Abstract musings: what is the ego? 

What is self worth? And how is it different from ego? And how do these relate to self sabotage? There’s a lot of information out there around spirituality, evolving into your best self, and transcending the ego. There’s a lot of mixed messages. Some of this information is clear and some of it’s not. Some of it is legit and some of it’s not. And some things are widely misinterpreted. In this age of information that we’re in, there’s not really a clear source anymore to tell us what is real and what is not. 

What is real and what is not? 

That’s something I think about a lot. I question it all the time in my music, as if I’m asking someone else for the answer. As if there’s an answer to be found that can give me a straight up answer. Probably even if such an answer existed, I might hear it and not be able to absorb it. 

I think maybe that’s the reason why a lot of us are kind of struggling right now, at least with this idea of the self and how we fit into this ever-changing world. We’re still operating like 95% in the mind. We want someone to tell us what to do, how to make money, how to find the right relationship, the right job, etc. In the past you could read a book and learn how to do something and do it. And that was it. But now it’s slipperier than that. You can’t quite grasp it. Even if rules or steps can be clearly laid out in front of you, you find yourself hesitating, making excuses, still not doing it. 

In the past, we thought the problem was lack of information, and we always grasped for more. But now, we are swimming in it, and it’s clear that lack of info was never really the problem. Not the total problem, anyway. In fact, maybe information has nothing to do with it at all. Information is facts. Facts are essentially neutral, although we can certainly have strong opinions about them. 

Where am I going with this? 

Self worth. First we need to define the self. I believe that the “self” is a particular aspect of source that perceives itself to be separate. Of course, we are not separate. Separateness cannot really exist in the cosmos- whether on a molecular level or on a galactic level or in nature, nothing is isolated completely. Everything is connected in some way to the things around it. If that’s possible, then, how are we able to have this experience of being so separate -- this experience of, at times, feeling so completely lost and alone and cut off from the rest of the world? 

The mind.

The mind kind of locks us into our own limited perspective, so that we’re not able to clearly see the ripple effect of our actions on others, or how the air we breathe is circulated through all other living things, or how the cells in our being came to arrive within us after being present through our ancestors and the earth and the cosmos. The mind allows us to perceive time -- again, an illusion -- that makes it seem as though there are experiences outside of the here and now.

There aren’t. 

So to define the ego, I would say that it is the self’s perception of lack, of scarcity, of limitation based on the way that reality is filtered through the mind. And it’s fucking uncomfortable. 

Why? If separation is seemingly everywhere, why is it so uncomfortable? 

Because our natural state is wholeness and connection — communion with all other aspects of life. You can feel it in your body. If you imagine the idea of separation, illusion, disconnection, how does that feel in the pit of your stomach? Not good.

If you contrast that with love, wholeness, connection, how does that feel? Amazing. Completely different, right? Your grounded feelings and your physical body will guide you every time. 

The isolated self will always sabotage itself because it thinks it isn't enough. The integrated, whole, accepted self will thrive because that is the nature of community -- to grow and get bigger. To see yourself reflected in all people and all things.

Living within these kinds of limitations in our modern society is not only unnatural to the soul, but it wears on us over time. So we look for validation. We look for ways to make it easier. Understandably. But as long as we live in the area of the mind, it will never be enough. As long as we feed the fear and believe that the answer is anywhere outside of our own being, we will not truly find it. 

Why would we do this to ourselves? Why would we choose this? I’ve painted kind of a negative picture, but I want to bring it back to self worth. I believe if we could truly perceive the value of our experience here in this body in this lifetime -- the range of emotions we feel, the textures, the up-and-down of the human experience -- how could the self be anything but worthiness? If we could bring the knowledge of the mind into the beauty of feeling and experience, things would start to shift. Things already have shifted, as I believe this is what’s happening now. We’ve exhausted information, the need to be right, the need to compete, the need to have more. We are pursuing these things and feeling in a very deep way that they are not enough. We are finding joy in experiences, in laughter, in friendships, and we are remembering our own power. Maybe we’re remembering who we were before all these things -- maybe the reason we are here is to remember who we are from the perspective of having totally forgotten. 

What kind of magic would that bring? How would it change the way you perceive yourself? Would it be worth it? As I write this, I can feel my soul smiling.

Happy 2021 

 

Here we are on the first full moon of 2021! 🌝 For me, this year already feels drastically different than last year. I actually felt that around the time of the last full moon and the solstice, I went through a shift and dropped a lot of the remaining negative energy that I’d been holding onto from last year. Since then, I’ve overall felt noticeably lighter and less intimidated by things outside my comfort zone. 

No doubt, 2020 was an important year. I hope it’s a year we can look back on and be proud of, not just for the things we accomplished, but for the difficulties we faced and worked through. Even if it doesn’t look like much on the surface, simply showing up every day and feeling your feelings to the best of your ability is, I believe, one of the most effective ways to move forward and make changes in your life. 

I definitely move slow, and at this point, I’m finally okay with that. Because I know that when I do move forward, it’s with stability and confidence. I am looking forward to more creative projects this year, including a music video or two, and more opportunities to work with people 1:1 to help them manifest their own creative potential. I believe this will be a year where we can continue rising up together and helping each other thrive. 

As always, thank you for showing up as you. It has never been more needed than it is at this moment, and it does not go unnoticed. 

Blessings, ✨

Kristen

Happy solstice / Christmas / New Year 

So here we are. At the end of this devilish year. The solstice was yesterday, and I saw the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn that apparently hasn’t been this close since the year 1280. There’s something special about these times, for sure. A lot of people are saying that this is the official beginning of the Aquarian Age, as the planetary alignment is happening in Aquarius. This new age is supposed to focus on expansion and growth with more ease and flow. The old structures are being disassembled. Our old selves are being disassembled. We are making room for something new that we can’t quite see yet. And that’s a scary thing. But for me, I think I needed to be gently broken into a million pieces in order to realize that this is the only way to go. We’re all going to the same place, and this is how we get there. By taking one step at a time- maybe grabbing a hand, maybe leaning on a shoulder, but ultimately taking each step ourselves.


Your sensitivity is a strength 

We're alive in one of the most stressful times in history. We're in a constant state of motion and flux as we shift from dark to light, density to space, fear to love. It's not an overnight change by any means, and at times it's scary as hell.

I used to feel like being sensitive and empathic was a disadvantage: i.e. not being able to handle violent or stressful movies, internalizing others' feelings, needing lots of down time, etc. 

But as I learned to turn these feelings into art, I know that this is not true. Your sensitivity is as vital as your other senses. It allows you to keenly perceive the world and the people around you. If you are grounded and centered in yourself, you can use your perceptions about others as a means of helping them, and of having extra insight into your experience.

It's all just information. If you can perceive the information you're getting without judgement, it becomes a tool. You won't hurt yourself if you learn how to use it. You are more powerful than you know.

 

The future 

The future is an interesting thing. For a long time, I had this vision of “where I wanted my music to be” in the future. Winning awards, touring, playing on TV shows and commercials, shaping the world in a big way. And it’s not that I no longer want those things — on the contrary, my musical journey has just barely begun, and I don’t doubt that I can. 

But I guess for a long time, there was a disconnect because I always felt like I was playing by someone else’s rules. And I would always burn out. But I guess the difference with my new album is that I love it regardless. It doesn’t have to get any amount of attention or notoriety because it’s exactly what I want to express at the exact time I need to express it. I did all the production an mixing on that record not because I have flawless engineering skills, but because I wanted the experience of fully creating this art form and seeing it through to completion. And now, it’s okay for it to just be. I’m sitting with it and it’s perfect in its imperfection. 

Having said that, I do want to do more videos and promotional things for this album. But so often, we achieve something and immediately launch into the next phase without sitting with what is. So that’s where I am these days.

Calling the shots  

I really feel blessed in so many ways to essentially be my own boss when it comes to my music. I don't have anyone telling me how to do my craft, when to release, when to post things, etc. But to be honest, it's a bit overwhelming. Trying to stay afloat getting everything accomplished, and doing it in a coherent way that people can relate to is a challenge. 

At the end of the day, tho, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm learning the backend of marketing, website editing, online ads, and so many more things that I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be able to do. [I used code on my website for the first time! You know those lovely little opt-in boxes? Those are code I added. 🤓]

I'm so excited to share my album with you in 10 days. This group of songs delves into the depths of my soul in a way that nothing ever has. I don't think I've ever been this transparent about my innermost feelings. And honestly, I thought I'd be more nervous about sharing it. But it's time. It's always my goal when I write to transmute the negative into something positive, or at least lighter. And I think that kind of energy is needed in every way right now. So I'm excited to share it with you very soon. If you dug the video and first single, there's much more to come! ✨

How to turn big ideas into reality 

 For me, the short answer to this question is that you don’t. You don’t manifest anything overnight. Even if you reach that point where you’re at the apex and going over a cliff, it may seem as though everything happened instantly and fell into place, but it’s almost always the result of many days and months and hours of preparation that goes under the radar. 

To be honest, I think this is what held me back for a long time. I’d have such big visions of what I wanted to achieve, and it seemed so far from where I was- it felt like there was no point in trying. It was too overwhelming. But the thing that does keep me going is finding the small nuggets of joy and forward motion and moving consistently towards that. 

When I was little, the first inkling I had that I wanted to do music was seeing a concert on PBS of Yanni performing at the Acropolis in Greece. I just had a feeling in my heart that I wanted to be able to create something big like that and share it with people. When you’re young, you don’t have a concept that things are too big or too hard or that you’re not qualified. You just know what you want and go towards it. Luckily, I feel like I never totally lost that, although I do hesitate and doubt myself way more than I should. But I’m trying to hold that big vision, still. Moving towards it every day and doing something that brings me closer to it. Sometimes it’s music related. Sometimes it’s simply doing something that is nourishing my soul to help me become the the kind of person who can receive it. Either way, it’s important to make it fun and achievable.

So for me this year, that looked like: writing what I was feeling, potentially creating songs and channeling all the big emotional stuff, recording and mixing, tweaking a little at a time, reaching out to people who seem to be on the same wavelength, and creating something. [see above picture!] Not holding too tightly to the reins is important. Let your vision guide you, but allow the path to be fluid. Allow surprises and synchronicities to bring you where you need to be. Magic will find you if you let it.✨

 

The hardest part of songwriting 

 

I guess for a lot of people, making music and writing songs can be difficult. I wouldn’t say I’m a prolific writer by any means, but I feel like when a song is supposed to come through, it does. 

I guess the hardest part for me is when I’m in a stagnant place emotionally or in my life somehow. Everything is connected. If I’m moving forward in my life and feel like I have things to be excited about, or even if I’m dealing with something difficult, this is the energy that goes into writing a song.

Early last year I had gone for many months without writing, but after joining an online songwriting group and doing some traveling, that got me rolling again! And this year has been so stressful. A really difficult year for me actually- but I find that if I can at least get something creative out of it, it adds some degree of value and meaning.

I take a really right-brained approach to songwriting, meaning that I let my logical brain take the backseat when I’m writing. I’ve found that in most of my best songs, music and lyrics come together. I don’t have to do much as far as arranging- I might switch the order or adjust the form later. But I go more off of the feeling of the song rather than having a pre-conceived expectation of what it should sound like. 

Usually I don’t even know what the instrumentation will be like until I start to record and track in Logic. I like this approach. It’s fun for me because I don’t know what will happen or what the end product will be. 

Maybe these traits are typical of a right-brained empath. Do you think you’re more right or left brained?

September 1, 2020 

Hello all! I just wanted to check in and say that I hope you’re all doing well. It can be hard to stick to any kind of a schedule these days with so many uncertainties. As a matter of fact, I want to start posting more regularly a) so that you can get to know me better 😁 and b) to get my own energy moving. I tend to live in my head a lot, and I have a lot of ideas that I don’t take action on, so I want to try to change that. Especially as my album gets closer to release, there's a lot to be excited about! 

People often ask me about the songwriting process and how often I write songs. There’s a lot I could say about this! I think the process is different for everyone, and some people swear by having a routine and allocating a certain amount of regular time for songwriting. However 😜 I tend to do better with a bit more freedom. This past year I’ve been processing a lot emotionally, and music was an outlet for me to transmute some of my negative energy into something more positive. I find that the less I try to control the songwriting process, the better it comes out. As a matter of fact, I had a cool song come through the other night around 3am. I couldn’t sleep, and I just thought to myself, what am I wanting to say or express right now? What does my higher self want me to know? And bam. Cool song. [For the record, sometimes when this happens, I look at the song the next day and it’s crap. But you have to at least be open to the possibility of awesomeness.] So if you have a creative outlet, whether it’s songwriting or something else, I hope that you’re able to channel your energy into it and allow it to serve you, and maybe serve others too. In my experience, more flexibility you allow yourself, the more space you give yourself to grow and expand beyond what you thought you could do! 💜☯✨ 

Talk soon! 

KL

 

The first video from my album will be for a song called “The Place Beyond.” This is actually the oldest song on the album- I wrote it around 2012. And it’s a little vague. A little magical. A little uneasy. Very much like these times. I didn’t write the song with a specific theme or message in mind, but I think it can apply to a lot of different things. 

For me, as a sensitive and an introvert, I’ve had resistance for a long time about being present and grounded and feeling my feelings. As current events have escalated, I’m seeing these feelings come up more and more. So I think wanting to escape is some of what this song is about. But even beyond that, I think what I’m really trying to get at is that there’s a greater perspective and a greater harmony available if we can tune into it. The chorus is “Sunsets on the Amazon, take me to the place beyond.” Somehow sunsets and sunrises- without any words or distinct shapes- always take us where we need to be. They bring us into a deeper part of ourselves that doesn’t need any of those external things. 

The next line “Marching where the mighty fall, in the jungles deep and tall,” for me, is an acknowledgement that we are in times that are scary and confusing enough to freak out even the bravest of people. And yet we keep going. Seeing what the next day holds. Sometimes living moment to moment or breath by breath. It’s all we can do. We never really could rely on the future, but now it’s unavoidable- the present moment is all there is.

So that’s what this song is. An honest look into the vague uncertainties that have always made me uncomfortable. Maybe all it really needs is to be looked at.

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