Jo’s Bliss Blog

Wonderful experiences, honest insights and stories of my quest for inner peace!

I won a music award!

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Jo's Bliss Blog | 0 comments

I won a music award!

2015 NCEIA Dolphin Awards, Best Song Adult Contemporary “And the winner is ….. Jo Kelly” AAAAAAhhhhhhh OMG it’s me! I couldn’t believe it when I heard my name called out.  It was a dream come true. I got up from my chair and walked down the aisle under the spot light (just like they do in Hollywood) with my song playing in the background and stepped up onto the stage.  The lecturn was so tall and I had to stand on tippy toes to reach the microphone. I was overwhelmed and speechless for a moment (hard to believe!!) then I quickly found my voice and said “I’ve been singing other peoples songs all my life and not until my soul was truely inspired and my heart open, that I began to write my own.  After my journey to India and the Himalayas in 2006, the music flowed through me and I started to record.  I had to record.  My soul couldn’t hold my songs in any longer”.  I thanked the NCEIA … I think … and stepped off the stage to receive my trophy and prizes. What a night!  It’s a moment that stays with you.  I was all fizzy inside with excited nerves for the next few days and then I began to settle and appreciate myself and all other musicians.  We spend a lifetime learning, playing, experiencing life, honing our skills, getting knock backs, learning more, listening, practicing, composing, practicing, recording, practicing … practicing … practicing …  and then a perfect 5 minute song is birthed and acknowledged!  Wonderful!  Held in that 5 minutes is 35 years of experience, heart, blood, sweat and tears.  And I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I love my work, my music … it’s my life. You can listen to ‘Himalaya’ which is track 5 on my debut album “Letting Love In” The song is only $2.99 MP3 download and the album is $19.99 MP3 or $24.99 CD Buy Now Also, I made my own music video with pictures of my journey, trekking and camping in the Himalayas.  Watch it here on YouTube       Here’s a few pics of the night and press clippings to check out too!             Acknowledgement I acknowledge Ashley Cadell who produced ‘Himalaya’ and the album ‘Letting Love In’.  He is an International multi award winning producer and can now add another one to his list.  Often the producers work gets overlooked and I’d like to say that with Ashley’s talents, my song has become the beauty it is.  Ashley is also the sound engineer who mixes and masters all my Cafe Mantra titles and gives this music it’s lush qualities.  He is truely a master!  Thanks Ash!...

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What Is A Mantra?

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Jo's Bliss Blog | 0 comments

What Is A Mantra?

What is a Mantra? and how does chanting work? A mantra is a sound, syllable or word that is sung (chanted) in repetition to focus and train your mind away from worried, confused and excessive thinking. Excessive thinking is tiring and creates toxins and blockages in your energetic channels making you stressed. Chanting burns up these toxins, cleansing away stress and emotions in an easy peaceful way. It’s like washing the body and mind from the inside out. Brain washing in a good way! You can listen to chanting or use your own voice. Both are effective ways in finding peace of mind. When you use your own voice, the vibrations increase pranic activity in your mind and body, especially in your brain.   The mantra vibrations are metabolised into brain chemicals, like endorphins, which promote relaxation and healing. When you’re rushed, stressed and tired, your breathing becomes very shallow and this prevents enough oxygen and prana (energetic life force) from being carried through your mind and body systems making relaxation and inner peace difficult to experience. Prana is activated by deep breathing and chanting. Prana governs the movement of your mind and thoughts, your circulatory and nervous system and when it’s received fully by your body and mind, stress is relieved easily. I use bija mantras in my music and at a Grow Your Mojo! chanting session. A bija mantra is a seed syllable. Just as you plant a seed in the soil for it to grow into a flower or tree, a bija mantra is an energetic seed that is planted in your own consciousness. It is nourished when chanting with loving attention and over time helps your spirit to blossom!   Want to Grow Your Mojo? click for event details   Listen to Café Mantra Music   click for the cd range...

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Creative Desire & The Moon

Posted by on Mar 7, 2015 in Jo's Bliss Blog | 0 comments

Creative Desire & The Moon

The moon blossomed full a few days ago and  with it came a strong desire to create. I’ve noticed this before. It happens about a week leading up to the full moon. During this time, I have strong urges to paint, record music, rearrange furniture, redesign my website or rearrange pots in my garden. So why? How does the moon influence creative energy? I’ve done some inner searching and put ‘2 & 2’ together, that is inner wisdom with knowledge through study and I’ve come up with an answer to my musings. Ayurvedic science teaches that the entire creation, the universe and all life, animate and inanimate are made up of energy, which consists of the 5 elements. Ether/Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements are omnipresent and have innate qualities which affect us physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s known that the moon affects the tides (water element) and menstrual cycles (water element) and I’ve learned that ancient cultures also honoured the full moon as a time for mating because fertility (water element) is increased at this time. We can also become emotional (water element) during the full moon. I’ve experienced this too. So how does it all connect? I’ve learned through Ayurvedic study that the water element is controlled through the sacral chakra, otherwise known as the water chakra or the sex centre. The sacral chakra resides in the spine at the region below the navel to the coccyx. Relative to the mind, it refers to the sensate mind or emotional principal, which works through the senses. So when the moon is full our waters are also full. Full with the qualities that the water element brings like nourishment, fertility, energy to blossom and grow. It’s a time of ovulation with increase in sensual experiences and urge to create new life, whether it be a human life, a painting or a song. Soooo, this might sound simplistic, but in many ways Ayurvedic science is. Simple in its deep, ageless complexity. As I continue to study and experience life, I have more understanding and feeling for being in oneness and it is really wonderful. Yes … life is filled with wonder!...

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Deadlines are doing my head in!

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Jo's Bliss Blog | 0 comments

Deadlines are doing my head in!

I’ve started this year with extra fire in my belly … and it has affected my mind! and not in a good way. I’ve been charged with restless enthusiasm, get up and go faster attitude, global goal setting ideas, planning extraordinarily big creations and I’ve just discovered I’ve lost my peace … AGAIN! I recognised this old pattern of mine came to visit me again for about 3 weeks or so.  She (a part of my mind I call “The Desperate Driver”) started running the show again! The way she runs the show is by infiltrating every waking moment with a thought that suggests fast action, high achieving, incessant planning, gigantic goal setting, prolific ideas creating, doing, doing and more doing!  She says it’s the best most exciting way to be and …. life will be even better if these actions and goals are achieved right now! Today! this week or this month at the very latest! Hmmmm so what happened to the peaceful, relaxed, easy going Jo that I’d cultivated? I realised I’d lost my mind when I started a little project a few weeks ago and spent almost every waking hour thinking about it and on the computer for days on end creating it, editing it, doing the business plan for it. I discovered I had stopped my daily meditation and eating properly and resting when I felt tired. I’d given myself a deadline that was doing my head in! Now, there’s nothing wrong with creating, planning and achieving, I just need to do it in a healthy way instead of  ‘like a bull at a gate’ as my Dad would say.  He also said that ‘grass doesn’t grow under my feet for long’.  So this is one of my unique qualities, but I don’t want it to run my life anymore.  This way of working has hurt me over the years resulting in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and stress related illness. So what did I do, when I realised this? I stopped. Just like that. I recognised “the desperate driver” and said why are you so desperate? What would happen if this project doesn’t get done this week or this month,  or even this year? She was quiet for a moment, then she said “nothing would happen. In fact you would be a lot more relaxed and happy if you didn’t work like this. It’s stressing you out. What really matters is your peace of mind. No stress for you anymore Jo. You can’t do life like that anymore” And so that very day, I bowed down and surrendered. I did a wonderful long meditation and chant and walked outside into the beauty of the moment with an easy smile.        ...

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2015 My Year of Nourishment

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Jo's Bliss Blog | 0 comments

2015 My Year of Nourishment

2015 is my year of nourishment. Through necessity (I’ve been healing myself from chronic fatigue syndrome) I’ve had to learn how to rest, relax and rejuvenate.  My ‘default mode’ in life has been to do everything at high speed. This has changed a lot over the years as I’ve practiced yoga and meditation regularly and this has helped me slow down, stop and smell the roses! So, this year my focus is to continue this way of life. As I share with others how I’ve been feeling, I realise this is a malady of modern day life and affects so many people. Especially those who go fast like me!  So, I feel to share with you some ways I’ve discovered have helped me and here are a few ideas you might like to try to bring more peace into your life and receive the nourishment you deserve! Slow everything down to half pace Meditate for 20mins every day Walk in nature or by the sea … in appreciative silence Have a delicious meal every day Close your eyes for 10 mins and breath deeply Take a half hour siesta in the afternoon Listen to some beautiful music Lay down in the grass in the sunshine Walk slowly and feel nature and the air all around you Gaze at the horizon and breath deeply Watch the trees drift and dance in the breeze Play a musical instrument and sing Help someone Speak softly Tell a friend or family member you love them There are so many more ways and I’m sure you can find new ones. If you would like to read my story click here or if you need some peaceful nourishing music click here. I’m off now to have a siesta! Namaste x...

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The Art of Silence

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Jo's Bliss Blog | 0 comments

The Art of Silence

Take a deep breath in … and breathe out … and another breath in … and relax.  Sit comfortably and allow yourself to do nothing!   Do nothing! Easier said than done and doing nothing in silence for 4 days is even more of a challenge.  You see, when you do nothing, everything inside wells up and wants to be heard or actioned.  All the voices, stories, criticisms, planning, problems, ambitions, emotions … they all rise and come to the surface of the mind.  So when I went on a 4 day silent meditation retreat, I had to look and listen to my rantings and ravings in order to find the peace beneath. The Art of Silence retreat was with my spiritual group The Art of Living Foundation, founded by guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from India. There are millions of people all over the world connected with Sri Sri and we have learned to meditation through him. Nestled in the Girl Guides Camp in the Kuringai National Park amongst stunning nature we were on a gentle quest to find our own inner nature and peace. Through a series of pranayama (breathing practices) asana (body postures) meditation, seva (selfless service like sweeping leaves or washing dishes) and satsang (chanting and singing) we slowly let go our worried, busy minds and opened to deep peace and tranquility that is our true nature and always present. Over the four days I had many difficulties as well as blissful experiences and learned that they were all necessary and perfect.  I had headache and excruciating pain in my lower back as well as emotional nausea while toxins left my body.  Then after each breakthrough, I went deeper into peace and discovered hidden inside me was a tiny bubble of joy that gently expanded.  I have been told by so many that happiness is found within, but until experienced it is just a concept. For some sessions our guru’s voice was gently guiding us (via recordings) through ‘hollow and empty’ meditations.  I felt his presence very strongly and his soft singing lovingly holding us.  It is his voice that wraps my heart in a blanket of love and when I sit in sadhana (daily practice) I hear and feel him. I didn’t always feel this way about Guruji.  When I first came into Art of Living, I didn’t want a guru.  I thought it was a weakness somehow.  But as I continue to do courses and retreats and feel the benefits of the unique meditations he has created for us, I have slowly opened to his spiritual love.  He has given me so many blessings and I am truely grateful. So hum … Take a deep breath in …  You are hollow and empty …  take another breath in …  and relax Jai Gurudev!   Link:  The Art of Living Foundation Jo’s Story:  Read my story here          ...

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