Welcome!

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On this page you’ll find my blog and announcements about upcoming performances. Thank you so much for your visit and support!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2017 – 10:20 am | Comments (1)

Everything’s coming up roses

Posted in performance, singing on October 17, 2017 – 2:20 pm | Comments (0)

The Sausalito Cruising Club

Sunday, December 10, 6:00-9:00pm

At the Sausalito Cruising Club

with

Bill Ramos, Marilyn Cooney,Debra Mugnani, Kathy Holly,

 Dorothy Donnell &Kat Fitzgerald

Guests: Kalil Wilson Jazz singer! Carlo Solivan, Tenore Extraordinaire
300 Napa Street @ Bridgeway on the Waterfront

Sausalito, CA 94965

Reservations strongly recommended: 415.269.8699

 Producer: www.kathyholly.com

Holly7531@aol.com

Food purchase necessary

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Posted in events, performance, singing on November 14, 2017 – 11:47 am | Comments (0)

Join us for our Holiday Gala!

Our Holiday Gala is now sold out! Thank you!

Holiday Gala Dec17

Posted in events, performance, singing on October 20, 2017 – 9:01 am | Comments (0)

Villa D’Este November Supper Club

I hope you’ll join us for the next Supper Club!

Wednesday, December 20, 11:30-2:00pm

The Villa D’Este, 2623 Ocean Ave. @19th Ave. San Francisco

Reservations strongly recommended: 415.269.8699

www.villadesterestaurantsf.com

Producer: www.kathyholly.com

Holly7531@aol.com

Food purchase necessary

Ample free street parking

Posted in events, performance, singing on October 19, 2017 – 9:00 am | Comments (0)

The Villa D’Este January Supper Club

Monday, January 8, 6:30-8:30pm

The Villa D’Este, 2623 Ocean Ave. @19th Ave. San Francisco

Reservations strongly recommended: 415.269.8699

www.villadesterestaurantsf.com

Producer: www.kathyholly.com

Holly7531@aol.com

Food purchase necessary

Ample free street parking

Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2017 – 5:16 pm | Comments (0)

A great experience of Yoga Doga!

doga

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might have guessed that I  like yoga and enjoy nature very much, so you can imagine my excitement at finding out about a daily drop in yoga class that takes place near my place of work in Sydney Walton Park (at Davis and Pacific.)

Last week, I decided to give the thirty minute class a try and I’m smiling at the memory of it.  I attended class on Monday and Wednesday.  On Monday, it was spittingly foggy out as I walked the six blocks over to the park and when I arrived, I realized I’d forgotten to change into my yoga gear completely.  I was wearing a dress over my short yoga pants.  With the encouragement of the teacher and because I was the only student, I decided to stay.  Once I got over feeling a little silly doing downward facing dog in front of the noontime strangers eating lunches on nearby benches, I found myself relaxing and enjoying the fresh air and the songs of the starlings in nearby cypress trees.  I was touched when a pleasant and skillful young instructor named Evan, approached me during the final resting pose (shavasana) and placed his hands in a grounding way for a few moments on my feet and shoulders.

Wednesday was another foggy morning and I hesitated to leave the comfort of my warm office.  My co-worker encouraged me to ‘Just do it!’, so I took her a dvise and walked briskly to the park for the 12:15 p.m. start time.  This time I found three other students, another instructor, named Kristen and her friend’s young dog, a sweet brown lab mix named Ellie.  Class started, and while we were holding plank position, Ellie ran up to each one of us in turn offering to lick our faces.  She then bounded around the area, showing off her amazingly limber body by rolling joyfully in the grass and beautifully modeling how to enjoy every single moment.  Towards the end of class, I noticed the instructor, leaving with Ellie for a moment to go to her car.  I guessed she was picking up a treat for Ellie, but it turns out she was going to get her wallet so she could replace a salad that Ellie had wolfed down on one of her passes around the park.  Apparently, the owner of the salad had been too engrossed in her smart phone to notice Ellie’s approach.

By the time shavasana came around, once again I was relaxed.  I also noticed that this time my mat was wet and muddy in places.  After we completed the official class with a Namaste, Ellie came over and offered me her paw again and again and offered  more kisses.  Her paw was also wet but for some reason, it didn’t matter so much, friendship is friendship after all!  I will continue with these outdoor yoga classes.  As with many new endeavors, it may take me a bit of time to work out the kinks, like figuring out a way to keep my mat clean and dry, dressing in a way that would make it easy to quickly change into yoga gear, but I think the positive experiences I’ve already had far outweigh the  challenges. Now if Ellie had gotten into MY lunch, that might be another story!  (You can find out about this class and other drop in classes like this around the Bay Area, by downloading the free app:  YogaBuddy.  Suggested donation for the class I took is $5.00.)

 

Posted in life on August 29, 2014 – 5:16 pm | Comments (0)

10 Tips for quickly relieving stress

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This article includes some musical ideas!

 

 

 

 

By Sonia Choquette

Let’s face it. Life is stressful. And when we are under stress we suffer. It’s bad for our health. It leaves us feeling drained and tired. It fogs our brains. It causes us to disconnect from others. It makes it difficult to concentrate and robs us of the ability to respond creatively in life. It’s not good for us, and when under stress, let’s face it, it’s not good for those around us either. So it’s helpful to have a few stress-busting techniques to reach for when it starts to creep up on you and take you hostage. Here are a few of my favorite busters. They are easy to do and work wonders when I need them most, like right before I give a public presentation, or when running late to catch a plane, or find myself stuck in traffic, or when talking to someone who is being very difficult, or when I find myself running behind schedule and am afraid I am going to get in big trouble for it. In other words, at least once a day, every day. Try them yourself and see if you find them as helpful for relieving stress as I do.

  • Open your mouth wide enough to hear a click in your ears and inhale deeply, followed by an audible exhale releasing the sound “AHHH!” Repeat until relaxed. Three times should do it.
  • Sing the song Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music. Each note corresponds with one of the seven chakras and calms the entire nervous system and lifts your mood.
  • Breathe in deeply and slowly, and as you exhale, notice something you’ve not noticed before in your immediate environment and name it out loud. Such as “pattern in the rug.” Then breathe. “The scratch on the desk.” Breathe. “The different colors on the coffee cup.” Breathe. “The design on the base of the lamp.” Breathe. Keep noticing and saying out loud things in full view that you have never noticed before. Do this for at least 30 seconds to one minute. This stops your brain from racing forward and back in time and centers you in the present moment, thus relaxing you.
  • Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and right behind your front teeth. Next, purse your lips and exhale to the count of eight as though blowing out a birthday candle. Next, inhale to the count of seven, followed by holding your breath to the count of four. Then repeat. This easy breathing technique can calm your thoughts and refresh your body, inviting stress to flow out and relaxation to flow in.
  • Anytime you feel overwhelmed by stress, bend your knees and wiggle them back and forth as fast as possible for 10 seconds, and then squeeze your buttocks cheeks together while letting out a very loud and resounding “AAAAHHHHHHH!” as though screaming all the stress right out of your body. Then relax. It not only relieves you of the stress consuming your every cell but also makes you and anyone around you laugh out loud.
  • Start naming, out loud, one thing at a time, every single thing that you are or feel afraid of right now. Start by naming the thing you fear most in the moment, and then take in a deep breath. Next, name something you notice right in front of you. Then repeat. Again, name something you fear most right now. Breathe, and then again name something you see right in front of you. Do this until you can’t name any more fears.
  • Do my favorite yoga pose. Pull the corners of your mouth to the ears, and hold it. Maintain this pose for at least 30 seconds. Then release.
  • Thump your chest with your fist and let out the sound “HA! as loud as possible. Repeat. HA! HA! HA! Then laugh.
  • Sing your favorite Broadway show tune at the top of your lungs.
  • Put your thumb and forefinger together and close your eyes. Breathe in, while saying the words “I am,” and then exhale saying, “calm.” Feel the calm flowing from your heart, through your body, and out of your fingertips. Do this as many times as needed.

These are all simple, easy, silly, effective, and fun. Try them all and see which one works best for you. Most of all, just remember: this too shall pass, and with breath it will pass faster and leave you less stressed along the way.

Posted in life, singing on September 5, 2013 – 4:44 pm | Comments (0)

Chopping wood and carrying water

 

 

tranquil moment by fireplaceI’m sipping a cup of candy-cane green tea and listening to Pandora’s holiday channel–a few moments of quiet time, which is quite a rare treat these days. Twinkling petals of early afternoon light dance around my room to the beat of the music. I’m feeling a delicious combination of sentimentality and gratitude. I think I must be having a holiday moment!

Why this overall positive outlook? I believe it’s the effect of two filters I’ve chosen to wear over my lenses this year; the “Stay Neutral” and the “Chop Wood Carry Water.” In other phases of my life, some of the events of this year would have had me spinning in panic and caused me immense anxiety.

Both of my parents took falls this year, Mom breaking a hip and Dad, a shoulder. I consistently reminded myself to continue to chop wood and carry water and not focus too strongly on either wanting positive outcomes or worrying too much about negative outcomes. In retrospect, although my parents’ injuries were extremely painful and caused them immense inconvenience, the gift of their having had them was that they created opportunities to look at how we children and grandchildren could better support them. I can see now that my parents are both stronger and healthier from the experience.

Singing has always been a wonderful refuge for me.  Performing is also becoming one.   Even though I often feel nervous the day of the performance, I’m always buoyed by the experience of being with all the other performers, interacting with our wonderful audience members and singing from my heart.   Performing truly is good medicine!

Posted in life on September 4, 2013 – 8:58 pm | Comments (0)

Keeping the renewal alive all year long

Has your summer brought you a sense of renewal? I was recently pondering ways to maintain the wonderful sense of renewal that I feel after a long weekend or vacation once I’m back home. First of all we need  to figure out what actually renews us. Each of us is unique and our needs change all the time.  It isn’t always the things we read about doing or think we should do that offer the best renewal choice. For example, sometimes when I finally sit down to read a good book with a cup of tea, I realize that what my body and spirit really needs is to get outdoors and move. Other times, reading is just the ticket to the relaxation I needed.

I take a daily afternoon break and get out for some fresh air. I may not always be able to leave my desk at a scheduled lunch hour, but I don’t let that stop me from taking a refreshing break at some point in the afternoon even if it’s not until 3:30 or 4 p.m! Whether it’s a walk along the Embarcadero or Crissy Field, a visit to one of the many nearby farmers’ markets, or sitting quietly for a while in a nearby garden, I find I’m refreshed when I return.

I’ve also noticed that although some things are pretty tried and true, like taking a soothing hot bath after a particularly stressful day, its also very renewing to try something new. Recently, I caught on to the Chia seed craze and started adding the seeds to my morning juice and oddly have felt renewed by having found a new, healthy practice. Sometimes especially toward the end of a busy week,  it’s tempting in the evening to just be a TV- watching couch potato but I’ve found that if I choose instead to spend a few minutes gardening,  going for a walk in the neighborhood, practicing my songs or listening to some beautiful music, I feel more relaxed and also get a better night’s rest.Waves of New Opportunity

I’ve become a fan of a little application on the iphone called Lift. Lift allows you to track a list of habits you know give you a lift.  If you like the feeling of checking things off a “To Do” list, Lift  may be for you. I review it once or twice a day and it acts as a reminder to do things like walking to the farmers market, spending quality time connecting with a friend, taking an afternoon break, or taking three deep breaths. When I do check off the habits, I feel a little lift too.   Similar to Facebook’s “likes”, other users on the app can give you props for completing your lift habits which is also fun and motivating.

So as long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.”  Swiss writer, Henri Frederique Amiel

Posted in life on September 4, 2013 – 6:40 pm | Comments (0)