Kindness is Contagious

I’ve been inspired lately to write about something that I feel can sometimes be taken for granted. I don’t really know what to say about it so far, so here goes. This is my brain drain about kindness. Kindness is contagious.

Have you ever noticed on the train how someone asking for money often goes ignored? Then, out of the many, one person donates…and it’s a ripple effect. People notice what is happening. Something in them encourages them to give what little they can. Automatically the heaviness on the train lightens just a little bit. A few smiles and kind words are exchanged. We are all reminded of the fact that others, too, are sometimes kind, in a world where it feels that not many are. For a brief second someones day has been made better, and that candle has been re-kindled inside them. The hearts of all involved have been pushed open just a little bit and warmth has been let in. It’s contagious; the best kind of contagious.

I’m a lover of inspirational quotes, so naturally I was looking up the perfect quote to share in this piece about kindness. There were way too many perfect quotes for me to share in one article; too much good material available, ironically! One of my favorite ideas, though, is that kindness begets kindness by using the law of attraction. In a nutshell, what you feel and put out into the world becomes your reality. I have personally known this to be true in my own life.  So, by being truly kind to the core you are not only improving the lives of others, but you are attracting kindness to you. Even when kindness is not reciprocated you can rest easy knowing that the universe has your back, and feel good about what you have done. So, you may ask, what inspired me to write about this? 

I won’t go too far into detail about the reasons behind why I was feeling stressed and low, but I will tell you about the person who showed unconditional kindness. It all happened in a coffee shop, of all places, in midtown NYC. It was a colder day and I went to Princi (which is fabulous, by the way) for a hot chocolate. Upon reaching the register, the barista, Nefertari, could tell that I could use a little boost and she treated me with such care and kindness that it truly warmed my heart. She went above and beyond with amazing customer service, a true to the core smile, and I could tell that her heart is very kind. She didn’t ask questions, she just knew and exuded such a warm, understanding energy that I couldn’t help but smile. I left that day feeling a little bit lighter. I was on the receiving end of a truly kind act, and I haven’t forgotten that. Everyone should have a Nefertari in their lives. I told her I would be writing a shout-out to her on my blog, and I hope to help pay it forward. If you have the chance, stop by, grab a hot chocolate, and enjoy the awesome atmosphere and warmth (literally, too) of Princi on an otherwise cold day. It could be exactly what you needed. Thank you, again, Nefertari, for reminding me that there are truly kind people out there. I hope it comes back to you tenfold!

 

Daily Prompt: Disappear

What to say about the word disappear…at first I thought that the idea of the word disappear could be easily written about. Then I realized that what I wanted to say, maybe it wasn’t so healthy; or maybe…it just is…not healthy or unhealthy. So let’s have a go. When I think of disappearing I think of the obvious: a magic act. The item disappears. Simple as that. Err…well, not simple for the magician, I know. Magic is something that is very important, though…for me my connection to musical theatre is magical…it opens up my soul to worlds that I didn’t know could exist. It’s like there’s a whole part of me that doesn’t exist when I’m not singing/performing musicals, and when I do get to do what I love I become so engrossed in it that my angst, my worry, my outside concerns…they disappear. It’s moving and enthralling to me. There’s nothing else like it. It is so magical that I could even tell you the exact moment that I fell in love with what I do. I will never forget it, and I hope it never disappears…So…what memory do you love so much that you hope it never disappears? I hope you all have one, and I hope it brings a smile to your face when you read this!

Today’s Thoughts…The Word Astonish

Goodness, today’s daily word can be communicated in so many different ways. Maybe mother nature can sum it up better than I can…This picture says astonishment to me. I am constantly impressed with her. The colors in the natural world, the shape, the design, the beauty…it could leave you speechless (or even…dare I say it…unable to form a coherent thought and put it on paper). This picture speaks volumes to me. The setting sun while jetting off on an adventure, eagerly awaiting the experience ahead…this picture tells the story of a beautiful trip filled with love and happiness waiting to happen. It reminds me of a time overflowing with joyful memories…and a beautiful setting sun while up in the sky to witness it…it doesn’t get much more astonishing than that, does it?

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It’s Christmas Time in the City!

When many people imagine New York City at Christmas there are a variety of images that come to mind. Walking up and down 5th Avenue with a red Starbucks cup in hand (hot chocolate, who could resist?), with a light snow falling, while peeking in to the extravagant and creative store windows. Saks Fifth Avenues’ fantastic light show. The great Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center (all lit up and gorgeous!). Ice skating, and holiday markets in Columbus Circle and Bryant Park. A gleaming and heartfelt/cheery spirit felt in the throngs of people in the city. At least, that’s what it’s like in the movies (and my boyfriend can probably attest to the fact that I’m a serious romantic movie type at heart…and he’s right!). That’s correct…I said THRONGS of people in the city. The hustle and bustle of New York City can be hard enough on a daily basis, but during the holidays…well…it’s beyond madness, especially in midtown.

It’s very easy for us New Yorkers to get caught up in the frustration and annoyance that the busyness can bring. After all, standing shoulder to shoulder in the cold, trying to finagle your way to the next street corner through a packed crowd and an endless sea of people on your way to the subway simply to get home can be quite infuriating. But… I still love Christmas. I love all the holidays during that time of year. It’s a special time to celebrate for several religions and many are brought to show their true, kind spirit (I hope!).

All the frustration aside, though, this New Yorker got to experience a moment of pure magic the other night. It came quite unexpectedly, and I’ll remember it for years to come. It was calming and serene; two words that I never thought I would attribute to New York City. After spending many hours inside the Apple store waiting and waiting (they are the only twenty-four hour location…so they’re awesome but quite busy!), I left weary and ready to hit the hay. It had been quite a difficult day even before the phone issues. I had arrived shortly after my iPhone had up and given me a very strange display (I’m no techy, so I had to take the phone to a professional right away at 9:30 at night…so thank goodness that the lovely Apple folks are open!). But…something special awaited me outside at 1:30 in the morning…this  beauty:

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I was astounded. I was out there, alone, on the street (I know, not safe, but it could not be avoided)…and I got to witness this…how special; how moving; how beautiful. I couldn’t help but be reminded how beauty can permeate your soul. It was just the star and me, and I got to witness it in silence…no crowds, no pushing, no shoving…just a silent reminder of the true beauty of this season; a permanent and indelibly etched image in my memory (and my new phone, thank goodness!). I found myself entirely in awe and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you want to see a wonderful reminder of the beauty of this city…you can find this star near the Apple store at 59th St. and 5th Avenue…and then make your way down 5th Avenue, hot chocolate in hand, and catch some of the views I was lucky enough to see that night in silence…I truly hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the season…Happy Holidays and be sure to find your own serene corner of the city during this time…and revel in it. It’s worth it!

 

Don’t Miss The Hamiltome or This Video Either!!!!

Please take a look at the video below as it is so cute and so funny. These guys are hilarious! Also, while you’re at it: check out Lin-Manuel’s fabulous book (and I’m sure it will sell out quickly on Amazon when it comes out on April 12th…so hurry because you don’t want to miss it). Here’s the direct link to Hamilton: The Revolution

 

 <— Click the picture to go directly to the page and buy the book in hardcover, for kindle, on audible, or even on cd!

Plus…here’s some Hamilton fun below!

 

 

This is so cool! If you like free things check it out!

I’m a book lover…and Amazon is offering a 30-day free unlimited trial for the kindle!!!! Free reading/listening for that loooong!!!!! Here’s the link to it!

<a target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/ku/sign-up/?ref_=assoc_tag_ph_1454340986887&ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=pf4&tag=gwynethjohans-20&linkId=IQOXKAG6YPA46F2M”>Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial</a><img src=”http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=gwynethjohans-20&l=pf4&o=1&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

 

I Have To Admit It: I’m A Diehard Hamilton (and Lin-Manuel Miranda) fan!

So, you may be curious what this MusicTrGrl in NYC has been up to lately, seeing as I haven’t posted for a while. Currently, I’m working a lot and…seing LOTS of shows. Sadly, Hamilton is not one of them because it’s so popular and tough to get into (kudos to them for being out of this world amazing artists and creators). I’ve also been performing with a company called TAPNYC…which has given me the opportunity to meet lots of agents and one very sweet manager. You see, this fabulous company has given me the chance to get in front of industry professionals through their workshops and their showcases. Yes, that’s right! I’ve been able to do something really cool: to perform in front of casting directors, agents, managers, and a very sweeeeeeeeet audience.

The other thing I’ve been addicted to recently: anything and everything Hamilton related. Seriously. The soundtrack plays on repeat on my iphone. I have whipped my phone out of my pocket at some points only to find out that somehow a button got pushed and guess what’s playing without me even selecting it: yep, you’re right! It’s Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda is such an incredibly talented individual. His lyrics are so poignant and the rhythms of his rap and musical composition is so expertly decided upon and executed. Every time I listen I find something new that I hadn’t noticed before. I find something exciting. I find something meaningful…and I’ve found a renewed love of the history of the founding of this country. So, being addicted, my boyfriend constantly gets to hear about Hamilton. In fact, for Chanukah he bought me the Hamilton recording I’m speaking of! He has no idea how much that gift means to me. I’m a serious lover of genius composers and meaningful lyrics. Lin-Manuel Mirando is phenomenal (and Hamilton is not his first incredible Broadway success…you should also check out “In The Heights”). In other words…for the “Hamilton” lover in your life: I highly recommend it as a gift (hint hint: Valentines Day is this coming weekend) and I guarantee it’s a unique present that they will love. A very easy and quick link to have sent to your valentine (and maybe even gift wrapped with a personal note), is available on amazon.com. This link will take you directly to it without having to search: //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=gwynethjohans-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B013JLBPGE&asins=B013JLBPGE&linkId=EF5DPM5NSJYJ4LKI&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

Happy early Valentines Day and I hope to hear your thoughts on “Hamilton.” Believe me , I can’t wait to hear what you think so we can chit chat about this show!