Sharing a blog post from Seth Godin


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Photo Courtesy:  This flickr photostream

Just thought I’d share a good one by Seth Godin that I read today in my old emails.

Does anger follow the laws of thermodynamics?

I have no idea what caused the guy in front of me in traffic to be having a bad day.

Maybe he has a stressful meeting coming up, or his butler burned his bacon at breakfast. Maybe he’s having trouble paying his rent, or his industry is under seige. All I know is that he’s weaving in and out, giving people the finger and yelling at other cars, all at the same time.

Unlike cupcakes, anger isn’t conserved.

If I have a cupcake and I give it to you, I don’t have a cupcake any more. But if someone who is angry gives you their anger, now you both might have it.

You’ve seen it too many times before. Someone is afraid, untethered or just upset about something that happened long before you walked into the room. Unbridled agita is dumped on you, spittle flying, eyes wide, personal invective unfiltered. Just feet away, the angry person is saying, “here,” and dumping vitriol in your direction.

All connection gets severed, any chance for positive engagement seems long gone. The opportunity, it seems, is to pick up some of that anger and throw it right back, where it came from.

And now, of course, both of you are having a bad day.

Shared anger destroys trust. It eliminates dialogue. It activates the lizard brain of everyone within earshot, and produces nothing of value.

No credit goes to the person who vents, who opens his spleen and shares his anger. No points for bravery or honesty or getting in touch with his feelings. Anger shared is not anger ameliorated.

Talk about it, don’t talk with it. Point it out, and then leave it there, on the floor, where, unengaged, the anger can’t help but wither and die.

For more great blogs by Godin, please check out his blog right here!

Happy weekend~

lme

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Not Fans but Friends


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Photo Credit:  Library of Congress photostream

So, they tell you if you can procure 1000 true blue fans as a musician that you will be able to make a little living for yourself.  Perhaps it would help to not focus on fans (people who adore you or your music) but rather try to meet and develop real relationships with people who believe in more of a mission than just a face or sound.  There are concepts larger than ourselves and maybe it’s time we focused on that instead of ourselves as musicians.  I haven’t obtained this selfless sense as a musician, but it would be a good goal to stay grounded as we grow as artists.  Though, I’m not exactly sure what my fans turned friends would look like, I do know some characteristics I imagine they would possess and characters they would be.

  1. Genuine-ness- whatever they do, they do it heartily and sincerely.  They try their best to live every day with some purpose and include others in the process.  They don’t pretend to be something they are not and they don’t speak loftily to make themselves sound like more of a big deal than they are.  They accept who they are, what they do and are accepting of their strengths, flaws and those who have helped them get to where they are.  They appreciate art, music, and action of any kind with substance and meaning.
  2. Givers- they believe in the art of contribution, giving back and even in small ways making the world a better place each day.  They know change isn’t easy and sometimes it takes more than one to get something off the ground.
  3. Dreamers- those who are a little different, who people deem as strange or too idealistic.  They know that ultimately others’ opinions are merely just opinions and letting themselves be swayed by them is often unprofitable.
  4. Believers- they believe in things beyond themselves and Someone higher than they.  A spiritual nature is something that is manifest in their everyday life as well as something that touches everything they do, say and think.
  5. Innovators- those who are pioneers and believe in things that have not yet been created.  They ask why not more often than not.  They live in a realm of hopefulness rather than pessimism.

All of that being said, I should like to announce that I am currently in the studio working on my first EP.  My goal for the end of 2013 and all of 2014 is to begin sharing music, stories and a vision larger than myself with others through shows, service and relationships.  I have some great people who are eager to help, so if you’d like to hear the EP once it is out and possibly book a house show, please feel free to drop me a line in the contact form below.

And if you feel like hearing some demos as a pre-cursor to the EP, feel free to visit www.facebook.com/leahemusic

Thanks for being supportive and keep living creatively and thankfully! ~lme

What Fear can Teach Us


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Photo courtesy of : U.S. National Archives

Today, I listened to a Ted Talk by Karen Thompson Walker where she discussed the unconventional topic that our fears are shaped like stories.  She talks about how certain people have overactive imaginations… but what does this teach us about similarities between fear and the construct of story?

Our fears and our stories have similar construction.  They have characters, suspense and visuals.  In our fears, the main character is usually ourselves.  Our fears focus on question- what will happen next?  It’s just sometimes in an extreme way.  A story also involves some relation to time.  Humans are the only animals that do this- we project ourselves forward in time.  So when we fear something, we are usually moving into a forward moment.  Fears also show us how one specific event can effect all other events as in a complex narrative.

We should think of ourselves as the authors of our stories- but we should read our fears as well.  She also discusses the idea of productive paranoia.  This is when people who might fear something are actually able to translate that fear into action.  And sometimes our fears can even predict the future.

She also talks about what makes a good reader.  A good reader is both artistic and passionate, getting caught up in the story, but also possesses a coolness of judgment like a scientist.  We must have this ability to be overcome with emotion but have a sense of discernment about our minds.

I had never really thought about this concept that fears are like stories.  They are always circling and interwoven within some frightening story with many or few characters in our minds.  The story then can also be unraveled and changed in its course of direction then.  This can help us when we begin to get sucked into the undertow and succumb to our fears.

To hear the talk in its entirety, check it out here: http://www.ted.com/talks/karen_thompson_walker_what_fear_can_teach_us.html

Have a great tuesday 🙂

~lme

Karen Thompson Walker

Elsewhere Seeker


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Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress flickr page

I am an Elsewhere seeker

I’ve nearly always been that way

contentment don’t come easy

even when I’ve lived good days

But maybe I keep looking

because Earth wasn’t meant to hold me

so the elsewhere that I’m seeking

is a place I’ve yet to see

~lme

keep your sights set higher than what you can merely see.  Go out. do good.

Waxing poetic


Temporis Momentum

Calico and dandelions blowing in the wind

Whispered to the world what once had been

Love rests

Love rests

In her chest

In her chest

Denim shirts and coveralls

Atop the mountain in the fall

Love found

Love found

Unspoken sound

Unspoken sound

Morning lullabies

Winter flurry, firewood and moonlight

Love came

Love came

Close and tame

Close and tame

Using hands to gather in the field

Holding them under the table he had built

Love kind

Love kind

She would never again find

She would never find

Afternoon in October crisp

Sudden bite of apple kiss

Life slips

Life stops

On a western mountaintop

On a western mountaintop

Bandanna warm, soaked in blood

Praying for the grace of God

Love’s solitude

Love’s solitude

Choking cries into the woods

Fruitless cries into the woods

Last words lying on her lap

As his fevered head and eyes slipped back

Love lost

Love lost

Bitter cost

Bitter cost

Now she digs the grave, stark and lone

Heralding the way home

Love went

Love went

Back to where it had been

Back to where it had been

Willow weeping yet again

Branches write his name on them

Widow’s love

Widow’s love

Wanders where there is no sun

Wanders where there is no sun

Calico and dandelions blowing in the wind

Chant the tale of what once had been

Love rests

Love rests

In an anchor

Attached to her chest.

Reticent Moonrise


moon and sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credits: this talented individual

From the belly of the ship

I emerged in quiet haste

As the captain slumbered, believing he always had his way

Into the night, in pursuit of escape

One leg over, in blinded faith

Clutching the rope as I slid down the line

Save my life, boat

Freedom, freedom

Ring- ing in my head

Into the night, I found my way

Lapping water like a stray

Gainst the sides of my saving grace

Once I was out of sight and could finally

Breathe audibly

I let my arms rest

Like moses in the wilderness

Reaching up to touch my dampened locks

Where dying flowers revealed my lot

That matched the stench of death

Seeping from my dress

I could lean over and see

The saddest version of me

I cannot run for long I knew

But the punishment that would ensue

Would be worth these few

Moments on an open sea

Free from captivity

And sea-borne illness

That in a week

Would in final silence cover me.

~leah marie

Thursday wisdom from Seth Godin


IMG_0260Some thoughts from Seth Godin and my own commentary to remember as you navigate the music industry.

1.  Safe is Risky– So, then the smart thing is to dwell at the fringes.  How does this apply to musicians?  You can’t dwell in the “what’s already been done” area.  You can’t think- oh this worked as a great marketing tactic or facebook contest.  If you’re studying everyone else’s music career, stop.  You can’t expect the same scenario to be recreated.  Because let’s be real- we are all living different lives, know different people and have influence in different circles.  Can you draw ideas in regards to revenue generation and creative strategies? Of course.  Just study for a little while and then be willing to launch out into some uncharted waters.

2.  Not everyone will want what you have.  But that does not matter.  You need to find those who desperately want what you have.  Find those who are obsessed about what you do.  How does this apply to me?  Well, here’s the cold hard truth.  Folks, people will not always love you (gasp?).  Yes, I get upset about this as well, because who does not want to be well-liked.  The need for belonging is deeply entrenched in our psyche.  But it’s time we shook off those who would rather move on and say it’s alright.  Maybe someday they’ll change their mind and return.  After all, no use in crying over spilled milk.

3.  Sell to those who are listening- and maybe they will tell their friends. I’ll take this a step further and say that not only should you hope for good fans who will tell their friends, you should also REWARD them for spreading the word.  When you have great fans who are willing to share, you should give back.  Give them swag, host a concert in their home, send them a holiday gift, write a thank you card.  We are losing true connection with our fans and people in general.  When we lose this, we lose a massive part of what music is supposed to do for us: connect us and unite us.

4.  Acknowledge that what has worked before does not necessarily work anymore.  We used to think of marketing in terms of television where if you could buy enough ad space, you could change the world.  Then we think advertising- push it on the world.   It gives the idea that you are in charge and you’re going to get things done.  But with this idea of connection and social media came the rebirth of the Tribe.  It is something that people have wanted forever.  We have work, spiritual and community tribes.  The internet was supposed to homogenize us but rather it has created silos of people with similar interests.  You can connect if you WANT to be connected.  It is not that you force people but that they want to connect.  It then becomes a movement.  So, as an artist, what characterizes your movement?  If it sounds like something you’ve heard before, get back to the drawing board.

5.  You can’t do it alone.  Begin to find your supporters and build your inner cabinet first.  Find trustworthy, dependable people who you enjoy working with.  Don’t waste your time with people who drag you down or who do not support you in your vision.  1000 true fans is the solid foundation to get you to the next rounds.  Work on cultivating those relationships and be true as the tribe leader to the vision.

Some final thoughts from Seth Godin:

Who are you upsetting?  If you aren’t upsetting, you aren’t changing the status quo.

Who are you connecting?  People want to be a part of a culture and they want to be missed when they are gone.  Do you create that sense of community for them?

Who are you leading?  They’re waiting for you to show them where to go.

So, get goin’ 🙂

And remember…. “It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” ~Proverbs 25:27

~lme

Truckin’ along with naming the band


Keep truckin’

Like a good truck brand,  a lot goes into naming a band.  I’m currently in the midst of such an endeavor.  A name says a lot about who you are, what you do, your style and how seriously you hope to be taken.  No pressure right?  Throughout my word perusings for the ideal name, here are some thoughts to consider:

1.  Band Names must be interesting yet easily recognizable.  Whether it’s a created word (the Lumineers) or the putting together of 2 different words or concepts (The Head and the Heart), it must catch the reader’s attention before it catches their ears and later their heartstrings.  It must be somewhat easy to say, since word of mouth will be an ideal marketing tool for you in this industry.

2.  Band names must have the ability to grow with your band.  Putting a number or utilizing a gender word can somewhat constrict your project (unless this is your long-term idea and you know you’ll keep the band the same always).  You have to keep it from being too narrow in concept but it also needs holding weight as well as wings to move in a direction that might later surprise you.

3. Considering connotation is imperative when choosing a name.  The words should give a feeling you want portrayed through your image and sound.  This, I believe, is the hard part.  Words evoke emotion, and it’s hard to get that just right.  It’s easy for me to write a list of words that have the same direction of feeling I want my audience to experience through song, but it isn’t so easy to create that feeling in a concise way through a name.  Here would be a list of connotation words that connect to me:

Farmouse

Southern

Home

Kinfolk

Wanderer

Tumbleweed

Harvest Moon

Seasons

Calico

Rose

Vintage

Fresh food

deserts, forests, valley, fields

Harmony

Traversing the globe

Lanterns

Imagery

Poetry, melodies

the Glow

Friends

Simplicity

Elsewhere

But finding that perfect name as well as one that hasn’t been snagged previously is a challenge.  So, my reader friends, here’s where you come in.  Kristen and I have a pretty lengthy list but we’d love to hear your ideas.  Feel free to post them in copious amounts on my music page, Leah Edwards Music over this lovely long weekend!

Thanks and we’ll keep you posted!

~lme

Put your heart into it… or better yet, put it elsewhere.


Photo Credit and rights: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/

This phrase is heard often in our post-modern culture.  “Seize the day- and put your heart into it!” What, praytell, is “it?”  Well, “it” can be anything we want to fill that absence within ourselves- religion, sports, music, academia, philosophy, writing, etc etc.

But I’m going to pose a new way of thinking about our tangible pursuits down here.  What if we don’t put our hearts and all of our focus into so many various parts of our life.  What if we do live a litte “air-hearded” in the sense of all of our everyday affairs, choosing rather to meditate on the spiritual concepts floating above our heads?

Put my heart into music?  No, then i’ll just be anxious and bummed when recognition often escapes me or when I see others who are farther in their successful careers than I am.

Put my whole heart into the stock of what others think, say or my actual relationships?  No, people will disappoint and I’ll spend my time vacillating with each relationship and worrying about how I’m inadequate or how much they’ve hurt or disappointed me or my ego.

Put my heart into creating such a comfortable nest I’ve created here that when it comes my time to fly this coop, I think, oh, but I love my life and stuff here. I’ve invested  so much of my heart and energy into this place.  So, then maybe it behooves us to put our energy and work ethic into what we do, but not our total hearts into what we do.  What do I mean?  Well, maybe our clutch should not be as tight as it is to our image, our talents, our loves (leah speaks to self).  What if we’re called to sacrifice whatever it is?  What if what we thought was our greatest contribution to the world is later revealed as merely a stepping stone to a greater plan set forth for us while we were yet being formed.

We should guard our hearts and, as Rudyard Kipling says, “If all men count with you, but none too much,” we must somehow learn to separate the situations in which we find ourselves and our emotions.  They must not be what drives us- rather, there should be something of far stronger weight acting as our anchor.  If heart is where your treasure is (Matthew 6:21), then where is this anchor?  Investing my heart elsewhere will lead me to less attachment and disappointment in the mere here and now.  Putting my faith and trust in a God who is vastly more powerful than myself will help my perspective be more fixated on better things.  I wont’t get as anxious or worried over politics, broken relationships, stressful moments in the hustle bustle and angry over what I feel I deserve or am owed.  This is part of the strangeness of life.  We see what others have and we want it too.  But sadly, those who have everything we long for often aren’t the people we’d really want to be if we were honest with ourselves.  Do I get giddy over talented musicians?  Why yes, yes I do.  Do I want their often dark and depressing vh1 behind the scenes life or their broken marriages or their exhaustion or addiction to pleasure?  I’ll be honest- aspects of the music lifestyle are incredibly tempting to me.  But then I think deep down, there is a part of me that knows there is so much emptiness in it as well.  I’ve experienced it- the heartache, the sadness, the decision by those I love to leave all for the music at the expense of themselves and others.  And about this whole getting famous bit?  I don’t think it’s that hard to do.  When you’re willing to sacrifice everything- family, friends, dignity, money- for music, you’ll make it out there.  But is that really who I want to be….. someone who has spent their whole life in devotion to self?

I must let my love and pursuit of God and good things be what seeps into every facet of my life will make everything else just compartments.  Instead of giving God his little box, why not view our lives as many boxes and all of them are floating in the same sea of God.  They all become submerged and eventually sink into His greatness.

~lme

Ado or Die


Within ourselves, it’s all we can take

And I can’t take anymore

I came across your secrets

loosely scattered on the floor

How I happen on the broken

It comes my way so much

From what I want to turn away

Commands of me so much

Self and love were fated enemies

Just a village built unsound

Want gives way to more want

It’s what I want this time around

And it’s not that I am blinded

While the lifeboat’s at my side

It’s merely laziness I harbor

When it’s truly do. or. die.

~lme