Monthly Archives: May 2014

Musicians and other artists – let us unite against all those who claim we don’t have a “proper job”!

Well, I had to visit the doctor’s today- again! I met a chatty nurse who became a little too chatty! She was trying to make friends with my daughter and asking the usual questions regarding age, school etc. My daughter announced that she would like to become a doctor so that she could make her mummy and daddy better.

Now, this is a beautiful notion and should not be ignored, but I responded with how I knew my daughter to be more musically inclined.  I said to the nurse that she would likely follow in her mother’s profession as a musician and performer.

Before I could add that I would , however, want her to become whatever she chose for herself, the nurse burst in with this line “Oh, you don’t want her to do that, you want her to get a proper job!”

Oh my, talk about prodding the chip on my shoulder just as much as she was prodding my arm with a needle! My cheeks turned very rosy at this point and I responded with how that statement makes me  “quite cross” and  how I wish my parents had been more supportive of my musical and acting ambitions.

This only seemed to encourage her further and I got her  life story… one of her daughter’s wanted to be a doctor and became a doctor and the other wanted to be a musician but she told her to be realistic as there was no way she would ever be a soloist and there is no money in that. This daughter now teaches violin. I recall my own mother saying something similar to me years ago.  She went on to say how a musician’s hours of performing were antisocial as they were night time (yes, because doctor’s and nurses are strictly nine to five).  Note to self: quickly grab daughter, get arm away from needle and vacate surgery, never have a blood test again!  

At this point I needed to vent and my sounding board noted that this nurse’s house no doubt had music in it in the way of CDs, instruments, and perhaps she should discard this collection if she was not respectful enough of the process. I might also add that musicians have the potential to earn more than doctors IF they choose to.

My dear friend also pointed out that I am doing good with my music abilities in choosing to help people therapeutically through the medium of music as well as through my songs which people say have a stress reducing effect on them. I needed to hear that today.

So I have a choice here, I can listen to this advice, which so many have tried to push on me over the years, just give up on my dream and get a “ proper job” or I can continue to follow this musical, unconventional  and holistic path and hope that one day society will encourage our children to look at the arts as much more than a “hobby” ( nurse’s word, not mine).

Yes, we need to be practical in our life choices to a certain extent but, moreover, we have one shot at this particular life, why would we waste it on anything less than our passion?

Connecting the Dots

therapy symbol green2I made the mistake of turning on the radio yesterday whilst travelling to the hospital. (I REALLY don’t like hospitals- too much illness and not enough music going on in these places, honestly!) I needed cheering up  but instead I ended up listening to how mental health institutions have changed since the Victorian age. Well thank goodness they have, as the idea of trying to shake madness out of someone through these torturous methods seems like madness itself to me! I won’t go into the details, too upsetting. My mind wandered to  James Taylor  and his ‘Fire and Rain’ song. Is this the fire and rain that he experienced in his time in an institution? His shock therapy? Your thoughts…?

Whilst we are making strides in presenting mental health issues as nothing to be ashamed of, we are still, I believe, separating the physical from the mental and holistic approaches in medicine are still too rare. Now the doctor I saw yesterday was very nice, and he did listen whilst I did my whole holistic rant about the possible underlying causes and connection between one physical symptom and another, but then he smiled and handed me a prescription for just one symptom. That is all the NHS have time for unfortunately, so then we have to return again in a few months time with a similar or even returning symptom, and so the pattern continues.

Whilst we can say that Arthritis, or a weird skin thing in my case, are not mental health issues like bipolar or schizophrenia, are we not all inter related? So that, what is going on upstairs can have an effect on our bones, muscles, skin etc. We separate our minds from our bodies so much so that I think our bodies feel left out sometimes and quite misunderstood. That’s what I think, anyway!

I often talk in my workshops about reaching homeostasis. Deepak Chopra, a doctor I really do like to listen to, puts the whole holistic approach to reaching homeostasis so eloquently  here