Classical Music Aids Test Anxiety

With finals week approaching, many people will be looking for ways to get the most out of their study time. Some attempt to get extra study time in by “cramming” for the exam but this doesn’t always work. Some are so afraid of tests that they get test anxiety and can’t sleep. Current research points to classical music as an effective study and concentration aid and according to a recent article by Allison Engel in Imperial Valley News:”Classical music can help soothe insomnia.”

“A team of researchers at the University of Toronto found that tuning into classical music before bedtime helped people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Works by Brahms, Handel, Mozart, Strauss and Bach were effective sleep aids because they use rhythms and tonal patterns that create a meditative mood and slow brainwaves, the study found.” To read more, visit Studying for Finals? Let Classical Music Help.

I found this 6 hour Classical Music playlist by DJ Ja Big on YouTube helpful:

Also, if you want help with test anxiety, try this Test Anxiety Hypnosis Session for College Students by Sheri Zampelli:

Healing Relationship Problems Through Laugther & Enlightenment with Byron Katie

In this interview Byron Katie talks with a young woman about her relationship. The young woman is very upset because the man she wanted to marry kept on bringing up the past and sometimes called her a whore. After spending some time contemplating her grievances, she begins to realize that some of the things she was projecting onto her fiance were actually things she was doing herself.

That may all sound very deep and scary but what I love about this interview is that there are many eruptions of laughter and clapping from the audience and the stage. I believe that because of the laughter and the non-judgmental dialogue, enlightenment was able to happen very quickly and even the audience members could experience “ah-ha” moments.

I have known people (wink wink) who spent 20 years in “serious” therapy and never became this enlightened or free. That’s why I’ve become a fan of laughter and I’m a fan of this video because I’m one of the audience members who just had an “ah ha” that I believe will improve my relationship with myself and my relationship with my husband. If you watch the video, please feel free to share any “ah ha’s” or comments below.

Galvanized Souls Believe in Life After Love

The Galvanized Souls have produced a video with a message to prevent suicide. “We decided to send a message about issues that have affected people close to us and many people that we know with this music video” said Galvanized Souls.

The song is Believe, a cover of Cher’s tune originally released 1998.
Here are the lyrics.

After love, after love [repeat]
No matter how hard I try
You keep pushing me aside
And I can’t break through
There’s no talking to you
So sad that you’re leaving
Takes time to believe it
But after all is said and done
You’re going to be the lonely one, Ohh Oh

Do you believe in life after love
I can feel something inside me say
I really don’t think you’re strong enough,
Do you believe in life after love
I can feel something inside me say
I really don’t think you’re strong enough,

What am I supposed to do
Sit around and wait for you
And I can’t do that
There’s no turning back
I need time to move on
I need love to feel strong
‘Cause I’ve had time to think it through
And maybe I’m too good for you Ohh Oh


But I know that I’ll get through this
‘Cause I know that I am strong
I don’t need you anymore
Oh I don’t need you anymore I don’t need you anymore
No I don’t need you anymore

[CHORUS repeat to fade]

How to Break Familial Patterns of Bullying with Cynthia Lamb

Bullies often learn their bullying behaviors from others and frequently they learn it in their own home from their own family members. For those born into a pattern of bullying it may be hard to decipher the bullying behaviors that are a part of daily, “normal” life.

Many times, those who are bullied at home then seek a person smaller or weaker than them that they can bully so they can regain a sense of power. These patterns can be very unconscious. In this show, Cynthia Lamb can help you see the pattern so you can break it.

Bullying behavior is based on a “better than”/”less than” mentality where one person asserts dominance over another based on a familial or societal beliefs. It is a “victim/perpetrator” way of dealing with relationships. Many traditional families have belief systems such as “boys are better than girls” or “quiet children who follow rules are better than children who challenge authority and convention”.

Based on these beliefs, bullying is justified. Bullying makes the person in the “superior” position feel good about him/herself momentarily but later he/she may feel bad about being a bully or need to increase the bullying behavior to get the same rush. This person might also place themselves in a position where they are bullied because they believe they “deserve it.”

The way to heal bullying is compassion. It is important to acknowledge that bullying is a form of fear-based power. It can be titilating for the bully to “get away with” his or her behavior because it is “bad” and “taboo” and the bully will try to instill enough fear into the person they are bullying so they don’t tell and the bully doesn’t get caught.

A bully can never get enough of a rush to overcome his or her feelings of powerlessness. They often have to find ways to “get even” or they are around people who bully them. Therefore, the coin keeps flipping sides: victim, perpetrator, victim, perpetrator.

Once you become aware of the bullying pattern you can stop it. It might help to investigate the dynamic, (i.e., where did it come from?, when did it start?, is it working?)

If you decide to break the cycle of bullying in your family, you can help others by educating them about what you’re doing and why. Some will decide to join you because they too are sick of the destruction caused by bullying.

In a family with children, parents have to be on board if they hope to stop the pattern of bullying in their home. Children are easily influenced by their parents and rely on their parents for guidance. Kids can’t easily break multi-generational patterns of abuse on their own.

If you are the bully, it’s important to engage in self-forgiveness. Don’t place shame or blame on anyone, including yourself. Remember, the underlying belief that drives bullying is: “Better than, less than”. Begin to adopt a mindset of “We are all equal” and that includes you.

If you are in a relationship that is mutually bullying, (i.e. you bully each other) choose not to play. If you refuse to react and respond to bullying with more bullying, something will change.

Hold the knowing that you are equal, you are not “above” or “below” anyone. Accept yourself as you are and it will be easier to accept others as they are. Visualize a new pattern, see how you’d like to relate to others in the future. Let go of fear-based, perfectionistic communication.

Once you drop fear, loving comes in its place. With practice, you can let go of the pattern of bullying and even learn to laugh at the bullies in your life, including the one between your own ears.

Cynthia Lamb is a spiritual counselor in private practice. She works Internationally to facilitate the global awakening. You can find her blog at:

If you can’t see the player below, click here to listen to this episode.

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Originally published July 9, 2012

Listening to the Beat of My Drum

Sometimes a series of events will happen that rock you to the core. Tragedies, disasters, medical scares, loss.

My heart goes out to all the families who have lived through one traumatic event after another. Sometimes I hear stories and I cannot even begin to imagine the enormity of life change that is thrusted upon people in such a short period of time. As tragic as things must be for them, I also know that tragedy and trauma can sometimes bond people together in a way nothing else will and in that bonding, healing occurs.

Although I appreciated my husband before he had a medical scare, I am now overjoyed by his progress and the prospect of being together to experience some fun, new and exciting things in life.

In fact, we got the process started by going music shopping. We came home with two Djembe’s and some DJ equipment. What a great stress-reliever this has been. I stroll around the house moving out my frustrations by beating on the drum or dancing; connecting with my rhythm. This is my version of therapy.

Because for me these days it’s all about living fully present and honest in the moment. When an emergency or serious event happens, I don’t try to pretend that I am stronger than I really am or unaffected by the ordeal. I don’t run to my room to hide. That’s what I used to do; so afraid of my emotions that I put up a wall.

Walls suck. Especially in marriage. In my work with people I hear so many stories of regret. People have a hard time getting over the fact that they didn’t say “I love you” before one of their family members died. They think they have to “stay strong” and they don’t get a chance to share emotion with their family. I think that’s sad and I don’t want to have a sad life, not anymore.

So I am going to live fully. I am going to follow Thea Westra’s lead and get my boots on and live a galvanized life, Nancy Sinatra style. And on that note, I leave you with this music video.

Music at The Sky Room with Linderella

The theme of music and dancing has been well established in my life now.  It seems there is no turning back to the incredibly serious and stoic life-path I had planned for myself.

When possible, I like to enjoy some live music and a night on the town with my husband.  In May 2011 we both visited the famous Sky Room in Long Beach for the first time.  I must say the view is breathtaking and the club had a great vibe.

In the elevator ride on the way up we learned a little history about the Sky Room.  For example, it was “a rendezvous for luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor, Nicky Hilton, Charles Lindberg, Babe Ruth, Merle Oberon, Clark Gable, John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, and other celebrities.”

Here are a few photos from the evening.  We were celebrating Linda Leek’s birthday and I got to hang out with some cool, creative, musicians and artists including jazz singer Linda Saito, aka Linderella.

Look for Linderella’s performances in Long Beach and surrounding areas or follow her on Facebook.

The Gift of Gabriella

Last week, Valerie from Upstate New York commented on my blog about the Playlist that got me through the Honolulu Marathon. She shared some of her favorite workout tunes like Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness) Piano Tribute Players, Love Drunk Piano Tribute to Boys Like Girls and Diablo Rojo by Rodrigo y Gabriella.

I decided to explore a few of her selections just to see what I’d find.

What I found was a musical act called Rodrigo Y Gabriella and I found their performance mesmerizing. Being the rock and roll girl that I am, when faced with a choice of which of their videos I wanted to watch I headed for a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven followed by a cover of Metallica’s Orion, which was worth sharing so here you go: (click here to watch on YouTube.)

Speaking of rock and roll girls, Gabriella definitely knows how to rock the guitar which she alternately uses as a percussion instrument.

Gabriella immerses herself in her art and is an inspiration to watch. By the time I got to the end of the video, I was roused, galvanized and a tiny bit teary-eyed. Check it out, it’s worth 2:46 of your time.