Calling Us Home – Original Piano Composition

Hey guys!

Today I thought I’d share a video of me playing another one of my new  original songs, “Calling Us Home,” which will be included in my upcoming album, “New Beginnings,” set to release December 1.

I wrote this song shortly after getting a shot of inspiration from another solo piano artist I was listening to. The song had a very “heavenly” feel, with some key changes, & an uplifting mood. It made me want to write a song with that same feeling. I had actually been thinking about writing a “God” song for awhile but just didn’t quite have the right inspiration. For some reason, listening to the feel of that song opened up this whole melody in my mind & I knew how I wanted the song to sound before I even sat down at the piano. Easier said than done though! This was one of the most challenging pieces I’ve ever written. I’ve never been the best at key changes in general anyway & this one has THREE (what was I thinking? haha) It took a lot of hard work & repetition to make the vision in my head for this song come to life, but it was very rewarding when I did finally accomplish it.

“Calling Us Home” starts out a bit somber. In this part of the song, I picture someone in a difficult situation reaching out to God for help, almost questioning whether or not He will answer, unsure if He’s really there or not, but reaching out in desperation with their one last sliver of hope they have left. During this part of the song, I specifically think of that person saying, “God, do you hear me?” As the song builds, I picture the faith of this person building & building until God answers their call at the key change. This is when God is calling that person to Himself, He is drawing them closer to Him, & lovingly inviting them to their heavenly home. The rest of the song has a feeling of great joy & rejoicing & I picture the very end being when the person is finally joined with God in Heaven & has said YES to God’s call home.

I feel like this song can apply to so many different occasions in our lives, whether it be the very minute daily occurrences of doubting whether or not God is really there for us, like when someone we love has done something very hurtful to us, OR whether it be the very big moments like at our time of death or death of a loved one. This is a constant cycle for everyone. We fail, we doubt, & we sin… but God always calls us back home.

 

Hope you all loved this one!!🙂 Thanks for listening & visiting my blog!

Love, Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
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Gardener’s Waltz – Original Piano Composition dedicated to my MOM

Hey all!!

More music to share!! This one is called “Gardener’s Waltz” & will be included on my upcoming album, “New Beginnings,” set to be released in December 2016!

I try not to play favorites too much with my songs, but I must say, this one is toward the top. I wrote this song in dedication to my beautiful mother, Carla Wintz. She is my #1 role model. The best compliment I can get is when someone tells me I remind them of my mom. She is who I am constantly striving to be like. Not only is she a beautiful person on the outside, she is the most beautiful person I’ve ever met on the inside. Her joyful spirit is infectious & radiates to everyone she meets. She loves her Catholic faith & her closeness with God & her faith is something that is obvious when you meet her. She’s always the one I turn to for everything I need. She’s the most kind-hearted, wonderful, loving woman in the world & I can’t believe I got so lucky that she’s my mom. I’m crying as I write this because I am just so grateful.

I thought about my mom throughout the entire process of writing Gardener’s Waltz. I knew a song with a waltz beat would be perfect for her because, growing up, whenever a waltz would come on her CD player while we were doing dishes or cleaning, she would stop everything & grab one of us kids & waltz around the room. She often talked about how she would dance with her dad like that when she was growing up. This is a perfect example of my mom’s beautiful joyful spirit… that beautiful spirit I tried to capture in the form of a song. I hope she waltzes around her kitchen while listening to Gardener’s Waltz once it’s on my next CD!🙂

This one is for you Mom!! I LOVE YOU!!!

P.S. The day I am posting this (September 7, 2016) is my mom & dad’s 42nd wedding anniversary. Another great example set by them to strive for!🙂

P.P.S. I hope you love this one!! Let me know what you think of it by leaving me a comment. Thanks all!!

– Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

 

Happy Heart – Original Piano Composition

Hey all!!

Here’s another song that will be included on my upcoming New Beginnings Album! This one is called Happy Heart.

I wrote this song shortly after I had started my new job. It was a big decision to change careers, & definitely not an easy decision to make, but in hindsight, it ended up being the BEST decision for me. It’s difficult making a big change like that… so much uncertainty at the time, & lots of unknowns. However, I realized very quickly after starting my new job that I was going to be a lot happier. I learned that it’s a very freeing feeling to take charge of your own life & make those tough decisions that are going to better serve you & your priorities, even if there are some costs involved. Making this job change has allowed me to focus on more of those priorities in my life: time with family & friends, my health, & of course, my PIANO passion!! (just to name a few)

The overflowing happiness & contentment that I felt (& still feel) came bursting out of me in the form of this song. I just love how lighthearted & carefree this song is. It truly is a reflection of the overwhelming happiness I have in my heart. I’m so grateful to God that He has given me a joyful heart. Hopefully this happy song can bring a little bit of happiness to your heart as well🙂

Ohh and one last fun sidenote, I also wanted “Heart” to be in the title as a nod to my wonderful town that contributes so much to my happiness, Valentine, Nebraska AKA “The Heart City.”

Hope you enjoy!!!

– Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

The Weary Traveler – Original Piano Composition

Hey everyone!

Today I’m sharing the full version of “The Weary Traveler,” which will be one of the songs included on my New Beginnings album (goal release December 2016).

This was one of those songs that I wrote from start to finish in a couple hours. I remember that it was the same day that I finished another song, Gardener’s Waltz. For some reason, after I finished that song, my mind went in a completely different direction & I ended up playing around with this droning sequence in the left hand. I put a melody to it & in just a few hours, this song was born.

That droning sequence in the left hand is the continuous theme throughout this song. It reminds me of a wanderer, someone traveling through the desert, unsure when they will reach their destination, growing weary but continuing on, determined to press on until they get to their final destination.

I remember this story coming into my head early on in this song’s writing process. I had the title in mind before the song was finished, which was a different approach than songs I had written in the past. Usually, I wouldn’t come up with a name until it was all finished. This song taught me that focusing in on the song’s inspiration & naming it early on in the writing process helps me come up with a work of art that is completely congruent with that story & title.

 

Hope you all enjoyed The Weary Traveler! Thanks for listening & visiting my blog!

– Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

Love In The Wind (Full) – Clip from Concert

Hello everyone!!

I’m beyond excited to share this FULL song with you today as it is the song that has touched my heart more than any other song I’ve written. I won’t say too much in this blog post as I do give a little description of the song in my video & also wrote a full reflection in a separate blog post, which you can find here, after I played this song at my little brother’s wedding.

It’s a special one, guys! Hope you like it!!

Love, Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

 

 

Road to Triumph – Original Piano Composition

Hey all!

Here’s a video of me playing the full version of Road to Triumph. I wrote this song in early 2015 but it is part of my collection of my most recent songs to be included on my 2nd album, “New Beginnings” so I wanted to reshare!

This song just makes me so pumped up every time I play it & it’s one of my most fun songs to play! The triumphant key change ending gets me every time😉 It gives me the feeling of being able to conquer anything. This one was tough to write/teach myself, but that feeling of finally conquering it was one of the best.

If you’d like to see another video of me playing this one & some more insight into this song, check out this blog post that I posted when I first wrote this song last year.

Enjoy all!! I’d love to hear what you think of this one. Can’t wait to record album #2. Recording date is set for November 5!!

 

Love, Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

Confidence Is The Most Attractive Thing

Hey all!!

Last night, my husband & I were discussing our “beginnings”… how we met & how our relationship began. I asked him if there was anything about me back then that’s different than how I am now. He thought for a second & then said, “I think more than anything I’ve watched you become a more confident person. You’re less self conscious than you were back then & you’re just confident in who you are, and that’s very attractive.” This struck a chord with me & we talked a little bit about the transformation that I’ve gone through in the (almost) 8 years we’ve been together.

Back then, I was so obsessed with my weight & self image that I was blind to the fact that I was beautiful. I was just never good enough for myself. I worked out hard every day, no matter the cost (lack of sleep, skipping a meal, etc) & if I didn’t get a workout in one day, I’d beat myself up & would instantly see myself in the mirror as 5 pounds fatter that day. On top of being obsessed with my workouts (mostly long duration cardio), I obsessively counted everything I ate. I ate everything low fat, low sugar, low calorie, low carb (AKA low nutrition), to stay under my 1,200 calorie limit, & played a game with myself to see how low I could keep it (sometimes only 700-800 a day). I remember moments during my senior year of college, stepping on the scale & crying that I couldn’t get it below 125 pounds no matter how hard I was working (yeah…. 125 lb’s). When I think back on it now, I can honestly say I had an eating disorder.  Food controlled me, even though my twisted mind at the time thought I was the one in control.

After my wedding in 2012, I indulged at our honeymoon & my shorts barely fit me on the day we left (talk about a shot metabolism). I continued to fight this battle with my metabolism for the next year… working out hard, eating little, trying desperately to control my weight but gaining immediately when I’d indulge ONCE or eat a few too many calories that day (like 1,500 – oh no!). The next year, a heart to heart with my best friend (who is now an integrative dietitian) inspired me to free myself from calorie counting, focus on the QUALITY of food I’m eating, not just quantity, & listen to my body for what it needs rather than trying to “outsmart” it by calculating input vs. output. It finally clicked that our bodies don’t work that way, & I finally faced the realization that I had been in a very unhealthy place for a long time & I was going to try & dig myself out of it.

I’m not going to say it was all butterflies & rainbows. It was hard as shit. Because I had messed up my metabolism so bad through years of restrictive eating & over-exercising, I gained weight when I started eating a normal amount of food, even though it was healthy. My “rock bottom” came in 2014 (picture #1 below). I couldn’t lose the weight no matter what I did. I had shaken the calorie counting obsession, but I was still working out hard every day & was eating healthy food. I cried trying on my summer dresses & swimming suits for our winter trip to Mexico because nothing fit me & I felt like crap. I was tired all the time. I felt sluggish. I had no sex drive. I hadn’t had my period in a year. I felt like my hormones were literally shut off. I was sick. Bottom line.

Transformation

Another life changing conversation with that same best friend (she is truly a God send!) inspired me to seek help from a functional medicine practitioner in Kansas City. The test results were what I expected. My thyroid was low from years of self-inflicted damage, which caused my metabolism & sex hormones to say good-bye as well. I was also deficient in some other key nutrients. A gluten test indicated that I had a gluten sensitivity & that I’d be better off without it. My “prescription” was as follows:

  1. Get rid of gluten in my diet & eat REAL high quality food (note: taking out gluten naturally helps you “unprocess your diet”
  2. Get rid of all high intensity exercise which is MORE damaging for people with low thyroid problems, & focus on MOVEMENT instead (this is when I fell in love with walking & eventually yoga)
  3. Take supplements (several of the key nutrients I was deficient in)

That’s it people. That is it. No medications. No crazy procedures. No hormone replacement. Just very simple lifestyle changes.

I started this protocol in September of 2014 & by January 2015, I was a new person. I had energy. I had my sex drive back. I got my period. I lost weight. I felt invigorated. I felt balanced. I felt healthy. I remember trying on my summer dresses & swimming suits for my winter trip to Jamaica that month (picture #2) & crying tears of joy because I felt completely different than a year before when I was so sick & miserable.

Picture #3 is from this summer. Nothing has really changed, & to me, that is music to my ears. I finally have BALANCE. I eat well, most of the time. I indulge sometimes, but that’s OK. My metabolism is now healthy enough where it won’t make me blow up like a balloon if I’m not perfect in my diet. I walk every day, focusing on movement rather than exercise. Sometimes I like doing higher intensity exercise too, so I do. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not, I don’t. If I feel like exercising, I do. If I don’t, I don’t. I listen to my body & do what it tells me instead of relying on tracking devices to tell me how many calories I consumed, how many I burned, or how many steps or miles I got in that day.

THIS IS HOW EVERYONE SHOULD FEEL!!! I’m no longer that self conscious girl that I was. I’m not perfect, & I have my days. This world makes it a constant battle. But, the majority of the time I look in the mirror & I’m happy with what I see. I tell myself positive things instead of breaking myself down. Am I as skinny as I was on my wedding day? No. Do I have cellulite? Yes. Do I have some junk in the trunk? Yes. (haha) But, guess what? I’m healthy. I feel great. Those “imperfect” things about me are what make me ME & after working on my MIND day in & day out for YEARS, I am finally at that place. That’s why it breaks my  heart when I see other people struggling with what I struggled with, & that’s what made me finally write this blog post today.

Balance, people. It’s not about eating less & exercising more. Please don’t make the mistake I did. Just listen to your body & guess what, if you exercise less you probably won’t feel like eating as much & if you exercise more, you’re probably going to want to eat more. BALANCE. Eat well. Live well. Move well. Be kind to yourself. TRUST yourself. Not the app on your phone that’s telling you what to do. Not the crazy fitness model instagram posts telling you how you should look. BE YOU & be confident in that. THAT is what is most attractive, take it from my husband😉

– Janeen

PS: If you would like some more resources & people to follow who believe in this same thing, here are a few of my favorites:

Robyn Johnson 

Dietitian Cassie 

Shawn Stevenson (specifically his podcast, the Model Health Show)

Dr. Jade Teta 

Abel James (specifically his podcast, Fat Burning Man)

Dr. Mark Hyman 

Erin Mullins, Fit Rocker Chick (she has my SAME STORY, I swear…it’s craziness

– Natalie Jill ~ she’s very into fitness but from what I’ve heard her talk about with her new book, “Unprocess Your Diet” her views on nutrition are on point