Our minds, hearts, and homes

Whatever happened to honor and respect? 
Some people don’t care what they say, what they look like, or even live like, much less do they care if it offends you!

You may call it freedom, but it comes with a high price.

I understand some people have real mental issues. There are people​ who have real problems dealing with their issues, and would like to let everybody know it.

On a different note, many have been enticed into believing the world owes them a living, and they whine to everybody who will listen to garner pity for their feelings, or else make major excuses to justify themselves.

No matter how you slice it, most people have lost touch with two basic human values, honor and respect.

It is evident everywhere you look.

So what’s to be done about it?

The underlying principle is always the same. It boils down to personal responsibility.

And the question to ask is always the same. 

Who or what do you want to be? 

You decide to be the person who shows honor and respect because your attitude affects everybody in one way or another, including you.

It’s time for an honor and respect wake-up call.

Start with yourself and you are guaranteed you will make your life easier, better and more valuable.
If you show honor and respect for yourself in everything you do and say, others will respond in a very good way. 

Don’t tear yourself down, and don’t beat yourself up. Be the change you want to see in the world. 

After that, show respect and honor to your family. Show respect and honor with people at work and at play.

I don’t wish to lecture anyone, but I believe the lack of honor and respect is at the core of society’s​ problems.

Things won’t get better until a sacred sense of honor and respect pervades all the spaces in our minds, hearts and homes. 

Amy Zents dishes on Uni

Did you take a double major like me? You may have thought you wanted to become a Superstar multi-billionaire too by going through music, art and English classes. 

College professors don’t tell you how slim the chances are out there for budding wannabe movie stars.

Well I do not begrudge an education for you, just remember there’s those student loan bills that show up on a constant basis without guarantee of employment.
​I think you are wise to do what you are drawn to rather than what you are forced to do out of necessity. 

I was one of the fortunate few who did exactly what I wanted to do. I took over 500 credits in my college career. I had a very strong thirst for knowledge, and I took a variety of classes from nursing to the art of the science fiction novel.

It took me 14 years to graduate because I quit part way and then returned to finish up. Also, I kept changing my mind and my career focus.

I did walk away with a beautiful career as a radio announcer, but I had been doing that prior to college and I did not need a degree for that. With a college degree, I was able to add another couple of jobs to my resume, that of being a professional music instructor and singer-actress.

In planning your success route you need to keep in mind that being able to communicate is one of the highest qualities a person can possess. 

I was happy to learn to communicate and to create meaning in my life through my college degree and college education, but I knew what I was searching for once I found it.

It’s a pity that a lot of people go into writing, music and the arts with very little to say. They usually wind up working in a furniture store miserable and bitter. 

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with working in a furniture store. It’s just the part of being miserable and bitter that is the problem.

Nevertheless, the world needs people who can clearly communicate information, inspiration, mind-opening ideas, along with entertainment to enliven and inspire others. 

You actually do not need a college degree to do any of those things if you were born with the gift of gab and a great curiosity and interest in others. Talent surely helps, and a college degree doesn’t hurt.

If you feel that you qualify to be an expert on something, it helps to be able to write or create in a way that you feel will benefit others. Giving is living.

But if you choose to quit trying and lie around all day doing nothing but drink beer and smoke pot thinking you’re an artist, a writer or a musician you’ve got another thing coming.

If you are so young you feel you haven’t really lived or if you feel you have nothing important or interesting to say, perhaps you would be better off forgetting that career in the Arts and becoming a young professional in a high-paying job, and not waste your productive years lying around or working on trifling low-paying unrelated and uninspiring work. 

Why not get a career that will benefit you financially? Decide what you want and go for it.

Then you might earn more money now instead of waiting for that magic opportunity that might never come. 

With your income you might also afford to take specialized classes in future days that will allow you to learn to better appreciate life, music, and the arts.

And with your specialized knowledge you might be able to communicate in a way that is just as beneficial or even more valuable than somebody who just decides to write or create without any purpose, outside of a desire for fame and self-aggrandizement.

The grass may always seems greener on the other side, but I always think you should bloom where you’re planted.

How to make head space in a cluttered mind

So many things to think, do and worry about.

Feeling that less is best is different than living up to that belief.
My attempts at making space in my home by getting rid of clutter has been very difficult for me, but I continue the quest. 

I also want to create space in my mind. Lately I’ve been doing three different things in the morning to calm myself and center myself.

Here is my regimen:

1.

I light a sweet-smelling garden rain candle, and I set the timer for 5 minutes. In that span of time I try to let go of all thoughts that intrude in my head.  It’s amazing what I think about when I stop and listen to what I think. 

2. 

Next, for five minutes I do stream-of-consciousness writing. I write whatever thoughts come into my head. My chicken scrawl is only legible to me because I don’t want others to be able to read it or for me to incriminate myself!

3.

Last, but not least, I review what I’ve written. I look and see what my concerns, actions, accomplishments and fears are. I notice when I complain and when I congratulate myself for doing things I didn’t want to have to do. I notice the recurring themes.

Summary

I’ve only been doing this practice for a few days. So far the thing that I’ve discovered is that I really like living a low pressure, stress-free existence.

I’m raising my consciousness to appreciate my downtime. Although I think about the future, I also try and become more present. It’s not always easy when anticipating a yucky task or chore, but it’s nice to know that I’ve carved out a tiny little niche in which to meditate and reflect on what I think. 

However, I don’t think the goal of meditation is to think, but to empty your mind. 

I’m not quite there yet.

Need or needy?

There is a vast difference between needs and wants. But, nowadays, the line is very blurred.

Do you need to buy that or go there? Or do you just want to?

You have 7 basic needs to survive. Love, books, TV, music, coffee, Wi-Fi, and batteries not included.

The seven things you need to live are oxygen, food, shelter, sunlight, water, sleep and elimination.

However, there is a lot more stuff you don’t need.

The media has become very influencial when they convince you that more stuff will make you happier.

In most cases, more stuff creates chaos.

It becomes like a monster that invades and takes over your psyche.

No matter the cause, excess wants are unnecessary and will never stop asking to be fed until you decide to live a simpler, contented life you can control.

Keep Climbing No Matter What

Keep Climbing!

Every time we try to do something, there’s always a chance something might happen that we don’t like.
Similarly, in most climates, sometimes the sun shines and sometimes we get rain. If it’s only sunny all the time, you are living in a dry desert.

The same pattern holds true when it comes to your projects. 

There are some projects that are hard to do by yourself. Especially if it is something to do with special knowledge such as carpentry, mountain climbing or medicine.

Occasionally, other people are necessary for your progress. But other people are not perfect, unfortunately. They do make mistakes whether you like it or not.

In order not to freak out when things go awry, a certain attitude has to be adopted. Keep on track. Don’t get sidelined by trouble.

If the apple cart is upset, all you can do is pick up the apples and put them back on the cart. You don’t start flinging apples. It’s just a waste of energy!

Perfectionism is a stupid goal. It will the thwart your progress.

Perfectionism, not apples, needs to be thrown out the window, unless you desire a nervous breakdown.

I’m learning about the risk-reward ratio in life. Little improvements do add up over time.

You need to be patient with other people, but mainly you must be patient with yourself.

Every little progress also deserves a little reward. Persistence demands it.

Don’t forget to reward yourself when you find yourself doing what you know you should do.

Don’t freak out when things aren’t as perfect as you wish.

If you stay on the path towards progress, the desired outcome will be there waiting for you. No excuses, keep climbing until congratulations are in order!🌹

Musically yours,

Amy Zents 

Alive and kicking

I just watched a really good show on HBO about heart disease.
Amazingly, in spite of all our good luck here in the USA with an overabundance of good food, good health care, access to clean water, and digital devices, obesity is killing people and that really is the heart of the matter.

Sadly, the people who are most prone to being obese are those who are economically challenged, namely the poor. Nevertheless, there are many folks who look like, heart attacks waiting to happen, among the upper crust as well.

We see this all around us and it is epidemic. The most horrible fact is that the problem is getting worse.

The question is, with all this cardiopulmonary disease sitting like a time-bomb ready to explode in these many obese bodies, is there anything to stem the tide?

Obviously, eating less and moving more to lose excess weight off the belly is a start.

Too bad it takes a tragedy for people to wake up to reality about obesity and heart disease.

You may come from an abundant country with lots of food tempting you every which way, but don’t let that be your excuse. If you want to live without regrets, then the time to act is now before it’s too late.

Follow the following three rules in addition to weight loss:

  1. Avoid alcohol
  2. Don’t smoke
  3. Don’t sit for longer than 50 minutes at a time.

Much of the heart disease today is preventable in America.

If you want to be successful and live a long life you have to take personal responsibility. You might be a lone voice in the wilderness of obesity, but after they’re gone you’ll still be here alive and kicking!

The idle and unfocused

It seems I’ve gained a month of time since I last posted a week ago. I have stayed off Facebook and Twitter in efforts to gain my life back. I think about how TV robs me of my time as well. The main thing in order to live is to be able to concentrate your mind on something that is beneficial to you. There are so many things that can distract us from our purpose and dreams.
I think people are becoming more idle, more sedentary and more fat because they are glued to a screen. Rich or poor people, it doesn’t matter, if you are idle and unfocused you are not progressing, and you cannot feel content with your life. Take charge of who you are, and decide what you want. If you want to be happy, take control of your own mind and don’t let others keep you from reaching your goals.

Less and More

New year. New chapter. New page. But, same old Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This year I am only planning to go on social media once a week. Today I posted my weekly post on all three social media sites. Lovely. Now I can dive my into real life.

Your best present

Your focus is your gift to yourself

Where are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? 
Today is a very special day. Today you are alive and today you are here. There is a saying, older but wiser.

Facts are when you get older you are less concerned about your future and more concerned about savoring your present. Every day above ground is a good day. Sometimes when people are young they are miserable, when they get older and look back on their youth they wonder how they could have been so stupid to be so worried about stupid things, and why they wasted so much time.

There are studies that show people over the age of 50 are often more content because they know who they are and they know their story.

Young or old, it’s good to be present. To be calm and to be mindful means to take your time and enjoy the journey. Too often we rush for the destination, and never think about savoring the present.

There are 3 things you need to be happy, something to do, someone to love, something to look forward to, but let me add a fourth, something to focus on right now. It is important to do one thing at a time with great love. It is a gateway to supreme happiness and contentment.

You are born alone and you die alone, so make yourself your best company. There’s nothing wrong in loving your life.

Don’t let the greedy marketers tell you that you should be miserable because you don’t have a brand new house or car or wear designer clothes.

You have the best present in the universe. You have now. Make today your day and own it! Okay?

Musically yours,

Amy Zents

Sing your song!

A new website domain name

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Find my music at CD Baby

So now I’m using this WordPress to update my music life. Part of being me, is being a radio broadcaster, a singer-songwriter and a music teacher.

I do have a music teaching studio call Zents Music Studio, but my life is really a studio of sorts. I’m learning everyday.

Although I’m looking forward to a bright musical future, I also want to discuss great singing technique, guitar and piano which I teach. But also there’s the lessons of living.

As a writer and songwriter there are stories everywhere you go, from the smiling old woman who curls her hair too tightly that you see at the grocery store, to the way you feel about the young guy who likes to use the electric wheelchair/shopping cart around the store even though he’s healthy.

There’s also the matter of psychology that comes along with being a performer. You can’t deny that people compare you as a singer-songwriter, the way you sing, the way you play, and the songs you write. Also, there’s no denying the CD’s which you record, and produce are always being judged.

There’s so many topics to write about here on my new WordPress domain at Zentsmusicstudio.com