I recently came across the Greek word “meraki” which means “the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work.” This connected with me at this particular time because I’m coming close to finishing my new album, which is both thrilling and scary. I’ve known for well over a year that this next album would be called “Brave.”
When making this album and going to the studio, I knew I needed to come up with my own definition of what brave means because I didn’t want to be plagued by self-doubt and perfectionism. I wanted to be able to step up close to the mic--uncover my heart--without the crippling fear of “I’m not good enough” and “What will people think of me?”
As I was thinking about what it means to be brave, I realized that wholeheartedness is more important to me than perfection. I realized my sensitivity and the inflection in my voice is more powerful than having perfect pitch. I realized that, in order to show up with my whole self, I have to let go of my idea of perfection and instead, focus on showing up with my heart and soul. This is meraki. This became my definition of BRAVE.
One of the biggest things I learned during this process of digging deep was this: finding inner stillness is one of the bravest things we can do. Being brave is not a big, beautiful, showy thing. It’s the small, but powerful choice, to show up and be seen.
As someone recovering from embedded shame (“don’t see my insides, I’m atrocious and disgusting”), learning to look inside myself and not run away from my heart was a huge breakthrough. I’d learned to uncover my shambles and shame making my first album Serenity, and with this album, I learned to step into my vulnerability, without avoiding and resisting my fragility.
I discovered a sacred inner stillness--a beautiful light inside--that had been there all along, just hidden behind all of the emotional turmoil I'd gone through. I got to a place where I could step up close to the mic and feel my heart say, “Here I am, this is what I have to say, and I’m not ashamed anymore.”
My hope is that this album helps you to journey through the forest of your heart, and find inner stillness, the way writing it helped me. Some of the songs are reflective; songs that I hope make you feel as though you are in your own personal place of inner stillness–-for me this is the feeling I get being by the ocean and in the forest. Some are love songs, and some are songs of healing, growth and renewal.
As I get closer to finishing, a question lingers: what’s next? Writing Brave has not only given me direction and a goal to work towards, but it has led me through moving to a new city, living independently for the first time, and finding inner peace in my life. Even though it's scary not knowing the next step, I am learning to surrender and trust that the next word I will strive to embody will come to my heart in its due time. My journey of choosing to be brave continues. The same goes for you. Every step reveals itself in perfect time. We just have to trust.
Below are some of the songs that will be featured on the album, although they’re not mixed and mastered yet. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me - I hope you enjoy them!