A few years ago, I sat down at the piano to write. After a few minutes, I grew extremely frustrated. It was not a creative day. I bailed, and reached out to my friend for comfort. I told him I was not having a creative day. He said “This is what I call the artists illusion, you just don’t want to show up for yourself today.” I had a mild fit. I reach out for comfort and he throws this at me? Seriously? Then he shared an article with me that changed my creative life (you can read it here) It is a very simple yet profound system that Seinfeld uses daily in his craft. Get a wall calendar that shows the whole year. Each day, set a timer for one hour and begin. After the hour is up, you simply put an X on the calendar for that day. As the days go by, a chain is formed. The goal is to not break the chain. After implementing the chain in my creative space, I finished 22 songs in less than a month. It is the inspired act of showing up for yourself daily where the magic occurs. How can you show up for yourself today?
Years ago a friend of mine made me an appointment for a massage with a therapist he had been raving about for months. I showed up and was greeted by the most adorable man in his 70’s barefoot, hearing aids, sweatpants. I thought “how sweet, the therapist has his dad greeting new clients” nope. He WAS the therapist. The session was for a Thai massage, in which you just wear loose fitting clothing, and it’s done on a mat on the floor. He invites me into his studio, I fill out my intake form, and we begin. He has me lay down on my back. His hands go directly to my stomach. Mind you, i’ve been a massage therapist for 10 years and I HATE abdominal work. He says, “for a singer, you are a very shallow breather” as he guides me through some breathing exercises. Out of NOWHERE tears start running down my cheeks. I had this wave of embarrassment rush over me, I had no idea where the tears were coming from? Over the years, i’ve had several clients have emotional releases on my table as the healer, and felt honored to be able to hold space for them. Now that the roles were reversed and I was vulnerable, I wasn’t having it. I tried to choke them back, but they just kept coming. After my session, I went home. I felt anger bubbling up in me as I drove. For the next week I was extremely angry. I was having very vivid dreams. I remember one in particular like it was yesterday. A sacred relationship in my life had ended abruptly, I thought I had done the necessary healing work around it but clearly, had more to release. In that dream, he came to me and simply said “i’m sorry.” That morning as I slowly woke up to the sounds of birds chirping, all of the anger was gone. It was as if a birdcage was left open, and the bird just flew away. I felt such an inner peace, a freedom. It was one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever been given, and it’s how I got the title for my album “Letting Go.”
I used to be stuck in lack mentality. Paralyzed by the what ifs. I would ruminate over endless questions that would keep me small: What if I make the wrong decision? What if I never make money? What if nobody buys my music? Toss in my creativity and tendency towards extreme thinking, and you can imagine the catastrophic nuggets that I would create (having no basis in reality.)
I no longer operate from that place. At the time, it didn’t even dawn on me that the questions that were swirling in my head were negatively based, and my subconscious was on the constant hunt to prove them all right. I reached a point in my life where I was willing to see things differently. I sought out teachers, authors, coaches, and healers to help reveal this to me. What I discovered has created a shift in me, allowing me to ask better questions: How can I add more value to the world? How can I tell this story so it can help the person who reads it? How can I grow in this moment?
Today, when you find yourself swirling over an obstacle or a negative question I invite you to pause, and reframe it. This simple change will create a massive shift.
My dad got my mom an upright piano for her birthday when I was two years old. I was an important part of the surprise. It was my job to distract her downstairs in the basement while the piano was being delivered. My dad called me upstairs to take a peek. I was so excited, I ran to the top of the stairs and shouted “Mom! Come up here and look at your new piano!”
Little did they know that day would change my life. I gravitated toward the keys. I would listen to songs on the radio, and then wander over to the piano and play them. I assumed everyone knew how to do this, much like tying your shoes. My parents decided to sign me up for piano lessons. I HATED theory. I quickly developed a system of trickery to get out of learning how to read music. My teacher would ask me how the lesson went for that week, and I would say “ok” then ask her to play it for me first. Once she played it, then I could. A few rounds of this, and she was hip to my action. Foiled.
In the 4th grade, when you get to choose an instrument, I picked the clarinet. I am pretty sure this was only because I didn’t have the lung capacity for the flute, which I thought was a much more delicate choice. I played the clarinet for 12 years, and pretty much hated it. It did however, force me to read a bit of music, so I was able to play with the band. I continued to play piano, just for the joy of it, by ear.