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,
Its been snowing again here in our Michigan winter wonderland. Snow falling gently from the heavens into our ordered chaos. Tiny ice fairies gracefully bringing blessings of peace and serenity from above into our human world. Slowing us all down. Reminding us of our sacred connection to all life, of our vulnerabilities and of our interdependence.
For some reason I felt compelled to make the trip north through the snow last month from metro Detroit to Traverse City, during one of our many recent snowstorms. The normally 4-hour trip turned into a 6-hour adventurous journey due to the snowfall. I slowed down, stayed in the right lane, and said many prayers along the way.
Prayers of gratitude, prayers for protection, prayers to help those whose cars had wound up in the ditches along side of the road. The prayers guided me safely to Traverse City where I was welcomed into a cozy venue called the Circuit. I was greeted by my friends who run the Human Nature School, a wilderness awareness and environmental education program to helps kids enjoy the outdoors in all seasons. A wonderful group of families came out to support the school’s scholarship fund and to enjoy some singing and dancing. We decomposed, we flapped our wings, we moved like water, and of course we fell gently like snow. What a gift!
After staying the night with generous friends in the north country, I awoke to more snow and the prospect of making the drive all over again in the opposite direction. I continued slowly, and was protected by many angels along the way, including one driving a salt truck several cars ahead of me on M-72. He slowed everyone down and made way for a safe passage. I waved in gratitude when he stopped to turn around and I continued on to I-75. I stayed in the slow lane, breathing and singing and praying all the way home.
It is a journey of the heart, this sharing of music, traveling and performing. Sometimes it is exhilarating. Often it pushes and stretches me to the point where I have no choice but to put my full faith and trust in the hands of the Great Spirit, to breathe and smile and pay attention to the angels in our midst. I am grateful to the snow for bringing me back to the slow lane, for reflecting light in such beautiful ways, and for reminding me of the many helpers who are always available to me in each moment.
So much new life awaits us beneath this snowy blanket! 2013 was full of so many blessings and 2014 promises to be just as rich and abundant. Stay tuned for a brand new video of my song Breathing directed by videographer Nathan Meadows and featuring scenes from Detroit and Lake City Michigan, and Oakland and Muir Beach, California.
I am honored and excited that my most recent album, Greyhound Bus Tour (Earthwork Music, 2013), has been nominated for Album of the Year in the 2013 Jammies by independent radio station WYCE in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can cast your vote in support of myself and so many other wonderfully talented artists online here. Scroll down to the Listeners Choice Award link. Voting deadline is February 1st. Thanks for your support!
I’ll see you in the slow lane friends.
Letting it snow, taking it slow,