“One life; a little gleam of time
between two eternities.”
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1VibrantLife Mission Statement

  • Provide content that can assist people when confronted with current life challenges.

  • Present more productive, peaceful, and positive ways to address problematic life challenges that can enrich lives.

  • Learning to live life in a more present-minded, conscious way. Helping to reduce fear, and anxiety when dealing with significant life changes.

  • Hopefully, the content provided within the 1VibrantLife.com pages can assist someone in finding more clarity and peace in life.

Martin Ward

From Star Search To Nowhere And Back Again

Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to check out the site.

So, let me tell you a little about myself and explain why I’ve created 1VibrantLife.com. 

In 1984 I was in a car accident on the way to my “real job” as a waiter at a popular restaurant in a northern suburb of Chicago called Mount Prospect.

I’ve been a working musician for over 75% of my life and have, as a majority of musicians do, supported myself with “real jobs,” as we call them.

Some part-time and some significant full-time positions that I’ve been lucky enough to fall into that I’ll describe later.  

In the accident, I sustained a severe head injury, also known as a closed head injury, creating a subdural hematoma on the left side of my brain.

The injury required a surgical procedure known as a craniotomy, which was 100% successful. I walked out of the hospital two weeks later.

It was miraculous that I even made it to the hospital, but I’ll have to let you in on that at some other time. 

Anyway, after a few weeks, the neurologist and neurosurgeon said that physically, I was good to go.  

However, because of that accident, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, my life changed dramatically and has never been the same.

A few weeks before the accident, I had appeared on national TV on two episodes of Star Search 84′ with Ed McMahon in a pop/rock band I was part of in Chicago.

The picture below was taken just a few months before my car accident. 

Marty Ward

In 1984, we only had three major networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, and from what I can remember, Star Search had an audience of several million viewers. 

One minute I was on the fast track to stardom as a member of one of the country’s hottest pop/rock bands, and the next minute I was trying to survive mentally, physically, and emotionally and find some way to pay for food and rent.

Over the next six to nine months, my life just unraveled, to the point of having what would probably be called a nervous or mental breakdown.

Things deteriorated in my world during the late summer and into the fall of 84′. 

As time passed, I lost more and more confidence in my ability to remember anything or accomplish everyday tasks.

Let alone having any hope of achieving greater levels of success in life again.

Just by chance, I’d met a psychologist shortly after the accident while teaching sailing out of Belmont Harbor in Chicago. Luckily, I thought to get his business card.

When I knew I was in real emotional trouble, I called him.

I had to remind him who I was, tell him I was an emotional wreck and needed to talk to someone and ask if he would see me.

I told him I had no money and did not know how I would pay him. 

He told me not to worry about the money. He felt he could help me get some financial health assistance through the state of Illinois, and he set up an appointment for what I believe was the next day.

After we discussed what was going on with me, he put me through a battery of tests so we could better understand my mental acuity and cognitive capabilities.

After finishing the tests, he sent them for a more detailed appraisal and diagnosis.

When the test results returned, I went to his office, and he told me everything seemed fine and that my mental acuity and cognitive capability were excellent.

However, he told me I’d developed severe cognitive distortions over the several months after being injured

Yeah, ah, right…what does that mean

He said that as time had passed, every negative thought I’d had about myself and the world around me was like a drop of ink into a glass of clear water. And each drop of that ink was turning the clear glass of water darker and darker.

My glass had gotten very dark indeed, if not black.

His description of how my negative thinking had thoroughly beaten down my confidence and belief in myself made perfect sense.

I immediately had some hope again and saw that there might be a way out of my messed-up mindset.

So, I had to rebuild my belief system and my self-confidence all over again.

I needed to rebuild my confidence and belief in myself again so I would know that I could accomplish things in life again. 

My therapist started me on a reasonably simple, life-transforming course of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT. 

And not so long after starting the CBT process, I began to believe that I could reach higher levels of success in life again. 

CBT changed my life.

And I wholeheartedly believe the CBT process made me stronger and more confident than I had ever been before the accident.

And I’ve practiced the same CBT rituals, when needed, for 38 years since my accident.

I’ve also studied CBT more deeply because of its power to make life-altering changes for people, as it did for me.

CBT can often be a relatively simple process for anyone to learn about and experience. However, finding and working with a trained professional therapist is strongly suggested. 

Helping others see and experience the same life transformation that I had back in 1984 simply by looking at and adjusting how they think about themselves and their lives is why I created the 1VibrantLife blog.

Creating a successful life is all about having the strength to start over again when we get knocked down.

Learn to regain hope, trust, and belief in oneself again. 

When you think about it, as I learned after my accident, every day is a chance to start over, dream, and believe again in all the possibilities and potential in our lives.

I went on to play and perform with some fabulous musicians and great bands in the late ’80s and ’90s, and music remains a significant part of my life. I still play and write music to this day.

In 1986 I went to work for a company in Chicago and rose to become Sr. VP of marketing for what became the 86th fastest-growing company in the United States recognized by Inc. 500.

In 1994, one song I wrote on my first EP/CD (you can hear it below) played nationally on Digital Music Radio.

Digital Music Radio was the first music streaming source via cable TV in the early days of digital streaming. Way before Napster, iTunes, Spotify, and all the rest. 

Also, in the mid-90s, I was the featured saxophone player on Jane Fonda’s Walk To The Music treadmill and workout program.

At about that same time in 1995, I became the VP of Marketing and Artist Relations for the MIRI Corporation. MIRI Corp. is the manufacturer of the FIBRACELL reed, one of the top synthetic composite woodwind reed manufacturers in the country in the 90s.

In 2006, I was offered a sales associate position for one of the United States’ most recognized and respected digital hardware manufacturers, which I accepted.

Eventually, I became the principal sales associate in the western United States and Canada.

I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting and working with many amazing people in the business and music fields and traveling the U.S. and Europe.

An example of just one of the amazing individuals I had the pleasure of meeting and working with throughout my business career was NASA astronaut Richard (Dick) F. Gorden. (October 5, 1929 – November 6, 2017).

Dick Gordon was the Pilot on Gemini 11 and the command module pilot on Appolo 12. Dick was one of only 24 human beings to have traveled to the Moon in the history of humankind. 

I’ve also had the great pleasure of meeting and working with many successful people in the music world over my life as a musician, both before and after my accident and injury. 

My hope for 1VibrantLife.com is that its content provides insight and assistance for anyone going through complex changes and difficult life challenges.

Perhaps even having to restart or rebuild a new life for themselves, all alone, as I did.

I hope you find peace, contentment, and joy.

Thanks again for stopping by,

Marty,

Martin (Marty) Ward
Publisher & Founder of 1VibrantLife.com

Attended & graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy, 1975 to 1977.

Attended the Berklee College of Music from 1978-79

CBTCP Certification (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Certified Practitioner) | 10-16-2021  Certification From The Academy of Modern Applied Psychology, in The Transformative Science of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT

“Success is to be measured not by wealth, power, or fame, but by the ratio between what a man is and what he might be.” ~ H.G Wells

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
– Winston Churchill

“Success in not final, failure is not fatel: It is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill

That’s What Living Is, Written by Marty Ward, ASCAP 1994, Lead Vocals and Saxophone Marty Ward. Produced By Alan Hewitt

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Katelyn Redfoot

Author, Katelyn Redfoot – 
Katelyn is one of our favorite and talented writers. Katelyn is an independent writer based in North Carolina and holds a Public Relations degree from Appalachian State University. She is a lifelong learner and health and wellness advocate. Katelyn is also a wife, a mom, and a happy, resilient new puppy owner. 

claire Law

As well as being a superb and gifted writer here on 1VibrantLife.com, Claire Law gives us her therapist’s perspectives on many of our 1-Vibrant-Life blog posts. 

Claire is a practicing Councellor and Psychotherapist in Preston, England, a city in Lancashire in northern England. Claire has worked as a High School Teacher for over 16 years and has had significant experience working in the Social Care, Higher Education, and Charity Sectors. Claire has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Leeds Trinity University College, the United Kingdom, Graduating in 2000.

Claire also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy along with extensive training and certifications in, Domestic Abuse Victims/Survivors – Survivors of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Victims/Survivors – Suicide and Self-Harm training – Expressive Arts Therapy – Gender Variance – Online and Telephone Counselling – and Polyvagal Regulation developed by Stephen Porges, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and “Distinguished University Scientist” at Indiana University.