Charity gigs R US

Blogpost March 10th

Last Monday I received an invitation from my good friend Susan Slamer who, despite her incredibly busy life, works in her own time with an organisation called The Society of Singers here in LA. They were established in 1989 to offer a helping hand to singers down on their luck and have been doing a great job ever since. SOS have a fund raiser event once a month at the Cafe Cordialle in Sherman Oaks and Sue thought it would be great if I could perform at the next scheduled event on March 23rd. Well of course I’m delighted.

At first I thought it was simply a case of turning up to sing a few songs in amongst other performers but it turns out I’ll be “it”. So, I in turn, invited my talented friends from the Wild Honey orchestra for a little more musical charity. Lucky for me Rob Laufer, David Jenkins, Jordan Summers and Rusty Squeeze are excited about the possibility of playing our funky set from last October one more time! Also … Sue’s lovely husband Mike Slamer is joining me for a couple of acoustic songs and will join the band for a tune or two later on in the set. Anyone in the LA area on March 23rd … please do come along for a fun night of great music and at the same time know you’re contributing to a good cause. See you there!

Christina Collister

In “other news” … I’m wrestling woman-fully with the rewrite of my book. Part of the process requires reading and re reading pages and looking at the myriad creative websites filled with creative advice; a great deal of it is really useful. I’m looking to make each character more concrete, tangible and connected. It’s not a straightforward process. I’ve also decided to change a basic premise of the storyline and it has far reaching effects on just about every aspect of the telling. This is a great opportunity to really dig in and connect to a deeper level that should elevate the story all round. However sometimes the mind chatter around wether I am in fact a writer at all, is an argument I regularly win these days only because I decide to turn the volume down. For the longest time these negative voices were so ingrained that I didn’t hear them at all. It was only in slowing down and listening for the negative pulse I knew must be there, that they emerged from the depths (where they were running the show!). Offering negative voices a little attention (to make them feel wanted) then sweetly turning down the volume, is a wonderful trick that can have measurable, positive effects.

They’re measurable for me in that before I was able to acknowledge their existence, I didn’t dare create in the way I secretly wanted to because their weighty, all-be-it unknown existence, made me tongue-tied and frozen. Once their mealy-mouthed presence was brought to light and a safe distance from the creative process found for them to rest, could I then safely unwrap and tap into the satisfying process of being creative – regardless of outcome/technical ability/relevance etc I simply got on with it! Et voila a positive practice was born.

It’s funny how the noise of negative convictions can rule the roost so well; it remains necessary to work at keeping buoyant and positive. These habit driven pitfalls are at least navigable these days. There was a time when I would give into the voices of reason: “who the hell d’you think you are?” “No one wants to know what you think!” “You’re not creative!” “You’re an idiot!” etc … sound familiar? It’s a part of the human condition to doubt oneself from time to time but giving into those demons simply isn’t worth it, despite their apparent self-righteous conviction. One of the many tools I’ve come to rely on to help me move through the quagmire is a daily gratitude diary. Being grateful as a default creates a mind set of positive expectation and those pesky voices are made unintelligible with a robust commitment to having a positive attitude. If you’ve never written a gratitude diary perhaps you’d like to give it a go? Be grateful for the smallest thing you can think of and see how blessed you  feel about everything.

Our song/video this week is a recording of the Manx Gaelic tune Gear Jyn Aer. Many of you will have heard me sing it at the beginning of shows over the last few years. I recently donated this new recording to the Pete Quaiffe Foundation as part of their music campaign “Shoulder to Shoulder” to raise money to provide equipment such as portable DVD players, Kindles etc that can be sterilized, to children on dialysis. It’s a great cause and they’re wonderful people. I hope you’ll be inspired to purchase one of their bundles of  great music. Check out the latest release which includes my track: HERE! 

VIDEO HERE!

Ok that’s all for this week. Thanks as always for dropping by and see you next week!

Sending love, light, peace and joy!

Christine xx

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