Day 19 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from shutterstock.com

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
~ Aldous Huxley

I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me – like food or water.
~ Ray Charles

Music is one of those magical things.  From our earliest recollections for most of us there is music. As we grow older we end up with a soundtrack for our lives.  The music of our childhood years, the music of our teens, our graduation song, the song that always reminds us of being young and in love, the songs that remind us of a grandfather or a parent, the songs we use to motivate us, to inspire us, to soothe us…

Image from ignorantics.blogspot.com

Haven’t you ever sung in the shower, belted out a tune in the car, danced the night away?

Nature has music too.  The sound of the waves crashing against the shore, rain on the roof, wind in the trees, birdsong.

Music is one of life’s greatest blessings, whether we are the performer or the audience.

Music unites us with a common language.  It speaks to our hearts and our souls.

I love this youtube clip below of the flash mob – it illustrates this point perfectly:

Each day for 30 days we are practicing an attitude of gratitude.  If you’re just joining us now, follow the steps below.  If you’ve been with us the whole way, well done – you’re getting to be an old hand at this!

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  4. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.

If all you do each day is these first four steps, know that is enough.

Would you like to do more to bring the blessing of gratitude into your life?  Join us for today’s challenge.

Joyful Dance by Diana Ong

Sound Bath

Find a favourite piece of music.  Turn it up loud, close your eyes and let your whole body be filled with sound. Really be aware of the music, drawing it deep into your soul. If it moves you, dance!

When your song is over, give a heart felt Thank You to the artists, the Universe and your own body for the blessing of music. Let your body radiate joy. What a wonderful gift music is in our lives.

Bless ♥ xx

Image from college fashion.net

Life’s Spontaneous Adventures…

My trusty old Hilux – much loved by my dogs who get to ride with the wind in their hair…

Much to my mother’s ‘sense of style’ mortification, I drive an old Hilux Ute (a pickup for my non-Aussie readers). One thing I have found to be a truth in this life – when you have a ute you have friends.  Friends who need to move things.

I have also found that having a ute quite often leads to unexpected adventures.

Last night proved to be no exception. A friend is moving offices, and wanted help to move some bookcases and shelving. We drove through the evening peak hour traffic to get to his current workplace, loaded the ute, and then followed him back to his home, down on Brisbane’s bayside.

Once we were all unloaded he suggested we join he and his partner for dinner, at a favourite bistro on the waterfront.

It was a beautiful night.  Cool, not a breath of wind, and just a few light showers every now and again.  We ate at the Marina, looking out over the water and the twinkling lights.

I’d like to report that my Baked Atlantic Salmon and King Prawn Risotto was excellent, as was my glass of Mojo Sauvignon Blanc. I wish I’d taken a picture of it, but alas, after all that furniture moving I devoured it entirely before I thought to share it with you.  Here’s the happy evidence of its demise:

So good, I almost licked the plate clean…

After dinner, we said our goodbyes, and then my husband and I took a last walk around the Marina, enjoying the scenery and all of those magnificent boats. We talked of travel, of sailing, and all the places left in the world still waiting for us to explore.

And then the completely unexpected.

A chance encounter with old friends from another place and time… An invitation aboard their boat… The opening of another bottle of wine…

Laughter, music, conversation and catch ups. The opportunity to step out of the everyday…

Dave’s boat, drinks and dancing!

One of the things that thrills me most about this life is all of the turns and twists, the synchronicity of events, the joyful bumping into people you would never expect to see on a rainy night in Brisbane.

There is something so magical about life. I’m hooked on it. Aren’t you?

Byron Bay Bluesfest – An Easter Tradition

“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: 
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED 
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD 
WAS MUSIC” 
― Kurt Vonnegut

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” 
― Bob Marley

Sorry, I’m late posting today.  Big night out for me last night, and there are a few more to come! I have a crowded house, and a fantastic Easter filled with live music, groovin’ and living life loud. Why? Bluesfest, of course!

I first discovered blues when the movie The Blues Brothers came out.  I was twelve years old, and the soundtrack was a revelation.

I was already in love with jazz thanks to a great teacher at my primary school, so Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Dizzie Gillespie and Duke Ellington were my heroes. Within a short period of time I was listening to some of the blues greats; Bessie Smith, Ray Charles, James Brown, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.

There was something about blues music that spoke to my soul.

So one of my greatest delights is that we have a world class music festival, Byron Bay Bluesfest, right on my doorstep every Easter.

Cigarbox Guitar impromptu jam - Bluesfest 2012

It’s become a ritual for us..  Music-loving friends arrive on our doorstep to stay for a few days, beds are hastily added to every corner of our small house, and the fridge and pantry groan with extra food and grog. We spend our first dinner together debating the various tents and acts, playing excerpts from the Bluesfest website or our own music collections, and marking up our programs.

A mate who drives the booze bus for the local bowlo (Lawn Bowls Club) acts as our chariot each day, dropping us off and picking us up. So we share rowdy breakfasts together over music at home, or at one of the local cafes in Bangalow, and then head off to Bluesfest for an afternoon and evening of music, dancing, festival food and fun.

Every day there are new musical delights. They fuel the music-filled conversations we’ll have over the next few days.

One of my new favourites? Seth Lakeman. That’s him in the video below. He had us all dancing before the end of the first song, and we danced til the last!

 

Come Monday we are always wrecked, but in the best of ways.

Each year there are new discoveries. Each year there are some of our old favourites. And each year we laugh, dance and celebrate all that is good about music and friendship.

Last night I also danced my little feet off to the sensational Earth, Wind and Fire who opened with this crowd pleasing classic.  And I have to say they were even BETTER than their original version.

 

Rock me, Baby, until I want no more…