Something unexpected happened to me last week; it caught me off guard and I was not prepared.
I’m not sure it is something I can fully explain it. So forgive my rambling as I try to express what happened in one small moment.
If you press play below, I’ll try my best to take you back to where I was in that moment…
Sitting. Listening. And trying to hear.…
Last year, I spent countless days, weeks and even months writing the lyrics and songs for our latest album: Echoes of Wonder. And you would think after all that time that I knew the songs I had written pretty well, wouldn’t you! At least I thought I knew what they were about. After all, I had spent time crafting each one carefully. Writing and re-writing…
And as it turns out, there was more contained within these songs of ‘mine’ than even I knew.
As I sat on the train on regular journey into Stockholm, looking out over the frozen lakes & watching people walk on water (well, frozen-water…but still!). Taking in the beauty of the illuminating sun; hanging low in the winter sky, just above the rooftops of this snow-capped city. I stopped thinking for a moment and I just listened: To this music which I had a hand in creating yet felt strangely unfamiliar to me…
For the first time, I listened with intention to the evolving instrumentation and lyrics that I had penned.
And for the first time… in my listening… I heard!
The song ‘Did You Hear It?’ is a song about listening for God’s voice in our lives. Sometimes we make ourselves so busy, we don’t hear it. Sometimes we hear it but we just don’t want to know. The answer wasn’t quite what we were looking for. It isn’t quite the path I wanted. It makes me uncomfortable.
How closed I have been. This song was written with the intention of being an encouragement to everyone who hears it. But in that moment, and for the first time, I knew it was also written for me…
For God to speak to my heart too.
Did you hear it in the wind?
Did you fear it once again?
Did you see it closing in?
Did you wonder if it was for you again?
The answer that you wanted isn’t there for you. You know in time you’ll need to see this thing through.
All Photos © 2016 Anita & Benjamin Tatlow
…is a cold day. Too cold to venture out. Better to stay inside where it’s cosy and warm.
…could be a productive day or it could all go to pot. I don’t know what today has in store for me.
…is not a big day. It is full of little things. Small moments. It’s probably not even worth mentioning most of them.
…is ordinary. Simple. Tuesday.
I am reading a book at the moment called ‘Simply Tuesday’ by Emily P. Freeman. I am listening. I am learning. She reminds me to take note of the small things. To not be rushed. To not look forward to the exciting days of the week like Saturday. To not focus on the exciting life moments but rather to live in the details of the here and now. To embrace the ordinary, the smallness and the simplicity of Tuesday moments.
…small. Unrushed. But very necessary. And I am more than ok with that. In fact, I think I’ll embrace today as being what it is…
“Happy work is best done by the one who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord”. It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.” – C.S. Lewis
All Photos © 2016 Anita & Benjamin Tatlow
In my last post, I looked back on the year that was.
And now here we are. In 2016. My 29th year on this earth is underway and life continues to run before me at a rate of knots. Time seems to be speeding up and there is nothing any of us can do about it. Except to embrace it. Enjoy it. And use it purposefully.
So instead of a resolution as such, I pledge to myself that 2016 is the year I will put myself out there. Beyond my comfort zone.
Let me explain..
Everybody has dreams. You have goals. Things you want to achieve. For me, much of that lies within the music I write together with my husband. And I have to say that as Ben and I sat down to review our year, we were able to see the small steps and sometimes even leaps that we have taken. The progress and, for lack of a better word, success we have seen through our music.
But it feels that much of it was indeed small steps – which is fine. But now it is time to turn those small steps into giant leaps.
But then there’s the fear…
…of rejection mostly. And failure.
For all the work you put in – no-one is interested. All those emails you sent and no-one replied. It happens. Until eventually, someone does reply. Someone who gets you. Who cares about you. Your work. Your art.
And you are encouraged to keep going.
And when I have my down moments – and they will come (usually when I feel the rejection and failure – however small), I will remind myself of these three statements… They will be my mantra (coming from the yogi in me) for 2016:
- Surround yourself with those who believe in you. Your own community. Allow them to build you up.
- “Keep your eyes on the prize” as they say. Aim for that goal – you got this!
- Pray. And the right doors will open.
So no, I don’t have a resolution as such, but I do intend to push myself beyond my comfort zone in my music, my blogging and all my endeavours to see what 2016 really does have in store for me, if I give it a chance. I will knock on those doors and trust that God will unlock the right ones.
2016 is the year! Here goes…
A New Year is a Funny Thing. At the start we make plans, dreams, resolutions. But we never know what is in store.
Looking back on the year that has past can be just as bewildering. Who knew that would happen when 2015 began?
So in the spirit of celebrating the year that has past and looking forward to the new one, I have decided to celebrate the successes of 2015.
Our music came on leaps and bounds…
Back in May, our music was used in the short independent film The Gospel Of Jon and subsequently won the ‘Best Music’ accolade at The Attic Film Festival. As you can imagine, we were pretty happy about this!
And we were honoured that our track ‘Free’ was remixed by the awesome CEDM producer Levi Whalen.
Yes. This happened in August. And we were overwhelmed by the kindness of friends & strangers, both near and far who got behind this project and allowed us to create…
…Our best album yet
Entitled ‘Echoes Of Wonder’. And if you haven’t heard it yet, you can stream it on Spotify or listen to the whole album here.
And were honoured by the positive comments and reviews that came from putting our music out there.
When you create music you invest a huge part of yourself and you make yourself extremely vulnerable. Working as independent musicians can also have its challenges and all of these things have been a great encouragement to us.
Aside from our music, travelling and exploring new places is something we love to do and last year, we were able to travel to some great new places including Austria, Helsinki and Barcelona (I should really get some of those photos up here) as well as exploring some more of what Sweden has to offer. We are also super excited about a big trip we have planned for April this year (more on that in the next post)…
I am continuing in my yoga practice and am hugely enjoying what it offers me physically, emotionally and spiritually. More on this in 2016 too.
All this reflection has left me thinking and wondering about what I want to achieve in 2016. I’m nearly there but I think I will ponder on this for another day or two and then I will put it out there. Dreams, plans, hopes… all of it. It will be here.
And Here are a few snaps from our 2015 trips to Austria and Barcelona:
(Photo Credits: Mostly (and usually) go to my husband Ben Tatlow but also to me now for the Barcelona ones (!) All photos © 2015 Anita and Benjamin Tatlow)