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“I Must Be a Mermaid, I Have No Fear of Depths & a Great Fear of Shallow Living” 
                                                                                                                                     ~ Anais Nin
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Making Music and Spirit Shine

Surviving Sugar Highs & The Holi-DaZe

by Meredith Blis on 12/11/14

As the Christmas Song goes…  these weeks between Christmas and Thanksgiving are to some, “The Most Wonderful Time of the year!” However, for some, they are also the most hectic time of the year. Life goes into high gear pre-Christmas & for many of us it can be super overwhelming. Here’s some common causes and quick solutions to help you navigate the chaos and keep you from getting HolidaZed…
 
1.  You Prefer the Grinch to Santa
Aka Tinsel ain’t your thing and you dread holiday cheer. 

This can be a big one for people and these feelings can make it difficult to be around all the holly jolly energy that pervades.
Solution?
Realize you’re not a terrible person and how you feel is never wrong.  Remember to respect your emotions and who you are!  At the same time, it’s important to respect other peoples as well. You don’t have to put up a Christmas Tree, but there’s no reason to cut the electricity to your neighbors lights. Maybe find one or two things you do like and enjoy them.  Or give yourself permission to take a time out. More on that HERE  "911's for Holiday blahs"
 
2. You need an army of elves to handle all that needs to be done.
Yes, this season sometimes brings people way too much to do! 
  • Give yourself a moment to stop, exhale and re-assess that to do list.  
  • What are the things that MUST happen. 
  • Focus on those. 
  • Simplify your tasks. 
Intention is more important than the perfect seams on a gift that’s gonna be ripped open anyway.  Also, Look at the things, that you WANT to do & places you WANT to be.  It’s the season to be jolly!  So give yourself enough breathing room to enjoy it.
 
3.  You feel like like a reindeer stranded at the North Pole.
AKA – you’re alone or feeling isolated. 

This is a rough one, and a real reality for many people.  So realize there’s nothing wrong with YOU and you’re not the only one!  There are a lot of people whose circumstances leave them feeling a little disconnected this time of year. 
What are some solutions? 
  • Enjoy the You time and get some R&R – have a little stay-cation and get things in gear for the new year.  
  • There are so many parties and events.  Find a club, church or a group you might be interested in connecting with.  It’s the perfect time of year to show up and introduce yourself. 
  • There are so many charities, shelters that need an extra hand this time of year.  Often, the best way to feel better is often to help people in need. It’s brave to push yourself into new territory, but you never know what blessings you might find there.
4. All you got to give is Coal
aka You’re too broke to buy presents

It’s not the gifts, it the thought and for many of us, the presence of someone we love trumps an expensive gift.  Here are some thoughts to give a gift of yourself…   
  • If you’re an artist – share your art!!  Music, small painting, poem, pictures, etc. 
  • Put together a photo collage for people of you and them or things they love
  • Bake cookies or peppermint bark (killer recipe HERE and you can make a ton of it EASY for less than $20)  
  • Gift of You: If you’re good with flowers, carpentry, electronics, computers, etc... how can you share that? 
  • What can you home-make?  I used to make bath products, body scrubs, etc for people.  Oftentimes you can do this with ingredients that are in your kitchen ;)
  • Thrift Stores, Dollar Store, 5 and below
If you have kids, check out these resources for gifts:
Toys for Tots
The Last Minute ToyStore (Nashville)
The Salvation Army
 
Hope that helps!!!  AND btw, I do love the togetherness of the holidays, festivities, baking, carols and twinkling lights.  The important thing for me is to keep a balance between festivities and down so that I can remember to have fun!

Love Love Love
Meredith

911 Tips for the Holiday Blahs...

by Meredith Blis on 11/28/14

 

Ok,so the holiday cheer has officially begun. Welcome! parties, lights and mistletoe. Everyone is going on about gratitude and baking sparkly cookies to celebrate.

 

Truth be told, this season can be highly charged and emotional for a lot of people. Sometimes, forcing yourself to drink the egg nog and pretending to feel joyous, just doesn't work.

When you’re just not feeling it?  The whole thing can feel pretty bleak….

So here’s some tips....
 

TRUTH!

You are not a Scrooge and don't let those elves who are high on candy cane sugar convince you differently. Like I said above, for some of us this season can press our emotional buttons. So exhale, take a step back and connect with how you are feeling.  Your Emotions Are Valid.  It doesn’t matter what they are or why.  Don’t judge or criticize them, that just makes us feel worse. Allow yourself to just be where you're at.

After all the greatest reindeer of all?  Well he felt like he didn't fit in either ;)

 

Embrace the little things

Chair you are sitting in. Waking up this morning. Your ability to read this email. Peppermint toothpaste. The invention of pizza. South Park. You get the point. Look at the seemingly unimportant stuff and you may start to feel a magic in it or at least find one tiny thing that makes you smile :)

 

Go do something for someone else

Last week I was having a pretty stressful day.  A friend texted, she had the flu and needed some help getting medicine.  As much as I wanted to help, my plate felt like it was already overflowing with stuff to do.  But as I took a step back from the emotions in my world, picked up the Nyquil, etc and delivered it, I actually felt peace.  Doing something for someone else brought me joy, took me out of my stress and gave me an energy boost to finish my day :)

 

Don't have the energy or inclination?


Go do something nice for YOURSELF

Get your nails done and perhaps you'll be grateful cause they look pretty.  Go for ice cream and perhaps you'll feel happy cause it's yummy.  Take a bubble bath and be luxurious.  Turn off the phone, email, play hookey & watch a lighthearted movie.  You get the point, you don’t need to be prisoner to the canned Christmas Music!  Take a step back and do something you enjoy.  

It might even give you something to be grateful for
 

If you spend all season jolly like Santa? Awesome! Rock on around the Christmas Tree and embrace every moment :)

And perhaps this missive will offer you some tips to understand and help those who don't.

 

Meantime, I hope all of you have an amazing Thanksgiving.  And if you don’t feel like giving Thanks? It's all good.

Love, Hugs, Italian Pastries & Pumpkin Pie!

Meredith

3 Little Things I Learned On My Birthday

by Meredith Blis on 11/17/14

Dear Friends
These past few weeks have been an incredible whirlwind of travel, birthday celebration and award festivities.  Needless to say, it has been busy and I have missed connecting with You.

Blessed to have been able to take a beautiful 
Bday trip to NM. It was so amazing to reconnect with the mountains, hot springs and my incredible peeps in Taos. That’s a gorgeous pic of Taos Mountain.
And Below... that's me blowing out my birthday candle atop Cinnamon Bun breading pudding with homemade salted caramel pecan ice cream!!!


 

Have been settling back in and catching up!  Last Saturday was the Annual Tennessee Songwriters Association Awards Banquet.  Although I didn’t win, felt super blessed to be nominated for Most Promising Female Songwriter!!!  The official award went to Alayna,one of my dear friends who is a super talented artist

 




Also, I had an amazing showcase at         
the historic Fiddle & Steel Bar last Friday !!

 



In the midst of the busyness some cool things have come to the surface & I wanted to share the clarity and grace with you :) Today's article is entitled, “3 Little Things I Learned On my Birthday”.


3 Little Things I Learned On My Birthday

Sometimes, one of the biggest challenges in life is keeping our balance as the world spins around us.   The older I get, the faster it seems to go!  That being said, I've realized how important it is for me to stay grounded and follow the path that brings me the most joy!  So here's some things I've recently discovered to help me along......
 
1.  Surround Yourself with Positive Peeps & Embrace Them!
It’s important to remember that life is energy.  And we are all subject to the effects of the energy around us.  Make it positive!  Drains and Vampires bring us down.  Focus on those who elevate your spirit.  And in return always do your best to elevate others!  Honor your relationships.  And surround yourself with those who consistently support you and have sincere consideration for you.
 
2.  Have An Attitude of Gratitude
Being grateful for things activates the law of attraction in a positive way. 
When we focus on what have, as opposed to what we perceive we lack,  it enables us to bring in & attract more of The GOOD stuff.   Even the little things like a warm bed at night and having the prosperity to be reading this letter on a smart phone, computer or tablet are blessings.  When things feel bleak, being thankful for the small things can really shift perspective!
 
3. Learn to Let Go
You can’t move forward if you are still holding on.   Carrying  the  “baggage” of past  problems, dramas, & regrets can become super heavy on our spirit.  It literally weighs us down.  So allow yourself to drop the suitcase!  Releasing the past enables to live fully in this moment & carve a brighter future.  Letting go is a key to moving forward and creating the life we Want to live. 
 
"Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future,
But today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."
 
So glad to be catching up with you and having YOU as part of my present moment.  You are truly a gift to me :)
By the way,  I LOVE it when you drop a line back and let me know the news in your world!  So don’t forget to stay in touch when you have a moment
Til’ Next Time
Love, Light and Big Hugs to you!
Meredith

Solutions for Creative Brain-Freeze

by Meredith Blis on 10/25/14

Ahhhh…. Those moments in life when the mind starts to fog and coherent thoughts start to wane….  or you have a creative project to complete and the brain isn’t delivering…. Yikes!  What do you do next?

Below are some of my favorite tips and tricks.  But the most important thing is to show yourself some understanding and compassion. It happens to everyone! Realization of the moment is really powerful. When we can observe what’s going on within us, this allows us to move forward with awareness. And awareness is a great tool to help us to figure out what to do next or instead accept the fact that perhaps this ‘brain-freeze’  is an opportunity to take a different direction, a break, or focus on something else for a bit.
 
1.  Journal
This is one of my favorite tools for clearing the psychic clutter!  Grab a notebook and just write.  Anything.  Sometimes it helps to set a timer for 10 minutes, put your pen to paper and don’t stop til’ it rings.   It doesn’t have to make sense – Just write anything.
 
2.  Fill the creative well with something New!
Read a book, Watch a Movie.  Or better yet, be bold Go Out and absorb some art.   Go hear some live music, check out a museum or art gallery, go to the movie theater, or a book shop.  It’s not even necessary to look for any new ‘brilliant’ ideas – just allow yourself to chill and enjoy some creative energy.
 
3.  Shine On!
Sometimes, if the brain isn’t feeling ‘actively’ creative, this creates an awesome opportunity to use our analytical mind.  Look at some older works and see if you can do some editing and shine them up a bit. 
 
4.  Woodshed
Focus on honing your instrument or craft.  Do some structured exercises.  Giving the brain boundaries is helpful.  And you can never go wrong with getting extra instrument or vocal practice!!  I love to dig up old some classical pieces, learn a new cover or do some writing exercises.
 
5.   Get moving!
Take a walk in nature – I sometimes even just walk around my apt complex!   Go to the gym- get on the treadmill or take a cardio type class.  The endorphins that get kicked up through exercise can really help to get the mind moving again.
 
6.  Create stillness
Do some meditation, breath work, or lie on your back with arms at your sides and relax.  Any of these techniques are awesome for calming the mind & alleviating stress.
 
7.  Do you need to rest?
Sometimes we get blocked for the simple reason that we are just tired!  If you’re feeling exhausted there’s no use in pushing yourself.  Get a good nights sleep or take a nap.  Allow yourself to rest and your brain will be much brighter when you pick back up again 
 
8.  Have Some FUN!
Take a breather and do something else that you enjoy.  Sometimes the brain shuts off because we need some new or different energy.   Our society nowadays often has us running on a hamster wheel 24/7 and we forget to schedule ‘me’ time or plain old FUN time with friends.  You’d be surprised how a few hours or an eve off with your buddies can invigorate your spirit!
 
9.  Play in a different medium
Do something creatively different.  For example: My main outlet is music but I also enjoy painting, writing poetry, baking, cooking….  So pick up something that’s not your main focus and have fun with it! 
 
10.  Drink some extra water or have a wholesome meal
As simple as it sounds, dehydration can affect our neurological functioning.  When we’re in a crunch the general go to is caffeine which dehydrates the body and if we’ve been on the go chances are we’ve been spending less time in the kitchen and more time with take out or instant & processed foods.  Watch out for gluten.  For many people that can create a ‘spacey’ brain.  Eating fresh veggies, fruits, & whole foods is medicine for your body and your mind! 
 
Well, that list should keep us both busy for the next few months at least!  Let me know how your do and please write back and share with me,
What are some of your favorite things to do to cultivate creative energy?
 
Til Next Time,
Love Light and
Candy Corns
Meredith

6 Ways To Make Empowered Decisions

by Meredith Blis on 10/10/14

I am oftentimes reading and listening to audiobooks about business & mindset. 
One thing I hear over and  over again?  One of the strongest things ‘successful’ (interpret that word as you will) people have in common is the ability to make clear & quick decisions.  Aaaargh!  As I said above, that has never been one of my strong suits – I am more of a philosophic type, analyzer and emotional being.  But lately I’ve seen how perhaps being more decisive might help to bring me more peace and focus.
So, I’m taking baby steps and here are some things I’ve discovered along the way…..
Starting with the obvious and then the more philosophical
 
 
Sometimes, It’s Black or White  
1. Good Old Fashioned Pros & Cons List 
This is one for BIG decisions.  Moving to a new City, Choosing a job or other important things. Grab a pen, a piece of paper, make a line down the middle, and label one sides Pros (benefits) other side Cons (downsides). Write out (honestly) the plusses and minuses of each choice.  Oftentimes the answer will reveal itself pretty quickly.
 
2.  Look at your BIG picture
This is a good tactic if you are really trying to stay focused on specific goals.   The key here is knowing what your big picture is, ie: finishing grad school, making a record, creating financial stability.   Ask yourself:  Which side of this decision will support me in achieving that goal?   The answer becomes clear because if it doesn’t funnel into your Big Picture, then it doesn’t belong in the equation
 
What about the Shades of Grey?
Now those are very logical ways….  In my life, things aren’t always that black & white.  My pro/con list says take that vacation.  But my BIG picture list says ummmmm…. That’s a week out of the office…..  This is about when my brain goes into overload and I think the best solution is to watch Netflix so that I don’t have to think about either choice!
 
3.  When the mind is spinning?  Listen to your Body.
Our body is actually a truly amazing GPS System!   Close your eyes and make one choice – see how your body feels.  Close your eyes and focus on the other choice – see how your body feels.   One choice will usually bring more tension/contraction and the other will allow the body to relax and breathe more easily.    Not hard to figure out which choice to make ;)
 
4.   Notice your hesitancy
This usually helps me with smaller things – Like dinner choices or which route to take home.    One of them will usually give me some reluctance.  It’s a very subtle noticing but if I stop to listen…..  I notice that choice #1 doesn’t feel right, because if it did, well then choice #2 wouldn’t be worth considering at all….  Steer away from the one that’s making you hesitate ;)
  
Head Vs. Heart
Oftentimes when I’m stuck, I realize it’s a battle between head and heart.  Head says danger!!!  This does not make sense!!  Heart says, trust this follow me in the sunset.  Which do I listen to?
 
5.  INTUITION is the key. 
Sometimes, we don’t know WHY something feels ‘wrong’ or ‘right’  we just know it does.    That ‘gut’ feeling – it’s called that for a reason, your instincts taking root in your body and giving you a clear signal.   This trips me up because I always want to know the Why….  I am working on Letting Go of always having  to know the specifics and just following instincts which allows the Why to reveal itself later.
 
6.  Are you making the choice YOU want to make?
Sometimes, other people may tell us Not to do something but our spirit says we must.  It’s important to honor your inner knowing.  You are responsible for creating the life YOU want to live. 
When we make choices based on pleasing the people around us, sometimes that’s the right thing and it’s all good.  Go for it!  Occasional Compromise is important to any relationship. 
BUT sometimes we need to look deeper – Am I making this decision only because it’s what someone else wants? 
Awareness and perspective here can be very powerful.
If it the decision does not serve your highest good and you’re doing it anyway just to ‘please’ or ‘prove’ something to someone else.    Then once again, remember you are the creator of YOUR life.  Be empowered and give yourself permission to make your own rules.
 
In conclusion, oftentimes there is no right or wrong answer.  A different choice is simply a different path.  That thought process can be helpful to take the pressure off :)
 
Whew!  That was a lot of decision-making!
 Please feel free to send back your thoughts
and share your insights on making powerful and empowering decisions!
 
You Are Beautiful!
Love, Meredith

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