Robin's Blog, Sunday Feb. 3rd. 2013

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Well, I have officially failed miserably in my 100 blogs in 100 days. But, I say O-well cuz it has all been a life experience well worth the time requirement. I have so much to say and I think I am going to have to do it in a number of blogs.

So this first one is about the beginning of my last 2 weeks experience. Friday, 1/18/13 Robert was super nervous, but we did the sound exploration walk. 18 3rd, graders, a substitute teacher, a couple of parent volunteers and the principle of the school walked from Kenwood Elementary School to Souluna, center for Well-being. Robert led the walk while making different short rhythms with his body and mouth, as well as listening to rhythms and sounds of nature on our way. As we got there, we had Dan inside playing on his hand drums. The group entered and made a large circle while receiving instruments with which they were to make noise with. Then Robert led the kids in a couple of short rhythm sound plays, and a small dance inside the circle. They did quiet and loud, fast and slow, random making sound and rhythmic sounds together and independent. On the walk back, they worked on more mouth beat boxing sound play and teaching the kids how to do a basic symbol and snare sounds. There was one boy, that sat next to me in the circle who was on it. He was actually quite talented really. He was very interested in it. The kids all had sooo much fun. We got back to the school, chit chatted a little and then went and ate lunch with our two youngest boys. That was sooo cool. We went home kind of jazzed.

This was our introduction to Kenwood saying “hello, We are Robin and Robert, We are Souluna. We are here in Kenwood. Welcome”
And, I am very happy with how it went. apparently 2 plus weeks later we are still quite the talk of the school, which is awesome.

The next part of all of this was on Sat. We were a part of the Souluna silent auction event. 50% proceeds go to Souluna for stuff and 50 % of proceeds went to Kenwood Elementary School which was then directed to their music and art programs. We showed up early wanting to make sure we got a good place to set Robert up to do his chair massage work. We ended up helping set up and clean up, met more of the people involved like Kevin. incredible work with old wine barrels. It was pretty awesome. Slowly people showed, bands played, music was ok. Robert made about 150 dollars doing chair massages and actually did about 10 freebees too. It was awkward at first as over time and lifestyle I have become much more antisocial. But it was fun. I saw and met many people.

Then we went home late evening and then the next day was our sunday. We were looking forward to it. So sunday we packed up all the stuff we needed and dressed appropriately and went up on the hill. we cleared a path up to a special tree I played at as a kid and then made a trail to a lovely madrone tree. Along the way making piles of scotchbroom, poisonoak, and baby firs. then at the madrone we cleared out the forest floor while the boys climbed trees and helped and played. We spent most of the day up there. It was a lot of fun. It was like being a little kid again with my boys. I loved it!
Then on monday I was called into work on a hospice job, I have an entire blog I want to do about this experience. It was something else. wow! But It is midnight and I am going to bed. I will continue with my story tomorrow.

Although, tomorrow is a big day. The first day of a new chapter in our lives, creating a center for well being! fingers crossed. That too is another blog.

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Today was a very good day.  I was able to have my first Sound Exploration session, with a class of 3rd graders.  We marched from the school, down several blocks to Souluna: Center for Well Being.  Along the way, I had them only listen at first.  Then I started having them mimic sounds, rhythms, movements and vocal call (and response).  We strode down the streets of the town, a cacophony of clapping hands, stomping feet, silly sounds and giggles.  When we arrived at the center, I had a hand drummer riffing a samba-esk beat on the drums and we danced in.  I had everyone circle up and we did more call and response, more playing to the beat, more taking turns soloing and playing with sound.  Then everybody in pairs got the chance to dance in the middle.  Only a few did not dance; all but 1 boy!  I moved back into call and response making sillier and sillier sounds and then each child as we went around the circle (only a couple of them did not make at least a little sound).  I drifted back to a sort of call and response but based on the  rhythm that the percussionist was riffing on.  At that point percussive instruments were handed to almost all of the students.  This quickly turned to a din of an increasingly ugly type.  I raised my hands up high to get their attention. Their focus returning, I decided to let noise be noise, but become a deeper understanding.  I lead the 18 or so students in a ‘roller coaster ride’, ha, ha,ha, of volume levels.  I know that the parents and teachers (including the principal) were hesitant at first but then even they got into it and began to get quite loud and then whisper soft.  From the softest point, I began to get smaller groups with in the main to play a part of a beat such that they all created a rhythm.  We were on at times and off on others but they all got to hear it at some point and they were all engaged.  I had the helpers collect the instruments at this point and did rounds to make sure everybody was on board.  I let them Dance if they wanted to and instantly all of the girls were up and dancing and the boys sat like rocks.  Once the girls were engrossed with the rhythm, I went to the boys and asked them to help be my percussion section.  I got them to clap and stomp to the beats and they did very well.  After a bit, I went to the head of the room and held up my hands.  They were pretty hyped up and it took almost a minute before everyone was present and attentive.  I told them to say thanks to the percussionist, and that our walk back was to be listening and quiet.  We didn’t make it too far before they had me doing cartoon voices and sound effects.  I stopped them half way back because they were really losing focus and attention.  I taught them how to do some beat boxing and then we marched on to school with an assortment of faces but not a one unhappy.

The Principal asked if I would consider working with the school.  The children enjoyed themselves and some, even showed some latent talents.  The parents were thrilled and I got to have an amazing time with my wife as an awesome team.  I love her.

I envision this as a first step in a program designed to let children open up and express and find strength and confidence in themselves.  I am excited!

I dare you!  I dare you to dance for just a few minutes or sing or tap a rhythm on your work desk or make sounds beautiful and sounds ridiculous.  Live again!

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Robin's Blog 2, 6/100

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im tired

Hey everybody!

Hope you are all well, and that the new year is treating you well.  We have had loads of changes here on this end.  This year we decided as a family is the year that we begin actualizing our dreams and not just dreaming about them.  Besides our building and LEARNING, with Empower Network, I am starting my own massage business “Buddha Fingers” and my wife is leading a woman’s group for expression through movement.  I am also working with children, teaching sound exploration and improvisation.  I am super excited.  the children’s group begins tomorrow.   With both the massage and the Empower we intend to free up our time and negate our financial hold ups.  We have set a goal of $5000 this month and are more than half way there.         $5000-6000 a month is our first step on our way to a significantly larger monetary and time freedom that we are going to have by the end of this year.  Honestly numbers and tasks, lifestyle and options are all focused and in site.  But a huge part of our changing is that by the end of the year I want our bills paid, have money in the pocket and be able to help those around us for once instead of having to ask for help to make it through.

I have been so inspired this last few weeks.  Motivation is ever present, but there is some personal development that I have been working through as to creating the jump from ideas, goals, set vision, to that of an action and success.  Everyone around us says that the timeframe that we have set ourselves to accomplish starting our own business and programs is beyond ambitious and just not possible.  I am not, we are not them.  They choose not to follow the path we have set out before ourselves.  They have chosen their own path and most of them struggle and grip and play victim.  I would rather shoot for the moon and come up short, than never give it a go.  Besides, if we come up short, then we regroup and finish on the second go.  (Not that we plan on coming up short;  continuing on the path that we are on, I see nothing other than success).

We started well, but then faced the frustration of, getting stuck helping everyone else around us and booked to the hilt and NO time let alone focused time on the things we KNOW will get us where we want to be and happily, (as they are things we love to do).

I am sure that you have seen that my wife has joined me and she loves writing.  It is so wonderful to have my best friend and partner (for 20+ years) side by side again, and all in, with me.  She and I came very close to not making it through one of life’s’ hurdles.  But my slacking on the Empower and personal business, was a result of laser focus on making sure that my best friend is still in my life.  Now that we have stabilized, we can focus together on the things that bring us joy and actualize our family and individual dreams.

If you happen to live in the north SF bay area and you are looking for a massage, let me know @buddha_fingers on twitter.

Follow us and see the metamorphosis of our vision this year!  Even better, Join us and make your dreams real.  How?  Click the link below, but only if you want to succeed in life, in your head, and in your heart.  You are amazing!  Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams.  Change your mind frame and believe that all is possible!

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Robin's Blog, 2 5/100

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Took the boys to school, picked up 3 year old girl we babysit, went to junior college, saw my counselor, filed my petition for graduation with a minor in pre allied health for my AA degree. Then filled out RN application, had questions asked at offices, figured it out, will redo later. Then to Safeway and to pick up the boys from school.  They get out early on wed. Then home, kids play outside a bit and with bunny.  homework and take 3 year old home, then into town for bunny supplies, kids melting down, Safeway for food stuff, home make burgers, eat and bed.  Continuous but not to bad.

Now I am very tired, gonna get some rest, tomorrow will be a long day.  drop off boys, pick up 3 year old, home for couple hours then ready for work, hospice client 1-8 pm.

Hope we all get some good rest tonight.  Happy dreaming.

Robin

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