My Leap Of Faith
When I think of a leap of faith I think of:
1. A huge crevice with cliffs on either side and a jump which could risk your life but is worth it for the satisfaction of reaching the other side and the adrenaline rush in the process
2. Like jumping out of a plane, the courage is required just before the leap
3. There is the risk of losing everything and the benefit of a life fulfilled.
Faith, for me is a concept where the thing you believe in is so strong and it's wrapped up with Hope and knowing What Feels Right. I just looked up Faith in the dictionary, this is what it said:
My life has been a series of Leaps Of Faith, basically because I’ve chosen to live a life of doing what I love instead of what feels safe.
I like to think of life as an adventure, as a movie starring and directed by me. Whether this is my only incarnation or one of many, I want to fill my life with yummy things and make my dreams come true. So I have.
And there have been challenges.
I never forget the time I was depressed and my friend who has such a positive attitude to everything shocked me by telling me off for not appreciating that I was a mother and a singer; two things she had always dreamed of for herself, it was a well needed slap ‘round the face.
However both of these choices were risks.
Not waiting for Mr Right to have babies means that sometimes I struggle as a single mum but it also means I parented before menopause (I still ain’t found him!) and although I’ve travelled the world and had countless precious moments as a singer I can’t afford to take my kids on holiday yet.
Observing myself and others, it seems the biggest risk in living our dreams is stability and often that is financial.
Singing has been my only profession in my adult life, that includes recording, performing and teaching. I find it hard enough to fit having a romantic relationship in a life full of music and kids so there is no question of having a different job as well (not that I would) for money, something would have to go, and let's face it, it's not the kids!
I used to handle big cheques in my record company days, advances on possible recording or publishing returns (I have a photo somewhere..), ten years, a few records and one baby in, I'd got myself in debt thinking there was another deal around the corner. As a single mother I found myself with no inspiration to write, no facility to join touring bands (as in a helpful grandparent), no desire to be away from my kids for long periods - I took my daughter on tour once, not fun - and the need to provide an income for my family, that's when I started to develop my career as a covers singer. Singing covers had been my love and entry into the music world, as a university dropout (I was studying maths!) and busker, singing Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Simon and Garfunkel, Roberta Flack a cappella.
I spent a well paid year singing covers in India and I have taken some years to build my income and reputation since being back in the UK. I now have two children and I am so grateful to have lived in the UK at the time I do, the benefits system supported me as a self employed singer mother by giving me the minimum I am considered to need to live. I declare my earnings and every year my income has grown which means my benefits decrease to the point that I'm now a tax payer again. The beautiful juxtaposition of my life is such that while I was waiting for the charity shops' £1 sales to buy my personal clothes for years, I'd try to invest a little into my business every year (which is sometimes very expensive dresses).
I continue to learn about consumerism, upcycling, self love and what's really essential.
There are people who’ve taken big risks and are hugely successful, for some reason as I wrote this I thought of Richard Branson. I googled him and found out he is from Blackheath where I went to school. I also found this link which are his favourite quotes about taking risks, the one I like best is:
So my video above best describes the current Leap I’ve taken, to find an extra £500 a month to have a home studio.
Being a single mum musician, it is only possible to have my studio facilities at home because who knows what time of day the inspiration will strike? It often happens after midnight.
I didn’t have the headspace to write when I surrendered to motherhood eleven years ago and the room represents for me the blank canvas. In order to create I used to need some time for reflection, quiet time without conversation, I used to call them “blank canvas moments.” Luckily now I’m bursting with creativity and inspiration is coming anytime and any place and I take it in my studio to bring it into focus.
On my album which is entitled The Family Album I am intending to have my children’s writing input on it (at least), I want to record them too if they let me and collaborate with many people in my Wider Non Biological Family (WNBF) too. I really want my kids to witness me as a creative and I recently found out my son aged 7 didn’t even know I was a songwriter!!! I’m introducing him to my repertoire slowly in the car. And my daughter aged 16 has expressed happiness when she sees the light on in the studio rather than the kitchen, she doesn’t mind eating the budget food for the Leap and I can see her emotional well-being has increased along with my joy and focus.
Well going back to the dictionary definition of faith, I can’t say I had complete trust. I’ve seen my trust waiver but there is the complete confidence for sure that I am ready to create my album and since Everything Always Works Out For Me (a song I have written to comfort myself) I am treading forward with courage that I will get the support I need to do this.
The book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a beautiful story of a Leap of Faith and I found the quote I was looking for here:
The above happened to me when I turned down 3 months Airbnb which would have enabled me buy a computer for my album but meant I would have had to give up the space to create it. I really am so appreciative of the people who came forward in response to my Facebook requests and contributed towards my rent, they were my oasis and trust is the lesson I hope to master.
One more week left in February and I still haven’t started my official crowd fund, I need to have an idea of a budget for the album which feels like writing a business plan and I’d like to interview two more friends who’ve done it (the first interview is on Facebook but I’ll upload it to YouTube when I have all three).
I also need to make a crowdfund video, I'll need to decide whether to get the teenager who edited my Leap Of Faith video to do it (he's a member of my WNBF) or pay a little more and get a teenage professional (also WNBF)
Meanwhile I paid the first month’s rent, I’m close to achieving the same on the second and I have 5 songs I am working on.
You can support me too, here’s my favourite photo of the list I wrote, my pussy, Clementine, is sitting on the word 'albums'. I posted it on my Instagram.
Any financial helpers over £100 can ask me for free downloads forever.