Living Life on Purpose

(I wrote this songs shortly after my dad passed and demoed it on my computer. Maybe it'll make it on a record some day....)


My dad was very much a dreamer like me. Most of you know he is no longer physically here with us. It's his birthday today. Dad had big ideas and a big heart, plus a ridiculously silly sense of humor. I watched him struggle within the confines of a 9 to 5 job for much of my life.  He did what he felt he had to do in order to raise 3 daughters, give us the roof over our head and put us through college. This used to bum me out, but it more feels like a gift now. Like, it's my duty to live out my passions and do all the things I've ever said I wanted to do, ya know? 
Anyway, today is one of those nights I wish I could just call him up and catch up some. I'd say something like:

Happy Birthday, pops. I'm doing pretty good here in Nashville... still writin those songs and teaching yoga, which are basically the only things that keep me sane and grounded in this mad world. Oh! and I think I'm going to join a softball team! I'll probably break my ass but I used love when we played together.  Some of my best memories. 
I've got a new addition to my little fam... Her name is Freya and she's nuts. And of course, you know Lester, who is arguably the coolest cat in the world. 
I miss you big time. About half of your records have made it from NY back to Nashville with me and I am astonished at how similar our taste in music is. How did we never talk about this??
Just want you to know that whenever I think about you, I am reminded that we are basically little teeny tiny humans flying through space. That life is pretty fucking wild and fleeting. That I've got this one shot on this planet as me...and it is my promise to you that I am, in fact, living my life on purpose. Doing what I love. The way you raised me to. 

Love you...

 


Tales of A Songwriter/Yogi: Weightless Weekend

I made the decision at the beginning of 2017 to fill my time doing more and more of what I love. As you might guess, performing is one of those things. So is traveling. I also decided that I'm over playing loud bars that have drunk banter and broken beer bottles acting as my backing band. So, about 3 months ago I started reaching out to folks around the globe via social media, asking if anyone would be into hosting a house concert. I am happy to report, that I have just returned from a successful weekend tour of shows held in awesome homes with beautiful, supportive listeners. And, although it was up to the band and I to provide and set up our sound, sell merchandise, keep track of sales, get drive us from point A to point B night after night...it all felt weightless.

When I do what's in my heart (the stuff that excites and energizes me) my "work" doesn't feel like work at all. 

I'm a pretty firm believer in the of the Law of Attraction. Perhaps you've heard of it...The idea that every action causes a reaction. That what we do, say and think has a vibrational frequency that attracts people, places and things of similar frequency. Like a magnet. For better or for worse! 

By doing the thing that brings me joy and gets me giddy,  I was able to attract amazing folks with lovely homes and attentive listeners, and enough money to cover my expenses and pay my band and myself.

Pretty. Friggin Rad.

OH, and the gals and I came up with a band name! 
Eh hem, 
Ladies and Gents, introducing, Joanna Barbera & the Sirens....

Jo, Nikia and Scarlett

Jo, Nikia and Scarlett

Mama Moon Rising Over Asheville  

Mama Moon Rising Over Asheville

 

Badass Art House we performed at in Chattanooga  

Badass Art House we performed at in Chattanooga

 

Another Badass house we played in Asheville

Another Badass house we played in Asheville

Tales of Songwriter/Yogi: Let's Be Real...

please excuse any grammatical errors. my editor is on vacation.

I'd be lying if I told you last week was not a challenging week. I'd also be silly to think that you would want to sit and read about my all woe's, so we'll bypass that. Or at least most of it.  What I do want to share is what I've learned. It's one of those humdingers of a lesson. The kind that makes you want to hide under the covers and not come out until you are 100% sure you are not a complete a-hole. 
So here it goes.... 

To me Nashville is the equivalent to what Los Angeles is to actors. Instead, we are songwriters, musicians and bands. I moved here for music and to grow as a writer/performer. As of lately tho, I have been re-thinking all of this music-ness.  I've had very little desire to go to any of the hundreds of shows that happen every night here. And while I know it should be about the music and supporting each other...I've found in my personal experience that it's all too easy for it become a night of boozing and schmoozing. 
I kinda just want to stay at home, cook and hang out with my cat. 

Perhaps it's all the yoga-ing I'm doing... It seems my yoga practice has become a sort of survival mechanism these days and I simply couldn't live without it.  Not yoga in a physical sense but as a mindset, an everyday way of being. Maybe I'm scared that if I continue on this path of music and trying to "make it"  I will jeopardize the precious instances of peace I do experience.
Or maybe I am just getting older and craving the richness of authenticity in my life. 

So, while having a rather shitty day last week, I got pretty negative about music and the Nashville scene.  In my defense I was sick and felt that despair one feels when they are in their 30's in a city that is still fairly new, without a whole lot of close friends to lean on. Nonetheless, in my head I was over being here and letting Nashville have it.  I hate this city. Everyone here is only out for themselves.  It's all about who your know and what a person can do for you. This town is not for me. 
It all felt so icky and ingenuine. 

After I basted in this for an unhealthy amount a time, I did what I knew the Yogi in me could do. Which is take that finger pointing out there at everyone else, turn it inward towards me and ask, How is this a reflection of me? Am I ever inauthentic? Do I ever hang out with people that I normally wouldn't if I i didn't think they could somehow to help me out or do something for ME?? 

Now, I am by no means saying I am an awful, no good, superficial person. I will say that if I take a long hard look at myself since I've been in the music industry, there have for sure been instances where I have hung around folks I don't reeeeeally want to be with,  stayed out longer than I wanted, and drank more than I needed to just to... what? To hang with the cool kids?  Maybe get an opening slot for someone or something? 

It all started to feel way too much like high school again.  Firstly, if I have to be drinking to hang out with people or be at a particular place, then perhaps it's time cast a line in a different pond. When I turned that guitar pickin' finger back towards me, I realized I've dishonored myself time and time again. Putting myself in situations where my motives for being there were not pure and a big ol' punch in the gut to my truest, most authentic self. If I'm going to spend my time with someone, I want to be able to say--- This person is awesome. I feel a genuine connection here. I'm so inspired by this absolute badass and I can totally see us developing a depthful, meaningful friendship.
Bottom line, I'm ready to stop doing the things my heart is not aligned with. Seems the more I practice mindfulness, the cheaper not honoring my true-self feels. 

So what can I say...maybe I'll be shacking up with my cat, Lester for a bit longer while I figure out how to create relationships with people and places that JUST. MAKE. MY HEART. FEEL. GOOD. 

Oh yea, and I'm not gonna beat myself up for not always being awesome. What a waste of time THAT is.  Forgiving myself.... I'm gonna work on that. 

ANYWAY, here is a meditation that, when done consistently, has helped tremendously.
It's called, Caliber for Constant Self-Authority. Click HERE for the link

Onward my friend, 
Joanna

Tales of a Songwriter/Yogi: What Gets You Giddy

I'm wanting to know what get’s you all giddy? I mean it. I want to know! 

For me it was my decision to create a blog that I will eventually transition into a book.  I’ve thought about doing this many times, but what’s really got me plugging away was my DECISION to JUST START.  My decision, followed by sitting my ass down and actual typing a handful of words. 

When I actually act on an idea that excites me rather than letting the devilish voice of fear give it’s gazillion reasons why I should not, I can ride that wave of excitement. Once that shit gets flowing it's like an effortless surge of flow and I’m riding on that magic carpet of creativity.  

There is power in deciding.                                                                        

There is even more power in acting. Even if it’s taking one small action. It’s the spark that lights the flame. 
We are so much more powerful, valuable and badassable then we realize. I truly believe that if everyone could see their true value and worth, no one would feel the need to do things like pick up guns and kill each other. 

Soooooo, tell me.

What idea has got you or gotten you all giddy and excited? 

What small thing can you do TODAY to feed that hungry idea creature inside of you?

My idea to record a new EP, after 3 years of  this idea lying dormant in my head, finally became a reality.  I had no idea how or where or with what money... however small it was. Now I've got the nifty little thing in hand!  With beautiful artwork created by one of my oldest friends.

BTW,  you CAN pre-order it today and I will send you an unreleased song!  

ClLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

Ok, ok... now for  the most important news of all, it has recently been discovered that my cat, Letser, loves corn. 

 

 

free download of new song "wake up" when you sign mailing list  

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