Why a 5-yen coin hangs in my office

In the mid-1980s I had been living in Japan. When I left I was flat broke with nothing but a few coins in my pocket, and a suitcase full of cassettes of new-age music—a brand new genre that had barely reached the shores of North America. I got a job right away working at a radio station in Los Angeles that experimented with that relaxing music.

My appetite for that genre became ravenous. I devoured all of it I could find, at record shops and at concerts. I spent hours each day drifting into Shangri-La with Kitaro, Vangelis, Andreas Vollenweider, Osamu Kitajima, Tangerine Dream and loads of lesser-known artists from exotic places with unpronounceable names. Meanwhile, I experimented with my own compositions.

Fast-forward three decades. A little Japanese furin bell hangs on my office door. It rings every time a person walks in. Suspended from that bell is one of the 5-yen coins I carried in my pocket in Japan all those years ago not knowing what the future would hold.

Every time that bell rings I am reminded of humble beginnings and the wonder and excitement of what still lies ahead.

When anxiety and depression strike, grab your shoes. Here’s why.

Your body is made for motion. Like water, when stagnant it becomes a breeding ground for disease. So stir the waters of your life and begin exercising! Regular exercise enhances neurotransmitter production and helps to lower stress hormone levels. Continue reading “When anxiety and depression strike, grab your shoes. Here’s why.”