I am sort of an expert at changing my life. Since the age of 21, from time to time, I've picked up and moved myself lock, stock and barrel across the country and back again and up and down the coasts and through Europe and the American South. I've seriously changed career course on several occasions.
Way back when I was eighteen or so and at a loss and in between and without guidance, I sat myself down at a giant desk that was parked at the bay windows inside my rented room across from Haverford College. I made a decision that, having no idea how to plan my life or what steps to take next, I would go out and experience life fully, madly, deeply and then settle down and write about it.
Now would be about that time I'd planned to settle down and write.
In my mid-30's, I was out rowing on the Charles in Cambridge one morning. I was miserable and at a loss and confused. I made a decision that, by the end of two years I would be earning my living as a singer and fulfill my duty to the beautiful voice I was born with and realize my true identity as a musical artist. I knew that if I did not act right there and then, I'd be filled with regret at the age of 65.
I did it. By the end of two years I was performing at my first CD release concert. I became a professional performing songwriter, produced five recording projects and toured solo all over the US and Europe. Early on, I discovered that the touring life was not healthy for me so turned to teaching music, drawing and watercolor and freelanced as a visual artist and teacher. I’ve been teaching drawing and watercolor, doing life and creative coaching for the past 21 years.
About six years ago, I went through a situational depression, was prescribed a psychotropic drug which I took against my better judgement and, as a result, started drinking after many, many years sober. I made some less than wise decisions, experienced a series of losses, exceptional stress, problematic eye surgery and other blows. All the sturm und drang of course was colored dark by drinking alcohol too regularly in response to stress which created more stress and mess, I might add.
It also has not helped that I’ve been teaching drawing and watercolor live in a situation that is simply not good for me. I have bent over backwards trying to make it work but at the end of every set of weekly classes, I have felt like I’ve just returned from the front. Emotionally slain. A regular cause for going unconscious.
Of course, there have been high points and successful creative projects throughout these years but overall, I have aged, gained weight and just felt less and less like my optimistic, healthy self. I’ve lost my joie de vivre. I’ve victimized myself with habits of self-criticism, regret, and negative thinking in general. While the world was changing so much that it was becoming unrecognizable, I was, too.
Time for a change.
A dear friend once told me about a visit to her shrink during which she unloaded a ton of problems. When she finished, her shrink looked at her and said, "That's great! Now what are you going to do about it?"
This project, Healing for Recovery is what I am doing about it.
Over the past few years, I've also been teaching live healing courses and am always left feeling elevated, good, thrilled that people have been really, really helped.
I am changing my life again.
Here are some ground rules.
I am making other changes, too. It's confusing and scary because the path is not clear and I am doing a lot of course correction. But change is literally vital.
To err is human. To forgive, divine. The trick is to forgive myself for being human and making mistakes. The solution is to love myself unconditionally. Still working on that but getting better every day.
The temptation is to build this project around sobriety and, certainly, it goes without saying that that is absolutely required. However, there is more to this game than alcohol. I have to embrace autism, too. The common thread is healing.
I'm building this project around healing, evolving and becoming fully conscious. It's going to be great fun and fascinating..
Game on. Come along if you'd like to join me, heal and change your life, too.