Tell us about yourself. I am a daughter, a mother, a sister, a wife, a lover, a friend, a soul seeker, a yogini, and I am a musician. Music keeps me whole; it is my medium for processing and understanding life changing events and all the emotions and transitions that come with those shifts. Rather than write sad stories about unrequited love (nothing wrong with that by the way!), I tend to paint pictures with my lyrics and music about poignant snapshots of life. Today, I was nervous about playing live for a radio interview, and my mom said, "Lizie, don't worry, everybody loves you.". And I realized how lucky I am to have grown up with a mom who says those kinds of tender words to me. This is probably why I don't write many heart sick songs. I also realize that this is the message I want to give to the world with my music and art: Do not fear. You are loved. You too are the beloved.
How did you get to be where you are today? I just laughed out loud reading this question. Where am I today? More on my life path than ever before, but definitely bobbing amidst the waves of life's unfoldment. My mother often uses the analogy of "tacking" when she describes the various forks in the road we choose to venture upon. Like in sailing, we have a general sense of where we are going, but we must follow the winds and the currents to get there.
More specifically though, I have followed my heart and my instincts. There are always times when I listen to other voices, advice, or judgment, and usually those voices lead me astray. David Whyte, an soulful and insightful English poet, writes about finding one's core question in life. In his poem, "Start Close In" he writes,
"Start close in, don't take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don't want to take.
Start with the ground you know, the pale ground beneath your feet, your own way of starting the conversation.
Start with your own question, give up on other people's questions, don't let them smother something simple.
To find another's voice, follow your own voice, wait until that voice becomes a private ear listening to another.
Start right now take a small step you can call your own don't follow someone else's heroics, be humble and focused, start close in, don't mistake that other for your own.
Start close in, don't take the second step or the third, start with the first thing".
To me that is the place where we step into the fire of our heart's desire. This is a scary pace to be. This is a place where we may meet failure or rejection or lots of tedious work. But I do believe we all know what this step is, once we get down to it. Those are the words I live by now to guide my journey. Trusting my inner voice to lead me to the essential steps rather than the extraneous voices that tend to lead me on tangents and other people's journeys. However, saying that, sometimes the richest parts of life are what we think of as "wrong turns". For example, for a year after my son was born I decided to follow the advice of those around me and pursue a master's of divinity at McGill University. Although a tangent, the time at the school reacquainted me with my love of writing and pondering and spirit seeking. These studies fed my song writing. In fact, a few of the songs on the EP were inspired by questions I journaled about in my seminary courses and workshops.
How do you help others be their best? Let me begin by saying, the vitality and sparkle that emanates from a person living their dreams authentically from their heart, is wholly contagious and life affirming! To me, that is a person living their best. However, I am well aware that it takes a lot of love and courage to dive into one's ideal vision of themselves. Easier always (for the short term) to live life a little short and not commit fully. That way you aren't in danger of failing quite so spectacularly! This I know all too well. But this is also why I feel it is my duty or mission in life to remind people that "you are just as beautiful as the day you were born"(Rain, Beauty in Mystery, 2008). I believe the main fuel for making heart led decisions and walking with one's truth, is the knowledge that one is loved and is love, just as she was when she entered this world, pure and simple unfiltered soul stuff. I also often remind myself and others that mistakes are part of the journey too! I find that helps with the courage piece.
How do you help yourself be the best you can be? Again, I am chuckling. It is much easier to give others advice than to take it for myself. Of course, I do try to feel the love that I have been given, as it is such a strong foundation for all things. However, in addition, balance is extremely important in my life. Perhaps this is especially true for me because I am a Libra, but I think it is true for most beings. When I say balance, it isn't moderation I am speaking of. In fact, balance for me lives in extremes. I can be a complete extravert for a week or even two: dancing, performing, drinking, laughing with friends running 10 miles a day! But then for a time I need to bring it back down to earth: eating healthy meals, doing my yoga, drinking green tea, playing with my son in the sand box, watching a movie or listening to an inspiring podcast. Living these two dimensions of myself allow me to live life most fully.
Tell us about some special in your life? It is impossible choose one person. But I will choose my son because he is my only child, so far. Xavier is sunshine and love incarnate. He walks into a room and everyone smiles a little wider and feels a little happier. Of course he is also a tornado and a wild man (like his mom he lives extremes!), but there is something essentially caring and tender and passionate about this boy. I am not sure how we got so lucky to have such a being grace our lives. I wrote the title track of my new EP "Everything to Me" about Xavier, and now sometimes he looks up at me and sings the chorus of the song to me while looking into my eyes. Oh, what a blessing. Those are the very best moments of life. Once at the dinner table said, "Mama, more!". "More what?", I asked. "More God!", he replied. Yup. That is our Xavier. Amen.
What’s new in your life? I just released my new EP, "Everything to Me" as well as a music video for track 5, "Shimmer", with Le Jit Productions. I am so proud of both of these creations! That feels really good!
Have you ever been fired? I haven't ever been fired, but I have been self-employed for a very long time now. Most of my jobs were transient and I had to leave before I had the opportunity to get fired.
What are your real passions? My real passions are my family, my art and physical and mental health. I would say the essential fuel for my passions is my constant search for meaning and soul connection.
If you won the lotto what would you do? I would finish renovating our home, and then I would start a foundation for the rights of the child. Using music as the common language, I have always dreamed of traveling the world and performing, not at huge concert halls, but for children at refugee camps and small villages where there is so much lack, and so much need. I would love to grow the foundation into an aid organization based mainly on education and sustainability. I would also be happy instead to collaborate with another foundation such as "Playing for Change", "War Child Canada", "Witness" or "UNICEF". There are so many organizations already doing so much good work. Because climate change is our reality, I believe these relief and out reach aid efforts will become more and more important, especially in re-teaching cultures how to nourish themselves without creating more damage to the planet. These are big questions, but there are answers and there are solutions.
What do you like to do in your personal life? I love biking around the city, I love how on a bike you pick up the smells and the feel of the different neighborhoods unlike other forms of transportation. I like to listen to uplifting podcasts when I jog. We are constantly receiving so much negative information, I find podcasts which delve into the deeper, more spiritual dimensions of life help inspire and re-invigorate me. It doesn't take much to shift one's perspective from depressed to hopeful; I try to keep that in mind. I also love to take and teach yoga classes as well as explore new restaurants and types of cuisine. My favorite times are those spent with my community in Montreal. I have such a gorgeous group of friends, sometimes I wonder if the reason my husband and I ended up in Montreal was to simply cross paths with these people.
Please give us one or two shameless plugs.
Check out my new EP, "Everything to Me" on iTunes!
Here is the link for the "Shimmer" music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgTOUYyMU98
350.org Check it out! Support it! Our world depends on it!
What is your favorite book to recommend to someone else to read
Louise Penny's entire mystery series!
What are some of your favorites? (books, websites, etc..)
Here are a few favorites off the top of my head:
Occupy Love: http://occupylove.org/
"On Being" with Krista Tippett: http://www.onbeing.org
"Sounds True": www.soundstrue.com
Joanna Macy: http://www.joannamacy.net/ in particular:
John O'Donahue: http://www.johnodonohue.com in particular:
David Whyte: http://www.davidwhyte.com/
Tara Brach: http://www.tarabrach.com
Ellen Bryant Voigt: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/880
Louise Penny: http://www.louisepenny.com
"Paddle to the Sea"
"The Beat Authority" on NCPR: http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/programs/local/beatauthority.html,
Bon Iver video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWcyIpul8OE
The Shindler House: http://www.makcenter.org/
Jian Ghomeshi: http://www.jian.ca
NPR Music: http://www.npr.org/music/
Laurie Brown from "The Signal": http://music.cbc.ca/#/The-Signal
Share a secret ;)
I tried really hard to be a vegan, but I love grass fed beef too much!