I headed back to the studio today to make a few minor changes to the already punch-me-in-the-gut beautiful mix of my new album “Keeper of Bees.” As I was driving over there and listening to the songs in the car, I got an idea for my song “Leo.” The song is about two people needing to do their own inner work before possibly reconnecting in the future. That bittersweet moment of growing apart, having to say goodbye, and knowing it’s for the best. I thought, how cool would it be to layer a vocal at the end, as a round (think row row row your boat) to show that no matter where you are on your own journey, it can still be so beautiful all swirled together, and it was. Oh it was.
“If we want to create art, we have to stitch together the inner world and the outer world.” -Robert Bly
It wasn’t until I began this process of stitching my inner and outer world that I truly began to understand my role as an artist. I didn’t know that such a deep dive in would have such a profound affect on my work. I was actually terrified to go in, because all I knew, was creating from the exact place I was currently in, from that point of awareness. Little did I know, that was just the beginning. Creativity expands with awareness of self. It craves the exploration and the deep dive. It loves to be free to roam. Trying to keep it in a box, afraid that if you step outside, it won’t come with you, is silly. It is what has been coaxing you out this whole time.
When I was 18 my dad and I came to Austin, TX for the first time. It was so I could sing at SXSW. I never really had a desire to visit Texas, little did I know that would start an epic love affair with this city. For years I had a pull to Austin, and didn’t honor it. I made all sorts of excuses around it “it’s not the right time” etc. I finally honored it 4 years ago. As soon as I landed in Austin, I started a kale chip company. New city, new adventure. For the next few years, I built something from scratch, having no idea about the food industry at all. I was damn proud. My chips were in high demand. I was miserable. The misery was an invitation for me, which I chose to accept. I chose to do some work around that misery. I went deeply and bravely IN to examine some beliefs that were no longer serving me. I got to know myself on a deeper level. One of the many gifts that revealed itself to me, was my true zone of genius. Which is, creating. Music, the best kale chip I’ve ever tasted, quick copy, I love creating. A large part of my misery was in trying to force myself to thrive in an arena that was not my zone of genius. So I stopped. I returned to myself. I started writing again. Last night, 7 songs that have patiently been waiting for me to release them were honored. I spent the day at 12th Street Sound witnessing Kevin work his magic, as he mixed my new album, that was originally captured at Forge Recording Studio by my friend Ron. I am so excited to release “Keeper of Bees” along with all the old beliefs that kept me from myself. Everything really is, in perfect time.
I wanted to share today about the importance of having a system and process in place to grab your ideas. Years ago, my ex, who happens to be an audio engineer, got me a little minidisc recording system for my song ideas. He noticed that when I would sit to write, I didn’t have anything to record these little snippets, I would only write down chords, and lyrics as they came. So a lot of the initial creation was lost as soon as I walked away from that session. After implementing the minidisc method, each new idea, verse, chorus, etc. is now captured for future reference. This also alleviates the pressure of each time I sit to write, feeling the need to come up with something epic. If it’s not a day where any new ideas are born, I simply scan through my minidisc magic, and begin my work crafting, adding, and creating around preexisting ideas. This process has completely transformed my work, and blasted the myth that artists are messy unorganized folks. Not this gal.
Some interesting stuff has come to the surface for me to explore this week. At my “day job” as a massage therapist, there have been some recent changes that directly affect my time and my income. In the past I would allow this to infuse my mood, thoughts, and actions until I could somehow spend hours of my time and energy fixing or correcting the matter. What’s come up for me is I have been allowing these battles to, in reality, take away from my time and income as an artist. I am not willing to do this anymore. I think it was how that sneaky devil fear would get back in, and distract me from action in the right places. When my foundational income at a day job (where I am limited anyway, there are only so many massages I can give in a day) is affected, I struggle and fight to keep it. When I need to allow, and release it. This could very well be a gift from the Universe whispering “Here you go, SMK I thought you could use some more songwriting time.” What are you currently holding on so tightly to that you can catch and release?
I was called to create a private group for creatives on Facebook called “The Sacred Creative” it is my joy to build a community of epic creators who lift and inspire each other daily. The world needs more humans willing to step into their unique light. When you just. get. visible. get the hell out of the HOW. Share your gifts as often and as much as you possibly can. Magic happens. Energies ignite. The Universe delivers possibilities and surprises that you couldn’t have even predicted when you were mentally constipated in the bloody HOW. Seriously. Come on over, and join us.
I used to think this was my creative ADD. I would be in the middle of something, reading, writing, a Periscope, a massage etc. and I would get these “messages” they would just float into my head. I spent a lot of time getting agitated that my focus was affected, and just try and ignore these messages and force myself back into my present activity. It wasn’t until I left the aggressive force mentality and trotted over into the receive with ease mentality that I decided to create a journal specifically to honor these messages called Downloads from the Universe. Now that these messages are honored in their own sacred space, they come more freely. What once used to feel like a nuisance, now feels like little gifts that I get to unwrap daily. What is it that you are currently forcing that you can reframe into allowing?
Just because you aren’t making progress as fast as you think you SHOULD doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. A simple shift in thinking, a desire for things to be different, a willingness, these are all forms of progress. We can be so hard on ourselves and forget to celebrate that these small shifts open something up in all of us that allow us to receive all of the things that will bring them to fruition. The books, the teachers, the communities, without these small shifts, we aren’t available to receive the magic.
A few months ago a Facebook ad appeared in my newsfeed. It was a course called Money Wise, activating women entrepreneurs to understand the inner and outer game of making and keeping money, by the amazing Kiva Leatherman. I signed up, immediately. I was in a place of struggle with my current business, and really craved some insight. At the end of the course the group was planning on meeting in L.A. for a weekend intensive. I wasn’t planning on heading to L.A. (I had SO many reasons not to) yet something was really calling me to go. So I booked a flight. We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Redondo Beach. I was born in California, and my parents used to live in Redondo Beach. They used to walk me in my stroller along the water, right by where I was called back to be. The next three days changed my life. I met so many incredible women. We were nurtured, inspired, and lit on fire in a way that I’ve never witnessed before. What I took away from that experience was what I was missing, the power of community. We were all called to be there that weekend. We all showed up furiously treading water as individuals and left with a newfound sense of ease. We realized that there was no need to tread water when we could simply float. Hand in hand. Together we rise.
I am the oldest child. No matter what I am currently tackling in my beautiful life, I tend to get swept up in the masculine energies of strategy, do, achieve, learn etc. at times I need to be reminded that it doesn’t have to feel hard, or uphill to be achieving. When I start to feel that way, it means that something is out of alignment for me. There is an ease and flow to my life when I am in alignment. I am simply available to be me. To write, create, inspire, and not worry about how many people are on my email list, or the sales funnel I should be creating. Be you. Seek out people that remind you of who you are when the struggle is real, most likely, because you are trying to be someone else.