January 2019

Take Time for New Beginnings in 2019

by Angela Whitaker, Director

As we begin another New Year (where did 2018 go?), perhaps we should take time to think about new beginnings. We sometimes call them New Years’ Resolutions. These beginnings could be in our teaching studio using a new method or approach to learning, family relationships whether they’re one-on-one or group, or professional relationships. Personal new beginnings could include life style changes such as healthy eating habits, starting an exercise routine, renewed spiritual values, or any other aspect of our life.

Sometimes it’s more making time than taking time to develop relationships or friendships. There are many clichéd expressions such as “To have a friend, you have to be one;” “Strangers are just friends waiting to happen” is attributed to Rod McKuen and other people such as Napolean Bonaparte (according to the internet!). I’ve made many friends and acquaintances during my years in MTAC Pasadena Branch. These friendships have become very precious over the years, and each passing year offers the opportunity to begin new lifelong friendships.

In this New Year, I wish for all of you the joy of renewed friendships and the opportunity for the new beginnings in store as you develop new friends.


December 2018

Take Some Time for Mindfulness this Holiday Season

by Ruth Kasckow, Recording Secretary

During the holiday season we’re often so busy buying gifts, putting on recitals, playing music gigs, and taking care of others that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. One way to take care of yourself is to add a little mindfulness to your holiday season.

What is mindfulness? One definition I like from UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Program is “Mindfulness is paying attention to our present moment experience with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is.”

Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways.

  • It may be a matter of simply pausing for a moment, taking a couple of breaths and paying attention to how you feel or what you’re doing at that moment, then moving forward.
  • It may take the form of being mindful or aware of what you’re doing in the present moment while you’re teaching a lesson, driving on the freeway, or performing in a concert.
  • It may take the form of establishing a mindfulness practice on a regular basis with the help of a class, books or apps.

One component of mindfulness which I find very helpful is being kind to oneself through loving kindness. It is especially important this time of year when we are pulled in so many directions. Loving kindness reminds us of the bonds and love we have that bind us together which makes life that much easier.

So this holiday season add a little mindfulness to your life and enjoy the holidays!

Resources that I find helpful:

Loving Kindness Meditation
App:  Headspace