I had two great experiences yesterday and both can be summed up with "say yes."
The first was a short trip to Eagan, Minnesota to be filmed singing one of my favorite Cat Stevens songs.
I got to put on my favorite jacket, the one with the flowered lapels from 1970's Bill Blass, and my big white cowgirl hat.
I got to meet a father of two young boys, a very spirited and obviously tenderhearted family, who have lost their mother recently to cancer.
They asked me to sing for a celebration of life film they're making.
I feel grateful to be asked and of course the answer is "yes".
And.....what I often forget in situations like this in life....is that when I say yes and give of my self.....I receive unforeseen gifts in return.
When you say yes you are rewarded by the Heavens, by the people, by God, by Karma.
You just get a lot back when you give.
The gift of singing the "Father And Son" song in this context was beautiful in and of itself, very full of meaning for all of us present, those seen and those unseen.
Another gift was seeing the people doing something to honor someone they love who has departed this world.
I saw that they were moved by my contribution and I in turn was moved as well.
Another thing I received was a conversation at the end with the father.
We talked about work that he does helping people communicate better in their work lives.
Part of the conversation turned to how we ask for money or get compensation.
We talked about the exchange of something of value, that you have to be giving something of value and then people will gladly give money for that something.
You know, if you've read along with this blog for a while, that I have had a narrative of fear over supporting myself, getting out of debt, moving forward financially.
This man and I talked about how I have received generous support from my fans, and my fans have brought me along to new better places in my life, but not out of pity for me.
Fans of my music and my writing and my way of living have given support because they love the dream, they love what I'm doing they love how it makes them feel or how it lifts them up or how it inspires them.
They give money when they like what I'm doing and they're glad to be participating in that.
Here's the follow up thought he sent me this morning:
"People don't pay you to save you or feed you.
They pay you to thank you for helping them feel moved."
Feeling moved means a lot.
This is a time when a lot of people can be feeling stuck, paralyzed with fear, unsure of a way forward.
Life is a journey, that's what we all say, we all see life as having movement.
When you feel moved you get unstuck, you see something, you feel something, you realize something.
Last night one of my favorite friends came over to visit.
I hadn't seen her since mid-February.
We threw all caution to the wind and hugged each other.
She's been through a lot since then and so have I.
She arrived at 5pm, purposely early in the evening so we'd have plenty of time to catch up.
We finally felt that we had covered all of the important topics at around 1:15 in the morning when she left to drive home.
We had wine early on, so she was completely sober by the time she left.
Rob was in on the first couple of hours and then he went out to his studio in back to do some work.
Even Tobi the puppy was sound asleep on the sofa by the time we called it a wrap.
We reached a few break through ideas in all of that exchange.
And of course we were just plain having fun the whole time anyway.
We ate a lot of snacks and drank a lot of wine....a bottle of Sancerre she brought me because that's my favorite to relive the days in the Jardin du Luxembourg.
We also drank bottle after bottle of sparkling water into the wee hours.
The important topic was saying yes.
Say yes to love.
Say yes to giving in.
Say yes to giving up.
Say yes to the let-go-let-God thing.
Say yes to floating around feeling grateful for every little thing instead of seeing what is left undone, what needs fixing still, what isn't right.
My friend said that Rob's house is glowing.
His porch is glowing, his backyard is glowing, the upstairs bedrooms are glowing.
You know the story by now that my oldest daughter Nina was living here with us through all of us getting The Rona in March and we got along just fine, helping each other survive, with the two bedrooms and one bathroom of this small house.
And you know that when the unemployment checks started to come in Nina took it as a great opportunity to revisit her love affair with Los Angeles.
I got Tobi the puppy.
I recommitted to seeing if I could make this three year tentative experiment of staying with the music producer at his house into a real thing.I decided to love Rob one hundred percent and I decided to call this my home.
It may be Rob's house but it is my home.
These are decisions, a decision, to go all in.
My friend asked me if I had changed the house, bought new furniture, repainted.
We both marveled over how everything looked so new and glowing but in fact I've never painted anything in this house and neither has Rob since he moved in fifteen years ago.
Everything's glowing because love is making it glow.
Love can be present in a room full of people honoring a young mother who has departed for another realm.
Love can be present between two friends who share each others' troubles and joys.
Love can be present for two fiercely independent adults who choose to live in the same house and are going beyond that to make it a home.
I feel moved.
I feel moved by these thoughts, these experiences, these concepts.
I feel moved by my encounters with people who are pondering, grappling, struggling, letting go, floating, flying, soaring.
We are creatures of this good Earth, we are meant to be abundant and joyful.
The father yesterday said that to me, that we are meant to have abundance.
We are meant to see it all as glowing, to see it all through rose colored glasses, to see it as miracle.
Last night my friend told me that her husband asks her to go with him to his run down shack of a cabin in the woods.
She doesn't like to go because it needs refurbishing.
Rob asks me to go camping with him in his 1970 campervan with 500,000 miles on it.
I want to say no.
But when I think of swimming in the clear lake, sitting around the fire under the stars, sitting in the camper playing cards when it inevitably rains, cuddling under the blankets in the little pull out bed inside the van with my favorite man, I say yes.
Give in. Give up. Let go.
Let the gifts roll in.
Let the world show you how it can glow with love.