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I would be remiss if I sent a note without mentioning the recent losses in our world that we have experienced due to suicide. I recently read an article that said for every person we lose to suicide, there are another 280 who consider it…..

Of course there’s the people we know of because who make the headlines, Robin Williams, Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Jeff Alm & Junior Seau (professional athletes) and of course most recently, Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain.

Oftentimes, we look at celebrity figures and say, “They have everything - fame, success, money, what do THEY have to be depressed about?”

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Life can often get so busy that we forget to make time for our happiness. When we take the time to think about what brings us joy, it enables us to manifest more of it! And after all isn’t that what life’s about?

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So in my journey of sharing the #ShineAgain project on Instagram, I am so grateful to say that I have been meeting some AMAZING people! It has truly become an enlightening journey for me. Today's post is about you one of my new fabulous discoveries: SHINE TEXT!

Gotta Love that synchronicity :)

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This article is an edited excerpt from a previous post that I wrote in honor of Robin Williams who passed by suicide in August, 2014. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 4 years since we lost this precious talented soul. It was a lengthy piece so I will share some of it now and the remainder later this month. The idea is to shed some light on depression and gain a deeper understanding of this mental health condition.

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Technically a Renegade is (according to Mirriam Webster)

“an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior”

I’m not proposing that we ignore the laws of society that keep us safe. However….. what if we took a step back every now and then and followed our hearts instead of following the Rules? Been thinking a bit about how to be a little more 'Renegade" and here's what I've come up with so far!

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So, we all have those days - life feels bleak, our emotions are spinning and our spirit feels worn out.

When you’re dealing with a mental illness like depression or PTSD it can feel overwhelming to accomplish even the most basic tasks. My guess is that even if you’re not living with a mental health diagnosis, you still might have moments of overwhelm or just the blues. No worries, I got you covered! As someone who struggles with bipolar 2 and PTSD I’m gonna share some tips and tricks I use to try to stay in the game, regain my focus and honor the necessity of my self-care.

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It often amazes me how life mimics art or how art mimics life. There have been so many times when I’ve written a song about something in my life, then when I sing it years later, the meaning applies to a different situation. At this moment it’s about learning to “Shine Again” but with a different theme.

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Last week I was out with a dear girlfriend. I was talking about something and she said, “Girl you need to turn off that ass-kicking machine!!” Cracked me up! and then...

Wow! I hadn’t even realized it, in that conversation, I was definitely being way too hard on myself. That’s the beauty of being surrounded by people who love and understand you, they often have an uncanny ability to see our emotions and habits in a way that we can’t from the inside out.

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Last Sunday was my favorite night of the year - The Grammys! I was once again reminded of the incredible power of music. So many moments of chills, incredible voices, songs and the Power of Music.

There is nothing like hearing a song that we relate to and it says you are not alone in your deep emotions or how the right song can positively raise our spirits, give us confidence or even help us shed the tears that we need to express.

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Most of you know me as a chick on piano girl - back in Taos I usually had a violin player and in my NYC days I occasionally had full band and usually a cello player.

THEN a few years ago I had a crazy vision of incorporating loops and electronic sounds into my live show. But I also felt passionate about retaining my strong roots as a singer/songwriter. For me, the songs have always come first :)

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As the new year comes upon us - we get bombarded by our culture to resolve to CHANGE - and based on a glance at my email box - it seems there is huge industry based on helping people to become brighter, bolder, more successful, better at this, less of that - and all about things that help to create a NEW “YOU”.

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When I first moved to Nashville - It was a little rough adjusting to a new city - I didn’t have a lot of friends and I felt a little isolated. I think anyone who has moved a new place can relate. Change is sometimes hard and it takes time to settle in.

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As the holiday season ramps up - sometimes our vision of a winter wonderland can easily take a sharp turn into Stressville. For a multitude of reasons, the season to be jolly can often trigger the opposite in many of us. Exhale, allow yourself to feel what you're feeling!

We need to honor it’s not always easy, especially when we are busy with extra to-do’s and calendar events.

Life is about perspective.

Here are some ways we can shift our brains into self-care mode and help our spirits enjoy the tinsel and cookies!

Tips on dealing with Love and Loss

I understand, all too well, that holiday season can trigger grief about people we’ve lost or even lost relationships.

Allow yourself to honor that pain. Is there something you can do to replace the rituals that have been shared or honor the memory of that person or spend some time with those who are sharing your grief? Allow yourself to be brave, step forward into the uncharted territory, you never know what joy might be waiting for you - give yourself and opportunity to find...

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I can’t believe today is THE DAY! Click to hear the new single and see the lyric video (my first one! and it’s homemade by me!)

A HUGE THANK YOU to Women of Substance Radio for Premiering the Single and Lyric Video!

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“For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.”

While searching for bday quotes - specifically “Trip Around the Sun”, I came across this gem. The attribution is both for a poet, Zoe Skylar and Nour Tagari. (N.T.)

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I recently picked up a new book called “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach. Even for me, a self help spiritual aficionado - the title and content seemed to be a bit much….. But ….. the recommendation came from a dear friend whom I really trust. So, I figured I’d at least give it a try.

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In my past posts I’ve alluded that ‘Shine Again’ was written from a place of feeling dispirited. In those moments it can feel like we are under water - simply surviving and looking at the world around us.

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After my fabulous eve in photo fairy land on Sunday eve, I rolled over on Monday morning and there was a glaring headline about the tragic events in Las Vegas. My brain froze and I pulled the covers hoping that my sleepy haze would shield me from reality.

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And that’s how the song begins…..

But .... the overall message is about Hope. (chorus lyrics forthcoming ;)

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I am so grateful for such an amazing vacation! The mountains and the down time gave me some beautiful space for self-reflection...There is such a power in stepping out of the day to day and having the time to listen to our heart.

Around my 2nd or 3rd day I noticed within myself a lightness of being. I realized that I wanted to identify the shift. Beyond being on vacay, what was missing that was giving me space to breathe a little easier & feel a little more free?

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Oftentimes I think back to back to the magical words that Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh….

I owe it to my amazing friends and magical music team for often reminding me of these powerful words. As we pass through this journey of life, I’m learning that when we build a village of loved ones around us, the people we choose can help to uplift us in ways in truly incredible ways.

So….. Here’s my confession …..

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Life for me, often has synchronicities….

A theme this week was Peace. I was producing a track for a film/tv placement. When I dug up my song to record, the original version incorporated the Prayer for Peace by the Sufi Poet Hazrat Inayat Khan. Then a very talented writer friend of mine invited me to an event where she is going to be singing her version of “Grant us Peace” adapted from Gates of Prayer. I Love my Friends and am so grateful for their amazing creativity that often brings me inspiration.

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So, last week I was relaxing on the couch watching one of my fav funny shows…. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Love her!

Through the giggles, I actually garnered an important lesson. The episode featured on a very judgmental type of old lady and let’s say, she was not the most likable character. Kimmy called her out! Surprisingly, the woman responded with tears in her eyes. She said that she was aware of her gossip and criticism of others. It was habit she was trying to change and that she was doing her best to be a better & kinder person.

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Let’s start with a little science 101.

As children, many of us learn about the wondrous process by which a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. The story usually begins with a very hungry caterpillar hatching from an egg. The caterpillar, or what is more scientifically termed a larva, stuffs itself with leaves, growing plumper and longer through a series of molts in which it sheds its skin. One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth.”

full article Here https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/caterpillar-butterfly-metamorphosis-explainer/

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I want to begin with this quote

“I once asked Aragon, the historian, how history was written. He said, ‘You have to invent it.’ When I wish as now to tell of critical incidents, persons, and events that have influenced my life and work, the true answer is all of the incidents were critical, all of the people influenced me, everything that happened and that is still happening influences me.” - John Cage

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All site content © 2018 Meredith Blis. Header photo by Jon Karr. Be your own kind of beautiful.