it is with a great sense of freedom that I am writing to share this update and a little video with you. It may seem like a sweet little nothing but it represents a moment of true celebration for me. The month of February marked the longest stretch since I began playing music thirteen years ago that I did not play a single note of music… No singing… No guitar… Nada. It was a time of major transition, releasing layers of attachment and expired ideas, and learning lessons that required my undivided focus and all of my energy.
The first of March marked a new beginning as I ventured out into the unknown and as I left LA, feeling my time there was complete, to go on a road trip up the coast with no sense of where I’d end up. As I drove out of LA, an apocalyptic sky and looming storm overhead affirmed my direction. Then, as I rolled into my first destination (the magical little town of Ojai), the sunlit, soft, double-rainbow-filled sky welcomed me with open arms.
I found a cozy AirBnb cottage for my stay that had a fireplace and a hammock (that’s how I roll…lol) and set the intention of unwinding, healing, and connecting to my creativity and my gifts in the purest way possible. No agenda, no preconceived ideas about what it had to look like, including the idea that I’m meant to play music. Yup, I even let that one go.
To my pleasant surprise and delight, it didn’t take long before the undeniable desire to play music overtook me.
So I got the fire going, set up all my equipment and let it flow with as much ease as possible. And it did. And in the days that followed, this continued to happen, always in the space of remaining open but unattached, I kept finding myself feeling a pure, soft yearning to play music. And so I did and each time, it felt so good.
Another little tidbit is that I’d been watching episodes of The Voice (Pharrell…so hot right now…Pharrell) and noticing how common it is for these amazingly talented contestants to respond with near shock and an awakening of sorts to their true talent, only when it was affirmed by the coaches. I was nearly moved to tears on many occasions watching these moments as I could relate so deeply. I know that feeling and desire for validation very well and the realization sparked a deep inquiry into my own beliefs about my abilities as an artist and musician. The greatest take away of all was that I decided to commit to making my musical expression an act of self-love first and foremost, by removing all consideration of anyone else hearing it, judging it and liking me or not liking me, approving or not approving in response to it.
In this spirit and with this mindset, the desire to play music has continued to move through me naturally on most days since then. On days when it doesn’t, I don’t force it. And when it does, it’s always for my own enjoyment and it has been the most fulfilling experience of creating and expressing through music I have ever experienced. In fact, I think I’ve been playing more in the last month than I have in years and a big part of the freedom and flow has been removing all thought of outcomes and others. It sounds so simple and yet it has been a game changer.
In that time, as my inspiration to create my own songs has been slowly bubbling, I’ve been having so much FUN learning songs that I love and revisiting ones that I’ve enjoyed playing over the years, many of which I’ve shied away from sharing for one reason or another. After a solid six weeks of grounding in this new way of approaching my crafts, I’ve been feeling ready and inspired to begin sharing the pure joy I’m experiencing playing music. I took my first step a few nights ago, playing a small and casual gig doing mostly covers (a first for me) at a cafe here in Ojai, which ended up claiming my Heart on my visit a few weeks back and revealing itself as my creative sanctuary for the next little while.
The day of the gig, I had a seemingly random passing worrisome thought that a particular crazy talented musician I’d met in town would be there watching. Sure enough, when i arrived at the cafe, he was there…(Thank you God, for the test). I reminded myself of my new M.O. and did my best to pay him no mind. Halfway through my first set, he got up and scurried off (to my slight relief) and to my surprise, he returned a short while later with his melodica under his arm, which he’d gone to get so he could join me for an impromptu jam. I invited him up to play and we were vibin so much that he ended up sitting in on my entire second set!
A few days ago, after a life-affirming and inspiring chat with one of my best friends, I once again found myself guitar in hand, singing in pure enjoyment and I felt the urge and a readiness to spread the love.
So my dear friends… here is one of my fav Bob Marley jams and the first dose of what I hope will be more to come. I’m casting aside all my perfectionist ways and it feels so GOOD to just be doing what I love for the Love of it, and now to share with you from that place.
Thanks for reading and listening.