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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Conversations Unveils Its Feb./March 2013 Music Cover

Conversations Media Group is excited to unveil the cover for the upcoming Feb./March 2013 issue of Conversations with Music Magazine.

"Conversations with Music has grown tremendously since its debut in 2012," says Cyrus Webb, Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine and the President of CMG. "We are excited that the new issue will not only showcase our growth but highlight some tremendous talent as well.

Featuring amazing talent like Trillogy, Shannon Bex, Chelsea Crites, Matthew Zeiss, Zephaniah, Wang Chung and more, Conversations with Music Magazine's first issue of 2013 is packed with great conversations and something for all music lovers.

The issue releases Friday, January 25, 2013. You can order your copy for only $6.99, shipping included at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9WB3CJYUVAELE. Find out more information about Conversations Magazine at www.conversationsmag.com.

Monday, January 7, 2013

"Relationship Tips From GOOD GRAVY" by Will and Odette Hooks


From their relationship self help book, Good Gravy, married co-authors, Life and Business Coaches and Inspirational Speakers, Will and Odette Hooks offer tips you can use in your relationship to keep the fire burning or to start the fire.

Chapter 1  RELATIONSHIP

Tip1:  Communication – Effective communication is a must have component to having a strong and healthy relationship.  How you communicate with one another is important to how the outcome of the conversation will turn out.

Will: Most men dread hearing these heart wrenching words “We need to talk” it usually means something’s wrong or that we’ve screwed something up in a major way. This is especially true when effective and controlled communication is not a strong point of the relationship.  Contrary to popular opinion; idle talk is not communicating, nor is casually suggesting how you feel to your partner which is more like beating around the bush.  Having a shouting match with your mate then tarring into an out of control tirade is certainly not communicating.  Effective communication within a relationship must be a deliberate and thoughtful exercise. Incorporating healthy communication into a relationship serve only to broaden, heal, and strengthen the overall relationship.  
OdetteIn a relationship we, women, have a tendency to talk too much, nag, or yell and scream.  This makes it a little difficult for the woman who truly wants to have an intellectual conversation to help dissolve the problem or problems.  We must learn to listen and talk to our mate and not at him.

Tip 2:  Respect – Respect within a relationship is of vital importance whereas each individual has a right to their own opinion and point of view.  Though a couple may not always agree on every issue, the presence of respect allows for understanding. One must consider a person’s time, feelings and needs as important enough to render the highest level of respect for their partner. We need to respect each other on a daily basis.  Women really need to respect their man especially during a disagreement.

Will: The scenario of two opposing genders coming together in creating a relationship strongly suggests that in order for the relationship to be a success compromise must be an essential element.  There will undoubtedly be moments of disagreement in any relationship.  Respect for the opinion and view of another as well as their right to have a differing perspective is very important.
OdetteIn general, as women I don’t know if we simply don’t realize how we talk to our mate when we are upset, mad and/or frustrated.  We talk down to talk to them like they are a child and not the man we fell in love with.  Being that a man likes to feel like a man from his woman, if he is not receiving it he will find it elsewhere.

Chapter 2  SINGLE
Tip1:  Enjoy it! - Being single too long seems to be looked at as  taboo for women.  This should be a time for a man or a woman to really get to know more about self.

Will: What can you say?  The single life is a golden opportunity of self-discovery. To sample all that life has to offer in order to make a sound choice of which path ones life will take.
OdetteWomen seem to be in a rush to get married but I challenge each and every single woman out there to get to know herself and truly fall in love with you. You are special in every way but you have got to know that before you can expect anyone else to discover you’re special.

Tip 2:  You can do bad all by yourself  - A person should always desire to be with someone that helps to “Brings the best out of them” The idea of being in a relationship with someone that brings nothing good to the table or takes away from the relationship far more than they contribute; makes no sense at all.

Will:   Any relationship that takes away from a person their peace, vitality, joys and enthusiasm for life is only worth letting go. Two are better than one; therefore the idea of a relationship should uplift, inspire, and embolden a person’s individual strengths.

OdetteMy mother use to tell me this one all the time about life and I took it and applied it to relationships.  A man had to bring something to the table other than lies, false promises and the ability to make things convenient be the reason why things don’t work out for him all the time.

Chapter 3  FRIENDSHIP
Tip1:  Back Door Entrance (Get to really know each other) - As just friends you will open up much faster and share your dreams, goals, hopes, desire, hurts, pains, etc… than you ever would having met out of the blue and started dating.

Will:   I would describe friendship as a painless way of building a relationship.  Knowing a person from the aspect of a friend greatly minimizes the impact of the unknown issues relating to dating out of the blue.
OdetteFor those of you who are already in a relationship and believe you have missed the friendship stage I challenge you to learn how to each other’s friend.  You will learn so much about one another.

Tip 2:  The Friend Zone - Don’t get stuck in the “Friend Zone” its hard to get out, but not impossible.

Will:  If the friendship is true, one should take advantage of this position and communicate the feelings they hold in their heart.
OdetteAs a woman, I waited until Will showed a definite attraction to me before I took the step to tell him how I feel.

Chapter 4  DATING
Tip1:  Law of Attraction – What you put out comes right back; good or bad. 

Will:  In the mind of a man there are only two types of women; ‘Take home” and ‘Take home to Mom’  which category a woman falls in totally depends on what she’s putting out.   This will determine what type of man will approach her and what approach he will use.
OdetteLadies you believe in your heart that every relationship you enter into will be like all the rest; then that is exactly what type of relationship you will get.  You must know that the next relationship will be the best relationship.  Or, the relationship you are in will get better each and every day.

Tip 2:  A Fool in Love - It’s amazing what someone in love will do for a person that does not love them back.

Will: If a person’s relationship is requiring that they abandon common sense on a consistently reoccurring basis that’s a fool in love.  Taking care of a full grown individual who is fully capable of doing for themselves is foolish.
OdetteLadies, please wake up. Stop putting yourself in the position of finding yourself in a relationship with a man that you take care of all the time, lie for and/or even go to jail for the sake of “your man.” 

Chapter 5  MARRIAGE
Tip1: Keep the music playing - Don’t lose sight of the most important part of the relationship; ‘Your Love’.  Compliments, little things mean a lot, date again, time well spent, etc…

Will:  Somewhere in the course of marriage there is a shift the relationship seems to move away from the gestures and the excitement that got the ball rolling in the first place.  This happens deliberately and therefore there must be determination to always hang on to essence of what caused love to bloom.
OdetteWoman, show your man your love for him a little differently.  Run his bath water sometimes, give him a massage, and tell him all the good things he is to you.  Men may not be as nearly as emotional as we are but there still have emotions.

Tip 2:  Outside Influences - They ruin the best relationships.

Will:   One of the major influences on any relationship is family and friends, but at the end of the day the relationship is with the person only and not the extension of the person.  That time will come.
OdetteStop listening to your girlfriends about your relationship and I would even go a step further.  Stop allowing your family into your relationship between you and your mate.  They can mean well but they can also be detrimental to your relationship.

Chapter 6  ABUSE
Tip1:  Love - learn and understand what love truly is.  Abuse is NOT LOVE! 

Will: I find it hard to believe that a person can quickly identify abuse when it is directed toward an animal or a child but will somehow rationalize the abuse they suffer as love.
Odette:  I believe the root of all abuse lies with the person being abused.  The person being abused has the control to stop the abuse by removing themselves from the situation.

Tip 2:  Safeguard & Security - Safety is the first and best key in avoiding becoming a victim of violence.

Will:  When dating someone you know nothing about, personal safety should always be the utmost thought in a person's mind.   A person should never allow themselves to be put in a situation that takes away their control.
Odette:  Women stop leaving the bar/club with a man you do not know and going to his house.  Do you know how many things could go wrong?  

Find out more about the book GOOD GRAVY and its authors Will and Odette Hooks at www.willandodette.com

Recording Artist Dan Godlin: Living Life Unafraid

by Cyrus Webb

Discovering your passion is one thing. Letting it guide you in life is another. For recording artist Dan Godlin the release of his album LOVING ON EMPTY is not just a treat for his fans. It's an expression of who he is and what matters to him.

"This album was 3 1/2 years in the making," he told me during our conversation about his career and the new project. "I had gone off to college and found myself out of place there. I decided that I wanted to do something different with my life, something out of the box."

That thinking and living outside the box led him back to is passion: music.  "When I was in middle school I dabbled with music," Godlin explained. "I had an ear for good music. Later I got into sports and was really good at that." The time had come, though, when he knew he had to make a choice as to the direction he wanted his life to go in. "I had to make a decision what I wanted to do with my life," he says. "Deep down inside I always knew that music was my passion. It came to a point when I had to share who I was: a musician."

LOVING ON EMPTY is not just a testament to Godlin being a musician. It shares the story of his life through song, something that his fans have really taken to. Getting to this place, though, took some time and hard work. "I went out to Los Angeles and worked really hard, building a solid foundation through networking.  Looking back at it now this album is more than anything an accomplishment for me."

He realizes that the message is one that speaks to more than just him. "It's an album that speaks about young love and my relationships. I feel really accomplished, and I'm really excited when other people are able to connect with the music and my lyrics. I feel really respected that way. It's a rewarding feeling."

During our time discussing his career I found out that he enjoys some of the same artists that I listen to. "My main inspiration has been Rob Thomas," Godlin says. "Whether he's with Matchbox 20 or solo he always has the character, stage presence and personality that was really vibrant which I connected with so much. He's an incredible songwriter: everything about him, what he stands for and the way he does music is so inspiring." Another artist that resonates with Godlin is John Meyer. "I always loved his songwriting and his performances are outstanding," he says."

Dan Godlin is now comfortable on the stage, sharing the message of his songs with his audience. Getting to this point has taken some hard work and learning to live life unafraid when it comes to his gift. "It was a very scary transition for me," he says "When I made the move to LA I didn't have any friends out there. I was building from the bottom up. All this work came out in this album. I know see that the album was not the end at all. It's the beginning. This is who I am as an artist. This is just the beginning of my career. All the stuff leading up to this was just preparation. I'm entering into this world and showing people who I am. I'm going to continue to perform, continue to write."

Just as Dan Godlin is a fan of the likes of Rob Thomas and John Meyer, he now has his own fans. I asked him what that has been like. "It's an odd thing," he admits. "There is no transition. It's like you're thrown into it. People become attached to you and your message." Social media has given his fans easy access to him and vice-versa. "Through it you continue that conversation with them. This is a relationship I want to build." With every milestone he reaches, it is becoming more and more real. "It's slowly sinking in that this is my life now," he says. "I'm building this career and fans are what make it. Without listeners there is no use for the music. It's all a process."

So now that he has the world looking in his direction what does Dan Godlin hope comes from the attention? "I want them to think about how the music affects them. Now more than ever it is about the brand. At the end of the day I really just want to write music that people can connect to. I want them to see me as influential in the business. I want to do a lot of different things. I'm more than just an artist."

His advice for other artists is simple: "You gotta write a bunch of bad bad songs until you finally find the good one," he says "The way to really connect with people is to be honest with yourself. If you do that continuously and you write about that then people are going to connect with you. There is no doubt that if you are writing from the heart people are going to connect with you."

Stay tuned with everything going on with Dan Godlin on his website www.dangodlin.com. On social media you can follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dangodlin and like his Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/dangodlin.

Jennifer Hancock's Bully Vaccine

by Cyrus Webb

Through my conversations with individuals through Conversations the radio show and the magazine I have been able to not only bring attention to issues that matter but also learn something along the way. Such was the case with author and humanist Jennifer Hancock. Before prepping to interview her about the book THE BULLY VACCINE I couldn't remember ever hearing of humanism before. Now I understand that it is exactly what I have tried to do with my life and the platform I have: live life to the fullest, love other people and leave the world a better place. What a great thing for all of us.

Through the work she is privileged to do, Jennifer has made a mark that is literally helping to transform the way people see themselves and the work they have to do here on earth. They are learning to be better., and it has begun by as Jennifer says making a "cconscious decision how we are going to approach life."

That's just it: It's an actual shift in our thinking and our perception of who we are. "Regardless of the difficulties I have in life," says Jennifer, "I'm a happy person. At the end of the day I know I am doing my best to be an ethical individual. Am I perfect? No one is, but I am making a conscious effort to be in control of my emotions so that I can be that good, compassionate person I want to be."

That compassion is not going unnoticed. Those who have benefited from Hancock's humanistic approach have made it known, and even discussing it made her emotional. "It's really humbling the kind of feedback I get," she told me. "Part of it is that I'm not teaching anything new." She says the fact that others are being helped to see themselves differently is "deeply satisfying."

The book THE BULLY VACCINE by Jennifer is one that is getting a great deal of attention right now and for good reason. It is designed to help parents "vaccinate" their kids against bullies. It is her belief that by preparing for interactions with bullies in advance you can effectively inoculate yourself against the worst of their behavior.

"The goal is to not be the sort of person a bully targets," she told me. "It is much easier to prevent bullying than it is to stop it once it starts. We can do something about it. Teaching kids how not to be bullies is easy. You don't need all of the kids in the school to learn this. You just need some of the kids to learn it so that they can become empowered to stand up for themselves and other kids as well. When others stand up it ends the bullying culture."

Jennifer is convinced that this approach is not only practical but brings about results. "It's such an easy thing to do," she says. "Those of us who care and want to live in a more compassionate society than we do now have a moral obligation to make a commitment to our children to teach them these skills so that we can have that kind of society. It doesn't mean we aren't going to have aggressive kids. Personalities are what they are, but it's about whether the more aggressive kid ever learns how to bully and whether that tactic is successful for them."

Like the rest of her life, Jennifer believes that by teaching others the way to treat others is really a direct result as to how we see ourselves. "We are looking out at the world through our lens," she says. "We are the center of our own universe. What we have to do is realize that our viewpoint is by definition biased because it's ours. By reminding yourself that your viewpoint is faulty helps you to be compassionate towards yourself first and allows you to think of conflict in a whole new way."

Find out more about Jennifer Hancock and her book THE BULLY VACCINE at www.bullyvaccine.com.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mary's Motivational Message: LETTERS OF GRATITUDE


In the past I have spoken on the subject of GRATITUDE however, recently I was encouraged to put my words into action; Actions that would transcend through me and directly impact lives.

With that said, several months ago I became affiliated with a movement called, TeamHealthMe. The vision of TeamHealthMe, is to establish a platform of encouragement as we move towards optimal health; a health balance of physical, emotional and spiritual self. The founder Tiera Gilder sums it up as, “Balancing your PESce so that you can experience true PEACE.”

Recently, she incorporated a 30-day challenge. The foundation of Day five’s challenge was focused on extending GRATITUDE. All were instructed to reflect on their individual journey while internally connecting with those who have added profoundness. That profoundness could derive from something as simplistic as a word or action that added a special something within a moment.

In addition, all were encouraged to identify three individuals who had touched their lives and forward to them a letter of heartfelt GRATITUDE.

As I sifted through my mental Rolodex, cell contacts and phone book I began to understand a reality, numerous individuals have been so good to me. Truth be told, I could write hundreds of letters acknowledging the love, kindness, generosity and mentorship that has been extended on so many levels.
In the construction of those three letters existed a power; within the core of that power housed a validation of our interconnectedness. And that connectedness is an intricate part of our identity.

As you rush through the Christmas Season and prepare for the New Year, set aside a moment to reflect on those who have stood and those who continue to stand on the front line with you. Regardless, if your act of appreciation is grand or as simplistic as a letter, continue to extend gratitude to those who have added profoundness to your journey.

Happy New Year, Love, Peace and Joy.

Mary E. Gilder

Mary E. Gilder is the author of the award winning novel, “A Misrepresentation of Myself.” Mary can be contacted at: meg@maryegilder.com or bookclubs.maryegilder@yahoo.com. Also, visit her website at: maryegilder.com

"January--Making Change Stick Month"


by Dr. Joe Dispenza, Leading Brain/Change Expert and International Bestselling Author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

Contrary to what you might think after having set out to keep your New Year's Resolutions in the past, only to see them dissolve in frustration and failure, the brain is the organ of change. The concept in neuroscience called neuroplasticity demonstrates that the brain alters itself every time we learn something new. Our nerve cells are specially arranged by what we learn, what we remember, what we experience, what we feel and what we envision. Our 100 billion brain cells are always communicating with the rest of our anatomy. If you learn even one new bit of information today, tiny brain cells will make new connections within the living lattice work of your system. In other words, when we really change our mind, the brain changes...and then we can effect permanent, lasting change.

 Not more than thirty or forty years ago, there was a unanimous belief in biology that the brain was hardwired, meaning that we are born with a certain amount of neurological connections and the finality in life was that we were going to turn out like our parents. But with the advent of the latest technologies in functional imagery it is apparent that it is very possible to make the brain work differently. In fact, research out of the University of Wisconsin has proven something as simple as attention or focused concentration is a skill just like golf or tennis. In other words, the more you practice being mindful the better you get at it.

 In addition, functional imagery has clearly proven that we can also change the brain just by thinking differently. For example, people that never played the piano were divided into groups.The first group physically played one-handed finger exercises like scales and cords, and as a result of the new activity, their brains changed. The before and after results of the functional brain scans showed new areas of the brain activated. In essence, not only did they make a new mind, literally new brain circuits flourished. 

 However, when a second group was asked to mentally rehearse the same scales and cords in their mind for the same amount of time, they grew the same amount of brain connections as the group who physically demonstrated the activity. Simply put, when we are truly focused and attentive, the brain does not know the difference between what is happening in our minds eye and what is happening in the external world.

 So, when you take the time out of your busy schedule and begin to intentionally dream a new reality, focusing on your goal of losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising daily-for example--just remember that your brain is rewiring itself to your desires and your body is being reconditioned in order to prepare itself for that new event. Therefore, if you mentally rehearse daily what it would be like to experience any transformation, there will be internal changes taking place that will begin to help you achieve your goal.  

So if you want to Make Change Stick, here are seven initial steps to start you on the path. 

1) INTENTION, INTENTION, INTENTION! 

Write a clear and simple resolution statement. This tells your brain that you mean it. Make sure your mission statement creates a positive feeling for you. Avoid words such as not and don't. Make your resolution specific. Instead of saying you want to eat healthier, say, "I will eat a fresh healthy salad once a day so that I look better and feel better about myself." Your intention is your mental compass. The clearer your purpose, the better you know where you are going and how you will get there.

2) SPONSORING THOUGHTS!

List strong reasons about why you want to change. This is the biggest secret to making change stick. You should feel passionate about each one of these thoughts. Be specific. For example, if you are interested in losing weight, one reason could be to wear your mother's wedding dress for your wedding ceremony in five months. If intention gives you your direction, then your sponsoring thoughts are the fuel to get you going each day in your direction.

3) REVIEW, REMIND AND PRIME!

Create a plan. Then review your actions steps daily. To get yourself in the right state of mind, review your specific behaviors for the day when you wake up in the morning and/or before you go to bed in the evening. This little exercise literally sets up your day so that you stay conscious of your change. If you imagine yourself making the necessary decisions for that day, you will begin to prime your brain to automatically follow your intentions. Your mental rehearsal can install the neurological hardware and software so that you have the circuits in place to use when executing your changes appropriately. For instance, questions like: "What do I have to do to get there?" Write down the steps. "When do I need to have those steps taken?" Decide what steps you can take this day or even right now. Review and remind yourself of the entire plan and then take the first step. Think of this as reviewing your map on your journey to change. The more you do it the easier it is to get to your destination.

4) ALIGN YOUR BEHAVIOR TO MATCH YOUR INTENTION!

Hold yourself accountable by demonstrating change in your entire day. One of the hardest parts of breaking a habit is to not make the same choices you made days, weeks or months prior. When you decide what you are not going to do that day, it will help keep you on task. The biggest reason most people fall short of their vision relates to giving into familiar feelings. Get clear that when those feelings, cravings and bodily urges come up during your day that drive your devilish thoughts to concede, that you have the will to conquer them. This is when you take your 'new you' for a test drive. Your daily goals will always be in alignment with your ongoing intention. Think of this step as small destinations or towns you arrive at along your journey. 

 5) TRACK YOUR CHANGES!

Create a reward system for yourself. If you can create a chart that you can see or a ledger you review daily and then check your wins off daily, you will begin to make your discipline and changes a new habit....and build a new feeling of self esteem, worth and belief that you are doing it. If however, you fall from grace one day, make the choice to get back into your routine the very next day without wallowing in failure, guilt and self-depreciation. These emotions will surely undermine your efforts and cause you to return to the old self that may have already felt that way for too long. It's always good to see how far you have come and how you are doing.

 6) COME OUT OF YOUR RESTING STATE: CHANGE YOUR ENERGY

Change can be uncomfortable. When we are in the midst of change, it feels unnatural, unfamiliar and uncertain because we are no longer 'being' the same person. You are in the unknown. We are changing how we think, how we act and how we feel. Therefore, each day when you begin you must lift yourself into a new state of being and raise your energy. Questions like: "How would I have to 'be' today to master my day?" "How would I feel in my future when I am this person?" These are key ingredients. I like to say, "I cannot get up today as the same person who sat down, I must be in a new state of being and live from this level of energy." Get excited that you can conquer yourself in some way.

 7) CUE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

There is nothing more satisfying than to have little reminders in your life to keep you on track. Place pictures, notes, word phrases, and/or vision boards where you can see them daily, such as at your desk, on the refrigerator or pasted to the bathroom mirror. You can even play certain motivational CD's in your car, or MP3 files while you exercise or inspirational music. These will keep you on task by reminding you that what you are doing is important. The more you stay conscious of your future, the more inspired you will be to overcome your present reality.  

  
These are but a few starter steps. There is much more that can be done to ensure that you can Make Change Stick. But simply know that it is possible to change. True transformation is possible--and it is possible for YOU!   

Dr. Joe Dispenza is known as one the world's most prominent brain/change experts and author of the international bestselling books Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, and Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind. He was also one of the featured researchers in What the BLEEP Do We Know!? Dr. Dispenza will be leading the Making Change Stick workshop Saturday January 19 in Vancouver with step-by-step guidance and meditation techniques, which will also be streamed to venues across North America, with local facilitators present to help people anchor the concepts. For more information on Dr. Dispenza, his events and his books, go to www.drjoedispenza.com.