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Feeling the Fullness of the Holidays... 

Wow, it's Christmas Eve... 

And if you're anything like me, you might be experiencing mixed emotions, heightened emotions, and/or raw emotions. The holidays can be the most intense time of year because so many pressures we face normally in smaller doses all seem to collide.  And as loving, kind-hearted, sensitive humans, it's normal to feel a little overwhelmed in the face of those stresses. 

Music and self-expression are powerful tools of acknowledgement.  In essence we're like, "Hey, this is what I think, feel, believe, own, understand, don't understand, etc.."  The first part is the one where we say whatever we need to say. 

But what about the second part?

That's where it tends to make a difference whether your audience is drinking and hanging out half-listening in a bar.... Or, attentively sitting in front of you, soaking in your words and your facial expressions and your body language and emotions, and letting it resonate deep inside, honoring whatever meaning it has for the life of the one whose ears are open and receptively hearing what's being dished out.

A step beyond listening, it's actually something much deeper:  validation.  And the effect is that the person communicating feels that their experience is important, reasonable, and normal given the circumstances that created them.


It doesn't matter who you are.  *Every* person on this planet needs to feel validated for their pain before they can let it go.


I wrote this the other night, processing through some of the hardships I've experienced in my life.  I am endlessly grateful for how these pains have been heard by loved ones, therapists, coaches, growth partners, romantic partners, co-workers, and anyone else who I've opened up to about any of these sentiments.  

As an artist and generally sensitive person, the holidays have always been especially challenging for me.  I've learned to accept the challenge and reap the richness it offers, but damn....  Sometimes it just. gets. hard.


I share the following in hopes that it's helpful for someone around this time, when some challenging inside things might be rising to the surface <3 


The Pains I Know: 

I do not pretend to understand for a second, the kind of suffering a mother faces upon losing a child. 

I don't know that pain. 

And similarly, I have no knowledge of the wound created by a partner's infidelity. 

It's just not in my experience. 


But there are other pains I know well... 


I know the pain of being bullied by people you admire. 

I know the pain of being the odd one out. 

I know the pain of the insanity one feels when they can't detach from their dinner plate, or any thought of food that came before, or that comes after it. 

I know the pain of rejection. 

I know the pain of loneliness too, the kind that feels confusing because you've analyzed your life from every possible angle, and it still doesn't add up that you did anything so wrong, that you deserve to feel this far removed from human love and affection. 

I know the pain of having genuine happiness bubbling out of your being, but not feeling safe enough to share it. 

I know the pain of feeling missed, passed by, or forgotten. 

I know the pain of anxiety, and how it shows its innocent face at all the wrong times -- like when you're on the lieu, or trying to make epic love, or when you're supposed to be having the time of your life...

I know the pain of love -- the love that allows you to care so deeply for someone, but not quite enough to change the reality that you'll both be better people if you aren't together. 

I know the pain of being sexually molested, and being unfairly disgusted with yourself for letting it happen.

I know the pain of being broke, and not knowing where your next meal is coming from, *and hiding it* because you "look" middle-class, and God-forbid anyone would find out you're barely over the poverty line. 

I know the pain of delusion -- the kind that with 1 single reality break, creates the seed of doubt that says quietly, "but you're crazy, and you don't know what's really real..." 

I know the pain of feeling orphaned, with your parents still living and a phone call away. 

I know the pain of creative repression, and the stagnancy and boredom that encourage a life full of "What do you think I should do?" kinds of questions 

I know the pain of waiting... for a person -- any person -- to decide what no one on the outside can ever decide for you... 

I know the pain of living in an alcoholic family, without anyone ever talking about it.

I know the pain of wallowing, and not knowing how to stop. 

I know the pain of numbness, and not seeing how to thaw. 

I know the pain of showing the world how beautiful you are, and waking up the next morning feeling depleted, raw, and completely worthless. 

I know the pain of domestic violence, and I knew it before I knew how to say those words. 

I know the pain of being livid, boiling with anger, and behaving in the very same ways you've been most hurt by. 

I know the daily demands of a nervous system that has learned trauma, and I know the pain buried under the resentment secretly held for everyone who gets to live "normally." 

I know the pain of being angry and thinking the only acceptable expression of it is to grind your teeth until the dentist says that your sad attempts at self-containment are now your most pressing reason to save money. 


I don't know the pain of genocide. 

And I don't know the pain of being an African American male in a predominantly white, racist, elitist country. 



I do know very well, what it's like to be victim to your pain.

       I also know how to step out of that hell, and step into a creative, empowered life of freedom.  



Merry Christmas & Solstice everyone, I hope this leaves you more connected to yourself, those you love, and your best Life!


Week 2 Update: What are YOU surrendering to? 

And what would it mean for YOU, if more of that energy was circulating around the world??? 

I'm asking you to consider putting your dollars towards the answers you find by supporting the production of my first album, Roots Alive.  


Consider this for a second...   

How could your present life shift if more people in your immediate circle were soul-inspired?   


Your neighbors welcoming you in... 

The ways you interacted with your children... 

Your feelings towards your job... 

The love you give to your partner... 

What you see when you look in the mirror... 

The people your children interact with... 

The revitalization of our planet... 

An artistic community you didn't know was possible... 

The tears of joy you thought you'd never be able to cry... 

Your family finally experiencing loving connection... 


In the last 2 weeks we have pledged $1,578 towards these intentions and are still going strong -- THANK YOU!  Now, it's time to dig a little deeper and discover the real truth of why we're all supporting this music and its exposure to a larger community... 
If you take a listen to this DEMO of one of the featured songs on this album, you will hear a prominent theme of surrender.  

...and the winds become our witnesses   
and these leaves show us the way down 
and we disappear into our morrow 
the still, is what we have found... 

This is a lesson I'll be learning for a lifetime.  I find during moments of that learning though, that when I am thick in the trenches of true surrender -- to my identity, to my feelings, to my soul's callings, to a purpose outside myself -- I know peace.   

What will making a financial contribution to this album encourage YOU to surrender to? 

Maybe it has something to do with one of the GIFTS you'll be receiving with that contribution.  Have you been having a calling you're ready to surrender to now?  A burning desire you can no longer avoid?  A feeling that is finally landing in your heart today?   

Below is a sneak peak at some ways you can channel that surrender through my crazy artist soul.  You can learn about them in more detail HERE...


A signed copy of this Soul-inspired music! 

Music Lessons! 

Album artwork! 

A Creative Empowerment Session! 

A BUNCH of Creative Empowerment Sessions! 

A Live Performance from me! 

Group Workshops! 

Original, customized songwriting! 


I am so grateful to have your encouragement and trust, and even more grateful to be able to do and be what I love every day.  Stay tuned for a weekly update on where we are on the way to this album being fully funded!  <3 


(Remember that this is an ALL-or-NOTHING campaign, meaning that we need to raise the entire $4500 in order to keep the money and fund the project) 


And if you feel low on funds right now, here are some other ways you can support its success: 

1) Give any amount you're comfortable with to the campaign, no matter how small or large.  Go to the Kickstarter page, and make your pledge with glee! 

2) Share the Kickstarter Link on social media along with some loving words.  When you share, do it with a BIG HEART, an exclamation of how you're supporting this movement, why it is exciting FOR YOU, and an invitation for friends to support as well. 

3)  Personally contact a friend (or 20) who you feel would benefit from this music and/or contact with me as an artist, teacher, or inspiring friend.  If you have a network of your own, consider sending a brief email or text letting them know about me and my music, and inviting their involvement.  Encourage them to be in touch, and invite them to support this music's creation! 

4) Send me your encouragement throughout the campaign!  Let me know when you've pledged.  Send me a sweet text saying you're moved and inspired.  Tag me on your posts that relate to the project and what it's inspiring YOU to do.  All of this is valuable fuel that keeps us all flowing towards our goal :)  

5) Sing with me :)  Your own sweet, sweet songs, and invite me to sing the ones we're supporting here.  There is nothing that inspires me more than sharing original music, even if it's just 2 friends sitting around a living room or campfire.  After-all, that's basically where all this started in the first place. 

So grateful for your help in making this music a reality!  

May it reach all who desire Love, and who are ready to receive it.    

***I also intend on donating $300 of any additional money raised to a charity that is TBA, who supports emotional well-being, balance, and our community through art.  

Tomorrow at 12pm -- Are you ready to support emotionally-connected music? 

The Kick-off Show last Friday was in Full-Bloom... 

We were nourished, entertained, and brought to life with the spirited music of Roots Alive that was introduced for the first time at The Raga Room with Madelyn Ilana, Aditi & Jay Brown. 

And tomorrow at 12 noon, I invite you to invest some energy into this emotionally-connected, soulful music...  

The time is NOW friends :) 

The Kickstarter campaign will go live tomorrow at 12pm, which is when together we begin supporting the music of Roots Alive, the soul-inspired folk album I record this fall in Asheville, NC.   


My artistic mission is simple:  

To be an embodiment of Love through art, poetry, & music -- giving and receiving, and naturally existing within this beautiful, inter-connected web of existence.   


Here's a sneak peak of what we created at the show this Friday... It was such an authentic display of this magic that creative connection offers.  Mmmm!!!  I say yes to so much more of this...  



And even if you weren't present at the show, you ARE a part of this never-ending story! 


Right now, it's a $4500 story, because this is the amount of funding it will take to record a clear-sounding, beautiful display of these songs  :)   

If you wish to support this 31-day Kickstarter campaign (which will go live tomorrow at 12pm), here are some actions you can take that will help the project be successfully funded... 

(Remember that this is an ALL-or-NOTHING campaign, meaning that we need to raise the entire $4500 in order to keep the money and fund the project) 

1) Give any amount you're comfortable with to the campaign.  Go to the Kickstarter page when you receive the link tomorrow, and make your pledge sooner than later, enjoying the gifts I'll be giving you in exchange! 

2) Share the Kickstarter Link on social media along with some loving words.  When the page is live, I'll send you the link.  When you share, do it with a BIG HEART, an exclamation of how you're supporting this movement, why it is exciting FOR YOU, and an invitation for friends to support as well. 

3)  Personally contact a friend (or 20) who you feel would benefit from this music and/or contact with me as an artist, teacher, or inspiring friend.  If you have a network of your own, consider sending a brief email or text letting them know about me and my music, and inviting their involvement.  Encourage them to be in touch, and invite them to support this music's creation! 

4) Send me your encouragement throughout the next 30 days of the campaign!  Let me know when you've pledged.  Send me a sweet text saying you're moved and inspired.  Tag me on your posts that relate to the project and what it's inspiring YOU to do.  All of this is valuable fuel that keeps us all flowing towards our goal :)  

5) Sing with me :)  Your own sweet, sweet songs, and invite me to sing the ones we're supporting here.  There is nothing that inspires me more than sharing original music, even if it's just 2 friends sitting around a living room or campfire.  After-all, that's basically where all this started in the first place. 

So grateful for your help in making this music a reality!  


May it reach all who desire Love, and who are ready to receive it.    


***I also intend on donating $300 of any additional money raised to a charity that is TBA, who supports emotional well-being,

balance, and our community through art and music.

Are You Praying for a Miracle in Your Family? 

Yesterday I spoke with my Mom on the phone.  To many it would have seemed like the most normal, unremarkable, and probably boring conversation.

The reality though, is that this conversation was a miracle.  One for which I am so blessed to witness, and experience.  Here is a little background that sheds light on how I came to recognize its beauty....

In spring of 2011, I had just settled into a new home that year that felt safe, stable, and accepting of who I truly was.  For most of my life I didn't know what this meant -- safety, peace, and acceptance seemed like foreign lands to me.  But thankfully, I was able to make the journey and discover them.  And arriving in this house, with this community of people, gave me that feeling. 

The relationship I had with my parents always felt rocky, especially my mother.  Growing up with her daily outbursts of anger as the norm, and with my Dad either absent from the equation or playing middle man, I wouldn't have said at that time that I had a positive family experience.  In fact, the truth that I hid from others out of embarrassment, was that I actually hated my family.  And I blamed them for most of my problems, fears, and worries.

Around Christmas that year I went in for a visit.  And in my adolescent mind, I thought it was time to take a stand for the values I believed in regardless of the consequences:  Peace, Harmony, and Acceptance.  I wrote a letter to them (which looking back, was more like a lecture), suggesting all the things they were doing wrong, and all the ways I disapproved of their behavior and interactions together.  The real zinger, was my declaration that I was going to remove my support for them, as a couple, by not acknowledging their marriage any longer.

At the time, this felt like the absolute right thing to do.

And at that time, I had no idea how much resentment, judgement, and lack of connection to myself I was experiencing.  

The nightmare that followed this letter and this visit lasted for years -- along with my resentment.  After being kicked out of my own house that night, and saying goodbye to my crazed and crying mother on the porch the next morning, I told myself the story I feared my whole life:

I internalized the belief that my family was dead.  And I really, really believed that was true.

The next few years was the loneliest time of my life.  Without being able to access true acceptance, forgiveness, and personal responsibility, I was unable to make peace with my past, my family, and my own decisions along the way.

When spring-time rolled around that year and my parents decided to try out a visit to Asheville, NC, my belief that "family is dead" caused only more tension and disconnection.  With yet another screaming match unraveling, this time in the living room of my new safe place, I felt utterly broken.  

This was when I became a self-proclaimed orphan.  And in doing so, I lost years of connection with some of the sweetest, most caring, and resourceful people in my world. 

When I look back at journals of my meandering journey, one theme seems to show up clearly:  I suffered a great deal.  And mostly, it was because I wasn't able to receive the gifts that God was offering me through other people.  My parents are the most significant example.

I'm not sure how it happened, or why I was so blessed to receive that receptivity.  But somewhere down the line, I suppose my loneliness and isolation got to be bad enough.  I knew I was now the defining factor causing my problems, because I had separated myself from the rest of the world. 

The awesome thing about God, and spiritual support, is that the only request it makes of you is to take one step forward.  For me, this step was admitting that I didn't have all the answers -- especially about my family problems.


This was the beginning of a new chapter.  For me, and for my family.  Taking personal responsibility for my own pain, and my own false expectations of who I thought my parents "should" be was one of the game-changers.  Good friends, songwriting, and long walks in the forest also helped a great deal :)

Changing the way I processed my life made all the difference in the world.  If writing was my prayer -- and it certainly was -- my anger-filled notebooks will show you that I was yelling at God in many of the same ways I saw my Mom yelling at me when I was younger.  Learning how to deal with anger in healthy ways, and having compassion for my Mom facing that same kind of challenge in her 30's, helped me see that we were actually quite similar.  This was just one of the ways I began to feel more trusting of her.  If she was just like me, I could relate.  

I spent about 4 years after this internal change growing, healing, and re-kindling a trust with my family that I never knew could exist.  I began to recognize my Mom's attempts at re-connection, as well as my own desire to reconsider the lack of value my family had in my life.  I realized I didn't want them to be dead anymore, and that actually, they were very much still there.  Ultimately, it was developing a relationship with myself, and with God, that helped me find the nourishment I needed to release my parents from the blame and judgement I'd been beating them with for so long.

My Mom would send me something in the mail, and I would sob as I felt her longing to have a relationship with me again.  

I would write a song, and realize it was really about her. (more sobbing)

I'd meet a new friend who I just adored, only to find out months in that she or he reminded me of a cousin, or an aunt, or one of my parents.

I found myself envying those with close relationships with their parents, because secretly, it's what I wanted too.

I started inching back towards them with phone calls, emails, and kind Facebook posts.

It started to become clear, that every family has hang-ups, challenges, and hardships that feel impossible to overcome while they are happening.


Ultimately what I discovered was that my parents and the rest of my family are written into the fabric of my being.  They are what I arise from, the material that allows me to emerge.  And even though they will never be my complete story, they play some of the most important roles in its development.  I could not escape them or their effects on me if I tried for a million years!  (which is what I naively tried to do for so long).  It is no accident that I landed with these people as my first community.  They gifted me all of the substance I needed to *begin* looking at myself, and I now see them as one of the richest sources of growth and spiritual presence I have access to.  All of the challenges, heartbreak, struggle, and sorrow I've encountered with them, continue to offer me exactly what I need to be the person I am today.  They also provide an important road map into every other relationship in my life.  If only I can receive these gifts and taste the medicine...


God placed these people in my life, to teach me the lessons that are my own.  It's ironic that these lessons, once received, become others' as well .


So yesterday, given all that my Mother and I have experienced together, I feel so, so blessed to see the miracles I was blind to for so long....


I checked in with her about something out of respect and sensitivity for her feelings.

She recognized that and thanked me for it.

We shared honestly about things that were happening for us in our independent lives, and the feelings we were having about them.

We listened to one another with kind, open ears.

She reflected back to me a positive perspective and some encouragement as I move through a challenging situation.

I congratulated her on some of her recent successes.

She honored my need for personal self-expression, my career path, and the personal space I needed for both of those to grow.

I heard the reasonable request she gave, and committed to honoring it.


Amazing things can happen, when you allow the hopeful, amazing space for them to exist.  

If you're struggling with an intense situation with a family member, here are some ways you might consider moving that relationship to greater peace and clarity:

  • Allow yourself the time and space you need to process your emotions in ways that feel safe to you.  This may involve kindly setting a boundary with the person, explaining that you can't show up to the relationship right now in the way you'd like to.
  • Consider the role you're playing in the conflict.  If you see clearly what the other person is doing "wrong," try flipping it around and notice what your communication and behavior has been.  Have you been kind?  Gentle?  Non-judgemental?  Accepting of others' faults and imperfections?  Have you been holding this person to a standard that is impossible for them to reach right now....
  • Write a letter to the person where you let them know everything you're angry about.  And really, really let it out in full, vibrant color, as if all of a sudden it was totally acceptable to give someone a verbal lashing.  This letter, is for the privacy of your own notebook.  When you see your anger written out in full form, you will likely notice some more tender things underneath.  It may feel good to burn or get rid of this in some way, when you feel that you've adequately released these feelings from your being.  
  • Bring your attention to something positive way this person is showing up -- for you, and more generally in life.  When we re-focus on gratitude and appreciation, we begin to realize that our continued suffering is optional.  
  • Name a lesson you're learning from the situation or from the person that relates to your own path, having nothing to do with them at all.  (this one is definitely, a miracle-producer)...  When we see that our life experiences are all just messages from God, gifted to us to increase our clarity, and capacity to love, we see that the other person is just another vehicle for God to speak through.
  • Express one outward display of this gratitude, and either send it to them energetically, or physically.  Say a prayer for their well being.  Write a loving card and send it.  Pick up the phone, and call just to talk about the weather and catch up....

Without expectation for any particular outcome, showing up honestly with yourself, and with others in your family, will allow mountains to be moved.




Discover Why "Who am I?" Is a 2-Sided Coin of Contemplation 

When I was little, maybe about 9 or 10, I hated my first name.

Every teacher I had mispronounced it.  Kids made fun of it.  And parents always said it was "interesting" -- which seemed to be a way of saying they'd never heard of it, didn't particularly care for it, and just wanted to be polite.

I always wished I was growing up in a place like Asheville, but reality the way I saw it was that I was stuck in my hometown, Fairmont, in West-by-God-Virginia.  My parents were some of the only free-thinking people I knew there that did things... well... differently.  And I've come to be grateful for that, but I gotta say, when I was a little girl just wanting to fit in, it pretty much sucked feeling different all the time with the hippie name I got dealt.

But let's back up to when I was even younger, about 4 or 5.  My family went to church, and we were Catholic -- which meant that once a week I got to see our local celebrity (the priest), do stand-up church comedy to the best of his ability -- and you know, offer some spiritual inspiration as well.  (For me at that age though, the entertainment value was the best part of church!  Unfortunately, the Catholics were still working on their routines, so I was bored a lot...)  What I loved most about going to church besides seeing everyone's occasional chuckles, was talking to the strangers and acquaintances there.  I was the little girl who would ask practically every week if I could go visit families in the other pews.  Most of the time I didn't even know them (which is pretty funny, looking back).  Partially I was just bored, and this felt adventurous....  and partially, it was just me being me. 

There is a part of me that LIGHTS UP, when I get to meet new people, talk to them about random things, and ask questions.  It's the part that likes casual conversations at parties.  The part that always tries to get my audiences to talk at musical performances.  The part that tells people like the grocer or bank teller way too much information....  And also, the part that likes to write public blogs, give interviews, and reach out to make new personal and professional connections.  

Now it may not seem like these 2 stories are connected, but let's catch up to the present, and check out the reason I'm writing this article...

As an adult I started asking the question "Who am I?" about 9ish years ago.  And generally, that's a great question to ask.  I'd highly recommend it.  But if you were inside my psyche, you'd know that I have been PULLING MY HAIR OUT TRYING TO ANSWER IT.....

What I've realized is that "Who am I?" can be a beautiful road to self-discovery.  Continual asking of this question, I believe, can help us realize our soul's potential as the loving, compassionate, infinitely beauty that we are at our core.  It can open up new possibilities, affirm dusty paths that inspire the soul, and breathe grace into a dull experience of living.  It is also, the #1 question it seems people ask after an important transition or loss -- myself included. 

(think about a time you were transitioning from something that was sucking or blocking or stifling even a little bit of your soul's energy.  Walking away from or losing that -- whether it was a person, an experience, or whatever -- did you feel.... or sense.... that pieces of you were not fully expressed and alive?)

In this case, asking "Who am I?" can help call these parts back, and re-invigorate them into being.  It can clarify our shared humanity, and our shared goodness.  

And, there is also something to be said about just BEING as you are, and allowing that identity to speak itself clearly without trying to look for anything.  Asking the question is one thing.  Thinking we've found the answer is another.  And it's that second part that usually gets in our way.

An example:  I have called myself an introvert for most of my adult, conscious life.  Is it true that I get more energy from being alone more than being with people?  I used to think definitely.  And now, maybe?  When I look back on myself as that little girl in church though, fearless and curious as hell about what all those people had to say, I'm not so sure.  I think I probably could have used a lot more of that on the weekends instead of TV, not to mention how much I loved school and thrived when I was able to work with other people on projects and assignments. 

But when I tell myself, "I'm an introvert, and I do a lot better when I'm by myself most of the time."  Guess what happens?  I stop talking to strangers.  I don't make social plans.  I hide behind the counter full of snacks and wine at parties and hope no one sees me...  Because why?  Well, I'm an introvert, and groups aren't really my thing.  At least, that's the script I've created.  

Now just for the record, I've found for myself that I'm a pretty even mixture of introvert and extrovert, and I do tend to need to "fill up" after too much social connection.  But how much is too much?  Probably way more than I once thought.  My point is that the labels we place on ourselves have a tendency to dictate our actions.  Who you are, is constantly evolving and changing as your body, mind, heart, and spirit's needs and desires change.  And although there are certainly constants in identity (for instance, an oak tree ain't never gonna be a robin....), most of what nature shows us, is that the face of all things living will indeed, not stay the same.  

And this includes us.  I now love my first name.  It means "happy," and I've come to realize that it was one of the first gifts of grace that helped me connect with my joyfulness.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.  You might notice that I've not really answered the question "Who am I?" here, and I've also not said whether I think it's a good or a bad question to pose.  My hope is that you got something from being curious about it, and about yourself.  How have you discovered something new about yourself recently?  What role has the question "Who I am?" played in your life?  What do you think and feel about hippies, the Catholics, or oak trees?  Really, this could have sparked anything for you, and I'd like to hear about it if you're willing to offer it up.


Share any reflections in the comments below.  ESPECIALLY if you're a stranger :)  (like the woman in the picture who I stopped and had a great, and powerful, conversation with randomly one night when I was out to eat...  that was the best!)   


How to Deal When Your Emotional Shit Hits the Fan... 

I've been hearing a lot of my creative friends and community talk about struggling with intense emotions lately.  The turn of a new year offers a huge opportunity for renewal, a refreshing start, and a revival of motivation to act towards our intentions.  

              And if you are a person who is saying, "That's all good and well, but I feel like a mess... Who can set goals when everything is up in the air like this?!"

       I hear you...  And you're exactly where you need to be.

Learning about emotional stability has been, well, a roller coaster.  And for me finding balance has felt more like finding compromise... being more ok with mediocre than I used to be... "settling" for the middle ground...  These are phrases that used to make me gag, because all I wanted was to feel passionate and alive.  An interesting thing happening though when I began to notice the results I was getting on the outside. 

  • I had moved close to 10 times in 5 years
  • I was bankrupt for the 2nd time in 2 years (meaning, in large amounts of debt and with less than $5 to my name)
  • I could not make my rent payment, requiring me to couch surf for 1 month
  • I was no longer spending quality time with any of my friends
  • I was crying every day in what seemed like never-ending waves of depression, anxiety, and fear
  • None of my goals were coming into a reality, and I had no idea why
  • I just found who I thought was the love of my life, and all of a sudden nothing about it was working

This was one of the most chaotic, insecure, and intense periods of my life.  It seemed like I couldn't find my ground anywhere.  Was there even a ground at all? 

Of course there was, and I was standing on it all along although, I definitely couldn't see it at the time.  I realize now that there were some really, really valuable tools that I just didn't have that could've brought a lot of grace, ease, and beauty to this natural phase of living.  I thought maybe I'd share some of those today, for anyone else who may be going through some of your own intensity, and not knowing where to turn for support.  


1) Find support.  Whatever people, groups, and/or experiences create enough safety for you to fall apart and be completely vulnerable and honest, spend more time there.  Maybe this is a support group, a good friend, spiritual community, or maybe an online support space.  Whatever triggers your "I feel safe" button, let yourself have the blessing of feeling held by something that is not you.  It makes a world of difference, and could even offer you something you didn't expect.

2) Feel your feelings.  We have a million different coping strategies available, many that are socially acceptable and encouraged by many.  I realize that these coping mechanisms seem to make all the dirty stuff disappear in the moment.  Let me assure you though, it doesn't disappear.  Not only that, but it actually feels good when you are experience pure emotion.  Give it a try, and if you need help a good therapist can be an amazing resource for developing this invaluable skill.

3) Drop the story.  Whatever scripts you have going on about what's wrong with you, what's wrong with everyone else, and why the world hates you...  They are so, so not helpful.  What is helpful, is developing strategies to experience what is actually happening right now.  When we become present, we recognize that much of our "intensity" is parts of us still living through the lens of old fears, or ideas about the world that are no longer serving us.  

4) Affirm yourself through self-expression.  What you consciously create makes a powerful statement to yourself, about how you feel about yourself.  Use this tool to write, paint, dance, draw, sing, and play into what you choose to believe about yourself and the world.  Then share it with someone you trust!  Artistic expression can be a form of integration that helps us understand ourselves more deeply, and especially during this time of transition, remember to use this amazing tool to aide in your growth process.

5) Lean into others who feel sane.  Believe it or not, there are others who are not experience the kind of inner turmoil you are going through.  Yes, we are all part of a collective energy system and yes, we do sometimes share a similar experience with others around the same time.  But think about it... If everyone were feeling chaotic at the same time, at the same level of intensity, what would be holding it all together?  Find some people in your circle (or outside of your circle) who can "just be there."  Their neutrality will help temper your intensity, and eventually, you'll be able to return the favor to someone else who's losing it.  

6) Take breaks.  It might seem like the world revolves around the inner experience you're having right now, but actually, there are many equally beautiful things going on simultaneously.  Try joining a few in between your gulps of processing, it's healthy to release the mind and heart for awhile and just be yourself -- however screwed up and lost you may feel.


I hope this offers some of you a new perspective on your journey during this month of renewal (or, whatever the hell we're actually feeling). 

Blessings on one of our richest, rawest, and most honest years yet!




Music is a W-H-O-L-E body experience. 


I was reading some information recently concerning the voice, and I discovered some really, really interesting facts.......  

Did you know that the voice is actually not a part of the body.....  AT ALL ???

The voice is actually described as, "an event," which means that is is something that occurs as a result of certain circumstances being present together.  In other words, different body parts - the larynx, stomach muscles, intercostal muscles, etc -  that have entirely separate physical functions, when operating together produce sound.  The addition of intention and volitional muscle control from your brain add another layer, and allow the "event" of the voice to appear more and more strongly.  Another interesting phenomenon about the voice though, is that it can only be experienced fully when all of its parts are acting simultaneously.  

(isn't that just so....  cool.... ?)  

It's also a bit puzzling though.  If the voice is an event, does that mean the craft of singing is kind of like event planning?  Well if you've ever tried to plan things before, you know what I might be talking about.  Planning events can be challenging!  As much effort as you may make towards preparing for every little subtle nuance, we find time and time again that there will always be some level of unpredictability with any event, simply because it is happening at some point in the future.  

And what does the future hold?

That's right, we don't really know.  Although we have guesses about the future, we can't really be 100% certain about what will happen at some later date in time, no matter how psychic we think we are.

The voice, in my experience, is kind of like this:  Unknown.  We can build up its parts to be as strong as possible, and we absolutely should.  And, we can learn as much as we can about how "the event"  works under normal and weathered conditions.  But just as your kid's backyard camping sleep-out party, there is only so much planning you can do before allowing the present moment to pass exactly as it does, in exactly the way it wants to, however in or out of sync with your plans it may be.

So the next time you wonder why you can't hit that high note you're aiming for, you may want to go a little easy on yourself.  If we can realize that the voice is much more complex than most of us realize, maybe it will take some of the pressure off of it needing to be so darned perfect all the time.  Instead, let's see our present experience of voice as a reflection its parts, exactly as they are, shining in all of their wholeness.  Maybe we could stop asking how to change our voice, and start asking how it is perfect in that wholeness, RIGHT NOW.....

I wonder how that, would sound?



Empowering Songwriting... 

Girl Power!!!

I find that in some of the most exciting music experiences, the audience comes in all different shapes and sizes.....

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting an after0school group called Taasc -- The American Adventure Service Corps -- and helping them use the tool of songwriting to create a song reminding them why it feels really, really good to be a girl.  Remember that young noggins are soooooooo sensitive.  Without discriminating minds yet, they absorb much of what you surround them with.  

Aren't these some pretty great messages they could digest about themselves???

Check out the video of our completed song HERE!

In addition to writing wonder-filled songs, Taasc give young girls other exposure to enriching activities, games, and adventures.  What I really love is the way the group includes an intergenerational mix of girls and young women (participants ranging from 1st to 4th grade, and mentors ranging from high school to young adult artists in the community) who can all share the common experiences and challenges we face as females.  From what I've gathered, this is exactly the kind of relationship-building we all need more of.  Whatever age you might be.  :)

If you'd like more info. about Taasc, check out their website HERE.

Finding the Song Within: 2016 debut EP, As I Am now available online!  

When I began playing music about 7 years ago, I wasn't really sure what I wanted or who I was.  And I surely was clueless as to what music meant to me.  Through all the twists and turns life has generously offered me, I'm not sure any of that is any different.  And yet, something has shifted....

I am now 32 years old, and while I may not know a damn thing about what life ultimately means or where mine is going, I have learned one very important lesson:  How to love myself through every single experience I go through. (Of course, sometimes I need reminded of that lesson.  That's probably why the songs come...)

In dreaming for years about what I would name my first album, I tried to meticulously think up the right words to describe what my music has been about.  As you can imagine, I came up with many different titles as time passed.  By about the 50th option that felt like "exactly" the right one, I realized what was happening.  With each passing moment I gain new insights and place different meanings on my experiences.  One day, my life might be about joy.  The next it might be about growing up.  And on the next the most important thing to know about me may be that I grew up as an only child, giving myself talk show interviews in front of my bedroom mirror at nights (most of the time I was naked, as if this was the way everyone did interviews).  I eventually stopped trying to name my album before the time of its creation had arrived, because I recognized that the particular group of songs I'd record would name themselves when the time was right.  

This is the group of songs that wanted to reveal themselves, and it was really clear to me that they are each different ways I have learned to do the most honest, yet simple task I've ever known:  Accept myself exactly, As I Am.  

Here's to each of you doing the same.  :)  And if you're really into it, I'd suggest checking out the lyrics.  They're listed below the audio.

(Check out the new album HERE!)

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Previous events

Asher Leigh Kickstarter Launch Show

The Raga Room, 162 Old Lakey Gap Rd, Black Mountain, NC

Join Asher Leigh & The Eyes of Amber, joined by Madelyn Ilana, as she invites you into a divine listening experience of truth, authentic connection, and mystery. Tonight we'll be celebrating the launch of this new music project's debut album!

All attendees who purchase a ticket to this show will be contributing to the campaign, and receive a free digital download of the album when it is completed.

Like a Tree: Live music w/ Asher Leigh

 —  —

Songbird Sanctuary, 591 Reeves Cove Rd, Candler, NC 28715

Come! Gather!
Enjoy a special evening of live music with one of Asheville's new up and coming artists, Asher Leigh, as she shares some of her brand new songs about life, the wisdom of trees, and human connection.
$8-12 admission

BIO: Asher Leigh is an Asheville-based musician and artist performing a range of indie music for “spirited folk” of all ages. Her music inspires a deeper look into the meaning of life and its complexities, engaging the human spirit playfully in simple, yet profound ways. Performing at live venues ranging from bars, to churches, to living rooms, Asher is excited to bring her music anywhere the door is open to a new perspective, and connected, joyful living. Explore this site to learn more about upcoming performances, workshops, individual lessons and life coaching, or to book a live show.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/asherleighmusic


Asher Leigh

 —  —

Terpsicorp, Asheville, NC

Join us, Asher Leigh and Heather Taylor, as we add music to a multi-day event celebrating Zelda Fitzgerald, 20th century writer, artist, and painter.

**This event is intended to honor those with mental illness through the support of the creative process.

Light refreshments will be provided. Dance performance before live music. Seating available.

Our Voice Benefit w/ Asher Leigh

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The Block Off Biltmore, 39 S Market St, Asheville

Join us in supporting Our Voice as we share music and raise awareness in light of creating more peace in our relationships. Music, facilitated conversation, and opportunities to get involved!

(We'll also be having a guest musical appearance from NPR Theme Composer, BJ Leiderman!)

Suggested donation: $5-7

**Contact me if you are interested in contributing a story, song, or poem!

Asher Leigh: A Night of Original Songwriting

The Guitar Bar, 122 Riverside Dr, Asheville, NC

Join Asher Leigh while she performs her most intimate, original music -- some of which she will record this fall on her upcoming EP. Enjoy this evening amidst the ambience of The Guitar Bar -- Asheville's newest listening room!


Asher Leigh @ Un-WINE'd

Un-WINE'd, Black Mountain, NC

Come enjoy Black Mountain's newest wine venue over some sweet sounds of a fun and unpredictable folk/pop fusion, including original and covered tunes. Asher Leigh will be joined by Zach Cooper on upright bass and electric guitar, and Nathan Dyke on percussion.


Asher Leigh & Jessica Chilton @ TEDx Tryon

Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Ave, Tryon, NC

Asher Leigh & Jessica Chilton fuse together the arts of songwriting, improvisational spoken word, and performance -- all in the spirit of spreading ideas that matter! We'll close out the night of speakers with a dynamic performance specifically crafted to inspire this TEDx audience.


Asher Leigh & The Bloomin' IKI's

The Twisted Laurel, Weaverville, NC

Come enjoy the sweet sounds of a family-friendly, fun, and unpredictable jazzy/folk fusion, including original and covered tunes, over a scrumptious meal delivered by The Twisted Laurel.


Asher Leigh & The Bloomin' IKI's

The Twisted Laurel, Weaverville, NC

Come enjoy the sweet sounds of a family-friendly, fun, and unpredictable jazzy/folk fusion, including original and covered tunes, over a scrumptious meal delivered by The Twisted Laurel.

Homecoming Party ft. Asher Leigh @ Joe N Throw

Joe N Throw, Fairmont, WV

Come join us for a night of connection. We'll sing, we'll dance, we'll wear hats... And Asher will bring her music back to Fairmont, WV, honoring the place it all started.