I've been to four states in the past month along the east coast and in the midwest-- Florida, North Carolina, New York and Kentucky. While New York was for business (presenting in a conference), Kentucky and North Carolina were travels that were more personal. Kentucky's visit was one to determine if Kentucky will be our new home while North Carolina's visit was a sad send-off of my little brother to war in Afghanistan. So, the Florida two-day visit was a very well-needed vacay that didn't require much thinking, emotion, or prep. The biggest concern was deciding between going to the pool or heading to an amusement park.
Everyone needs a break. Not sure if mine was long enough though.
When I returned from Florida yesterday, the feeling of stress quickly grabbed ahold. I had to get into producer mode for the 7pm Liberated Muse event--Capital Rhythm and Soul. This was especially challenging because my business partner actually had another event he was co-producing with co-workers at his day job and he was not able to really contribute to the promotion of the event nor be present during the logistics. The show was a benefit concert for the nonprofit Southeast Ministry that I've worked with this past summer, so, there were volunteers from Southeast Ministry that I needed to confer with as well prior to the event. When I got back from Florida, I was running very late and did not have the opportunity to drop my daughter off at her grandparents (her dad was still in Florida for business). Between getting myself ready and getting my daughter ready, we were already a half hour late. Did I mention that I was supposed to perform as well?
Well, I called my back vocalist Angie, a good friend of mine, and gave her a heads-up that I was running late. She was already there and had immediately stepped in as the contact for the volunteers and other artists who were performing. She did this without me even asking. When I arrived, all was fine, with several other performers having time issues as I had but everything working out overall. I took a grateful inhale and exhaled deeply.
Prior to the start of the show, we (performers and volunteers) met in the back and did a peace blessing acknowledging everyone who was present, praying for those who had to call out of the show last minute and allowing the volunteers , performers and members of Southeast Ministry to get to know each other. This moment really helped ground me.
When the show began, the hostess, a beautiful spirit named Dehejia Maat, began her MC duties by settling the crowd. She did this by reading passages from the book "The Secret" before engaging them with her poetry. The spiritual tone of the evening immediately began to take shape.
This wasn't a typical Friday evening of music. It was very warm, magical and almost spiritual. There was a very small turn-out, but that did not impact the performers, each one who gave their all to the audience. My own performance was very heartfelt as I sang out to MJ in my rendition of "Never Can Say Good-bye" and poured my heart out in my song "My Tragedy".
I felt refreshed, invigorated and deeply grateful for having the experience on Friday at the Capital Rhythm and Soul event at the Potter's House. I experienced the support of a friend, enjoyed reflective moments with friends and strangers alike and fellowshipped with others through music and song. What more can you hope for? I found unexpected spirituality in an everyday setting and it blossomed gratefulness in my heart.
(In the Video: Footage from last night's Capital Rhythm & Soul and other past events that I've produced through Liberated Muse)