November 1, 2011 Leave a comment
Have you ever been so tied to a song or artist that it can bring you to tears? Is it the words being sung or simply the memories they are connected to? Music has a powerful way of influencing us, whether we fully recognize it or not. For me, one of these artists is Heatherlyn. Her music resonates feelings of warmth and friendship and makes me feel right at home, wherever I am. I remember listening to Home With You in California while cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway, feeling as if Heatherlyn could have been sitting right next to me in that green Ford Focus. What lead me to having such intense feelings about this particular song, and her music in general? I suppose I should start at the beginning…
I met Heatherlyn a few years ago while working at the Buzz; I instantly liked her and her husband, Jason. They were sweet and oozed a positive energy that I have seen in very few people in this world. She never complained about the heat in the summer or the bitter cold in the winter. She never frowned when told her soy latte would be another minute. She never focused her thoughts on a single negative aspect in life. Instead, she shined a light on the goodness around us.
Heatherlyn’s self-titled album soon became the playlist of my past, as it frequently played in the background of the Buzz while people mingled and enjoyed their coffee. We also hosted several concerts at the shop that featured Heatherlyn, including a wonderful holiday performance and a fundraiser for Feed My Starving Children.
I was fascinated with the life path that Heatherlyn and Jason were on and enjoyed visiting with them at the shop each week. Since then, they’ve been traveling and bestowing the gift of their music upon others, sharing the love from wealthy communities in Minnesota to tent cities in Seattle. Heatherlyn’s focus with her music has centered around contributing to communities in a peaceful and compassionate manner and being the change you wish to see in this world.
I have always enjoyed being a follower of Heatherlyn’s journey, but it wasn’t until this year that I found her to be not only an inspiration to me, but a hero as well. I was drowning in fear and wondering where my next step would take me when I walked away from that cafe in January. After an epiphany in the middle of New Mexico lead me to a certainty that being a writer was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I began listening to Heatherlyn’s words as a form of support from a woman who was traveling on a similar journey. Not having a steady income and not knowing when the next assignment would come is incredibly frightening.
Whenever I was feeling discouraged or frustrated with work, or life in general, I often found myself on her Facebook page looking for an uplifting quote, a positive musing from her day or a recently recorded video. I always found these things; these little things that have the power to remind me not only that life isn’t perfect, but also that I am the solution to the problem. I have the power to make changes, big and small, locally and globally.
Heatherlyn recently celebrated the release of her sophomore album, Storydwelling. According to her website, Storydwelling is about cultivating courageous and compassionate curiosity for each other by deeply listening to and authentically sharing our stories with one another, thereby healing ourselves and our world. Her new album is straight up the musical meaning of the world I wish to create for myself, as I have spent the last ten months focusing on telling people’s stories. The stories that both Heatherlyn and I are telling are the ones that truly matter, stories of everyday Americans that somehow get overlooked because of all the mainstream media that trains us to look at bigger people.
I feel as if both of us have reached a high point in our journey; Heatherlyn with her successful release and me with my upcoming departure for a writing job in LA. I am writing this post today as both a recognition to Storydwelling and a celebration of the accomplishments we have both made through the adventures of telling stories.
With that all being said, however you took it in, check out her band page, her Facebook or her Twitter. Either way, you will find an unexpected smile, a glimpse of hope, an outburst of laughter, a moment of solitude or a little bit of it all wrapped into one.