Friday, July 26, 2013

The Gratitude Project - Week 1: Trust, Ease, Unstoppable

So it turns out this whole crowd funding thing for my Gratitude Project was, right out of the gate, what some of us would call “a trigger.”

(And lest you be stopping by here and wondering what Gratitude Project, here’s the link, and please donate! The Gratitude Project)

Just when I thought I had made huge strides in all that personal transformation stuff, up pops the opportunity to…put it into practice. What was I thinking? This stuff is so much easier to talk about than actually do.

My three words for 2013 are Trust. Ease. Unstoppable. And so I thought I could use a revisit of those words.

Trust requires faith in the unseen, the unknown, and maybe most importantly, in the unknowable. It requires a letting go of the results once the action has been taken, a relinquishing of control, if you will. (Yeah, about that – it went right out the window as soon as the clock started ticking. And it is not lost on me, my friends, that most of the songs on this project are about or at least reference the word “trust.” Oh, the irony.)

I immediately got caught up in my desire to make it happen, instead of allowing it to. And just to save you all some grief on your own paths – that never works. We set things in motion, yes. We can act with intention, a particular energy, a mindset. But the way things play out is not within our control and trying to make is so only pushes it further away. So, I am happily withdrawing my participation from the crazy panic (she says, in a moment of uncharacteristic calm).

As for ease, well, really, if I stop with the crazy, fear-filled panic, isn’t that all that’s left? I’ll get back to you on that next week.

…Which brings us to…unstoppable, a word that, for me, conjures triumph. There have already been so many wonderful surprises in connecting with people and inviting them to be part of creating something positive in the world. The Gratitude Project is happening. How that will manifest in detail remains to be seen, but the decision has been made, the train has left the station, I’m working daily on it, others are invested in it and working on it, and the word unstoppable is being embodied.

So there you go. I’ve taken a breath and reminded myself to be open to the miracles and not to quit before they arrive.

I hope you know how very much I appreciate you stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Gratitude Project - Day 1

Well, after much talk on this blog about going for your heart’s desire because life is, after all, short, I am finally walking the talk…or is that talking the walk…or walking and talking. Okay, you get the point I’m trying to make here – I’m doing it!

For the backstory, we need to start in the early ‘90’s, about the time I discovered that every song I wrote did not have to be about heartbreak, or heartache, or breaking up, or just general relationship drama. It was then, when, thanks to a homeless man on the street in New York City, I began writing about the world around me as I saw it, the human condition, and what I believe our potential and purpose for being here is.

But silly me, I thought it was just one or two songs that would fulfill my need to talk about this stuff. And I didn’t know what to call it, or how to categorize it, or if people would even like it.

So here I am, a little more than twenty years later, having found that it’s precisely those kinds of songs that people who have heard me play out remember, mention, and are looking to take home with them. It turns out that people want to know that their lives, in fact, do matter and we like to be reminded occasionally that, regardless of our circumstances, it is not too late to resurrect a dream.

Oh, you don’t have to tell me that this type of stuff is not what’s being played on the radio. That’s why the twenty year hesitation on my part. I’m not an idiot. But it’s an idea whose time has come, because despite all our technological interconnectedness, we feel less significant, more isolated, and we are less apt to own the inherent power each of us was given and hungers to express. And how can I say that to you if I won’t act on it myself? I can’t. And so it is time to be the change.

The Gratitude Project is my way of finally stepping up, of saying, “I know what I bring to the table, and I recognize that it is of value.” Maybe some people never have trouble saying and doing that. And I say, “Good for them!” But for most of us, it is an act of bravery to move in the direction of our hearts, our intrinsic knowing, and our grandest of dreams.

I am taking that leap of faith. And if you’d like to support this endeavor or me in that leap, here is the link to join in and be a part of The Gratitude Project.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please tell your friends. And know that I am profoundly grateful for you.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Well, it’s been kind of an interesting week, filled with synchronicity and a few photographic misconceptions that I might want to clear up…or not. But first, there’s been some talk of “what are you waiting for?” or more accurately, perhaps, what am I waiting for, so here’s the teaser for my holy-cow-yes-I’m-finally-doing-it CD project! And rest assured, there will be lots to follow about it soon!

So back to my week in pictures…

It all started a few days ago, when my friend Loralee told me about spotting Val, one of the Dancing with the Stars pro dancers at a restaurant near her home in Florida. Good friend that I am, I humored her as she, in no uncertain terms, told me of his God-like appearance and otherwise general magnificence. Now, I have as much appreciation for magnificence as the next girl, but I feel certain, hard as I tried, there was some eye-rolling going on on my end of the phone line.

Our conversation ended with her telling me that I had to go see the God-like creature’s dancing brother, Maks, on Broadway in Forever Tango. And I told her that, short of a ticket falling from the sky, this wasn’t gonna happen.

Funny thing – two days later, some friends called me with an extra ticket the next night to see Forever Tango. So off I went to see at least one Chmerkovskiy brother in person.

Standing with my friends in the sweltering heat outside the Walter Kerr Theater waiting to see Maks, I spotted the younger Val Chmerkovskiy, yes, in all his stunningly sculpted, well, perfection, really. (Loralee was not lying about that.) And I wanted a picture to send her as proof of, well, nothing, really. Hell, he’s a gorgeous. Why pretend there’s really any justifiable reason other than that?

But I don’t have the nerve to bug the guy in the sweltering heat with the crowds of people. That’s what I have friends for. So Renato, the designated photographer and purveyor of anything you could ever dream up, stops Val, who is walking by right in front of us, and asks him to take a picture with me, which he very kindly does, with not an ounce of attitude or arrogance. The picture is taken, Val is on his way, I message it to Loralee, who, for reasons of my history with this kind of synchronicity, is not all that surprised, and we’re done – almost.

Then, my friend, Anthony, suggests I post said picture on my Facebook page. Why not? So I go ahead and do this. And while I’m at it, why not tweet it, also?

By intermission, I have more Facebook messages than I’ve ever gotten when it's not my birthday. And for those who watch Dancing with the Stars, there was much enthusiasm. But for those who don’t watch it, and who don’t evidently read captions, I appear to be dating a pretty hot guy. (I won’t go into the mathematics I did that all added up to…crap, I’m Mrs. Robinson.)

Okay, so on to the next bit of fun with photography…

Evidently, there’s a phenomenon known as Throwback Thursday. I don’t know if it began on Twitter or Facebook, or how it came into existence. And for that matter, don’t get me started on the origins of the term “hashtag,” either, because these are questions best left for people with some time on their hands. Let’s just say that I’ve observed it for a while now and gotten a kick out of it.

Well, on this particular Throwback Thursday, after seeing Kenny Loggins tweet side by side pictures of himself now versus a time when reindeer sweater-vests and unruly facial hair were smokin’ hot, (and really, when are they not?), I couldn’t resist the urge to jump in and play along. Only one minor obstacle:

Me + Social Media + Technology = Hilarious

(Translation: I had no idea how to get an old hard copy picture of me side by side with a current digital picture of me housed on my computer. Stop laughing.)

By day’s end, I had taken a picture of my old picture with my swanky iPhone and posted it on FB and Twitter. Really, is this the best use of my energy?

Well, if you thought the picture of me with the dancer got a response, you should try posting a 20 year old picture of yourself. Even though I mentioned “Throwback Thursday,” and it was, in fact, a Thursday, I’m still certain that people didn’t quite get it. Or they just chose to make me feel really good, which they did, bless their hearts.

But you know, once you start in with this kind of stuff, you just can’t stop. So I, who have not changed my profile picture since Facebook statuses were chiseled on cave walls, decided it was time for an update. By this time, though, it was Friday.

So here’s me then & now. And don't ask me how I got them side by side. It only took me until Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.