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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Category: The Shy Gemini Sessions

A Desk, a Beer and the Non-Popularity Contest

Rae Hering

When Jonathan found out that NPR's tiny desk concerts and Lagunitas Brewing Company were holding their first annual contest for indie artists I was soooooo excited. 

I know that what I'm about to say will sound like a complete fabrication in order to be all teacher's pet-y, but I LOVE both NPR and Lagunitas. Little secret, my bucket list includes the entry "be interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air." And if the bar serves Lagunitas IPA, that's what I'm ordering every time - no joke.

While I pinky swear that my professed love is tried and true, I'm also pretty sure that the amount I enjoy informative radio and delicious alcoholic beverages has no bearing on the contest results. It does, however, have a complete effect on how much I enjoyed this project!

Enter Chad McClarnon. Chad is very tall, has a dapper mustache, and possesses the uncanny ability to make a kickin' professional video in a matter of hours. The rules of the video were to play live music - behind a desk. With Jonathan playing bass and Duane on drums, we came up with something pretty cool and had fun doing it, too!

 
Shenanigans behind a desk!

Shenanigans behind a desk!

 

But now let me express the REAL reason why I think this contest was worth the effort - because it was not based on how many VOTES or VIEWS or LIKES I corral from my friends or other poor souls that gets accosted by my persistent yet overly cheerful requests to "check out my page!!!"

Most contests that musicians enter nowadays make me feel like I'm in high school again - right back to the old popularity game. But has anyone ever noticed that the harder you try to get people to like you, the more they seem to not care?? 

Running after votes, views and likes, especially from my personal friends, is like whitening my teeth. Sure, a Crest-white smile looks nice, but does it really mean my teeth are healthier for it? In other words, if all my friends vote for my contest entry, am I really any closer to where I want to be in my music career?

I don't think any musician should have to beg or nag people to publicly vouch from them. I think if our art is effective and accessible, people who feel moved to follow our careers will emerge. They will watch our videos, leave their comments and like our pages. This will grow into a happy byproduct called popularity.

Unlike the high school prom queen's 15min of fame, however, this kind of popularity is the kind that sticks. It will stick if we respect our audience enough to let them decide when they want their voices heard and how they want to be fans.

So thank you, tiny desk concert contest, for giving us the space to following our Creative Light instead of a popularity gimmick. Hope you find an artist that shines like a torch in the night.

Help Take Me to France!

Rae Hering

A well-known performer in France by the name Téte has given me the opportunity to open for him when he tours the release of his new recording in the fall of 2015. The relationship and exposure with Tété would be a great boost in my career.  My band and I are ready to get out and start performing for a bigger audience. Growing a fan base, however, has a lot of catch-22’s and quite frankly what it comes down to succeed is money, awareness, determination and perseverance.

If this tour comes together as planned there is still travel, food and accommodations to cover. Like any business, investment dollars are an important part of getting off the ground and banks don’t loan money to artists that are not established. The estimated cost will come just under $10,000. This is just for a seven-day tour in France. 

My husband Jonathan (who is also my manager, bass player, photographer, co-writer, you name it!) and I are not used to asking for support…but here we are!

So what am I asking?

SPREAD THE WORD
With just a few words, you and anyone you tell about my story can boost the awareness of my music. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Here are some links to share:

Website: raehering.com/music
iTunes: ow.ly/FvhqE
Spotify: ow.ly/Fvicr
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/raehering/sets

CD SALES
As many of you are aware, I have two CD’s: “Reality Over My Head” and my latest release, “The Shy Gemini Sessions.” Both may be purchased from my website for $5 each in digital and physical forms. My music is also available on iTunes, though because iTunes controls the pricing, the album is $9.99.
  
LIVE PERFORMANCE
This is what I LOVE to do. And I especially LOVE doing House Concerts!  If you would like to know more about how to host one of these fun, intimate gatherings (which can be totally free for hosts) EMAIL ME and we'll talk about it.  Also, if there is a venue in your town you would like to see me play, I'd love to know more about that venue so we can play where you are!

 

And thank you for your participation in the campaign to share my music!

Smiling "Watercolour" from the UK

Rae Hering

Wow, am so thankful to be surrounded by such a creative community!  Check this painting out by Peter Williams, a fantastically talented artist who lives in Leiston, England.   

 
 

I always love seeing artwork in progress, so I thought I'd include these, too...

Peter has cleverly names this piece "Watercolour" to serve a sneaky dual purpose:

1) he did, in fact, use watercolor paints and...

2.) he named it after my song "Watercolor" (posted below). 

Being that Peter is from the UK and I live in the US, we've been joking about who's spelling "watercolour/watercolor" incorrectly...hehe...  

But the best part about the story is that Peter found me and my music through a mutual artist friend, Ugo Paradido (who also did a beautiful painting of me and my guitar) on a site called Paint My Photo.  I am continually astounded by these connections being made online and through friends.

Thanks for making me smile, Peter - literally! 

I've been in hiding...but not anymore!

Rae Hering

Guys, it's been awhile.  It's been a lonnnnnnnnnng while.  Here's the nutshell since June:

 

I got married!

 
 

 

I got a band!

 
 

 

I was a Newsie for Halloween! (not exactly a life-changing event but a fun fact nonetheless)

 
 

 

And...drum roll please...

I released my brand new album, "The Shy Gemini Sessions!"

 
 

 

I hope you'll consider giving it a listen, purchasing, or sharing it with your friends:


Album artwork Unveiling!

Rae Hering

Soooo excited to present to you all the new album artwork for "The Shy Gemini Sessions!"

     Back cover                                                                                    Front cover

     Back cover                                                                                    Front cover

Thanks to my friend and very talented artist Chris Longs, "The Shy Gemini Sessions" now has a visual story to go with the music.  What's extra super duper cool is that everything on the artwork has significance relating to the music.

The two sketches of me on the front and back covers are inspired by the Greek Gemini twins Castor and Pollux.  The significance of the gemini is that we recorded each song in two different ways - full band and acoustic to show the varying sides of my artistry.  

The canyon not only represents the song "Canyon," but it also runs in between Castor and Pollux, both connecting and dividing the gemini twins, showing they are the same yet very different.

The instruments represent the trio that made the heartbeat of this album pump.  Jerry Roe on drums and Ernest Chapman on bass are the definition of badassery + creative genius.  

The infinity symbol on the drum set is there because this theme runs heavily throughout the project.  In fact, the album begins with the song "Infinity" and ends with "Endless" (if you can call that an end?)  We could probably psychoanalyze why I'm obsessed with the unknown unending abyss, but then again, who isn't?

Finally, the album cover is actually a watercolor painting inspired by the song "Watercolor."  I love how Chris left the canvas showing on the edges.  To me the painting looks intentionally unfinished in this way.  Chris is showing the process of its formation; what's lying underneath, undone.  Even the Castor and Pollux gemini sketches are undone looking because, well, they're literally quick rough sketches.  I fell in love with them so much that Chris decided to use them in the real artwork.  

This idea of being in the process, unfinished and undone, couldn't be more telling of the personal place I'm coming from with recording this album.  We are all works in progress...

Anyhow, can't wait to share with you the MUSIC!!  Coming soon!

  

Engagement - Isn't That a Warfare Term?

Rae Hering

A year ago, I got engaged to my fiancé, Jonathan.  We were uncharacteristically sitting at a hooka bar when he told me that when I was ready, he would marry me, “no matter if it’s one year from now, five years, ten years, or even twenty.”  (Insert SWOON!) I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  For a few days I existed inside a surreal bubble filled with love, rainbows, lemonade and big red balloons (Jonathan was like, “does this imaginary happy place really have to be a little kid carnival?  This is kind of creepy.” And I was like, “YEP.  Live with it, sucker!  You’re mine now!”)  I have never been more elated in my life.

DSC09176
DSC09176

And then the buzz kill came when I told my parents.

I imagine a day many years from now when I’ll be able to fully appreciate the parallel between my life and the countless comedy films with “wedding” and “parents” in the storyline.  But right now, things are still a little raw.  Basically, my huge Life Step marched right onto a land mine.  My engagement triggered all the hidden issues my family and I had been ignoring.

I spent a good half a year convincing myself I was A-OK and that I wasn’t freaking out about planning a wedding.  But the more I tried to please people who weren’t excited about us getting married in the first place, the more I realized I was practically half naked seeing how much I had completely unraveled.  I love my parents dearly and I know the love is reciprocated, but man, it’s been a tough year.

Brawling my Brains Out
Brawling my Brains Out

One of my good friends told me that engagement is one of the happiest times I’ll ever have, and to relish it.  But bawling my brains out was no way to spend the happiest time of my life.  So I decided to seek help through a therapist.

The second half of my engagement year has been a slow uphill climb in learning how to separate my happiness from the fulfillment from my parents’ expectations.  And I can say with confidence that my parents are working towards coming to terms with how I’ve chosen a different path than the one they envisioned for me.

Now I want to show you the illustration that inspired this blog post.  My talented and impossibly sweet friend Chris Longs is doing the album artwork for my forthcoming double EP, “The Shy Gemini Sessions.”  It’s still a work in progress, but he sent me this as a preliminary sketch.  I fell in love with it immediately.

Dark Cloud Sketch
Dark Cloud Sketch

When I look at this illustration, it feels as though I’m looking at my reflection for the first time in a very, very long time.  It’s as though I have been wandering through a world without mirrors, unable to truly see the person I have become until suddenly, now, I encounter myself again.  There I am!

Puzzle piece
Puzzle piece

I can’t stop staring at it.  I’m incomplete and scattered, but my lines are formed and that’s all I really need. I don’t need to be whole right now, I just need to be in the process.

Going through this tumultuous engagement year, I’ve lost perspective, composure and a little bit of sanity, too.  Thank goodness for music though.  I was able to inject my emotions into the songs that turned into “The Shy Gemini Sessions.”  And now, here I am, on the other side, looking at who I’ve become.  A rough sketch, but I think it’s turning out beautifully.

The Art of Resting in Motion (When There's Just Too Much To Do!)

Rae Hering

Photo from Wikipedia.
Photo from Wikipedia.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/133254573" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The process of recording an album is different for everyone.  Some musicians complete their album in a week’s time, maybe it takes a couple of months, or if you’re Miles Davis, you can knock out an album in just two days – worked out beautifully for his 1959 album Kind of Blue. I’m not that kind of musician - at least not yet.  Teaching lessons during the week pushes recording time to the weekends.  And the fact that I don’t tour consistently means it takes longer to figure out how the song should sound on the recording. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that the tracking for “The Shy Gemini Sessions” is now complete!  This marks the end of a six-month period where Jonathan, Bobby Holland (my

Here's Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.
Here's Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.

producer and engineer) and I have spent almost every Saturday and Sunday exploring parts, experimenting with instruments and hammering out details.  We sure have had a lot of fun working our butts off!  Time for a break, right? Silly Rae, recess is for kids!  The moment I start thinking that I have my weekends back for a little R&R, I remind myself that when it comes to being an independent music artist, weekends simply aren’t for relaxing – there’s a LOT more to do.  In fact, I’m frequently saying to myself there’s too much to do.  For those of us that are moving towards bigger visions for our lives, there’s always going to be too much to do.

library.defenderdirect.com.
library.defenderdirect.com.

But I try to keep in mind what Rory Vaden eloquently states it in his book “Take the Stairs.”

Successful people “understand that there’s no real finish line, no magic moment when they will ‘arrive’ and get to rest on their laurels. Discipline is a perpetual process, and the growth is in the journey.  Simple, but here’s the part that you won’t want to hear – you don’t get a day off.  Ever.”

There have been plenty of times where I feel like I’m running the hamster wheel, never getting a chance to just finish something.  But when I have the discipline to stay active with moving my music career forward, I realize that I’m rejuvenated by staying active, NOT from taking a break!  I find that maintaining this state of being wipes away that craving for “zone out” time in front of the TV, luxurious weekend spa treatments, or drinking the weekend away.

juliacameronlive.com
juliacameronlive.com

In her book “The Artist’s Way,”Julia Cameron depicts this idea perfectly when she urges her readers to learn to “rest in motion.”  It’s a counterintuitive truth that I think we all have a good grasp of already.  Think of it this way: exercising our bodies requires energy, but it gives us a whole lot of energy in return.  Exercise gets our blood flowing, which delivers oxygen throughout our bodies – oxygen that’s required for making energy.  In short, we spend a little energy to get a whole of energy back (now that’s my kind of investment!) “Endless” is a song about continuing to move forward even when it feels like there’s no where to go.  (Please keep in mind that this is a SNEAK PEAK unfinished version!)  Now that a milestone has been achieved with recording “The Shy Gemini Sessions” it’s time to tell myself, “good job!” and then quickly tell myself to keep moving. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/133254573" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Going for the Imperfect Vocal Take

Rae Hering

Having a good laugh at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Having a good laugh at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

Lately, when I've been recording vocals for my new EP "The Shy Gemini Sessions," one of the most challenging things is to get The Imperfect Take. (uh...what now??...Imperfect?)  Yep, the "perfect take" is NOT what I'm looking for.  Instead, I want an emotional take, a moving take, a vulnerable take, and most likely that's not the prettiest or most perfect one of the batch.

In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.
In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.

It's a tough choice to keep making because, who doesn't want to come off all nice and polished, right?  But the thing is, Imperfection is just downright more interesting!  Ever notice that your significant other prefers the candid photo with that true-to-self, unprepared expression on your face?  You thought that you looked better in the shot with the nicely-placed and practiced smile, but that candid shot captures something about your essence that the well-rehearsed one just doesn't.

Lost in a song at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Lost in a song at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

When I find myself picking apart and polishing up my vocals, it's helpful to listen back to singers that I personally love.  Dave Matthews, Tom Waits and Rufus Wainwright may not be technically "superb" singers, but I'll listen to these characteristic voices over auto-tuned vocals any day!

Interestingly, even our health depends on living in an Imperfect environment.  If we over-sanitize our homes, we can become more susceptible to disease because we're not giving our bodies the chance to build up immunities.  This is a good reminder that I need to let my music live in an Imperfect space and to not over-sanitize my recordings.

Recording the Yamaha CP 70 at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Recording the Yamaha CP 70 at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to balance raw emotion with tempered technique.  To combine character with culture and intuitive flow with well-practiced poise.  But the temptation (for me at least) is to smooth over too many edges.

To be human is to be Imperfect.  To be Imperfect is to be relatable.  To be relatable is to connect with others.  So, I choose to embrace my Imperfections because I believe this will allow me to move, excite, provoke and engage - my hope is that this will shine through on my new recording project, "The Shy Gemini Sessions."

P.S. - Thanks to Ernest Chapman (bass), Jerry Roe (drums), Bobby Holland (sound engineer/producer), Mark Zellmer (Brown Owl Studio), and Jonathan Morse (creative director).

Bobby Holland (left)  and Mark Zellmer (right).
Bobby Holland (left) and Mark Zellmer (right).
Jerry Roe on drums
Jerry Roe on drums
Jonathan Morse
Jonathan Morse
Ernest Chapman on bass
Ernest Chapman on bass

New Record "The Shy Gemini Sessions" Coming Soon!

Rae Hering

Destiny 2

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/119963150" params="color=29899d&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] _________________________________________________________________________

Here's me playing the Wurlitzer with my co-producer/engineer/friend Bobby Holland.
Here's me playing the Wurlitzer with my co-producer/engineer/friend Bobby Holland.

I think it’s about time (actually past time) to tell you all about my upcoming record, “The Shy Gemini Sessions” (name sound familiar to anyone?).  Regrettably I’ve been neglecting my blogging lately because I’ve been so busy recording this project.  What I should have been doing is blogging about the project all along – but what’s done is done, and I’m here now to tell you all about it!

“The Shy Gemini Sessions” consists of seven songs recorded in two ways (what else would you expect from a Gemini?)  Side A features a full production approach; fleshed out with strings, Wurlitzer and accordion to name a few, it soars with all the pump of a full band.  Side B showcases the same songs in their stripped-down essential form, highlighting the space where voice and instrument are simply together as one entity.

A view of the room at Desitiny Studios in Nashville, TN.
A view of the room at Desitiny Studios in Nashville, TN.

The “Gemini” aspect of the project is pretty straight-forward – as a Gemini I am expressing my twin/dual nature through the two incarnations of the same songs.  But why “Shy?”  Well, the reason I call myself “The Shy Gemini” is because, although Gemini’s are often out-going and bubbly (and I think that holds true for myself), I am protective and non-transparent about certain aspects of my life.

Some people may not think of this as being Shy, but when I go to look it up in the dictionary, the first definition I see is “being reserved.”  I think everyone, to one degree or another is reserved about showing the vulnerable parts of them.  Having this blog and recording this album is my way to move past that Shyness.

In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.
In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.

The songs on “The Shy Gemini Sessions” are written rom the most intimate and honest place I’ve been able to reach yet.  The song “Infinity” (I’ve posted a rough mix on this blog for you to give a listen – download is coming soon!) is about facing the fear of going deep into relationship with my fiancé, Jonathan.  It’s not a comfortable place being exposed and vulnerable like that.  I am still fighting the hesitancy that fear creates, but life is not about conquering fear, it is about facing its continual presence.

Sex is not what moves us closer, it’s the mirror in which we see ourselves closer.  It intensifies the intimacy we have cultivated in our daily relationship.  Though being seen so fully by another person is scary, I plunge deeper, embracing that “we are unfinished.” This is a small beginning to understanding the unending depths of intimacy.

P.S. - Anyone have any association with the car company Infiniti?  If so please contact me at: raehering@yahoo.com.  I am interested in creating an alignment with their campaign.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/119963150" params="color=29899d&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Endless - The Torture of "Tick Tock, Tick Tock"

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/110911238" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] I’m angry with my 22 year-old self.  She was aimless and flippantly said things like “it will all work out somehow.”  I bitterly ask her what the HOW part of ‘somehow’ was.  She would daydream in her music business classes and ignore songwriting for other petty projects that sidetracked her.  I want to scream at her, “what were you thinking!?”  I’ve imagined an unhealthy amount of times how it could have been if she hadn’t wasted so many precious years.

“Youth is wasted on the young” – George Bernard Shaw

The 22 year old Me.
The 22 year old Me.

I haven’t been able to forgive that lost 22-year old girl yet.  This game of mental torment is a poor placeholder for forgiveness, but I keep coming back to it.  I bang my head against the fact that I can’t go back and do things differently.  It’s a familiar story – I’m sure many of you can relate.

I spent my younger years being clueless in my music career endeavors.  I regret this tremendously.  I stayed in relationships that were not conducive to pursuing making a living with my music.  I maintained the belief that it would all fall into my lap.  I chose to pointlessly drink with friends at the bar more nights than I stayed home to work on songwriting.

If you ever argue with yourself to no avail, if you’ve found yourself defending your regrets and obsessing over your loses, if you can’t stop seeing life as a series of mazes and dead ends, then this song, “Endless,” is for you.

I wrote “Endless” as a sort of letter to myself.  Through the writing process, I acknowledge my hurt, even though it is self-inflicted.  I assure myself in full conviction that my Spirit extends much further than the narrow field I draw myself into.  I tell myself that I am Endless, so I shouldn’t stop here, much less wallow in a pity party.

As of right now, the pity parties still happen once in awhile.  Last Friday I found myself stifling tears in the corner of the bathroom stall at Jed’s Sports Bar and Grille in Nashville.

Jonathan and I at Jed's in Nashville, TN.
Jonathan and I at Jed's in Nashville, TN.

I’ve been going there every week to play and get my music out there, but still, my negative thoughts were on repeat (…I’ve wasted so much time, so much TIME, all gone, wasted, wasted, WASTED! )

I went back to my seat to find my fiancé, Jonathan, who knows I struggle with this regret.  I am thankful for having someone like Jonathan in my life to remind me that my thoughts are hurtful to myself.  To remind me that I lead a good life, and that everything is as it should be.  It takes a lot of reminding, but I do believe this.  When I sing “Endless,” not only am I singing it for the audience but for myself.

(FYI: The recording of "Endless" included in this blog post is an un-finalized version I'm making for my new EP entitled "The Shy Gemini Sessions."  I'm shooting to be finished with the project early 2014).

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/110911238" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

My Right Hand Men

Rae Hering

Had a great time at The Brown Owl Recording Studio in Nashville, TN the other day!

What would I DO without my Master Visionary, Jonathan Morse? ...

20130810-230012.jpg
20130810-230012.jpg

...The One-Take Wonder Drummer Extraordinaire Jerry Roe...

20130810-230001.jpg
20130810-230001.jpg

...the Crazy Creative Mad-Scientist Bassist Ernest Chapman and our Grand Ringleader Producer, Bobby Holland...

20130810-225951.jpg
20130810-225951.jpg

Behind the Song: Ethereal Convention - Narrowly Avoiding a Car Crash

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/78345320" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

I was driving 45 mph on the busy street when a woman pulled out in front of me.  I slammed on my brakes, narrowly missing T-boning her car.  Here’s the weird part: I knew this event was going to happen hours beforehand.

It was just another day of teaching piano lessons, except for the fact that I knew that something big was going to happen in my life.  It was an intuition.  The space in which I existed felt different.  I felt the urge to prepare myself.  I kept imagining a car crash.  Something inside me told me to be vigilant, to BE PREPARED.  That day, I decided I would be extra careful as I drove from lesson to lesson.

We are grounded human beings with limitations.  We become complacent to run the same track we’ve tread for so long.  But underneath our routines and self-inflicted boundaries, we long to have a connection with the heavenly wave lengths just beyond our grasp of understanding.  Once in a while, an event happens that wakes us up.  That says, Yes! we are more than just a body running a course.  We are spiritual beings with a connection to a greater source!

My spiritual intuition saved me and the other driver from physical injury, damage to our cars, and possibly even our lives.  After avoiding the crash, relief obviously overwhelmed me.  Then, disbelief that my intuition actually became a reality.  There was no logical reason for me to know that this was going to happen.  I surpassed the laws of space and time dictating the order of events.  I was allowed passage into information that was not rightfully mine to know, at least according to the idea of linear thought.

I wrote “Ethereal Convention” six years ago.  It’s a song about longing to have a connection to the ethereal – a transcendence where space and time don’t follow the same rules with which we are familiar.  It’s a song about feeling the burden of our limited scope as humans, and it’s about getting a glimpse into this spiritual ecstasy or, as I refer to it in my song, a glimpse into the “ethereal convention.”  After my intuition experience, this song has taken on a much deeper meaning.  There’s a place for all of us at the ethereal convention.  We get small glimpses of it every once in a while.  And when that does happen, “the certainty’s serene, somewhat sobering, but mostly somewhere in between.”

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/78345320" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Behind the Song: Watercolor - Getting to Know Myself Again

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/84366879" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

I just realized that I’ve neglected a friendship in my life, a really important friendship I’ve had for years.  I’ve ignored her for lots of petty reasons: I haven’t had the time to hang out, I’ve felt like we’re moving in different directions, or sometimes (I admit it) she’s just whinny and annoying.  OK, this is probably the point where I should admit that this friendship is with Myself.  Yes, I’ve realized that I need to get to know Myself again.

Cookie Monster!
Cookie Monster!

Most of us have been in this boat before.  We find ourselves at home in the evenings stressing over work instead of relaxing.  As an afterthought, we remember when we had less responsibilities and seemingly more time to indulge in those things we love to do just because – painting, reading, hiking, journaling, playing music.  One of my favorite activities I used to do for pure enjoyment was coloring in my Sesame Street Coloring Book.  And no, I was not 5.  I was in my 20’s.  I did this because Myself – you know, the friend I need to get to know again – sometimes acts like she’s 5, and it’s OK to do what she wants to do once in awhile.

Being a responsible adult who does responsible adult tasks is what we all need to be.  But if we don’t replenish our souls as well, what will eventually be left of us as we show up for work day after day?  I’m constantly getting trapped in giving first priority to the “necessary” things in my life – emails and phone calls.  I forget that to keep the friendship I have with Myself alive, I have to put that stuff aside sometimes.  We certainly don’t develop friendships out of necessity.  The friendship we have with Self is no different.

I was hit with the idea for my song “Watercolor” when I was driving.  I saw an image of me sitting under a tree, painting, all by myself.  I had no obligations that day.  The sun was shining.  I was happy.  This image of painting with watercolors (some unconscious association I’ve made with my coloring book hobby no doubt!) encapsulates everything I want to say.  I want to spend time, not out of obligation but out of enjoyment, to get to know Myself again!

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