ALZHEIMER'S, CLOWNS & MUSIC - Bringing Joy to the Homebound

  Gitchie 2

A few weeks ago, my friend Peggy visited from New York. We spent some time talking about her 91-year old mom who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago. As her mom's world continues to get smaller and smaller because she goes out less and less, Peggy finds ways to bring joy and laughter directly to her mom. And some of her ideas are so great that I wanted to share them here for all of us who are facing the Baby Boomer dilemma of caring for aging parents.

Peggy's mom had been a schoolteacher and was always very creative and fun loving. Naturally, she raised a daughter who is also very creative and fun loving. I call her the CFO - Chief Fun Officer - as she continues to find ways to bring light into her mother's life. For example, she bought her mom a Pancho the Talking Parrot from Publisher’s Clearinghouse that repeats whatever is said. Her mom LOVED having the company! In fact she loved it so much that Peggy found a talking dog and talking bear too! One day, when she arrived at her mom's house, her Mom had put the animals in a circle...and ALL of the animals were talking to each other!

Speaking of animals, there was a recent article in the New York Times about "therapy cats" (mechanical cats that purr and move) helping many dementia patients feel joy again. I recommended the mechanical cats to another daughter of an Alzheimer's patient who RAVED about how it made her mother smile for the first time in a very long time! Petting something furry works wonders. Just ask any Golden Retriever...

Peggy finds ways to continually provide stimulation, amusement, nourishment and love every chance she gets. Recently, she invited some friends and neighbors over and hired a clown to entertain them, make balloon animals and spend some time being silly. And a good time was had by all, including the clown. Another activity involved puppet making with family and friends who happily posed for pictures with their owl and puppy puppets. Yes, that's Peggy's mom with the whole menagerie in front of her.

And let's not forget about the soothing power of music. One day last month, Peg hired a string quartet to play an afternoon concert in the living room, and has booked a Spring concert with singer-songwriter Maria LoBalbo. During our visit, she shared with me that one of the things that helps when she has to drive her mom to appointments is listening to my music in the car.  Of course, that made me very, very happy! I asked her which songs her mom likes the best which led to a few delightful hours going through my four albums selecting the songs her mom's favs. Not surprisingly, they were the songs with an upbeat tempo, repetitive lyrics, uplifting messages and easy-to-sing melodies. There were 21 songs in all, adding up to more than an hour of music.

Below is the list of songs with the name of album in parentheses for use with Alzheimer's and dementia patients...and those who care for them. (Yes, this means you.) All of the songs are available for download on iTunes and CD Baby.  (If you prefer CDs, you can purchase the complete set at CD Baby. Or if you only want the Playlist of these 21 songs, send me a message and I'll burn a CD for you for $9.99)

Thank you (and Peggy) for letting me be a part of your journey…

THE PLAYLIST
1.  Take Me Home (Soul Feathers)
2.  Rare Rainy Day (Soul Feathers)
3.  May I (Soul Feathers)
4.  Welcome Home (Soul Feathers)
5.  I Feel Your Grace (Soul Feathers)
6.  Forgiveness (Soul Feathers)
7.  Breathe Deep (Soul Feathers)
8.  Can You Hear Me, Butterfly? (Transitions - Music to Soothe the Soul)
9.  Love (Transitions - Music to Soothe the Soul)
10. Dance With Me, Spirit (Transitions - Music to Soothe the Soul)
11. Ba Ba Black Sheep (Single)
12. Well Being Abounds (Music In My Soul)
13. Easier Road* (Music In My Soul)
14. Our Song (Music In My Soul)
15. Heavenly Union (Music In My Soul)
16. It’s About Joy* (Music In My Soul)
17. My Nature (Reach Up)
18. Breathe (Reach Up)
19. Love Is Light (Reach Up)
20. Ancestors & Angels (Reach Up)
21. Flow (Reach Up)

*All songs by Sandi Kimmel except Easier Road and It's About Joy, co-written with Maria LoBalbo


LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE...

Snoopy

Ah, words can't do it alone...but MUSIC can! Besides, I never understood why we designate only one day per year to Love! I make a motion to dedicate EVERY day to Love. Nothing else matters anyway...

Here are a few Love songs to lift your spirits today...and every day!

LOVE
Love

LOVE IS LIGHT

Love Is Light

IF I COULD GIVE YOU EVERYTHING

 If I Could Give You Everything

All songs by Sandi Kimmel

© S. Kimmel, Sandessence Music

All of my music is available on iTunes and CD Baby. You can listen anytime on Spotify, SoundCloudPandora, YouTube and many other internet radio stations. Much Love to you all...

 

 

 


A SPECIAL VALENTINE = YOU!

Freekisses

I originally posted this message of this blog a few years ago, but it's every bit as relevant now as it was then. The journey toward self-love is a long and challenging one, but honestly, it's well worth the effort. If not you...who? If not now...when??

Unconditional love starts at home. Because if you don't love you how can you believe someone else when they say they love you? If you've spent any time struggling with your own love-ability and self-esteem because you internalized well-meaning but negative comments, this might seem like an impossible challenge.

But just as Rome wasn't built in a day, re-building a sense of self-love is a process. And just like Rome, it is so worth the effort! Brick by brick, breath by breath, moment by moment, the keys to the city are in your hands. Take these 10 small steps to give your relationship with yourself a boost:

1.  Turn down the volume - on the news, the negative and the noise. (Now more than ever!)
2.  Give yourself enough time to rest. Napping rocks.
3.  Make a promise to yourself… And keep it.
4.  Treat yourself with gentle good humor. Take a long, sweet look in the mirror and see the beauty in your eyes. Wink. Smile.
5.  Forgive yourself for EVERYTHING. You were doing the best you knew how to do at the time that you did it.
6.  Use moisturizer when you get out of the bath or shower. Apply it as if you were putting it on a baby…because you are, in the nicest way.
7.  Ask your inner healer if there are any vitamins or supplements you should be taking. Follow your intuition.
8.  Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers for no special occasion at all. Repeat weekly.
9.  Eat healthier, drink more water, be merrier.
10. Smile often and watch what happens.

And for a special Valentine's Day treat, enjoy Derek Walcott's amazing poem Love After Love:

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Oh, and one more delicious morsel by poet Nayyirah Waheed to encourage you to make Valentine's Day about you:

"and i said to my body. softly. 'i want to be your friend.' it took a long breath. and replied 'i have been waiting my whole life for this."

Besides, who needs flowers or chocolates when you have a loving relationship with your innermost self all year long? Well...OK, a little dark chocolate is good for the heart. 

Do you hear what I hear? It's the sound of water flowing in the Trevi Fountain.  Ah, Rome...

 


DEEP WINTER - Look Inside

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I don't know about you, but I tend to get really, really quiet this time of year. And even though I live in Southern California where winter is hardly a brutal affair, I still feel the tug to stay home, do some thinking and feeling and being, maybe even tackle few annual household chores like cleaning the closets or the Everything Drawer. Journal. Noodle. Nest.

I do my best to honor winter in whatever ways I can, knowing that every season has a reason for being, and deep winter is no exception. Just like we can't see what's happening under the surface outside, every spring, like clockwork, we are treated once again to the grand display of all of the growth that took place in the dark months of winter. Underground. Out of view. (Of course, if you look closely even now, you'll see the signs of what's to come in the swollen buds on winter branches.)

For me, it’s the perfect reminder each year to release any outdated thoughts and beliefs...as well as clothes that I haven't worn or books I finally admit I’ll never read. It’s the time of year to take a closer look at who I’ve been and who I want to be, taking some time to turn the camera around and pointing it on the inside. Taking time to breathe and be, settle in to the short days and long nights to discover even more about my own path.

As above, so below. Inner space is as vast as outer space. Inner work is as important as outer work. Finding the warm embrace of deep winter is one of the most precious gifts of the year.

Look inside…
Look inside
To find the you you're meant to be
Look inside, look inside
To find the key to set you free

Take a breath
Take some time
Let the holding go…

Look Inside

LOOK INSIDE
Words by Sandi Kimmel
Music by Thomas Barquee

Look inside, look inside
To find the you you're meant to be
Look inside, look inside
To find the key to set you free

Take a breath, take some time
Let the holding go

The outside world is beckoning
To keep you in the race
There's only one solution
That can help you find your place

Look inside, look inside
To find the key to set you free
Look inside to know
Look inside to grow

The world is full of busy-ness
As we spin our way through space
Our minds are full of chatter on
The pressure and the pace

Take a breath, take some time
Let the holding go
Look inside to know
Look inside to grow


I let it go…
I let it go…
I let it go…
I let it go…

© 2016 T. Barquee & S. Kimmel

 

Please visit my website to learn more about my music, and my collaboration with Thomas here.  Look Inside is on Thomas's newest album, Moments of Grace. It's available here.

You can listen to lots of other songs anytime on SoundCloud. Thank you for listening and especially for sharing!

About My Blog:
Soul Feathers - wisps of wisdom and tickles of truth, observations and offerings from my heart and music for the soul. We each have a part to play in this great movie, and mine is gently but consistently toss pebbles into the lake of humanity, and watch the ripples make waves.

Soul Feathers is also the name of the album I recorded with producer Thomas Barquee. He artfully elevated the music to a high vibration of love and healing, truly music for these times. Music has the power to move and motivate, soothe and uplift, and these songs and chants support the journey as the music reflects my own journey.

By sharing my perspective, practical spirituality and positive music, it is my intention to release soul-nourishing pebbles in the sea of our emerging consciousness. By sharing this work with other like-minded and like-hearted friends, you become part of the wave.

 


RE-FRAMING - New Song

Reframing

According to Numerology, 2016 adds up to a 9, which represents completion. My understanding is that collectively, we’re wiping the slate clean for a new beginning, another nine-year cycle. The good news is that we are in that precious, sacred time where we get to envision 2017 with all of its magical possibilities, regardless of what transpired this past year.

This time of year during the long, dark nights, I always make some room for some quiet reflection time - what did I love about the year? What would I have wished were different? What will the year ahead hold? How can I take the lessons from this past year and use them in the year ahead so that I’m not doomed to repeat them again? And again and again.

I can also take the most challenging parts of last year and work on my perception of them. By softening around the judgement - of myself or the situation or anyone else with whom I shared the challenge - I can actually transform the effect of its hold on me by turning it over for a fresh, new perspective. In other words, I re-frame it using Love and Light as my guides. Simple. And then, instead of repeating the litany of all that went wrong, I clear my throat and offer my voice with a new song.

Isn’t it time for a New Song for us all? Haven’t we had enough divisiveness? Can’t we begin the process of healing the polarity? Here’s my offering toward that dream…

New Song

NEW SONG
Words & music by Sandi Kimmel

It’s time for a new song
Sung together with one voice
It’s time for a new song
All connected by one choice

Deep down, underneath the din
Love’s vibration always streaming in
Let the healing begin

It’s time for a new song
Can’t you feel there’s a fresh start?
It’s time for a new song
As we awaken to one heart

Listen closely with your inner ear
Love’s vibration louder than the fear
And the message is clear

It’s time for a new song
To uplift and empower
It’s time for a new song
We can sing by the hour

It’s time for a new song
Be the change that it’s bringing
It’s time for a new song
It’s the sound of love singing
It’s time for a new song
New song new song new song Now!

©  2008 S. Kimmel

New Song is on my third album, REACH UP.  Featuring John Guth on multiple instruments, and some vocal harmony with Lisa Jane Lipkin, New Song is available on my website Sandi Kimmel.com or for download at CD Baby and iTunes.   Please visit my website to learn more about me and my music.  You can listen to New Song and all of my other songs anytime on SoundCloud.

Thanks so much for listening and for sharing the music!

 

About My Blog:
Soul Feathers - wisps of wisdom and tickles of truth, observations and offerings from my heart and music for the soul. We each have a part to play in this great movie, and mine is gently but consistently toss pebbles into the lake of humanity, and watch the ripples make waves.

Soul Feathers is also the name of the album I recorded with producer Thomas Barquee. He artfully elevated the music to a high vibration of love and healing, truly music for these times. Music has the power to move and motivate, soothe and uplift, and these songs and chants support the journey as the music reflects my own journey.

By sharing my perspective, practical spirituality and positive music, it is my intention to release soul-nourishing pebbles in the sea of our emerging consciousness. By sharing this work with other like-minded and like-hearted friends, you become part of the wave.

Thank you for listening and especially for sharing!

 

 


WISHES & WARMTH - Shine Your Light

2016-Holiday-Card-News-Letter-Edition-1

Whatever you celebrate, know that we are all connected during this sacred season! Shine Your Light in every direction. It is needed everywhere!

And when all the shopping and chopping and prepping and wrapping and baking and eating and celebrating are behind us, let's remember that the nights are still long and dark, and the world needs light now more than ever. What can you do? Shine yours. Everywhere. At everyone. Anytime. Always...

Blessings & love to you!

Shine Your Light

You can let this chant worm its way into your ears to remind you how important your light is to the whole. Truly, it is.

My singing partner for this a cappella chant is the incomparable songbird Lisa Jane Lipkin whose light shines all the way from NY to CA...and beyond!

 

About My Blog:
Soul Feathers - wisps of wisdom and tickles of truth, observations and offerings from my heart and music for the soul. We each have a part to play in this great movie, and mine is gently but consistently toss pebbles into the lake of humanity, and watch the ripples make waves.

Soul Feathers is also the name of the album I recorded with producer Thomas Barquee. He artfully elevated the music to a high vibration of love and healing, truly music for these times. Music has the power to move and motivate, soothe and uplift, and these songs and chants support the journey as the music reflects my own journey.

By sharing my perspective, practical spirituality and positive music, it is my intention to release soul-nourishing pebbles in the sea of our emerging consciousness. By sharing this work with other like-minded and like-hearted friends, you become part of the wave.

Thank you for listening and especially for sharing!