Photo by Dee Gandhi
Well, I feel like I've been in a time warp tunnel!
Last June, 2012 I set out to record a CD of my written songs by the end of July, that turned into an indigo go campaign and a September goal, which extended to November, and now it's already the end of February and the CD is nearly finished.
It's certainly not as if I haven't been fully engaged with this recording since June. I have! It has been the main focus of my life these past months, while I also work to make some money and play the odd gig here and there and heal from a few physical set backs I've experienced over the past 2 months. Recording vocals with a cold is not the easiest thing, and then getting my last 2 wisdom teeth removed a couple weeks ago, well, that limited the singing for a bit as well.
I am also preparing for the inevitable CD launch and a joint tour with my mom's new Book in April. The time is rolling towards me at swift speeds.
But I am happy to report that the CD is for real nearly finished.
Slow and steady wins the race. This project could've been done much faster, if I was working full time with a producer, but my wonderful producer Sam Ryan only has a limited amount of time each week, about 8-12 hrs, so in between, I work on recording my vocals at home and having material ready for him to work on in the studio. He also does a wonderful job mixing and developing the music tracks!
I am doing my best to create a beautiful recording that I am proud of and feels and sounds professional and well done, while also retaining the energy, essence and integrity of my songs. I feel we are doing a god job, and 12 of the 13 songs are nearly finished.
I must now design the CD cover and then figure out how to get the word out there, and I'm sure that means staying more on top of the social media aspect of it! As well as reaching out in other ways!
Oh well, I'll be starting with a tour on Vancouver Island in mid April and organizing a CD release party in Vancouver in the next few months as well! I will keep you posted!
I've got a few events coming up as well. Mar 1, I'll be performing a solo improvised sound healing concert in Chilliwack, and have a few other events coming up (check out my events page.) Last year was amazing and I am looking forward to being back there!
Oh and I almost forgot! The title of the CD has not revealed itself to me as of yet!!
I am considering offering it up for ideas at this point, since the time is ticking and the name is still not clear to me yet. Any ideas or suggestions?
Thanks for your Support and Love,
* (If you want to pre-order or contribute to the new CD that I am recording please go to the Music page of my website) http://www.thedaphoenix.com/music.html
Wow! What a wild adventure, tons of work and a great learning curve!!! I am very pleased to report that we surpassed my funding goal, with over 131 funders, over $5000 was raised for the recording of my new CD!!!!!!
Thank you to all of you, my wonderful fans, friends and family that believe in me so much and continually reflect to me how much my voice and music contributes to them and others and needs to be heard.
I feel like I have a huge cheering section and have finally grabbed the ball and run onto the court ready to play full out! It really is up to us to jump and trust that the net will appear!!
(Photo by Dee Gandhi) Life is our playground, a blank canvas waiting to be filled by whatever we imagine. We are the ones who get to create whatever it is we dream. By being willing to take the steps, the actions, to play the game, to risk failing and falling is the only way to see them come true. We can hear these words a million times, but until we actually do it, we will never know. It takes courage, and a willingness to not know the answers or how its gonna turn out. Letting myself be okay with not knowing and remembering that i am here to learn and grow, discover, uncover and be who I really am and express what I came here to give
to the world, is key! I believe we all have a gift to give and a difference to make, and often it is our greatest challenges that fuel us and also become our greatest gifts to ourselves and others.
I am in the process of recording my written songs, and choosing what direction to take them, what instrumentation and feel to best support and showcase the songs and make them beautiful and listen-able to a wide audience. This is my current challenge, and I am up for it! We are almost halfway thru recording and have been working on this for 2 months already
. I expect the CD will be finished in the mid-late fall and will keep you posted! Even tho the indiegogo funding campaign has ended
, I am still accepting contributions, pre-orders of the CD and offering perks if anyone is interested. Every penny raised will go towards making a great product and sharing it with you!
To Pre-Order or contribute cick here... http://www.thedaphoenix.com/music.htmlThank you so much for all your love and support!Blessings, Aloha, NamasteThedaWatch the campaign video here..
Wow, it's finally happening. After 2 weeks of painstaking preparation for my Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to gain support for the release of my first singer/songwriter Record, I finally launched it last night!
I am excited and a bit numb.. there is part of me, that gets so nervous about putting myself out there to move forward with my dreams and goals and be successful, possibly my ego, afraid to toot my own horn or be rejected or ridiculed.
I know I have been bold and courageous at moments in life, but there still seems to be this scared little girl who hides inside of me tugging on my sleeve to stay hidden and small. "Well" I say, to my sweet, scared little girl, "...we are going to move forward and keep putting ourself out there, and I will be right here to hold your hand and keep you safe. Remember, whatever happens we can handle it. I'm here for you!" And with that, I take my own hand and step forward out of the familiar comfort zone, into new and unfamiliar territory. Acknowledging where I'm at in life, asking for support, owning my talents and greatness and shaping my own personal destiny!
I am proud of my work on this recording, it has been challenging for me in the past to record my songs, since I want them to be great and the perfectionist in me is afraid to fall short. Now that I am doing it, engaged in the proccess, it is exciting and enlivening. I'm looking forward to getting to work full steam ahead on the recording this week as I'm heading back into the studio with Sam Ryan on Friday and need to be ready! I'm so grateful to be able to work with him and bring these songs to life..
I'm also very proud of the work I did on the fundraising campaign itself! Please check it out and if you feel called to support my new CD, please do. I am so grateful for your support and interest in my music and journey, thank you for sharing it with me! Together you will help me reach the world with this music medicine of love!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!VIEW THEDA'S INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN HERE... http://www.indiegogo.com/theda?a=892712
On June 27, 2012 my mother, artist Yvonne Maximchuk, texted me about a contest she heard on the CBC Radio show ALL POINTS WEST to win tickets to the Vancouver Island Music Festival. I had thought about getting tickets weeks earlier to join my mom and stepdad in a rare oppourtunity to share it with them, since they have not been to a music festival in over a decade, but tickets had sold out!
Besides the chance to win tickets, I thought it would be fun and get me a bit of exposure on cbc, since I am gearing up to release my new Singer Songwriter CD, and first album of my written songs!
All I had to do was post a video to the FB page of me singing a song by one of the festival performers! I quickly learned Universal Soldier by Buffy St Marie, a powerful song that speaks deeply to me, made the video and shared it! To my delight, I did end up winning the tickets and they aired my version and announced my name on the radio! What a thrill, and just the beginning of radio play as far as I'm concerned!
Buffy St Marie and Theda!
As divine providence and synchronicity would have it, Jo-Ann Roberts the host of the cbc show All Points West, was doing an onstage interview with Buffy St Marie at the festival, so, while they were getting ready to go onstage I took this perfect oppourtunity to introduce myself to both these lovely women!
Buffy was so warm and friendly, excited to see the video of me singing Universal Soldier.
It's hard to believe she is 71 years old, since she is so vibrant and gorgeous! She just radiates love, enthusiasm, curiosity, passion and genuine caring. I was really struck by how present and relaxed she was with meeting me and the way she remembered and said my name with such fullness and accuracy, pronouncing it exactly (ThEEda) after hearing it only once.
This presence is a mark of greatness as far as I am concerned and after hearing her speak of her life and share her passions, I am so inspired to call her a mentor and inspiration to me as an active and educational songwriter.
She shared a message about War being an invention and not a built in part of humanity and suggested a book called "The End Of War" by John Horgan.
Another Book she recommended is "The Female Brain" (also "The Male Brain") by Louann Brizendine about the differences between the brains of men and women.
I totally relate to her desire to make a difference to humanity thru educating and empowering others with her speaking and songs. She is an inspiration, mentor and musical ally to me, I am so grateful to have met her and been touched by her spirit and energy! Seems she is making quite a comeback lately doing alot of performances all over Canada. If you have a chance to hear her speak, I highly recommend!
Listen to Buffy's Music Fest interview with JoAnn Roberts here..
Part 1 ~ http://www.cbc.ca/allpointswest/2012/07/10/buffy-sainte-marie-part-1/
Part 2 ~ http://www.cbc.ca/allpointswest/2012/07/11/buffy-sainte-marie-part-2/
Listen to more parts this week on All Points West or go to the Facebook Page... https://www.facebook.com/pages/CBC-Radio-All-Points-West/110382965661099
View my contest video submission of Universal Soldier below..
Watch for info about my new CD coming soon! Thanks for reading... Theda
Today the sun shining, warming my skin and spirit, I am preparing for the concert tonite where I will be singing with Shimshai in Vancouver. This will be the fourth time I have sung with Shimshai, and it's been about 3.5 years since the last time.
I remember my fearless enthusiasm to just jump in and sing back up with him when I didn't even know his songs that well. I love that energy, the willingness within me to play, to celebrate, to learn on the fly, to just show up and share with confidence and innocence, unjaded by having to be perfect or rehearsed.
I experience tremendous joy when I approach life from that place of wonder and freedom. I first opened up to improvise and sing in performance in 2001 and I was like a child, eager and excited, not at all concerned with not being "good enough". It was new, I was on an adventure, exploring! It wasn't until I was in music school in 2006-2008 that I really began to realize how much in music I did not know!! and the seriousness and tension crept in.
Then I fell in love in the most innocent and excitingly natural way I had ever known and moved to Ottawa, wow! There I was once again filled with wonder, discovery, dancing in the mystery and magic of the new life unfolding around me. Loving every moment, even the heartache of the relationship falling apart. I knew he had been a catalyst for my growth and I loved my life in Ottawa on my own! the adventure continued!
Then in 2010 I decided to travel to Maui!... Hawaii had been calling me for 10 years and it was time to affirm to the universe that i am open to manifesting my dreams and being someone that lives that way. I spent 3 glorious months on Maui playing music, learning to play the Harp that I found there and being in the flow of Mama Maui! It was magic and again the joy of the mystery and adventure and my spirit shone with love, gratitude and joy!
The bliss is being one with the magic of creation! and I am so passionate about life, learning, discovery, growth, expression, freedom, self-actualization on this spiritual journey of being human.
Last night I played music for a live yin yoga class, It was a very deep and beautiful practice for myself and all present. We really focused on remembering how we are one with Nature. we are nature and I love being part of this creative flowing ocean of life!
See you at Shimhshai or another music event soon!
This past year has been a big process of inner house cleaning, so to speak, and as I get more organized, it feels like I am waking up out of a fog of good intentions and suddenly seeing how all the old patterns of procrastination and disorganization have resulted in chaos, disorder & incompletion.
Last fall, in confronting painful feelings and depression, it became clear to me that I was not achieving the goals and dreams for my music and life that I would like. I realized that something about the way I have been living was not working.
Even though it was a difficult time emotionally, i knew I had to trust the process and the wisdom of my body-mind. I believe that emotional challenges contain great wisdom and guidance if we can surrender and listen to the messages within. I know that my experience and emotional pain was pointing me in the direction to evolve and grow.
So, I just spent the week working 9am-5pm+ on my music business, including finally setting up my new mailing list. Having a user friendly email system to keep in contact with people about my shows, events, new music etc...has been on my 'to do' list for quite sometime!
While setting up the new mailing list yesterday, going thru e-mail addresses I had collected, I realized that I actually still had contacts from a few years ago! I always had the good intention to keep in touch and follow up, you know...? and well... I guess... better late than never?
I am wondering what you would do? Throw them away and start over or risk spamming people I haven't seen in years? Well, hopefully my friends and fans will understand as I get it sorted out. I'm happy with the first email I designed and sent out today, and it's easy for people to unsubscribe, so people who really want e-mails will get them. And soon this website will have a new look to match my new logo and from here on in, I will have a system that makes follow thru so much easier!
So, getting organized and creating systems for ease and flow is where I am at now, especially around my music business/passion. A few months ago I also decided to "take on" the area of finances like never before, opening to support, tracking daily spending, paying off long-standing debts and budgeting. It is so exciting to actually see the results of new habits! Even tho it is clear to me that our current financial system is causing most of the destruction of earth and is not sustainable for human well-fare, I feel that gaining some money mastery now is an important step on my path of evolution. We live in exciting times!
As I continue to retrain my brain and behaviour, with a willingness to make changes and take action, things keep getting clearer and clearer. I am excited about what I will create in the future with this new level of focus and clarity... New Music and blogs on a variety of great topics for living vibrantly!... but for now… moment to moment... "chop wood, carry water..."
I am so grateful for my journey and all the people who have supported me on my path!
Thank you, Mahalo,
Aloha, I love you,
Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. they teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away. they're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck. this very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are. ~pema chodron
So, last night I had a realization. Basically I have been in a state of persisting emotional pain for several months. Along with this has been the feeling that I have to hide what i am going thru, that I must be strong and inspiring, a beacon of light and inspiration to others. And this of course was accompanied by a deep shame that I have not been living up to these expectations of myself, nor my perceived expectations from others.
After all the personal growth work i have done, all the tools i have learned, all the support and coaching and insight i have shared with others, I really should be able to rise above all this. Shouldn't I? I "should" be beyond this right? What possible excuse do I have to be suffering and playing small like this, when I have such a lovely gift to share with the world?
These are the thoughts and personal pressures i have been struggling with for years now. Searching for an answer, or some validation as to why I am so sensitive and feel so challenged. Others who care, yet, unable to understand what I am dealing with, have encouraged me to "get over it". Wouldn't I have already done that if it was that simple? So I have continued to search, trusting my intuition and actually am finding support and explanation. I may share more about what I am discovering in furture blogs.
I remember that 15 years ago I was powerfully called to the path of holistic healing thru the awareness of my own need for healing. I discovered my own need for personal healing at the age of 21, when a fearful moment in relationship inspired me to ask within, "where did all this fear come from?". Instantly an answer surfaced in the form of a memory. I was 3 years old, crouched under the highchair while my distraught parents yelled and screamed in the kitchen. I remember plates flying thru the air, crashing to the floor and the event culminating in my father leaving our house and my parents separating in divorce.
Up until that memory, I used to say that their divorce had no effect on me. I honestly believed that I was a well adjusted and healthy functioning youth. It was not until this memory of terrified little Theda awoke in my consciousness that i knew I still had a very frightened little girl inside me that needed healing, nurturing and love.
So I set out on the path to heal myself, hand in hand, with a strong knowing that i was also here to facilitate healing with others. I explored many modalities along the way, working on myself while learning how to hold space for others, in counselling, energywork, bodywork, massage, nutrition, NLP, coaching, aromatherapy and of course, music and sound healing.
It has only recently dawned on me that I had vastly underestimated the depth and focus required to really do my own personal healing work. I thought because I was living my life from the context of "everything I am learning and doing is for my own healing" that that would be enough. It wasn't, But I can see that all the personal growth and my challenges with relationships, money, disorganization and finally the levels of fear and shame I have been dealing with recently have led me to see that there is a deeper level of self-love, self-awareness, and self-regulation neccessary for me to actualize who I came to this life to be.
It's all so perfect really, I had that experience when I was 3, then when i was 21, the memory, and then a few months later had a very clear knowing that I was to facilitate healing with others, and what better way than to share my own story and journey. Somehow the past few years i fell into the trap that I have to try to be something other than i am... on second thought I may have fallen into that trap when I was 3 years old. Regardless, this is my journey, my life path, and my story of healing integration. Sharing my journey and experience of life with others gives meaning and purpose to my life. I have been in such pain lately, having withdrawn from community a fair bit to connect more deeply within myself, and yet ultimately I am craving to connect thru authentic transparency, and self-expression.
I don't have to strive to be something I am not. I am here to learn how to truly express and be the me that I am. My intention is that you will find inspiration and your own freedom and healing (should you need it), thru my offerings.
I've heard it for years, but knowing something is certainly not the same as living it. We only take committed action when we are ready. It starts with telling the truth, to ourselves and then others, having the courage to be real, to reveal and be vulnerable. I have known this for a long time, I sing about it in my songs and also I have had moments of practicing it, and then who kicks in, but the all knowing, ego, inner critic etc.. telling me how to "be" that is acceptable to be safe and accepted. It has been excruciating living like this, holding so much in. It's time now to take the hand of that frightened ego of the little 3 year old and tell her i love her, and that she is safe with me. Together we are on this path, healing, growing, living, loving, learning.
Photo... Little Theda and younger brother Logan.
Thank you for reading, and for your love and friendship on this path.
All my love, Aloha, Theda
I hope you are having a productive and deeply satisfying Winter season. After spending a blissful last winter on Maui Hawaii, I realized just how necessary it is for me to have a season to turn inward, to go within and cultivate, a time to gestate and prepare for the rebirth of Spring. In Hawaii it is always summer, so, believe it or not, my spirit actually missed that hibernation time and took an extra long one this fall and winter.
It occurred after about a year of being Nomadic. Once I arrived back in Vancouver in Sept 2011, after driving across the country from Ottawa, playing concerts along the way with Cora Flora
, I fell into a deeply challenging space personally where I was faced with my own lack of discipline, self-doubt and fear. It was the most intensely emotional few months of my life, where I felt like I had nothing left to give and was walking thru my own "dark night of the soul". In which I had no choice but to face deep emotional energy of shame and grief within myself. I am so grateful for this experience because it forced me to choose to develop more resources and begin implementing lasting changes in the way I live my life. In essence, it has been about getting real, creating daily routines and healthier choices as I choose to act on the intuitive guidance that I receive and to share myself with others.
I am now focusing on creating and sharing music and the things I am passionate about in life, resources and information that empowers people to live life with freedom, inspiration and self-responsibility. I have been on a path of personal growth, empowerment and self-determination for about 15 years and have been exposed to so many amazing people and resources for living a healthy, empowered and awakened life. It is an ever-evolving journey and I am excited to start sharing these with you!
Currently in Vancouver, I have been reflecting on my time in Ottawa and the amazing community I feel so loved and known by there. Living in Ottawa has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, and a big part of it is because of all the amazing people and holistic sound healing community I was welcomed into when I arrived. I am blessed to have spent my first year working with sound healer and musician Jeremy Sills
, co-facilitating Shamanic Sound Healing Concerts, as well as performing with several other musicians such as David Hickey
and Debbie Danbrook
and at the Ottawa Sound Healing Conference
. I have been feeling such gratitude for the amazing community that has loved and welcomed me wherever I have shown up, Vancouver, Maui, Ottawa etc.. Thank you brilliant human family tribe!
So, the journey continues, although it feels like it is just starting again! I am grateful for what feels like a long winter of dying so that I can now be reborn, ready to share and create as I never have in the past! Plans for the future are formulating, and I still feel called to spend more time out East, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto. Time will tell...
Thank you for your listening, reading and receiving… for I could not share as I do were you not here to receive. Each moment and energy exchange is infinite and eternal! Thank you for the Light that you are in the World!!
Aloha and Deep Gratitude,
Well, it would appear that there comes a time in life when after years and years of doing the same thing (that seemed so exciting and adventurous when you first began it).... the same way over and over with pretty similar results, one starts to get somewhat bored, or perhaps disillusioned, feeling down, depressed, agitated, frustrated, unfulfilled, as if life and time are passing me by and somehow I am not doing what i came to this earth to really do!!
Regardless, all the signs are there..... something needs to change.
There is alot I don't know about the music industry, and I'll admit that I've allowed myself to feel a little intimidated by the whole scene. So many differently elements, from the music creation and production, to booking and promoting shows, online presence, marketing, promoting the music, website stuff, royalties, licensing etc... I feel so behind and it all seems so daunting and never ending. I have not even begun to approach the idea of record label or management, except that several people in my life repeatedly tell me i need a manager, someone who knows the industry and can help manage my career, get me gigs, help my focus, market me, etc...
When i was living in Ottawa, I got to experience the joys of having a promoter for local shows, thank goddess for Maike! who, fueled by a relentless passion, would endlessly poster all over town, attending every event she could, to spread the word about the power of healing sound; music that soothes, uplifts and transforms the spirit! She, would also tell me to get a manager. And I, the eternal doubter. Have I really been allowing my frightened inner child to overpower my drive and passion for music? When I first started performing, I did so with such bold naivety and freedom in the newness, like the innocent child following and creating the dream.
But who am i fooling really? others? myself? The recurring question lurking around every corner of my mind.... "am i really good enough?" at this point? for a manager? I must need to do more work, more practicing, more learning, more writing, more focusing. And surely no manager would be interested in an artist who has such personal doubts about her art and abilities. And yet, let me just say, that when I am in the presence of people who believe in me and my talents and gifts... that a powerful thing happens, an effortless ease, beauty and magic unfolds from my lips as i sing, and my fingers just seem to find the most beautiful notes and chord progressions and something profound happens. I am in the zone, with the music, listening, and the song enters me and moves into the souls of those receiving!! It is exquisite and i feel at one with my soul and my purpose for being on the planet. I am connected and free, i am the song and the song moves thru me.
Well, that is when I am improvising, or channeling, or singing intuitively as I like to call it. But it also goes for singing my written songs. When i am invited to perform and people have come to hear me and be in that intimate space with me and are so open to what I have to share... I feel deeply connected with my audience. For they are what really makes this so fulfilling to me.
Honestly, singing for myself, is not the same. Something happens when I sing for others. It becomes bigger than me, for it includes all of you. And it is that deep communion with music and the listener, that really lights my spirit up!!! Even singing in my kitchen for one person fills me with joy! So yes, I know i have something to share, there is something authentic in the music that people connect to. And i know it is time to set it free, to let go of the perfectionism and be willing to step out onto a bigger stage! And yes, i do mean that literally!
It's time to sing and share what I do that comes naturally, as I am. For this is what people seem to love. I know I do! It is once again time to acknowledge the psychological barrier of fear and take action regardless, and giving the scared little girl inside me a big hug! Knowing that we all have that little part inside of us and that the only way to set it free is to spread our wings and come alive!
I am so grateful for all the support I have received along my journey. Honestly, the feedback given me has been profoundly positive and encouraging and I shall continue to follow the call in my heart, trusting and loving this journey every step of the way. Thank you for the privilege of singing to you.
All my love and gratitude, Theda
Today, I begin to dive into building on this website, a new platform for sharing my music. and inspirations. I am grateful to Cora Flora for initiating something I can now swim inside and develop and watch grow! Many years i have struggled with how to market and what image to project and brand, when all I really want is something beautiful that represents the essence of me! However, the essence of me is a vast and dynamic thing, so i suppose the intention is to choose what I what to project from this site here to you! I am so grateful for the gifts that come to me in this life and the amazing power of attraction. The power to call in the perfect people and connections that resonate with my own frequencies! This life is a gift for us to co-create. And we can trust that the perfect situation will be brought to us to match where we are at and what we are ready for!
I am ready to dive in, step up and share in an ever expanding way! Being in Ottawa has allowed me the opportunity to be fully received for all the gifts and teachings that come through me. The more I step into my own leadership and offerings, the more supportive I feel to others wanting them to shine as well. It is only in the times that I am playing small within myself, allowing fear to take hold, limiting my natural expression, that feelings of jealousy, insecurity and petty ego arise.
It is helpful to remember this as it steers me in the direction of sharing my gifts and passions with others, knowing that as I am fully alive in life, it inspires others to shine too! So let's Shine baby shine!!
Blessings and Gratitude!