Peekaboo! New Release! :)

Really excited I was able to release this track today:

This song started as an idea that sprung from a conversation with a friend on attachment theory. Soon after, one of my best friends suggested that I take an inner child journaling course with her. This set up the space in my mind to look back in my life. My grandmother passed away during the second week of the course, and I finished writing the song as a tribute to her unconditional love and my childhood. Enjoy!

Hello, Insomnia…

Not the first time I’ve found myself lying awake in bed unable to sleep recently, frustrated beyond measure partly at the negatives in my life, but mostly at not being able to unwind enough to get the sleep and rest I desperately need. This the first period in my life I’ve ever struggled with sleep like this. I’m a light sleeper so noises and lights will wake me up easily, and I need the temperature to be right as well, but I’m usually so tired that I can fall asleep really quickly.

My sense of humor still prevails (which I’m so thankful for!), but I’m still angry at people who continue to cause pain in my immediate life. I picked up Fred Luskin’s book, Forgive For Good, a few years ago. It’s a great book that provides practical, actionable tips on forgiveness as a practice. But, like good communication, forgiveness has to start with a commitment to let things go. 🙂 I’m not ready yet.

I want life to assert balance right now. I want Takers to suffer, and I want karma to slap wrongdoers upside the head. Today, I’m not in the mood for acceptance though that worked really well last week, haha. 🙂 Today, I want to see karma in action against those who crush folks below them without compassion. Today, I want to see people pay for the pain they have caused, both involuntarily and on purpose. Entitled, spoiled, bratty privileged people hurt because of their ignorance and callous lack of awareness, as much as they hurt to preserve their place on the totem pole. I want them to look at reality and understand it, develop a real knowledge and awareness of it. One way to do that is reactions that are equal to their actions. Did you lie to gain your wealth? I want you to lose it all and then some to make sure the point is made. Did you bully, hurt and steal ideas from people to get up the corporate ladder? I want you stuck in limbo for the rest of your life experiencing pain as a direct cause, and I want to see you learn and grow from that pain and realization.

I’ve watched amazing friends and family members suffer a lot unfairly in life. And I’ve watched terrible people make it and achieve their dreams. I’m a proactive, type A person, so part of my anger stems from the fact that I can’t teach anyone to do the “right” thing. I can’t change anyone, their evolution can only be driven by them. The best I can do is pay it forward. I’m lucky for what I have right now, maybe focus my energy on people who have less? I can try and help when I can’t right the wrongs in this world by getting angry. Acceptance and forgiveness are the best route to peace right now when so many things are out of my control.

Life is unfair. There’s no getting around it. But what about balance? Is that something I can hope for? What about accountability and consequences for bad actors?

Hello, calm. Writing helps me process emotions really well, so this was great. I’m yawning, so hopeful I’ll fall asleep as soon as I go back to bed. 🙂

Take care, peeps, hope you are all well. I’m rooting for you.

Heat, Pressure, Release

I did yoga this afternoon at home, thinking it was in the 80s outside because that’s what the forecast said yesterday. I felt like I need to center my mind to make it feel like a Sunday and just stretch my tense muscles out. Turns out it was about 100 F. No wonder I felt like I’d done a hot yoga class instead.

Last week was a lot in all kinds of ways, but I was able to find a way to assert my boundaries and enjoy what I got out of it. I wrote a polite and constructive but firm email stating that work was starting to feel insane to my boss and the CEO of the company on Tuesday. This lead to a good meeting with them and me then creating a spreadsheet with all my major tasks last week (I really took it to the next level of detail, down to calculating an estimate of how many hours I’d spent on emails). Turns out I’d spent 71 hours working last week, and that’s not counting random calls, chats and requests from clients and colleagues, or reading about the industry and our clients. I’m really hoping this leads to better conversations where the executive team actually takes us seriously when we say we’re overwhelmed and don’t have time for any additional low priority ad hoc requests. I hope it leads to thoughtful discussions around where we can improve how we spend our time so our work feels more meaningful and we have the time to actually have a life outside of our jobs. We are not robots, Silicon Valley. This should be particularly obvious with a pandemic raging, climate change turning weather insane, and just the world being in a state of chaos.

Calmly taking charge of expressing myself was a boon. It released a lot of the angst and tension I’d been feeling, and was a gift for that reason. Every source of frustration is also an opportunity to set your boundaries, express your needs, give the other person the chance to help you or meet you half way, and negotiate. All good things, without getting destructive either with your thoughts or in terms of the way you express anger or frustration. Good for me to remember and try to practice when I can.

Another step towards growth last week for me was trying to re-frame things not working out as opportunities for something else. 🙂 This is a fun one, and I’m usually pretty good at it but there’s been too much external pressure and breakage lately for me to manage right away. This has taken a toll on some of my abilities and strategies to stay resilient, and I’ve had to just sit with the negative emotions and accept them. They are also important, and life has ups and downs.

Some friends of mine wanted to catch up yesterday at a restaurant, for example, but bailed as the conditions were bad in the city and they changed their plans. I was definitely sad I wouldn’t see them at first, but also got to cook a delicious dinner with fresh ingredients, finish my errands without rushing, and work on music in the evening. I actually loved having that time to myself after a crazy week at work. We had planned to catch up again today, but the air quality is terrible in the city. We’re doing a video chat instead, and I’m really grateful this is an option with modern technology. I can’t imagine what this kind of a pandemic would have been like 30 years ago without Zoom/Skype/Google. A second example, today, it was really hot, but I got to do a hot yoga class at home without paying for the studio time nor having to deal with bad feet smells. 🙂

Happy Wednesday :)

I had a genuinely good day yesterday, and was happy. 🙂 Some of my work projects are winding down, I gave pointed, critical feedback to executives at work about some major work overload issues that were affecting the entire company. My feedback was (at least on the surface) received well, which was a good feeling.

I was also able to provide all the information needed for a new contact at a new branch we’re launching during a call, and could really see how much my knowledge about our product has grown. It was a really good feeling to be able to help them out with every question they had during the call without having to say, “let me get back to you on that one.”

Spent some time relaxing, singing and working on a new song after what felt like ages. Hoping for a peaceful end to the week, and so excited about the 3 day weekend!

Take care, peeps. I hope you are all staying safe and well!

Pathway To Peace Course

A close friend of mine suggested I do a writing course with her called “Pathway to Peace” a few weeks ago. It was a four week course, and this past week was the final week of the course. It was an amazing experience, and I turned a couple of the writing prompts into songs.

The final assignment was writing a sacred letter to your younger self. I had plenty to write, but here were the three most important points I walked away with for my past and future self:

  1. Maintain the belief that you are worthy. Everything in life is a process, and believing in your worth is not something I take for granted. But for me, it is essential and deserves time and effort.
  2. Prioritize your health as being critically important. I learned some tough lessons early, and ignoring what your body needs means you’re too broken to show up for the stuff that matters if you don’t listen. And by then it’s much harder, if even possible, to fix the problem.
  3. Be true to yourself. Cliche, but so true. Trying to force yourself to become someone else version of what’s right for you will leave you feeling empty and drained. I’m really flawed, but I also have good things to offer. If I ignore that completely, everyone will miss out on the good stuff. 🙂

Musings for a Saturday. The air finally cleared later today, and I’m grateful for it. I’m happy I can finally think clearly and don’t have a burning sensation in my throat. 🙂

10K+ Monthly Listeners on Spotify!

Today started off with some really good news: I’ve crossed 10K monthly listeners on Spotify! Was so excited to see that this morning!

A bright spot for me in a tough couple of weeks out here with the massive fires in California. San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area have been covered in smoke for a couple of weeks now, and it’s been hard to breathe or think. Some of us have been feeling really ill from inhaling all the pollution.

Strange times, these. I’m grateful for a break from worrying about the future, not just my own for the next several decades of my life, but the legacy we leave behind for future generations as climate change, environmental damage and social inequities continue be problems for the world.

More to follow on that as the fires continue to rage…

Back to the Future

Starting to think about the future amid the horrible wildfires, pandemic, social unrest and feeling like I’m not growing or moving in the right direction at any level this morning. To combat this feeling, I put myself together like I was presenting in front of a client today. I’m wearing one of my favorite business casual dresses, I put makeup and earrings on and did my hair. Helped for a bit.

Then I reached out to one of my best friends to ask her how she was doing. I was honest when she asked me the same question and said I was feeling sad about my future. She then reminded me that, “everyone’s future is blurry right now.” And she’s 100% right. Sadly, yet also comfortingly, I’m not in this alone. The world is reeling from these tectonic shifts and I’m along for the ride just like everybody else.

The smoke made it hard to breathe today, even with the doors shut and my air purifier cranked up to its highest setting. But finally, the air is starting to clear, the acrid smoke smell still lingers, but it’s starting to fade.

I came up with another company idea today, something I haven’t done in a while. One of the best things about being stuck in isolation with my brain is I’m letting it play more and more, and it’s an amazing feeling. I lean into every crazy idea like I used to when I was younger, and explore it until it dies a natural death or becomes an enduring learning experience.

Some ideas are songs, some become cover art for new singles. Some become a new mission, or an old drive solidified. It’s good to know my mind is still awake, learning and open, even with the smoke and lack of oxygen.

Connection

I caught up with some close family members today in person. We were socially distanced and wearing masks to be safe, but just the act of getting together in person felt incredible. It was a reminder that “socially distanced” does not mean emotional isolation, and doesn’t even mean absolute physical separation if you follow regulations and safety precautions such as wearing masks and keeping your distance. There was a lot of hand sanitizer used as well. 🙂

This is the new normal. There won’t be a “going back to the way things were” for a long time, if ever. While it does make me sad because I loved the life I had, the key thing moving forward is to make sure that we continue to find ways to be human and connect with each other. I realized last week that I was trying to just wait it out until we get to the other side, but I’m not sure that reality exists.

The past few months have been difficult and draining for me and a lot of other people. There are a few folks like my brother who are perfectly fine, though he has his puppy for company. For more social folks like myself who rely on communities and gatherings and seeing people face to face (which I absolutely love), it’s been a real challenge. I’ve missed my family and friends, I’ve missed the random connections with strangers in the city, I’ve missed the shows, the music, the art, the culture.

I’m not sure what the future will look like right now, but I need to figure out how I can define my own sense of connection in it. If I can think of it as an interesting new problem to solve, or pretend like I’m an astronaut or a space explorer, I might be able to make it something fun instead of something that’s cause for despair.

Only time will tell.

Another Monday :)

Mondays are my least favorite day of the week, and I dread them. Dealing with it is just a matter of setting up tasks to get done and break it into small pieces and just check things off so the emotions don’t get debilitating, the resistance doesn’t kick in. I already can’t wait for the week to be over…

Skin

Today was a difficult day, and this week’s been more difficult than other weeks. Over the past few years and months, the unfair and harsh realities of life have become acutely clear, and my ability to cope has been truly tested.

One ray of sunshine is my latest release going live in a few hours. 🙂 This song is about loving yourself as you are, and accepting truths you can’t change and yet valuing your growth and potential no matter what other people say or do to you. It’s one of my favourites. I hope you all enjoy it and are able to find peace and joy this weekend.