Category Archives: Communication

How To Stay Positive During Covid 19

It wasn’t fun, I can assure you, to have my entire tour cancelled, due to a tiny little virus. After having spent nearly a decade preparing the Finding Venus album to be launched world-wide, I can safely say, my timing sucked.

My whole, entire, plan for 2020 was about live shows, live seminars and touring. That was how I was supposed to make back all the money I had spent, preparing, producing and pre-marketing this product.

Needless to say, as the pandemic hit, I felt as if the whole rug of financial possibility, my one genius plan for getting out of production debt, got ripped from underneath my feet in one feel swoop.

But I didn’t give up. “I can always stream concerts and seminars via Facebook”, I thought. Since I had spent the last ten years, also building rapport with nearly 5000 Facebook fans, I now focused my attention on how I could reach my goal in a digital fashion.

As fate would have it, less than one week into my new resolve, someone managed to hack their way into my Facebook account. Before I knew it, my personal account and all related business pages, along with all my contacts and content, had been permanently deleted by Facebook.

At this point, you might be wondering what any of this has to do with staying positive during Covid 19. I am getting to that.

Sometimes, in order to appreciate what we have, it has to be taken from us.

All the things I have taken for granted; the ability to travel the world, the ability to perform live concerts and seminars, the ability to reach out to friends and fans via Facebook and the ability to visit my 96-year-old aunt, I don’t take for granted anymore.

What I have learned from this experience, after feeling all the angst and worry, disappointment and despair, from not being able to count on any future plans as I had imagined them, is this:

Being fully present in the moment, is everything.

There is nothing more important than who I am being, right now. As a result of this thought, I become more fully present in each moment and pay attention on a whole new level.

I appreciate my self and everyone around me. Talents, strength, vulnerabilities, differences, nuances, become so much more interesting when I am fully present and aware. What we appreciate, we also nourish. So, when I appreciate my self and those around me, I prepare healthy meals, exercise, rejuvenate and celebrate on a whole new level of being.

When I realise that every moment is precious, because I have no idea what will happen tomorrow or the next day, I fill each moment with what I value the most. For me, that includes catching up with friends and family over the phone, taking care of the house and garden,  singing, playing instruments, writing, composing, arranging, hiking, bike riding, taking care of paper work, updating web pages.

Every challenge that we face is an opportunity to grow and learn and appreciate.

When we can’t make money a certain way, we have the opportunity to let our creative juices flow, to surrender to divine inspiration and to let our talent organically flow towards the possibility of the present situation.

When we can’t travel the way we planned, we have the opportunity to deal with what is here and now and how to make the absolute best of our present situation. For me, right now, it means I get to take care of all those things I put on the back burner when I was busy being productive out in the world.

Now, that I have let go of trying to fix the future, of which I have absolutely no control, it’s actually pretty great. At this moment, I get to finish and record songs I almost forgot about. I get to learn things about my loved ones that I didn’t have time to listen to before. And, because many things that otherwise serve as a convenient distraction has become unavailable, I get to deepen my self awareness.

Because of the pandemic and all the restrictions that come with it, I get to sit with my discomfort and really feel it. I get to allow it to move me to a new level of awareness, where new concepts, songs and musicals are born.

My top 7 keys to staying positive during Covid 19 are:

  • Stop criticising yourself and others. It’s a brand new world.
  • Appreciate what the pandemic has to teach you, personally, professionally and globally.
  • Be fully present to each moment, to yourself and to each other.
  • Allow whatever feelings are there to guide you into the next moment.
  • Celebrate and Savor and Allow your heart to fully open.
  • Find fun, creative ways to express how you feel.
  • Nurture your body, mind and spirit in a joyous, non-judgemental manner.

Enjoy this time, as much as you can. Let it inspire you to create, relate and celebrate. And, please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in any way.

For those of you who wish to empower and enhance your vocal ability, I now offer Vocal Freedom sessions via Zoom. And for those who wish to access and process the emotional root cause of a current issue, I also offer Journey Therapy sessions via Zoom.

Musically Yours,
Caroline

Let’s BE That Change!

If we want to live in a world where truth matters, where equal opportunity matters, where preserving our soil, our water, our basis for living, matters, we need to be honest to the core of our being.

We need to speak the truth about ourselves, about our own experiences, about how we feel. We need to stop spreading and feeding into the poison that fear-based propaganda is. We need to focus, wholeheartedly, on cleaning up our own, distorted, world views and make sure we come from a place of love and integrity with every single word we speak and type and sing and act on.

When we take 100% responsibility for how we feel and act, when we heal the internal wounds that are so easily triggered by external factors, when we stop projecting our feelings of hurt and anger and fear and instead channel all those feelings into a conscious, loving commitment to positive change, then and only then will we see the change we wish to see in the world. Let’s BE that change!

From Paralyzed to Energized

I admit it. I am petrified. Frozen with fear. Emotionally locked inside a deep darkness. The big fat void of avoidance, of all things postponed, is now staring me down to the ground. I am, literally, chained to the floor of my internal torture chamber, as the poisonous venom of guilt, shame and feeling inadequate works its way through my veins.
 
These are powerful feelings and I allow them all. “Bring it on!” I say, as I close my eyes and prepare for death, still unable to move or even brace for the impact. And as I allow the waves of distain, of self loathing and blame, of hatred and shame to wash right through me, to the very core… As I allow this nuclear explosion, this unhinged train, this blow torch, this torrential rain, to have its way with me, I am strangely okay.
 
“How is it possible,” I ask, “to feel okay in the middle of my very own, personal, Armageddon?” At the moment of asking, I don’t know the answer. I don’t have to. It is what it is and I accept it as is. I’ve paid my dues. I no longer need to prove myself, not even to myself. And herein lies the answer to my quest. I no longer need to prove a thing, not even to myself. From this statement alone, another revelation is born: When we surrender the ego, all ego-related feelings, such as guilt and shame and feeling inadequate, automatically falls away.
 
In the ten minutes it took me to write this, I have moved from feeling completely paralyzed to feeling completely energized. This, to me, is the power of surrender, of being totally present in the moment, in the body, letting whatever emotions are there be fully felt and pass through unobstructed, without trying to deny it, fix it, explain it or change it.
 
Bring it on and enjoy your day!

3 Keys to Communicating With Ease

Have you ever experienced feeling like you expressed yourself with such immaculate clarity, but for some bizarre reason, most of your intended communication got lost in translation? I have. Many times. In fact, over and over. It’s really frustrating.

So, here’s the deal: We receive 400 billion pieces of information every second. Of these 400 billion pieces, only 2000 gets delivered to our conscious mind via our brain’s filtering system. And, this filtering system is continuously formed by our emotional experiences, which of course varies greatly from person to person, depending on our DNA, our upbringing and our surroundings at any given time.

This explains why we perceive things so differently and why we can experience the same event, but observe completely different aspects of it and thus tend to give entirely different accounts when we reiterate said event.

Seeing and hearing and feeling things so differently from one another can make it difficult to communicate. Here are my three keys to making it easier:

1 – Listen with the intention to learn where the other person is coming from and how they experience what they experience. Ask them to clarify if anything is unclear.

2 – Resist the urge to offer an opinion, unless specifically asked. And, even then, I often find it more useful to ask more questions so that the other person can arrive at their own understanding first.

3 – Let new information sink in before jumping to conclusions. Recognizing that we are only perceiving a small part of the whole picture at any given moment opens the door to more playful, curious and exploratory communication. When we resist the urge to judge, we open for the possibility to expand our vision. This, in turn, expands our ability to collaborate and co-create.

For those of you who are interested, I am designing new Vocal Freedom seminars that include fun and empowering processes for expanding our self awareness and enhancing our communication skills. This, in addition, of course, to finding, freeing and exquisitely  expressing our voices.

If you want me to stop by your town for a Vocal Freedom Seminar and/ or House Concert or to give a concert at your favorite venue, feel free to shoot me an email. Many choose to book a seminar/ concert as a one- or two-day event.

Email booking@redheadrecords.com with any questions or booking inquiries.

Vocal Freedom via SKYPE/ FaceTime is also an option.

Musically Yours,
Caroline

3 Keys to Resolving Conflicts

It was recently suggested to me that I displayed classic symptoms of Battered Women’s Syndrome. My symptoms were as follows: I felt verbally paralyzed, unable to speak out or take a stance in fear of what consequence may follow.

I don’t remember being battered, but I have experienced near death accidents that have caused post traumatic stress reactions and I have experienced other forms of suppression, such as verbal abuse, scare tactics and withholding.

Some of these experiences are still affecting my life from time to time in the form of fear. Fear of conflict being the most energy- and time consuming. In the spirit of Vocal Freedom, I am going to share 3 key elements that I have found to be the most useful in terms of regaining my confidence and ability to resolve conflicts:

1 – Being Fully Present

My automatic reaction to stress is to dissociate, to leave my body. Dissociation may be an affective tool to handle stress in the moment, but is not conducive to being effective or productive or resolving conflicts. So, in order to move into a better feeling place and a place of power, I first need to become present in my own body, to ground myself in the here and now, to feel my feelings.

2 – Identifying the Most Ideal Outcome

It is easy to get wrapped up in other people’s words and actions, to take things personally. And to respond from a place of feeling wounded and needy. So, in order to counter this victim-based reactive behavior, I step back and try to see the situation from a higher perspective, by identifying the most ideal outcome. In order to do this effectively, it is vital that I don’t act from an emotional charge, but wait until I have identified what I really want to get out of the situation.

I recently stepped into a difficult conversation with a group of people I didn’t know. And, because my initial engagement happened as a knee-jerk reaction, I fell flat on my face. It took almost a day and a half to untangle myself from the emotional defense I had gotten myself into and to see my carefully drafted ignorant BS for what it was. This can be a tricky thing to identify, since the ego automatically will come up with a number of self-glorifying justifications for our behavior, as long as we remain emotionally charged. Stepping back and identifying the most ideal outcome, helped me see clearly how to untangle myself and proceed in a more constructive way.

3 – Humbly Embracing the Opportunity to Learn

It takes a great deal of courage to be humble. It requires enough personal strength, confidence and wisdom to see the value of such a receptive state of being. For me in particular, being humble is something I have fought, tooth and nail, every step of the way. Why? Because I mistook it for weakness. Fortunately, I have come to realize that humility can serve as a most wonderful tool to discover what is possible to achieve and receive. When I humbly embrace the opportunity to learn from a situation, however triggering, confusing or challenging it may be, I put myself in a position of optimal reception. Being humble and unassuming enable us to see and receive what we have to offer each other with greater ease and precision.

Here’s a song I wrote that expresses the magic and beauty of being fully present, identifying a most ideal outcome and humbly embracing the opportunity to learn: Dancing In The Nude. It features Jennifer Leitham on bass, Katisse Buckingham on sax and programming, Tom Zink on keys, Chris Wabich on drums and Caroline Waters on piano and vocals. Enjoy!

Honoring the Victims of War

We must remember to whom we owe our freedom. We must remember that freedom itself is a privilege. We must remember those who die for the cause of freedom. We must remember to lend a helping hand, so that those who wants freedom can achieve it. And we must make sure that the freedom that we enjoy in our so-called civilized corner of the world is not in any way based on the suffering of others.

Tomorrow, I will sing and play my heart out with cellist Elisa Herbig and refugee kids, to commemorate those who died in an attempt to find refuge from war. Feel free to bring a rose and join us, if you are anywhere near the vicinity of Åmål, Sweden. If you are too far away, feel free to join us in song, prayer or meditation. We will meet at 7PM, behind the old church, down by the water.

Love,
Caroline

Angels, Bandits and the Power of YES

Amazing things happen when we open to receive the good that abounds. Last summer, I said YES to perform at a music festival in Brønnøysund. It took three days to drive there with my sweetheart in a super cool electric Nissan Leaf and three days to drive back, across the beautiful mountains of Norway. And, as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole festival experience and appreciated all the aspects of the journey, I received another proposal. A group of extraordinary women musicians asked if I wanted to join them in a band. Again, I said YES.

Engla & Banditta

Our band name is Engla & Banditta, which in English means Angels and Bandits. The name itself is significant for many reasons. In addition to our music being incredibly expressive, deep, joyous and diverse, ranging from Bluesy Rock to Jazzy Pop, we have a fierce social engagement and a soft spot for the underdog.

Banjo- and guitar playing Tove Bøygard, who sings in real Halling, is improving the lives of drug addicts and prostitutes as a social worker. Bass- and castanet playing Venja Ruud Nilsen and sax tooting Bente Mari Mortensen are improving the lives of women prisoners as music therapists. Swedish singer/songwriter and electric guitar player Sara Andersson teaches and performs with extraordinary depth and compassion. Legendary drummer Metch Johannessen fights for the downtrodden with every beat of her heart and drum. And I, in addition to sharing my own personal story of overcoming adversary in Finding Venus, give seminars and teach Vocal Freedom for anyone and everyone who wants to heal from post-traumatic stress, find/ strengthen their voice and let their heart sing with no holds barred.

Engla & Banditta in Action

Engla & Banditta recently completed our first concert series, with performances at Iris Scene in Odda, Bredtveit Women’s Prison and Herr Nilsen in Oslo, Norway. The audience response has been amazing and we are now getting ready for a delicious summer of joyous expression in both Norway and Sweden.

If you would like to book us for your event, party, club, stage, TV or radio program, let us know via booking@englaogbanditta.com. Chances are, if schedules allow and the price is right, we’ll say YES!

Click HERE for a video teaser from one of our shows in Oslo!

Musically Yours,
Caroline Waters

Creating Something Awesome

There is something so thrilling about having a blank canvass, free from old attachments, to paint on. And the idea that I have colors at my disposal that I don’t even know about yet is equally thrilling.

What I am creating in the moment is truly exceptional. It is a culmination of all that I have lived and learned on my journey so far, with the secret ingredient being total freedom from attachment. Freedom from imposed deadlines, result oriented expectations and financial pressure. Freedom to simply create what feels good and inspired in and by the moment.

The key to accessing the blank canvass requires nothing but courage. The courage to be still, to wait, to listen, to not try to fix anything or make anything happen. When we dare to simply show up for the present without attempting to fill it with the past or the future we have access to infinite power of creation.

From that position of creative power (presence), we get to choose what elements we’d like to include from the past, present or future. Elements that are discovered in the moment tend to contain the most expansive energy, whereas elements from the past or future may feel energetically constricted because they tend to be emotionally charged in one way or another. That being said, a mixture of the three might exactly be what we want in order to create something juicy and delicious with a hint of spice to it.

I am creating a fabulous mixture of all three at the moment – onto a truly blank canvass. The canvass is blank simply because I have released all expectations and worries connected to the outcome of that which I am creating. I am simply gathering elements from the past, present and future that feels good to me. I am not trying to control or fix anything. On the contrary, I am in the flow. And in the process, I am creating something awesome.

Love Always,
Caroline

Letting Go

It’s not easy to let go. Not for people like me. I am so practiced at fixing things, maintaining equilibrium no matter what, taking the higher road and reaching for the good in everyone and everything. These are useful habits, but sometimes they keep us at bay.

Sometimes anger is good, as it propel us forward and help us take action. I have found it extremely helpful to acknowledge the contrasts that clarify my desire. Accepting people, things and events for whom and what they are, without trying to fix, change, belittle or make excuses for them, can release a tremendous amount of energy, – energy that is otherwise bound up in denial or repression.

I have found that, when I allow this anger or dismay to simply be what it is, an uncomfortable feeling, a gage, if you will, that helps clarify my preferences… When I allow this feeling without resistance, it changes form quite quickly. Resisting my feelings, resisting change is what causes me to feel pain. When I let myself go with the flow and allow the gage that is my emotional meter to simply clarify my objective, I can rise to my own occasion with surprising speed and elegance.

This year is a year of tremendous change for me, personally and professionally. I am letting go, physically and emotionally, of people, places and things that have held me at bay. And in doing so, I am stepping up to my own plate in a way I have never done before. By letting go of that which no longer serves my creative vision I am opening my heart and soul to new dimensions of being. It’s very exciting!

The most effective way for me to let go of people, places and things are by acknowledging the awesome gift of their being in my life. I am eternally grateful for each and every experience that has led me to this place in time. No matter how joyous or sad, not matter how pleasurable or painful. Each contrasting experience have served to clarify my vision and enhanced my dream building.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, it is not easy for people like me to let go. As a matter of fact, it has taken me half a lifetime to get to this point of feeling okay with it. But I can tell you this much. The joy I am feeling at the core of my being as a result of my resolution to let go of the old and embrace the new is beyond words. I highly recommend it!

Here’s to celebrating the Now, by fearlessly releasing the ghosts of the past and embracing what is to come with no holds bar!

Love, Blessings and Cheers from Caroline

The Infinite Wisdom of Cats

Early this morning, as the sun began to beam and stretch over the horizon, I was privy to a remarkable interaction between two beautiful black cats, sitting in the street across from my kitchen window. They seemed to be engaged in a very serious conversation about their relationship and took turns meowing and listening to each other.

After almost ten minutes of this rather extraordinary exhibit, an elderly gentleman in robe and slippers came out to fetch his newspaper in the driveway. The two love balls swiftly dashed under a parked car and came out flying on the other side, like a yin yang ball of fire, enmeshed in a furious embrace, rolling full speed across the street toward me. Then, with shocking elegance, they came to a complete Matrix stance, their respective coats in perfect shine, and began a staring contest that simply left me in awe.

What amazed me the most was that the energetic interaction between these two magnificent creatures seemed just as profound as any human interaction I have ever witnessed. They appeared to exhibit a deep love and respect for each other – and the ease in which they expressed their emotions was simply mind blowing.

The display of infinite wisdom in these animals served as a reminder for me to be present in the moment and in my body, – and to interact with others, fully present and in my body. Lately, I have been wrapped up in conflict resolution involving numerous analytical processes regarding what was said. Very silly, but quite automatic. Sometimes I just can’t help myself. And these two cats, in spite of the fact that I have no clue what they were saying to each other or what their issues might have been, totally helped me get out of my own way.

I feel like dedicating this blog post to my little Rascal, who used to help me get out of my own way on a daily basis when she was alive and well in this physical time and space reality. She was an amazing healer. Here’s a link to a music video we made together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nfY6JzvadM

Enjoy!
Rascal on top of the bookshelf