It’s been awhile since I’ve taken time to write as I’ve been focusing my creative energy on finishing up the album, Brave. It’s funny how life tells me when I need to sit down and write again – I start feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I feel my subconscious say,
“Hey, I need your attention.”
As the album starts wrapping up, I feel nervous, excited, RELIEVED and a sense of nostalgia. Creating Brave has been a long process of reflection, diving deep into the forest of my heart, unraveling, dismantling, entering inner chaos, and getting glimpses of inner peace. This album is about my journey of finding beauty throughout hardship, and learning that healing happens inside of the pain – when we allow compassion to enter our wounds. In essence, this is an album of transformation and strength.
For those of you who are not as familiar with my story, mental illness has surrounded me my whole life and has been a battle I’ve faced personally since I was a little girl. Most of my childhood memories are of me pacing around in complete panic. Later on in high school, I developed undiagnosed depression. These strong experiences overwhelmed me, but music became a “safe haven” for me to uncover and unmask. The melodies, words and emotion in this album come from the cracks inside my heart, and I believe that without having to overcome the things I’ve faced, I wouldn’t have found the passion or courage to bring the music inside me to life.
The first song I wrote for Brave is “Restful Water.” I remember it was spring of 2017. I was in a difficult season in my life and I had just gone on a short hike, seeking silence and serenity. When I got back, I went to the piano and felt these words whispered into my heart, like an angel of comfort:
Don’t forget how strong you are
Don’t forget to look at the stars
Stars can only shine through the dark
So don’t forget who you are
Everyday’s a chance to start again
The sun will rise even in the rain
You are stronger than the pain
The past year and a half of making this album has been a daunting journey. I’ve come face to face with my fears, distorted beliefs about myself, and layers of grief and pain buried inside. The deeper I went into this inner forest, the closer I got to my perceived imperfections and flaws. This journey felt never-ending. Things I had been too ashamed to admit about myself, became the only path out of the prison I was in. The only way to freedom is by truth.
Allowing this grief inside to surface and allowing others to see how I perceive myself felt uncertain and vulnerable. I had hated myself for so long, truly feeling that the voice of shame inside my head and heart spoke the truth to who I am at my core: “You are unlovable. You are disgusting. You don’t matter. You are a monster. You are hideous and worthless.”
Yes, facing these beliefs was like fighting off wolves in the woods, a relentless battle. But the beauty in voicing the shame I experienced is that I realized how much of it was untrue. Shame shackles our perception and the true reality of who we are. Here’s the truth:
We are all loved and we are all made with dignity.
I’ve learned that being vulnerable allows the light to enter into our cracks and heal us. It’s a continual process, but I’m learning to embrace my imperfections from a place of sensitivity and softness. I’m learning to let go of the pain I’ve been through. I’m continuing to cultivate inner-beauty, to displace the monsters I’ve had to face inside.
My biggest hope is that these songs become a companion for anyone who needs an understanding heart—especially in the areas that feel vulnerable. And I pray that you, too, find healing.
Sending love and serenity,
PS check out the photos below! I’m endlessly grateful to Colin, my co-producer, for his guidance, encouragement and support!