Our Souls need to be taken into account first, not last, or worse yet..ever.
About a year ago I was in the middle of getting ready to release my last record about nine women of different ages all facing a major moment of truth, or fear.
If I were to make a film, or create a binge worthy Netflix series, the first scene would open to a panning shot of a large skyskraper window, into the life of a woman, a corporate professional in her fifties taking a moment to look out the window in the middle of a meeting to look for “light on the surface.” as the song says. The shot would continue to flow in and out of the city scapes into the lives of the rest of the women illustrating through sight and song how the “beast and beauty ride in tandem”. The album is named Windows for this reason. It is in here, where light and dark meet that we grow.
Until 4 months ago I was living in such an enviroment facing my own truths, my own fears to such a degree that I didn’t want to leave the house until I had thoroughly searched out, scooped up, annihilated, squashed, them, but I ended up also cradling, denying, reasoning with, putting on pause, and quietly tucking many away again for safe keeping…. for later, but denied, coddled, reasoned-with, or buried fears become rancid, spoiled, toxic. I got used to having them there, even with the knowledge that though they may be cozy in the dark basement of my psyche – those fears were radioactive. I was getting poisoned by them and I knew it.
So I asked Soul to take the lead, begged really-though the begging was mumbled, the intent and willingess were there. Soul ALWAYS responds to willingness. Always.
My own personal Soul is gently, relentless. A patient, type – A- kind of gal, who at times wears the clothes of a layed back 90’s style slacker, so she looks like she is chill, but really she is a fucking task master in a power suit. Patient, all knowing. She was the only one out of my holy trinity, who kept insisting we go back into the basement, each time with a new tool to call out, face and ask the stinky boogey men what they wanted from me. Last time we brought a chainsaw, mask and bullhorn.
I went along with her for a while. I had gotten my ass handed to me in a myriad of ways, brought to my knees-yet again by my own doing. I ignored red flags, let low self esteem take the reigns, which led to lawyers and re-doing my whole record over again. Not choosing to take in and listen to certain, quiet first thoughts that float up from the deep in the middle of the night. Feelings of self imposed constraint, blockage, warning signals, an infuriating stand still, anxiety, nervous exhaustion. Standoffs between ego and soul. Guess who always wins? The quiet one in the power suit who loves me too much to let me go on like this.
When it’s time your Soul will step in even if you tantrum about it.
Like the seven kingdoms my holy trinity of body/mind/Soul struck a deal and united. We would face my fear, but we would simultaneously charge ahead with hiring a press agent we couldn’t afford for a professional path that is draining instead of nurturing, in an industry that is gross and for the most part dead. (#musicindustry) I knew this particular way of life was dying on the vine, my identity, my dreams, but they were allletting me hold on until I was ready to cut myself loose.
Cue in the chainsaw.
My ego is uncomfortable with what I am sharing with you right now and wants to show you what cool music writers wrote about us to prove we did a good job and we are worthy of success.
“Amie Penwell Releases Prominent Album, “Windows” From start to finish the release is golden, and proves to be one of a kind in the current musical market.”
— No Depression
“With two singles from the album in tow, “Window,” and “Unstoppable,” respectively, Penwell has been turning heads with her gorgeous and skillfully crafted pieces As the record dives further into her musical ambitions, Penwell brings elements of Rock, with dashes of R&B and Soul on the side; providing a well-rounded release. Messages are placed within every song as Penwell breaks free and holds nothing back. The lyrics come from an honest place that pulls at the heartstrings”
“Mercy 18′ is an ambient, emotive, subtly potent ballad featuring a sombering but memorable piano melody. Passionate strings accent the hauntingly soothing soundscape as Amie’s vocal performance grabs our attention for quite the soul stirring ride. In other words, the song will move you!”
— Middle Tennessee Music.com
“Amie Penwell is breaking into the scene with her newest single to hit the streets, “Unstoppable.” As we steadily head into Election season, so does Penwell with her take on politics in the modern world. She carries a powerful message that will not only stop you dead in your tracks, but will leave you thinking as well. This is only the beginning of great things to come from the artist, and we’re on board.”
These quotes made me feel good for about 7 minutes each, until the approval drug wore off, and I was left to feeling the same way I did before I finished the record…again. Alone, afraid, aimless, futile and-well you get it.
Fear and music have been intertwined for me, but if I have learned anything, it is that every fear comes with a gift. A tangible reward, a loosening of grip-in a good way., an opportunity to #letgotogrow. There is always peaceful sky inside the eye of it. If I hadn’t found that to be true 100% of the time I would never continue my own excavation, even though with each remaining, or new fear I never believe that this will be the one that won’t choke me out.
Going it alone in the dark basement is a drag. Guides are useful. It becomes exploration instead of a time stuck in a bog.
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