Category Archives: Getting out of denial

Fighting Artistic Depression

I am situated at a small café in Oslo, drinking my favorite, Chai tea latte with soy milk. I slept through the night. I had a healthy breakfast. I rode my bike here. In other words, there is no reason why this shouldn’t be a most delicious creative and productive day.

But underneath my optimistic facade, the soft smile on my face, the playlist of truly interesting creative tasks and the intellectual knowing that all is well in the present moment, I can sense a deep murmur of fear beneath the surface. This murmur has the power to paralyze me completely, if I let it.

It’s an old murmur. A murmur from childhood, psychologically intensified by layers and layers of similar feeling murmurs. In its current manifestation it can be described as a web of sticky mind-mist and soggy, glue-like emotional mud.

I know that if I can get to the core of the murmur, if I can catch a glimpse of the cause of the original fear, or even just the original emotion that got triggered from said fear, I can dissolve it. This requires courage, patience and willingness to surrender my ego.

My ego will fight me at every turn. It will tell me that under no circumstance am I allowed to admit that I have felt anything less than all-powerful. It will do its damdest to convince me to maintain a picture perfect facade of a strong, vibrant, successful artist in motion. It doesn’t know any better. It is merely doing its job as ego.

Surrendering the ego can be an amazingly powerful thing, especially when it comes to reprogramming old patterns that no longer serves their original purpose. By letting myself sink into the feelings of interest and observe their related thought patterns without trying to judge, combat or fix them, I surrender the ego. I surrender to a state of simply being fully present to the moment.

When I surrender to the moment, no matter how painful it is or uncomfortable it makes me feel, I allow for an expansion of consciousness to take place. This is the point where I can most effectively let go of that which no longer serve me, let my body rejuvenate and receive new wisdom.

Today’s murmur happens to be about perfection in performance and a tremendous sense of urgency in terms of maximizing the potential of my talent. Growing up as a child star with parents who modelled an unusually high level of productivity and fabulousness, I felt a constant pressure to maximize my potential at every turn. This pressure has caused me to develop my talent in extraordinary fashions and be amazingly productive. It has also caused me to periodically feel overwhelmed and insignificant and paralyzed.

So, today, I surrender to simply being and feeling and observing. Today I surrender to loving myself as whole and complete in this moment and the next, just the way I am. Today, I declare that I am enough just for being. I forgive myself for allowing the ghosts of the past influence my joy and lightness of being. I forgive my parents for the pressure they caused and I open my heart and mind to receiving the good that abounds.

Sometimes the best way to fight something is to surrender:)

Finding Venus in Norway

I am scared shitless, to be perfectly honest. This is my home country, where I grew up, where all my “baggage” first assembled, where all my first impressions were formed, where my first insecurities took hold, where I first began to compare myself to others, where I used to feel extremely uncomfortable in my grown-up clothing.

I am also intensely excited, as I feel like I am stepping onto a new stage of life, in my home country, as someone who has come full circle in so many ways.

Three weeks from now I will be performing my new jazzy musical thriller, Finding Venus (På Hengende Håret), for the first time with a full cast in Norwegian. Yeah, it’s happening at Herr Nilsen in Oslo on June 21st!

Finding Venus (På Hengende Håret) by Caroline WatersThe scary part is that I suspect I might be met with a more critical eye and ear in these parts, since I come from a well known entertainment family, which of course entails certain expectations. At the same time it feels absolutely fantastic to finally get to tell my story of healing and transformation, which has been partially hidden for so many years.

The cast is fantastic, just the right mix of talented, wild and wise. A beautiful bundle of creative energies, each with their own unique expression of love and life.

The musicians are some of my very favorite in the world. Deb and I used to play together in a duo called Sirens. We’d make the European clubs go wild with our combination of jazzy classical pop and funky groovy out-of-this-world weirdness. Aage and I met when I played my violin in a Nordic Youth Symphony orchestra at fifteen and have played together off and on since then. Amazing cellist!

Here’s a link to the calendar and ticket sales: www.carolinewaters.com/shows.php

Here’s a link to my official website, where you can find video and sound clips for both the Norwegian and English versions: www.carolinewaters.com

Looking forward!

Love and Blessings, Caroline

Finding Venus – Come Hell or High Waters

I’m not exactly sure why it took me so long to find the courage to share this particular story. It’s not like I haven’t shared at all, but my sharing has mostly consisted of blippets of life and carefully selected soundbites to illustrate an emotional journey that has left many questions unanswered.

Stilling the voices of fear
It has taken almost ten years to finish the process of writing this memoir. The writing itself didn’t take that long, but stilling the voices of fear and arriving at a point of feeling worthy of sharing it took lots and lots of processing.

Since I grew up as a child star and got ample validation for my performance, sharing myself in musical and theatrical ways have been much easier than sharing myself as a person. In many ways, I have hidden behind my artist image, carefully selecting the pieces that had “promotional value” for public display.

At this point in my career, all I really care about is to share my truth and being in ways that will empower and build bridges of love, tolerance and understanding. And, in order to do that, I need to be as real and honest as I possibly can.

Finding Venus – Come Hell or High Waters is the true story of how I managed to recover and come back to life after the near death accident that left me with temporary brain damage, amnesia and enhanced psychic abilities.

During this time, Stefanie Stroh, the only person I felt any kind of connection to after the accident, disappeared in the Nevada desert in the same area the notorious serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells operated. My search for her was instrumental in bringing me back to a sense of Self and purpose.

Many layers
This story has many layers: In addition to describing the transformational journey of healing from amnesia and post traumatic stress, it is also a testimonial to how I found my identity as a human being, how I dared to come out of the closet as a sexual being and how I managed to embrace life from a whole new perspective.

Since I also have written songs that go hand in glove with this particular journey, Finding Venus – Come Hell or High Waters is also being transformed into a 90-minute musical stage performance, which I am currently preparing to showcase in Oslo, New York and Los Angeles. I am terrified, to tell you the truth, of putting myself out there is this manner. And, at the same time, I am excited to finally let the cat out of the bag and share this powerful adventure of transformation and healing.

Consciousness expanding activities
If you or anyone you know have ever experienced trauma to the brain, loss of identity, amnesia, performance pressure, challenges in relationship to parental opinions, enhanced psychic abilities, paranormal activity, post traumatic stress or other consciousness expanding activities, you might find this musical particularly intriguing, comforting and empowering.

Sharing the love
It is my desire to share the love that I experienced throughout this powerful healing transformation in ways that will entertain, humor, enlighten, delight and give hope for the future.

Please stay tuned for show dates and more info at www.carolinewaters.com

Here’s a taste:)

It’s Hard to Believe

It’s hard to fathom that the killer who bombed, shot and killed 76 of my fellow countrymen, women and children went to my high school, got confirmed at my church, grew up in my neighborhood, etc. It’s hard to put my brain around the fact that one of the worst mass murderers of our time is not one of “them”, but one of “us”. This fact alone has made me examine my thoughts, feelings and motives in depth. For this I am grateful. It is far too easy to point fingers and blame others when we can separate ourselves from the perpetrator, in looks, religion, ideology and so forth.

Hopefully, most of us will at this time choose to take a closer look at how we contribute to our community and society at large, in thoughts, ideas, words and physical action. I believe that we are all connected in more ways than we can comprehend. I believe that we are all responsible for the world that we create and that includes the emotional and ideological climate that ignites hate crimes.

I believe that I have a responsibility for how I feel, how I think and how I act out those thoughts and emotions in relationship to other beings. It is my hope that as we as community learn how much we matter to each other and to the whole of society, as we learn that our individual thoughts and ideas and feelings make a difference, we will raise our mass consciousness to a level where massive healing and rejuvenation can take place.

Here’s a song I wrote when a dear friend told me that her mother was shot and killed. Crying and singing it has helped me through some of the overwhelming feelings of grief, loss and despair I have been feeling in the last couple weeks:

It’s Hard to Believe by Caroline Waters

It’s hard to believe
Such a horrid affair
It’s hard to conceive
There is blood everywhere
It’s hard to believe that she couldn’t run away

It’s hard to believe
Such a charming lad
It’s hard to conceive
He would go this mad
It’s hard to believe that she couldn’t run away

In one fell swoop you blew her away
In one fell swoop you made us all pay
In one fell swoop you killed us all
And you weren’t even man enough to take the fall

It’s hard to forgive
Such a horrid affair
It’s hard to forgive
When there’s blood everywhere
It’s hard to forgive that she couldn’t run away

In one fell swoop I’ve come to hate
Every single part of me that can relate
Every single part that reminds me of you
How could you do it, laddy, how could you?

In one fell swoop you blew her away
In one fell swoop you made us all pay
In one fell swoop you killed us all

Sweet People

The Eurovision Song Contest
I watched The Eurovision Song Contest last night, for the first time in many years. It made me cry and laugh and dance and sing, mostly because it showed how such a large group of people, of the world, could be so easily united in music and dance.
Profound expression
It touched me deeply to witness the singer from Ukraine deliver such a profound expression of desire to heal this world that we are all part of. I wish she would have won, so the message of “our home” could be shared and felt by as many as possible. I also wish that we, in the not too distant future, can gather again and again to share our hopes and dreams and prayers through music and dance and other heartfelt expression, stripped down to the bone, where the heart can be fully visible.
Freedom to celebrate our diversity
I want for us to receive each other in forums where clothing and financial status simply doesn’t matter, and where the song in our hearts is what matters the most. Imagine places where we don’t have to use drugs or alcohol to keep out the industrialized impressions that fight to get our attention, where we are free to breathe and listen with our hearts. And perhaps more importantly, where we are free to celebrate each other for our individuality and diversity.

Bringing people together
This “song contest” used to be called “a melody festival” in the past in Norway.  I really liked those words… This event was created for the purpose of bringing together people from all different countries, coming together as one people, to celebrate our hearts in song. It really doesn’t matter who wins. It matters that we are all in it together, creating a space where the songs in our hearts can be heard and shared by many.

Let’s focus
Let’s not worry so much about what fashion statements are being made or what country can produce the flashiest show. Let’s focus on what unites us and inspires us to love.

Here’s the song, Sweet People, as sung by Alyosha from Ukraine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AvMJueiCyo

In Love Always, Caroline

Coping with Performance Pressure

How do I cope with the performance pressure?

I am not only talking about the pressure related to the performance itself but also the challenge of promoting each performance sufficiently for each venue. It used to be so easy, or so it seemed…

All through my childhood, I walked on stage with the expectation of a full house, cheering me on throughout my performance, followed by hundreds of fans lining up for an autograph as I excited the theater. I had no idea what marketing efforts lay behind such a scene. It was just there for me to bask in and shine and savor.

As I grew into adulthood, I learned the art of marketing, creating my own shows and of running my own record label. Since I already had the expectation of full houses and a famed upbringing to draw from it was easy at first. My confident attitude combined with plenty of goodwill in the media got me off to a great start.

How do I cope with the performance pressure when life comes crashing down?

It’s not like my life was an easy one, by any stretch of the imagination. After getting completely smashed in a car accident at eighteen, I had to rebuild my leg, brain function, speech and memory from scratch. But the confidence and the work ethics that was instilled in me from childhood was still there, cheering me on.

Miraculously, I was able to utilize whatever obstacles came my way to further my creativity and performance value. Granted, it took many years to heal the trauma, quite a bit of schooling and a bunch of therapy to pull me through, but performance wise, I always seemed good to go. Almost always.

I have often struggled, however, with the emotional pressure that comes with being an artist. More specifically, I have struggled with the “need” to be as good as I can possibly be in any given situation. My father, the great entertainer, expected nothing less. And, even though he made work a lot of fun, the underlying expectation of excellence in all performance was loud and clear.

How do I break the cycle of workaholism and truly harness the power of my creative talent?

I have learned my lesson over and over, the hard way, that it doesn’t work in the long run to push or will my way through. And I have asked myself over and over why it is that I keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. Twelve step groups will tell me it is called insanity. My work ethic oriented mind will tell me it is the only way to succeed. All I know is, I have to find another way.

In order to break this thing, this cycle, I have to resist my mind and go against my deepest instincts. I have to disobey my inner dad and break the rules of my “perfectionist” ego. My heart, of course, tells me to relax, breathe and receive the good. But in order to follow my heart I need to make friends with my ego in order to prevent it from sabotaging. It’s a tricky thing…

Or maybe it’s all quite simple? Abraham Hicks, the author of “The Law of Attraction” and “Ask and It Is Given”, tells us that what we focus our attention on, we attract more of. In some ways, I have used my perfectionist upbringing as my excuse to hold myself from true, liberated excellence. So, here’s my genius plan:

Caroline Waters live in concert by Eva Groven

Photo by Eva Groven

Just breathe

When I set aside my intellect and listen to my body. When I slow my breath enough to feel my heart beat. When I open my mind wide enough to see the aura expand from every plant and flower as they are being observed. When I take the time to breathe and witness the miracle of life that is happening all around me, is when I can truly access the amazing speed of my unconscious mind and the genius power that exists in alignment with source energy.

It is my desire to sing and play my way across the stage of life in total alignment with the well being that abounds. This means I have to slow down enough to notice what it is that holds my attention, and from there make sure that my focus is in alignment with my desire. I simply have to breathe. Just breathe. That’s my genius plan.

I have enclosed one of my favorite tunes for your listening pleasure, and the lyrics in case you want to sing along:)

Love Always, Caroline

In the Moment (from the Being Totally Alive CD)
Words and Music by Caroline Waters

What am I supposed to do, loving you the way that I love you
What am I supposed to say, could there be another way
What am I supposed to see when you look at me
How am I supposed to be in this dream reality

Oh it is perfect as it is
In the moment as we are
In the moment as we meet
In the moment

How can I release this fear and just let you love me
How can I begin to near what I’m really meant to be
How can I begin to breathe all the love I see
How can I fulfill the need of this dream reality

Oh it is perfect as it is
In the moment as we are
In the moment as we meet
In the moment

Being Totally Alive in Paris and Oslo!

From Fear to Success

Caroline moments before her recent concert in Oslo, Norway.

Caroline moments before her recent house concert in Oslo, Norway.

I was fortunate enough to experience a most magical promotional tour to Paris, France and Oslo, Norway this fall. My intention with the trip was threefold: To celebrate my sister’s birthday at the Lido in Paris, to celebrate my brother’s birthday at his beautiful home in Oslo, and to introduce my new CD, Being Totally Alive.

Paris made me nervous, since I had a bad experience on my last trip there, some 21 years ago. Long story short, I was assaulted and left with a strong sense of fear and disempowerment for many years to come. Since then, I have had great sadness about Paris, specially since it is regarded by so many as a city of beauty and romance.

This time, my dear friend and amazing actress Judi Beecher just happened to be finishing up a movie just as I arrived, which synchronistically created the opportunity for me to spend a whole day taking in the beauty and history of this magical city with someone who also could hold space for my experience. And by sharing my experience in this new time-space reality, I was able to release the fear of it and more fully realize the beauty of my life as it is today. Pretty cool, huh?

The Power of Celebration

This is how I see it: I made myself go to Paris because I was determined to celebrate my sister on her birthday. And because of my determination to celebrate and appreciate, I was given the opportunity to heal. Being Totally Alive was created from this point of view and in celebration of the love that connect us all. As a result, doors are opening that I never ever even knew existed.

Some people call me crazy for staying in the game of show business and for stubbornly moving forward with my dream building, not matter how gloomy the illusion of economy gets and no matter how many obstacles seem to be looming in the distance. But I can assure you that it is worth every breath of my being to stay in celebration, to let my creativity blossom and to let my heart sing whenever possible.

As previously mentioned, I was also determined to celebrate my brother on his birthday. And as it turned out, he generously offered to host a house concert with me singing and playing at his beautiful home in Oslo this last week. The turnout was simply amazing. I sold more CDs than I thought possible. And, as if that wasn’t enough, one of my most favorite musicians of all times, renowned cellist Aage Kvalbein, came by to see me.

My Meeting With Aage Kvalbein

Aage Kvalbein and Caroline Waters

Aage Kvalbein and Caroline Waters

Aage and I first met when I was fifteen years old and played second violin in the National Youth Symphonic Orchestra of Norway, where he was one of the cello instructors. I remember how he took my breath away by playing Flight of the Bumble Bee with incredible ease and emotion out on the lawn at lunch, just for fun. He later accompanied me both in concert and on television when I released my first CD, Compassion. Listening to Aage’s albums over the years have been a great inspiration for my composer self. He totally made my day at the end of my concert when he told me how much my music moved him and how he would love to co-create something with me in Norway next year.

Here’s a song for you! Sing along if you like:))) Being Totally Alive

Love and Blessings, Caroline

BEING TOTALLY ALIVE by Caroline Waters

I have been so ironically delusional
Suspicious and judgmental
Erratic sentimental
I’m sorry that I let you dwn
It took me a while to come around

I hope it’s not too late for me to tell you that I’m sorry
I hope it’s not too late for me to tell you not to worry

I’d like to start all over if I can
Take you hand and walk together while we figure out a plan
To explore what we would like to feel and taste and see and learn
To be free from all the stuff that keeps us from our being

Being totally alive
Being totally alive

I hope it’s not too late for me to tell you that I miss you
I hope it’s not too late for me to tell you I want to kiss you

I’d like to start all over if I can
Take you hand and walk together while we figure out a plan
To explore what we would like to feel and taste and see and learn
To be free from all the stuff that keeps us from our being

Being totally alive
Being totally alive