Tag Archives: honesty

Brighter than my blues

Kelley and Matt, doing what they do–singing “a song that’s true.”

I am so grateful for good music, for true sounds from the soul and the chance acts of fortune that lead me to them.

I don’t remember how I found out about Noisetrade, nor do I know why I listened to Kelley McRae‘s album two years ago on a January day. Maybe because it had “Brooklyn” in the title and I live in New York, or maybe I just had the curiosity to click and listen. Noisetrade sends me lots of emails, plenty of new sounds to consider, but rarely does an artist hook me like she did.

I was hurting that winter, and I found solace in her singing. I didn’t have a ton of downtime for reflection since I was working full time and also training to become a yoga instructor–basically a second full-time job–but whenever I showered I’d listen to Kelley’s music, and whenever I heard “Sparrow,” I felt heard.

That would have been enough, connecting to a random recording that helped me heal, but my relationship to Kelley’s music grew stronger when I ventured to see her play that March on the Lower East Side. She and her husband/bandmate, Matt, announced that they had just traded in their Brooklyn home and belongings for a VW camper van and were preparing to tour America in order to share the art they had to offer. I was inspired.

I introduced myself afterwards, and in my journal the next day I described Kelley as “a lovely personality and performer” and noted that “it was a pleasure to see the show.” Plus, “she played ‘Sparrow,’ which basically made my night.”

From then on, whenever I got an email announcing an NYC performance, I did my best to show up for it. We struck up an email correspondence because Kelley was looking for venues for house shows on the road and I have friends in other states. After seeing her play again in May, I gushed: “I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear a singer/writer who has chops, soul, AND spirit.”

Chops, soul, and spirit–that pretty much sums up Kelley McRae. When it comes to life and love, it’s clear to me that this girl GETS it. And I am grateful. This past spring and summer she recorded an album funded entirely by supporters, and it overflows with love and energy (just like her!).

After we chatted at the release party for Brighter than the Blues in September, I had to let her know: “I feel so lucky to have discovered an artist who not only creates music I genuinely connect to, but who is personable and communicative to boot!”

And I do feel lucky, to know her and her music, to support someone with the courage to be authentic and follow her heart, who lives a human life with good intention. It’s true that we ain’t got much time, and it’s important how we spend it. I’m happy I get to use some of mine listening to talented truth, told with an open heart.

Changing focus, moving forward

shift key

I never meant for ThisIsWheretheHealingBegins.com to be a yoga website.

When I purchased the domain in 2010, I envisioned creating a destination where people who were in pain (aka everyone) could easily explore accessible, affordable ways to feel better. Yoga was certainly on the list of resources I intended to offer, but so were EFT, Inner Bonding, and other tools that had helped me on my own healing journey.

But I knew nothing about web design and was going through a challenging time in my personal life, so the domain sat dormant until January 2011, when I realized that my impending training to get certified as a yoga instructor would provide me with a great opportunity to begin blogging. And since I already had a website…

I wrote regularly about yoga for nearly a year, and I’m grateful to say my passion for the practice has yet to wane. But it has certainly evolved, and I haven’t shared much about the transitions. In fact, with a whopping seven blog posts in 2012, I haven’t shared much at all.

One reason is that as I’ve become increasingly capable of appreciating the present moment, I’ve been less motivated to summarize it. I’ve also been self-censoring. If something I wanted to write about wasn’t directly related to yoga–if I couldn’t think of a tidy way to tie it into an asana experience–I deemed the content unacceptable for publication. I’d heard (and believed) a blog must occupy a narrow niche, and I felt obliged to stay on topic.

Because of self-imposed restrictions, I stopped publicly expressing my ideas and feelings. I don’t think that’s good or bad, but I’m ready to abandon expectations and try something different. I’m ready to be braver and even more authentic, and I want to expand my scope, to steer closer to my original intention of helping others heal. The best way I know to do this now is to let my own light shine, on and off the yoga mat.

So in 2013, I’m getting back to blogging, and I’m going to talk a lot about love. Other stuff too, but mostly love. Because I believe love is the bottom line, and if my personal perspective can help even one person feel better, it’s worth publishing.