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Posted by Marlyn Ramirez on August 31, 2016

Is there more to my life than this?

House Concert Movement Blog

Have you ever stopped and thought about what your aspirations are? I don’t mean aspirations as a purely academic exercise. What I’m referring to is to really, truly  look inside yourself, examine your makeup, what moves you, what inspires you. What is the purpose of all the physical, mental, and spiritual effort you put out on a daily basis.

What are the things which you are passionate about?

I recently watched a movie in which one of the characters makes the following statement, “When a man loses his purpose for living, that’s when he begins to die.”

Many humans dread Monday mornings because after having a wonderful weekend, doing what they really enjoy doing, with people they love being with, they have to face a job they don’t want, a boss they may not like, a commute they loathe, and mind-numbing, repetitious activities they feel is simply sucking the life out of them.

In the song “Something More,” performed by the band Sugarland, the chorus says, “ There’s gotta be something more, gotta be more than this, I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss.

I’m gonna take my chances, taking a chance I might find what I’m looking for, there’s gotta be something more.”

Many people ask themselves that same question, “Is there more to my life than this?”

When we take time to stop and consciously meditate on what moves us, what our talents are, what gives our lives meaning, purpose, we begin a journey of self discovery. That’s when we begin to realize what we can be capable of, the things in our lives that we can turn from a foggy daydream into a vision that will become a reality.

Knowing what your aspirations are, putting them down on a medium, be it paper or digital, will drive you to want to set doable goals, and those goals will impulse you on a journey to pursue the life you truly desire and deserve, because there is something more for your life!

Until next time,

Live long, live great, live with purpose!

-Alex Ramirez

Posted by Marlyn Ramirez on August 24, 2016

Grateful…

Grateful…

Grateful - House Concert Movement

I recently read an article where a poor, blind man was referred to a psychologist because he was suffering from depression.

The man, with a sad face, drooping shoulders and tired gait walked into the therapist’s office.

After listening attentively to the sad man pouring his heart out, the psychologist asked him to perform a simple task. The task was to simply, with the help of someone else, write a list of all the things he was grateful for and bring the list back the following week to their next session.

 

The following week, the man, wearing a big grin on his face walked into the therapist’s office and dropped four thick notebooks on the desk. The surprised mental health care professional asked the now very happy man for the purpose of the notebooks on his desk. The reply from the blind man was, “This is the homework you asked me to bring last week.”

The psychologist, in disbelieve picks up on the notebooks and notices that it contains a list of all the things the blind man was grateful for.

The therapist began to read, “I’m grateful for the warmth of the sun, which I can’t see, but I can feel on my face. I’m grateful for the coolness of the morning dew on the grass, which I feel on my  bare feet. I’m grateful for the refreshing morning shower I’m able to enjoy every morning. I find gratitude in the smell of coffee, which wakes me up  in the morning, the taste of eggs and bacon in my breakfast, the sweetness of orange juice, the laughter of my family as we enjoy our meals together.

I’m grateful for the breeze on my face, as I sit outdoors in the park. For the sounds of all the birds I can hear in my backyard I am grateful.

I’m grateful for the tingling sensation in the back of my throat of the fizz of the cold soft drink I enjoy on a hot afternoon.

I’m grateful for my family and friends, whom I can count on every day. I’m grateful for the rain, the cold, the heat, the day and night. I’m grateful for the changes in seasons, for the clothes on my back, for the bed and my soft pillow I delight in every night. I’m grateful for all the good night sleep I can enjoy without worries.

 

The list went on and on. The psychologist began to weep, as he realized how ungrateful he, himself had become, and of all the things he had over time taken for granted. All the small things, the details that weave together the mosaic of our everyday life.

 

What are you grateful for?

Our society has become more about rights and entitlements, rather than being grateful for favors received.

It has been said that gratefulness and fear cannot coexist, both at the same time, and in the same person. I wonder if there is correlation between the increase of depression, sadness, loneliness, and anger and the lack of gratitude in our communities.

 

I believe it’s time we go back to the basics of what our grandparents and parents taught us about showing gratitude.

My old elementary school teacher used to say, “your gratitude determines your altitude.” Mr. Todd, you were on to something.

–Alex Ramirez

Posted by Marlyn Ramirez on July 11, 2016

How To Build, By Listening

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In the recent weeks, our nation has suffered tremendous wounds, perpetrated by those whose intent was to become judge and jury at the same time, all the while circumventing a process, which, as imperfect as it is, has been one of the best justice systems in the world.

 

There are many who believe that our system of justice is broken, or that much of it is now outdated to meet the needs of an ever changing society and times.

 

There are others who hold the conviction that the United States of America has ceased to be great, and that one candidate will restore the lost values once held dear by the majority.

On the other end of the spectrum, many American believe that as challenging as the times are, the US is experiencing successful changes that have democratized opportunities for millions of humans who have been disenfranchised for a very long time.

 

Some humans strongly believe that all law enforcement officers are infallible, and can do no wrong, others understand that while the vast majority of our men and women in blue work hard to serve and to protect all of us, there is a minority who wear the uniform, who make trusting difficult for a strong segment of our fellow citizens that constantly experience what they perceive to be almost a form of targeted persecution.

 

When we watch news media coverage of the events, we can almost, and without fail, predict what, and how a particular outlet will, or will not choose to broadcast and spin the news based on their political ideology, moral philosophy, or which candidate they seem to have bias for. Unfortunately, this happens on both sides of the political isles.

 

Where does all this divisiveness come from? When did we become so sure that we know it all, and that the other ignores everything?

How did we stray from the philosophy that opposing ideas are healthy, good and even necessary?

Why are we now embarking on the very dangerous road in which angry discourse, shouting matches, and name calling can only lead to more violence?

 

For the sake of our communities, all of them, of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds, we must make a conscious effort to begin on the road back to open dialogue, civil discourse, respectful debate in the arena of ideas.

 

Talk show hosts, politicians, newscasters and flavor-of the month celebrities will come and go, our communities will remain, with the wounds and scars of clashes, cheered on by those whose interest lies in obtaining the most ratings or clicks.

 

We at House Concert Movement desire to build global communities, and want to encourage you to become active, and build community. Exchange ideas with those who might have a different, and even an opposing worldview. By listening to each other we’ll build stronger relationships, and who knows, we just might learn something.

By Alex Ramirez – HCM

 

Posted by Marlyn Ramirez on June 22, 2016

Coming Together in Communities

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Have you ever been surrounded by a massive group of people, at a theme park, a big sporting event, maybe even in a big city, like New York, and still felt utterly alone?

The feeling that even though there are so many other humans around you, passing you by, laughing, and carrying on, you are just not able to connect with any of them?

 

We live in a society, where we, for generations have extolled the virtue of self reliance, of the self-made individual, of pulling ourselves by our own bootstraps and conquering the world.

We, in the US, are probably the only country in the world where fictitious, made up superheros, with incredible powers can overcome anything by themselves, many times without the aid of anyone else, and are worshiped at the throne of self-sufficiency.

 

Journalist, war correspondent, and author of the book “The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger, talks about how our lonely society makes it hard to come home from war.

For military veterans, who have had an almost “tribal” experience with others in their units for an extended period of time. Coming home to a society that is isolating, and experiencing deep-seated divisions, must be shocking to the senses at best, and at worst, emotionally devastating.

 

In an article published by the Wall Street Journal, author, Susan Pinker writes that while a great number of Americans have their basic material needs covered, and 85% have access to the internet, at least 26% say they feel deeply lonely. Pinker goes on to write, “Psychologists know this from population surveys, not because people talk about it. The distress of feeling rejected or neglected by friends or family is a key predictor of depression, chronic illness and premature death.”

 

I believe that now, more than ever, the coming together in communities is vital to not only our day to day activities, but even to our survival as a society.

 

Alex Ramirez

HCM

Posted by Marlyn Ramirez on June 2, 2016

Passionate About Anything?

Passionate About Anything?

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When was the last time you gave serious thought to those things which you are truly passionate about?

 

Or, have you ever even considered anything that stirs passion inside you?

 

Perhaps you’re not quite sure of what the word passion even means.
We could define passion as a very strong emotion towards someone or something. In our society, we tend to define passion in terms of favorable ways of desiring something, or someone, for that matter.

 

There are others who believe that passion is more of a feeling of contentment, or enjoyment, which is acquired over time. In Eastern European countries, for example, the word passion has a connotation more of suffering and sacrifice than that of pleasure, where even though the process might be sacrificial or painful, the end result is worth the initial suffering.

 

Wherever your perception of passion sits in the spectrum of pain and pleasure, it takes passion to pursue your aspirations, and go after your goals.

 

House Concert Movement. Is a place where members of a community support each other in the pursuit of aspirations…
With passion!