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Meditation Group
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James L.

You may be amused to know that in fact, this IS one of my coping strategies, not to pressure myself about getting everything done when I become oversaturated with too many responsibilities.

As you’ve just help me demonstrate, if the opportunity is in the "meant to be category” as I like to think about it, it will most likely come back to remind you and if not, it will simply go away. The important thing that I’ve learned is not to recriminate myself in the missed opportunity category. There have been many times that I have responded to an opportunity too late, or not at all, only to find I’ve missed out on something that in my minds eye, I thought would be life changing. I’ve come to realize that even missing that “big opportunity” has served me in some way that I could never have foreseen_usually in the best way i.e. finding an opportunity that I was ultimately more qualified for or realizing that an opportunity that I missed would have been short lived for me.

The key coping strategies that I try to employ everyday are kindness and forgiveness_for yourself as well as others. Everyone has a fascinating and long story that makes up the framework of their lives. Some people have it easier than others but probably not by much. Happiness is a sliding scale based on and measured by moments. Some people simply have less happiness moments than others. I try to bring more happiness moments to the people I interact with. I have found that the more of this you can promote the more contagious it becomes. Everyone is so mired these days with global and political issues that it’s easy to give into pessimism and hopelessness, or even aggression. None of these feelings are an imperative, they’re all choices we make. When I was a kid in the sixties it seemed like there was an assassination of a social leader everyday, recession, pollution and into the seventies I started to notice crooked politicians (imagine that). Well, I’m here to tell you that as a young child, there wasn’t much I could do about any of it except to feel anxiety. Now, as an adult, I have better choices to take action. I can stay informed, vote and at times have polite discourse with my fellow human beings. Other than that, the day to day sound bites that seem to echo in everyones heads these days have a very small place in mine. Here’s the deal, other than signing a petition, calling a congressman, protesting and voting, how much more is there on us to fix? Actually, surprisingly little. So my point being, I try not to carry the media narrative around with me except for observational humor’s sake (a time honored comedic tradition that I endear). The world has always and will always see craziness and conflict. I think if more of us were to value and share the happiness and forgiveness moments within our small spaces on the earth, it could be the most effective tool we have to bring happiness and joy and even prosperity into our lives and the lives of those around us.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, James LoMenzo was captivated and consumed by music of all styles. “My dad loved music and played it for my brothers and I when we were just babies …”  “I'd listen to my dad's swing and crooner records, then we'd listen to classical we had quite a few 45's.” “My uncle worked for Billboard magazine back in the sixties so he'd load us up with singles.” “All the while I was plugged into the AM radio (Big FM was just on the horizon back in ‘65).” “I listened with great intensity to everything from Sinatra to Ray Charles to Motown and I really dug the hell out of hearing the Stones in the


midst of all that.” James knew at the age of five that he wanted to be a musician, “I knew I would make music somehow.” At the age of 10 James received an electric guitar from his parents and proceeded to take guitar lessons over the next year. His uncle who worked for Billboard magazine and a music publishing company brought him music books and sheet music. One of the books was a Beatles complete edition which sparked James’ interest in singing and performing mostly Beatles songs. “My repertoire was based strictly on the sheet music that my uncle Larry would bring to me.” “Travelin’ Man” by Creedence, The House of the Risin’ Sun by the Animals, the whole second side of Abbey Road." "I ambitiously plowed forth, singin’ and strummin’ my little heart out.” At 11, James performed at his public school and at talent shows in the neighborhood. “I met Steve Augeri (Journey) at one of these talent shows." “We ended up in music class together and started our first band “Sir Donicus”, named after our friend's deceased Beagle”. That summer James and Steve went to a summer camp for performing arts and that’s where James discovered the Bass guitar. “There was this guy there named Gene, who kind of looked like Keith Richards (to me) and he had this Gibson EB-3.” “I had only noticed a Bass once before and that was on a TV show with Sly and the Family Stone.” “I remember thinking how cool those big tuning keys looked.” “Anyway gene was cool enough to let me try his bass and I fell in love with it!” “I was able to easily play simple bass parts and sing as well.” “He let me use it all summer and when I got back home to Brooklyn I was hooked.” “I couldn’t afford to buy a bass right away so I pulled the high E and B string off my guitar, turned up the bass tone knob on my amp and played the first four strings with my fingers." "Eventually, I saved up enough money to buy a cheap Japanese bass for sixty bucks and I was off!”


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