’ve been working at for a while; my new online store. I am prepared to hire the right person as web design, though I can do it – is not a great use of my time. I’d prefer to have someone much more in love with it and proficient to get it done right and with the same kind of passion as I bring to my clients.

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This is what the comment above was in response to… the backstory is that in our industry trades of services and “promises of fame” often act in lieu of monetary compensation. So I felt that comment delegitimized my credibility and assumes I wouldn’t flat out hire someone to do the job. Not the case at all. Se la vie… 

Turns out for the time being anyway I don’t need to hire anyone on. I was able to figure things out and get the coding done DIY style so now all of you can check out the products and services I offer to musicians, via remote coaching, webinars and soon to be released, E-Programs.

That’s right, I’ve got a few introductory exercise workout programs and stretch techniques that I’ve built and can’t wait to release to help people conveniently take care of themselves at home with proper instruction!

For now, online coaching services and free weekly webinars – if you’re interested in checking it out, please head to the MusicFit Collective New Online Store at

—–> musicfit.yondo.com

The first webinar is set to help explain what kind of exercises are best for you in The Musician’s Guide To Working Out and I’d love to see you there.

Until next time,

Namaste sweet!

M

 

Featured image by Joshua Alfaro on Unsplash

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“I dunno.”

The only words to escape my empty mind at the time. Fast forward to a couple nights ago. Similar in approach to a tee.

“I dunno.”

See, human beings are fascinating creatures. Oftentimes we tend to think about all the things at the end of the road. Meanwhile, we have missed the beauty of the turns, the hills and the coastal view all along the way.

It’s right in front of you.

But only when you’re ready will your eyes clear the fog and let you see for yourself.

And that’s okay.

We’ve got all the time in the world. It just likes to chase us.

Thanks for listening, namaste sweet.

Goodnight. 😚

-ms

What the eff is up with New Years?

Too often I find that people can’t wait until the New Year to make changes. Be it, lifestyle – you know? Diet and exercise… “I’m going to work out!”… -cough, cough-

Or maybe they’re going to start a new ambition such as learning a new language or reading more or simply just devoting more of their time to friends. Whatever it is, I struggle to understand why the heck they need to wait for an arbitrary day in the calendar year to make the switch.

I am here to make one thing very, very clear.

Why wait to do what you can today, tomorrow?

People simply can’t wait for tomorrow, the new moon, next week, Friday…etc etc… and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m certainly not saying I’m removed from it. I was that too, guilty as charged. However, over the course of some deep soul searching this season, reflective of my past two or three years, some friendships gained and strengthened, others completely written off, a thriving career in sport ripped away from me, forcing me into a ton of debt and sub-par living situations my health and my dog and a broken marriage and life that was completely flipped on its head – all these things due to events and circumstances out of my control. What have I learned? Well, even though things happen in life that may be completely out of your control, you’re in complete control of how you react to those situations. That mindset has been a game changer for me.

What’s this got to do with New Years? Well, if you’re still stuck on the “resolution” bus pay close attention. I have news – if you’re waiting for the new year, simply another day, an external force to help change your outcome, you’re being trolled along in the human condition.

Don’t fear failure… it’s only experience.

Set your own expectations each and every day. Build upon positive daily habits. Identify areas of weakness for you, address them, recognize them, but don’t focus energy on shit you’re no good at.Try hard at everything you do and don’t worry about missing the mark. Mistakes happen. Treat each one of them as a lesson, an area to learn and grow from. I believe that if you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough. Don’t fear being wrong. It’s okay. Basically nothing in life except driving into oncoming traffic is irreversible. And, whether you admit it or not, 9 times out of 10 you have a choice. Even when you think you don’t… you do. As my pops told me when I started playing some serious stick-puck, “don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. That’s something I live by.

Be active, eat well and keep your head straight. Without all three in top performance you are not at your true maximum capability. And even then… you probably aren’t. That’s okay, because lifestyle is about progress. It’s not all about perfection.

While my holidays have been a rather difficult time, managing the past and doing my absolute best to quell the depression and maintain some sense of inner peace, I have got one thing to be incredibly thankful for: my health. Without an able body I wouldn’t had the ability to help my friends move. Without proper fuel in the machine I wouldn’t be able to get up with energy to think of ways to afford life and drive forward though all the adversity, and without time to myself each morning and evening I wouldn’t have had the strength in my mind to persist. It’s amazing to have a few close friends and family stick by my side, many people don’t know what it’s like to battle mental illness and hell, often times we don’t even know we are waging that war ourselves! I’m happy to say I’ve conquered it, but little bits this time of year seep back in like when a shitty ex-girlfriend’s CD she lent you 4 years ago pops up on shuffle just when you were over it… that’s basically where I’m at right now.

-spoiler alert, cryptic spoiler alert…-

Sure, I might have to sacrifice a little in order to help grow an empire behind the scenes, but I figure that’s a small price to pay short-term in the long-term game of life. There’s always a choice and I’m choosing to do things the right way in order to be able to come back to my goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Takeaway – keep your health as your priority. At the end of the day, it’s the only thing you’re taking with you when you leave this place so make sure it’s a finely tuned machine. Sure, I have a ton of cool things that are happening in the upcoming few months, but they wouldn’t have been there had I told myself “Tomorrow”. I was proactive. I encourage you to be proactive too and toss the resolution mantra aside in favour of just building on what you’ve got and progressing daily. One step at a time. So, hi 2017 – you’re nothing special. You’re another day. I’m still going to work just as hard each and every day, and you’re not the reason I’m going to be successful. I am.

On that note. I want to take my puppy, Darwin for a walk. We stayed in ate pizza and a beer and watched the Flames for New Years. Today we walk and hang out. He’s my bud. Do what you love and love what you do. Puppies are great examples…

Make today your absolute best! Become a better human, TODAY!

K, sweet, good chat.

SCHWARTZ

There once was this young boy. Wavy long hair covering equally his ears and sometimes his green, happy eyes flowing under the slight breeze of his Flames ball cap – a hopeful innocence clear from miles away. Every morning, with his backpack slung around both shoulders, he would wander off, balance-beaming the railway ties that lined the long, gravel driveway and make his way to the giant poplar tree in his family’s front yard before the school bus picked him up. 

He looked up and down the bark of the giant poplar, amazed at the theatre of life held right in front of him. Ants, spiders, birds, bugs, beetles, everything! But he always looked past the other creatures and marvelled over one particular caterpillar that hid behind her own shadow on a big poplar leaf. This was his beautiful caterpillar. She didn’t know how beautiful should would one day become. But the boy knew.

Every morning once the boy found his beautiful caterpillar, he would whisper quietly the same thing; “Go on, beautiful. You can do it!”

But day after day, week after week, the boy found his beautiful caterpillar on the same big leaf, eyes closed, hiding behind her own shadow. She really didn’t know how to do it. She heard the boy. But she didn’t know how. She wanted to. But she just couldn’t do it. 

Then one morning, a light rain drizzled the giant poplar and the canvas that was the young boy’s fascination. The young boy approached the tree as he always did, but to his dismay none of the bugs or birds or creatures were frolicking about the bark like usual. Except for his beautiful caterpillar. She was thriving in the rain. Thriving in the conditions where all the other bugs and birds and creatures hid. This was her moment. 

The young boy then watched as his beautiful caterpillar flung herself from the edge of the big leaf, spiralling down towards the ground but at the same time wrapping herself up in a beautiful silk blanket. She carefully covered herself in a mighty layer of love and hope and hung upside down from the big leaf. Waiting. Thinking. Dreaming. 

Days went by. The rains died down and the boy continued his ritual. It was early in spring and his beautiful caterpillar was just finding herself in her new, silk home. He trusted she’d find her way. He knew she would one day appear on that big leaf more beautiful than ever after she found what she needed inside her new, silk home. 

Sure enough, one Thursday morning the young boy ventured to the giant poplar to see his beautiful caterpillar. He searched high, he searched low. But each branch of the giant poplar provided no clues to where his beautiful caterpillar was. He though to himself, “Could today be the day?”

Nervous with excitement, the young boy decided to give up looking for his beautiful caterpillar for that morning. His school bus was headed towards the end of his long, gravel driveway anyways. 

But just as he skipped across the front yard, he felt a blast of fresh spring time air flow past his face. He looked down to his shoulder and immediately let out a gasp of excitement! There was his beautiful caterpillar, now an even more beautiful butterfly resting  her wings as to say “Thank you!” before dancing east across the sky towards the clouds and faraway lands. She did it. The rains couldn’t stop her. 

The young boy was very happy for his beautiful butterfly. She found her soul, and now she could dance and fly and dare to dream. It was bittersweet however, “what if she finds a new home?” the young boy thought. 

Weeks went by. Every day the young boy checked the giant poplar, the big leaf, nothing yet. “One day she’ll be back.” he thought. 

It was now early fall. Leaves started to turn colour from the once vibrant green to a fiery red, brown, yellow – camouflage to the sunrise that was now getting later into the prairie morning. Still, the boy noticed a shimmer in the distance in his walk over to the giant poplar. 

Feeling full of anticipation, joy and glee the young boy hurried over and beamed a smile so wide the Grand Canyon would be jealous when he realized his dream had come true. His beautiful butterfly was back from her journey, dancing across the skies and back to the big leaf he had called home. Resting her beautiful wings as if to say “thank you!” before gracefully landing on the young boy’s outstretched, calming fingertips. The young boy then cleared his throat and wiped the single tear of happiness from his cheek and softly whispered, “I knew you would do it, beautiful.”

Okay, let’s face it. I’ve been a little dreary of late. I’m able to admit it. Huge life events cause that reaction oftentimes. However, life has shown me the silver lining and I’d like to chat a bit about another passion: fitness and the need to stay on top of that over the holidays!

We all love the treats of the holiday months. Be it the eggnog lattes, the gingerbread cookies or the tasty, hot chocolate… But if gone without reason, things can add up. When things add up we tend to see the sweatpants make the appearances rather than the fitted skinny’s.
Here are three pro tips to help get you past those holiday urges!

1. Moderate cheat meals each week!
That’s right! Allow for yourself or your family to splurge on the dessert, go crazy on the whipped cream on the latte or just plain old Friday night pizza night. I’m a big believer in moderation when it comes to nutrition. So treat yourself once a week if your Monday to Friday daily habits are on par. You’ll be less stressed, well rounded and more tolerable to be around if you can kick back and enjoy a nice glass of eggnog!

2. Run a mile every day!
Yup! Balanced with your regular 4-5x / week of resistance, stretching and cardio programming, adding a mile run will help to keep the excess chocolate off the waistline. Just move. It doesn’t have to be a run. It can be speed walking, rowing, cycling. Anything. Just move!

3. Goal set a tangible goal!
It’s hard to manage what you fail to track.. So maybe set something like buying a new pair of pants a size or two smaller for that New Years party…. Or working your way up to crushing a 500m sprint on the rower sub 1:50……Or maybe just getting those abs back, legs in tune and knee rehabbed for that much anticipated coffee date or welcome home ski trip catch up 😉 – something, anything – to keep the fire lit under your keister.

If you can see through one of these little tips I will bet that you have greater success coming out of the holidays not feeling like a fat kid in a candy shop. You’ll be better able to curb your temptations and feel self accountable! What a great way to start the new year off!
Giver a go!!