Sunday, August 23, 2015

where the rubber meets the road

Everyone has a set of principles and core values that they try to live by, and a set of beliefs, consciously or unconsciously, about the world, and how it works, and what is possible.

On our best days, we’d like to think we are steadfast in our faith, and secure in the knowledge that all really is well and that we are looked out for by a benevolent and loving God.

But our best days are not what test our faith or our beliefs. It is when we are met with moments of challenge that we really determine what it is we believe, in earnest.

Will we listen to that still, small voice, that part of us that knows that we know, even when it’s saying something we don’t necessarily want to hear, or something that is contrary to popular opinion?

Can we be of service to others and trust implicitly that what helps someone else cannot help but bless us tenfold? Can we believe in our own inner guidance when what it’s telling us is at odds with the material world?

We can say yes to everything when it is theoretical, but what happens when it is real? Who are we when it matters most that we show up as the love we say we want to embody? What do we choose when Spirit says to do one thing, and reason another? Who do we listen to?

I made a decision a couple of days ago to take down my newly released single – the duet with Kenny Loggins called “Friends Like Me & You.”

I know that on the surface, this is a decision that will baffle many people, because from a business perspective, it seems just plain crazy. But here’s the thing: when Kenny first came onboard this project and graciously offered and gave of his time, heart, and talent, I told him that all of us had to be happy. That was the rule. The creation of this album has been a celebration and a joyous love-fest, and that is the way in which I want it to go out into the world.

Kenny reached out to me after the single was already in the process of being released, because he had concerns about the timing of the single and the release of my album coinciding with his other project, the band Blue Sky Riders, who are releasing their own new CD in mid-September.

The ball was already rolling. Press releases had gone out. The song had been sent to 750 online retailers. I couldn’t stop it. So it came out last week, and I did not post the links to buy it on social media, nor did I give the go ahead for stories that had been set to run in the press nationally.

Instead, I decided to take the song down altogether, because, as it turns out, what I really believe is that this is a world of plenty, and plenty is not contingent on the timing of this release.

I also believe that honoring my word and respecting Kenny’s wishes is simply the right thing to do. 

I believe that the same people who were going to buy this song last week will still buy it when it comes out on my album a little bit later this fall. Yes, it is still coming out. Yes, you can still buy it. Heck, you can pre-order the entire In Color CD right now! (Pre-order Ilene's CD!)

I’ve learned that how things may look to others on the outside is nothing compared to how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror. I believe that possibility is infinite, that trust is necessary, and that all really is well.

I thank you for spending some time with me today. If you’ve enjoyed it, please tell your friends.

I wish you peace and richest blessings.


Monday, August 17, 2015

saying goodbye and saying hello...

It’s my birthday and even on a not-so-milestone year, that’s usually cause for some reflection on my part.

This seems like a period of major transition for most people I know, and I’m not sure if it is because of the times in which we are living, or the pace at which change is taking place, but it seems as if we are all on a runaway rollercoaster, being tossed about, with highs and lows we never imagined, torn between throwing our hands up in the air and seeing where this ride takes us, and holding on for dear life and some sign that we are going to be okay in the end.

Either choice brings with it its own pros and cons. And I think that the issue is not so much whether we hold on or let go, but that this ride is happening, regardless of which choice we make. So really, the only thing we are altering is our experience of the ride.

Life is perpetual forward motion, ever-changing and constantly new. But as with any change, we are leaving behind something known for something unknown, and that is a little scary, even on its best day.

As I leave my last decade behind, I am struck by a sense of peace that I in no way remotely possessed at the beginning of the previous decade of my life. It is not because I have become a Zen master, or have crossed off everything on my bucket list, but because as we get older, we hopefully get wiser. And that wisdom is hard earned with the passage of time. We lose people we love, and of the rest who remain, we become keenly aware that time shared is what is of most value, because no one is promised tomorrow.

So what is it, on this particular birthday, that I want to say goodbye to, and what hello?

I happily say goodbye to the version of myself that ever doubted or denied or simply didn’t know my value. 

I say goodbye to struggle and resistance, to taking on what doesn’t belong to me. And I say hello to allowing, releasing, and embracing all the miraculous good that is being sent my way constantly. 

I say goodbye to limiting thoughts and hello to the infinite possibility that exists at all times. 

I say goodbye to those whose contribution to my life has been completed, and hello to those with whom I am meant to grow and expand. 

I lovingly release and say goodbye to all that is not meant for me, and I say hello to what is meant for me.

I take a breath, and a step forward, and I open my arms – to life, to love, to an abundance of richest blessings. And as I do that for me, I invite you to do the same for you, because this is not a world of lack. This is a world of plenty. And as we see it, and say it, and feel it, and claim it, so shall it be.

I celebrate the start of a new decade of my life with gratitude and humility, with love and acceptance, with joy and so much appreciation for you who are reading this, for all who have ever stopped by here, for those who will visit in the days, months, and years to come, and for all who have ever touched my life in any way. I am richly, richly blessed.

Peace and love to you always,


Saturday, August 15, 2015

the Release of a Single!!

Project Update – the Launch of the Single!!!!!

It’s been…gulp…two years since we began this journey together, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to see this out in the world!

So the first thing we decided to do was to release a single, and the song we decided to go with was “Friends Like Me & You,” the Kenny Loggins duet.

So this Monday, August 17th, (which is also my birthday), the song will be available worldwide, everywhere digital music is sold. (iTunes, Amazon, you name it, it’s sold there).

Here is a small snippet of the song, a tasty morsel, if you will, to get everyone excited about it. Friends Like Me & You snippet

My cherished USA Projects (Hatchfund) supporters, of course, will have this song when you receive your copies of the CD and/or download in the days ahead, but if you just can’t wait a moment longer…and who can, really…you, too, can buy it on Monday for less than your Starbucks run will cost you.

So here’s the really important part – I need your help spreading the word. Have you “liked” my Facebook musician page yet? If not, here’s the link to that: Ilene's Facebook Page

Are you on Twitter or Instagram? If so, please follow me at: @ilene_angel

And lastly, as soon as the song is out and there will also be some press about it, I will share those links with you, here and on Facebook, etc. Please, please, please share it with your friends, family, followers, email contacts, anyone you meet on the street…you get the idea. If you love what you hear, then tell people. If you have a friend, purchase it and gift it to them. They’ll love you forever…and so will I. J

I cannot thank you enough for being part of this ongoing experience with me. I appreciate you more than I’ll ever be able to adequately express.

Big hugs and kisses to you all,