Birth of VenusRecently my husband and I watched a movie that showed much different than I expected. I was glad for the opportunity and for making the choice to see it. When my expectations of someone or something interfere with an opportunity, I know I will loose out on a transformation every time.  The movie we watched was about a man who took a risk to be himself, to allow his flaws to be seen and to follow the biggest risk of all – exactly what his heart was telling him.
I have realized, my desire to keep up with the status quo is wasting time, holding me back and therefore, keeping my voice silenced.  I may sound like a misguided creative “looking to make a difference” in the world, but maybe if I stop matching up with those around me and give what I have – I will do just that.

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journey doorThe transitions from one phase of my life to the next are really a process of looking for a door. I have wandered into job interviews, relationships and quiet meditation in search for the door that will take me to my next reality.  Sometimes it has been the right door and other times it is just, the next door.

On the evening of July 31, 2015, I spent a few hours at home by myself.  I drank some beer, ate an entire chicken sandwich then ice cream, watched bad popular culture TV, ate potato chips and finally drove to the store to buy something, anything.  It was at the store that I realized that all these bad choices were an effort to “find the next door.”  I don’t believe I am in a life transition but a seasonal transition.  That night I was trying to shake off the hard hot summer of building my business and helping young singers realize their goals and walk into two weeks of rest.

All those vices I tried were like half open windows and closet doors.  They aren’t hurtful just mildly demeaning.  For me…the realization of the process is the way to my door.  My body will shed all that junk and my journey will continue. I have found the door.

Treadmill: Know what is your businessRecently I saw a post from a man I respect on Facebook.   (I respect him because I see how well he has and is raising his daughters). In this post, he was asking for a treadmill. For a brief moment I thought about how I could get me treadmill to him in Kansas. Then I read the comments under the post. The treadmill is for lambs or sheep. I really don’t know what that is or what that entails. So, I didn’t comment of offer.
This experience reminds me that my ideas are not for all people. My hopes and dream, plans for business and the collaborations I am constructing are to be worked out within my business. Not to project everything I am doing on every FB or IN post.
Know your business, who to share it with and who to keep it from.  You will always be glad you did.

In the state of Colorado, rain colorado rainis a welcome and occasional thing. We do pride ourselves (which is not ours to claim at all) on over 300 days of sunshine per year.  To our surprise we have now had 40 days and 23.46 inches of rain or snow melt, most of which has been in April & May.  This type of weather has an effect on CO residents who spend a lot of time out doors hiking, working, sleeping and having fun.  I know we are keeping our regular running schedule, even in the misty early evening conditions, as I am sure others have done.

I love that I am an eternal optimist, not a Pollyanna, because I see sunshine even in the rain. I don’t push aside the obvious or ignore the reality. I see hope and not failure. I get to use my KU Jayhawk umbrella, greet singers as they rush inside for a voice lesson, talk about how the water is carving grooves into the earth that weren’t there before and connect with others who have been pumping water out of their basements since Mother’s Day like us.

I encourage you to find the creative light within the dark day.  To go within to connect with your passions – draw, color, paint…  If the weather is making you sad, get a happy light to increase the Vitamin D you need and connect with others as a source of inspiration – not to find a comrade for complaining. Remember, you can always put on a raincoat and swing on a lamppost while singing at the top of your lungs.  This worked well for a movie shoot, even on the day that the big star had the flu.  Enjoy the rain, friends.

The following writing was written by C. Hoffman – one of the wonderful Wednesday Writers.

GraceUpon entering the sacred and beautiful space that is Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Once a week the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble gathers for two and a half hours in the space of Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in downtown Colorado Springs.  Every Tuesday evening each member of the ensemble slowly filters in, each at their own pace.  Some look up at the church as they walk toward it.  Some notice the solitary statue of Saint Francis of Assisi standing in the courtyard, and how the fountain surrounding it has been turned off for the winter season.  Some park their car a few blocks away because they want to enjoy the walk to the rehearsal.  Some arrive early to help carry the large wooden risers into the sanctuary for the rehearsal.  Some arrive
early and just sit and listen to the silence of the church space.  But we all assemble for one purpose: to listen to one another and to make a beautiful, unified sound as one voice.
The space of the church naturally lends itself to the beauty of the human voice.  It lets the sound travel upwards toward the heavens, allowing it to fill the rafters, bounce off of the stone foundations.  There are various halls and spaces within the church where the sound travels.
Our warm up time always has me imagining that our voices are a sort of collective oxygen flowing
through the lungs of the sanctuary.  When we sing we breathe life into the space we are singing in, we help and allow it to breathe and be alive with us.  In our silences, between measures and breaths, the space settles and waits. When we sing with full emotional capacity and supported sound I feel as if we could, and just might, burst through the stained glass windows, filling the courtyard and city streets.

Every Tuesday I am thankful to be a part of the moving, breathing and living entity that is CVAE.  I am a part of the alto section, a new member to the section.  I consider it a blessing and privilege to make music with the section and in the ensemble as a whole.  It is the part of my week that I look forward to the most.  It is the part that makes me feel human and connected to something bigger beyond myself.

crevasse everestToday, I am writing down my business plan for a 2nd adventure.  I have read many books and today I step over the great crevasse of fear to put my own words into the universe.  What a quiet thrill to see my future ignite before me.  Failure is possible….or not.  That is why I do it!
I share this because I know in business, fun, faith, music, life – we are all connected.  I need your encouragement and hope my ideas will encourage you.  Not encouragement in the form of a phone call or pat on the back.  But as an accountability.  If I post a goal out for all to see, I am starting the clock to make it work.  So here I go!

To follow a dream is to express myself.  I acknowledge the possibility of failure in its outcome but I don’t consider taking a leap of faith as failure.  If a project fails, stalls or succeeds, I count it all as a learning experience.  I do believe we need to feel the feelings of failure in order to understand our ability.  When I succeed, failure is still a central part of it.  It is my comparison, my reference. As I teach students to sing, I also let them know the risks, highs and lows.  But “risk” is another post topic.

Your work is not too much for you to handle.  Take it one step at a time.  Today, I began by finding the right pickaxe, the right latter and then I took 1 step after another.  That 1 step is success.

Receppacntly I joined the Pikes Peak Arts Council Board of Directors to connect and see a different angle of the arts organizations in Colorado Springs.  So far so good.

I am passing on 2 Collab Ops to you today is hopes that it will inspire you to connect with other artists.  Art, music, business, life…. are all better based in a relationship.  Use these 2 Ops to start a relationship with not only other creatives, but within yourself.

1. Link: http://pikespeakartscouncil.org/event-1918414
Creatives Class – A class next Thursday which is a partnership between the Pikes Peak Arts Council & the COS Small Business Development Center.
I will attend because I like connecting with other creatives, business people and want to know the best way to make a living at this thing.

2. Link:  http://pikespeakartscouncil.org/join
Join PPAC – I want to pass on to you the opportunity to get connected, receive info about events, arts, micro loans and opportunities. This is not an expensive commitment.  Please check it out.

VegasThis week I am in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel. I am sharing a room with Kathryn, a wonderfully progressive piano teacher from Hollywood, CA and a regular member of this event for 50 years.

When musicians get together at an even like this, we remember that our lives are more then student after student, required repertoire and hurried or late dinners. We remember that we started this profession with hope and excitement, wanting to teach the next generation of great musicians. Some of us started teaching because we were born to. And others out of a need to find themselves.

In any case, we gather here this week to find something that will ignite, renew or keep our lives going. The Vegas lights and bling will not be the most captivating feature. I am looking for the inner heart that will be found and renewed in so many of us.

musician doorWhy do we perform?  Why do we put ourselves on the spot, sweat, combat a dry throat and risk forgetting foreign words? Because in some secret way, we are adrenaline junkies.  And we live for the thrill of the performance.  I tell students, the only way we can get over the fear….AND learn to love the rush of the moment, is to put themselves in the light.

That place we go when we perform is a special place.  A zone. A tunnel. A field of wheat on the hillside.  Whatever it is for you, it must be a place you go to find the magic of who you are as a performer.  Wait, did I just call it “magic?” Yes. I use this word because that is what it is.  And if I jump right to words like “life changing” or “freaking amazing zone of constant euphoria” – it might be a bit much.  But really, that is what it is.

What lies behind the Musicians Only door is both glamorous and not glamorous at the same time.  There are some days I enter the door with a heavy sigh and some days I am light on my feet.  But every time I enter that door, I enter with every passionate musician in my heart.  And I step onto the stage to connect with anyone who comes to hear me sing.  That is why….