Sunday, October 17, 2010

open to tour and not to tour

Well, tour happened! 

When I am in it, I am in it.  And, I was in it.  Did I have intentions to make more regular entries to my website? yes. Did I plan to shoot a ton of video? Yes.  Did I actually create time and space for those things once I landed on the road?  NOPE.  Oh well!  I apologize for not fulfilling those wishes of mine, whether you expected them or not.

It turned out to be a  little test tour for me, as well as Jason (Mraz).   He was out testing new songs for the next album, and I unknowingly was testing out how to balance the job I created for him and the brand I am creating for myself which includes supplying my website with constant content of inspiration, health, and more.

I hadn’t planned on returning to tour.   When I really got into creating my site (after returning home from tour with Colbie Caillat) my creativity was and still is exploding as to how I can reach the vastness of who we all are.  How can I be of service to all in sharing my passion?  I have created services of a wide variety and I am constantly thinking of more, but tour?  I had forgotten about tour!

Tour is home to me.  No matter how many times I say I am ready to be in one place, when I arrive on the road it is the most natural thing in the world to me.  No matter how different each year is, no matter how different the personnel is, no matter who the artist is, touring is my most normal state I have come to find out.

All of last year I kept telling myself and others that I thought it would be my last tour, I didn’t know what I else I would do, but I was no longer attached to being on tour.  I no longer wanted it to define me.  I took time off to be in one place, to create, to explore what I wanted to be.  Once I was able to see that I did not have to be defined by being on the road that I was just as happy in one place, it opened me back up to it.  Not because I needed it, or craved it, but because I knew that I had something to share, that my service and I are valuable to the road.  I wasn’t doing it because it was all that I knew, but because I wanted to offer my service and be of service.

I was so surprised to find new excitement for being on tour and with a new client (with Colbie), and a whole new group of people.  I immersed myself in it and frankly didn’t want to go home when the tour ended.  But it did end and I did go home where I was then inspired to finally get my website going and to not put myself back on the tour market until after it was up.  I got so immersed in my new creation and services that I forgot that the tour world existed, until I was called back into it.

Once again, I was surprised to how easily I settled back into being on tour, but during the length of the tour I made a point to be clear that I was not sure if I will want to be touring past these dates.  I have big plans for myself as YOUR JOYOLOGIST!  I have so much to offer, so many possibilities of how to be spread my message, and I didn’t see how touring could fit into that.

As tour went along, I did start to open myself up to the possibility of touring again next year.  It is home, I do love it, but is it too comfortable?  Will I be giving up on all of the other things that I want to create?  Is touring too easy for me?  When these thoughts come up, I remind myself that I do not have to make a choice right now in this moment.  I don’t even know if touring next year is a definite option, that world is highly subject to change.

It is all possible.  I am now back home and back pursuing all of my many ideas.  I am putting myself into the world in many ways.  I am back to regularly updating my website.  I am keeping myself open and available for touring, but I am not avidly pursuing it.  If touring next year does happen I will commit to being connected to both that world and this new one I am working to create.  It is entirely possible to be in both worlds at once, I just have to stay committed to both and create the time and space while I am on the road.

I am working whole-heartedly for it all.  I am open.  I am of service.  I am listening to myself.  I am one with myself and all that surrounds me.

And above all, I am grateful!!!!!!  What a life!  What a freaking, life!

Friday, October 15, 2010

something lost, but is anything really missing?

Realizing that something is missing is not the funnest game in the world, but it does bring a lot of stuff to the surface for me.

On the last day on tour from a  month long jaunt I have found myself with some spare time in my luxury hotel room at the Wynn casino.  After getting a little sleep from our late night flight, I choose to go through all of my luggage to prep for the departure from tour the next day.   For four weeks we rode on our tour busses and for the last two dates we flew.  I had re-arranged my bags for the flights, making a point to secure items and find proper homes for items that I did want to lose, including cash that had built up from reimubursements and cash per diems for each week.

I am not a fan of carrying cash around.  I do not favor large bills, I usually choose to use my debit card and carry just enough cash for those times when it is neccessary.  On the road, I buy things for the tour with my credit card  and then turn in a stack of reciepts to be reimbursed.   I had waited until close to the end of tour to turn the reciepts in, to avoid having the cash in my possession.  Traveling from city to city at night on a tour bus and waking up to start each day in a new town in a new venue doesn't leave much room for me to find my bank and deposit the cash.   So, it was all coming home with me.  The money added up to give me the security deposit and more for a new apartment in NYC.  I was beyond excited to get back and secure a home of my own.

I purposely placed the money in a separate pocket in my backpack in an envelope.  Not wanting to put it all in my wallet or even my purse, figuring that if someone is on the search for money that is where they will go first.  Or if I somehow happen to lose my wallet on my own, I don't want to lose all my identification, credit cards, and a wad of cash all at once.

We flew from Quebec City to Toronto to LAX.  Took a hired bus to Santa Barbara.  Checked into lovely rooms off the beach.  Checked out and brought all my gear to the Santa Barbara Bowl where it sat in the dressing room and took a private night flight to Las Vegas, where I discovered my envelope was still where I had placed it but it was empty!!!!!  I wanted to throw up.  I don't have financial security and I am about to sign a lease for a decent rent payment.  This was a good chunk of money.  Where did it go?  What did I do wrong?  Why didn't I check it earlier?  When did this happen?

I checked all of my other bags in all pockets and folders.  I looked everywhere and anywhere, but I knew that I had not moved the money myself and if I had then I would have moved the envelope too, not have left it empty and alone in the odd pocket that I never use in my backpack.  The bag was with me on the flights, it was in my hotel room that a maid never entered and it was in the dressing room.  The backstage area was the busiest it has been that day, but I was almost always around.  Did someone really take it?  How would they have found it?  There was so much other stuff around too that they could have taken.  Was the money really stolen, could it really have been stolen?  YIYIYI.

I was sobbing with disgust.  I was disgusted with myself.  How could I have let this happen?  How irresponsible of me!  I hadn't had a good cry in a while and I love a good cry, I love the release, whether it stems from bliss, fear, sadness, etc.   I thought, "Well, at least I am getting in a good sob, but I really don't like that it is over money."

I didn't have much time to sit in my tears, as I had to get my butt ready to get to work, to be the joyologist in action.  Yes, it absolutely, 100% sucks that the money is gone.  No matter how it happened, what happened, when it happened, the story is that it happened.  I can re-think my steps, I can tell myself what I did wrong in making sure that this didn't happen, but it did.  Next time I have a wad of money, yes, I will make sure to go out of my way to get it to the bank asap, but what is done is done.  I did act with intention in putting it in what I thought was a safe spot.  I don't want to believe that someone took it, but I also don't know how else it could be missing.  It just is.

I tell myself that it was my rent payment to the universe for the past month, as I did not pay rent anywhere, except my storage unit.  I also get present to the reality that I was not planned to come on this tour, to make any of this income at all, so regardless of losing this money, I am coming back to NYC ahead and with some financial security for me to secure an apartment in my name.  The feeling of disgust is not completely gone away, tears are still on tap, but I am present to what I do have.
I go down to the lobby to meet my tourmates and I don't want to tell anyone about the loss of money because  A) I don't want to look like an idiot in losing so much money, B) don't want their sympathy, I am provided for and I know it, C) it happened, it is not happening now, what will telling them do?  But, there is a part of me that hopes one of them took it as a joke?  I have no idea how that would be possible, as no one knew I had that much money on me and it wasn't as if I had a known hiding spot that I regularly put money, but hey you never know???

I chose to tell our tour manager and a  regular guest of our tour party who had joined us in Santa Barbara and flew to Vegas with us.  It turns out that the guest had money missing too.  Money that she had specifically taken out of her wallet and into a separate spot too.  We figured it must have happened in the dressing room the night before.  The word spread through the tour party and through my friends not on tour (I had text vented to a bestie when I first realized the money was gone).  I didn't really want the attention because I was still turning  it into something I did wrong and it just plain sucks to be reminded that it was gone.

I was so overwhelmed with the love that was coming at me though, from friends of all levels.  So many people stepped up to offer me support emotionally and offered to loan me money if I need it.  They knew that money was a big deal for me that I had plans for it (who wouldn't?  it was a good amount!)  My eyes filled with tears each time someone reached out to me and this time, not tears of sadness, loss, frustration, but tears of overwhelming gratitude and love.  I kept telling myself that the universe always provides, that everything will work out, but I forgot about what I do have.  Not the material things, not the other money that I have in the bank, but the people.   Not just the ones that are offering me financial support if it comes to that, but really everyone.

I am present to all the love in my life, no matter how it is expressed.  You may not even be aware of the love that I receive from you because love doesn't have to look like approval. Love doesn't have to be constant contact.  Love isn't defined by connection.  Love doesn't have rules.  Love is all around.  Love is in doors opening and doors being slammed shut.  Love is in static space and reactive space.  Love doesn't stop or turn away, it is our attention to it that diminishes.

I am filled with gratitude and love.  You each make a difference.  You each are love expressing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A skilled listener

I used to think I had it all figured out.  I used to spout of my words as if they were THE DIVINE TRUTH.  Every memory that I had was 100% accurate.  Every thing that I believed was 100% true.  I would still listen to others, but I don't take it in.  My way, my view, my version was more right than theirs.  I didn't need to win them over, they were totally allowed their views, but mine were better.  I didn't need to hear theirs.

Now, looking back, I feel as if I just truly learned the definition of listen last year.  Before, maybe my version of listening, was to allow someone else to speak, while trying not to interupt (which I usually failed at, not interupting that is).  I was able to work out the not interupting part, but then I was just waiting for the other person to stop talking so I could get back to my view.  Did I actually take in what they were saying, though?

Now that true listening has come into my life and way of being, I am more present to what a lost skill this is in today's day and age.  Did I just call listening a skill?  I did, and I do believe this to be true.  Conversation is huge and it is really so powerful.  Imagine all of the amazing possibilities that can open up in your life and in the world, by having truthful, fully participated conversations.  Where all parties are speaking for themselves, listening to themselves on the inside and then sharing it, and the other parties are actively listening.  We don't all have to agree.  Not everything is for everyone, but I say a truer listening will allow each of us to diver deeper into ourselves and what we can become as people and in the bigger picture of our vast community on this earth.