As a producer and partner with AOMusic, if you have not heard me say that “The Music of AO has changed my life“, I want to say it now. I have never encountered a medium that is both heart opening and able to change the lives of children in need at the same time. I am from the 60′s. The Vietnam war was my backdrop for life. The Beatles came and changed all of us and the way we saw the world. U2 opened our eyes to injustice and issues of freedom, Madonna busted the sexual revolution wide open. Music changes people. Music can also save lives and create hope and love where there has been none.
One year and three months and I’m not off the road yet and still have no driver’s license. But, more on that later you won’t believe it. Let’s see. Oklahoma, North Carolina, Denver, Seattle, Point Roberts, Los Angeles, Orlando, New York City, Boston, the Bahama’s and Canada, then all over again. Coast to Coast, 1, 2, 3 times and counting.
As a gypsy, I have traveled to the most amazing places thus far. I have been on all the major highways: I-40, I-70, I-80 and I-95. Route 101 up the California coast, I-5 that was unbearably bleak and down historic Route 66. The Grand Tetons, the Rockies, Mt. Rainier, Zion, Canyonlands, the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, swimming with Dolphins and schmoozing in Beverly Hills. Sun worshipping on Daytona Beach and hanging with soaring eagles on the Canadian Border watching for Orcas. I have slept on blow up beds, several squishy couches, the hard floor, futons, sleep by number beds ( I can never make up my mind. Am I a 35 or a 70?). Then there were boat cushions, the back seat of the car and a dog bed the size of a Great Dane. I have yet to camp. Just give it time.
I determined to take a year to discover what made me happy. I sold most everything and decided to follow the flow that would reveal a deeper layer of who I am and help me discover more of what inspires me. I took the culmination of 2012 seriously. If the paradigm for our planet was shifting, if old structures that no longer worked were falling away and new consciousness was emerging, then I would start living those truths first of all…in myself. I would fall headlong into being a single woman in the world; invite the Universe to show me what I needed to know and how to express love, compassion and generosity in the world. The year went nothing like I had planned. The phrase, “If you want to make god laugh, just tell him your plans” became all too real.
Yet, I achieved all I had hoped for and more, in the face of thwarted plans and with no plans at all. The freedom of driving with the Kenny Loggins blaring in my car and no one to criticize my choice in music was replaced by needing to be chauffeured by my daughter with her music playing and Mumford and Son’s blaring. I wanted to listen to hours of inspirational CD’s while I drove carefree. No way…it was Florence and the Machine.
I had thought that in one year I would find a clearer and more inspired definition of my work in the world. Then I would settle somewhere and begin to craft new work in the world and finish writing my book. In just one month to the day after hitting the road, the Universe reached down, plugged me into my destiny when I was not looking, packed my bags for me and sent me out the door as the Ambassador for a world music company, AOMusic. Then the Universe whispered with a smirk, “so you say you want to be a film produce. Have at it”. Without effort and with no plan at all, I had stumbled upon myself and my bliss in less than 30 days. It was far easier than loosing those 10 extra Christmas pounds.
So, now, 16 months later I have been to The Film School in Seattle, one script has come and gone, I have created a short film for AOMusic in Nepal, become the executive producer and fundraiser for an AOMusic documentary, work along side of Miriam Stockley who I had always wanted to meet since the album Adiemus was released over a decade ago and gone fly fishing with ‘Viper’ himself, Tom Skerrit. And I am traveling in spite of having no driver’s license as my path keeps unfolding, winding, calling on me to pack up and go where I am needed with no notice. When I get to the next destination I bump into a better, shinier, more alive part of myself. So I now say Yes to the Universe with excitement and enthusiasm even though I have no clear destination. My notion of faith and trust has gone turbo.
The initial idea I had was simply an idea. I have not settled anywhere, I keep moving as a gypsy without a driver’s license. I keep saying yes and that yes opens a next door, introduces me to the most amazing people and fulfills life long dreams without my planning the outcome or trying to make anything happen. My idea of ‘going with the flow’ has changed in nearly a year and a half. I think now I would say that I am “allowing the flow to move me forward”. And what is the flow? Love. Joy. Creative Expression.
Now at the beginning of 2013 I do not look ahead very far. I used to spend most of 2012 looking toward the end of the year wondering what the end of the Mayan prophecy would look like, how the world would change. 2012 was a marker, a point of focus. But, 2013 seems as if there is no vista point, nothing more than vast possibilities stretching out endlessly for all of humankind. I plan simply for one day but I make sure I have clean underwear just in case. Then the next day unfolds and I plan for it the best I can when most of the time I don’t know the answer to the basic building blocks of life: Who, What, When or Where. Only Yes. For me, ‘No’ equals resistance and ‘Yes’ equals surrender.
What is calling me and coming into focus for 2013? Back to Nepal and the Maratika Caves, on to Osaka Japan and the Temples of Humankind in Italy. Working with the growing family of AO and AO Foundation International, producing, working with my daughter, discovering the joy of countless children around the world and giving back ten fold for all the riches this life has provided me with. Trusting that all that is needed to move this mountain of an AO vision forward and to then change countless lives, is always available and generously supplied.
Some days I barely have gas money but money is supplied. I can allow all the money I possess to be a creative agent, freely moving and meeting the need of the moment and the money replenishes itself. I can wake up one day daunted by the possibility of raising several million dollars and then it dawns on me that I can do it a dollar at a time. Love and money are inextricably connected.
And this year has solidified a knowing that has become the hallmark of my experience: Here is what I have learned and is etched in my heart: Rich does not mean money in the bank and stuff in the closet. Money does not make the world go round. Love is the only currency that holds it’s value and compassion, kindness, joy and generosity is the true sustainable resource that has gone untapped far too long. I am grateful for this awareness and eager to see what is next.
On to 2013…the year of Yes …and Yes again. And here is also what I now know and will take with me in my journey (after I pack my clean underwear of course).
Tired of Speaking Sweetly
Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.
If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.
Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth
That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,
Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.
God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.
The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.
But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.
AOMusic went to Nepal with five young people in August. We recorded children who are singing on our new album to be released in 2013. This is our fundraising trailer for a documentary that we hope you will all support.