Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Soil and Soot

When we write poetry we're always aspiring to song, so says Elizabeth Alexander. And sometimes, I write some words that seem best as a poem, most pungent as they are, otherwise surrounded in silence and not forced to become anything they are not, simply to fit a melodic cadence or verse-chorus-verse- form. So here's my offering for today, a piece I've unearthed from a couple years ago. May it be of benefit to those who see it, speak it, hear it:


Singer. Song-Artist. Poet.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Meet Your Muse Retreat :: A Tribute To My Creative Coach

After being on the road for a month, it’s been challenging for me to get back into a “regular” rhythm (whatever that is). So I’ve gotten behind on my 2012 retrospectives; but the happenings of this past weekend coincide with giving tribute to one of my teachers of yesteryear as well.

I was on retreat in the wilderness, at the end of the Gunflint Trail in the northern part of Minnesota where the waters that boundary the U.S. and Canada are currently frozen so well that we drove to the island where Jason dropped me off to stay with a handful of other creative types to meet our muse and give space to listen inwardly to our own artist souls. We were out of cell range and beyond wi-fi as well.

My soul friend Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, who is also a brilliant writer, professional storyteller and creative midwife, curated the experience with grace and humor. She guided us through a series of writing exercises and facilitated conversation that was heart-opening and freeing. I also brought away with me a couple tools that I trust will be great for the brainstorming part of my song-writing process.

One of my favorite activities was writing down the things our inner Critic says to us when we’re trying to create or live life well. I’m sure none of you relate to this, but my inner Critic says things to me like: “You’re selfish and greedy.”

I wrote that down in one talk bubble and then wrote in another bubble my response. “Well, yes, sometimes I am, but my true intent is to be of benefit and blessing to others as I am at my best.”

During a concert, when I’m performing, my Critic might say something to me like: “Look at that person’s face. They don’t seem too into the music, do they? You probably offended them with how you introduced that song.”

And my response: “Probably not, but even if they took offense, I wish them and theirs all the best. I can still be me and sing my song.”

This was such a funny exercise and reassuring to hear from other artists some similar dark thoughts. There are a few other humorous ones and perhaps another time I lay bare to you my hidden fears and psychological conundrums, but for now, that couch isn’t really where I want to recline, at least with all of you in the room. ;-)

Last year, Rose and I worked together on songwriting from a narrative perspective. We had three coaching sessions via skype during which she shared with me her insights as author and storyteller/performer. She gave me feedback, including generous compliments, on some lyrics I was working on and she allowed me to set my own goals in this regard.

I have been struggling for a while to really get back into the lifestyle of songwriting. I’ve needed to set some parameters in my life to reignite my songwriter sensibilities and refocus my songwriter lens on the world, life and experiences. Sessions with her were such a support to that effort.

It was activating simply to have time scheduled with Rose since I wanted to have something new to share with her and take the opportunity to glean from the advantage of her perspective. Her helpful feedback was empowering, stimulated new ideas and inspired me to continue to call out, first, my all and then, my best through my work.

I think a coach is especially remarkable when she can help you realize the insights and wisdom you have within yourself, when she can guide you to uncover your own inner wisdom and that’s the sort of teacher Rose is. I’m grateful for the chance to work with this woman who’s heart is big and who’s work I admire.

And you might have noticed that you can be expecting more new songwriting from yours truly as we journey on in 2013. Smiles.

With a Grateful Heart,

One Intent. Two Events.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Heatherlyn in Concert :: The Historic Mabel Tainter Theater

Heatherlyn in Concert at The Historic Mabel Tainter Theater
Menomonie, WI :: March 7th at 7:30pm
We believe music is awakening and enlivening.
Music, as with all the arts, can expand our sense of wonder and possibility 
for making our world a better and even more beautiful place. 
We are passionate about partnering with communities 
through our music to co-create an inspired experience and meaningful connection.

We thrilled to team up with The Mabel who clearly cares about the same things we do:

"The Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts...strives to strengthen and connect our community by engaging people in the arts."

Heatherlyn and her rhythm section will play a variety of her songs, old and new.
The honor of your presence is significant to this movement of building community through the arts
and we are so grateful to be in this together.

If you'd like to scope out Menomonie in a more informal setting or just come hang out with us,
we're taking the chance to connect into the community at The Raw Deal and host an Open Mic with them on Fri, Feb 15th, 6-9pm.

Mabel Tainter Concert [Thurs. March 7th] Tickets available now -->