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4 minutes | Nov 30, 2022
Time (Episode #36)
As I’m getting older, my internal clock is getting louder. So much so, that I can’t stand the sound of actual clocks ticking. I made the hubs get rid of any clock that ticked, but that didn’t settle the unrest bubbling in the pit of my stomach. There is so much that I still want to do with my life, but sometimes I can’t shake that feeling of running out of time and then I get stuck. A ‘lack’ mentality will always lead to feeling stuck. That idea of “if only I had more money, I would …” or “if only I were younger, I would …” If only. Two little words that can paralyze us and keep us from living our best lives. Stop for a minute and think about your ‘what if.’ I’ll wait. Got it? Now I encourage you to take another minute and flip the script. For example, instead of ‘if only I was younger, I would …’ flip it to ‘what if I had all the time in the world, what would I do.’ Then list the things you’d do and get to gettin’. My point is that you can change the narrative, and you should if your current one isn’t serving you. I was watching Rihanna’s Fenty shows on Prime recently, and looking at the performers being so committed to their craft and seeing the full spectrum of beauty that represents humanity, I felt like I could accomplish anything. At one point, what the performers were doing was so beautiful I was brought tears. But it was more than that. I felt the power of witnessing people living their dreams, and I want that power in my own life. So I’m gonna fight for it! Come on … say it with me … ‘I got the power.’ Yes boo! You have the power to create the life you want. Simply switch your perspective. Turn your ‘if only’ to ‘what if.’ Go from victim to victor. I’m going to plan like I have all the time in the world and live like there’s no tomorrow! What are you gonna do? Now’s the time to be fearless and create the life of your dreams. No one is going to hand it to you on a silver platter. Not even if you’re born into royalty. If the ‘Spare’ is out there hustling to live his best life, then we better get out there and live ours! You deserve all the good things in life that you want. You are worthy. You are on point to do great things. You are unstoppable. Now is the time. by Gloria Miller (aka, Ekua Adowole)
8 minutes | Nov 21, 2022
Here's to Bald Women Everywhere! (Episode #34)
I wrote this as a blog post right after the incident happening with Will & Jada Smith at the Oscars. I'm finally getting around to sharing my thoughts with you.
4 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
Shine (Episode #33)
This past week following the tragic death of George Floyd I found myself in a really dark place. The struggle to keep anger from turning into hatred and rage is real, and we are seeing it played out in the media across the world as outrage against racism is unleashed. I finally had to stop looking at social media and the news as they were just fanning the flames. I had to get quiet with my feelings, and find a way to be a light in the midst of all of this darkness. My yoga session today was on a spiritual plain. More so than usual. Because the emotions of the past week have drained me, I am approaching my mat completely empty, and wow, with each breathe I could feel the light of the universe coursing through me. I've been pretty obsessed with the universe over the past few years, and according to astronomer Carl Sagan, we are made of 'star-stuff.' His statement sums up the fact that the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago. Moby sang about it in his popular 2002 song "We Are All Made of Stars." Light is at the very core of our being, and we can't let anything steal our shine. One of my mother's favourite songs was 'This Little Light of Mine,' and at the end of my Yoga session today, that song was blaring in my Spirit ... 'this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine ...' At the end of my session as I was lying in resting pose, I could feel energy coursing through my entire being. Then I turned on my right side and curled up in the fetal position and an image of myself shining as bright as the sun flashed before me. When I left my mat, I was determined to shine bright, no matter how dark the world seems around me. So, in the midst of social injustice and racism, Covid 19, unemployment, economic uncertainty or whatever the darkness is that seems to be closing in around you, I say to you ... stand your ground and let your light shine! Because in your light, you will find peace and strength!
8 minutes | May 27, 2020
George Floyd (Episode #32)
I need to preface what I’m sharing in this episode/post with the fact that typically I don’t publicly share my political views, and I keep my thoughts and feelings to myself on social issues. But last night, when I stumbled across a video on Facebook showing the fate of George Floyd, I was disturbed and angered. I fell asleep and woke up this morning with George and his plight on my mind, and I couldn’t keep quiet on this one ... so here goes ... "Please, please ... I can’t breathe man ... Your knee is in my neck, I can’t breathe ... Momma, Momma ... I’m through ... My stomach hurt, my neck hurt, everything hurt ... I need some water or something ... Please ... I can’t breath officer ... They gone kill me ..." And they did. Four men dressed in police uniforms killed George Floyd in broad daylight, on a city street filled with people joining their pleas with his for help. I struggle to call them police and I struggle to call them men. Who do you call for help, when the police need to be policed? When the video starts, George is already lying on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him, and one of the officers, Derek Chauvin, is kneeling on George with one of his knees on his neck. George as well as bystanders can be heard begging the police officer to take his knee off of George’s neck. While George’s cries and moans grow weaker, the protests of the crowd grow louder, but to no avail. Chauvin continues to kneel on George’s neck. There were two other officers next to Chauvin who all appear to be holding George down, and another officer doing crowd control. The two officers who you can clearly see in the video, Chauvin, the officer with his knee on George's neck, and Tou Thao, the officer doing crowd control, showed no compassion or sense of humanity when George was begging for help. Essentially, begging for his life. At around 4:04 of the video I saw, George stops moving. For the entire four minutes of the video to this point, George and the bystanders have been begging for the officers to show some mercy and get off of George, who is lying on the ground, handcuffed and and being held down by three officers. Not resisting. Just struggling to breathe. Just calling for his momma and begging for his life. Yet, the police ignore George’s pleas and that of the bystanders around them. From around 4:04 to 6:43, when the paramedics arrive, George is lying completely still on the ground while bystanders are begging for the police to check his pulse. With one bystander overheard to say, ‘Did they just kill him?’ One paramedic can be seen checking George’s pulse and then heading back to the ambulance to get a stretcher. Then George, who is still handcuffed, is manhandled onto the stretcher with very little care given to his neck or spine, which is what you would normally expect to see. If there was even a hint of a pulse when the paramedic checked him, you would expect them to start CPR right there on the scene. But they didn’t. He was just put onto the stretcher. They didn’t even bother to strap him down. At around 8:09 in the video, where you can briefly see George lying on his back on the stretcher, it doesn’t look like he’s breathing. (more)
4 minutes | May 20, 2020
Simplicity (Episode #31)
Is it optimism, looking at the world through rose coloured glasses or spotting a silver lining? I’m not sure, but somehow during this Coronavirus Pandemic, I have found simplicity. And with that simplicity, I have found a mordicum of peace. I just started reading a book about a man trying to live his life without all the electronic gadgets and apps that have become such a natural part of our lives, even in the fight against Covid19. My favourite app is ‘To-Do,’ an app that I would NEVER give up. I have always used lists to stay organized, and one of my biggest pleasures is completing a task and then checking that task off as finished. Just the thought of it makes me happy. Prior to the pandemic, my to-do list was unending. Each day I was checking things off, but I was also adding more things that ‘needed to be done.’ During the early days of the virus, I could not face this mountain of to-dos, because I was so weighed down by fear and confusion at the start of this global journey into the unknown. So I spent the first couple weeks trying not to panic while having panic attacks. Cra Cra. Third week in, I opened my To-do app and started deleting tasks that were now either irrelevent due to the fact I didn’t have any work, or unimportant in light of the world’s condition. With each deletion, I felt a little bit lighter. I have now whittled the list down from infinite to eight tasks per day, and I haven’t been adding to the list. Four of those items are from my CV Mental Health list that I referenced in my earlier ‘Coping’ podcast. In doing so, I have achieved simplicity. By narrowing my focus, I have been able to identify the crucial things that must be done, and eliminate the rest, creating space in my mind and reclaiming ownership of my time. Without this Coronavirus outbreak, I would not have come to this place of simplicity. Silver lining. And yes, the future is uncertain and the outlook is scary, but the calm that has come from simplifying my life is also giving me the strength to face each day as it comes. Many of us are having to think of ways to re-invent ourselves whether from necessity or desire, because what we did for a living before Covid19 might not be an option during or after. I encourage you to find simplicity within the madness, giving yourself the headspace to figure out your next steps. Cut out anything that’s not serving you now, because it probably won’t serve you in the future. Use this time to simplify your life so that you have the room for the expansion that is to come. Stay safe, keep it simple sweetie, and thrive as you survive! I welcome your thoughts and comments, so please let me know how you’re doing in this very challenging time.
5 minutes | May 13, 2020
Coping (Episode #30)
I need to preface this post by stating that I wrote this post on the 22nd April when I was struggling with being in lock down. I was in such a strange place then and was unable to actually bring myself to sharing it with you. Well, here goes ... How are you coping with lock down? For me it’s been a strange combination of ‘Ground Hog Day’ and riding an emotional roller coaster, with the biggest struggle being lack of purpose. Wondering what’s it all for. At the start of lock down I created a Coronavirus mental health list and on that list I put five activities to keep my mind, body and spirit fed during this crises: 1. Plan My Meals (counting the calories so that I don’t put on the predicted Coronavirus 15 pounds). Update: So far, I've put on five pounds :). 2. Work Out (That's been going great. Been doing very long walks with the hubs and that is helping with keeping the 15 pounds off.) 3. Read for at least 30 minutes (I’m an avid reader so this one has proven to be easy.) 4. Write for at least 30 minutes (This has been a struggle, but I’m beginning to feel the creative flow in this area after several weeks in lock down.) 5. Work on Music (This has been a joy!) The first few days I found it very helpful to have a routine, and was happily checking off these tasks everyday (one of my greatest joys is completing tasks). But after a week I found myself back to wondering what’s it all for. With all the uncertainty about resuming life as we knew it, I’m finding it hard to get excited about anything. When there’s so much death and pain around us, reading my books, writing my stories or even working on music feels so trivial. My first single of 2020 is dropping soon and I feel guilty any time I do any social media promotion because it just feels irrelevant. I feel irrelevant. But there’s still a flicker of purpose buried somewhere deep in my Spirit that keeps propelling me to follow my daily routine and do these things that once brought me a significant amount of joy, but I currently feel numb to, because though it might just be subconsciously, I know that this too shall pass. If I’m honest, my life isn’t much different that it was before lock down. By nature, I’m a loner and I enjoy being in the house. But, the idea of not having options feels stifling. So I go back to my list, my routine and the false sense of normalcy it gives me. There are some positives that have come from this situation. Each day feels like a gift when so many around me are suffering and dying. Another positive is the realisation that the love between the hubs and I is as strong as it is, because we have NEVER spent this much time together, and there have only been a few mild clashes. And, I can clearly see who and what is truly important to me, because I’m clinging to those things and people as if they are a lifeline, because they are. My friends, family and creating have been my salvation. So today, I am committing to my survival list and sticking to my routine, even when my heart is not in it, in the hope of returning to a sense of purpose. This is a work in progress. Update: I have managed to stick to everything In my Coronavirus mental health list but the writing, which thankfully as of today, that particular creative spark seems to be re-igniting! So, I ask again. How are you coping? Please feel free to share your thoughts either in the comments or at gloriamiller.co.uk.
5 minutes | May 5, 2020
Glo Sings - Beautiful (Episode #29)
Each week I host Music for the Soul Radio Show on ExpressFM here in Portsmouth in the UK, and one of my favourite Artists to feature is India Arie, who I believe is a modern-day poet and my personal guru. Her voice is lush and her lyrics are thought provoking, which are key ingredients for music for the Soul. During this Corona Virus Pandemic, music has been my salvation and has kept me from going off the rails and India's song, Beautiful, is one I go to often to find refuge and peace. Here's my cover version of India Arie's beautiful.
4 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
Glo Sings ... Questions
One of the highlights of living in the UK, after I got through the very hard first year, was getting to work with some fantastic original bands. ‘Contagious Vibes’ was one of those bands and I had the pleasure of working with them for about of year. I loved the music they were creating which was a mix of Soul, Funk and Pop, and I ended up writing the lyrics for many of the songs. ‘Questions’ was one of my favourites and I recently came across the rehearsal music track and decided to have a go at recording a version of the song. Here’s how it turned out ... For a free download of this song click here.
8 minutes | Mar 31, 2020
Glo Sings ... Sweetest Taboo
On Monday the UK prime minister announced three weeks of lockdown to try to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus. The hubs and I had already started self-isolating, and social distancing for the past couple weeks and one of the things I’ve been doing to stay sane is recording covers of some of my favourite songs. Sade’s ‘Sweetest Taboo’ is one of those favourites and I thought I would share the recording journey and the song with you. Last year I bought a home recording system called Studio One. I am in the process of learning how to use the system, and this month my first original single of 2020, Regret, will be hitting stores and I mixed that single in this program. I will talk more about that process next week after the single drops. So, I searched on Youtube for a backing track for ‘Sweetest Taboo’ in its original key and then uploaded that to Studio One. This program has some fab presets so I used one of them which opened a session already setup and ready to record. Once the backing track was added to the program, I was ready to go. Over a few days I recorded practice versions of the song, and during one of the takes, I added some lovely ad-libs at the end, which I then turned into 3-part harmony backing vocals. On playback of these practice runs, I realized that the song wasn’t sitting in my ‘sweet spot.’ In a previous post/podcast I talked about finding your vocal sweet spot and after getting advice from some people that I highly respect in my local music community, I landed on Bb as the optimal place for my voice. So, I dropped the key 3 semi-tones from the original Bb minor to G minor (the minor relative key to Bb major). After a few practice runs in that key, I was ready. I then double tracked each backing vocal part, ending up with six backing vocal tracks, then recorded four takes of the lead vocal, and then picked the best parts from each take (referred to as comping) to share with you. Here’s my version of Sade’s ‘Sweetest Taboo.’ Stream & Download Here
6 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
Getting Back Up
If you’ve been following my podcast/blog, you know that I’m on a journey to find myself ... at 53 years old. Crazy, right? This journey is proving to be a wild ride, one that involves courage, fear, intimidation, falling down and then getting back up. I have wanted to quit and just eat cheesy popcorn and watch Netflix, I have wanted to abandon my creative self and just surrender to workaholism, and I have wanted to give free reign to my inner-critic. But instead of doing those things, I simply get back on the horse and I keep moving forward. On this past Saturday I had the privilege of performing an originals set with two of the most wonderfully talented ladies I know. Chloe Josephine, who was the headliner, and Amba Tremaine. I was so nervous leading up to show day and my 35-minute spot felt like an out-of-body experience. I felt so out of my depth. You see, I suffer from function-singeritis. It’s like I don’t know how to just be myself on stage anymore. At one point during my performance I was thinking, ‘What do I do with my hands?’ It’s like they had a mind of their own. I finally just let them drop down beside me. Duh. Then I was like, ‘What am I going to say about these songs?’ They’re my songs. I wrote them. I should have plenty to say about them, right? Nope. I had nothing. Nada. So I just let a stream of unconsciousness freely flow from my lips, just so I could get to the next song. But the saddest bit for me, and this is real, I didn’t enjoy it. My most favourite thing in the world used to be getting lost on the music. Getting lost in the performance. I miss it like an old friend. I spent that entire performance on Saturday in my head, and not connected to what was in my heart. No matter how many people told me how much they enjoyed my performance, I didn’t. Because I wasn’t present. On Sunday, I lamented and fretted and thought, you know what, I don’t need this. I can just stay in the comfort zone of function singing and let that be enough. Thankfully, I had another originals gig at The Bedford in London on Tuesday. I wanted to cancel, though. I wanted to stay down. And my circumstances were trying to assist me in giving up. Two of my three musicians were suddenly unavailable for a booking that’s been in the diary since last year. That was my chance to bow out. But instead of bowing out, I emailed the booker, explained the situation, and asked if I could do my set solo using backing tracks. They said yes. Now there’s no going back. I sang four of my original songs for The Bedford gig, and for the first time in a long time, I did get lost in my own songs. I spoke with elegance and grace between the songs, and more importantly, I spoke from the heart. I was totally present through all four songs, well, for the first song, I could hear my own heart beating from nerves, but about a verse in that settled down. And, when I got back to my seat, someone had left me a lovely note saying how much they enjoyed my set. My Saturday gig was just as well received from the audience as my Tuesday set, but I was in a different headspace. I struggled with receiving the praise on Saturday because I didn’t feel like I had earned it. On Tuesday, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could be present for my own music and allow my voice and my words to be heard. When I stood in front of that mic, I took a deep breath, allowed myself to just be and feel. And when I sat down, I felt triumphant. I’ve got a long way to go on my journey, and it’s no longer to get back to myself. I am realising that this journey has to take me forward. It’s about rediscovery. Understanding who I am as a singer and performer now. Singing and performing may never feel as easy and effortless as it did back in the day, and that’s okay. I’m just glad that on Tuesday I had the strength to get back in the saddle and ride into my destiny.
5 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
It's Not Me, It's You
This question is to my fellow performers out there ... Have you ever prepared for a show, and was so excited and looking forward to it, and then you get there and the audience seems like they had a secret meeting before the show and in that meeting they decided they were just not going to be interested? You ever had that experience before? Well I have. Just a couple weekends ago. I’ve been performing my Tina Turner Tribute show for at least 7 years and I know my show inside and out. Most times I don’t even practice before the show. I just turn up, do the sound check and then I’m off. The show is obviously high energy, it’s Tina for crying out loud, so the response is usually off the chain. But not this time. This time, the show seemed to fall flat. I got the customary gasp when I first hit the stage, but from there to the end of the set, it felt like hard work. Bummer. Because I was so up for doing the show. I even practiced the week leading up to the show. So, during the second song, which is ‘Nutbush,’ I decided that I was going to perform that show with the same gusto as if I was at the IOW Festival. I was not going to let their reaction, or lack thereof, be a reflection of my performance. I made up my mind that I would bring it no matter what. And I did. But, the audience was barely warming up. Finally, by the time we got to the obvious floor fillers like ‘What’s Love Got to do With It,’ ‘Proud Mary,’ and ‘Simply The Best,’ they were on their feet, singing and dancing. After finishing the Tina set and then the 2nd Disco Divas set, I was tempted to attribute the audiences lack of response to me and my performance, but here’s the thing. I know I did the job. I gave 100% effort, because over the years I’ve learned that in giving 100%, that means I’ve given my all and done the best that I can do in that moment. I think it also helped that a few weeks before I performed the Theatre version of my Tina show where there’s no dance floor, just people sitting and watching, and let me tell you, that was a different experience all-together. I loved it. People were actually listening and watching. It was wonderful. As function singers, we get conditioned to think that if people are on the dance floor, then we’re doing a good job. And we assume that those who are not on the dance floor aren’t interested. But I beg to differ. I think when they are sitting, many of them are just watching the show, and that’s our chance to really show them what we’re made of. To really let our talents shine. Let’s face it, once we’ve got the audience up on and dancing, we can just coast through the rest of the gig. It’s easy, right? But when they’re not on the floor, we have to work a bit harder for it. Earn it. Be in the moment, and I mean fully in the moment. So even though that gig was a bit of a drag, I am also thankful for it, because when I finished that gig, packed my gear in the car and drove the long journey back home, I did so feeling great about myself and the performance. I left it all on the stage. I gave my all to that moment. And based on the feedback that I did receive from several of the guests, I did the job. So, if any of those punters left that night feeling like they didn’t have a good time, that’s on them. Because the groundwork and foundation for a great night was fully laid out for them. If they couldn’t manage to build a good night for themselves, it’s not because of me. I gave them a fantastic show, and every opportunity to make the most of their evening. British audiences are very different from American ones, and I learned early on from working over here that it’s not about me, but about them. You have to check your ego at the door. Especially with function work. The Brits will not meet you halfway. And occasionally, you come across an audience that will not surrender, no matter what you do. And to them I say, it’s not me, it’s you!
7 minutes | Feb 6, 2020
We all experience that little voice in our own heads. For me, often that voice is negative. Often, that voice stops me in my tracks, distracting me from the task at hand with thoughts of ‘not being good enough.’ That’s the big one for me. Sometimes the voice shows up disguised as fear. Dread. Not something I’m hearing from within, but feeling instead. In trying to figure out how to live with my inner-critic and possibly make peace with it, I had to face it. That’s actually putting it mildly. My inner-critic and I had a straight up show down. First I had to figure out where this feeling of not being good enough truly started, which meant I had to look at my past. I came across an article on Psychology Today.com that suggested writing down the negative messages I hear in my head. So I started to list them: 1. You’re going to forget the words. 2. You should practice more. 3. Your songs are shit. 4. No one wants to hear a 53 year old singing about love. Okay, so this list went on a while ... Then my brain landed on a memory ... “You have a nice voice, but it doesn’t have that intangible quality.” These were the words spoken to me by a Music Executive at Warner Bros. Gospel Music Division. This memory has been buried in my subconscious since the early 90s, and me thinks it’s the reason I keep hearing ‘you’re not good enough’ from my inner-critic. I didn’t explore this at the time, but now I want to truly understand what was said to me back then, so I Googled it! Intangible defined: Unable to be touched, not having a physical quality. Something intangible can't be touched physically, but most of the time it is understandable or even felt in the heart. So this man was saying my voice ‘can’t be felt in the heart.’ Ouch. That hurts. This was said to me in my early 20s. I am now in my early 50s, so 30 years later this negative statement is still affecting me. The article in Psychology Today goes on to say that ‘for every negative message there is a positive truth that can counteract it.’ Here’s my positive truth: “My voice is full of emotion and touches people in their soul.” I could feel the weights of doubt and fear lift even before I finished my positive truth, then I experienced an ‘aha’ moment: I got the power! (Sung to the top of my lungs). I’ve got the power to change my self-talk. To challenge my inner-critic. Quoting from psychology today: “Self-talk tells us what to do and how to feel about events and situations. A lot of self-talk feeds us valuable information that serves us well, that helps us succeed and even ensures our survival. For example, ‘Look both ways before crossing the street’ and ‘Stand up for yourself’ are constructive reminders. But other self-talk undermines us and keeps us from fully experiencing parts of our personality. Your inner voice may be telling you things like this: I know it won’t work. It’s just no use. I never have enough time. I never know what to say. Everything I touch turns to bleep. Working on your self-talk is a good way to challenge the idea that there’s some inherent flaw in your personality. If you have deficits, you are not doomed to live with them forever; you can change your programming. When that changes, you may find you have hidden strengths where previously you had problems.” (Read More)
7 minutes | Jan 26, 2020
There is a ‘ying, yang’ quality to the Ego. Looking at the Ego feels like looking at two sides of the same coin. And possibly, how it displays itself is just as haphazard as flipping a coin. Will it be the healthy Ego or the unhealthy Ego? The lack of Ego would lead to ruin, mental instability, a total disconnect between the conscious and the unconscious. So why is the popular thought that Ego is the enemy? Ego is defined as a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance. It is clear from this definition that if we are to look at Ego, we have to also look at Self. I moved to the UK 10 years ago, and it took a year to get my first gig. Thankfully, that gig lead to other gigs and 10 years later, I have consistently had a thriving diary of work. Those early performances sometimes sent me home in tears. British audiences are quite different than the enthusiastic American audiences that I had been used to. You could have given your absolute best performance, the performance of a lifetime, and the Brits will just carry on with their conversations and drinking as if you are not even in the room. Or, they will listen for the first two minutes of the first song, and then they’re gone. You’ve lost them. My first encounters with this phenomenon was soul destroying. I would get home from the gig and say to the hubs, ‘they hate me.’ I was starting to doubt if I even knew how to sing. Something I’ve been doing practically my whole life. Suddenly, the joy was going out of performing. Then I started to realize that what I actually liked about performing was the applause. The accolades. People waxing lyrical about how great I sing. So, without that, my self-esteem suffered. Why did it suffer? Because I was arriving at those gigs with an inflated sense of self-importance, and the Brits cut me down to size for it. And for that, I will always be grateful. As soon as I started leaving my Ego in the car upon arrival to a gig, and walked in the place with the sole purpose of making sure whoever would be in front of me had a good time, I started finding the enjoyment of performing. It was a light bulb moment really, the idea that it’s not about me. It’s about them. And strangely enough, the less I needed the applause, the more it came. Sometimes it catches me by surprise when it does come, because I no longer need it. I’m not gone lie, it’s a pleasant surprise. I want to understand what actually happens when one ‘checks his or her Ego at the door.’ What role does a healthy Ego play in how we navigate our world? (more) Reference Link
4 minutes | Jan 20, 2020
Life Is But A Dream
Whoopi Goldberg has proven herself to be a great actress. I mean, she’s got an Oscar, right? But as we all know, having an Oscar is not necessarily proof of being a good actor. Whoopi won hers for ‘Ghost’ and her performance in that film was proof enough for me! Another film I loved her in was ‘How Stella Got her Groove Back,’ a film she starred in with Angela Bassett. My favourite scene in the film is when Whoopi’s character is in the hospital and Angela’s character is at her bedside and Whoopi says, ‘Life is but a dream.’ This line has stuck with me all these years later, and it’s screams in my Spirit even more so now that I am getting older. Life IS but a dream. No matter how long we get to live it, it goes bye in a blink. It’s up to us to make the most of this precious gift called life. Human life is imponderable (thank you word of the day from dictionary.com). It can’t truly be measured or figured out. But it can be appreciated and fully lived. There’s a lot of anger and pain being displayed on our various screens, and in many cases, right before our very eyes, and it can feel like the world around us has gone mad. It’s terribly easy to get caught up in the madness and lose sight of the beauty in our lives. The things that are going right. The people that make us happy. Our pets that cuddle up next to us. The mundane things that make us smile. Stepping back from the drama and finding our joy is our responsibility. Finding our own bliss and happiness is a noble pursuit. Today, let’s allow that pursuit to distract us from the crazy. Let it turn us in a direction that will lead us to peace. To stillness. To awareness. So, right now, think about something that truly makes you happy. Got it? Awesome. Make time in your day to do or show appreciation for that thing, because ... merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream. Note: If you found inspiration in my words, then I highly recommend watching ‘The Professor’ on Amazon’s Prime Video. This film is a beautifully funny and sad look at living life to the fullest! See Blog Post
5 minutes | Jan 13, 2020
TRANSCRIPT I am learning to accept myself for exactly who I am, and who I am is turning out to be a nice surprise. It’s hard to stop trying to be what people want me to be, because having done this for so long, I lost sight of my true self. Last year, I started working on an original music project that I’m calling ‘no agenda,’ because I am realizing how hard it is to live with no agenda, no expectations and no demands. I like to plan everything. I plan my meals , I love lists and currently have four on the go. I’ve set five goals for myself for this year, and I’ve put myself on a daily schedule. So operating without an agenda goes against my very nature. In my attempt to loosen the constraints of self-inflicted expectations and demands, I am finding freedom. Most of us live with the misconception that when we perfect ourselves, then the magic of life will happen. Where did this notion come from? I suspect that it’s mostly come from the media presenting us with images that are thought to be the standard. Constantly consuming these images lead us to feeling less than and unworthy. But each of us is enough, and our uniqueness among millions is a masterpiece. I am becoming more aware of how I let my environment affect me. I am starting to protect myself from the media onslaught that I have been deluged with for my 53 years on the planet. Social media can be a bitter pill sometimes. Spending hours reading about others successes and seeing their happiness displayed for mass consumption can lead to the disillusion that our own lives are shit. But is any of it real or just manufactured for ‘likes’? We’ve all done it. We’ve all embellished ourselves on social media. What’s really behind this? Why do we feel the need to present a life that’s not authentic? Recently, the hubs and I spent the night at our friends lovely house out in the country, and as I lay in bed, I was fascinated with how quiet it was. There was no street noise, no ticking clock, no sound other than my own breath. This made me think about how rare it is to hear silence. In stillness there can be self-discovery. You can be gently reminded of the unique qualities that make you you, and then you can nurture true acceptance for being intrinsically who you are. Upon introspection, you can begin to own your greatness without any self-deprecation. You can fearlessly share your art with the world just for the sake of it, without being at all concerned with how it’s received. Acceptance leads to freedom. Accepting who we are right in this moment, warts and all could pave the way to true happiness. I did a poll on my Facebook Group asking the question, ‘Are you happy with where you are in life right now?’ I am thrilled to report that 75% of the respondents answered ‘yes’! I take comfort in knowing that self-acceptance is possible, and I’m well on my way. How would you answer the question. Would it be, Yes, No or Not Sure? Click here to leave your answers in the comments section.
4 minutes | Dec 25, 2019
Do you remember the term ’be kind rewind?’ If you do, you are definitely showing your age. For the uninitiated, ‘be kind rewind’ was a phrase that was used by video rental shop employees encouraging their customers to rewind the video tape after viewing it so that the next person to watch that tape wouldn’t have to rewind the movie, and possible encounter spoilers in the process. Doing this was considered an act of kindness. If you saw the film Captain Marvel, for some of you, this would have been the first time you’ve actually seen a video rental shop like Blockbuster, but in the 1980s, they were everywhere, and the term Be Kind Rewind quickly became etched into pop culture. Each video had a sticker with the phrase on it, and there were even separate video rewinding machines that were hi-speed rewinders, designed to protect your video player from the wear and tear of rewinding so many videos. This was serious business. At Christmas time it is quite easy to show kindness to others. Because the general mood is festive, shiny and bright, people tend to feel upbeat and happy, and being kind to one another feels as easy as breathing. But what happens the rest of the year? This year we’ve seen a lot of anger and ugliness being played out in the media and it’s so easy to be swept up into whatever mania is swirling around us. I’ve noticed it in myself and in others this ‘me, myself and I’ attitude that’s so focused on our own needs that we move through our respective worlds oblivious to each other. There seems to be an epidemic of not caring for our fellow humans, and the idea of community feels more like a concept than a reality. So, as we go into 2020, I want to be a reflection of kindness to the people around me, just by doing little acts of kindness. It could be as simple as being more patient with people ... or not tailgating while driving ... or not harshly judging people (or ourselves for that matter). Let’s maybe insert a new phrase into pop culture ... 'be kind, fast forward.' Fast forwarding kindness to the people around us. Don’t spew negativity all over social media, post kind words. While driving, don’t curse people out for changing lanes, leave a gap. Don’t get mad at your partner for not being a mind reader, use your words. It's Christmas Eve and you might be out and about doing last minute preparations for tomorrow! Start right now! Be kind, fast forward!
6 minutes | Dec 15, 2019
On Monday of this week I posted these questions in my Facebook Group: How do you decide the right key for a song? Are all your songs in the same key? Does it depend on the mood of the song? The reason I reached out to my group for help on this is because I am writing songs in preparation for recording and releasing them next year. This year I released five singles and really didn’t give much thought to the keys they were in, they just kind of landed where they landed. The whole reason I started releasing my own music again after a 10-year break was to find my voice, which seemed to be disappearing into function singer oblivion. I believe an integral component for rediscovering my voice is through understanding where my sweet spot is. The members of my FB group are all brilliant in their own rights, and many of them are singers and songwriters, so I felt I would get some answers that I could apply to my process. Wow, was I right. Keith Simon, singer extraordinaire said, “For me I think it’s about being able to utilize your vocal range to its maximum potential ... every song is different and unique ... and you wanna be able to comfortably sing/perform a song that brings out the best parts of your range.” My very first vocal coach and piano teacher, Pat Tyson, had this to say: “I tend to write in keys that are comfortable for my voice, but I also write in keys that are easy. Transposing is a gift that I'm grateful for!” And then, Amba Tremaine, Singer, Songwriter, Vocal Coach, Choir Leader and Teacher took me to school. She dropped a word on me that I had never heard before, Tessitura. Thankfully, she broke it down for me: Tessitura is the range within which most notes of a vocal part fall. An area of your voice that is comfortable and most commonly used. Amba goes on to say, “I have discovered that being able to sing high or low is one thing, but being able to do it well and for it to sound good is another thing entirely. Reaching those high whistle tones may seem impressive but 9 out of 10 times it sounds bloody awful. Every now and then we’ll need to pull out some impressive height for certain songs but it really does make a huge difference when you know where your voice sounds the best. This is where Tessitura comes in.” Amba’s process is to go to the piano and start talking about everything and anything. She then finds the note (more)
5 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
I was speaking to a friend last week and she was saying how difficult it is to ask for things. This friend and I share many similarities. We are both singers, both songwriters and we both perform Tribute Shows to one of the most awesome women on the planet … Tina Turner! And, we have one more similarity ... I too find it difficult to ask for things. Before I had this conversation, I had already decided that 2020 would be the year of asking. Asking for what I want and asking for what I need. But it seems I am already feeling resolved to do this, so I’m not waiting until 2020. On Sunday, I was in London getting ready to perform Tina Turner Tribute Show for this wonderful group who put on events for very active seniors. I mean, wow, they party hard. I get there, and as always the staff are fabulous. They take me in to meet the soundman and then they take me to my dressing room. My fellow performers can attest to the fact that many of the venues we perform in are not geared up for entertainment, much less Tribute Shows. So it’s not unusual for the event organiser to try to stick you in a closet or handicapped loos, or any ole random place and call it a dressing room. I was put in one room that had rat traps all along the walls … I was like ‘Mickey’ don’t you show up tonight. I’ll be doing this gig from this table top!’ So, when I realised that said dressing room was the gents loos, at first I went in and had a look around and then I said 'no.' I looked at my host and asked for what I wanted. I wanted to be in a comfortable space, that was odour free so that I could prepare to do my 35-minute spot. I was polite, yet direct and said ‘this space is not suitable for me to get ready for my performance.’ And without any hesitation, I was ushered into another room, just next door that had a couple comfy chairs, had sandwiches for the talent, what?? And a lovely drag queen who turned out to be the host of the event. Said queen was happy to share his space with me and we had a lovely chat as we prepared for the show. Turns out he also had better legs then me and Tina put together, but that’s another story! I was so proud of myself for just asking for what I wanted. So often we suffer in silence or in passive aggressiveness instead of simply speaking up. I am not opposed to reading a self-help book, or ten, and two spring to mind as I write this: The first is ‘The Art of Asking’ by Amanda Palmer and the second is ‘Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown. Amanda asks the question, 'are we just too embarrassed to ask?' Brene looks at how our fear of being vulnerable can keep us from getting what we want and need because we’re too proud to just ask. There are a lot of things I want to do next year and I’m going to need some help to do them. I have always been very independent and self-sufficient so asking for help has always been hard for me. But, I’m prepared to do it, because I won’t get to those ‘yeses’ until I do.
3 minutes | Nov 29, 2019
I want you to take a moment and think about the people who are closest to you. Your inner circle. Your Tribe. I want you to take a moment and think about the people who are closest to you. Your inner circle. Your Tribe. Now think about the qualities these people possess. Their qualities are more than likely a reflection of your own. ‘Like attracts like’ is one of the spiritual laws of the universe, so those around you mirror who you are. So if you want to know who you are and what you’re made of, look at the people around you. Do you see strength, determination, beauty and fearlessness? These qualities are a reflection of you. Equally, if you’re seeing anger, frustration and insecurity, these may be qualities that you recognise in yourself that you don’t like and are trying to overcome. Seeing yourself from the perspective of those around you can lead to enlightenment. When you meet someone that you truly admire, you’ll likely see those same admirable qualities within yourself. And, when you meet someone whose vibe you’re not quite feeling, accept that this is also a reflection of you. If you don’t like what you see in them, change your own vibe. When I think about my inner circle, I truly feel like I'm in a house of mirrors. You know those ones that make you look taller or bigger?? My circle is filled with powerful people who are creative, loving and generous. The women in my life could rule the world with their strength and innovation. I look at my tribe and I wish I was more like them. But the truth is, I am like them. I am a reflection of them and they are a reflection of me. We share our lives and our experiences, and learn from each other's successes and failures. We can call each other on the carpet and say 'you need to check yourself.' We can cheer each other on, fight each other's battles and walk hand and hand through the the storms of life. Now, take another look at those people closest to you. Do you like the reflection? If not, change.
5 minutes | Nov 28, 2019
One of the things I miss most since moving to the UK is Thanksgiving. When I first moved to England 10 years ago, for the first two years I hosted a big Thanksgiving meal for my UK family and friends. The third year my good friend and fellow American, Marlene put on a Thanksgiving spread, but since then neither of us have had the time nor energy to do it, and I am truly missing it this year. I have so much to be Thankful for this year, well every year, to be honest. But I’m feeling especially thankful this year because I am at a lovely place of peace with myself. I am happy exactly where I am in life. Around this same time last year I was totally burned out. Gloria Miller Entertainment, my entertainment company, had a stellar year. Business was good, but I was not. I was about to go into the very busy Christmas season, and I realized that I didn’t want 2019 to be a repeat of the year I was having, so I made the decision to close my office at Langstone Tech Park, and to go back to working from home. I was already making the journey to my current peaceful place by freeing my creative side, and writing songs again felt like a lifeline. I didn’t know what I was going to do with the songs I was writing, I was just happy to be back in the creative flow. So, when January of this year rolled around, I was back working from home. I took a break from performing my Tribute Shows opting for performing Motown Nights instead, because at least I could be myself during those gigs, and not have to step into someone else’s persona. I was feeling so lost, and honestly, I no longer knew who I was as an artist. In fact, the artistry was gone, and I needed to get it back. I allowed GME to tick along, and I spent more time working on my music. I setup a new website and started blogging and podcasting, along with releasing singles, all in an effort to find my own voice. I performed my first fully originals gig back in September and I was like a fish out of water. I was so scared and had no confidence going into the performance. But, thankfully Lola (my alter ego) showed up, and I did it. I was thrilled at how well my songs were received by the audience. I’ve now put a band together for my original music and have a couple dates booked in for 2020, so I am slowly getting back out there as an artist! But it feels different this time around. I have no agenda for the music, I‘m not hoping to be ‘discovered.’ I’m just making music because it brings me joy. I’m simply feeding my passion and living in and sharing my truth. I am so thankful to be approaching my days differently. I used to be married to my to do list, and to regular ‘office’ hours ... now I’m not. I still have my list, and it’s full of things that I’d like to get to, and I know I will eventually get to all of these things. But I’m not a slave to the list or to time anymore. I am finding that if I focus 100% on the task at hand, it all seems to gets done. Admittedly, I have a really giant list of mundane things that need doing, and it’s constantly growing, but I just let the list grow and will get to it when I get to it. This allows me to focus on what matters and leaves me with time to live! I think it has boiled down to finding that work, life balance and in the balance, I have found peace. I still have loads that I want to and will do in the coming year, but in my own time. So, I am thankful today. Thankful for my husband, my family, my friends, my career and my passions. As I write this, I’m still in bed, drinking the coffee the hubs brought up to me and the sun is shining through my window. There’s a few things on the to do list, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll get to them. We’ll see what the day brings. At this moment, the only thing I feel compelled to do is to be thankful!
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