#RockLife

 

Oct. 3rd

What a dark day for music.

Thousands of people, gathering in the name of joy, fired upon, for no good reason. And a legendary storyteller, gone too soon.

 

The senseless attack in Vegas broke my heart for so many reasons. The sheer terror of being caught in a hailstorm of fire, the confusion of not knowing which way to run, the masses of frightened fans in various states of panic and pain – again, all because they came together to enjoy a harmless thing that feeds the soul and means so much to so many of us.

 

My broken heart goes out to everyone affected by this insanity.

 

Nobody knows why this happened.  There was no warning. Nobody saw it coming.

 

I hate feeling physically vulnerable. I go to lots of shows, so I always make sure I’m in a position where I could easily protect myself if necessary. But, in an active shooter situation, the threat is airborne. This is a new abnormal.  Too many weapons in the wrong hands, under the control of bad ideas. Until some stroke of magic renders all firearms inoperable or the stroke of a pen amends the constitution to reflect our current reality, this shit will keep happening. And again, it could happen without warning.

This video offers some common-sense solutions, for the next time the unthinkable occurs…

The soundtrack of our generation has been cut short, with the loss of Tom Petty. As with so many other departed musicians, his work has come rushing back into my head, as I recall the songs that are woven into my experience. This morning, I again, found myself sitting in a tree, watering it with my tears as a chorus of memories rolled around my brain. Again. The other side has yet another great troubadour in its midst. His understated genius will live on.

Take care of yourselves and each other. It’s up to us to keep the music alive.

-C@

 

Sept. 20th

It’s hard to do this on the fly.  When I was food blogging, it was easy.  What’s in season? What’s new and unusual? What am I gonna do with it? How does it taste?

But a recent conversation reminded me that this is a “Lifestyle Business” and, therefore the blog should reflect this.  My lifestyle? Up close? Ew.  

While my initial recoiling was mostly in reaction to the half-eaten lunch in front of me, opening the doors to my world and documenting my life, despite being a performer for the majority of it, still seems strange to me.  We weren’t one of those families who had a stack of home movies (VHS, of course) on the shelf.  We had one. It was shot by a friend of the family, watching my dad move a boat from La Conner, a town in northern Washington state, to Seattle. We never had a video camera and even though my sisters and I were always involved in some list of costumed productions, there’s very little record of this. Some photos, sure – but where are they?! I’ve been asking for my 4th grade ballet pictures for years! Clearly, this kind of documentation wasn’t considered important in my home.

 

As a product of that environment, the selfie craze has all but escaped me. I’m far more prone to point the camera away from my unexamined face to capture something I can’t take with me…. And when I DO attempt to take one… ugh. My angles and I are clearly NOT well acquainted and taking the time to nurture that relationship feels WAY overindulgent. Did I mention being called a “show off”, whenever I really bothered to make an effort to look good? So, yeah, “Selfie-indulgence” is incredibly uncomfortable.

 

The Lifestyle I’ve grown is the product of a lotta hard seeking. I had to ask the right questions for a change.  Going from “Why do I keep failing?” to “What do I really want and Why?” was the key.  Answering the latter made the former easier to understand.  Being clear on what I don’t want made me name what I DO want. Saying HELL YEAH to what I truly want leads me to discover ways to make those desires my reality.

 

What DO I say HELL YEAH to? Rock n Roll (of course!), beautifully delicious food, optimal health, staying connected to the earth and taking care of the people and things I care about… it seems simple, but reprogramming myself to shout these things out and ASK for them was, and still is incredibly difficult. It means acknowledging that my desires are worth being heard – not just whispered under my breath. It means taking action and jumping on opportunities that, in the past, I would’ve left for someone else to snatch away. It means being a “show off” sometimes (SHOW-business! Duh!!) but it also means turning the spotlight where it needs to be shone.

 

That’s the Lifestyle. The Business part is always shifting! And, as a multipassionate entrepreneurial-type (with a Pisces Midheaven), that’s just fine with me. Each day entails a different action, topic or destination – but each day also gives me the freedom to decide what gets done, what doesn’t and what I will do next.  Don’t get me wrong, an ample lottery jackpot or a more predictable income would make this an absolute perfect dream. But, the decisions I get to make and lessons I learn along the way ensure that each step will get me a skoch closer to that day. It’s a living, a challenge and its own reward.

Where do you stand up, stand out and show off?  What makes it hard? What makes it easy?  We all need guidance sometimes. Maybe someone who reads this has your answer. Share your response at info@catbraithwaite.com.

xo

Aug. 28th

I’d originally planned on writing about Longevity.  I just got a little older yesterday, and still feel like I’m just getting started. And, in a lot of ways, I am.

But, in all honesty, when are we not just getting started? Every morning we wake up and try to make our lives a scoshe better than it was yesterday. The Hope that when our heads hit the pillow that night, a sense of satisfaction lands with it can be the fuel that drives us through the twists, turns, obstacles and awesomeness that can pop up along the way.

I’ve always been a singer. My mom says I sang before I spoke… she also said I was born 40…. So, now I’m 1?

Anyway, even though my internal compass has ALWAYS pointed me toward singing, I’ve too often let the opinions and fears of others move that arrow elsewhere.

 

“You can’t make a living doing that.”

“Why not jazz?”

“You can do that when you retire.”

“That’s not realistic.”

“Get a real job.”

 

I know this advice was mostly given with good intentions, but led to me focusing intensely on things that gave me no joy and even some that can cause harm. I threw myself into acquiring deep knowledge to reach beyond the level of competence in every job I had, only to end up with new expenses, unnecessary purchases and shiny new bad habits. Hey, I’m a Virgo. I’m all about The Work. But through all that striving, I left myself out.  I strove to make the numbers happy, not myself.  I tried to convince myself that I’d have the energy to pursue my creative interests on my off days, after work or “when … happens”.

 

Well, things are a helluvalot better now. I got some sound advice, on my last birthday, from a fellow Virgo.  She told me writing would be important for me, she told me to make sure my health is in order, she told me to pop in and sing wherever there’s an available mic and the opportunities would present themselves. Oh indeed they have! By the time my last day job ended, I’d begun to carve a new existence from the things I love while honoring my internal compass.

 

Back in 2000, I had a nasty scare.  I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and after the first couple of years on the prescribed medication (and the subsequent side effects) I decided to take my health into my own hands.  My Virgoan tendencies led me to study nutrition, all the way to a coaching certification. After Anne’s sage advice, I eventually reinstated the nutrition program that’d made MS an oft-forgotten blip from my 20’s, began doing more health-related writing and began saying a big ol’ YES to anyone who invited me to sing.

What a difference a year makes.  I’ve started performing more, I’m recording original work, I’ve added an amazing product partner to my nutrition coaching business – which has also helped with my own wellness. More on that some other time. But for now, I’ll leave you with a bit of dream-following evidence. Last month, I had the pleasure of sitting in with Nervous Rx, every Monday night at the legendary Harvelle’s!!! Great Times!!

 

I’ll be back out on The Strip later this week and THE RECAP will return on Monday! Until then, ROCK ON!!