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So it’s Thanksgiving! It's a good reminder to take a moment and simply embrace the idea of Giving Thanks.

In many spiritual traditions - the simple act of consciously giving gratitude is seen as one of the most powerful ways to

  • Raise our vibration
  • Incite healing
  • Attract prosperity
  • Create a positive mindset
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This has been a year of learning to #ShineAgain! As well as the unexpected blessing of creating Tranquil Light - my first self-produced album project with label support!

I tend to have a lot of pots on the fire at once. And ….

Sometimes an area where I fall short is getting out, celebrating and embracing the *FUN* factor of life. Truth be told, I am a workaholic and I prefer time alone writing, making music and playing in my home studio. Yes, either of those things can constitute big fun for me on Friday night LOL

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Some people love the change of seasons, but for others the shift to less sunshine and cold weather can bring on the blues in a big way. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

Unfortunately, I know a bit about this because well…. I am one of those people.

I often deal with a Blue Period that starts in September & subsides in early November. One of the diagnosis points with SAD vs depression is that it will occur for people annually at the same time every year. Interestingly, for some people it can even happen in the summer…..

Some other symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder*:

Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, loss of interest, mood swings, or sadness

Sleep: excess sleepiness, insomnia, or sleep deprivation

Behavioral: irritability or social isolation

*Taken from Mayo Clinic.

So, now that we...

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For those of you who are new to this list, you may not know that one of my passions in life is Yoga/ Meditation. I taught for a long time and stopped a few years ago because my schedule became so booked with music coaching students.

People have often asked me, are you ever going to do a yoga record? The idea of marrying my 2 passions of music & yoga, had always appealed to me, however, the concept for a record and the time create it always felt daunting. As you know, my updates often focus on how to pare things down in life.

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So usually I'm pretty efficient at sending a Hello every other week....

And I know this is my in between one BUT I had a few things here that I just couldn't wait to share!

This past weekend marked the release of my debut as the artist, Tranquil Light.

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All too often, it’s a challenge for me to slow down, stop working, unplug and recharge my soul by having FUN! Last weekend, I took a little trip to the Smokey Mountains, rode the coasters at Dollywood and celebrated my 4 nominations at the Josie Independent Music Awards.

In my last letter, I wrote about Self-Care 101: understanding WHAT self care is, WHY it’s important and HOW to begin to incorporate it into our lives. This time I’m gonna touch upon why has it become SUCH a big old buzz word nowadays? What are some easy ways we can cultivate it into our lives?

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A while back my therapist started using the term Self Care. At first I was like, "what?"

I shower, I brush my teeth, comb my hair and occasionally paint my toes. Isn’t that taking care of myself? What is she talking about? What does that mean? And why?

I finally asked, “Ok, please tell me exactly what you mean by self care?”

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Lately I’ve been feeling a lot of healing shifts. Perhaps it’s just a part of the human cycle that we sometimes need to go within to clear and refocus... Or, dare I say...it’s the result of the recent eclipse. July 27th marked the longest eclipse of our century aka a “Blood Moon Eclipse” (the moon actually appears a reddish-brown color). This was only visible from particular places in the Southern hemisphere not the US. But there’s a pic for you. Gorgeous!

I know that not everyone believes in that sort of thing... However eclipses traditionally bring energetic shifts.

And this past one was a big one.

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What I want to talk about today is the importance of caring for our mind-spirit as much as we care for our body. In todays world we tend to be pretty conscious of taking care of our bodies - we know we are sick when our throat starts to feel sore, we realize we are tired when we begin to yawn, we feed our hunger cause the stomach growls, etc… And the solutions for the above are pretty obvious. BUT sometimes the solutions for caring for our mind and spirit aren’t as overt or accessible.

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This quote struck a chord in me, something sounding like a Major 7 - it sounds hopeful, but with a tinge of mystery and contemplation ….

The root of the word courage is actually “Cour” which means Heart.

It’s an odd thing because heart tends to make us think of love and softness whereas courage tends to convey strength and unyielding.

How can we relate these 2 ideas?

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I would be remiss if I sent a note without mentioning the recent losses in our world that we have experienced due to suicide. I recently read an article that said for every person we lose to suicide, there are another 280 who consider it…..

Of course there’s the people we know of because who make the headlines, Robin Williams, Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Jeff Alm & Junior Seau (professional athletes) and of course most recently, Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain.

Oftentimes, we look at celebrity figures and say, “They have everything - fame, success, money, what do THEY have to be depressed about?”

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Life can often get so busy that we forget to make time for our happiness. When we take the time to think about what brings us joy, it enables us to manifest more of it! And after all isn’t that what life’s about?

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So in my journey of sharing the #ShineAgain project on Instagram, I am so grateful to say that I have been meeting some AMAZING people! It has truly become an enlightening journey for me. Today's post is about you one of my new fabulous discoveries: SHINE TEXT!

Gotta Love that synchronicity :)

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This article is an edited excerpt from a previous post that I wrote in honor of Robin Williams who passed by suicide in August, 2014. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 4 years since we lost this precious talented soul. It was a lengthy piece so I will share some of it now and the remainder later this month. The idea is to shed some light on depression and gain a deeper understanding of this mental health condition.

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Technically a Renegade is (according to Mirriam Webster)

“an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior”

I’m not proposing that we ignore the laws of society that keep us safe. However….. what if we took a step back every now and then and followed our hearts instead of following the Rules? Been thinking a bit about how to be a little more 'Renegade" and here's what I've come up with so far!

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So, we all have those days - life feels bleak, our emotions are spinning and our spirit feels worn out.

When you’re dealing with a mental illness like depression or PTSD it can feel overwhelming to accomplish even the most basic tasks. My guess is that even if you’re not living with a mental health diagnosis, you still might have moments of overwhelm or just the blues. No worries, I got you covered! As someone who struggles with bipolar 2 and PTSD I’m gonna share some tips and tricks I use to try to stay in the game, regain my focus and honor the necessity of my self-care.

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It often amazes me how life mimics art or how art mimics life. There have been so many times when I’ve written a song about something in my life, then when I sing it years later, the meaning applies to a different situation. At this moment it’s about learning to “Shine Again” but with a different theme.

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Last week I was out with a dear girlfriend. I was talking about something and she said, “Girl you need to turn off that ass-kicking machine!!” Cracked me up! and then...

Wow! I hadn’t even realized it, in that conversation, I was definitely being way too hard on myself. That’s the beauty of being surrounded by people who love and understand you, they often have an uncanny ability to see our emotions and habits in a way that we can’t from the inside out.

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Last Sunday was my favorite night of the year - The Grammys! I was once again reminded of the incredible power of music. So many moments of chills, incredible voices, songs and the Power of Music.

There is nothing like hearing a song that we relate to and it says you are not alone in your deep emotions or how the right song can positively raise our spirits, give us confidence or even help us shed the tears that we need to express.

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Most of you know me as a chick on piano girl - back in Taos I usually had a violin player and in my NYC days I occasionally had full band and usually a cello player.

THEN a few years ago I had a crazy vision of incorporating loops and electronic sounds into my live show. But I also felt passionate about retaining my strong roots as a singer/songwriter. For me, the songs have always come first :)

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As the new year comes upon us - we get bombarded by our culture to resolve to CHANGE - and based on a glance at my email box - it seems there is huge industry based on helping people to become brighter, bolder, more successful, better at this, less of that - and all about things that help to create a NEW “YOU”.

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When I first moved to Nashville - It was a little rough adjusting to a new city - I didn’t have a lot of friends and I felt a little isolated. I think anyone who has moved a new place can relate. Change is sometimes hard and it takes time to settle in.

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As the holiday season ramps up - sometimes our vision of a winter wonderland can easily take a sharp turn into Stressville. For a multitude of reasons, the season to be jolly can often trigger the opposite in many of us. Exhale, allow yourself to feel what you're feeling!

We need to honor it’s not always easy, especially when we are busy with extra to-do’s and calendar events.

Life is about perspective.

Here are some ways we can shift our brains into self-care mode and help our spirits enjoy the tinsel and cookies!

Tips on dealing with Love and Loss

I understand, all too well, that holiday season can trigger grief about people we’ve lost or even lost relationships.

Allow yourself to honor that pain. Is there something you can do to replace the rituals that have been shared or honor the memory of that person or spend some time with those who are sharing your grief? Allow yourself to be brave, step forward into the uncharted territory, you never know what joy might be waiting for you - give yourself and opportunity to find...

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I can’t believe today is THE DAY! Click to hear the new single and see the lyric video (my first one! and it’s homemade by me!)

A HUGE THANK YOU to Women of Substance Radio for Premiering the Single and Lyric Video!

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“For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.”

While searching for bday quotes - specifically “Trip Around the Sun”, I came across this gem by poet, Zoe Skylar.

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