The Magic of Solitude

We live in such a noisy, busy and chaotic world these days. We also live in a world where being connected online is a daily marathon. Everyone is mindful of likes, sharing photos, personal status updates and hunting for followers. Sure, it’s important to keep up with your circle of friends and family in some way. But the question today is do you ever find alone time? It seems too often people will go out of their way to ensure that they are never alone. More often than not those who do enjoy time on their own are criticized for being anti-social, loners, shy, boring or labeled wallflowers. The fact of the matter is that enjoying time by yourself is actually healthy and valuable to your mental and emotional space. It’s so important to be comfortable enough to do things alone and appreciate your own company. Going for a walk, treating yourself to a movie (yes alone), going for a drive, taking a short or long trip on your own. These are just some ways that you can reconnect with yourself. How often do you get lost throughout the day by going to work, then you go home and it’s time to be a parent, a spouse, sibling, roommate, etc? Being of service and available to those you care about is kind and commendable, but when do you make time to be your own best friend. How about finding a quiet space and just listening to your thoughts and connecting with your inner self? Yes – it’s true that depending on what you have going on in your life you may not want to be in your head too much. Yet, connecting with yourself on a deeper level can be quite transformative and can even be a form of healing. It’s in this moment of solitude where you may likely find answers. It’s when the magic is awakened. The magic is that moment when you can just be free to be your unique self. It’s the moment when you don’t have to be anything you are not, just your authentic YOU and that is pure freedom. Silence is not something you should take for granted. Try it some time. You can start with just a few minutes during the day by taking a few deep breaths. If you feel you have to schedule the time to do so, that’s okay too.  The point is to seek this time and treat it as a gift to yourself and to your soul. The more you do find these small moments to nurture your spirit, the more you will grow and the more peace you will find and within that, there is unlimited power.

So dear readers, do you enjoy alone time or is this something you find challenging? Have you tried taking up the practice of meditation?

 

Photo by Josh Adamski

 

When Change Knocks At Your Door

It’s hard to believe we only have a few months left of the year 2017. This year, it seems so many people are experiencing changes and shifts in some area of their lives that is quite significant. When change knocks at your door, how do you answer? Do you open the door without hesitation or are you extra cautious? It’s safe to say many of us can experience doubt and fear when uncertainty enters our lives. They say progress is impossible without change and no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it could be the gateway to something really incredible. It could be the universe’s way of shaking things up and taking you out of the old comfort zone which is where stagnant energy lives. We are here to grow, evolve and learn and sometimes a major change is necessary. Are you in a soul-sucking job? Are you in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship? Are your relationships unbalanced? Have you outgrown the home where you live or the area where you live? Are you feeling unhealthy and have been considering a lifestyle change? The safe zone is where many of us stay but there does come a time when our inner voice tries so hard to tell us to move on! Do we listen and act, or do we listen and suppress those thoughts? If you have been contemplating a change in your life and you’re reading this now, consider this as your SIGN. The time is now. So what’s the worst that can happen if you leave the old behind? Maybe it’s time to explore that new career, invest in yourself and remove those people or things that no longer resonate with you or bring positivity to your life.

Change may not come easy and yes there may be a bit of struggle but that is where you develop your strength. Think back on a time in your life when you actually made the conscious decision to go in a different direction from where you were. Maybe that decision brought you new relationships or new opportunities. As you can see, the calendar days wait for no one and times moves quickly. We are only here for a limited time so why not take action and do those things that you enjoy. Why not surround yourself with kind and supportive people. The battle of fear of the uncertainty and acceptance can be challenging but very much attainable. The question is how badly do you want to move forward. If you think you’re not ready that means you are! Wait, what? Yes, waiting for the right time or circumstance is just another form of procrastination and comes from a place of fear. Taking that leap of faith is not about timing, it’s about that deep desire to want to be happy. Always trust your inner voice and take that chance. So, now I ask you again –  when change comes knocking at your door, how will you answer? Will you open the door gracefully allowing the ebb and flow of growth to enter or will you push back and struggle through the process? The choice is yours but remember great things comes outside of your comfort zone. So One Style at Time readers, have you experienced any changes in your life? How did you handle these events no matter how big or small?

 

Wellness Begins From The Inside Out

“Your body will be around a lot longer than that expensive handbag. Invest in yourself.” ~ Uknown

I have always been a lover of fashion and of great style but life has also shown me that no matter how glossy and sparkly the outfit, what matters is what’s inside a person. Society has put so much emphasis on impeccable outfits, how skinnier is better and how ‘on fleek’ the brows, nails, hair and shoes have to be. But when does it all become too much? This is not to say aesthetics and treating yourself with a little retail therapy isn’t a good thing but there has to be more than just what’s on the outside. Today we are talking wellness from the inside out.

Wellness is a topic that has made the rounds from the home to the workplace for a long time now. We all have or know someone who has tried a new diet or starting a workout regimen. Perhaps you know someone who has taken on a holistic or new age path with Yoga or meditation practices. No matter which modality is chosen the fact of the matter is that the awareness for an improved healthier living is paramount. We live in a chaotic, stressful world that we can all agree can suck the energy right out of us on a daily basis. People are wound up, tense all around us and it’s no wonder that we all seek to find some inner peace. No matter where you are in the world reading this, you have some exposure to the internet and social media and know that not all the headlines, online comments, and posts are necessarily positive. As glued as we all are to our phones and computers it’s necessary to take steps to cleanse and detox from all of it at some point. Now I’m not here to give you a detox recipe although if you want one, we can talk! But just a simple moment of silence can take your mental health a long way. Putting the phone away during dinner with your friends and family or going for a walk for a few minutes without any devices can make a difference. Everyone has their own way of approaching wellness. The point is to allow your mind and body to find some type of balance. It’s unlikely your boss, spouse or kids will knock on your door to say, “hey do you need a break, a breather or a hug?” Yeah, not likely. So at the end of the day, you have to take matters into your own hands to make this happen.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “oh please I don’t have time”, but the amount of time it takes for you to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter is all it takes for you to close your eyes and take three breaths to clear your mind. With so many illnesses that are being linked to stress a proactive approach can’t hurt. Even some of the most well known corporate companies these days are taking action with employee discounts for gym memberships, incorporating team building activities, healthier cafeteria options and even meditation rooms in some offices. So don’t feel guilty if you need that breather, those five minutes to yourself. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s part of your life purpose. Take it one breath at a time.

So readers, how do you keep some balance in your daily lives? Have you made taken any steps to improve the quality of your lifestyle?

Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pinterest

Your Motivation and Your Tribe

The word ‘motivation’ has to be one of the most popular words on social media these days. It’s hard not to notice trending hashtags like #MondayMotivation #TuesdayMotivation…you get the idea. In the times that we are living in, there is certainly a need for positive encouragement and motivation is much-needed. Whether you’re having a rough morning commute, a tough day in the office or maybe you’re just down on yourself because you can’t seem to speed up the changes you want in your life. Perhaps you’ve been challenged with weight issues? What if you’re struggling to get your own business off the ground? Everyone is going through something challenging and in need of some level of support. Motivational quotes have taken a life of its own. Quotes can be found in apparel, jewelry and wall frames. If you read my post Spring: The Season of Renewal, then you know I enjoy a cup of tea with the inspirational quotes attached on the tea tags. Yes, you can have your daily wisdom while enjoying a cup of chamomile tea too. All these tools can serve as great visual reminders but in reality, motivation begins within ourselves. It’s a feeling, an intention that leads to positive action. One thing I can suggest is that when you are going through a tough time or feeling pretty bad about yourself, stop and look around at what you have to be grateful for. Gratitude is a humble way to take inventory of what you do have instead of focusing on what’s missing in your life. Aside from being your own best motivator, the next question is who is your support system? Being surrounded by positive and engaging supporters is just as important. Now, this is not to be mistaken with seeking approval from others or sticking with people that are around you only to give you lip service. Aim to have trustworthy influences that listen and give you honest feedback while on your life path. You want to have the right people lifting you up and in your corner. By now you might be saying to yourself, “I don’t have those kinds of people in my life”. Well, then you just made progress because you have now acknowledged that it’s time to bring change into your network and your circle. Positive attracts positive and as they say, your vibe attracts your tribe!

A little over a year ago I discovered someone who now is one of my favorite motivational speakers and that is Brendon Burchard. I stumbled upon his videos online and became an instant fan. Since then, I have been following his extraordinary work. Brendon is a best-selling American author and an influential force when it comes to personal development. I most recently purchased one of his books, ‘The Motivation Manifesto’ and it is filled with great insights for anyone seeking success and a different approach to life. I highly recommend you follow his YouTube channel if you are in need of inspiration and motivation for your business and personal goals. To quote a line from his book, “For motivation’s sake, we must be vigilant and surround ourselves with genuine and positive people who seek positive aims with positive attitudes.”The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard

If you are doubting your next big move or finding yourself in a place where you are lacking enthusiasm, take a good look inside your mind and soul and find your joy. Take action, do something you have never done before, take yourself out of your comfort zone. Motivation will knock when you hit the reset button. Then charge forward leaving fear and doubts behind. Remember, it’s up to you to be your number one cheerleader and give yourself credit for how far you have come. Life is not easy, but you have certainly made some strides along your path. Pat yourself on the back for what you have learned, accomplished and battled. Light that fire of motivation because you have what it takes to make it a reality. Let it happen, make it happen… one day at a time.

“To the attuned and grateful, the cascade of the universe’s blessings feels like a magnificent waterfall of luck and wonder.”– The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard

Photo: KieferPix

 

The Beat Goes On: A Q&A With DJ BMIXD

If you have been following along with the blog’s recent posts, then you are familiar with our conversations on how essential embracing your creative passions are. Although truth be told, sometimes life can take you in different directions and before you know it, you find yourself walking away from what you love to do. Those types of sacrifices also entail a lot of courage. But like an old friend, that calling comes knocking at your door once again and as if time never stopped the magic is back and better than ever. In the spirit of inspiration, today we bring you a special treat. A story about a hardworking, naturally talented DJ who early on in his life discovered what brought him personal joy and satisfaction. After experiencing some changes in his life and taking a hiatus from his passion, he is back and has reconnected with his good old friend, MUSIC. I was intrigued to learn more about how his personal journey so without further adieu, I introduce you to DJ BMIXD

First of all, tell us how did your creative journey begin with DJing music and when did you know this was your passion? My creative journey began at the age of fifteen in Astoria, New York.  My next-door neighbor Edwin Romero (DJ Hostile) was an up and coming DJ and I had the pleasure of learning all about music genres, how to count beats, when / how to transition between songs from him. Funny story…before the first mixing dual CD players (Gemini & Numark) came into the market, we mixed music by connecting two PlayStations together and created our mix tapes. Eventually, they stopped working after spending countless hours practicing. It was then I realized my hobby was transitioning into a passion and I started to work for the best wedding companies in the Tri-State area. I wore many hats such as assisting as a roadie, photographer, DJ, and MC. As the years passed, I juggled a heavy schedule which included going to school, working a full-time job, and working 2-3 events on the weekends. This became my routine for fifteen years. I’ve performed +1,000 events, with an average guest count of between 75 – 150 guests, which means I played music for over 75,000 guests in my professional DJ career.  Many of whom became recurring clients and lifelong friends.  The route of my passion stems from the quote, “Play The Moments, Stop The Pain, Pause The Memories, and Rewind Happiness,” all of which are relatable on how music touches us on a personal level every day.  

You took a break from your music and the DJ scene. What made you come back after five years and why did you feel now was the right time to do so? After 15 years of working weekends, missing family events, working a full-time job, and time away from my wife, it was time to take a break. Also, when I moved to Houston, TX, the events I booked were set up much differently compared to NYC and the hours were longer for the pay I was receiving. It was a tough decision, but I have no regrets. I continued to work on my passion (music) by uploading new mixes via music sites such as SoundCloud and Mixcloud. I took the extra time off to enjoy my weekends with family and friends. About seven months ago, I went through a rough time at work where I didn’t feel appreciated or utilized to the full potential of my abilities. I wanted to feel as though I was making a difference and find that happiness I once felt all those years before. I missed my passion and my soul was missing the expression of creativity through the art of music. I realized that I had allowed my passion to fade throughout the past five years and I wanted to feel fulfilled once more.  Since my return, I’m currently DJing at a Bar in Dallas called Bar Louie at Park Lane on Friday nights, rebranded with a new logo, and investing in my equipment.

You were born and raised in New York and since then you’ve moved to Texas. What differences or similarities do you find between both cities and their music vibes? First, we have to appreciate how New York and Texas impacted music history in general. Both cities have been a center for musical innovation and artists for both hip-hop, rock, blues, etc. However, both cities have unique styles and influences. That being said, the vibe between both cities lean more towards being very similar than different. I’ve heard other DJ’s at clubs, private events, and learned that guests actually enjoy all genres of music whether it’s top 40’s, classic rock, 80’s & 90’s dance. Just by listening to other DJ’s flow throughout the night, I tell myself “yep that works well and I would have done the same”.  As long as the DJ understands the crowd, can transition well between songs, and play unique remixes, the end result is impactful. I did find that it’s hard to play certain genres of music that were very popular back home but not as much here where I currently live. In New York, I loved playing Old School Reggae (Shabba Ranks, Super Cat), Old School House (Conversation, Break For Love), and Freestyle (Judy Torres, Stevie B). Being in Texas (Dallas), I made a few attempts in these genres and people didn’t respond well or friends had no clue what they were hearing. The vibe I felt was “change this already”!

What inspires your craft and your DJ mixes on Mixcloud? Prior to releasing new mixes on my Mixcloud page, it may take a few weeks to gather the right track/remix, flow, and inspiration before I finally record my session.  If the mix is not perfect, I’ll start over. My end goal is to share quality mixes for my audience. I take pride knowing that people are listening to my mixes while riding on train or bus, driving to work, working out, having a house party, summertime BBQs, etc. I want my followers to experience quality DJ mixes and come back for more.   

Who are some of the music figures that you look up to? All music figures from around the world such as music producers, band group, solo artist, or DJs are inspiring because they are masters of their craft and wake up every morning loving what they do. But, if I had to name a few, I look up to Sted-e & Hybrid Heights, Marc Anthony, and Justin Timberlake. As far as who has inspired me to reconnect with my inner creativity and passion? Honestly, the DJs whom I’ve known my whole life that I follow on social media. They post amazing pictures and videos of their DJ services, produce authentic music, and know the feeling of going to bed at 3am and waking up 3 hours later to do it all over again. I’ve been in their shoes at one point in my life. These are the figures in my life who continue to inspire me each and every single day.

What is your favorite part of the process of DJing? Aside from the adrenaline you feel when playing for a small group, a hundred, five hundred, or even a thousand people, I love discovering new music and remixes. I’ll spend hours researching, downloading new music from different sources, and think how I can incorporate them in my next event. Depending on the reaction or vibe from the crowd, some songs won’t make it two weeks in my playlist and I’ll delete them.      

In your opinion What makes a good DJ? How has the DJing scene changed and evolved? This two part question excites and disappointments me at the same time. I’ll start out with the excitement first. Throughout the years, companies such as Numark, Denon, Pioneer, etc., innovated their technology to help enhance the creativity, workflow preparation, seamless functionality between softwares, for both music producers and club DJs. Those who adapt to the technology and innovate/enhance their skills will create a memorable experience for the crowd.  Now, with the advanced technology comes its flaws. Many individuals want to be a DJ to make a quick buck and use mobile apps such as PYRO, new beat syncing technology, auto transition, etc., which results in taking away the creative aspect of what DJing is all about.  I understand that new technology will attract new talent in the industry. However, this also attracts those that are not passionate for the art of mixing and what it takes to be professional. I highly encourage individuals that have a passion for music to attend their nearest DJ school and learn from a professional. Go online and research the different types of hardware, software, and watch “how to” videos and understand the time you’ll investment to become a professional. It took me a good 4 years to feel comfortable, and to be quite honest, I’m still learning. Another option is to find a good mentor and shadow them to a club or event. These are great learning opportunities to learn how to read a crowd, mixing techniques, playlists creation, etc. Overall, DJs we take pride in our work, the hustle we put into it, the investment in new equipment, and most importantly understand that DJing can mean sacrificing time with family and friends.  Being a DJ takes more than just push and play, or have the technology do the work for you.

Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us today DJ BMIXD. We are happy you are back and wish you much success on your music-filled journey! 

You can find DJ BMIXD on Facebook and make sure you check out his mixes on MixCloud.