"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
- Winston Churchill
When I was 19, just when I was about to fall asleep one night, this strange feeling came over me. It was terrifying. I had no idea what it was. I thought maybe it was the flu, but along with physical symptoms - my mind was going nuts. A concoction of feelings I had never before felt.
I went to the doctor and I was told that I had experienced a panic attack.
So there began my intimate dance with anxiety.
There have been long periods of time where I haven't feel any anxiety at all. Then there have been times where it is so consistently prevalent that I feel like I might burst into a million pieces. If you experience anxiety, you know what I am talking about.
In this dance, I have found many tools to use when I feel anxiety tapping on my shoulder (EFT, meditation, yoga, eating healthy, energy work, etc..). If you have any questions about these, I’m here!
I have been told by just a few people that I have no reason to be anxious because of my life's circumstances. I have been laughed at (only a couple of times) for experiencing anxiety (and depression) and it hurt. But mostly I have been embraced, comforted and validated. This is major… With any mental-health issue. Validation is so crucial.
From my experience I have found that there is circumstantial anxiety and then there is anxiety that just chooses to show up while someone is grocery shopping, driving, sitting at home or doing other mundane activities. No matter the cause, the feeling is real in the moment one is experiencing it.
So please(!), if you are experiencing anxiety reach out to someone you trust (or a therapist) and allow them to be there for you. And if you know anyone who experiences anxiety (or depression), let them know you’re there to listen (and/or find them the help they need). This is not to dive down a worm hole, but to face and acknowledge it with courage.
Anxiety has taught me how to care for myself in a way I never knew before. Anxiety has helped me see that I needed to change direction or negative habits in my life. It has brought me to such a low place that now the light is that much stronger. It has given me the honor of being there when any of my brothers or sisters of the world are in it - because I understand it.
It’s a strange phenomenon. Something that can leave me feeling so separate has been a true catalyst for connection with others.
How beautiful is that?!
The major life changing thing for me was finding that I just needed to TALK ABOUT IT. Seriously. It’s that simple. I started talking about it.
Has it completely gone away? No.
Will it visit from time to time throughout the rest of my life? Probably.
Talking about it has allowed me to accept it and feel more freedom from it. Of course, in the beginning it was important for me to have discretion on how I shared and with whom I shared. But now, I’m out of the closet ;) I actually enjoy talking about it. It’s like the elephant in the room that everyone relates to, but doesn’t want to face.
Embrace the anxiety elephant!
The more we see and welcome it as a teacher, the less space it will take up in these beautiful lives we all have!
Go on with your courageous lion heart.
You are blessed and you are a blessing.
With love and anxiety ;)
As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson
I am sharing something that feels quite personal, but just like the other things I talk about, I have a feeling it will be healing for me and perhaps for others. I'm not attached, I just get an inspiration and if I don't share - It bubbles up inside and screams until I let it out ;)
I am a single, 31 year old woman. There's this thing that people call the biological clock... It started to kick in at about 29 for me. And I'm finally feeling enough peace around it to share.
If you are single (or not) and feeling this even slightly, here's what I want to tell you. I hope you really read these words over and over until they reach the cells of your entire being...
You are good enough.
You are worthy of love.
You have so much beauty about you.
There is nothing wrong with you.
You are capable of being loved.
You are capable of loving.
You are never truly alone.
You do not need to settle.
You are courageous.
You are strong.
You have so much to offer.
You are in the exact place you need to be.
You are likely preparing for a partner, who is likely also preparing for you...
I have felt so much societal pressure to be in a relationship... Even to be married, have kids and lead a more domesticated life. What I realize and take responsibility for is that, the only way this pressure can affect me is if I allow it to. And the only way I allow it to is when I start to believe other people's truths over my own.
What I do know is that my intuition will never, ever steer me wrong. My intuition comes from the depth of my heart and that is where truth resides. I am learning that I don't need to be in a relationship to feel good enough or loved. I don't need the approval of anyone (either from someone I'm dating or my family or society). I can stand as a powerful, courageous, nurturing woman in my light. I can know that when a man choosing to stand in his own light comes along, I will not be inclined to dim my light and I will be inspired to break down whatever walls I have built. It certainly won't be easy, but I will know when it's worth it.
I don't want anyone to complete me. I have worked too hard on coming into my own wholeness and I'm not willing to sacrifice that honoring of and dedication to myself. I would much rather be single than share a life with someone where we find ourselves not honoring, loving or respecting each other in the way that we need.
I have never written about this publicly, and I'm not gonna lie, it feels quite vulnerable, but I believe it's important. There is absolutely no shame in being single. If it is your path right now, whatever age you may be, it's a beautiful way to get to know yourself and fall in love with the intricacies of your own being. I'm so proud of myself for not jumping impulsively from relationship to relationship anymore. I am proud of myself for honoring this sacred space for growth, self-love, exploration, courage and depth. Being in a relationship with someone where our souls meet on this level will only enhance this depth and push me to grow in ways I might not be able to on my own.
I am a work in progress, coming into more and more light, and always will be - Just like all my fellow brothers and sisters!
Let's just love ourselves and see where the path leads with a curious and courageous lion heart...
You are blessed and you are a blessing.
So much love.
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
There is no one else on this planet who can do you better than you.
We each have a purpose here on this planet and the only way of fulfilling that purpose is to be ourselves. That’s right.
It’s interesting how we are brought up. Lots of us grow up believing we need to fit into a mold to be accepted by society. This is a load of bullshit, really. It’s based on fear - which is the opposing force to love.
The reason we are each born to fulfill our different purposes is because it’s what makes the world go round. It’s like we are all little pieces of the very large puzzle called life. And with one missing piece, the puzzle is not complete.
This is why when we are being true to self, life seems to have a flow, an energy, an abundance to it. The more we can cultivate authenticity in our lives, the more we step into health and happiness. Even if a challenging circumstance comes up, we are able to handle it with more ease and grace.
Through my humble 31 years of human experience (in this lifetime), I’ve learned that this is not always easy, but reaps great benefit.
When I look back on my life before I got sober (in 2012), starting around my teenage years, I was always trying to fit in. I wanted to be a cool kid! Countless times, I found myself sacrificing my own integrity to be part of a popular group.
If you are hanging around people who you feel like you can’t be yourself around… You are most likely hanging out with the wrong crowd. Switch it up. Have faith you’ll find your tribe. You will.
As I get further into my sobriety (note: I know sobriety is not necessary for everyone, it’s just my journey), I notice that I continue to unravel the true layers of myself everyday. With this unraveling, people continue to come into my life who reflect my own values with love and kindness as the foundation. The people who don’t reflect what I vibe with tend to somehow become less and less a part of my life. It’s crazy and true!
Like all the greats say, our world is a reflection of what’s inside of us. So, when we're real, they're real.
Sometimes it’s super painful when a layer peels off. Sometimes I’ll cry for hours and need to schedule an emergency therapy appointment. And at other times, it’s easier than that. But ALL of the time, it’s so incredibly beautiful to see how my light is revealed underneath the bullshit I thought I needed to cover it up with.
You be you.
And just for fun, maybe say out loud, “fuck it!” with a smile on your face and light in your eyes ;)
You are blessed and you are a blessing.
I was talking with my mom the other day about being of service. Every morning in prayer I ask God, my higher self and all that surrounds me how I can be of greatest service to this day, to myself and to the people who I interact with. This concept really sank into my heart after being introduced to A Course In Miracles and becoming a fan of Marianne Williamson.
In our conversation I said something about being of service and it catapulted us into talking about what some people's perception of "being of service" is. We contemplated how some people (including ourselves at times) might have the belief that being of service means that they sacrifice themselves in an unhealthy way to help others, AKA being a martyr.
In my experience, being of service in this way is detrimental to our health, well being and relationships. I know because I've been there at times.
To me, being of service means to step fully into our own light, allowing it to flow through us and sharing the infinite abundance that it is. If we sacrifice too much, then we will not be able to sustain this attitude of service.
Sometimes being of service calls us to extremely challenging relationships and circumstances, at other times it's easier.. It's life! Either way, we can do our best to reveal our vibrant, healthy selves in order to lead by example and share our light with those who need it.
BEING OF SERVICE MEANS STANDING IN OUR LIGHT.
In praying to be of service, we offer ourselves to a life and force that will guide us to where we need to go, what we need to do and who we need to interact with for the highest, most healing outcome.
We can be of service in every moment of our day if we open ourselves up to it. We are always where we need to be. ALWAYS.
Are flying to Africa to volunteer in an orphanage
Have a house in suburb America with a 9-5
Are a stay at home mom
Are a homeless person living on the streets
Are a cook at a fast food restaurant
Are an entrepreneur running their own company
Are a teacher
Are a doctor
Are a lawyer
Are having a one on one conversation with a stranger or loved one
Are a person searching for their next step in life...
You can be of service. It's simple. Just follow the guidance. When we tune into it, we know.. It's a feeling that we are contributing to a greater whole (we always are whether we feel it or not) and able to be present in what we are doing.
Where can you be of service today, in this moment, in whatever you are doing?
If you focus on this, I promise you will start to feel lighter, healthier and happier about your life.
Keep up the service, friends, and keep standing in your light!
You are blessed and you are a blessing.
We go through things. We get hurt. We feel victimized. We lose sight of what the point is. We can't seem to catch a break.
Any of this sound familiar?
Of course! Because we are human and we have all had these experiences in one way or another. We could all probably write a whole book on the "things" we've been through.
Because we are souls living in a material world and with that comes the lessons we have to learn. The lessons never end. And what I have found is that whenever I'm absolutely confident I have "gotten" something, it typically shifts or transforms into a different thing. Sometimes that is a beautiful experience and sometimes it's heartbreaking and earth shattering. From a higher perspective, it's really all the same though.
Is there a situation you find yourself a victim of? Maybe a break-up? Or a lost job? Struggling financially? Has someone "done" something to you?
The reality seems to be that these things are "happening to you." The higher reality is that these things are happening with no intention of hurting you or making you feel like a victim, but to give you an opportunity to learn the lesson.. Whatever the lesson might be.
WE CHOOSE THE REALITY IN WHICH WE WANT TO LIVE.
We begin to see the lesson when we choose to see the situation from a higher perspective.
Seriously, it's that simple. I know both sides because I have had times where I was dramatic and made a WAY bigger deal of things than necessary. As I have gotten further into a meditation practice, I have noticed a pretty incredible shift with the way I perceive reality. It has subtly happened over time. Now, when I find myself feeling like a victim, the shift happens much sooner than in the past.
Not saying I'm perfect at it, we all have times we need to vent and work through the emotions and hopefully we have a trusted friend or family member to keep us grounded through the kinks we need to work through. Ideally, this person would help us see from a higher perspective and not feed into whatever drama we've created in our own mind.
It takes sitting back and truly taking a look with different glasses on, seeing each individual involved as a child of God, learning their own lessons too.
We are all equal. We all have the ability to do this. We all have the ability to see the light within one another and within our own selves.
I challenge you to think about that place of victimhood, sit with it and truly examine whether it's lending to your growth or keeping you stuck in the mud.
How would you like to see it?
You are blessed and you are a blessing.
"Love is the flower you've got to let grow." -John Lennon
We’ve all done it, right? We have all been in a place where we have to step into the unknown. It’s terrifying, liberating and beautiful all at the same time.
When we go there, there is this childlike surrender that happens. A sense of wonder and awe begins to take place as we do our best to take each step with courage, authenticity and grace.
So, why is it that sometimes when feel this urge to change, we find ourselves reverting back into what we know? Back into our comfort zone? Back into the safety of our relationships, jobs, homes, our unhealthy habits?
Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear we won’t be “okay.” Fear we won’t be good enough. Fear we will lose friends or family. Fear we will lose a part of ourselves. Fear that we won’t be taken care of. Fear we won’t make enough money. Fear we will fail. Fear we will shine too brightly.
What happens, though, when we take that first baby step of courage into it, we start to see a light. Our wings begin to get a little stronger, day by day. We begin to have faith that we are being lead by an invisible force that pulls us towards the path of self realization and liberation.
Stepping into our own self.
Our soul wants to go there. That’s actually where the call is coming from. It’s deeply rooted inside each of us. We have allowed our rational mind to be the louder voice. Not anymore.
What if we started listening to the soul? What if, for one day, we said “fuck it” and allowed our bodies to move in the direction of our soul’s calling?
Yes, there will be details to figure out.
These details, though, will find a way of working themselves out. You’ll be amazed.
When we listen to this call, we are coming into agreement with the Great Spirit, The Universe, God, all of the energy that creates everything.
This agreement states, “I will listen to you, and you will take care of me. I recognize that there will be lessons for growth. I accept that this is not an easy path, and that it is a great one. I vow to honor your voice, I vow to take action on your call. I vow to serve in whichever way you will have me serve for the highest good. I surrender to your path. Keep my feet rooted in the ground, my heart in love and my mind at ease.”
When I got sober about 3.5 years ago, I didn’t realize I was making an agreement like this, but I was. We all are when we step into the unknown. We are stepping up. We are giving over our control and allowing spirit to move through us.
The beautiful reality is that THIS LOOKS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE.
Having experienced ups and downs of anxiety and depression, I know it can feel like a gigantic struggle just to get out of bed some mornings. I have had the opportunity to become deeply familiar with the pain of not really wanting to be here anymore. Reflecting back onto these moments, though, with the help of friends and family, I found the courage to step into the unknown, even it was just getting out of bed in the morning or going to lunch with an old friend.
I recently packed up my closest belongings in my Kia Sportage and hit the road from Texas to Colorado for an undetermined amount of time, not really having any clue what was there for me. The mystery is more and more revealed each day through the people I meet, the experiences I have and the faith that is gained.
So, my friend! What will you do today to step into the unknown? What does it look like for you?
The courage is within you, the light surrounds you, the Universe holds you. You are a blessed and you are a blessing.
Stand in the place where your light shines the brightest. This is not something anyone else can decide for you. Your heart knows this place.
You feel it, deep down, in whatever you’re doing. You know whether it’s in line with love or fear.
It’s first realizing that you have a light and then standing in it. It’s that simple.
At times, this might mean feeling uncomfortable…
Sharing your truth with a friend, partner or family member. Sharing yourself with a group of people. Quitting a habit, pattern or relationship that you have decided doesn’t serve anyone any longer. Stepping into a new chapter… Scary, yeah, I know!
Sometimes, though, it feels downright incredible to stand in this light…
Making a compassionate connection with someone asking you for money. Sharing loving-kindness with strangers you encounter. Cooking your own food. Reading an enlightening book. Building a garden (something I would really love to do). Exercising. Yoga-ing ;) Meditating. Watching a feel good movie. Lighting the candles. Creating something that HAS to come out of you and sharing it with people.
The world needs this from us. I believe it is our responsibility to stand in this light. If you’re practicing this already, you know what I’m talking about!
If fear has been holding you back - Can you do one small thing today to get you closer, knowing that the Universe / God / Love will be with you every step of the way especially in the moments of fear, anxiety and worry?
Take a moment to get still and ask…
Where do I shine the brightest? ✨
I didn't know what I was getting into about 3.5 yrs ago when I decided to quit drinking and be sober. I was just at a point where I knew it was what I needed to do. I had no idea it was the beginning of a journey in falling in love with myself. I could barely look at my own self in the mirror, much less feel any sort of authenticity when saying "I love myself." I had many nights of black out whiskey & wine drinking. I made poor decisions for my own well being that also impacted those around me. I wondered why the people I chose to be in friendships and relationships with continued to not treat me with respect or love. I spent a lot of time and energy frustrated about this and mad at people. I couldn’t figure out why drama always seemed to find me.
Getting sober planted a small (mustard) seed of loving myself. At that time, I just didn’t want to be hung over anymore wink emoticon Getting sober has given me the space to start loving myself. Not everyone has to get sober for this to happen, but it’s what needed to happen for my path. Looking back on these past few years, I can’t believe the changes that have come. It has not been easy. In fact, at times, it’s been downright brutal, terrifying, chaotic and agonizing - And I can say today that “I LOVE MYSELF.” It still feels a little awkward and vulnerable to say at times, but I can truly say it with my heart now.
This is the most important thing because - as they say - you have to love yourself in order to accept the love of others.
This is really true.
Like REALLY true.
As I have let love for myself slip into my life -
Drama has been etched out.
Negativity has been removed.
Disrespect is a rarity.
And I do my absolute best to make decisions of the highest vibration of love.
The relationships that weren’t serving in any way have fallen to the wayside. When we start to love ourselves, we start to surround ourselves with people who lift us rather than smother us.
I have so much more to say about this that I could probably write a book. I am still learning in each moment, how to fall deeper into this love. Because when I love me, I am much more able to love you.
How will you love yourself today?
Hi all. I recently posted on social media that I have stopped using shampoo & conditioner. Thank you to everyone for your questions and comments. This blog is to inform those of you who are interested in doing this for yourselves. I will explain my process and address as many questions as I am able!
When I decided to try this out I did what we all do and googled "not washing your hair." After some research, I found a few blogs/articles from other women who do this (links at bottom of blog).
With this post, I'd like to cover all the questions people have asked me (there were some questions I did not find answers to in other blogs/articles).
WHAT'S THE PURPOSE?
First, my hair is thin and by that, I mean each individual strand is thin. I also have quite a lot of hair. I am always doing what I can to get more volume & fullness - teasing, Redken Rough Paste, baby powder and curling it.
Around the 2.5 - 3 week mark of not washing with shampoo, my hair started feeling the way I always wanted it to. Voluminous & full, soft, not oily, thick, tamable, un-staticy, wavier, is much more manageable and looks pretty dang good (at least that's what my friends have told me!).
I stopped using shampoo, conditioner & product about 3-4 weeks ago. From day 4 to about day 10, I really wanted to wash my hair. I used to be able to go about 3 (maybe 4) days without washing and using baby power on my roots everyday, but typically at that 3 or 4 day mark I couldn't go any longer without washing. I pushed through, people, and you can too! A photo of me from when I was still using shampoo compared to a photo of me about 3 weeks after not washing. (I do use a curling iron)
DOES YOUR HAIR/SCALP SMELL?
No, not at all. I have politely asked trusted friends to stick their noses in it. I can't 100% tell you that yours won't. Because we all have different diets and put different things into our bodies that come out of our pores (this could be another blog), I can't guarantee you that yours won't, but it's highly unlikely that your hair/scalp will smell. Trust me!
The important thing to remember with this is that you will be taking your scalp through a process of balancing it's pH level. If you have been using shampoo and hair products, your scalp is most likely creating excess oil because those products are drying it out. In the beginning your scalp may feel oilier than normal, but if you push through, the balance will come and your scalp won't produce near as much oil and will bring itself to a healthy pH balance and create amazing results for your beautiful locks.
Using baking soda and ACV (apple cider vinegar) will help.
Below I will lay out for you my process as best I remember it:
Day 4 - Wash with equal parts baking soda & water mixture, scrubbing roots with fingertips for about 2-3 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly. Then, with equal part mixture of ACV & water (I made the mixture in a little bowl and dipped the ends of my hair in it, up to 2-3 inches away from scalp). Rinse thoroughly. Let hair air dry or you can blow dry and proceed with styling if that's your jam.
Day 6 - Rinse hair with water, scrubbing scalp.
Day 8 - If you feel it necessary, repeat day 4. If you're okay with just rinsing with water, that is more ideal.
Day 11 - Repeat day 4.
After day 12, you should find a rhythm for yourself. Knowing when it's best to rinse with water, do the baking soda & ACV or just skip the rinse all together. The most important thing to remember when doing things like this is to listen to your body and inner voice. Your answer is always inside of you. Like the times you ask someone, "Should I wear this shirt or that shirt?" And they respond with "That shirt." And you say, "I think I'll wear this one instead." You knew what you wanted/needed all along. This is a metaphor for all the other things in life. Trust your inner guidance!
A FEW KEY POINTS:
- There were quite a few days my hair felt oily in the beginning stages. You can use a bit of baby powder on your roots if you feel really uncomfortable with it. Don't use too much though, because it will dry out your scalp, making it want to produce more oil.
- Hats, ponytails & buns are good for the beginning too.
- Brush brush brush! I use a Mason Pearson brush. It's amazing. Brush from roots to ends in the morning and evening. This will bring the oils down from your scalp to your ends, nourishing your hair and making it softer and more flowy (made that word up).
- Put it back somehow while you sleep especially in the beginning stages because of the excess oil. This is not necessary, but just a suggestion.
- I've heard this works wonders for curly hair. It has made my hair more wavy.
- You will save money on products, use less water and not be bound by your hair washing routine. After 2-3 weeks, you will be free to wake up most days and not have to wash your hair. It's really freeing! This especially makes me think of all the musicians I know who tour a lot.
Please keep me updated on how this works out for you! You can do it! If you need guidance, feel free to reach out or comment below!
This is a much talked about topic - Finding your purpose. It can seem a little (or a lot) daunting to think about.
For a long time, I thought "purpose" meant something someone does. For instance: "my purpose is to play music" or "my purpose is to write" or "my purpose is to be a mom" or "my purpose is to provide for my family."
Through experience, many tough lessons and periods of time where I have felt like I'm grinding out life on a gravely, bumpy road - My opinion has changed about this. Purpose comes from somewhere that is not visible to the human eye. It is mystical in a sense. If you sat a doctor and musician next to each other - they might have the same purpose. If you sat two doctors side by side - they might have completely different purposes.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find your purpose (write them down!):
Now, some or all of these questions might have the same answer. But you should at least have some facts about your purpose to work with. Purpose is the undercurrent for all that we do. Purpose drives our passion.
Here's an example from my life - Lately, I get the most joy out of writing. Whether it be a song, a poem, an inspiring Facebook post, beginning a book, even this blog! I get this true sense of joy and almost a feeling of being invincible when I am in the act of writing. It is not really the ACT OF WRITING that brings me these feelings though. It is what I am writing about and the message that I wish to share. It is the knowing that I am one of the vessels through which this information travels to manifest into the physical world - however that may be. Everyone has the ability to experience this. EVERYONE.
Now that you have answered the questions, think about your daily life. Think (or write) about what you do in your day to engage with your purpose. If you can't think of anything right now, write about what you COULD BE DOING to engage. It can be very simple. Think about ways to find time each day to ignite it. THIS IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE SOUL.
My wish is that this message fires you up and allows you to live a purpose driven life, even if just for today, but hopefully for the rest of your days. You deserve it and the world needs you.
"Facing The Shadow" is out as of Oct 16!
Download on iTunes here:
My deepest gratitude to all who have been a part of this project, all who have lent a helping hand, all who have contributed time and energy and all of those who continue to support the music by coming to shows!
Here's a photo that my super talented friend, Elis Avellan, took a while back. This was a really awesome photo shoot in her father's backyard. Here's an inside scoop on photo shoots. First, I want to say that Elis is amazing - She's amazing because when we do a photo shoot, she brings out in me my truest self, and she's a gorgeous Goddess herself. I was super cold in this water. I had this huge tapestry wrapped around my body, doing my best to keep myself covered for the photo. My sweet sister is out of the shot, but just to the left of the photo making sure the fabric was flowing properly for a good shot. Elis' sister, Isabel, was holding the sun reflector and Elis was tippy toed on the edge of the pool in order to get this angle from above. All the while, I'm trying not to laugh and doing my best to look natural and relaxed, like it's just another day, floating in the water, sun shining, without a care in the world... Easy breezy, right?!? Because I fully immersed myself in the water, this was the last shot of the day and we all laughed a lot for this portion of the shoot. But she captured a great one, right??
You can find more of Elis' work here. Her photography name is Alice Rabbit. Follow her on IG, Twitter - @alicerabbitshoots. She also makes gorgeous jewelry called Crystal Bullets.
On another note - The album is finished! We sent it off to get pressed today with my Any & All Media here in Austin, TX. Super excited! So much work has been put into this and to be able to share it with y'all gives me butterflies in my tummy. In a really good way :)
Shows! Because a lot of time and energy is going in to preparing for the album release, the show schedule is not as busy this coming month, but we've got some good ones! We will be all over the states for shows in the fall, so stay tuned for that.
Thursday, August 13th
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
Tix online HERE
Thursday, August 20th
Friday & Saturday, August 21st & 22nd
Terlingua Music Festival
Order wristband online for only $40 ($75 at the door) HERE
Call me Christian because I worship Jesus Christ. Call me Buddhist because I worship Buddha. Call me Hindu because I worship Hare Krishna. Call me a student of Self Realization because I worship Paramahansa Yogananda. Call me a Tree Hugger because I worship Mother Earth. Call me a scientist because I have explored quantum physics. Call me whatever you'd like, really :)
This is not "new age" belief. "New" implies time, this Love is timeless. It is always now and always here for us to bask in it's Grace and Glory.
Some folks might get confused walking into my home, seeing photos of Christ, statues of Buddha, images of Krishna and photos of Gurus hanging on my walls, Mother Mary, Catholic candles, incense, malas, sage, etc. All of these beings who blessed the Earth have high vibrations of LOVE pouring out of them. They did not wish for segregation, they did not wish for judgement. They wished for Oneness under the umbrella of God, which is All.
God = Love. Love has no boundaries. Love simply is.
We worship whatever Deity resonates with us. Know that God lives inside of us and around us and provides an infinite amount of Love, passion and joy!
Friends! This Saturday I will be at The Saxon Pub in Austin, TX. I have been working away on my solo show and would love for you all to join me! I appreciate all of the love and support I have felt recently.. I love sharing and connecting with you! My friends at Colored Lion are bringing a film crew out for the show to get some footage for an upcoming project we are working on, so wear your best lipstick and fanciest shirt :) Stick around for Micky and the Motorcars afterwards! A good friend and great singer-songwriter, Jessy Napier, will be opening for me.
--- Saxon Pub --- Jan 24 --- 8PM --- $8 at the door ---
As always, you can visit ashleymonical.com to check show schedule, read the blog or browse the photos.
Blessings and see you soon!
You know that feeling when you feel supported by the infinite? I have some to experience what when we follow our heart's guidance, listen to it and act upon it, The Divine knows and opens up for us to experience nurturing and love. These are words that came through me last night. We are so blessed to be instruments *
Your sacred heart
You have the key to unlock it, to show it this beautiful world
It wants to see
To recognize the sacredness in itself and everything else
It wants to climb the trees
It wants to fly with the birds
Your heart, you see, has a life
A spirit of it's own
You can talk to it
You can love it, like you love a friend
If you love it, your heart will guide you
It will guide you on the back of an eagle
It will guide you through the Earth into it's roots
It will guide you to mountain tops and back down
It will guide you to other hearts alike
If you truly love your heart
Your heart will guide you through the pain
If you love your heart
It will show you the wonders of the world
What if you decide to let your heart out of it's cage?
Crack open the shell?
Are you afraid of pain?
Your heart will never leave you, know that
You heart will rest there in your bones, not in a cage
It will sing the joys of other hearts
It will reach out and touch other hearts and in turn, be touched even greater
It wants to see, feel, experience the beauty of loving you back
Love your sacred heart.
Welcome to all the folks who have hopped on my wagon recently!
2014 was a nutty, roller coaster of a year for lots of people. I recorded my first full length album (produced by John Evans), played a bunch of really cool stages & wrote with lots of talented songwriters. I have also taken time to get involved with the SIMS Foundation here in Austin, TX. Check it out, I'm even featured on the front page of their website! They provide mental health care for musicians who reside in Austin. They have helped me (and many other musicians) so much. They asked me to share my story and it felt in line with my heart to spread the word about SIMS, so I'm all out in the open now and it feels great to share my passion and excitement for mental health! Ready for 2015!
*If you are, or know, a musician in Austin, TX who needs help, please call SIMS at (512)494-1007, they will help you.
As always, you can visit ashleymonical.com to check on upcoming shows, here are a few coming up in Jan.
Freddy Power's Picking Party
5220 Hudson Bend Rd Austin, TX 78734
Miranda Dawn's Birthday Celebration with Daisy, Miranda Dawn & Cecily Gold.
5326 Manchaca Rd Austin, TX 78745
W/ Libby Koch
2425 Norfolk Houston, TX 77098
W/ Micky and the Motorcars
1320 Lamar Square Dr. Austin, TX 78704
I LOVE hearing back from you!! If you feel inclined, simply comment below and it will get to me!
Thank you to all who have taken time to come to all of my shows in 2014! It is an honor and a blessing to play music for you. I am looking forward to further connection! As we say in my family "HAPPY NEW YOU!" Let us be open to LOVE and a happy, healthy life!
Hey frans (friends, family & fans),
What I am posting here is something I wrote for a speech I gave at my friend (and great songwriter/performer), Emily Bell's series "Can't Talk Back." Each week she has a guest woman speaker come up in the middle of her band's set to talk about what it means to them to be a woman. I put a little twist to it. Check it out :) It was incredibly inspiring for me to get up in front of about 50 people (mostly men) and talk about this truth of mine.
I just had my 29th birthday and over the past few years I have gone through some life changes and transitions that I feel have catapulted me into my womanhood. Through hardships and certain situations I have grown. Being a songwriter, I keep finding lyrics pouring out of me about coming into being a grown woman.
There have been times where I have doubted my ability to speak out. It’s much easier for me to put some lyrics to a song and play my guitar or piano and sing what I want to say. Now I will speak out.
I want to start by sharing a brief history of my pubescent teenage years with you. To begin with, when my parents finally gave in and let me start shaving my legs, I was in 6th grade, long after all of the “cool girls” in school started shaving theirs. Not many girls can say this, but MY DAD actually took me to the store and helped me pick out a cool razor, I still remember the way it looked, round and flat to make it easy to hold. It was pink or purple. He taught me, with patience and care, how to shave my legs around my nobly knees and tender, skinny shins. A few years later when I started my period, I was too ashamed to tell my mom. So I would take feminine hygiene products from my best friend, Tarah’s, house in order to avoid an awkward conversation. She had never talked to me about this stuff, and I was certainly not going to be the first one to bring it up. I went months without telling her, she finally found out and we still never really had a conversation about it. Now, in retrospect, I understand it must have been uncomfortable for her as well.
This was my introduction into the beginning of womanhood. And I had feelings of shame and embarrassment.
What I have learned since then is that there is nothing to be ashamed of here! Being a woman is so beautiful, mystical, spiritual, vulnerable, sexy and powerful. Just like Mother Nature, we nurture the sick and dying and encourage the blooming. Our hearts carry compassion and love. And when our hearts are open, we can dance freely to the beat they are providing us and follow our path of courage.
Someone reminded me recently that all humans are made up of part masculine and part feminine energy. So I am not only speaking of what it means to be a woman, but what it means to be a human. Each and every person on this planet has the ability to connect with the Divine Femininity and soft, flowing, nurturing side of themselves. Just as much as they have the ability to connect with the strong, grounded, "get shit done" part of themselves. When I say this, I am not separating men and women, but combining the two amazing forces that we all have indispensable access to.
So, the message I would like to convey is that we all have the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine inside of us. Each side wants to be expressed just as much as the other whether you are a woman or a man.
A woman carries the baby that the man fertilizes, just as the rain from the skies give life to the plants and trees that grow from the earth’s inviting soil. We need both to thrive!
With this message, I encourage you, whether you are a man or a woman, to reach inside and find what it means to harness both feminine and masculine energy.
Men, I urge you tonight and in the future to dance and wave your arms in the air letting your worries and fears float up to the sky. I urge you to ask yourself how you are expressing the feminine nature that undoubtedly rests in your spirit.
Women, I encourage you to reach far and wide out of your comfort zones, just as I am doing right here right now on stage. Do something to nurture your masculine side. Fix something at your house that you might normally ask a man for help with. Find that part of your spirit that yearns to take care of yourself and loved ones in your life.
You are all beautiful people. Thank you for listening to my truth and I urge you all to live yours. Thank you. The Divine Mother in me recognizes the Divine Mother in you.
As I am driving to Wimberley, TX on a beautiful Monday morning I have that little nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. My thoughts are firing into places, like they often do, of the unknown. I am on my way to record an album. This has been a long time coming. John Evans (producer) is already out at the place setting up the studio with Steve Christensen (sound engineer- SugarHill Studios) and Falcon Valdez (drums, The Happen-Ins). Later to come would be Scott Davis (bass, The Band Of Heathens) & Trevor Nealon (keys, The Band Of Heathens). Weaving through the hill country roads from Austin, TX out to Wimberley, TX, I realize I don't know anyone but John and my mind races again.....
When John and I began pre production for the album, I shot out the idea of recording in Wimberley at my family's new property. We both decided that would be perfect. There is a log cabin surrounded by a screened in porch with a breezeway running through the middle - a perfect place to relax and read and soak in the sounds of the cicadas & roosters. There is also a huge two story garage with an apartment above it AND a little love shack. The studio was set up in the garage apartment and that was where the magic happened. We kept the cabin as our sanctuary where we had a few games of poker, a couple movie nights, ate a lot of chicken, kale and spinach, and had some quite interesting conversations... Along with a few visits to the incredible spot on the Blanco River.
I can't really explain the process of recording, nor do I want to. All I have to say is that it was fulfilling, exhausting, funny, sacred, humbling, vulnerable, beautiful. Being surrounded by nature, for me, is what helped fuel the creative process.
On Thursday, the last day, John, Steve and I went into town to get some steak and jalapeños wrapped with bacon to grill up (*John gets the cred for grilling). We had a great "last supper" and then had a listening session at about 11:30 that evening. We all sat in the studio and listened to each song back to back. Soaking in what we spent the past two weeks cultivating. I did my best to listen without ego. I found myself resting my head back onto the couch, eyes closed and smiling.
These songs that I have written are now born. It's like I had 11 babies. Song babies. They are still rough mixes, at the puberty stage I would say, or maybe early 20s. We have phase two in about three weeks which will be mixing in Houston at SugarHill Studios. At the same time, I am getting my funding campaign together with my buddy, videographer, Josh Dodds. Then I launch the crowd funding campaign to raise money for promotion of the album.
I have to admit, when the guys were packing up the studio yesterday morning getting ready to head back to the real world, I got a little sad. We created a bond and it was a really amazing time. I could not have asked for better people to work with. John and Steve's ability to keep a grounded, stable environment was amazing and put me at ease, even after all the batch (coffee) they drank. :) Falcon is a badass drummer and was very innovative with his ideas, no ego there. Scott is just a brilliant musician, what they call a utility player, meaning he knows how to play just about everything and is really really really good at it. Trevor put keys on two songs, one being Trouble. He slayed it! All of the people who are a part of this are extremely talented at what they do!
I am so thrilled to share this group of songs. This is only the beginning.
Peace & Light
I'm sitting here working on my computer eating salt sprinkled cantaloupe. I originally spelled cantaloupe, "cantlelope" and then it gave me the squiggly "you don't know how to spell this" line. So I GOOGLED it.. confession.
Be sure to check out my show dates, there are a few up and I will continue to update them for the summer!
John Evans and I have been meeting for some pre production stuff for my album and it's been going really well, I am looking forward to working with him more! We recorded a song last week for a video for my crowd funding campaign that I have not launched yet, but will in the near future. It will be solely to raise money for promoting the album, I've already got the studio costs covered. My goal is to put at least $10,000 into promoting the album and I'm really looking forward to sharing the music with more peeps. Have you heard the first EP I put out about 4 years ago before I started playing gigs called Map Of The World? It's on iTunes and I suggest you go hear it now before I take it down. Let's just say, it helps me to appreciate my growth. :-)
There is something personal that I feel the need to share with all of you. In the past few months (give or take) anxiety has been visiting me in a more prominent way. Have you had anxiety? Yes? Then you know that it can have the ability to take you into a deep, dark hole of fear. It can be very scary and debilitating. I would not wish anxiety on anyone.. ANYONE.
Since I was a young girl, I have always been extremely inquisitive and had an innate desire for learning about humans. I am still that way. So, of course, when I feel anxiety I want to learn about it.. Where does it come from? What exactly IS it? Why does it seem to take over in moments that I feel in control? How can it go away? And why does it happen sometimes when I am on stage doing what I love most?? Hmmm...
I have been reading about anxiety and talking about it with others who have experienced it. Here is what I can conclude as of today:
When I have had anxiety in the past, I have attached myself to it. Which means I have had this belief that it is a part of me.. A part of Ashley's being. It is not. When I attach myself to anxiety, I start to shame myself for feeling it. Would I shame a friend for having anxiety? No. I would talk them down and tell them kind, soothing words so that they could see some light. Notice earlier I said, "anxiety has been visiting me in a more prominent way." If I can take a step back and look at anxiety as a visitor, then I can wrap my head around detaching from it and letting it go (same with fear, depression, stress, etc...), which is the goal. I was watching a yogi speak about panic attacks and he said that the true way to let go of panic is to become friends with it. I like that. Just become friends, say, "why are you here, anxiety?" I know I know, it sounds silly, but it can work!
When I have the courage to accept it and love it and embrace it, that's when it will be let go. When I can have the courage to share with others about it, it will be let go. When I can tell you that sometimes when I am on stage and I feel a panic attack coming on and it's really scary, it will be let go. Anxiety and fear thrive off of darkness. When I can talk about it and shine light on it, I can learn to accept it and therefor, let it go. This is not always easy, but this is human. And all is okay. :)
I write this post for 2 reasons:
1) After being so vocal about anxiety to friends and family in my life, I have learned that nearly everyone has suffered from anxiety and not many people like to talk about it. I think it's because they feel it will bring on more anxiety or that they will be shamed for it and look stupid in other people's eyes. Both false. I want to put myself out there like this so that people know others feel this too and it's okay. It does not have to be taboo. My wish is that you talk about it!
2) Writing about it for the world wide web to see (I know millions are reading this, right?) helps me shine light on it and then connect with you in a deeper way.
In my belief, we are all interconnected and this world is a beautiful place. We are free to live out our goals and dreams and we are just as worthy as anyone else! There is darkness, yes. Darkness makes the light that much brighter, enabling us to sink our roots into Mother Earth and stretch our branches toward the sun.
All of the blessings of happiness in the world to you.
Larry Joe Taylor's Texas Music Festival 2014
Photo by Daren Davis
(That's me with my hands in the air!)
Howdy! Hi! Hey! Hello!
The highlight of my career (so far) happened this past Saturday night when I was a special guest at Larry Joe Taylor's Texas Music Festival. I got to sing in front of 15,000 - 20,000 people on stage with some of the greatest TX music artists. It was incredible. Larry Joe had me sing the last line of the last song of the festival "In the sky, lord, in the sky" from an old country gospel song called "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." I belted it out for all the cheering, radical, beer drink fans under a big Texas sky full of twinkling stars on Melody Mountain Ranch in Stephenville, TX.
My new friend, Mark McKinney, also asked me to sing a duet with him on the big stage. I literally heard the song about 4 hrs before I sang it and it was fabulous! I am so grateful to be a part of this music scene and supported by these talented folks who I respect so much!
Currently, I only have 2 shows on the schedule.. Which is good! WHY? It's been a long time coming and I have finally decided to record an album with producer, John Evans. John is a great songwriter, producer and musician - I am thrilled to work with him and really looking forward to what we will create! You can expect rock, folk, country, gospel and a ballad or two to tug on some heart strings.
This email update is also to put out the word that I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for promotion and distribution for the album.. Something very necessary alongside releasing a product!
I am so humbled and grateful for all of the support that continues to come my way on this path. From family, to fans, to music venues, to musicians, to friends!
God Bless all of you!
Create the world you want for yourself.