“We have a sacred fire, burning between us. Your heart I admire, so full of kindness. I can see it in your eyes, burning so bright. From sunset to sunrise, our guiding light.”
What is it that can lift our mental perspectives above the daily grind of traffic and bills, beyond the continuous news cycles of violence and politics, and through the anxiety and fear that plagues our fast-paced society? What gives us hope and courage and inspires our hearts? For me, a crucial answer to these questions has always been music, the language of the heart.
Listening to music and creating it with others gives me a doorway into a world of hope and possibility, and teaches me how to harmonize the dissonance of life. Music has become my livelihood over the years and remains an essential part of my being human. It gives me purpose and direction, joy and community. It is food that nourishes my spirit. What a gift it is to share music with other musicians, with intergenerational audiences, and with diverse communities! What a blessing it is to be able to sing prayers in support of healing and wellness.
And so I am very fortunate to have found a true musical heart companion, Allison Radell, with whom I have been privileged to share this beautiful gift of music. Although I have been accustomed to traveling this path as a solo act, I have really enjoyed performing as a duo over the past couple of years with Allison. She continues to teach me many things about collaboration, musical discipline, and the creative process.
We have decided to give our duo an official name, Spirits Rising, to reflect the role that music plays in our lives and our intention of using our collective musical gifts to help inspire and uplift others. We will make our official debut this summer at Native Fest on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and will both to continue our solo performances as well.
We hope that you will join us on this path and that our music may help your spirit rise. Hope to see you and sing with you this summer!
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Walking in the woods behind my apartment, I greet the forest as a community of dear friends, supporting me gently with each step I take. This healing forest has been part of my foundation for many years now. As I gradually slow my pace to a more relaxed and natural rhythm with the earth, I notice the small miracles happening all around me.
New green life pushing up through the mud and melting snow. Birds singing intricate and beautiful songs of spring. The sun shining on my path and warming my face. Slowly, the rushing and the busy-ness of my life fades away and I am brought back to the present, to the true nature of the moment.
The forest reminds me that I am not a separate individual but that I am intricately and deeply connected with all other beings. Knowing this, I smile and release my fears and stress. Mother Earth holds and transforms these things for me. The forest gives me an immense gift of hope and renewal, support and refuge.
And so I must take each opportunity I can to return to the forest, giving myself time to slow down and be renewed. Even if I can go for a 10 minute walk it is worth the time and effort. This spring I am relearning this lesson again and again, my need for renewal and refuge in our Mother Earth and in her community of all beings.
I will do my best to walk gently along the tour path this spring, singing songs of celebration and gratitude for the miracles that surround us. I look forward to sharing the journey with you, and I am so grateful for my place in this immense family and for all my relations.
“There are so many reasons to be happy. There are so many reasons to give thanks. There are so many reasons to be happy, to give praise.” ~Breathing
The sun is shining through my window, reflecting sparkly light on the snow-covered earth. This Michigan winter has humbled me, and brought me back to a place of gratitude for the simple joys of life, like my ability to breathe and smile (and be warm) in this moment.
I am excited to share this video of my song Breathing with you, from my Greyhound Bus Tour album. The smiles and community represented in it are gentle reminders for me that when I slow down and pay attention to my breath, I become fully present with those around me and I am able to live and act from a place of love and strength. I hope that this video may also water positive seeds in you; of hope, happiness, and confidence in your path.
The video was filmed and produced by visual artist Nathan Meadows. He and his camera accompanied me on many travels and performances; from the D. Blair Theatre in Detroit, to the Earthwork Farm in Lake City, Michigan, to the rocky shores of Muir Beach, California. I am grateful for the skills and energy he has shared to give this song its new visual dimension.
There are so many reasons to be happy in this moment! I invite you to take a 7-minute pause from your day, breathe, smile, and take refuge in your capacity to love.
At least it will give you a nice reminder of what summer weather looks like!
Breathing with you,