Counting Sheep, Writing, and Planning Entrepreneurship

There have been a few nights, just a few, when I wished I had the power to turn my thoughts and ideas off so I could have a full night’s sleep. Every night,  it is as if my creative mind has …

Source: Counting Sheep, Writing, and Planning Entrepreneurship

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Live Life Like A Jam Session…Not A Corporate Initiative

Artist Girl In A Corp World

I once read an article about the musical genius of Miles Davis, and his ability to make albums by just putting a group of talented musicians together in a studio…and that’s it. He brought the most creative musicians he knew together and let them do what they do best…play. The jam sessions resulted in some of the most incredible jazz we’ve heard to date. As an artist you have to respect the level of vulnerability it takes to create in that way, whether you appreciate jazz or not.

jam session is a musical event, process, or activity where musicians play (i.e. “jam”) by improvising without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements

Take a moment and imagine allowing your creativity and God given talents to lead your life  in everything you create in the same way that Miles allowed improvisational creativity, or jam sessions,  to deliver his musical gifts…

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The Next Chip Ratliff Show…A work in progress (and it may surprise you!)

Chip RatliffI have a vision of presenting a show that brings together all aspects of my God given abilities: music, dance, and comedy.  I just recently realized that it IS possible…but I’ve got a lot of work to do to present it to you!  And I guarantee…you will be surprised by what you see!

Most of you have seen parts of what I can do on an individual basis.  I mean, some of you have seen me play bass; then some have seen me be funny; then some of you have seen me dance (yes, I am pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.  If you don’t believe me, just ask someone who has seen me do my thing. ;->)  But, I haven’t really done it all together.  So, I think it’s time.

Let’s put it this way… I cut my performance teeth on Michael Jackson, James Brown, Prince, Elvis (true), Richard Pryor, and even KISS, before I even picked up a bass!  Believe it or not, it’s all still inside me!  I HAVE to share it with you!   But, it’s going to take some work… and it’s going to take the right people to work with to make it happen.

@ Navy Pier!

@ Navy Pier!

So…the work and search is on!

But let me assure you.  God willing…  the 2016 shows will be damn good!  Not bragging, really!  They just have to be!

Your prayers and support will be greatly appreciated!  ;->

Let’s go!

Chip


As always, my objective is to positively entertain, educate, and inspire in all that I do.  I hope this channel does just that. 

Don’t forget to check me out at these locations:

web:  chipratliff.net
Facebook: facebook.com/ChipRatliffMusic
Twitter: twitter.com/ChipRatliff
Online Magazine:  funkousticmagazine.wordpress.com
Blog/Vlog: chipratliff.wordpress.com

Remembering Leslie…

Leslie!I’m not a big fan of funerals.

Some people think they’re an absolute necessity when someone makes their transition, but not me.  I would rather remember that person as they were alive, and not let my last memory of that person be how they look in a casket.  So, if given a choice, I go for memory that makes me smile, and not the one that makes me cry.

That’s how I will always remember my sister-in-law, Leslie.

On September 3rd, 2015, Leslie made her transition after a 10yr. battle with cancer.  During this time, she lived life to the fullest!  She was a fighter!  She was always willing to take on a challenge and go on an adventure.  There are countless pictures of her hiking, biking, sailing, rock climbing…everything!   On top of that, she was one of biggest supporters.  She LOVED my band, Chip Ratliff & the Electric Chittlin’ Stew.  While she lived in Illinois, she would be at almost every show!  When she moved to southern Florida, she would always say, “Chip, when are you guys coming down to Miami to play?!”  I would always say, “Well, when someone hires us to come down, we’ll be there!”.  She would still insist that I make it a goal of mine.  She would say, “Chip, I believe in you! no matter what.  You’re going to be successful with your music.  You just have to believe in yourself.”.

I am blessed to be able to hear her voice whenever I want, and now so are you!  The band and I made a live recording of the James Brown classic, “Make It Funky”, that appeared on my “Live @ Flatlanders (The Official Bootlegs)” recording.  During the introduction, I say, in official James Brown-ease, “Whatsinever I play…it’s gotsta’ be FUNKY!”  At that point, (about :21 seconds into the song) you can hear Leslie’s voice screaming “It’s got to be FUN-KAY!!!  Woooo!” along with mine!  Then she was the first person on the dance floor.

So here’s the clip.  I hope you enjoy it.

That makes me smile.  I hope it did the same for you.

So, yeah.  This is how I’ll remember her.  Happy and full of life.  Inspiring and fearless.  I hope, someday, I can make her proud.Leslie...Peace!

Luv you, Les.

Chip


Memorial services honoring Leslie’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday September 12th 2015, at:

GRACE EVANGELICAL CHURCH
1700 NW 97th Ave (Corner of Taft St and 97th Ave)
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
Phone: (954) 610-2552

In lieu of flowers, please make your donations in memory of Leslie to:

Grace Evangelical Church
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…

American Cancer Society MSABC Miami (Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk) (Team Leslie Beaubrun)
http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/MakingStridesAgainstBreastCancer/MSABCCY15FL?team_id=1898757&pg=team&fr_id=70038&_ga=1.123267595.126505224.1441771160


As always, my objective is to positively entertain, educate, and inspire in all that I do.  I hope this channel does just that. 

Don’t forget to check me out at these locations:

web:  chipratliff.net

Facebook: facebook.com/ChipRatliffMusic

Twitter: twitter.com/ChipRatliff

Online Magazine:  funkousticmagazine.wordpress.com

Blog/Vlog: chipratliff.wordpress.com

History In The Making with Shorefront and Dino Robinson!

(Left to right) Shorefront founder, Dino Robinson and Board President/Musician, Chip Ratliff

(Left to right) Shorefront founder, Dino Robinson and Board President/Musician, Chip Ratliff

One of the things that I am extremely proud of is being the Board President of Shorefront!  For those of you that don’t know, Shorefront collects, preserves, and educates people about Black history on Chicago’s suburban north shore.  Because of the work of Shorefront, our center has been widely used as a resource to the benefit of historical and educational institutions, students the community and historians.  The organization, including the Legacy Center, is the only one of its kind on Chicago’s suburban north shore, and is consistently making a positive impact.

Honestly, I am still scratching my head as how I became the Board President of such an amazing organization.  I was very reluctant when offered the position.  Mainly, because I didn’t believe I deserved the honor!  I thought, “Why me?”, and “I really hope I don’t screw this up!”  I’ve come to find out that people see things in you that you don’t see in yourself.  That’s why it’s always important to be the best “you” that “you” can be.  You never know who’s watching!  Even with that said, I still had my reservations.  But, as usual, with his calm, confident, and encouraging tone, our founder, Dino Robinson, said, “Don’t worry.  You’ll do fine.”  A couple years later, since I haven’t been impeached or beheaded…I am still “Mr. President”…so I guess I’m doing ok.

That brings me to the main point of this installment of the “Practice Your Purpose”

Dino Robinson - Founder of Shorefront

Dino Robinson – Founder of Shorefront

series.  Although I’m the Board President, the heart, soul, and catalyst of Shorefront is our Founder, Dino Robinson!  He is the reason Shorefront exist and thrives today.  Period.  His tireless effort is unsurpassed.  So much so, that he and Shorefront have been featured in the August issue of Evanston Magazine!  Please click on the link to read the article written by Selena Fragrassi.  It’s a great read, and speaks to Dino’s spirit and focus way better than I can.

Here’s the link:

Dino Robinson_Evanston Magazine

Dino has and continues to inspire not only me, but others around him.  The story of how what motivated him to start the organization always gets to me.  Basically, he walked into a local museum in Evanston looking for what they had on Black history on the north shore of Chicago.  They went in their “archives” and walked out with a box that had the word “colored” written on it!  (“Colored”?  Really???)  Well, Dino knew that there had to be more than that to our history.

That moment was the catalyst to what is now Shorefront!  It has grown from an uncomfortable moment into publications, countless archives, videos, and even a museum, the Shorefront Legacy Center!  Please…do yourself a favor and read the article, and go to shorefrontlegacy.org to find out more about the organization and how you can SUPPORT!  It is crucial that we keep this history alive, and your support is a major component in its survival!

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the world at large, thank you Dino for all that you do by practicing your purpose!

As for me…I’ll just keep trying not to mess things up!

Chip

Practice Your Purpose! – Moving Forward!

Chip RatliffHi Everybody!

I’ve been in the entertainment business for, believe it or not, over 30 years now.  (Yes, I started really young. :->)  I’ve performed, recorded, and educated thousands of people around the globe, during that time, and have enjoyed every second of it!  Also, during that time, I have had the fortune of gaining experience in other industries like financial, sales, food service, manufacturing, even human resources, to just name a few.  Needless to say, it has been a diverse, dynamic, and sometimes crazy journey that I’m happy to say…IS JUST BEGINNING!

God has revealed to me my purpose:  MY PURPOSE IS TO USE MY TALENTS AND KNOWLEDGE TO POSITIVELY ENTERTAIN, EDUCATE, AND INSPIRE THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.  Everything I do will be based on this!  Whether it be my music, performances, educational programs, speaking engagements, seminars, blogs/vlogs…everything!  I’m so dedicated to this, it is the core mission of my busines(es).   This is huge undertaking, but I’m excited to move forward and take on this challenge.

WHY ARE YOU TELLING US THIS?

I share this with you because this “purpose” has just recently been revealed to me!  Before this, I would ask the questions that a lot of you may still be asking about your own journey, such as:

“Why am I here?”

“Why am I doing “this” when I’d rather be doing “that”?””

“What’s my purpose in life?” … and so on.  Here is how I found my answers.

I’ve always been a God fearing man, but not until recently did I take to time to strengthen my relationship with Him (two brain surgeries can motivate you to do that reeeaaaaal quick! ;->).  I took the time sit down quietly on a daily basis and just talk, and most importantly, LISTEN to God.  This is when He showed me my journey up until now, and explained His purpose for me!  He also told me, “Do not be afraid.  Your journey has been on purpose, not an accident. I’ve got you.  I’m always here for you. Just move forward knowing this, and you will be fine.”  He also told me that he has things planned for me that even I wouldn’t believe!  With that, I am moving forward!  (Now please understand…this is just a summary of what happened.  Naturally, the whole experience was a lot more dramatic and and intense, but, hopefully, you get the idea of the message I’m trying to get across.)

I’m so pumped to dig in and bring you some of the things that are in the plans!  Such as:

  • New original music CD, and live performances!
  • New educational seminars – both music and non-music related!
  • A Funk music camp for young people!
  • The re-birth of my New Rhythm and Arts Festival that showcases fresh, new talent in the performance, visual, and culinary arts!

…and that’s just to start!

I say all of that to say this:  If you have already made your connection with God, and are moving forward…GREAT!  God bless you!  But, if you were like me asking a bunch of questions, and not sure of where you are supposed to go…start with making that connection with God first!  Don’t wait until a major illness or trauma comes around to motivate you to do so.  Seriously take the time to make it happen.  It has worked for me, and given me a clarity that I have never had in my life.  I would love to see this happen to you, so that you can positively practice your purpose, and move forward!

Until next time,

Chip

Don’t forget to check me out at these locations:
web:  chipratliff.net
Facebook: facebook.com/ChipRatliffMusic
Twitter: twitter.com/ChipRatliff
Online Magazine:  funkousticmagazine.wordpress.com

So, Chip…what happened?

Chip Ratliff

Ok..so…yes.  I just completed my 2nd BRAIN SURGERY in 90 days!Chip hosting the Shorefront Jukebox Series

Was the second one planned?  No.

Here’s what happened:

SURGERY: PART 1

Back in late March of this year, I was diagnosed with a tumor on my pituitary gland that was putting pressure not only on the gland, but it was also pressing against my optic nerves, which caused havoc with my vision (no peripheral, double vision, loss of depth perception, etc.).  It was decided then that the only course of action was surgery to remove the tumor and relieve the pressure.

Now, between the time of diagnosis and the time of the actual surgery was about 6 weeks.  During that time, my vision and overall health spiraled downward.  I had no strength, stamina, desire…every day it would get just a little worse.  I look back on the “Practice Your Purpose” videos I made and go, “How in the hell…

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So, Chip…what happened?

Ok..so…yes.  I just completed my 2nd BRAIN SURGERY in 90 days!Chip hosting the Shorefront Jukebox Series

Was the second one planned?  No.

Here’s what happened:

SURGERY: PART 1

Back in late March of this year, I was diagnosed with a tumor on my pituitary gland that was putting pressure not only on the gland, but it was also pressing against my optic nerves, which caused havoc with my vision (no peripheral, double vision, loss of depth perception, etc.).  It was decided then that the only course of action was surgery to remove the tumor and relieve the pressure.

Now, between the time of diagnosis and the time of the actual surgery was about 6 weeks.  During that time, my vision and overall health spiraled downward.  I had no strength, stamina, desire…every day it would get just a little worse.  I look back on the “Practice Your Purpose” videos I made and go, “How in the hell did I do those?!”.  I remember the struggle of even trying to see what I was doing, let alone playing and talking!  There were days when literally I only get out of bed to do the video!  In any case, it was not a fun time.  So, the day of surgery, May 14th, I’m at the hospital, laying on the stretcher prepped for surgery with my family around, when my surgeon (who I think is awesome, by the way), comes to me and says, “Well, Mr. Ratliff, after looking at today’s MRI scan, it looks like your tumor has grown into something called Craniopharyngioma. Which means that it has gotten larger and consist of two separate parts: the tumor (solid part) and the cyst (liquid filled bag, basically).  It’s benign (non-cancerous), but it is aggressive and likes to grow into other parts of the brain.”

With a deer in headlights look, I go, “Oh-kaay.”

He continues, “So the plan is now to go in, remove the tumor, drain the cyst, then follow up with radiation to try to destroy the remainder of the cyst.”

Usually, the question most people ask now is, “Well couldn’t he just remove the cyst at the same time?”.  The answer is no.  The reason is because of the way they were going in to attack the tumor, which was through my nasal passages, they could only drain the cyst.  They didn’t have full access to that part of the brain to be able to remove it.

At this point, what am I going to do?  Say, no?!  Wheel me in and let’s get it done!

So, I have the surgery, and it’s a success!  God does His thing, and my vision comes back almost 100% immediately!  I stay in the hospital for about a week, mainly to make sure I get everything balanced on the hormone front (that’s a whole ‘nother side of the story that I’ll probably talk about on a later post), then I head home.

At this point, I’m weak, tired, can’t do a whole heck of a lot, but with prayer, support, exercise, and physical therapy, I’m getting stronger every day, and looking forward to fully recuperating.

Between the time of surgery and the time I actually start the radiation treatment is another 6 weeks.  I meet with the radiology team, and they tell how accurate and pinpoint radiation is now.  I mean they can pinpoint the exact spot where the laser is going to hit.  Not like it used to be where they would just zap your whole head and hope for the best.  It’s actually very interesting.  Nonetheless, I start my daily (weekdays), 5 1/2 week treatment.  The thing about radiation is that it takes time for it to take effect.  Meaning, after the treatment, it would still take months to find out if how effective the treatment actually was!  This usually works fine.  Except that I had a very aggressive craniopharyngioma… and things started happening.  After the first week of radiation, I noticed my eye sight getting bad again.  I thought it was just my imagination, until I met with my brain surgeon, and he showed me a new MRI that showed that the cyst had grow back, and was in fact pressing against my optic nerves again!  Within 2 weeks, my vision was worse than it was before the original surgery!  At that time, he pretty much said we have 2 options:  either continue with the radiation and run the risk of me never getting my vision back, being sick, etc., OR…

SURGERY: PART 2

which means, we can go in and remove the cyst totally and get me on the road to full recovery NOW!  Actually, in 1 week.

Hmmm…let me think.  Yes, let’s do the surgery.

Now, I must admit, I felt like someone punched me in the gut.  Knocked the wind out of me.  I had gotten used to being able to take time to get adjusted to the idea of having surgery, but now, I only had 7 days!  On top of that, this would in fact be my 2nd SURGERY in 90 days!  And it was going to be quite a bit different than the first.

(Warning: The description of the surgery, while accurate, is a bit graphic in nature.)

The first surgery utilized my nasal passages to access the brain.  While it was a bit of a painful, and awkward recovery (don’t sneeze, don’t blow your nose), you really couldn’t physically tell I had any surgery done.  But, in order to access the part of the brain needed to remove the cyst, it would be necessary to literally open my head, remove a portion of my skull, dislocate my cheek, go under the brain to the correct region, remove the cyst, then put it all back together again!

Yeah, exactly! Holy crap!  Freaked me out a little.  Honestly, it took me a day to come to grips with all that was going to happen a relatively short period of time.  As odd as it may seem, I heard God’s voice say, “I’ve got you, Chip.”.  He assured me that this was all a part of the healing process, and that he has plans for me that even I wouldn’t understand at this point!  He wants me to use my gifts and talents to not only entertain, but also positively educate and inspire the global community!  Included in this is giving back.  With that came His assurance that I would be fine.  All I had to do is respect his timing, and allow myself to heal!  With that, I was exited about getting started!

The second surgery was done and successful!  I can see once again!  Granted, I looked like I had gotten my butt kicked really bad in the face; eye swollen shut, staples in my head…fun things like that.  But I was on my way to recovery, so I was happy!

Today, I’m better.  More healing to do, but my facial swelling has gone down considerably and I just had the staples removed!  I’m thankful to God, my family, and my friends for all of the support.

So, now you know what’s been happening.  Like I said, God has a lot of plans for me moving forward, so stay tuned!

Chip

As always, my objective is to positively entertain, educate, and inspire in all that I do.  I hope this channel does just that. 

Don’t forget to check me out at these locations:
web:  chipratliff.net
Facebook: facebook.com/ChipRatliffMusic
Twitter: twitter.com/ChipRatliff
Online Magazine:  funkousticmagazine.wordpress.com

Chip Ratliff – My World, My Eyes – Welcome to the “Re-launch”!

Hey Everybody!  Welcome to the re-launch of my blog/vlog!  This is where I’ll be sharing my thoughts and experiences…regardless of what they are.  Even with that said, my objective is to always positively entertain, educate, and inspire no matter what I do.  This is no different.  For example, this is where I’ll be sharing the “Practice Your Purpose Series” that was originally started as a challenge for me to do exactly that through playing my bass every day before my FIRST brain surgery (yes, there have been TWO within a 90 day period.  We’ll be discussing that soon), but will continue as a series to keep people motivated to do what God put you on earth to do, no matter what!

By the way, I’m working on a new Chip Ratliff You Tube Channel!  It will not only have ALL of my music and videos, but it will also contain the past and future “Practice Your Purpose Series”!  It’s a work in progress…stay tuned.

So, keep your eyes and ears opened for new posts!  They’re on the way.  Let’s go!!!

Chip

Don’t forget to check me out at these locations also:

web:  chipratliff.net
Facebook: facebook.com/ChipRatliffMusic
Twitter: twitter.com/ChipRatliff
You Tube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC2y7UB5RZkrTeKCUjYMzuuQ