Saturday, August 16, 2014

my birthday blog for 2014!!!

It’s my birthday, and it’s become somewhat of a tradition that I write an annual birthday blog, sort of a taking stock of the past year and looking forward with intention to what’s in store in the coming year.

I don’t mind telling you that I began my celebrating a few hours shy of my actual birthday, with friends and food and a whole lotta love aimed in my direction.

So to begin with, I am grateful beyond words for the incredible people who bless my life by merely being it. And here’s a hint: if you’re reading this, that’s you, whether I’ve even met you or not.

This past year has supplied me with a lot of opportunities for growth. That’s a nice way of saying it’s been really, really hard. But I think that with challenges always come rewards, and sometimes the reward is realizing you’re made of tougher stuff than you realized. It is not Pollyanna to say there is beauty even in the darker moments. That’s a decision you make to look for it and to find it. And it is not for the faint of heart.

As I write this, I am nearing the completion of recording my new CD, In Color. This has been a dream of mine for many years, and so to see it coming to fruition, and to have the chance to work with people I respect and admire and just plain love, is a thrill beyond description.

For those of you who have been on this journey with me and supported it, I will never be able to tell you what it has meant to me to know that so many people stand with me in delivering a musical message of hope, and perseverance, of gratitude and following your dreams, listening to your heart, and taking a huge leap of faith. I don’t think there has ever been a time when those messages were more needed than right now.

As we get older, we start contemplating what our legacy is, what we’d like to be known and remembered for in the world. And no, I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but I do think about the imprint left and in what ways, if any, I’ve made things better for having been here.

Some people think life is random and meaningless. I would be the opposite of that. I think it’s all meaningful, miraculous, and as God-driven as we allow it to be.

So as I begin this next year of my life, I want to express gratitude for every day I’ve lived. For all the people I’ve met and joy I’ve experienced. For those I’ve loved who are gone and for those who remain.

It is my hope, prayer, and intention that both my work and my life are an example of love, compassion, peace, joy, and forgiveness, and that the work I most love doing will abundantly provide for my every need. (I know all my artist friends out there share that last one with me!)

May I never miss an opportunity to be kind.
May I always remember to say “thank you.”
And may everyone reading this know that I love them.

Thank you for stopping by on my birthday.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

a final offering

It’s been 48 hours since I heard the news of Robin Williams’ death, and though that scarcely seems like enough time to wrap my head around referring to his life in the past tense, the entire world seems to have weighed in, whether using his end as a cautionary tale or in some way paying tribute to the man and his work.

Doctors and assorted other “experts” have tried to explain, to make sense of the unthinkable, while others have judged and condemned the act of suicide as one of selfishness.

Me, I feel raw, shaken, more fragile, and keenly aware that the world is a sadder place without his big, beautiful spirit.

To most, Robin Williams’ suicide was a shock of epic proportion. I do not know why it wasn’t that way for me. Instead, I felt an overwhelming sense of “Ah yes, Robin, I understand, though I wish it weren’t so.”

It would never have been a good time for him to go, even if he had lived to be a hundred and died of natural causes. Such was the enormity of his gift…and such was the hunger we possessed for what he had to offer.

That he left us a body of work that captured and encapsulated his greatness, is a present we should be grateful for. That he left before giving us more of it, says more about our own selfishness than his, really.

I know I go against the grain on this, but I believe he did what he came here to do, even in his passing, if by it we grow kinder toward one another and more compassionate and aware that every single one of us carries around a silent pain that the world likely knows nothing about.

People are astonished that success, fame, wealth, and accolades could not somehow temper the effects of an illness that existed before, during, and after the attainment of those things – as if any of that is really what makes even the healthiest among us happy. It doesn’t.

The truth is we all want to be known, heard, understood and loved in spite of and because of who we are. But none of that can truly exist without us first giving the gift of that knowing, hearing, understanding and loving to ourselves. You can’t be at war with yourself and at peace with the world around you.

So I think Robin Williams’ final offering to us is who we become now that we know the magnitude of human suffering that exists among us. Can we be kinder? Can we judge less and love more? Can we be with each other, even when it’s uncomfortable, even when we don’t know what to say, even when it’s inconvenient? Will we take the time out of our busyness to realize time is so very fleeting? Will we do what we need to in order to be happy in our lives, knowing that we are not guaranteed even one more day?

Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” has always been one of my favorites. However, tonight, I feel like the point is really to be the love we wish to see in the world.

It is always the right time to be kind. It is never too soon to care. And laughter is a holy present, given freely to us to sweeten the journey that we’re on while we’re on it.

It is my prayer that the peace and relief he sought has found Robin Williams now, and that he can feel the love and appreciation that permeates those of us on both sides of the veil separating this world from the next.

Thank you for stopping by, and please know that you are loved.

Peace & Blessings,