Archive for January, 2011

The Other Side of the Bowls

January 28, 2011

Last night I played for a group of people at a library, always one of my favorite venues. I never know who is going to show up or what to expect. The Saturday before that I was on the top floor of an apartment building in bright sunshine where I could look out over most of the city — gorgeous. And during and after these events I get to talk with people about the bowls — my experiences and theirs — more fun.

And then there’s sales tax. 

Having just completed it for the state of Ohio yet again, I remember that this is the part of Re-Sounding Joy most of you will never see. Let me tell you, it’s checking it once, it’s checking it twice. While I have worked for banks for loads of years, I always assure people that the banks never let me near the money or asked me to calculate the numbers, just report them and just the facts.

Doing mathematics and recording things does make me feel responsible. And I like to be responsible. It’s similar to courtesy, which several people have clearly forgotten, being responsible makes everyone’s life easier. So I write receipts and total them up, so I can sell bowls another day to people who are as delighted by the sounds they create  as I am.  

Luckily, sales tax will not dawn in my world again for six months. And I am learning an accounting software program that I hope will do these calculations automatically, if I input everything the way it would like. And if the software doesn’t like my methods, who knows what might happen next! Something very logical, I’m sure.

So that’s the other side of the bowls. Maybe, next I’ll talk about making “cold calls” to people who’ve never met me to try and book a program… “Singing bowls???” “Yes, I play singing bowls. Buddhist monks have used them for hundreds of years (oh please don’t hang up, I haven’t gotten to the fun physics part yet)…

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What’s New?

January 6, 2011

We’re five days into the new year, and what’s changed? About you? We may be trying to revise past habits or patterns in our lives, but is that new? Or is that modifying, adjusting, shifting a stance?

When I met the gem crystal singing bowls two years ago, I thought they were beautiful and incredibly expensive. Then I decided to buy one, just one. I was amazed at the quality of the sound. Unlike anything I had heard before, except when I heard “the tones.” Meanwhile I had been playing Himalayan metal bowls for almost 10 years at that point. So was that really new?

Just four months later, I felt compelled to buy more bowls and bring them back to Cleveland to play. I had not anticipated this in January, although I knew my life would likely be changing at that time. I was working as a contractor for a bank that had already been acquired by another bank not as interested in employee communications which is what I’d been doing. That January of 2009, I was biding my time, waiting for the other shoe to fall.

Then I was released in late April, and when May came  I knew I had to play the bowls (couldn’t do anything else).  Thus, I began a new life. It really wasn’t like anything I’d done before or certainly not how I’d done it before — booking gigs, finding wholesalers for the Himalayan bowls, writing blogs, creating web sites, recording CDs.  What was new was the lack of self-consciousness, even an absence of self-interest, in it. I’d really found my calling. I was completely surprised by it. And the resulting occurrences, connections, relationships have been pretty miraculous.

So whether the new emerges in January or another time, I hope you say, “yes.” Don’t allow yourself to just adapt your habits, explore where some small inkling guides you. Don’t expect a loud clap of thunder or a lightning strike. Stop where you are, get quiet. Look. Listen. That’s the start.

Who knows what will happen next? Nobody can predict that.