Winter Residency at The Finnish Bistro starts today!

I begin my weekly artist residency at The Finnish Bistro today.

I have high hopes.

I want to develop a whole new setlist.

I want to write and memorize and perform some brand new songs that are partially written as of now.

I also want to practice and perform some of my old songs that people request but I can't remember well enough to play.

And I want to prepare to make a new album of all new original songs in 2020.

Big goals.

And I want to look great doing all this.

One tool I'm using right now is a book called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.

If everyone on this planet could read a book like this and take it to heart that world would be saved.

You should probably just read it yourself and see what you think.

Speaking of reading, I've taken to using an ipad that Nina sold to me a few years ago when she received it as a gift and didn't want to use it. Yes, she sold it to her mother...but she really needed the money so it was a nice thing that we could do it that way. Anyway, the ipad I have doesn't have any of my internet crap registered. No social media, no email, no website access. I think it's because it was already set up for Nina, but the point is I didn't want to bother with switching it all over so the only thing I got to work for me is the ibook section. It's turned out to be a great thing that all I can do with that gadget is buy books and read them. My library is growing on my ipad and that's all I use it for and it really works for me. No distractions, no interruptions. I think this should be added to the list of traits of successful people, that they keep an ipad that only has access to books to read. The other thing, of course, is that when I'm traveling I can have all my books I'm currently interested in all with me on the trip this way. Also, I can adapt the lighting and the size of the print to any situation which is good for my older eyes. I'm telling you, it's a good way to go for reading lots of books.

So, one of the things this book talks about is approving of yourself.

I approve of myself, I approve of myself, I approve of my self.

Say it in front of a mirror.

Say it right when you were about to hate on something or somebody.

Say it and see what it does for you.

Another part of Louise's book talks about how you may not have been aware of your own successes.

You may not have been registering your own successes.

I have thought about this part of the book for the last twenty-four hours and I mentioned it yesterday to Nina and she, who has also read the book, answered me very quickly without having to think about it at all, "Yeah, that's your whole thing."

What!?!?

So I started reframing the stories from my life last night.

Here goes:

I succeeded at learning to read before Kindergarten at home with my Mom.

I succeeded at school with teachers, kids, and schoolwork.

I succeeded at getting the solos in church choir.

I wrote my first songs at age ten on guitar and the music director at our big church in Chicago added me to the Sunday morning line up for the new acoustic service where I played my own compositions for a congregation of several hundred people on Sunday mornings.

I ran away from my family's lousy situation and lived in a cabin alone on the Canadian border, learned a bunch of Bob Dylan songs and wrote a bunch more of my own, got excellent grades and performed in all the school functions plus played in the bars around the region, and got myself a full scholarship in creative writing to a rally wonderful liberal arts college. And graduated with a major in Creative Writing and British Literature, a minor in Business, and a teaching certification to teach high school English in the state of Minnesota.

I married the guitar player who was my best friend but being a musical duo didn't work out and I started putting my own disapproval onto him and blaming him until I got a divorce.

I worked in advertising and did great and got big promotions but I put my disapproval on them too and finally quit in disgust to go back to graduate school in creative writing.

I married a doctor and had three children. The home we created was beautiful, the children are healthy and wonderful, we were on the cover of Better Homes And Gardens in 2001 with an eight page spread about me being a mom and a songwriter and an artist in the decorative arts as well.

I divorced this man (who was a very good and diligent person but who undoubtedly did not approve of himself or me and was always uncomfortable and unhappy and feeling that everything we did wasn't good enough) and I pulled apart our family and made life very rough on everybody by insisting that there must be a higher love and that I was going to go out and find that for myself...and also...that it wasn't too late for me to be a successful rock star.

I made eight albums of original songs and I toured all over Europe and the US.

I used up all the resources I had and then some.

I got it into my head that it was time to cash in on all of this and I wrote a small novel, a small version of one of my success stories of my life, and got it published.

I made an album of cover tunes that has turned out to be very beautiful, even by my own difficult standards, and my shows are starting to be profitable.

I brought my trio back out on the road this year and made money.

And, the man I've been most difficult with, who I've pushed the hardest, who I've laid all of my self disapproval on and made the scapegoat of everything I was dissatisfied with in these past ten years, has turned out to be the love of my life.

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Well, there it is.

Give it a try.

See what you get.

I'm not going to erase this even though I feel like erasing it right now.

I'm just gonna let these words hang in the air.

See you at The Finnish Bistro tonight.

Success is imminent, success is ours.

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