Dec 042009

It’s the season of giving and today, readers of get a special treat . . . a free song! Yes, FREE! Ruly is launching a new monthly feature . . . the Ruly Mix! Each month, you can download for free an upbeat, motivational song. 

Music is one of the greatest motivational techniques. With the right song in your head, you can find energy you didn’t know you had, push yourself harder and feel more positive. 

This month’s song comes from New Zealand-based composer Rajiv Agarwal of Spectral Audio. I asked Rajiv to introduce himself and the song.

How long have you been playing/composing music?

I have been composing music since 15 years now. It all started with my small Casio keyboard which my brother got me as a gift when I was just 7. I used to spend hours fiddling with it. From then on it was a long journey of learning and hard labour before I could finally start composing music commercially.

What instruments do you play?

I have been playing the keyboards ever since I was 8 years old. Later on in life I tried my hand on the Indian bamboo flute. Quite a tough instrument I should say. It took me 6 months just to learn how to blow air correctly to get the rounded sound!! No wonder I left it midway! So yes keyboard is all I play.

What inspires you when you are writing music?

My inspiration is life in its ever changing kaleidoscope of transformation.  The different sound synthesis helps me capture those ever changing patterns into something concrete and perceivable, something which I and my audience can relate to instantly.

What were you thinking about when you composed this mix for

Energy!! That was a paramount thought in my head. Energy to pursue things we want to but fail to do. Energy for things which are important, but lie back in the corner, dusty and forgotten. I wanted the song to help people get up and get going. I spent many hours figuring out a melody line which was motivational without being pushy.

What are the holidays like in New Zealand at this time of year?

This is the summer time here, so all kinds of flowers are blooming everywhere. People are shopping mad for Christmas, and those who have finished shopping are tying ropes on their feet heading towards the bridges for a kiwi bungy jump.  The roads are full of boats and kayaks (I find that really amusing) as people head off to different beaches. It’s fun time!!

Click the picture below to play Rajiv’s song or right-click to download.


As long as you are downloading the song from, you can be assured that the file does not have viruses or other malevolent features. It really is just a song. (If you download the file from somewhere else, I cannot vouch for its safety.)

If you like what you hear, please feel free to share the song with others. To respect the rights of the musician, please comply with the simple Ruly License terms below.

Ruly License: You may download and play this song for your own personal use so long as you keep the voiceover tags intact indicating the name of the artist and that the song came from Businesses may also download this song to play as background music in their establishments so long as the voiceover tags remain intact. Any other uses of the song (such as in videos, etc.) must be pre-approved by the artist. Questions about license permissions can be addressed to

I hope that you will use this music to inspire you to do something you didn’t think was possible. Your goal can be large or small and could be something as simple as getting through your weekly commute with a smile, decorating, cleaning, exercising, spicing up a boring workday or dancing around the house with your loved ones.  If you are feeling a bit down or worn out this holiday season, I hope that this song will help pick you up a bit.

Enjoy your weekend!  If you love the song, Rajiv and I would appreciate it if you would post a comment!

Dec 022009

It’s the month of December and this month at is all about celebrations!  Many people are running a bit ragged this time of year trying to fit in all the “errands of the season” as my mother-in-law likes to call them.  Ruly will be here for you with ideas to organize your time during the holidays as well as inspiration to help you get through when you are feeling overwhelmed.

There are many people around the world celebrating different types of holidays this month and while Christmas is the tradition that our family celebrates, Ruly will try to generalize advice for a variety of holidays.  If you feel your tradition has needs that are not represented here, please post a comment and give us all the opportunity to learn!  My research shows that “the holidays” this year include:

  • Sundown on December 11 – December 19     Hanukkah (the Jewish “Festival of Lights”)
  • December 13     St. Lucy’s Day (Christian feast day dedicated to St. Lucy)
  • December 18     Al-Hijira (the Islamic New Year)
  • December 25     Christmas           
  • December 26     Boxing Day
  • December 26 – January 1      Kwanzaa (celebration of African life and culture)
  • December 27     Ashura  (an Islamic holy day of fasting)
  • December 31    New Year’s Eve
  • January 1    New Year’s Day

Already, the holiday marketing machinery is at work and this year there seems to be extra pressure to get your shopping done now.  Two days after Thanksgiving, I received a catalog in the mail with “Last-Minute Gift Ideas.”  Last-minute?  Already?  On Cyber Monday, email messages came flooding in with “Hurry!” and “Last Chance.”  Unfortunately for these marketers, I am immovable.  To me, “last-minute” is the week before Christmas (or, in a particularly busy year, Christmas Eve).  Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, I am starting to get schizophrenic messages advising me to “Hurry! There is still time!”  So, my first message is to say to you and the marketers, “Relax.  There is still plenty of time.  Don’t be in too much of a rush.  Sometimes the last-minute bustle is part of the fun  too.” 

While the holiday season is truly not about shopping, it seems many people are taking the urgency of these marketing messages to heart.  There are so many holiday events front-loaded in December this year for me and, for the first year, the schedule gets lighter the closer to Christmas.  If this holds true, I am actually looking forward to some quiet evenings making cookies or crafts with my children.

This year, many people are struggling with the holidays due to their economic situation.  I have already met several people who are either not exchanging gifts of any kind or are already preparing their families that there will be fewer presents this year than in years past.  If you fall in this situation, please know first that this is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes taking a step away from the frenzy of giving allows you to have a more meaningful holiday. We will talk about this on Ruly this month.  Also, we will discuss ways to creatively stretch a budget for the holidays. 

There are some exciting new features to announce at Ruly too.   The first one is very cool and is coming this Friday so be sure to check back!   Enjoy your Wednesday!