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  • Melissa Orquiza

5 Min: Pumpkin Maple Latte, Motivation, Bethanis, Schumann, Collins, Swift & The Beatles

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Pumpkin Maple Latte! Here's to comfort (with some motivation thrown in)!

5 Min: Pumpkin Maple Latte, Motivation without Dopamine, Yeats, Bethanis, Schumann, Collins, Swift & the Beatles

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Musicians don’t always want to practice, play, (or write, or deal with gear or the worst, setting up gear. Flashback to my early twenties, crying because I couldn’t get crap to work. Lol!). I liked and still like wearing dresses and looking like a girl. When I have to spend too much time in front of the computer, I make a point of trying to look feminine so I don’t morph into a studio ogre. (Nothing wrong with that. I just like being extremely girly and well groomed). With so many of us in front of the computer nowadays, it's easy to get complacent in so many areas. (Don't turn into an ogre without a fight!)

So, why is my motivational crutch linked to femininity? Wouldn’t it make more sense if I was motivated by a cookie (or stickers when I used to practice as a kid)? Well, check out this article on how learned motivational responses are expressed without the presence of dopamine and how there may be a new, undiscovered neuromodulator with regards to touch and the reward system. (So, I basically associated putting on lipstick or moisturizer with warm and fuzzy feelings in front of the computer? Um… wow!)

Here’s the same research but expressed in more detail. Basically, cells in the somatosensory cortex, the brain area responsible for touch, also play a key role in reward learning, the sophisticated type of learning that allows the brain to associate an action with a pleasurable outcome. (Staring at computer programs, putting on flavored lip balm…)

I hope this made you think, laugh and maybe free associate ways for tactile motivation (which I think we all need considering what a strange time we live in now, staring at the computer!) Here’s to more inner and outward tranquility irregardless of whether we feel like it. (Ogre!) Zen for the temporarily complacent. Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa

Here’s a bouncy song written by Wayne Bethanis, who was inspired by healing and music. His music has been featured on multiple albums dealing with health and healing. Check out his insane trilling technique!

Wayne Bethanis, Song for a New World

Written for children, I first encountered this in its original form, for solo piano. Here is a history on Schumann’s “Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood)” for piano, Op. 15. There's a quote in the article from Yeats that goes: ''Any object properly regarded can be the pathway to the gods.’' I hope this provides you some beautiful inspiration.

Robert Schumann's Childhood Dreams

To step it up a notch, here it is done even more beautifully, on cello played by Mischa Maisky. I think I can die and live in his vibrato beauty forever. (It's also making miss accompanying.) This will turn any ogre into a beauty.

Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op.15 - Cello and Piano - Träumerei

Because whether it’s work, music, an activity or a person, sometimes it’s eye-opening to realize how much you’ve invested (or not invested) in something you love. Here’s to figuring out what’s important to you and prioritizing. Here's to more happy connections with those you care about (even if it's really hard)!

Phil Collins - Can’t Stop Loving You (Official Lyrics Video)

And, a beautiful Taylor Swift, ultra girly version of the same song. AWW!

Taylor Swift - Can't Stop Loving You (Phil Collins cover) in the Live Lounge

How can you not be happy listening to this? Here’s to making pockets of sunshine whenever something ails you!

The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun (2019 Mix)

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a wonderful week full of inspirational motivation (in case you get the blahs.) Banish those blahs away with (ahem) tactile motivation! Xo, Melissa

Pumpkin Maple Latte. A great excuse to do something for yourself, listen to beautiful music and chill!

Pumpking Maple Latte


Brewed Coffee

Warm Oat Milk (frothed in a French Press or however you like to do it)

Pumpkin Butter

Maple Syrup

Maple sugar




  1. Add pumpkin butter and maple syrup in a cup. ( I don’t like things too sweet and I accidentally put a tablespoon of each to about a generous cup of brewed coffee. You might want to go less than that at first and then go into experimental overdrive. I’d put a bigger ratio of pumpkin butter than maple syrup so it’s not as cloying.)

2. Spoon frothed oat milk on the top. (Take a deep breath and marvel at the beautiful bubbles you just created.)

3. Garnish with maple sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. (I went a little overboard and it started to look like a Tibetan mandala. I let it go because it happily felt organic. Mmm… tactile, yummy mandala….Enjoy!)

#pumpkinmaplelatte, #motivationwithoutdopamine, #tactilemotivation, @waynebethanis, @taylorswift, @philcollins, @schumann, #träumerei, @mischamaisky, @thebeatles, #herecomesthesun

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