i forgot to post this, i still love you the same...
Please note: It’s been a whole nother tour since I wrote this, but my contents are still shifted…especially after this night:
Please be careful when opening the overhead bin, as contents may have shifted…
Hey y’all, I’m currently on my way back to San Diego. We just wrapped up our 3 week tour: Denver, Santa Fe, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, Birmingham, Nashville, Athens, Atlanta, Charlotte, Carrboro, Washington DC, New York, Philly, Boston.
What a handful that was haha… I’m always amazed at how much can happen in 3 weeks, and I always take note of the space I was in before tour, and space I am in when its over.
Right now, words cannot express my gratitude for all of you who took the time and energy to make it to our shows. I have never headlined before and had such packed sold out shows like the ones we have had this year. I’ve said it a lot from the stage, but I really mean it: When I walked away from music to take a break, 1 year quickly turned into 4…I went from uninspired to super inspired and made Cedar + Gold. It was therapeutic enough just writing and releasing that album, I needed it for the sake of my heart and soul. But to see that aside from all that, it has provided peace, love clarity for others, that is really, truly all I could ever ask for. And that you on top of that come to show! It doesn’t get much better. I remember something Chis Martin said in the Coldplay documentary: “Remember what it was like to throw parties as a kid and people showed up? Imagine that, but with a stadium full of people.”
For me…I was barely allowed to have friends over as a kid, let alone parties, so as you can imagine, I definitely freak out a little bit inside, every night, when I see all your faces.
At the end of the day, music resonates the deepest with me when I am making it because I need an outlet, a safe space to get my thoughts out… It’s easy, when it turns into a full blown career, to feel rushed, and forced. You start trying too hard to write the perfect single, hook, and melody. It’s easy to loose sight of what the music wants. I believe for all of us that choose a path in the arts, the medium (whatever it may be) knows what it wants from you. Cedar + Gold knew exactly what it wanted to be, it just needed me to tune in and do the work, and I’m just happy that I could focus enough to make it happen.
As for the road…The road is always a test for me. Its easy to get distracted, there is so much time for the mind to wander. I get glued to my phone and high on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, etc…I start reading into comments, and allowing self doubt to creep in. Plus, I’m extra hard on myself if my voice wasn’t particularly strong during a part in the show. If I am tired, and the someone says, “Yeah, you seemed a little off”. It’s easy to turn a comment into a chapter, and make it mean all sorts of wacky shit.
This tour, I left home with a lot of personal stuff up in the air. And, at times I let it get the best of me. I made up a lot of stories. Couple that with a lot of long travel days sitting in a van for 4-6hrs at a time. There is a lot of time to think, and it can get a lonely. Oh ya, don’t forget to add in mercury retrograde…and shark week.
This is where having my amazing gal pal, Anya Marina on tour with us was a heaven sent. I’ve known Anya since I started playing music, one of my first shows in San Diego was with her nearly 10 years ago. Anya and I shared a hotel room almost every night, and I cant even tell you how stupid this sounds, but to put on a face mask, make some tea, and watch the bachelor, while gabbing with one of your best girlfriends was THE BEST THING EVER.
I was also really impressed that every morning Anya would wake up early and meditate or hit the gym no matter how late we went to bed the night before. Its no wonder she is so calm, cool and collect. Usually, I am trying to get as much sleep as I can, but Anya was a great reminder that it is so important to take care of yourself, and stay connected to the source.
This seems so obvious to me, but somehow I let it slip past me. About half way through tour I had a very emotional meltdown. Some tissues, time and a pep talk later, I got my shit together. I also managed to get myself to a yoga class in NYC with Elena Brower at Viroyoga, which was HUGE -man did she blow my heart right open! It was like all the sudden I remembered everything that I had somehow forgot. That night we played one of the best shows of the whole tour, to a sold out crowd, at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.
I probably would have gone even more crazy had I not been able to sing my heart out every night. Either way, this tour was a great lesson: There is always work to be done. And always contents in our overhead bin that could use some shifting.
I also picked up a book on my iPod, by Gabrielle Bernstein called “May Cause Miracles” - Its already proving to be a good tool to help me stay on track, positive, and focused while I’m out on the road.
I realized, I’ve been learning how to master the happy life, at home, in my little bubble. I have to remember that I have not been on tour in nearly 4 years. It’s gonna take some adjusting, and some more letting go. And surely some bumps along the way are to be expected. As I find my footing on the road, it leaves me even more grateful for your patience, your kind words of encouragement, and your support. One of my favorite things that fans say to me, is that my shows make them feel like we are all on the same page, like we could be best friends. I love when I see you guys in it together, helping and looking out for each other. It makes me so happy.
So thank you for being awesome, and inspiring me to keep being awesome.
You have my heart.
All my love,
Ps. I gotta give a shout out to my amazing band and tour manager: Steve Miller, Josh Dunahoo, and Chris Nunnari…and all their lovely family and friends that we met up with along the way.
With Valentines Day tomorrow. I cant help but think about Love. LOVE! What is it? What does it mean to you?
I have read a couple quotes lately that I just love:
Love is something that is within you, not something you fall into…
The more love you give, the more love you get…
Love is the ultimate. Of. Everything.
Its why we eat, breath, sleep, smile, frown, glow, reflect, inspire, aspire. It truly is the end all be all.
Today I am so happy. I tweeted that earlier: I love this day.
I read a comment back where someone said: I hope your today celebration is about something awesome for you…
I couldn’t help but think: Nothing special. I woke up, I didn’t sleep all that well. but I walked outside and I said its beautiful out! The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, the birds are signing, and I am alive!!!!
And then I made a cup of tea, and I ran some errands about town with my friend who I haven’t seen in awhile, and I had a photo shoot with my friends at Vuori, who are about to launch their awesome line of yoga pants, tops, recycled tees, and amazing spirit. And when everyone left, I was left to myself, and silence and I thought. Wow. Life is epic. So simple. But epic. And there really wasn’t nothing so special about it, but at the same time everything was special about it.
I am so in love with home once again. Today I was surrounded by people who dream big, want a simple, happy life. And know that, that is has nothing to do with obstacles or money, or new beginnings or stepping into something or someone you have never been. These are the people that inspire me to live my life so open and free.
Its true. I cant even begin to count the ways.
I have one friend who moved to Portland to pursue a change of scenery and graphic design, and she just landed herself at an even bigger and better firm, with amazing clients. Earlier this year, she took me camping into the woods for my first time and introduced me to the amazing group of friends she had made, over dinner at one of Portland’s best kept secret local restaurants. But at the same time, she just loves her dog, who digs up the yard, and that her darling sister, who recently moved to town, after a divorce (the best definitely hasn’t happened yet) and hell of a year, but through that started a brand new venture in being a nutritionist, has an amazing blog and some of the best recipes I have ever seen/tasted.
I have another friend, who married the love of her life, went to school for hair, and moved to Boston. (Her husbands job took them there). She found a job assisting at one of the most coveted salons in Boston. She’s the most adaptive, adventurous girl I know. Despite the recent snow storm, she is kicking major ass, and making the most of it, staying positive, with the best sense of humor even though she misses the shit out of home.
I have another friend who has taken her event planning business to soaring heights, the top of the top in San Diego. Her passion for success and her go big or go home attitude inspire me everyday. Despite many obstacles, she remains to kick life’s ass, instead of letting it kick hers.
Then there is my friend who took his t-shirt clothing line, and turned it into a dream, of expanding and creating yoga clothes designed and based on the active and care-free lifestyle of coastal San Diego. He recently quit his full time job and now calls me with surf reports in the AM, and lets me borrow his Vespa in return for free photo shoots!
And, I cant even forget my darling friend Leah, who I make my “Maybe The Best Hasn’t Happened Yet” bracelets with, who works 4 jobs, single mom, raising 2 kids, and still has the loudest, contagious laugh I know. This woman has the most giving, loving heart of anyone I know. She gives and gives and gives, and you know what, the universe miraculously always takes care of her. She is a manifesting magician this woman. She blows my mind. She is amazing.
I could go on and on, I feel like everywhere I look, I know people that just kick ass at life. From my Yoga Tropics family, to my friend Lisa at Beaming, who started the heaven sent beauty, superfood, vitality bar down the street from my house.
And some of the letters I get from fans, holy shit. You guys are rockstars. You uproot and change shit up like the best of them. I tell ya, I am inspired, non-stop everyday. Sometimes I feel like I am in the middle of a love revival its so nuts, everyone just wakes up and decides: Today is the day where I do it for me! And, Bam!! They do.
And its not because they have all the right cards in their deck or infinite amounts of money, but its because they have a passion burning inside of them, that they can not, do not, ignore. And they go after it.
I don’t know about you, but I know, I CAN FEEL IT, when I am surrounded by people who either A.) fuel my creativity and passion, or B.) Kill it completely.
I go back and forth. I am so free and all over the place, that sometimes I have moments where I fall into relationship and patterns with people who completely turn my faucet off. I don’t notice this till months down the road. I try to carry my positive ‘well’ into their territory. I try to see the best in everyone, the potential, the good stuff. But, eventually the well runs dry, and I find myself just stuck in a rut.
And then I have moments like today, where i look around, and I see all these people doing amazing shit. Making shit happen, not making excuses, not complaining about what they don’t have, but really making the most of what they do have.
I would like to dedicate this blog and this Valentines day to those people, who are KICKING LIFES ASS! WITH LOVE!
This is this kind of love I love the most. Because this love is infectious beyond belief. This is the LOVE that spreads, multiplies, divides and conquers. This Love starts from within, and flows outwards. This love inspires, reciprocates, and is unconditional.
This is the kind of love, that I have been working on.
I realize when I surround myself with love, and people who are doing epic shit, it inspires me to do epic shit, and hopefully inspires everyone I encounter to do epic shit.
So this is my message to you for Valentines Day. Do epic shit. Cause you, YES YOU! Are super amazingly capable of doing the most epic shit of all of them.
And I love that about you.
Each and everyone of you, inspire me to do epic shit, everyday.
Like a drop of water, that just keeps rippling out, and out, and out.
Make the most of what you have. Do epic shit. Don’t settle. Be awesome.
Soundtrack provided by Jim James “Regions of Light and Sound of God”
Currently on the train from Osaka to Nagoya.
We landed Thursday night. We left early Wednesday morning. I have always been fascinated by time travel. Last week we did a short west coast tour, at one point, we drove from Santa Cruz to Portland in one straight shot. 12 hours and change. That’s also how long it took, flying, to get from San Fran to Osaka. That’s just crazy to me.
This is my 7th or 8th trip to Japan. I’ve always enjoyed coming here. It’s like the future. Another planet. Disneyland on acid. Animated, colorful, fast paced and highly organized. Everything compact, and cute. Precise, and advanced. At least that has always been my experience. It would be an understatement to say that I love it here.
I’m here with my guitar player/bourbon aficionado Steve Miller and percussionist/keyboard player Justin Glasco. My manager is also here, along with my most favorite promoter: Kurisawa “Chris” Shinichi from Smash. We had our first show last night and it went awesome sauce.
Getting the opportunity to play shows here never gets taken for granted. I always feel very lucky to be invited back. I am honored to have fans here that connect with my music. They sing every word. They clap in perfect time, and they smile big. They wait afterwards with handwritten notes, and gifts. They jump up and down, laughing loudly, hugging tightly, giddy, like kids. It is these moments with the fans that I am most grateful for.
I have so much respect for this country, and the people of Japan. They are of the most kindest, strongest, most loving people on the planet. Most of the time I am speechless. In awe. I want to sit back, and with a deep breath take it all in.
One of these days, I will learn Japanese. I always think how cool that would be, to be here and be able to communicate on my own, without a translator. That would be bad ass. But for now I will just say, “Arigato Gozaimas…So much!!!”
Cee-lo greens F*You is blasting at the Virgin America check in.
My upgrade is cheaper than checking 2 bags.
Security needs to check my guitar.
One TSA wants me to play “Freebird” and the other is shaking her finger at me saying, “Don’t do drugs… ” while laughing, “Have you seen that movie?” As I’m responding, “I’m not really into drugs, I can hardly finish a drink!”
There are gluten free/vegan options at the SFO airport.
I splurged and ate a blueberry bagel yesterday, my opportunivore-ism is in full effect this tour. When you are traveling in a van, its hard to stick to the plan. No refrigerator. And these smaller venues don’t really provide a full rider, so we haven’t been getting kale or fresh juice.
I used to freak out. But now i surrender. I’ve been really into baked potatoes lately, and salmon.
I settle for a gluten free cupcake for breakfast, mostly because I crack up at the thought of eating a cupcake for breakfast. And because I’m giddy this morning. I also grab a super greens evolution raw juice, cold pressed… You know, to balance out the cupcake.
I’m headed to LA this AM for some press this afternoon.,The dudes are driving the van to LA from SF. I’m also pretty excited to check out the To Write Love On Her Arms “Heavy & Light” show tonight at the House Of Blues. Jamie Tworkowski is a great friend of mine, and I’m excited to see him take this show of the road. They’re traveling all over the US so make sure to check out the dates, and check em out if they are near you. Christina Perri is on the bill tonight, along with Fiction Family: Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek. The line up changes throughout the whole thing, and its pretty much gonna be awesome everywhere!
We have had such a magical tour so far. It’s truly felt like a blessing everywhere we have been. This is my first time headlining in a little bit, and its been great. It’s also been a bit of a science project, but that’s what makes the live show so much fun. The guys have been acquiring instruments along the way, and I have added a stomp box and a tambourine at my feet. Sometimes my stomping feet and my strumming hand confuse each other and it becomes more like a train wreck, but its humbling and I figure I’d rather just go for it during the show rather than practicing it behind the scenes until its perfect.
I’ve realized I’m not a perfectionist. Shows for me are more about sharing my experiences, and connecting with the audience. I don’t beat myself up about making mistakes, or hitting a wrong note. That’s real life. I prepare the best I can, I sing my heart out and i hope someone gets it. I try to leave people a little better than I found them. It’s probably why i love coming out after the show to talk to fans. For as much as I hear, “You’re music has made me feel like I’m not alone..” - Hearing you stories, in person, makes me feel like I’m not alone, or crazy.
So thank you for rocking my socks. For selling out all these shows. For letting me blabber on stage every night. For dancing. For crying. For hugging your friend. For kissing your boyfriend. For feeling & for all your support. YOU are why this is possible, and I will never be able to thank you enough.
Some people start cleanses to loose weight. Some people start cleanses to break habits. Some people start cleanses right after the holidays, due to one to many slices of pumpkin pie.
I have been all of those some people at one time or another. I’ve done a couple cleanses in my 30 years. And a whole lot of food phases: Raw food, vegan, vegetarian, the current: no dairy or wheat. The last cleanse I did was the Master cleanse, and the all time classic juice cleanse that I tried to do last year while I was in the studio recording. I’ll never forget my producer, Greg Wells, at about 6pm on Day 1, looking at me and saying, “No way. Nope. You are no way in hell doing this right now.” Ha! I was grumpy, and hungry. Nothing sounded right, or good, everything was blah…” The juice was good though…
I’ve been on the road since June 2012. Promoting my latest release Cedar + Gold, which was released October 2012. Airplanes, trains, cars…sometimes little sleep, non stop use of my voice, and it always seems like eating is the one thing no one thinks to schedule anytime in for, which always leaves me in a panic, and googling the nearest Whole Foods or local natural market. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, I can find you the healthiest option within a 20 mile radius of wherever I am. And sadly, sometimes that is resorting to eating an english muffin, with bacon and cheese on it, and the avocado I have smuggled through airport security, without getting smooshed in my purse to at least make me feel like whatever it is I am eating is kind of healthy, and has something green on it. Im probably one of the few artists out there who has kale, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and lemon on her rider. I can whip up a salad in minutes! I once made a kale salad in a red solo cup, I was that determined.
If i had it my way, I would live on avocados, bananas, coconuts, super foods, tons of kale and other dark leafy greens, lemon, olive oil, water based veggies, pineapple, and chocolate. And when I am home, I tend to. But I forgot how being on the road can quickly throw things off. Plus, I am such a foodie, so if someone says, “OMG! You have got to go to Green House Tavern in Cincinnati and get the bacon wrapped dates and chicken wings!” I am so there.
So I have come to the conclusion that, as with all things in life, its best to just go with the flow. I am an “opportunivore” at heart. But, I can become so stressed about what I am going to eat/ am eating/ have been eating, etc… On the road, all I can ever think about is how much it sucks to play music in pants that feel like they don’t fit. Damn chicken wings.
I post a lot of food stuff, so its no secret I love food. I love green juice, I love avocados, I love tacos, and I avoid wheat + dairy for the most part. It took a long time for me to figure out what my body likes and doesn’t like. Its important to focus on what is right for you, and really listen to your body. Im no nutritionist, but I know for me, as much as I love raw food. I also have a hard time digesting it, and often times am left feeling bloated and full of air. Ayurvedically speaking I am mostly Vata with a little Pitta. Vata translates to air, and Pitta to fire. To make a long story short, I already have a lot of air going on over here, and I get unbalanced because I overdose on air when I try to do a raw food diet…But some of you out there, may flourish on a raw food diet! My body, does however love raw juice, coconut water and massaged kale salad with olive oil and lemon. I love meals that are simple, with not a whole lot of things going on. Im a grazer. If I never left home, and never ate out, I would probably eat a mostly vegetarian diet, with some fish. I learned a couple years ago, when I had my vocal surgery, that wheat and dairy are not good for my Adrenal system, they produce too much mucus. But I do good with goats milk yogurt, girls gotta get her probiotics in! I also like to make my own almond milk when I am home. And if I am craving bread, I love the gluten free bread from our local bakery here in town called: 2good2B. Im not saying I will never eat a regular piece of bread or have milk again, but you get the idea.
Anyhow, so I’ve been out on the road, and I have been being naughty!! First off, I have developed an insatiable craving for BEER! WTF? Beer is full of wheat, so I don’t know how beer even snuck its way back onto the table. But craft beer, IPAS, rich, tasty, yummy, limited edition, seasonal, local brews…. I want to swim in ‘em. And the Stone Brew 12.12.12 Vertical Epic HAS NOT BEEN HELPING AT ALL. I’ve also developed a love affair with maple bacon. Sooo good. Maybe it was all that time I was spending in Iowa, which also did not help my affair with beer…So bacon and beer, and then from there, I pretty much just fell off the wagon. I got really into chicken wings there for a moment, and cold brew coffee, which makes you bounce off the walls for hours if its done right. Bourbon, was also another one…I can thank my band men for that one… And then you know, the next thing, there I was ordering cheeseburgers, pizza and gnocchi, and having taco tuesdays everyday!! I came home, it was the holidays, and thats a horrible time to try and make any drastic changes…Plus, my Gramma Memo’s makes a mean onion dip, its my favorite. And for some reason, I was really into ham, and the croissant rolls, AND the pumpkin pie… Why not?! Then I went back to Iowa and there was no point in trying to kick start any healthy habits there, even with some good runs, a yoga and a pilate class…My body, mind and soul was begging for a major overhaul.
I was sleeping like shit, feeling like crap, and wondering what the hell happened. I needed to get home. Get back on my program. Get back into yoga, and pilates and my long walks. Get outside, and start taking care of my body the way it deserves to be taken care of. Starting from the inside out.
Enter the BeBeaming cleanse. I had heard about this amazing place opening near my house called The Beaming Superfood Vitality Bar. Sounds like a dream to me. Every city needs one. Its got a menu of amazing superfood smoothies, juices, and elixirs. Plus some raw food options, amazing teas, chocolates, supplements and cookbooks. Brain food baby!! Clean, organic, pure energy, ba-beaming awesomeness!
What I love about it, is that its not a fast, its not just juice, its not just raw. Its a juice, a superfood smoothie, a cold soup, a yummy elixir, and a raw SALAD! with nuts and raw dressing for dinner! Its also low glycemic, which is my main problem with juice cleanses (most tend to have a ton of sugar, spiking your insulin and leaving you feeling depleted energy wise later). Yes it seems steep: $350 for 4 days. Yes I thought it was a little nuts, but then I took a minute to look at the other shit I spend $$ on and realized this was an investment of my health and hopefully would get me back on track. And, after completing the cleanse and reflecting on it a week later, I can honestly say, it was worth every penny.
Day 1 - The first day was rough, I had a pounding headache, and it probably didn’t help that I ate as much Aunt Annie’s gluten free mac and cheese as I could the night before… Day 1, was probably the first day I hadn’t had coffee in months. I never felt hungry, but I definitely felt headachy and dizzy. I still managed to make it to a gentle hot yoga class that night. Take that mind over matter! That night I slept better than I had slept in MONTHS! Probably, also because it was the first time in months, I hadn’t had any wine or booze at night. Oh wait, I just remembered I slept really great, but I did dream that someone stole my Day 2 cleanse and I got caught eating a plate of bacon! Ha.
Day 2 - I woke up with a little it of a headache, but it was much better. I had my hot water with lemon and yep…no coffee needed. I took my green juice to go and headed to meet my trainer. I felt good. Clear. Energized. I also brought my smoothie with me so I could have it after the gym. I definitely would start to get hungry if I didn’t eat every 2 hours or so. Training was awesome. I never once felt weak, or low on energy, so that made me stoked. I train for an hour, doing an array of strength training moves, mostly using my body weight, so I can take my moves on the road with me. I had my smoothie after and headed home to work on music. I felt clear, and focused, and balanced. And realized, it was the first time in a long time I had felt this good. And it was only Day 2! One of things I loved about this cleanse, is the menu changes everyday, so you never really have anything twice. And you pick up the day before, so everything is fresh! (They also can deliver). Towards the end of the day, I started feeling pretty emotional. I am not sure if it was because my period was coming in a week, or what. But one minute I was crying, the next I was laughing. I also started to clean my house and closet out. I was cleansing in every which way, one could!
Day 3 - Still pretty emotional. More cleaning. I gathered books to donate to the library, and clothes/sheets/bags/plates/glasses to donate to Goodwill. I also started writing in my journal. Its been forever, I don’t know about you, but I have journals strewn about the house with an entry here and an entry there, nothing in order. Kind of confusing, but I guess it will be fun to read back through all the randomness one day! Overall, this day was freaking awesome. I felt great by the 3rd day. I was flying high. Light and free. Just the way you wanna be. I opted for a walk with my dear friend Leah, who was also doing a cleanse at this time, but she was doing the master cleanse, and she hated me when I pulled out my salad for dinner. She seriously looked like she wanted to kill me. Haha. With this cleanse also came a free “Skinny Shot” from Bloom in Encinitas. From Blooms website: (http://www.bloomnaturalhealth.com) -The Skinny shot is a special formula of liver-supporting nutrients that can help with energy, fat metabolism, and hormone balance, which are all key liver functions. Leah had been to this place before, but I had not. And holy cow. This place is the bomb! They even have a happy hour on Wednesdays, where skinny shots are half price ($15) from 2-4pm. I don’t know what it was, the cleanse doing its magic, or the Skinny Shot, but we got back to Leah’s house and I felt like I may have to number 2 and ended up writing a short story in a series of text messages to the guy I was dating. Venting, venting and more venting about my hear feeling unsettled, my wanting for a family, to settle down, for security. To know a relationship that is not a long distance one. To be able to drive to someones house and surprise them, to take a walk on the beach, or go for a surf. To make dinner. I thought, “I have got to get off this toilet and call him on the phone!” I said, “I swear, I didn’t know all that was come out just now…I just went to go try and poop!” Luckily he laughed. I was told this is all normal. Everything gets shook up on a cleanse, things come up. Patterns get recognized, habits get broken. Everything returns to square 1. I never did a cleanse for these reasons, but I am so glad that is what this cleanse did for me. I could see how everything is connected. Food, thoughts, emotions, health, well being, spirit, sleep, skin, relationships, and goals. Its all in there, like a marriage. Like a dance. Our bodies can only make the most of what we give them.
Day 4- The last day! I was told this would be the beams of all beams! And it was so true! I woke up feeling straight up amaze-balls. Even lighter, cleaner and faster than the day before! My skin looked better, my mind felt better, my outlook was brighter. I was inspired. I felt like I could take on anything. So I tried my first Studio Barre class! I had bought a Groupon, back who knows how many months ago, and hadn’t used it yet. I was too scared I would look like a ding dong, but I thought now is the time!! OK, so maybe I was not quite ready for all that air humping and my thighs burning in places I had never felt burn before, but even through the burn, the challenge, and the way it kind of totally made me feel out of shape, even still, I kept thinking: Bring it on! NOW is the NOW! Lets do this. I was pumped Day 4. I was on fire. And I felt back to my self, like how I feel when I am really feeling in alignment with everything in my life and my being. A dream come true. And it only took 4 days to get me back to that place!
I don’t think anyone has ever been sad that their cleanse is ending, but I was. I was truly sad. I kept thinking, “Well what now?” Like I had just graduated and had to go figure out how to do this all on my own! I felt like I could keep going. Eating this way, that I had been eating, I lost 5 lbs. And I felt great. I am 5’9 and weigh 130 lbs. Thats pretty healthy for a girl my height. I have been super skinny at times, once I got home from a tour and I weighed 118, I looked emaciated. I was stoked cause i was skinny, but I looked terribly unhealthy. I have been heavier than this as well, and thats really when I let myself go, drink a lot and eat whatever the F I want. I prefer to be where I am now, which is wherever my pants fit and wherever I feel healthy and strong. And I don’t really care what the number on the scale reads.
These days, especially with touring, but also with getting older. I feel like it becomes more important for us to be kind to our bodies, and take extra amazing care of ourselves. As women, especially… from the inside out. To nourish ourselves for the babies that may comes one day, to strengthen our bones as we grow, to take care of our skin as the air is not as clean as it once was, and the ozone layer is not as thick. Its sad, but its also the reality. But by caring about what you eat, were it comes from: is it local? Is it seasonal? Is it supporting your immediate community? Are you growing it? By caring about the products you buy: Is your sunscreen paraben free? Are your cleaners natural? All these things contribute to your future and the worlds future. Sometimes it’s exhausting to think about these things, I know i get overwhelmed from time to time and wanna say fuck it, and sometimes I do. But most of the time, I don’t. I do the best I can, and thats all I can do. A lot of the way I live my life, has been building these habits for a very long time. You have to want to change, you have to want to care. You have to want to be the best you can be, and you have to believe that you deserve that! And most importantly, you have to listen to your body, and do what you are capable of. Only you know your limits, only you create your excuses, your challenges, only you know how how truly far you can really push yourself and if you are pushing yourself to the limit!
Most of my Friday, post cleanse, was spent making juice, and a smoothie and some raw tacos, out of kale, and avocado…I missed that weeks taco tuesday, so I had to make it up of course;) That night I headed to a friends house for a going away party for one of our friends. I had a little cheese, I had a little wine. But what I noticed, is where normally, I would probably over indulge, I didn’t. Surely, my stomach had shrunk from the cleanse, but my appetite was very mild, even with an array of goodies in front of me. And, what was really strange, was for the first time in a long time, I didn’t really have any desire to drink alcohol.
I didn’t want to blog immediately about my experience, because I wanted to watch what happened as i transitioned back into the “norm”. The norm with no rules, but the ones we make for ourselves. A week later, I still feel really good. Today was the first day I had coffee, it was delicious, and warm. I didn’t even finish the whole thing, I was satisfied with just a couple sips. I am still starting my day with hot water and lemon, and then a green juice, and then I go from there. I have to say, the biggest things I have noticed is my sleeping. I have been able to get to bed early, and wake up early. I forget how the early morning, in this area where I live, is my favorite time to be here. Its so peaceful and fresh out. My energy is stable and I am feeling good and strong. I know it wont be long till I am back out on the road, the West Coast tour starts in 1 week!!! I cant wait. When I can go into tour feeling this good, I know I can do anything I put my mind to.
Taking care of my health, is also my promise to you, my fans, to show up and rock, to be at my very best each and every night.
So thanks for letting me share all this. I share because I care.
Cause, who knows, maybe I will inspire someone out there to finally get off their buns and make that change they have been wanting to make. To google some recipes, or buy a juicer, or check out that farmers market. We all deserver to be healthy, and feel like a million bucks. You don’t need a $350 cleanse to do it. You don’t need any cleanse to do it. You can start slow and take it day by day, this isn’t an overnight thing. Its a commitment to being the best you that you can be. It’s researching and experimenting, and being adventurous!
Ok, and maybe I also blogged this, cause I know one day in the future (hopefully, not the near future) I will realize my train got derailed again, and i will need this little reminder of how to get myself back on track.
I think back to this time last year and I was still in the studio recording the album. We were almost done, but still had a couple songs to go. I was dating a lovely man, and was about to embark on one of the most amazing road trips of my life, up the coast of California. I spent the days leading up to Christmas in Big Sur, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, the back country of Stockton and San Francisco, where my brother lives. It was the first time I have ever been away from my parents on Christmas. Last year, seemed like the year to change it up. And my bro and I had a blast, walking all the expansive and hilly streets of SF. We must have walked 7 miles or more all day long, and had dim sum for lunch.
My New Years eve was spent, in a very special, very intense, peyote ceremony, which took place in a beautiful teepee, with many beautiful humans. The medicine taught me tons about patience, and humbled me more than any other experience of my life. I remember being so hot, and uncomfortable, and yet so mesmerized by the fire. I remember having to feel like I needed to throw up, very badly, but i was scared, and embarrassed, and ultimately very new to these sorts of gatherings. I remember getting a quick break to exit the teepee to go to the bathroom, I was waiting for that break, telling myself I would throw up then, when I was outside. The break came, and I found myself around the side of the teepee, trying to throw up, but I was not nauseous anymore. I kept getting this message that was telling me, ” You have to let go of whatever is coming up for you, and you must do it inside the teepee. How foolish to think you can trick the medicine. Let go of your pride, and of what others think. You cannot prepare for every moment in life, you cannot pause, or stall, or be late for life anymore! You cant live like that and expect opportunities to still be there.” So back into the teepee I went. Hours went by, and I still could not do it. I couldn’t bring myself to throw up in a teepee of 50 people, not to mention we had a row of people in front of us, i kept thinking if only this row of people weren’t here, i could do it. I did not want to puke on them, or anyone else.
With morning, came the light of January 1st, 2012. And an offering of breakfast: Pulled venison, eggs and fresh berries. If there is one thing i do not eat, it’s eggs. I cannot stand eggs, I don’t mind if they are cooked into something, but alone, scrambled, or runny on toast, makes me wanna puke. So you can imagine me now…
I ate very little, and as breakfast was passed around, and prayers were said, and more songs were sung, the nausea would come and go. And then finally, 16 hours later, it was time to leave the teepee.
I should have also prefaced this story, with the fact that you fast for almost 3 days before ceremony. So I probably wouldn’t have throw up much… But it felt like a lifetime of puke was about to come out.
Outside the teepee, we hugged, and smiled, and greeted everyone. The new day, the new year, the crisp, clean air. It felt amazing. But I, however, felt dizzy, and out of my body. Every time someone would come up to me, I would talk to them but felt an extreme sense of distraction and disconnect. I didn’t feel like myself at all. And then that little voice came back and told me, you need to go throw up, like NOW! Otherwise all this shit, that is stuck inside of you, all this residual build up, all these emotions, they will stay with you, within you, taking up space, growing toxic and sickening. So with that I dismissed myself up to the main house, I chugged a ton of water and I threw up like I had never thrown up before. And then I felt amazing. I felt light, and free.
What i love so much about this experience, is that is has taught me, like so many freaking things that have happened in the past couples years, is that sometimes the most unpleasant, most uncomfortable, most painful, most inconvenient situations end up being the ones that ultimately set us free, and allow us to fly.
I wouldn’t say I like being vulnerable, but I am no longer afraid of it. I wouldn’t say I was totally into the idea of having my vocal chords operated on, but I came out stronger and also more appreciative of my craft.
I wouldn’t say I enjoyed having my heart broken, but I’d say its brought me closer with myself, and i now have a deeper understanding of love, appreciation for relationship, and what I want in a relationship.
I feel lucky to have gone threw all the hardships, because I know that I am truly living, without holding back. I know there will be many more ups and downs, as i navigate though life, and i hope to always stay in the moment.
I try to remind myself to not be so hard on myself. That this is where I am, and I’m doing the best I can. I try to remember to not over think things, tweets, or instagrams, i know it sounds stupid, but its true. I try not to criticize my performances too much or my voice, even when I start to feel self conscious because of others comments, and criticisms in the past. And as far as relationships go, and love. I’m glad I have found it again, when I least expected it. Love is all around us, always. I never stopped loving, or became afraid of love, to fall again, or open up to someone. I came back, better than ever.
The week after the peyote ceremony, I became sick as a dog. I woke up in the middle of the night, and ran to the bathroom and could not stop throwing up. It was 10 times worse than the urge I’d had days prior in the teepee. It lasted for almost 3 days. By the end of it, i had mastered the art of throwing up. There must have been a lot more that I need to get out.
The following weekend, I decided that I would take part in an ayahuasca ceremony. Traditionally, ayahuasca is the grandmother medicine, and peyote is the grandfather medicine. Both come from plants and both are super beneficial to cleansing, and healing. I had been told, that if I had had the chance to experience them close to one another, It would be highly beneficial, and one of the most amazing experiences ever. It felt right, even though I was a little nervous, but I knew that was even more a reason to do it. I had been invited to do it many times before, but it had never felt right until now. Ayahuasca is kinda of known for making you wanna throw up, you even get your very own bucket before the ceremony starts. All the many times, this was always my concern, I hate puking, but now.. I was like a professional puker. I wasn’t scared at all.
My journey was a beautiful one, unlike anything I had ever experienced. I felt like I traveled through time, and galaxies and planes, and I got spit out at a steak house, sitting at a red leather restaurant booth with my late grandmother drinking a cup of coffee.
She told me she had been waiting for me to arrive for a long time. We talked and laughed, and she showed me visions of my aunts, and other relatives. One of the best was all the past ladies of the family, sitting around, pointing at me, going, “Whoa, hoo, hoo…who inherited the funny button?”
My grandma Dimmette was the matriarch of the family, even in the her neighborhood, she was the queen bee. The glue that could keep anything and everyone together. For as long as I can remember, we would gather at her house on Christmas eve. I have this memory, when I was a kid, that when we would drive down to her house, I had this feeling if I looked up into the sky, I could see Santa flying by with the reindeer among the stars. It always felt magical like that, like anything was possible. Like you were the luckiest kid ever, to be part of this family. When she died, the family dispersed and grew distance, and things changed. Everyone kind of went back to their own families. We tried to stay in touch, but as the years ticked on, Christmas Eve, and other gatherings for the holidays grew few and far between.
During my Ayausca journey, my grandmother made it very clear, I needed to be the one to bring the family back together, especially around the holidays. She said, “I dont care if your house is small, you zig zag a table around the living room and make it so everyone can fit. You make it happen, this is your job.” I hugged my grams, said goodbye, and when I came back to the room, i felt peaceful, and I didn’t get nauseous once! Go figure…
I am happy to say that on Christmas Eve, we all gathered at my house. It was like a miracle. I had been meditating on my vision all year, and honestly had kind if forgotten about it, with the amount of traveling I’ve been doing these past couple months, but we were all out to lunch when I came back; my mom, her sister (my aunt), my 2 cousins, and my aunt brought up how we never get together as much as we should. My mom been a little ill these days, pretty out of it, so it was out of the question to do it at her house, my aunt house is in the middle of getting remodeled, and her other house is an he away. Sitting at the table, I remembered my vision, and said “How bout my house?” Everyone looked at me crazy… My house after all is about 600sq ft. And the tiniest kitchen you ever saw, and then I said… “Did I ever tell you guys about my vision?” I hadn’t. So i did. And that was that, we were to make it happen. And we did.
It was crowded, and mess. We spilled a whole bunch of candle wax, and food. 3 dogs running around. People eating on the floor and outside. But it was great. And it was all of us, in my house, on Christmas Eve. And it was glorious. And I could feel the smile on my grams face, thinking to herself… Ya’ll finally got it together, good job!
Don’t ever give up on your visions. If things aren’t budging right way, if energy isn’t immediately moving, don’t give up. Hold the thought high, and don’t let go. Things take time, things happen for a reason.
This is a good lesson as I head into 2012: Patience. Patience. Patience.
I hope you all had a good holiday, hugging the ones you love, honoring & remembering the ones who are no longer with us. Saying a prayer of peace for the world. And living your life to the fullest.
I am excited for what 2013 holds.
I hope a lot of sold out shows, some yoga, some surfing, some romance, some adventures, some closure. A lot of touring, more new songs, many laughs, and quality time with friends. Exponential mind blowing opportunities, and deep down in our bones, scream it from the top of the mountain happiness!
What do you wish for your future?
Lots of love, happy holi-daze, new year and beyond.
How ya all doing on this fine Taco of a Tuesday?
I thought to myself, its been awhile since I blogged, so I figured I should probably get to it with a little update from the road.
We are currently in Houston! Local time is 2:11pm.
We’ve finally gotten into a nice groove on tour, out here opening up for The Script! The guys are hands down, one of the nicest bands we ever met, and we: Steve Miller, Josh Dunahoo & I, are having a blast!
Its been fun to do an alternate arrangement. I am on guitar and vocals, Steve is on guitar, and a couple other 6 strings that he’s picked up along the way, Josh has a nice little world going on with keys, electric guitar and lap steel and shaker. Together, it sounds delicate, beautiful and full.
I am loving being back on tour, and playing all the new songs from Cedar + Gold. We get to play a 30 minute set each night, short and sweet, and often have a hard time coming up with a set list until shortly before we go on. We haven’t been playing much old stuff, I am so in love with these new songs…but I know when we head back out in 2013 for our headlining shows, we will be playing a much more rounded out set of new and old material.
Its been an interesting transition watching these songs and this new album unfold. I remember when I finished the record, I asked myself: Now what? Now I’ve got to go out and perform these songs, how am I gonna do that without crying? I remember my friend Parker Ainsworth sitting next to me at dinner, as we celebrated the finishing of my album, and him leaving for his adventures in India, as he said something like this to me, “The beautiful thing, is your fans will get to grow with you, as you feel, and break open and heal again…and eventually as you become ok.” I feel like I am finally ok. I am no longer in that space of sadness, or anger. I am content with all of it.
Does that change how I feel about playing these songs? Absolutely not.
Because they are written from such a real, vulnerable, honest space..its easy to access all that they encompass. And now, on stage, when I get to that place, I more think in my head: Wow, look how far I have come. I made it out alive. I made it out stronger than I ever could have imagined. I actually survived. And I am ok. And, most importantly, I am better for it.
Its a real honor to perform these songs. They have so many faces. They represent the journey of being lost, being found, jumping all in, landing ass-backwards on your face, finding the strength to get back up on your feet and not being afraid to do it all over again. This record is a reminder that to really live: You have got to play full out. Even if that means you get hurt along the way. When you put yourself all the way out there, when you be you, in all your YOU-NESS. You will never have to look back and wish you did things differently. Even if you take a risk, and you fall flat on your face, at least you tried. You followed your gut, you learned a lesson, and you most definitely came back stronger because of it.
I wouldn’t change any of my journey for the world.
And have I even began to mention all the wonderful people I’ve been meeting at the shows?! Ive always loved coming out to sign after my shows, and this tour is no exception. There have been lots of hugs, and laughs, tears and story telling. It is hands down MY FAVORITE part of touring.
Something that really touched me is seeing how all you guys help each other out. A couple weeks ago, a girl posted on one of my instagrams that she really wanted to come to the show, but that she was only able to save up enough money that month to buy my new CD. We were in Denver, and I don’t know a lot of people in Denver, so I offered to put her on the guest list. I am the artist, we have a guest list and when there are extras…I figure, why wouldn’t I gift those tickets to some fans that want to come to the show but for whatever reason cant. I grew up in a family that wasn’t rich, I never had anything handed to me. I have worked hard to be able to have everything I have in my life. But something that always shows up in my life, that never goes unappreciated: I have some good luck, karma, whatever you wanna call it, around me. And if I can pass that on, any chance I get, I shall. I don’t even think twice about it. I don’t expect anything out of it. It’s usually the first thing that pops into my head, I love stoking people out!
So many of you were blown away by this. It blew me away that you were blown away by! Ha….and what blew me away even more, was that I started to see all ya’ll do it with each other! Another fan, offered to meet up with the girl that I gifted tickets to. Another fan offered to mail a CD to a fan in a different country. And at shows, I meet people who have met on message boards, Instagram, twitter, etc…Its amazing you guys. Its fucking AWESOME actually. WE are a real living little community, celebrating life and music, and it makes me so happy.
So thank you, for being you. For being kind, for being generous, for sharing and caring about each other. And for doing things just for the hell of it! We all have the ability to make someones day and its nice to see that you seize the opportunity, just because you can.
You have definitely made mine over here.
Every night is a blessing. And I feel so very lucky that I get to contribute to life by making and playing music.
We are having a blast, and I hope everyone that has gotten to come to these recent shows has had a blast as well!
I am excited to tour 2013 away, and see you anywhere and everywhere.
The record is taking off slowly but surely. It’s definitely a word of mouth record, so keep telling your friends, and gifting it to anyone you know and spreading the word! Its working!
I so, so much appreciate all the love and support. And I dont plan to stop anytime soon. I can see the dream unfolding into reality, and I’ve never been so grateful.
Also, my heart is going out to everyone effected by Hurricane Sandy. My managers apartment building is flooded, his car is gone, power is out. Ive had some friends that have had trees fallen on their homes. I’ve seen pictures of walls ripped off whole sides of apartment buildings, and I cannot even imagine what it is like to be there in the middle of it.
Sending many prayers, love and light your way my east coaster friends, family and fans.
I don’t know what, if anything, will happen with our upcoming shows, but we will keep you updated.
Subject: Greetings from the air! Greetings from the air!
Im currently flying home from SF where we had a wonderful day with Jayn and Marcus at Alice 97.3FM ‘s Now + Zen festival at Golden Gate Park. There was an estimated 15-20,000 people in attendance today and it was exhilarating. We played a short 20 minute set, which was pretty rocking and the audience was pumped. Thank you Alice and everyone in the crowd for being so kind to us! Yesterday, we were in Vegas doing the Bite of Las Vegas show with Mix 94.1FM. It was an equally incredible day. The limo that picked us up from the airport was enough to get me all hopped up!
I’m still amazed that I get to do this. Amazed when a limo comes to pick us up, amazed when girls in the crowd yell my name in unison, and when I walk over to them hug me and ask me to sign their jean shorts, arms and if they can record a video of me telling the one they love that they love that person. I trip out when I get to be backstage with artist like Ed Sheeran, Matt Nathanson, Adam Duritz, Alanis Morrisette and Rob Thomas. And I’m happy that’s get to share these experiences with my aunt, cousin and brother….and that was all just in the last 48 hours!
Sheesh. It has been quite the roller coaster lately. I’ve been traveling since late June and will leave tomorrow night, and will not return for at least a month. The record comes out in 2 days.
How do you feel? People ask. And I don’t really know. I feel calm, like its no big deal. This will be my 3rd album, and I’ve been working at this for 10 years. There’s some anticipation, but there is mostly gratitude for everything that has needed to happen to get me to this place. And even though I just had a mini melt down at the airport, that caused me to feel extremely sad, because I saw on Instagram all my friends attending my ex’s concert, and then another picture with his new girlfriend in it. I have to believe, absolutely have to believe, that the best hasn’t happened yet.
This record is my heart. It is my story. It is my struggle, my heartbreak, my sadness, my tears, and the journey of how I got out of it. How I truly tried everyday to stay focused on the positive, even when I felt like I was stuck in a bubble under a microscope. Even when i felt like the darkness may never dissipate. It is reminder, just as today is, that I am human.That I feel deeply. I am sensitive, vulnerable, that I cry, and have as many off days as I do on days. But that in the end, I will absolutely be ok. Because I am strong, and I am fierce and because my spirit will not allow me to be anything but that.
Somedays I feel like a whale, somedays my jeans fit tight, sometimes I take the comment some guy made about how I looked better when I was 23 and now I have crows feet, to heart. And somedays I can brush it all off, somedays I feel unstoppable. Strong and beautiful, like nothing could touch me.
And then I realize, none of it matters. Because it is always changing. Life is always adjusting accordingly to what it needs us to pay more attention to, learn from, grow from, or it keeps putting us through the same situation because we didn’t “get it” the first time. Or keeps throwing shit our way so we can learn to love ourselves, instead of relying on everyone else to assure us.
Am I sharing too much? I’ve had a lot of people thank me in the last week for being so open. It gets me wondering, how did I get to be ‘so open’ in the first place? I’ve internally been thinking about this all week.
I have to say, I think over the years I just seen so many people beat around the bushes that I had this epiphany of, OMG! Why don’t we just tell it like it is? There would be so much less confusion in the world. I also realize, that it’s easier said than done. I still find myself in situations, where its hard to tell the truth about things, cause you don’t want to hurt someones feeling, and then I think to myself, Who’s the hypocrite now? But when you start telling it like it is, or at least try to start attempting to speak your truth, as hard as it might be, you inspire others to do the same. And so I think subconsciously I’ve just been practicing ‘telling it like it is’. And it’s neither right nor wrong, bad or good, it just simply is.
And the more you do it, the easier it gets, until you think oh this is easy, and then there comes a challenge, where the universe is really asking you to step up and speak your truth, just to test you and see if you can do it.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve read and received so many beautiful emails and comments. People sharing their stories, and current situations, and thoughts. Its been quite amazing. We as human, just want to share, and talk and vent and tell our stories. We ALL have a story, and all of them are valid. And we all deserve to be supported and loved and befriended by people that CARE about our stories.
As much as I share, I also try to practice daily the art of simply listening. And also reaching out and letting friends and family know that I appreciate them and love them. It’s easy to go on and on about all the crap going on in our own lives, but equally important to remember that everyone needs someone to tell their story to, someone to lean on.
I am extremely blessed with a very well rounded group of friends and family, that keep me in check and hold me accountable, but at the same time let me be me. I try to remember that each and everyday and do the same for them. In the end, the relationships you cherish, work and fight for are the best ones you will ever have.
I’d like to take a minute to thank my dearest friends and family for sticking by me. For lending your shoulder to lean on. Shit got pretty depressing their for a second. You guys didn’t pat me on the back and tell me it will be fine. You guys simply let me vent, and cry and freak out. And you sat on the floor in my living room with me for nights on end, and let me hibernate in my house, and when I started to come out of it, and put it into music, you would listen with me, as I played them, and worked them out and sent you demos, and finally would feel comfortable to put it on my blog to share with everyone else.
(Continued today, 10/1/12 at 12:02pm)
I am crying my eye balls out as I type this (I just re-read what I started writing yesterday). Im pretty sure my period is coming tomorrow…Ay yi yi (Sorry if thats TMI) I have been so emotional lately.
My whole heart, on my sleeve, will be available for everyone to hear tomorrow. I cant believe I made this record.
I cant believe its mine. I cant believe how deeply its rooted itself inside of me and how beautifully it bloomed. Its the blessings of all blessings and I am just happy I get to share it with you. So thank you everyone, for everything, for being you, and amazing, for sharing your stories with me, and for sending me so much love. For telling me to go rent Good Will Hunting and make a big bowl of popcorn, for sending me flowers and letters, and taco coin purses.
I am just always so in awe of life, and the fact that I get to do this. Ill be forever grateful.
Enjoy the album, its out tomorrow! Available everywhere. Custom made from my heart to yours.
Here we go!!!!!!
Ps. There is so much snot coming out of my nose right now…HA.
Thanks for your amazing feedback on the album! As a token of my appreciation, here’s a free digital download of a limited edition Cedar+Gold lyric book, designed by Alexandra Valenti. She also designed the album package which does NOT contain a booklet, so pull this sucker down and enjoy! Click here to download: http://smarturl.it/tplb?IQid=tumblr