Hello darlings and greetings from Telluride!
Kase and I are having a wonderful summer in the cool of the mountains. We have been hiking, swimming, and going on
alpine picnics! I have especially enjoyed our special time together before I
get busy promoting my new book and CD mid-September.
I wanted to share a few things with you. One is a cool new
announcement - I am building a new web site to compliment my book. There have
been several key changes in my thinking and practices over the years that have helped
me to become successful and find resilience in my life. I talk about them and
how they helped me create change in my life. In addition, I have them all listed
in the back of my book. These life lessons to live by took me 40 years and a
lot of pain to create and my hope is that they might help you so that it will
take less time and less pain to create the empowerment and fulfillment you are
looking for in your life. For the website, I created fun and simple exercises
that anyone can do if they are interested in creating change in their lives and
want to see if the tools I have created for myself in my own life might work
for them as well. I believe they will! The most important part for me is to
create a community where folks can show up, be seen and supported, and reach
out and find a family with similar interests and goals that can help each other
in achieving their goals.
There is the mission statement I have built for the site and it
may give you a good idea of what I am wanting to create.
"The Never Broken website is for those
who are seeking the tools to examine their past and bring mindfulness into the present,
so that they can be the architects of their future. Live life unedited. Whole. Human. You need
nothing but what's in your heart. Join the movement."
The interesting thing for me in writing this book was sharing
things about my life that I have never talked about. I think even my most die-hard
fans will be surprised at what was really going on in different phases of my life
- and that many of my greatest highs were simultaneously my worst lows and there
were many pressures and unseen machinations that were working against me that I
had to overcome.
I will give you more info about the website soon and some sneak
peaks as well! I may even invite a few EDA's to check out the site early to
give us feedback!
Secondly, I’d like to share with you a sneak peak
of my book! I recently did a show at the Sheridan Opera house and I read the
forward to my book. You can read the forward below.
I love you all, and can’t thank you enough for your support –
hard to be a full time mom, release two projects at once, with the book and cd,
and do it as an indie project. Your help in spreading the word will make or
break this release for me - so spread the word!! Share the link to this blog,
the PREORDER LINK, and get the word out about the cd and book.
I am relying on your support and belief!!
Lastly, I know how many of you have faced such challenges in your
life - I’d
like to invite you all to start sharing what you have faced and why you are
never broken. It might look something like this: "I faced cancer and won
and I know I am #neverbroken" or "I am #neverbroken because I believe
in myself even though no one else did." I can’t wait to hear what
challenges you all have faced and how you overcame them!
Enjoy the forward, and see you on Twitter, Instagram and
Facebook- and a city near you! Click HERE to see where my book tour takes me so
we can say hi in person!
I should probably not be here today. I should probably not even be
alive. Being alive, I should have become an addict, knocked up as a teenager,
or stuck romantically in a cycle of abuse. If you look at my life at any stage you
might’ve said, This girl will never make it, and you probably would’ve
been right. What I had going for me, however, was that at a fairly young age I
figured out what I wanted. Happiness. You have to know what you want to ever be
able to have it.
Here are the broad strokes: My two brothers and I were raised by a
musical family, and I spent my early childhood performing with my parents in
Anchorage for tourists. When I was eight, my mother left and my dad moved us to
the family homestead in rural Alaska, a log cabin with creek water to drink, no
plumbing or most modern conveniences. My dad did the best he could, but handled
the stress of being a single parent by drinking and perpetuating the only
parenting style he knew—the one he was raised with—which was creative at its
best, and abusive at its worst.
At age fifteen I was finally fed up, depressed, and worried that if I
didn’t make a break for it I would lose myself entirely. I decided to move out.
Aware that by doing so, the probability of me becoming just another statistic
was high. Kids like me end up doing the same thing we saw while being raised .
. . there are rarely happy endings. I wanted to beat those odds, and I knew
that to do so I would have to use all my logic, heart, wit, and talent to end
up differently. To be different, I had to act different. Which left me with a
problem: how do you act differently than the way you are taught? This question
set me on a journey to learn a new way of being, so I could create a life with
a different outcome, rather than just feel fated to repeat the cycles and
patterns I was familiar with. I vowed to study myself and my life like a
scientist, to see what did and didn’t work—how to get what I lacked and so
desperately wanted: happiness.
So at fifteen I moved out on my own and paid my own rent on a one- room
cabin by working several jobs. I got a scholarship to a private school at
sixteen. I put myself through high school and graduated. I became homeless
later that year. I was discovered by record labels at nineteen. I became a
worldwide phenomenon at twenty-one, traveling the globe nonstop. I fell in love
at twenty-five. At thirty, I found out that not only was all my money gone, but
I was several million dollars in debt. The same year I came to feel that my
mom, who was also my manager, was not the person I believed she was. And here I
am today. Forty years old, newly divorced. I earned back a fortune, I’m
discovering new ways to do business. Finally, there is my greatest success: I
am lucky enough to be a mother. And I’m still continuing the journey,
relearning how to be truly safe in the world, and it isn’t what I thought. It’s
not by avoiding pain in life—that’s impossible—it’s by knowing that safety is
in vulnerability, not in armor. It sounds counterintuitive but it’s true. Life
takes each of us to the anvil, shapes us with fire and hammer, and some of us
break while some of us become stronger, more able to face the day. Even happy.
The great myth is that you need money, time, love, education, expensive
therapy, a house, a fill-in-the-blank to get the happiness you want. I am here
to tell you, you need nothing other than what is in your heart. How much
do you believe that you deserve something, and how willing are you to do
whatever it takes to achieve it? Personal growth, fulfillment, success, and
even happiness—be it personal or professional—are not for the lazy, for the
faint of heart, for the victim, for the one who passes the buck. Change is for
the warrior. If you look in the mirror and say, I am willing to be the one
who is accountable and take responsibility for my own happiness and the shape
of my own life, then I welcome you as a friend on this journey. I believe
in you. I believe we are whole, intact, and capable of claiming the quality of
life we all deserve. This I know: our essential self cannot be erased no matter
what we endure.
The truth is that no one can keep you captive. No one can keep you
unhappy. No one can keep you abused. Our lives rise to the level we accept. I
do believe we can rise from the screaming blood of our losses, of extreme pain,
physically debilitating emotion, psychological neglect, and apathy, and not
merely survive, but thrive. We do not need to let our histories or our losses
define us except in the way we choose. We can use them as fuel to create real
depth, beauty, connectedness, and compassion in our lives. Our stories can make
us exceptional people, not damaged ones. If we choose to be truthful with ourselves.
And if we choose to digest and release the pain rather than try to avoid it.
This is how pain ac- cumulates and creates more pain, leading to neurosis,
pathology, and brittleness of spirit.
We cannot always control or avoid what happens to us, but we can control
what it does to our spirit. And the quality of our spirit becomes the filter
through which we see life. And as the philosophers say, reality is our
perception of it. I believe those words. Our reality is what we believe it to
be. What we believe informs our thoughts. Our thoughts inform our actions. Our
actions build our lives.
My own life has been an exercise in challenging my beliefs so that I
could reimagine my future. So that I could avoid becoming the statistic and
instead become the architect who tried to consciously draw the lines of her own
life, free of the heartbreak that birthed me.
When I first left home, I got a few jobs, singing locally and giving
horse rides to tourists, and at night I would get out my notepad and pen to
write. I called my journal “the happiness project,” and I had no idea that it
would lead me not only on a journey of deep personal discovery, but would also
lead me from the fishing village of Homer, Alaska, to songwriting, to the White
House, to the Vatican, to the cover of Time magazine, and beyond. Most
important, the exercise of writing and looking inward led me to myself, and to
discovering my own definition of happiness. It is a journey I am still on
today. But I get ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.