Category Archives: Healing

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

Finding Venus Goes Vinyl and Touring

It was a miracle that I made it, after the lawyer, who appeared to be driving drunk and driving like a maniac, hit me so hard I flew twenty-eight feet with a severed leg. I landed on my nose. My name is… I’m not sure. I mean, I don’t know. I reside in the physical form of a woman named, Venus. There was an accident. A green Mazda and an eighteen-year-old on a ten-speed bike. It was a miracle that I became a human being again. And it took more than all the king’s horses to do so. Mama and Papa didn’t know what to do, so they decided to do what they knew best. The show must go on, they said, and left for a tour of America.”

This is how the Finding Venus album begins, accompanied by a tango of joyously gorgeous cello and grand piano. Adding deeply expressed vocals that range from lonely despair, longing and fury to humorous introspection and sensual awakening, we are taken on a quest to find identity, love and meaning. A quest that takes us all the way into the Nevada desert, in serial killer territory, in a desperate attempt to find the one person who made sense to us. A quest that forces us to face our deepest fears, admit our deepest longings and let go of what we love the most, so that we can, in turn, return to and realize who we really are.

“This is art. High art. It is also a compassionate, realistic study of what unsolved mysteries can do to a human life. How do we let go? How do we say goodbye when we can’t? How do we move on? How do we smile again? We find Venus.”
A.J. Llewellyn

As many of you already know, Finding Venus is my way of sharing my own incredible, but true, story of hope and transformation. It was, indeed, a miracle that I made it. I mean, recovering from the horrible accident that crushed my body and sent my brain into the land of deep confusion and indescribable pain was one thing. Making sense of the scattered pieces of memory that gradually was presented to me, was another story.

To be honest, I am still trying to make sense of it. And, in this making-sense-of-it process, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to express what I have experienced in such a deliciously musical format and with such incredible musicians and actors. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being part of this journey, as listener and co-conspirator, as mentor, supporter, friend, ally and fan! I could not have done any of this without you. It is my deepest prayer and desire that this story will help and inspire those who are struggling with issues related to trauma, identity, recovery and the loss of a loved one.

The Jazz-, blues-, pop- and cabaret arrangements on this album are brilliantly executed by bass players Abraham Laboriel and Jennifer Leitham, drummers Mark Schulman and Chris Wabich, pianist Tom Zink, guitarist Julian Coryell and cellists Irina Chirkova, Carter Dewberry and Elisa Herbig. The voices of Mama, Papa and Stefanie are beautifully expressed by J’Nae Fincannon, Gary Imhoff and Aina O’Kane. Katisse Buckingham flavours the album throughout with his poignant, sultry, lavish and energetic sax, flute, beat box and synth programming. And phenomenal sound engineers Tom Zink, Bob Rice, Leslie Chew, Tony Shogren and Jan Erik Kongshaug makes us all sound awesome!

The Finding Venus album is now available as a Limited Edition 2 LP white Vinyl, as well as CD, Downloads and Streaming at www.carolinewaters.com

The Finding Venus Tour 2019 is happening in Sweden, Norway, UK, USA and Canada, starting next week!!! Amazing cellist, Ruti Celli, is joining us on the first leg of the tour and others will join as we proceed. Concert dates will be posted as they are confirmed at www.carolinewaters.com/calendar

If you like what you hear, purchase the album, buy tickets for our shows and share with others you think might resonate! Also let us know where you want us to perform next. Click here to make contact or to join the VIP email list.

Love Always, Caroline

Overcoming Procrastination and Finding Venus

Roughly seven years after the birth of the idea to create a musical, based on chapters from the novel-eh-thriller-memoir that took a half a lifetime to dare to write, I am finally ready to release the double album, Finding Venus.

I am both excited and absolutely terrified. Not that the album itself is so dangerous. But the emotional content that is attached to each of the songs, brings up a world of issues for me. They remind me of times in my life where I have felt utterly powerless or deathly buried afraid or wanting to kill myself.

The songs, in themselves, are tremendously empowering, full of hope and strength and courage and humor and powerful expressions. Yet, for me, they bring up all the hidden passages of what it took for me to overcome the fear and pain and uncertainty of the trauma I lived through.

In addition to working hard to have it all come together, the book, the musical and the album, I must confess that procrastination techniques have been at play. Techniques such as, nitpicking, delaying making a decision, constantly debating the pros and cons of each decision made, beating up on myself for not being slim enough to present it, etc.

Now, that I have made the decision to move forward with the release, I realize the amount of fear that has been holding me back. I realize the kind of self doubt that I have carried with me for so long. In spite of the fact that I have been a great promoter of Vocal Freedom, I have held myself hostage, in a way, to my own fear.

The fear that I now have surrendered completely, in order to move forward with this release, is connected to a very old message, launched deeply within my younger self. This old message is about Not sharing personal stuff, about Always smiling to the camera, about Appearing strong and happy, even when I feel vulnerable or sad. Serendipitously, herein lies the core of the new message I wish to relay with my music and story:

Don’t be afraid to Be and Share who you are. There is tremendous power in opening to the inner wisdom of your being, allowing it to move you and expressing it powerfully in words, music and action.

All the songs for Finding Venus can now be enjoyed and purchased via www.carolinewaters.com and we’ll be super happy if you can make it to the Release Party at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood on May 4th.

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 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!

From Workaholic to Finding Venus in West Hollywood

It’s been a while since my last post… and for that I am truly sorry. So much have happened and I haven’t been good at letting y’all know in any kind of timely fashion. Since my last post, I finished the concerts I had already scheduled for Spring and Summer in New York, Florida, Norway and Sweden. With flying colors, I might add, well, sort of, until my body said, “Stop!”

As some of you may know, I have been struggling with being a workaholic for most of my career. One of the problems with being a workaholic is that I often ignore the signals my body are giving me when it needs rest and rejuvenation. Long story short, I decided to take the rest of the summer off, completely, just to rejuvenate. And it has worked wonders for my well being and creativity.

I am now back in LA, working in a more sane tempo to finish my book and to come up with a plan for a new and improved album release for Finding Venus. Even though I finished recording the album already, I decided to put the release on hold until I got my body back in shape and a team in place to help me promote it, along with my story, in a most fabulous fashion.

If you’re in the hood, feel free to join me for a drink, a chat or just to listen to a super relaxed concert this coming Thursday at The Grafton on Sunset in West Hollywood. I’ll bring my guitar and some CDs and enjoy your company.

Caroline Waters LIVE at The Grafton on Sunset

Love Always,
Caroline

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

From Personal to Global Rejuvenation

These past few months have passed me by like there’s no tomorrow. I’m in a daze from high speed living. It started with a decision to let go of the old and embrace the new and unknown. In the process that followed, I sold and gave away roughly eighty percent of my belongings. I also minimized my monthly expenses by moving in with a friend.

As a result, a tremendous amount of energy has been released to create a more vibrant bi-continental existence and I am receiving gifts beyond my wildest imagination. The Norwegian mini-tour of Finding Venus – The Musical, received rave reviews, I am in the process of expanding my musical territory in Sweden and a fall tour is brewing in California with amazing cellist, Elisa Herbig. (All shows will be posted at www.carolinewaters.com/shows.php)
Elisa Herbig and Caroline Waters in ConcertCurrent broadcasts are starkly contrasting the lightness and ease of my being. Angry, wounded, unforgiving people seem to be dominating the scene with their post traumatic stress behaviors and thirst for vengeance. Personally, I don’t think it works to overcome darkness with more darkness. The”eye for an eye” method will only serve to make us all blind.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could lay down our swords, forgive ourselves and each other, let go of our need to dominate, possess and control? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could meet those of us who suffer from post traumatic stress with patience, understanding, love and nurture, regardless of race, religion, sex, skin color or financial status?
Make Love Not War
Imagine a world where fellowship is more highly regarded than ownership, where respect for Mother Nature triumphs desire for money and where music and art is regarded as more important than the military. I am committed to making it happen. Who’s with me?