2011 has been a very transformative year for me. I know women say this all the time, but suddenly, in my 30s, I finally feel steady in my power. Each step I have taken this year has been a stronger, wiser choice and I find myself surrounded by the deepest of blessings and the most rooted friendships to date.
I’ve had to look back. I’ve had to even go back and tie up some loose ends. That felt incredibly risky but with great risk comes great reward. It allowed me to set down anger and had me feeling lighter than ever. And in going back, I was able to pick up a long lost friend. Someone who i’ve missed terribly but clearly we needed the time and space to revisit our friendship from a new, more direct vantage point. Sometimes looking back is fruitful. Because when you move forward, you leave a beautiful wake behind you.
And sometimes looking back is just a time suck and a drain on all sorts of your energy. Hubby and I spent a night away from the baby for the first time. We drove down the coast not too far from our home and sat on a quiet beach and caught up on life. Important to make those moments happen as parents who are in love with each other. We had a luxuriously long dinner – neither one of us had to take turns to eat so the other could watch the baby. We could talk uninterrupted. We could even just sit still in silence. Glorious.
The next morning, I popped up at 7am and told him, “Let’s go home!” I missed our little one so much. It made me fully realize that every part of our life is better with her in it. Until that moment, I still had the occasional hankering to run off to a concert if I wanted to or meet up with my girls on a moment’s notice for drinks – spontaneity is generally incompatible with a 17-month old running around at home! But a full 24 hours away from Mia changed all that completely.
Motherhood is the best thing that has every happened to me – hands down. It has taught me so many things and given me so many gifts. And now the latest nugget I’ve received is knowing that there is nothing to look back at because everything I have ever wanted is right here with me. That is an amazing feeling and one I’m going to happily take with me into the New Year.
I was in the studio the other day. Practicing. The muse met me. And we sang together. Red light on and recording began. A rough cut, but a beginning of a journey into music based solely on heart guided inspiration. Thank you for listening.
Okay…it’s a crappy pic, but apparently you can now hear my song, Wildflower World, on Delta Airline’s In-Flight Entertainment! How exciting!!!
I know it’s hard to read, but you can see my name just under Sheryl Crow and among Jack Johnson, John Mayer and Norah Jones!!!
Thank you to my dear friend, Vikas Bhushan, for letting me know the bands that Discovr (a new iPhone app) says I sound like. Know any of these bands?
Okay. I am infatuated with my daughter. But now that her year birthday is approaching (can’t believe it!), I’m beginning to imagine myself back in the swing of a new normal again.
Yesterday, I got word that an indie publishing company that I have been wanting to work with based here in Santa Monica accepted me as a new artist. People. I prayed. I prayed hard. That I get this deal so that it motivated me to get back to my music.
Being a mom leaves very little time to practice and perform. I have to fight for every spare moment. So when she’s asleep, and I’m completely spent from another day of being a working mom, stealing a couple hours at night in my home studio is at first so hard and then slowly becomes blissful. Creative time, writing and recording new music. Getting aggravated because vocals won’t lay down just right. Hoping poetry flows through me. Remembering the War of Art and Stephen King’s book On Writing – you have to show up. Every day. Or else the muse won’t know when and where to find you. But if you show up. Every day. She will be right there nudging you along.
This isn’t easy. I have many things I want to accomplish, including being a mother once again. But as I once told my lawyer, no one ever told me being a professional musician would be easy. In fact, anything worth doing requires consistency and discipline.
This to me is the true struggle of a life worth remembering – showing up. Every day. Present to everything that moves and inspires you, even when it seems impossible, even when it feels like no one is listening. Especially when your mind tells you to get scared, to run the other way, to give up.
This new deal has given me just the nudge I needed to get my ass back in my studio every night after Mia is asleep. Relearning how to show up every day for my music. When I look at my life down the line, I want my daughter to know that being a professional musician is well within the realm of possibility. I can only do that by showing her how to show up. Everyday.
It’s great fortune. Clearly someone is nudging me along as I make my way back to the studio, doubting my ability to ramp up for the giant undertaking of crafting another album. SoulAvenue and I landed another track on Buddha Bar XIII. It’s called One By One. Hope you’re able to check it out and enjoy our contribution to the chillout/lounge world.
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships…particularly those that have exited my life. Some have drifted away like a dream you vaguely remember later in the morning and others veered sharply in an opposite direction leaving you to wonder how we could ever have been so close at a moment in time.
In my life, I had what I can only liken to the ice age of the dinosaurs, when suddenly all those around me were no longer and I found myself in a new city with no one. It felt lonely. Utterly lonely.
I spent nearly 10 years planting roots and building back a community filled with artists and lovers, sisters and healers. It was a renaissance of sorts for me. A time when I could rediscover the core of who I was by having an array of friendships mirror back to me aspects of all the things that comprise one human being.
In the quiet of my new home, I can sit still and appreciate the joy of true friendship and how much depth and meaning connection adds to life. When you find those to travel through life with you, despite circumstances and distance, it is a gift of immeasurable value. No amount of social networking can equal the pure energy of the human spirit shared over coffee, a hug, a movie, a meal, a kiss. Surely I’m stating the obvious. But as the silence permeates the air here, and I rake through Facebook hoping that a glance at a picture of fun times passed will satisfy my trip down memory lane, I know only to write this down as a way to remember to say thank you to those who’ve filled my life with love, unconditional love. Humbled.
It’s been quite some time since I had the time to write a few words. Of course, motherhood has been blissfully kicking my ass these last 6 months and Samiyah has slowly been teaching me the virtues of patience. Though not a surprise, everything else in life seems insignificant compared to the well-being of my baby girl. Still, I wasn’t fully prepared for how much of my life I would quickly change to accommodate this angel. Lack of sleep, quiet time, alone time, time with my instruments, time with my friends…these past 6 months have tested every fiber in my being about the Ego. Can I let it all go for something much larger then myself? I have come to learn that this larger gift is the experience of unconditional love.
Life is beginning to just now resettle into a new rhythm that has space again for other joys. We’ve moved and in our new space comes a dedicated music studio. I look forward to stealing moments there again now that we’ve managed to get Mia to sleep through the nights. Of all the promises I’ve made to myself, nothing seems more important than the one I made when she was born – to commit my life to her in every way I can, including teaching her what it means to have passion and to dedicate yourself to something, to fight for the time to soak yourself in it.
I want Mia to know that anything worth anything in life is the thing that takes a lifetime of pursuit and exploration, the path you’re willing to spend quiet, intimate time with late at night while the rest of the world is sleeping so you can understand just a little bit more about it and your place on it.
So this is Next…balance again where music, love, motherhood, art, creativity, joy, friendship, family, inspiration all have their place in my heart and my day-to-day life for myself and for Mia.
This will be a quick note just to let you all know that I delivered Samiyah Rumi Sadhal on August 4, 2010 at 7:17pm after 22 hours of labor – and yup, I did it without a lick of drugs. Samiyah came out healthy, screaming and completely wide-eyed. It was amazing and of course, a miracle.
Being a new mom has me in a different world of only her and her needs first, but she’s down for a nap now and I’m taking a moment to just let you know that writing songs waits for when I can find a few hours of quiet time. They say that may happen in 18 years!
I’ve spent the last month immersed in nesting here at the house. For the moms out there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that bizarre time during pregnancy when you frantically run around the house cleaning, organizing, tidying, and stocking up before your baby arrives. For me, I’ve got about 10 weeks left. And about 40 books to read, the latest of which is about maintaining an organic food pregnancy.
Over the years, I’ve been slowly learning more and more about nutrition and swapping out the items in our cupboard and fridge for organic and whole foods. But then, as I read more in this book, the debate came up about whether it was better to eat organic if it got shipped in from around the world or was it better to eat non-organic from a local farm? How much gas and energy and water did it take to get me an organic peach? How organic is that overall? If an item is local and not organic, is it because it’s not certified organic but is still grown without pesticides and driven in that day to the farmers market?
The last time I hit Trader Joes, I started to read the labels on the top that says where the food came from. Product of Chile. Product of New Zealand. I didn’t pick up the peaches. Nothing against Chile or New Zealand, but it was hard to buy something that expended that many natural resources and feel good about feeding it to my family.
So I started to investigate other options. This book tipped me off to a website about CSA farms. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, I as a consumer can opt to help pitch in financially to a local farm or a local farm collective, and in exchange, I’ll get a basket of produce every week or every month – whatever I opt for. That sounded like a great idea.
With a baby on the way and life full of career and family demands, I don’t always have the time to spend at the local farmer’s market and shop at leisure – as much as I love the community and meeting the farmers. So this is an idea I’m seriously considering – joining a CSA farm and having my produce brought to me locally. What I get in my basket will dictate what we eat for the week, but that sounds like fun and a bit of a culinary adventure.
Nesting has me thinking not only about my home but my baby’s world. In all that I do everyday to try to make this a better place for her to live, can’t help but to think that this will only enhance her life too. Simplify life. Bring things back to local community. Be aware of the impact we have in every way possible.
Also wanted to tip you off to the idea if you haven’t considered it yet. Partly it’s selfish. The more people I can get to join in on this adventure, the better it is for all of us, including me and my family – cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner food. Thanks for indulging my little bit of activism for the day!