Thanks for visiting me again. I’m back at home now in Vancouver, although I’m beginning to feel more disoriented with the concept of “home” as my time is spent immersed in other cultures and places around the world. It can be very confusing to be such an adaptable person!
I want to start by saying… I am SO glad to be in 2012!!!!!! As many of you know, 2011 was both a year of severe challenge and triumph for me, and I managed to land in 2012 with the most positive, clear and peaceful mind I have felt in a long time. Bali was good to me and filled in the gaps for a lot of the work I have been doing to recover from some of those challenges. It was wonderful to connect with old friends and see those amazing smiles again. I felt like my smile had a place to go, and sometimes I feel that to be a difficult task in Vancouver. Nevertheless, I have brought peace back with me along with a new Rindik (grantang) to play and practice and I’m even thinking of doing a small performance this Friday at an open mic around the corner from where I live in Kitsilano.
Yesterday was my first full day back and I just spent it with my family. My sister picked me up from the airport the night before, waiting for me with the perfect hot coffee in hand and huge hug in her arms… her wonderful man carted all my luggage around… they drove me home and then hung around for a bit before taking off around 11 to get to a relative’s house for the midnight countdown.
You see, the amazing thing for me was that I had already had my countdown in Hong Kong. I had already BEEN to 2012 and seen how great it was! And then I got to do it all again in Vancouver because of the crazy time differences around the world. [to clarify, I left Bali at 4pm on the 31st, arrived in Hong Kong at 8:30pm through midnight waiting for my flight at 1am on January 1st, to arrive back to Vancouver at 8:30pm on December 31st again!] Both times going through the strike of twelve were quiet for me, with my eyes closed and positive thoughts in mind. I imagined the new world I wanted to create for myself and I must say without a doubt, it is already in creation. I spent January first having the best talk with my Mom over lunch, the best talk with my Dad and Grandma over dinner, and then a peaceful sleep in regular Vancouver hours! Even after having the most comfortable 8 hours sleep on the second plane here! Just amazing! Last night too, I slept from 11pm-9am. I think you remember me fully confused last time having took three weeks to get onto a regular sleeping and eating regimen here.
Things only got better today when I talked to one of my amazing friends, Jean Leggett, who is also my life-coach. Have you heard about life-coaching before? It has changed the way I look at life. As soon as I found out about this service, I knew it was for me. People have coaches for weight-lifting, running, olympic activities, singing, mental issues and academics… but what about our daily goals in life? Being such an ambitious person with so many interests and feeling like there’s never enough time, I knew it was crucial for me to collaborate with someone that could help direct all my energies and desires. I met Jean two years ago at a friend’s wedding and we hit it off immediately. We became friends that weekend and I found out she was a life-coach. I decided to have a session with her, and right away it was rewarding. I already had more direction – and not because she told me what to do, but because she asked me the right questions and was intuitive enough to know how to direct my insanity! Through the last two years I have accomplished more than I ever imagined possible, thanks to myself but thanks to Jean also for her guidance and most importantly, her sincere belief in me and my capacity.
Just as a taste of what that means:
I helped produce over 200 concerts in 17 days at the successful FHFN Aboriginal Pavilion during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, worked with artists from all around the world coordinating productions at venues all over Vancouver, including producing my own event at the Vancouver Trade and Convention center. I co-founded and co-directed a successful children’s choir, the Pacific Spirit Children’s Choir, out of West Vancouver which participated in many successful performances such as Andre Rieu’s annual Christmas special at GM Place with over 12,000 audience members. I finished my Undergraduate degree in Music and gave an hour an a half concert on my own after just having recovered from surgery on my larynx and not being able to sing until 3 weeks before the performance. I wrote and produced a theme song for VCC’s new promotional material. I wrote two award winning musical scores for two short films in the Montreal World Film Festival. I worked at a well-known recording studio out of North Van and learned some audio-engineering. I flew all over Canada to help with different speaking and musical engagements, went to Mexico for three weeks to visit old friends, I attended two vocal pedagogy workshops out of L.A. with Lisa Popeil and enhanced greatly my ability to teach many other western styles of singing. I flew to Arizona to work on my photography with an experienced friend, took a spontaneous flight to Ottawa by myself to see my favourite African singer, Salif Keita, lived in Bali for the summer, landed another conducting position with the Vancouver Bach Chidlren’s choir and started 3 new groups of a new level of choristers, the “piccolinis”. I started my Masters degree in Ethnomusicology. I taught my first two lectures at a post-secondary institution (VCC) on vocal pedagogy. And now I just came back – as you know – from spending December in Bali again. I can have conversations in Indonesian now. I can’t even list the rest because it would go on and on, but it gives an idea at how much I have been able to do in a short frame of TWO years only. I am thankful to Jean for much of this, because she helped me be brave enough to go for it all.
I love her to pieces. Today we had a call to catch up and then do a bit of coaching and I must say, 2012 is going to be a year you’re going to need to follow around here. 🙂 I would like to write more about these ideas but for now I can direct you to her website and NEW blog which she will be writing about many interesting coaching topics, for those of you intrigued… www.thecookiecoach.com AND BLOG: http://jeanleggett.blogspot.com/
One of the things we talked about was the amount of pressure there is in living in western societies. Life in third-world countries can be extremely difficult at times, but we have complicated our lives and forgotten so much of what is important. Part of my great difficulty last year was dealing with the long-time war I have had in my mind for the past several years, a war that many of us share: “What am I going to do with my life?” “What should I be doing?” “What is my destiny?” “Where do I see myself in 10 years?”… While that is important, it can also carry us away from the moment, and have us wasting away time, planning for things that could be completely null and void next week. So why not just BE. Why let anyone else tell you your destiny. Why allow yourself to get stuck in commitments and responsibilities that are not true to what you really want. And why not be open to contemplating visions we never imagined possible for us?
Sometimes I feel like my life is filled with those traps, and this year I plan to stand face-to-face with them and say: NO. It’s not the “things”, but the quality and essence of life that I want. I am not ready to share all those details on this site right now, many are possibly even too personal for me (gasp!) and also because many of them are unknown still (yet another gasp!)… but rest assured: as they unfold, so will I.
New Years is incredibly important to me, and perhaps one of my favourite holidays, not because it’s the right time to lose 10lbs, not because I’m going to play more piano, or write more songs, or accomplish more “things” but because it allows me to draw a tangible line in which I can leave old things behind that are not serving me anymore and take with me the things that are. It allows me to place new thoughts free of nets or weights in the forward side of the line. It is a formal time for me to re-evaluate and make new decisions about who I want to be. I don’t believe in waiting for things that are important, however, so this is not a “I’m going to wait until the 1st to start my goals”, but a place, a sign-post to arrive and think about myself. Winter-cleaning, perhaps.
To wrap this all up, I want to say THANK YOU. Thanks to all of you who have been following my writing, my thoughts, my experiences and my life. Thanks to all of you who believe in me and what I do. It means the world to me, and I will always appreciate your loyalty to who I am. In return, I leave you with a smile and enormous warmth in my heart.
I plan to keep updating you with more of life, more of living and more of ME.
Thanks for reading, as always,
PS – For those of you curious about this “Five Alive” reference, 2+0+1+2 = 5, and five is the number of positive change. It is also the number of several awesome words like, laugh, light, and alive. Hence, I decided to give my year a theme name: Five Alive 🙂 (yes, my cheese will go over the line with me, thank you very much.)