…mean you see the stars the most.” – K.Flay

K.Flay is pure magic.

Let’s start with her show. From the controlled chaos in the live performance of “Black Wave” to the introspective and hope-filled lyrics of “Dreamers”, this ‘Frisco native was a late bloomer to her now quite obvious calling. The first time I saw her perform was in the summer of 2017 as an opening act for my favourites, Mother Mother. After the first 30 seconds of her opening song, I knew this was going to be a superstar. Mother Mother had their work cut out for them, that’s for sure…

She lit it up.

Huge highlight for me from that show was her impeccable lyricist ability and unreal flow. Her a Capella, free form rap, mixed in with edge electronica-fused alt rock was just something I’d never heard before. Stand out.

Diving in a little deeper, her story is quite impressive.

I want to look at a line in her opening track “Dreamers” off of her 2017 release Everywhere is Some Where

Dreamersimg_3311

I came to in a cold sweat with a nosebleed feeling hopeless
Thought I maybe might be dead til I got my pen sat down and wrote this 

Suddenly I felt fine inside a mind so full of ghosts
The darkest nights mean you see the stars the most

The endless hope in this line is the motivation for me to keep pushing. What’s it mean to you?

It’s Bell’s “Let’s Talk” Day here in Canada today. For every text, share and like on social media Bell donates a nickel to help the Canadian Mental Health Association bring awareness to something that affects the majority of us. Yet, we’re still blinded by a stigma that cripples lives. Join me in spreading the love, saying “what’s up” to someone today and asking how they are from a genuine place. If you suspect some one is dealing with mental health issues, don’t stand by. There are plenty of resources out there to help get people well. Mind and body.

Check out my friend, and former bandmate, Joel Porayko’s project video on bringing an end to the stigma. Big thanks to all of you put yourselves out there. My MusicFit crew, my RMH crew, your support is endless and I am forever grateful.

Contact any of these providers if you or someone you know is battling with mental illness. Together we can bring an end to the stigma. Get well. Stay well.

My Top Three Picks For Mental Health Wellness Counselling and Awareness

CMHA (Calgary) (local assistance programs, links and counselling)

Unison Benevolent Fund (national assistance program for musicians and industry)

Elephant Artist Relief (local artist relief organization, they also have a whole directory of related organizations in the US and Canada)

Until next time, namaste sweet. And open up that conversation…

M

 

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It starts with the letters.

I have been doing a program known as Procabulary, and at the very least I would strongly encourage you to go check it out www.procabulary.org

My relationship with myself has grown exponentially since starting the program and I can now attribute a much more decisive, accountable self with much stronger communication skills to the core language upgrade.

Something I’d like to pass along for this week’s Sunday Morning Coffee is how our words affect our time management situations. If you’re habitually late, this one’s for you.

 

Consider this.

When you are making plans with friends, talking to your employer about your shift or simply just planning on being somewhere at a certain time, how do you communicate it?

Do you say something to the effect of “I should be there around 5-5:30”?

Or do you say I will be there by 5:30.

It’s saying the same thing essentially, but the message in your head is very different.

 

In a nutshell, what I’m saying is give yourself the best opportunity to remain accountable to yourself and others around you. Make concrete language known as “solid talk” a habitual part of your language. Make wishy-washy or “soft talk” language a thing of the past.

 

Watch what happens to your punctuality.

Thanks for reading.

 

Take action. I don’t care if the path you’re going down leads to another fork in the road. Worry about that when you get there. If you’re thinking about whether or not you’ll need bug spray, you’ll never take that first step.

So this week I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn, going out for a walk with Darwin, or a nice bike ride first thing just to get some movement in. It’s the “me” time I like before I get set on the tasks of work and settle into productivity. I find this stimulates my mind and my body and allows me to really lean in on all of my activities and interactions through out the rest of the day. Well, Tuesday morning rolls around… it was a walk day with Dar and I was up out of bed, to quickly down a glass of lemon water and start out on a quest to the big off-leash park, a playground for my super excited Golden Sheptriever pup… all before 6:15. (yes, that’s a hybrid super dog mix – Golden Retriever – German Sheppard)

We start out down the back alley and turn east towards the beautiful Calgary sunrise, seeing all those commuters stuck on the early rush hour mess that is Deerfoot, day in day out. Not too long after I let Dar run wild with his homies, leashless – I feel a sharp little stab in my ankle. Shit! I think. I forgot the bug spray. Long grass. Bit of rain last night. Perfect breeding ground for a bunch of those nasty prairies “skeeters’ to feast on the unsuspecting morning walk-n-podcast types such as myself. Meanwhile, Dar is off chasing a bunny that’s the size of a small kangaroo…

Needless to say, it was a less-than-awesome and abbreviated walk, however on the plus side, I got my heart rate up a lot higher as my pace was reminiscent of those power walking women you tend to see at most community centre running tracks… so go me! Dar didn’t care. He met some doggo-friends and had a good time sniffing butts and breaking girls hearts and stuff. Typical boy…

The next day. Do you think I remembered the bug spray? Heck no. But I stuck to the plan and got eaten alive again at 6:30am on Wednesday and have been consistent all week. If I had concerned myself with the bug spray…

As a sidenote, anyone who thinks they’re powerless because they are just one person… one small tiny voice in the world… try going for a walk in the off-leash park behind my place and experiencing the relentless mosquitos of a Calgary post-summer sunrise…

Trigger-pull

So many of us get paralyzed when we over-analyze. I’m telling you, anything I’ve ever achieved that’s worthwhile in life, I have had to make some big, nasty adjustments to what I knew as safe and just trust in the process and leap. With. No. Fear.

I’m going all out. I’m leaning in, so to speak. Here is what I am doing.

Das Challenge

Ask yourself this question: How am I living in action?

If you can’t answer that, or need some help towards starting the process, I have a challenge for you. I call it “Start With U”. It’s a completely FREE resource I’m building for you that’s an accumulation of the work I put in to build healthy lifestyle habits in mind, body and soul. Basically, the difference maker between being good and being great each day. With this week’s challenge I will show you the first three steps towards consistent habit shaping, the foundation of self-care and my “Start With U”, project.

Are you in?

I’m only looking to help those that are highly motivated, ready for change and able to take constructive feedback. No prima donnas, no fence-sitters. You’ve got to want it.

If that’s you, here are the rules.

  1. Head to Instagram and follow my account @coach_schwartzy
  2. Comment “I’m in!” on this post on my Instagram account (it’s the little pad and pen picture if you have trouble with the link) https://www.instagram.com/p/BXGc_SqBP6f/?taken-by=coach_schwartzy
  3. Follow the challenge rules on the post. To recap they are:
    1. Make sure you commented on the post
    2. Click the link in my bio to ensure you’re on my radar and get some free stuff from me
    3. Affirm, move and create/learn each day until Friday. Be sure to write it down each day and take a picture once you’ve done it (to make it real and to PROVE it to both me AND yourself…we’ll discuss accountability later)

Pretty easy, eh? Share this post with anyone you feel could use a little more consistency and self-care in their lives. I look forward to seeing all of your comments littering up my IG feed.

 

 

As a health professional and a musician, I feel as though it is my duty to help bring awareness to the music world about how to effectively take care of themselves. I started blending my passions of music and health (two areas that are often considered to be worlds apart) when I started to experience pain from prolonged playing. From time to time I still experience tightness or soreness but I can keep the symptoms at bay with a simple 15 -20 minute exercise routine. Today I am going to tell you fellow drummers the three part warmup that I utilize to alleviate tightness in my wrists in order to be proactive in the maintenance of my physical health. Try it out!

 

  1. Rudimentary Warm up (5-10 minutes) I Like to put on Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache” and play single stroke and double stroke rolls during the verses and variation of ratamacues or paradiddles during the choruses. This gets my speed up, brain working and movement coordination all on par.
  2.  Stretchhhhhhhhh the flexors and extensors! (5 minutes) You’re thinking’- “Da-fuk?” Yeah, your forearms, buddy. Those things that get all glued up when you don’t stretch…. you know? Throw on “Rock Show” by Blink 182 and when the hook or chorus is going place your hands on your throne, palms down and fingers pointed back towards your body and gently lean back, keeping your arm straight (but don’t lock your elbow). You should feel a nice stretch through the inside of your forearm. Then, when the verse comes up, switch so that the back of your hands are now down and you stretch the outside of your forearm when you lean back. Make sense? Cool. Almost there.
  3. Breathe! (5 minutes) Personally, this is the time to bust out your soft rock jams – I’m a big fan of “Vultures” by John Mayer. Address the areas that are tight. Since we are focusing on wrists today we will stay on the upper body (because the whole limb is a connected device so when your wrist shows symptoms, the root may actually be in the elbow, shoulder or even the neck..). Start with shoulder rolls, slowly roll your shoulders up towards your ears, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you slowly drop them in a circular fashion. Try 10 rolls each direction. Then you can put your arms out beside you, one palm facing up, the other facing down. Looking towards the palm that’s up, take a deep breath in through the nose and upon your exhale, turn to look toward the other hand while rotating the palms. Essentially your matching your breathing with a spiral movement of your limbs. This is super effective in releasing any tension through the upper back! Don’t be alarmed if your fingers start to feel tingly, that’s just the electricity and energy you’re starting to harness. Try about 10 breaths either way to start out.

Now you should be all warmed up. Go check out my video series on my Youtube Channel later this week for the videos that match this particular warm up and be sure to subscribe and share this article with your friends who are suffering from a lack of TLC in the ways of self-care!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to add your favourite stretches or routine to this post in the comments. I’d love to hear what puts you in a good place pre-show!

Mike

Ps. Click here if you want tips on surviving the rock star lifestyle delivered right to your mailbox