This is my Surrender

I have a confession to make....

I didn't leave Vermont....


After the "farewell show" in mid June, I embarked on a summer filled with transition, transformation and journeying into unknown internal territory….
 
As I made preparations to move to Austin, I began panicking. A feeling in my gut and a little voice inside kept piping up "no, this isn't it..." and I kept saying "shhh..." But the voice grew bold and more fervent in her emotional expression, sending me into spins of uncontrollable sobbing and incoherent stammering as I struggled to find external REASONS to explain this internal nudge.  I felt desperate, confused, and pulled out of my center, and I didn't know why.  
 
Like an animal storing up for winter, I gathered all the opinions, ideas, and thoughts from my closest friends, thinking, the more I un-earthed their suggestions, the more safe I would be, the more fed, the more clear. But, this was a choice I had to make alone. I fervently waited for some clear decision to arise. It was like swimming upstream in a very strong current trying to hear my inner voice above the outer noise.  The feminine voice will take her time and was insisting I venture further in before she revealed her wisdom and guidance.
 
On retreat in the Colorado mountains, with my teacher and community, the wind and the big sky, I began to hear HER.  I looked at my doubt. I looked at my fear.  I looked at my self-judgment.  I cried for how self-absorbed I can be, I cried for needing others, I cried for needing to feel loved.  I cried for my yearning for connection, in all capacities.  I cried for the pain of the world. I cried for feeling separate from it.  I cried for being attached.  I cried for living in doubt.  I cried for the moments I shut down.   And...
then....

I let it all go…
 
I began to remember how to sense and feel with my whole being. I found my inner strength.  I acknowledged my full emotional self and opened my listening towards what this torrent of energy was trying to say.
 
Turning this way and that, weighing the options, feeling my heart pulled here and pulled there.... I heard the voice.... "Stay.”  It took a few more zig zags, a trip to Austin so I could physically feel the space there, a bit more surrendering, the huge decision to let go of important relationships, plans and dreams that no-longer served, and finally, I took a deep breath and said, “Okay.  I’m here.”  
 
***
 
I tell you my process of choosing to stay in Vermont, because sometimes what is simple on the outside holds internally, a dramatic weight. I hope we all remember to give ourselves permission to be in the process, change our minds at any moment when something doesn't feel right, and flow with the river of intuition.  
 
I am now constantly asking myself the question "what serves?" as in, “What structures can I create in my life to do the inner work required for my work in the world to fully serve.” Right now it is the Vermont landscape, the space I have here to be immersed in my creative work and my spiritual practice, and the people who inspire me and I connect with around the world.
 
This is my surrender.  I place my boots firmly on the ground and turn my palms upward to face the reds and golds of changing trees. In the stance of surrender, anything is possible. Action taken from a place of surrender is the feminine way.   I invite re-birth.  New SSOL programs and creative projects are on the horizon.  Some are ready to share today, some are just beginning to whisper in my ear and will be revealed in the coming year.
 
I am so grateful to you for being part of this journey.  You continue to inspire me and fuel me on.  Thank you for being part of my world and welcome to our new phase together!
 
Blessings and Love,
Emma
 

Posted on October 2, 2015 .

Yes, I am that...

Riding my bike through the misty romantically lit Montreal night.  We see the musicians gathered in the back alley as we park our bikes and enter la place de la scene. I’m three rows from the stage, waiting.  I know all the songs, but I’ve never before been in her presence.  It has been a while since I was this excited for a show.  And, it has been a while since I KNEW I would be that inspired.

She comes onto the stage dressed in torn white jeans and a white blouse, her hair gelled high, and worn long.  She takes what I would call a badass earth mother stance: legs slightly spread, feet planted firmly on the ground; I can feel that her energy is low in her core as she rests her electric guitar against her belly.  My Brightest Diamond is an incredible example of all that I stand for, teach, and aspire to be.  She is raw and real, offering her pure expression to us with love and honesty.  She embodies feminine power in all capacities -- the raw, wrathful, chaotic; the sweet, receptive, nurturing and soft.

I’ve heard it said that true love is “your soul’s recognition of its counterpart in another.”  That’s what I felt watching her. A tugging deep within, a voice that says “Yes. I know that. I am that… I am my own version of the amazing energy and healing that pours from her.” We are sisters, intimately connected in what we bring to the world.  And when I say me, I mean her and I… and…you.

It is easy to hide from our greatness. I often get caught up in my own fear, or the opinions that come in from the outside telling me what I should be or aspire to be… or what I should not…. I obsess over “the strategy,” how I will become great rather than honoring my power within and owning that I am great now.  These fears can make me think that “the strategy” will somehow bring me to the place where “success” lives. But, when faced with someone’s raw expression, or the open face of a child, or anything else that is pure presence, it becomes clear to me what it truly is to live and to create.  More than that, I sink into my inner knowing that it IS possible to live our full truth, no matter how hard it can feel sometimes.

Denying our greatness is getting attached to “the right way” or thinking too small.  We question what we feel called for in this moment, giving it up for some past or limited idea of what we can be.  We follow the herd, the route laid out for us, hoping one day it will take us to the place where we want to be, a place where we are finally good enough and others will recognize this. And, right now we are somehow content to feel unworthy.  When we see someone embody that which we aspire to be, we could either go into our disempowering dialogue about not being good enough, or we could own the spark of recognition and say “Yes.  I am that.  I own being that.  And I own where I am on the journey of becoming MY version of what I recognize.”

I get easily caught up in the questions “How do I build my audience? How can I tour more? How will I finish my album? How do I move from the small stages to the big ones and will I ever get there?” It all feels like a really big deal and sometimes I am desperately afraid I won’t accomplish any of it.  But in the face of raw expression, none of that matters.  All that matters is that I show up and create.  My Brightest Diamond is not looking for any validation; she just is who she is and lets that shine. I too am learning to touch my longing to connect with others through song and to trust that fully.  Then I can remain open to how it will manifest in the physical world.  I cannot presume to know what my journey will be.  All I can do is show up and sing, right now.

 

How are you showing up to create, right now?  


Who inspires you to know “Yes. I am that…?”

Posted on July 16, 2015 .

Okay, dear one, it's time.

In my last mega-blog I wrote about Emerging From the Dark: Confronting our fear of being heard.   
And now, I'm asking...

Are you ready to uncover the hidden blocks that keep your creative voice stuck inside?  
Are you willing to GIVE UP your beliefs (sometimes unconscious) that you CANNOT express yourself through song, or cannot do so to the extent you truly long for? (like get on that big stage, have a career, record an album, write a song.... whatever it is you think you can't have or do with song, are you ready to find out?)
Are you ready to discover why your voice is necessary... not just the internal necessity that you express yourself... but the truth your voice is a unique and necessary contribution to the world?
Are you ready to connect to your authentic artistic self?
Are your ready to connect to your FEMININE strength and wisdom?
Are you ready to gather a COMMUNITY who (knowingly or not) LONGS FOR WHAT YOU OFFER and has been waiting for you to be ready to share your truth with them? 
Are you ready to learn how to stand before them with power, poise and confidence?
Are you ready to be heard?

Posted on May 1, 2015 .

Emerging From The Dark: Embracing stillness and confronting our fear of being heard

As the Sun begins to slowly return to us in the Northern Hemisphere, we move out of a time of darkness into light.  One feminine principle I’ve been working with a lot lately is that of profound stillness and deep inner listening.  This is another form of *receiving, but more focused on our internal process than what we practice in SSOL around being onstage.  It is quiet, open, spacious and empty.  It is about creating space for that-which-desires-to-be expressed to arise without actively seeking to understand it or to know what it will be before it has arisen within us.  This for me has been a HUGE practice and breakthrough around how I create and how I experience being heard and sharing my truth in the world. 

I am a do-er, an A-type go-getter.  Right now, my body is teaching me a huge lesson that the doing energy, for me – and I suspect for many of us - cannot be sustained on its own.  We must learn to honor stillness as much – if not more – than we honor doing.  For without silence, there is no sound.  Vibration and song are born from stillness.  If we skip over taking time for stillness, the act of doing and our creative process in general will be much harder and much more aggressive.

Posted on December 23, 2014 .