Are you Feeling Ignored?

I grew up a bit of an attention-seeker. Being the youngest of four siblings in a single-parent home after my Father passed away probably made me a classic case.
There are a few symptoms I notice from attention-seekers;

Guilt; they make you feel guilty for not spending time with them or energy on them.

Passive-aggressive: They give you a free pass for supposedly ignoring them, but make sure they insert a last minute blow of sarcasm. Along with it they’ll throw some quick facts in to try and confuse you.

Anger/Tantrums; they will imagine up a reason to be angry at you even though you didn’t do anything wrong.

Tears; whether real or crocodile, they are a classic tactic to drum up sympathy.

Lies; they might even vilify someone else in your life so you will wipe the others from the list and therefore your schedule will be clear for them.

I have used all of these at some point or another with the exception of making up stories about some third party. That takes it to a whole other level.

It seems to come from Desperation. It really strikes me as a symptom of plaguing loneliness.

When I was depressed, being in a room with anyone at least supplied some external energy (good or bad) to suppress my inner demons. But one of the real traits I was plagued with was envy.

Generally if a person doesn’t have hours and hours to spend with you, it means they have some things going on in their own life. They might have a successful job or another life-fulfilling purpose that is racking up the hours. For a person who doesn’t have much going on in their life, that doesn’t seem like something to be proud of in a partner. Their happiness or success is a constant reminder of what the sad person doesn’t have!

For me, I didn’t have the mental capacity to chase anyone else around anymore. But more than that, I realized that my fulfillment could not come from someone else.
The next question I asked myself, “While I am busy sucking the emotions of others, what am I actually GIVING?” It’s very difficult to come to that point during a terrible depression. My depression was a combination of selfishness and self-pity mixed with self-loathing and low self-worth. So try to un-blend that mess after you’ve hit high on the blender.

Creativity, my hobbies, my passions and spirituality are what broke me out of it all. I started to see that I had to bring the self-loathing into the middle from the left and the self-pity in way from the right. They seem to be meeting in the middle now and I am starting to see I am both a small part of this world and a very important part of the world which seems like a healthier blend.

I hope that you are finding YOUR spirit as though nobody else exists. Then, when we develop something to share, we can start being part of the giving team. The world is full of takers. Some don’t mean to be and some absolutely mean to be. With some encouragement, I believe everyone has the capacity to be giving.

And if you are one of those people who believe you have given too much, are you sure? Giving is supposed to be rewarding, right? If you are still feeling like you give and give and give, are you still expecting something in return? If you are feeling ignored from giving too much, what are you expecting back?

I think the people who give and are happy doing so, just keep moving on to the next thing and don’t look back for the praise or reward.

Much love on you!
Karen :)

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” ~Albert Einstein


Thank you ever so much…

I just wanted to write a note to extend an extra thank you to everyone who is making the STEVER; PUBLIC PLAYGROUND project (where we work on a song from the ground up together) a great community experience!
Below are Thursday’s videos (I am putting new ones up every day for 6 pm PDT) just to give you an example of how cool this has been. Frank Gryner is in the videos with me. Frank did the ‘Playground Isolator’ record with me and many of you may know him from his work on Zombie’s ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ and ‘Sinister Urge’ records. We are working on other music for STEVER outside of thepublicrecord.com but the community song will be the first time I have done a publicized collaboration.
It’s been great getting to know you all through the concept ideas you have all been sending! I’ve been smiling, teary, nostalgic and creatively uplifted by the tons of submissions so far!
This Sunday night will be the end of Phase 1 which is where you can send me a ‘Working Title’ and ‘Song Synopsis’. I will be writing lyrics all of next week from the ideas I have received and then I will upload a vocal for you to put drums on, followed by weeks of guitar, bass and overdub submissions.
I encourage everyone to participate even if you don’t do music. In the following weeks, I want to brainstorm with you about how the visual for the song will happen. I will welcome video editors, artwork etc. This is all charity-based and any proceeds that come from this project will go to charity, but you guys get to decide which charity that is by submitting a video of you pitching your favorite charity to our community.

Outside all of that, I would love to see a video where you say hello to me so we can connect on a new level. Cool? ;)
Our collaboration page is;
ROCK ON my friends!
Karen :)
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso


Is Frustration Overwhelming You?

“You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”~Ralph Marston

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now.”
“You’ve done it before and you can do it now.”
“You’ve done it before and you can do it now.”
“You’ve done it before and you can do it now.”

Man, hasn’t that phrase passed through my skull on countless occasions. It started with ‘The Little Engine That Could’ book as a child and the phrase “I think I can” transforming into “I know I can”. It went away for a while but then childhood hurdles became adult issues.

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now.” It’s a phrase that at least brings logic to the spinning thoughts. It’s saying, “This is not a big deal because you know how to do this.” We often need the reminder.

I have since learned where the root of my frustration in life has been living. The problem with aging is you become more tired and less interested in overcoming anything because a nap seems more appealing.

My frustration almost always comes from the ‘skipping record’.

Ever told someone the same thing 1000 times and you are seriously in shock they don’t get it? Ever put out 400 resumes and had no responses? What about cold-calling 100 companies and getting hung up on every time? Have you had computer problems where you have rebooted your system 50 times and it never fixes it?

Some of these frustrations we have are due to requiring the outcome to keep a roof over our heads. It’s crucial we get the results! The pressure of feeding children or paying bills is adequate reason to be frustrated. I think in this case we should be giving ourselves permission to be frustrated so long as like a good cry, we can muster up the energy after to move ahead. Frustration, like a good cry should be like eating junk food…it’s like a treat. LOL… allow it to come out in its full honesty, grab the whole box of Kleenex, yell into your pillow but then after resolve to move ahead. I have had such brutal kick and scream crying sessions in my life that I feel asleep where I took the bender and crashed. I started to realize that frustration was such an energy stealer because why else would I crash like that? I have had days of digging gardens or other manual labor that hasn’t made me as tired as frustration. I found out that I am mostly frustrated though if I am already tired to begin with. So, I started to choose a nap if I felt frustration coming on. A shower after the nap and a blueberry tea usually sets me on the right path. ;)

All that being said, the glorious recognition of taking a nap over becoming frustrated is you have learned to mellow out! Not all frustrating things are worth being frustrated over. They don’t necessarily matter.

The things that ARE worth it, really are begging for our sharpest attention and they are usually problems that can’t be resolved unless we are absolutely on point!
I hope that if you are going through some frustrating times, you can start with taking care of you so your body and mind are working at the proper capacity to overcome these hurdles.

We are granted new beginnings every moment of our life starting with the one right in front of us. If you need to rest for 20 minutes, take it! If you aren’t drinking enough water, go pour yourself a glass! If you need a 15 minute shower, have one! …whatever you need to do to get the cobwebs clear. Give that to yourself and be good to you!
Then with a settled mind, I encourage you to write down the things you need to tackle and start crossing them off the list.

In my opinion, frustration needs to be checked off first.

Much love on you!
Karen :)

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~John Lubbock


Is their Grass Greener than Yours?

I spent some of my life living in a subdivision where the only thing that looked physically different between houses was the paint on the garage doors. You know when everyone in the new subdivision takes their seemingly normal brick-faced façade and wants to show some individuality, so they paint the garage and front door bright red? (Unfortunately, the person next to them paints theirs bright yellow) After they both add the same colors of tulips to the front flowerbed, you have …McDonald’s.

I’d hear the women standing in the driveways comparing flowers, pets, child issues…husband problems. The men would huddle around some sporty car with a beer and cigarette and chat about sports. The issue wasn’t what they were discussing, it was the arrogance and competitive dialogue. Everyone seemed to want to one-up each other. At the end of the day, everyone’s car looked relatively the same and everyone’s home still matched each other.

I found living there to be disturbing on so many levels. I don’t say it with an ungrateful heart because I find my apartment (while unsettling for its own reasons) a step up because I don’t have to specifically deal with that mentality anymore. I also don’t mean to lump your subdivision in with it. You probably either get exactly where I am coming from, OR you have been one of the chosen few who have managed to overcome this and infiltrate with a new mentality. For that, I applaud you!

The mentality of one-upping each other is not exclusive to the subdivision, it’s just where I personally experienced it the most. It’s easy access to one another, you can stand in the driveway of your neighbor easily and borrowing a cup of sugar is handy enough. Also, children play together on bikes or with sidewalk chalk so the Moms are generally outside with them chatting away. This way of thinking however seems to be instilled long before anyone moves there.

I really can’t say an ill word about my upbringing. I consider myself a very blessed person with a series of smacks and unfortunate events along the way. One of the things my mom was big on was how we looked when we went somewhere. I slept on many many hard plastic rollers in my life and I had several outfits that matched my sisters (Between my Mom and Aunt, they LOVED to sew!) I think it’s really sweet to dress your children nicely to go visiting, but ‘don’t leave the house without lipstick’ carried its weight every single day of my life. The point was you have to be careful what others think of you. My Mom was just proud of her children, I don’t think it was bad…but when company would come the house had to be clean and the best teacups would come out.

Everyone has something be it big or small in their childhood which assists in framing this competitive mindset. But more than this, I thinking eye-balling what someone else has may be the consolation prize for not having happiness or contentment in many cases.

In the subdivision, I’d hear 4000 conversations over the grass. The Weed Man would come to one house and then everyone else would want him to come. He’d come aerate the lawn and then have to do everybody’s. Then the endless talks of grubs…oh my gaaaaawd…if grubs didn’t enter 4000 of my dreams while living there!
So everyone would stand in their bare feet and say, “Isn’t it great to stand on lush grass? It’s like carpet!”

Oh but then…then the dreaded news would come; WATERING RESTRICTIONS. Well, you’ve never seen hysteria until you tell people they can’t water their grass. It never dawned on anyone that the town was having a water shortage! They were willing to go without showers and dishwater over losing their privilege to water the grass!

So eventually the grass turned brown. Oh, it was as though the Great Depression of the Dirty 30’s struck. “No grass…what do we do?” “Do we rake up the dead stuff?” “NO! DON’T DO THAT!! You’ll pull up the roots!”

They really should have just rolled it up and smoked it and chilled out as far as I was concerned.

Whenever I was in an unhappy relationship, I found myself more competitive in anything that was a façade. If the house was vacuumed, it seemed less chaotic. If laundry was all caught up, there was no dirty laundry in the metaphorical sense. If how
I looked and where I lived looked better than the neighbors I could fool everyone including myself into thinking I could be happy.
It’s what we are sold in the ads and it’s why people spend more money on their grass than time with family.

I feel like we have wised up a lot to this though, thankfully it’s becoming increasingly transparent who’s happy and who isn’t whether their lawn is amazing or not. This might seem bad, but what I dig about it is that it opens a dialogue to get the root where the grubs are destroying it.

How are things at your home? Do you envy your neighbor? Their home? Their relationship? Their happiness? Are you sure they are? Do you measure your happiness by what they have or by what you don’t have? Or are you able to recognize what is good in your world to find contentment?

Love you guys!
Karen :)

“I'm thankful to be breathing, on this side of the grass. Whatever comes, comes.” ~Ron Perlman


The Biggest Jerk I’ve ever met had Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes

I just returned home from grabbing a Jamba Juice at the West Hollywood Gateway. I noticed there was some picketing going on so I went over to ask what was going on. It was a boycott against Target.

There always seems to be labor disputes of some kind going on around that corner. It’s a busy traffic section and so you get lots of eyeballs. This however was boycotting Target for some of their dollars going towards a political candidate who supports anti-gay something or other. I don’t honestly have all the facts, but the two men I spoke with (I am pretty sure were gay or supporters) were very articulate and factual, nothing hate-based in the way they spoke to me and I appreciated them remaining calm while they stated their cause. I hate when people get all feisty with picket signs. It’s like mosquitoes buzzing around my head. I end up more annoyed by them and miss anything substantial. A person who blatantly yells opinion at me doesn’t get my ear. People who are loving and inclusive do. If you are angry with a sign, I tend to equate it with your inability to be articulate. It doesn’t mean you can’t go exercise your freedom to do so, but just know…I won’t care very much and I kind of think it will be ineffective in most cases. Just string a couple sentences together, will ya? ;)

For the record, I can’t vote here because I am a Canadian and I hate talking politics, so I am not even going to go there. While I appreciate everyone’s political opinion is their own freedom, I won’t engage in it because it is a topic that I have never seen end well…and for that matter, it never ends at all. Can you say BORING? (by the way, I said BORING, not unimportant…BORING) Plus, as I have said before, it eats up valuable time when I can be making music. (and hanging with friends…YOU GUYS!) :)

I have talked before about the word ‘anti’ and my distaste for it. I wish more people would be FOR something than AGAINST. (I know, AGAINST abuse, AGAINST cruelty…yes yes, I get it) I just like people to be happy and considerate, that’s all.

What really bothers me is how throughout history we have to dispense ANY energy to being AGAINST people. Black people, Chinese People, Gay People, Straight People, Politicians…NOBODY to me should be derogatorily lumped in a group. I think what happens is one person in any of those groups will upset us and then it affects the whole group. If the guy who raped you is Black, you might be a little weird around Black People. If the annoying guy who lived next door to you happens to be gay, you might find yourself stereotyping the whole group. Then there is the passive-aggressive, "I don't hate them, I hate their lifestyle."

Well, my best friend (for the last 10+ years) is gay and you will never find anyone more gentle, loving and considerate than him. He’d sooner lock himself away from the world than partying at some bar on Saturday night like many people seem to think that community does all night long. He finds it depressing to not be able to find his soul mate. He didn't 'choose' it contrary to popular belief. It’s simply who he is. He's not going to 'become' straight. I love him so dearly and he’s saved my life on so many occasions.

For me, my teenage years were ruined by my Mother’s boyfriend. He was in his 50’s. He went to church. He helped everyone in town with their house repairs, dragged cars out of ditches in the winter, opened doors for strangers, helped little old ladies across the street.

He is white, has blonde hair and blue eyes. He hates anybody who isn’t. Black people are thieves to him, Chinese people are crooked in his eyes. He said Muslims are from the devil. Gay people are CONSTANTLY coming on to him (how freaking delusional) He thinks the government has stolen all his tax dollars…but man…that guy loved going up the skirts and down the tops of underage girls like nothing else!

If I learned no other lesson from him throughout the sexual abuse, it’s that I will never EVER lump anyone into a category. If you are a jerk, you’ve earned that title all by your little lonesome.

I can hardly wait until we have a day where all this hate is in our history books. But more so, I don't like when people try to control each other. Let people screw up their lives if that is what you think they are doing. While you are sitting depressed in your armchair, an entire community didn't do that to you. It's probably a good idea to refocus where our problems are really coming from. They are usually inside of us.

The saddest part though is that we have an epidemic of people who have been so hurt that they don’t know any better than to lump a whole group of people. I therefore am not completely annoyed at them. It’s just a bad virus spreading throughout our generations. Some people are taught to hate, some people were pushed to hate and some people simply need to explore the world outside of their hometown.

Don’t be one of the jerks, can you do that for me? Can ya? Can ya? Lol

MUCH love on ya!
Karen :)

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~M.L.K. Jr.


Do you feel Uninspired?

The last few days it’s been interesting to read all the responses concerning musical enlightenment and the conversation about taking things in our life and setting them free, turning them into art etc.

Many of us have difficulty finding inspiration for our art, heck even getting up in the morning. Inspiration is an amazing thing and is very cool, but I no longer require it. I do have moments where I simply don’t feel like working on something and having a brutal history with depression where Black Dog (Not the Zep song) will creep in and say, ‘Why bother?’ but I don’t need a wave of inspiration to come crashing down my door and carry me into the studio chair.

I might be one of those people with too many ideas and have difficulty getting everything done I want to do in a day. I’m scattered from too many things happening.
Last night was pretty damn amazing. I wouldn’t say I came up with anything necessarily cooler than any other night, although I can say I like some things better than others but I had a much deeper experience outside of the music because of the music, if that makes sense.

There is a scene in Copying Beethoven where he is running from his abusive father to sleep under the stars and it was breath-taking. That showed me that the music came from a real place. He wasn’t waiting on ideas in front of his piano. His emotions had to come out in song.

That happened to me a few years ago where I ignored the world and made music because it was for me. I needed to get things out and didn’t care who heard it. I felt shocked that anyone would want to seeing as everyone in my life at that time was ignoring me.

As for last night, the best analogy I can give you is the scene where he is on his death bed and explaining the sounds he hears to his Copyist. He hears them because they came in on a wave of spirituality, not on his ego like previous pieces. I loved that he would describe the notes as if they were children.

This is the turn the music has taken. (No, I am not on my death bed…lol)

I say it’s “the music” and not “my music” because I don’t feel like I own it anymore. You might liken it to the day you realize your children are not actually yours. Sure every parent says, ‘my son’ or ‘my daughter’, but once you realize it’s your higher calling to raise another individual spirit, you do it with a superior revelation of love because you want what is best for them as opposed to them simply supplying you with joy. In turn, the joy you receive just watching them grow is your enlightened state.

I realized last night that the flow of music wasn’t actually coming from me. The song was going where it wanted and I felt like I was being pulled by its current. That hasn’t happened before. I thought it had, I have always told clients that the song is the boss, not me or them…but it’s becoming so clear to me that the language of music (like Michelangelo’s Angel) works without us as its own entity. I feel like we are just vessels for a higher message. I feel incredibly humbled by the undertow and I wonder what it wants.

For this very reason (not church or preachers) I know we are indeed spirits before and above being human. Music is a universal language that not everyone speaks, but everyone understands. We can be hated by everyone around us, frustrated by society’s dismal alleys and angered by injustice. We can feel like there is nobody listening and we have nobody to turn to. We can feel so incredibly saddened by our own desolation and trapped by misery and there, there on the edge of our skin is music, waiting to comfort, console and lift us up!

With a zillion religions out there, for me there is only one voice for God and he speaks fluent Music.

I am really looking forward to sharing it all with you, but like children…I need this collection to grow into its intention. I am enjoying being a spectator in it all.

I think like any good relationship, when we let go of the ownership, we are free to simply enjoy it. But then with the pure intention, there are all these tiny patches of wisdom and wonderment that come. I am glad to not need inspiration anymore because it means I can just have a relationship with the music. We shouldn’t need inspiration to have a relationship with our family or friends, right? We just experience them!

I've made music for my entire life, written thousands of songs and I feel like I am seeing it for the first time. Innocence is truly the most beautiful thing on earth. I think it’s so true when they say it has been stripped from us. I am sure there is a great ‘Why’ going on and I really don’t care right now. I am busy running through tall grass.

But, as always I am looking forward to the next wave of learning. I just need to stay wide-eyed…or maybe just still with my eyes closed….or maybe move really fast and run with scissors…who knows? ;)

Love you guys! Hope all is well!
Karen :)

“Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” ~Beethoven