Sunday, 28 January 2018

Sister Act 2 (Finale) Lauryn Hill - Joyful Joyful With Lyrics (Ft. Whoop...



As we go from one week into the next we should do so in a joyful frame of mind. This will help us to have another good week as we are building a strong positive vibration.

Just love this song- the incredibly talented young Lauryn Hill singing from her soul in Sister Act which has become an iconic film- and the pre-cursor to Lauryn's incredible career. What a wonderful arrangement that lifts our spirits and, in a way, its structure epitomizes the world today. This version of Joyful Joyful is a song as layered and complex as society, with many strands and musical elements running through it to create an energized, inspired work.

Isn't this how we should be? Infinitely complex but ultimately joyful- complex yet inspired?. 'His eye is on the Sparrow,' another great song from the same movie- I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free is more sober but contains the same message. We are free and whatever our circumstances we can sing and give thanks.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician

Monday, 22 January 2018

Thinking beyond our current experience


Just recently my Facebook feed has been full of loss and on top of that, I was shocked to discover the loss of two people I knew in the airplane accident in Sydney on New Year's Eve. An eleven year old child I had known as a baby, along with her Mother. Our natural response is to ask why? Especially when people are well and happy, full of plans or ambition. The other big why the newsfeed throws up is, 'why do people have to suffer so much illness?'

There are people who will happily answer these questions, some with gloom and doom, some from various religious perspectives and others who have definite views about the state of the world and views about the afterlife. Whatever your beliefs, when we lose people we love or see them suffering we feel it deeply. Our beliefs may comfort us but can not erase our pain.

Having heard many opinions during my lifetime I am drawn to the point of view that we undergo a transition from earthly life to spiritual life which I prefer to the more final term, 'death.'. Whilst here we can only consider opinions that resonate with us and we are free to accept and question as we choose. I was brought up a christian (C.of E. and later attended the Baptist church,) however I don't get on with many of the fundamentals including the concepts of heaven and hell. Hell sounds horrific and I can't imagine a loving God sending anyone there whilst the idea of residing in heaven singing with the angels in glorification of God terrified me- you have no idea how much! Nowadays I subscribe to the idea that we go on to an eternal plane and can choose whether to stay there or decide to revisit earth in a new form. I am sure that many people will disagree however I find the idea that we have choice comforting and prefer it to the concept of resting in eternal peace- that's a huge no no so please don't wish that on me ever!

As human beings we are so alive, so creative and that is where our joy often lies, therefore I believe we will have the opportunity to expand our abilities. I am not psychic and would not choose to be but I believe we benefit from tuning into our higher selves through meditation and by paying more attention to our feelings. We naturally hope that sick people will get better and many do, but everyone has their time as we can't remain here forever and we need to acknowledge that. When we lose people we may feel their presence in the coming months and years, often subscribing to the idea that people who have gone before are looking out for us. I am sure that people do stay around while we need them however  it is quite possible that spirits need to move on too. The idea that we can return to  earth to have different experiences that stretch us in different ways is very interesting. There are many people who believe we only have one life but the more we consider the purpose of recycling, why not recycle ourselves? I have learnt a great deal about myself recently- more in the last five years than I would have thought possible, so multiply that in essence by a few lifetimes and the result would be quite mind blowing. 

The most important thing we can do is to draw our own conclusions and feel happy with our beliefs. When we develop beliefs that suit us it settles our mind and if the beliefs have positive aspects we can probably cope better with grief. We need to adapt which can be terrifying, especially if we suddenly find ourselves alone, so prepare your mind to face the inevitable and try to make the most of each day.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician  Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Living The Dream~ Born to inspire, Leah McKenzie

Leah appearing on X Factor

2018, a new year and with it I've decided to start a new series entitled, 'Living The Dream.' There are so many people who inspire us in different ways, either on a personal level within our daily lives; friends, family, colleagues etc, and then there are those we admire from a distance, appreciating their achievements. 

I'm starting 'Living The Dream,' with one of my personal highlights from 2017. I was thrilled to meet Leah McKenzie at the Thornton Heath Festival, Croydon. Leah had her first glimpse of fame when singing at the live shows during XFactor 2016; a series I followed avidly. Leah is from Croydon and I am very struck by her honest down to earth approach. When we look at inspirational people the ones who inspire us the most usually do so because they are 'real;' people we can relate to and this connection puts achievement within our grasp.

Originally I was going to share this interview shortly after the festival however instinct told me to sit on it for a while and I try to follow my instinct! This is a very short interview as it took place as  Leah left the stage after her performance, yet it teaches us some of the key elements we need to utilize if we wish to be successful. I will break these down after we have read Leah's interview.

Interview with Leah McKenzie at the Thornton Heath Festival Summer 2017

Hello Leah. Can you tell us a little bit about what you have been doing since the XFactor?
Basically I’ve gained the title, ‘Face of Croydon,’ which I’m really proud of.  I’m an artist who was born and bred in Croydon and Croydon hasn’t always had a great representation. So I thought, let’s put Croydon back on the map and show them that we’ve got a lot of cool people here. I’ve been doing gigs and getting into presenting and modelling because I’m an entertainer, not just a singer so it’s exciting times.

I really enjoyed the Reggae song you sang, ‘One Love.’ How did you come to write it?  
I was laying in the park one day thinking about Reggae as it is a large part of my heritage as I was brought up on Reggae music. I thought,’ I want to do something with Reggae, create a different vibe’- so I’m singing my own Reggae song with a British accent. When I’m writing songs it’s always about inspiring people and I’m always spreading the message of love, peace and harmony.

You were talking about your future and how you want to get to America to further your career. How strongly do you believe this will happen and why?
 I feel it’s my destiny. I’m very spiritual and I’m into astrology and that so I believe it’s written in the stars and  that I’m going to go. My intentions are right. I do music and entertain people to bring joy to them for the six or seven minutes they may be watching my show and I’m very positive and confident that I will be in Los Angeles this time next year with my own show, ‘Leah McKenzie Loves Life.’ 

There is a great deal of content in the three key questions that portray Leah's energy and enthusiasm not only with regards to her career but, importantly, her love of life. What exactly can we learn from Leah? Here is a little food for thought:

  •  I have already mentioned the need to be real and this means knowing who you are. Leah is very at home with herself and her mixed heritage.
  •  Following on from that, the ability to identify and use our talents. During this interview Leah outlines different talents all of which move her closer to her goal or dream. 
  • Sharing your dream is important. Leah did this on the XFactor and has taken it a stage further. It's up to us when we decide to do this but once you're on your way it is good to reinforce other people's belief in you. - Believing in yourself is always key but sometimes other people see more in us than we are capable of recognizing- so listen to praise, encouragement and constructive criticism. 
  • Build your public profile. Leah has done this in a way that really suits her, by becoming the 'Face of Croydon.' If you are given opportunities that support your core beliefs give them full consideration. Most people have more than one string to their bow!
  • Draw on your experiences and challenge yourself- Leah writes her own songs and creates music her way.
  • Have a clear understanding of what you are doing and why. If you work from passion, belief and talent the path will open before you.

  •  The most important thing to take away is to enjoy life. I love the show title- :Leah McKenzie Loves Life.' There's a very good reason for this. In 2012 I ran a blogathon (weekly series for the year) called 'Live Life~ Love Life.' When we make an effort to enjoy life, life becomes more enjoyable. Things start to work out for us. Leah has left the XFactor and is forging ahead enjoying all the new challenges that come her way. I am looking forward to hearing more of Leah's music and especially to the day she appears in America. 

    Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

    Thursday, 4 January 2018

    Happy New Year... Time to re-align.


    We've all said it more than a few times so for the last time, HAPPY NEW YEAR! We're rapidly approaching the fifth day of the month so the question is, 'how are you feeling now we're settling into 2018?' Did you begin as you mean to go on or have your resolutions already fallen by the wayside?

    I started the new year on my own. This is because last year was hard having just moved into my flat and the unfamiliarity of it all left me feeling quite down. I was exhausted at the time and didn't choose to party so instead I did the midnight thing and crawled into bed. For that reason and the fact I'm not brilliant with my own company, I decided to have a really good night home alone this yeat! Without going into detail it was brilliant and i felt as if I'd been out partying so that's a pretty good achievement heralding the breakthrough of a psychological barrier- yes, a resolution resolved.

    A question for you: Do you regard the new ywae as a new start or an opportunity to build on your successes of 2017?  Following the holiday festivities this is actually a good time for some of us to reflect before rushing headlong into plans for 2018. If you have a five year plan and are on course, congratulations! If not you may need to tweak some things or possibly take a different approach to your life. You really don't have to start something straight away just because it's a new year. Why give up sweets if the last box of chocolates is looking at you? Everything is about attitude of mind and if we are too strict with ourselves we can attract failure. It is good to allow a little flexibility example being: last year, instead of giving up sweets, I just stopped buying them. This meant I hardly ate any all year and funnily enough I didn't even miss them. Trying to focus more on healthy eating probably helped.. 

    Whatever changes you decide to make, be easy on yourself. You can always start small and build up. Rather than taking out a gym membership straight away you can ease into exercise. Once you do a little something regularly you are more likely to use the gym because you have proved to yourself that you can be consistent.Understand your triggers- when you work well and what makes you tick or is a great motivator. Sometimes we do need to push ourselves in order to achieve and can appreciate the rewards of our efforts.

    We can choose any area of our lives to concentrate on when making resolutions or straight forward goals. Having looked at health and developing talents previously, this year I'm opting for something different so my key focus is to have fun and enjoy life- lighten up a bit and go with the flow. Life is always for living and we make decisions every day- sometimes we do well and at others we deviate slightly but whatever happens, don't be hard on yourself; be forgiving and loving and let the magic happpen.

    Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician