If I could bottle the feeling that I have in this very moment, well, we would all be addicts. Grounded, but light.
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My dearest, dearest, most magical people in the world - 

If I could bottle the feeling that I have in this very moment, well, we would all be addicts.   Grounded, but light.  Full of love, but still open.  Incredulous, but solid.  Being unsure if this excitement is about what just happened or what's yet to come.  All together, at one time, and I am writing to you.

Is growth a product of growing - of doing "the work" - or is it a product of just existing, because the work of growth happens regardless of our intentions?  Many of you know I'm a libra, because I say it approximately 2.6 times per week. This means that I'm going to tell you that I think the answer is . . . in the MIDDLE.  (Apparently I'm the one who hasn't done much growing/changing, hahah, laughing at my own jokes over here.)    

We can intentionally work to grow - which I've spent so much of my life doing - and that will get us pretty far.  Quite far.  In fact, I highly recommend doing such focused work. 

Or, we can just choose to exist, and not really focus on growing, but follow our path.  I probably have never taken such a path, so I basically know very little about it.  All I know is that the people on this path actually seem happy...but who wants to be happy?  I know, I know.  But, seriously, if this is you, I'm jealous. 

Or, the third way, the middle path, the Buddhist answer.  Somewhere in the middle.  The focused growth at times, but allowing some room for life to take us down a path for a little bit.

In the past few months, I think I've been on this third path, at least when it comes to my music.  If something doesn't feel good, or right - I stop.  When I want to do something authentically, I follow that instinct.  As a result, the last 6 months have looked less predictable.  

  • Acting classes?  Sure, let's try.  
  • Don't take acting too seriously but just do it for the fun of it?  Yep, Lauren, why not try to have an actual "hobby."
  • Weird lady/pretend guru I found on the internet that can teach me how to "influence"?  Nope, didn't do it.  (Ok, this might be exposing a bit too much of my crazy, but I am gull-i-ble.  I get taken in by these "gurus" with very little effort.  My mom is currently nodding her head in agreement.  Saying no to this person took a bit of effort - probably too much effort from me - but I did it!)
  • Random show opportunity I found?  Said yes right away (also not normal for me to be quick about it).  

Believe it or not, all of the above examples are counter to my old patterns.  And yet, each of them has had a huge impact on my music career - especially the way I perform and what I've been doing.  And, that impact didn't require formal "growth" or intentional change at all.  The opposite.  The answer was found in the filling, not the shell.  

Many of you know that I've been performing my music acoustically, just me and the piano, for the first time in a long time.  And I've gotten a ton of comments that this feels like my "sweet spot."  And I couldn't agree more.  This discovery happened by accident.  And this summer, as I've played a bunch of shows, my growth as a performer somehow flowed as well, without my intent to change the way I was performing, or even make changes.  The growth happened in the in-between moments, the happy little accidents, like acting classes, all nurtured by love and support from you.  My brain can hardly believe it. 

Yes, I am writing you this entire newsletter just so that I learn my lesson here.  Growth happens all around us, and can happen when we least expect it.  Possibly even faster when we aren't intending to grow, but intending to live, and follow our instincts. I'm still baffled.

And this leads me to huge gratefulness.  For the journey, for life, for everyone that supported me and continues to support me.  And for all of you, for reading this, for attending my shows, and for cheering me on.  I'm the luckiest!!!


P.S. I keep uploading performance videos to YouTube, including this Lost Spirits Performance last week!  

Lost Spirits Distillery (Full Performance) | XIMXIA



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