Sunday, February 23, 2014

a record, an album, a CD, and a project...

It occurred to me that I chronicled the crowd funding element of The Gratitude Project quite a bit – the issues that came up for me, the lessons learned, the gratitude I felt, the sense of humility born out of a bunch of people putting their faith in me, the feeling of connectedness to those who said “yes!” to putting heart-ful, hopeful music out into the world.

There were a good number of you who said, in no uncertain terms, “I want to be part of this,” and every day that I am working on it, I am keenly aware that you are and that this is a group effort.

So I thought I’d take a moment today to fill in the blanks and take stock of this part of the journey so far.

First of all, I always volley back and forth between the various names to call it. I’m from the era of “records” and “albums,” and so I like to think of it that way and refer to it that way. I like the idea of a vision, a whole comprised of all the parts – even if people do end up downloading individual songs. I like artwork and liner notes. To me, it’s part of the overall energy, meaning, and content of the project. And I think of the “project” as the entirety of all the elements, including things like this blog and updates.

If I can sum up the overall theme of what I’m learning throughout this process, it is about what I am willing to embrace and what I am willing to let go of. And the more I think about it, I believe that applies to all of life as well. Isn’t that what it comes down to?

I am a stickler for wanting to map out, with certainty, the path that I will take down to its tiniest of details. The idea that it takes as long as it takes or goes in the direction it goes has just not ever been in my operating manual.

But life has a funny way of letting us know what we need to learn, and we can either go kicking and screaming or with the flow. So here’s a little nugget of hard earned wisdom from me to you – it is much easier and more fun to go with the flow than kicking and screaming. I’ve tried both.

Much as I wanted to believe otherwise, we don’t make something the best it can be by using brute force. We allow it by trusting the deeper part of ourselves that knows what we know, by trusting that. Not the easiest thing for a control freak to learn, but hey, we come to it when we come to it.

If the making of this were a reality TV show, I suppose I would reveal kernels of information bit by bit, in the most dramatic way possible. Of course, if this were a reality TV show, I’d also need to throw a tantrum or two and have some kind of serious meltdown or altercation with someone just to keep the drama going.

Instead, I happily show up to studio sans makeup and in a sweatshirt most of the time, ready to work. This is why you’ve seen no video or pictorial footage of me recording so far – not my best look. But fear not, you will see me in action before this thing is over.

So a word about the making of this record: it is a total joy. I read some pithy quote about how you can’t have a negative mind and live a positive life. And I think that goes for the making of this record. I don’t see how you can make an uplifting album without joy and love and heart, as well as talent, being present during the creation of it.

As for the incremental “reveal” of some juicy tidbits, I’ll tell you, for those of you who don’t already know, that this record is being produced by Tanya Leah. And every day that we move forward, I consider myself luckier and luckier for that. (After Friday’s session, I was going to do actual cartwheels. However, I realized that I’d never successfully done an actual cartwheel in my life, so I thought better of the whole idea. Tanya is, no doubt, thankful for that.)

Well, I’m off to work now, but before I go, I want to impart my profoundest of thanks to you – for standing with me in being the change we wish to see in the world, at least musically – and for stopping by today.

Peace and blessings to you…


  1. In Neale Donald Walsch's "Conversations with God"
    The Deity reveals we are (all) creating the one we choose to be.
    I think you're doing just fine!

    P.S. The one I would choose you to be
    would be writing more uptempo songs! :+))))))

    P.S. 2 Going with The Flow was a Very Bad Idea
    in Germany 1935-1945. Unless it was the with the current on an outward-sailing ship?

  2. So exciting! Indeed, there's so much learning in learning what to embrace and what to let go! So thrilled for you Ilene! And if I could do cartwheels, I would do them for you! Bravo!