Friday, January 30, 2009


Just tonight I have found peace with this time of introspection, and this long sabbatical from performing - what a Sweet Blessing, actually, to have this down-time...

I've spent so much of my life thinking about what I "should" be doing, how to be more successful... but right now am settling into Contentment with the truth that it feels very NOURISHING to take time for inner-enrichment.

Wow, CONTENTMENT! What a merciful and Noble sentiment!! May we all find contentment - Santosha - within our lives: knowing that who and what we are is Enough, that each moment is Perfect and full.

In this "down time," I've been deeply studying the voice - delving into the roots of its power and beauty, from both soulful and technical standpoints... I'm falling in love again and again with the ocean of Raga music... And a few incredible new compositions have come through me... But most of all, I'm confronted day-in and day-out with mySELF - that sometimes-shaky, yet thru-it-all-STEADFAST self that I walk as in this life. I've been getting to see my most delicate fears, my tenderest soft-spots, my Visions of Beauty...

And I embrace it all! I am THANKFUL for it all - this human experience is such a precious gift - the passion and the pain, the peaceful moments and the deep wounds, the friends and the enemies.

Most precious, I believe, is that we SHARE it all. In this inward time, it has been the love of friends - sometimes here, sometimes far - that has sparked remembrance in my heart.

And when I arrive at this place of peace, the first thing I think of is those I love - for this Love is for sharing...

In Gratitude...

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Dancing Within...

Many years ago, in another deep-winter, I had a bout of mystical experiences. Once I awoke in the middle of the night to witness myself already dancing - my arms carving patterns in the sky above me...

Years later, in India I awoke with my hands dancing similarly above me, forming mudras I didn't know I knew... A voice inside said, "all the ragas are already alive inside of you." A whole ocean of ragas, alive in me?? Thousands of mystical musical worlds? Yes - for we are the ocean we are swimming in...

"All know that the drop merges into the ocean, few know that the ocean merges into the drop!" ~ Kabir.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

"Waste Not, Want Not"

My mama always said that, "waste not, want not." Anytime I wanted to throw something away, or not finish my supper, "waste not, want not." I always knew what it meant, instinctively, but it wasn't until I grew up that I thought to contemplate the breakdown of the wording. I understand it now as such: if you don't live wastefully, you won't fall upon times of want.

In this day and age, we waste waste waste every day. Food comes in packaging. [Plastic] toys that kids grow tired of in 2 weeks come in packaging. Clothes come in packaging, with tags, and then in bags. We come home and throw it away. In the immortal words of Julia Butterfly Hill, "we say we are 'going to throw something away.' Where is 'away?' There is no such thing."

I spent the afternoon of today's first "National Day of Service" walking up my neighborhood alleyways and waterways clearing up trash and recycling that had somehow found a wayward home in the nooks of trees and bushes. Most of it was fairly innocuous, and I sang as I picked up windblown bits of newspaper and other randomness. But now and again, something would really grab me - like the unbundled stacks of extra trash next to the bins that will be sure to fly away in tonight's winds... Or the dozens of bottlecaps and cigarette butts behind one particular cottage... And then there was the creek. Down by 9th Street, here in Boulder, there's an irrigation fork of the creek that parallels the street. And it's just plum full of junk. I entered it unsure how I would even begin to fit everything in my little plastic bag (I started with two, but one got ripped on a bush, so now I would be hand-sorting the trash from the recycling...). I crammed the little bag as full as can be until I came to the end, where a grate was not doing such a good job of keeping trash from continuing through it... I couldn't get thru the grate to pick up the piles of trash beyond, but I could use the big box that had gotten trapped on this side to put all the extra junk into!

So here I was, now strolling along lugging a huge, half-broken box of junk... Fortunately nearby I see some dumpsters. I load all the goods into one of them and ...sigh... note the piles of unbound recycling piled next to the bins. Is this apartment living?? Is it that living in an "apartment" keeps us apart from each other and the natural world so well that we forget our basic respect for the space beyond our little walls, for the neighbors whose yards will receive our windblown trash, and for the waterways and places of beauty that will be defiled by our lazy neglect? Sigh.

I continue on my way, back into the alleyways and towards the more single-family residential areas. The onslaught of trash lessens as I near home, and ironically I find one of my own ribbons (a silver one that had been hanging on the grapevines as birdproofing) a few houses downwind from mine. Indeed, none of us, perhaps, are immune to some bit of negligence...

Still, I am left remembering that we don't all live with the motto "waste not, want not." So many of us have more than enough - perhaps even taking it for granted - that we can afford to unthinkingly let it go to waste. Or can we? Are we possibly in desperate environmental straits? Is it now or never? Whether or no this is the case (likely it is!), I do often pray that we humans take more time to slow down and honor our connection with the cycles and the abundance of the earth. For if we hope to be sustained here on her sacred ground, we must do our part to return the favor.

To this end, I dearly hope that we take this idea of a "Day of Service" into our everyday lives - finding ways to better our communities and families every day - and finding a regular rhythm of service that we can offer to each other and the Earth.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hi-larious quote...

The pickle that we're in, in samsara, is...

...if it weren't so
sad, it would be funny!

hee hee hee ;-)

(courtesy of Richard Freeman)

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Shine your Darkness...

I know many of us are familiar with the Marianne Williamson quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." The theme of which being that as we shine our lights, we inspire others to do the same. However (and this is a follow-up to the two previous posts), I've experienced that being a beacon of light sometimes draws it's opposite - the dark is drawn to the light, seemingly to try to tear it down, but ultimately perhaps in order to destroy itself.

So I propose another theory/addendum: not only is it valuable to shine our lights and inspire others, but it's crucial to also be transparent and honest about our darkness, our shortcomings.

I've witnessed over and over again afraid we are of our shadows - afraid our negative thoughts might be "crazy," afraid our creative explorations might be "ugly," afraid afraid afraid!! And so often I have seen that shame dissipate simply by saying, "oh yeah, I have that fear sometimes too." Or, "I hear you, I never know if my offering will be appreciated either - it's always scary to put a piece of art out, but I do it because I have no choice - it comes from my heart." Or, "I've made that mistake too, maybe we can help each other with it!"

We've become afraid of being vulnerable with each other, of revealing that we haven't got it all "figured out" yet - as if we should have some magic formula that was born in the bubble of our own minds at the time of birth...

It may not be our "deepest fear" that we are inadequate, but it is one that we hide too well - tucked away into our shadow pockets of shame, all the while subconsciously wondering if we're "crazy," "depressed," or if something's just "wrong" with me??

I feel lucky - I was raised to see the 'normal' world as crazy - and encouraged to explore new options. Because of this, I have fearlessly journeyed deep into the underworlds of the mind. In my dreams I've walked through bloody, charred battlefields - knowing that these devastating scenes are the wounded parts of my own psyche. In life, I've wailed for hours alone in my room, sobbing and singing like a madwoman - knowing full well that this is healthy. I've felt the fires of jealousy, rage, and sorrow burn deep through my soul. I've spent days, weeks, years on end tied up in fear - what if I don't succeed, what if I'm not good enough, what if I can't pay the next month's rent...?? I've sat with all these fears and confusions - and sometimes they still arise - but life has always gone on. Unexpected miracles come when I most need them, times of 'want' fill me with spiritual riches, a friend or teacher comes when I am most alone...

And through it all, a new, truer voice has emerged, remembering that I am an innocent child of God. I don't need to have it all figured out - so long as my heart strives to love, and to share from a place of authenticity, that is enough.

So I propose: let us show our insecurities, share our fears, unveil our wounds. We will likely find that we offer one another relief as we allow each other the space to be human!

And yes, let us remember to shine also - to keep sharing our gifts, perhaps more fearlessly as we remember that they don't have to be "perfect" - authentic and from the heart is enough.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson)

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

My life as a Projector Screen?

It might be noted that this is an ongoing pattern in my life: since I was a child, I've been the recipient of ongoing projections and insults. Though I had a "healthy" home-life (if you consider communal households where nudity and honesty and acid-taking were the healthy norm), school was hell for me. Not only was I tormented continuously from preschool till junior high and beyond, but I was often "the" outcast in any given school. I suppose that's a sort of rockstar status, hahaha. But really... - though I was teased for my funny-looks, my supposed stupidness, my "airhead"-ness (that monicker stuck for some years) - what I was really teased for was my emotional vulnerability. I finally realized that the teasing continued because they could always get a reaction.

Hmm, if I stop reacting, there won't be anything more to tease about! I figured it out, but in the process, started suppressing my own emotions, stuffing them inside my own shadow-pocket, pretending everything was "okay."

Many years later, after much much intensive healing, I figured out that I had been a projector-screen for the emotions that the other kids had long suppressed - had long-ago been trained weren't acceptable. Since I was raised by such openhearted hippies, it took me longer to "learn" to suppress my emotions. But fortunately I was able to unlearn also, and in the process of unlocking my shadow-pocket, discovered the deepest well of creative juice I'd ever imagined!

So here now, many years later as I still sometimes receive the projections of others, I'm able to recognize that it's not about me. But I can be a projector screen for others' suppressed stories. So here's the invitation: anytime you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about anyone besides yourself, take a moment and ask inside, "what am I seeing in them that I don't want to see in myself? What traits of theirs have I blown out of proportion so that I may see them in myself more clearly?" Not only is this an amazing tool to learn about ourselves, but it also helps us become more understanding and loving towards others. "Oh, I hate that in her so much because I haven't accepted it in myself. Ahh, now I can soften and accept it in both of us - we're both human." Compassion is born in the hot-box of reclaiming our own projections.

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Hate Mail

Being such a public figure, I occasionally receive bonafide hate-mail. Ironically, it has always been from someone I know and respect - so I don't just blow it off as a fluke.

The first time it happened I was amazed and confused. A longtime acquaintance responded to one of my mass emails telling me he thought my positivity was a sham, that I must be off in la-la land... I think he was as shocked and amazed when I wrote back, actually initiating a dialogue. After my response, he acknowledged that he was actually jealous that I'm finding success as an artist (hahaha, that remains to be seen). I loved that he was able to admit his projection, and we ended up spending the day emailing, updating each other on our lives at the time. He had been stuck in a corporate job and neglecting his art - and through our dialogue he turned his initial anger and jealousy into inspiration. I have one of his art pieces in my home, which I love dearly, and every time I see it I hope that he is still feeling inspired by that interaction to continue his beautiful art.

Only recently, I received my second full-blown piece of hate-mail. Another acquaintance wrote, telling me my sense of humor was pretentious, and my recordings all amateur "pieces of shit." I had heard, through the loop, that he was going through hard times (especially financially), so I responded to his message. It told him it hurt to receive his non-constructive criticism, and that even if the recordings weren't 'professionally' done, they were an offering from my heart. I also shared that like him, I have often been set on hard financial times (part of why I don't have a 'pro' recording yet - hahaha). I wrote...

"As for humor - I live a pretty challenged life, continually living on the edge. I come from poverty (both parents still live far below the poverty line, which means I have no "safety net"). Was even homeless once (spanning the cold of two winters) for 1.5 years. I know suffering, and sometimes I do choose to enjoy a sense of sick humor about it. Helps me remember it's always changing, and I'm just growing crusty and gonna die eventually, so may as well try to enjoy this moment - even as I'm suffering thru it. "

And I blessed him: "I wish you a sweet gentle heart of acceptance, and perhaps inspiration or creativity, within your situation - and I'm happy to be here if you need to share."

Once again, this initiated an email dialogue where he opened up and shared more of the difficulty he's going through - grateful for my listening ear which was ironically pried open by his initial insult.

Sigh, it's not easy being a human projector screen. I recognize that there's a beauty in being able to meet my public figure-hood with this sort of down-to-earth humanness. I don't have a team who reads and filters my hate-mail before it gets to me. I am accessible, if tenderly, vulnerably so. And it is challenging and painful at times to hold this role. Part of why I write in this journal is to reveal a bit of my humanness, my inner workings. I'm not all glam and success, but rather, my art is fueled by a passion for healing and awakening consciousness. To this end, I will still read all my mail, and always respond to the depth I can at any given time.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009


A friend, when she saw I was planning to publish, asked if I might find a theme to tie the various entries together...

I answered, haphazardly perhaps, and a bit fast - but then again, 'first thought, best thought.'

"I would say it's about renunciation and death... - hahahahaha"

"...and also, I suppose, about celebration and life."

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This is not a poem.

(though it may look like one :-)

Life! Enjoy it while you can
So fleeing and precious...

All this trying to "figure it out",
      when it's right here for the asking
But only for this moment!

How to Embrace Life
      without grasping at it?
Allowing every bit of it as it passes thru,
      dissolving into Death, as it will...

Joyfully, a Celebration
      of this Now!

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Going to Print...

Ever since I was a small child, and I had my first journal (with a little lock, and the word "Diary" embossed on the front), I've written with an awareness that someday my words would be read. Perhaps like Anne Frank (only without as much suffering) or Anais Nin (only without so much sex!)... All the while this created an interesting paradox in my mind - a diary is a place to fully disclose our innermost workings, a place usually reserved for oneself alone. Yet here I was, writing in my little teenage journal about my first sex experiences, wondering how to write truthfully without coming across as gruesome or banal(?)! My first lesson in shameless, yet tasteful, honesty?... Paradox indeed!!

So here I am, many years later... I didn't know why I began this blog at first. A friend had one, and I thought it was pretty, and cool. So I made one, just for fun. With that clean slate to begin, I wrote my first "real" post only two days after setting it up! What I began to notice, as over and over again I became inspired to write - was that I wrote when I felt I had something to share. I still keep a longhand journal for when I need to write solely for myself, but to post all that here would feel like blabbering - and my words to you, instead, I hope will be of service.

So sorry to say, you won't get to read about my every sexual experience, or my every petty annoyance I download to my journal - but hopefully this diary serves another purpose - perhaps to understand me a little better, but more importantly, to understand the human condition all the more.

And yes, this is the official announcement that the "Diaries of a Bliss Princess" are going to print - as a glossy, decorated, coffee-table book for your everyday enjoyment. Look for it over the next couple years...

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