My Music


Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite songs of 2012

What were your favorite songs of 2012? Before the New Year rings in I'm going to try to name my top 10. Here goes in no particular order:

10) John Mayer // Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967 // "Cause when you're down with this world, the next is up to you"

Can't say enough of the genius of this man's lyricism. Never would've thought a song about a submarine would be so relatable. Comment if you like!

9) Ingrid Michaelson // Do It Now // "Don't waste a minute on the darkness and the pity sitting in your mind and do it right now"

For the procrastinator in all of us... Wasn't a huge fan of this album, but this song got me going in the morning/during my commute.

8) Kimbra // Good Intent

I loved everything about this... I could post 10 Kimbra songs but I just picked one. She is stunning.

Friday, September 28, 2012


I am writing my thoughts in response to a facebook thread regarding this post by the lovely Kylee Shields.

I have watched both of Brene Brown's Tedx Talks on this over and over and have tried to understand this in my own context and life.  I think Todd put it beautifully, "vulnerability is a preemptive declaration of forgiveness that we offer to those we meet."  Ah, SO TRUE! With much love and respect to Daniel Woolston, whose ideas and opinions I often deeply cherish, I disagree with the statement, "when you care about someone so much that you start caring more about the other person than you do about yourself, precisely BECAUSE you know that they will do the exact same thing in return."  It's a beautiful thought.  But, I guess I feel like there is more to the picture.

I used to think of love this way.  I realized that subconsciously I was trying to love myself through someone else.  If I can love them and give them all of me, and they can provide that in return, then I can feel the love that I was truly craving for myself.  When I put it like that, it just sounded selfish.  Instead now I think of loving another as, "I'll be better for ME, for you. And you be better for YOU, for me."

We need to stop associating vulnerability with weakness.   We need to stop associating vulnerability with being needy.  Vulnerability is the willingness to love, embrace, forgive, accept, trust, and have faith in God, ourselves and others without a NEED for anything in return.  What???! No need for ANYTHING?! But we all have basic needs right?  We all need God's love. We all need to feel connected.  We all need to be loved, right?  I often think I have a great ability to love people unconditionally.  Then, I get hurt.  And I get upset that I get hurt.  Why did I get hurt?  Because I had a condition... "I will love you completely and utterly 100% BUT in order to be whole myself, I have a need for YOU to be a certain way. I have a need for YOU to love me back.  I have a need for YOU to accept me.  I have a need for YOU to never let me down, etc. etc."  Well, sure, we have a basic desire for these things.  That's not wrong.  Surely you expect your spouse to be faithful, your parent to love you and support you and not abuse you, your friends to be loving and true.  That is what they're SUPPOSED to do, right?  Well, what if they don't?  Can you still love them unconditionally?  Can you still be vulnerable? What if they are hurting us?  Are we not supposed to love and have compassion on those who willfully hurt us?                                                                                                                  

I then look to Christ's example.  Does Christ love us unconditionally?  Yes. Does Christ love us even when we don't love Him back?  Yes.  So much so that He suffered and died to atone for each of us.  Even in the midst of being scoffed, scorned, afflicted and crucified, receiving the cruelest the world could provide he uttered a prayer of forgiveness to His offenders.  So, would Christ deem it wrong to love others who are not reciprocating that love?                                                                  

I suppose THAT to me is the true meaning of vulnerability.  Showing up in full love, truly willing to give of oneself with the complete acceptance that that person may fully reject you, even willfully hurt you.  That thought may seem disempowering, but there are some key things to know in order to embrace this mode of operating.                                                                                                                                                    

A) You are completely worthy of love, with absolutely no condition.  You are completely enough, perfect, even, on a soul level. Sure, imperfect on a human level, but your true identity is always enough and always full of worth.  Nobody's rejection of you can take that away.  Do you think God mopes around and starts thinking about how terrible He is when someone doesn't love Him?  NO! He sends MORE love!!!!!                                                                                                                                                                                

B)  Everything you need will always be provided for you.  If you need love, it will be there.  The problem is, we fixate on HOW, WHERE or WHO that is going to show up from.                                                                      

C) We must not close ourselves off to RECEIVING.  It is vulnerable to receive love when we don't feel worthy of it, when we feel weak, when we feel inadequate OR, when we deem vulnerability and receiving as weakness or inadequacy.   You must make yourself vulnerable (not WEAK!) to receive love where love IS.   You do this by loving yourself first and knowing that you are worthy to receive.

D) When we show up in that kind of love, by law, God brings us more of it.  Love, beauty, miracles, soul expansion, abundance, joy, creation and every beautiful and empowering thought/feeling you can have find their way to us because that is a reflection of who we are BEing.  The people who are here to love us and the work we came here to do will show up because of our complete willingness to receive and to take the risk of being vulnerable.                                                                                                            

E) Certain people will NOT have the ability to show us the love we desire (maybe ever, or maybe just at the time we met them in life). I believe there is a divine reason for this. We must first seek this love from God and then from ourselves (WITHIN!)  Then we don't NEED it from anyone (OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES!) God will show it to us anyway through infinite ways, people, experiences. I believe part of our mission in this life is to discern where love is NOT.                                                                                                                                                                      

F) In discerning where love is NOT, we may want to put up boundaries.  These boundaries are not to shun people, they are to accept people where they are and the capability they have to show up in love.  When you truly love yourself and realize someone else's pain is causing them to try to hurt you, you then get to choose whether to have compassion on them.  You can know it has nothing to do with you. It is their own pain projected onto you.  How much more do you want to show them love knowing that their pain is causing them such disharmony and fear?                                                                                                                              

G) Forgiveness.  We came here to experience forgiveness.  Another divine purpose for meeting those who cannot provide the love we desire.  Anytime we have a problem in our lives, something or someone is calling, beckoning even, to be forgiven.  Often that person is ourselves.  The true key to letting go and loving with complete vulnerability even to those who are SUPPOSED to love us and are NOT, is forgiveness.  It's releasing the NEED for someone to be a certain way or validate us and loving them for who and where they are in this moment.                                                                                                                                        

In summary, I think vulnerability is knowing who you are and loving yourself fully and completely, embracing that God loves you fully and completely and being willing to love others fully and completely without condition.  "Love thy neighbor AS thyself."  Why?  Because we are all one here.  When I love me, I love you.  When I lift you, I lift me.  It's being unafraid of weakness, inadequacy, rejection. It's about trusting, believing and knowing that you will receive all the love you need (GOD IS ABOUNDING IN IT!!!) from whatever source will serve you best and that the pain you receive from others is here to teach you a lesson---HOW TO LOVE & FORGIVE MORE i.e. BE MORE LIKE CHRIST.                                                                                    

Vulnerability is empowering.  Vulnerability is forgiving.  Vulnerability is love.                                                

I strive to be the kind of person who can hold all of that love in my heart and embrace the good and the bad in others knowing it is only a reflection of the good and the bad in me.  I strive to love myself and love others without condition.  I strive to have compassion on those who are not showing up in love, but instead in fear.  I strive to be willing to be on the receiving end.  I'm thankful for those who have showed up needing love and forgiveness.  It has shown me where I have need of loving and forgiving myself.                                                                                                                                                              

I hope to love and create from this space.  The possibilities seem endless.  And joy and gratitude are the predominating states of being there.  We need to remember we are already whole.  We are here to be our highest expression of love.  We do this by being vulnerable: "capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt" and walking away with MORE expansion for love, acceptance and forgiveness.  So...there's yaknow...some of my thoughts... :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Enlightenment on the Road

I tend to receive tidbits of thought enlightenment while running.  This was today's:

Lessons For Life and Running

  • When running, it is best to set a goal.  If you want to, you can run aimlessly, but you will only run to the point that you have conditioned yourself to.  i.e. if you don't set a goal, you will most likely only run the distance that you are comfortable at running.  For some of us, that is zero. i.e. you will never improve. Likewise, in life, if you want a NEW experience, to stretch yourself or to reach a better destination than you have already reached, you must set a goal.  Don't run around aimlessly in life without one!!! If I had not set a goal to reach the stop sign at the top of that huge hill today and had not kept my eye on it the whole time, there is no way I would have made it to the top.  I would have stopped when my body got tired.  (which was not even halfway!) Even if you can't see clearly what your final destination is, imagine what it would FEEL like when you get there.  And keep moving!!!
  • In life, like running, if you stop for too long you'll have to work to get back in shape.  Don't get discouraged.  Just start again.  That's why it's called exercise.  Each time you are applying/practicing/testing.  We have to keep doing it.  (Yes, it is worth it!)
  • Don't be afraid of the gag reflex when you reach your destination.  It just means you gave it your all.  You will be less afraid of that feeling the next time you get to that point.
  • Good music really helps along the way :)  Today's pick-me-up: Rihanna // We Found Love

Ironically, when I reached the top of the hill and to that stop sign I kept my eye on the whole time, I looked down and found this stamped on the sidewalk. :)  Enlightenment is the destination.  Happy running!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Snow Storm

In early March, two friends/fellow songwriters and I headed to Santa Barbara for the Durango Songwriter Expo.  We were slated to leave Wednesday night, drive 5-6 hours from Salt Lake City to Vegas, sleep, get up and drive the remaining 7-8 hours to the expo and get there in time for the event to start Thursday night.  My roommate and I of course were running behind schedule so we didn't pull out of our house in SLC until 8 PM, and then we spent the next hour trying to unclog my windshield fluid hose with an aerosol air can---which didn't work.  So we gave up and left SLC at 9PM when suddenly giant snowflakes began falling heavily from the sky.  The snow, in combination with the lack of wiper fluid and the lateness of our departure made for undesirable conditions, but we decided to make a decision about whether or not to take off that night once we reached Provo an hour south where we were picking up our other friend.

The snow was somewhat drive-able for the hour drive but conditions seemed to only be getting worse.  And, they were supposed to stay bad all night and all morning so there really wasn't a good window for us to get out of town and make it to the expo on time.  Circumstances as they were, my two friends were a little hesitant to make the trip, but I was determined.  I really don't know what had taken over me in that moment, but I was completely full of faith that we would make it and continue on until we got there.

The trip wasn't easy by any means.  We spent most of the night going 20 miles an hour.  It took us about 10 hours to get to Vegas, almost twice as long as it should have.  There were cars in ditches every few hundred feet it seemed and when we FINALLY spotted a snow plow it was heading in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION! Semi-trucks whirled by us in my little Honda Civic dumping large amounts of snow and ice on our windshield which only made the visibility go from little to NONE until I could wipe it off.  Luckily, the snow was wet enough that if we kept the wipers on, I still had a patch I could see through well enough.  However, there were a few sections on the road when ice covered all visibility and the wipers couldn't seem to break it up.  We had originally devised a plan to pour wiper fluid out of the car window with a cup if that ever happened, and we quickly found out that plan was a bust!  I had about an inch I could see through if I ducked down and that was IT!  For almost 5 hours all we could catch of the view ahead was about 2-5 feet and then darkness.  And what we could see in those two feet looked like we were going through hyperspace.

My friends were a little uneasy the entire time, but I felt very calm and peaceful.  My heart was assured that we would make it there if we just continued on, slow and steady.  I wasn't worried at all in the face of quite a lot of danger.  We stopped near Beaver and talked about getting a motel room for the night.  However, we talked to a gas station attendant who informed us people heading from the other direction said that it would clear up in about 20 miles.  We just had to get through a canyon (which sounded much scarier than it actually was.)

Lesson #1:  Don't give up too soon!  We made it all the way to the end of the storm and almost decided to stop for the night.  It ended up only being about 20 minutes of driving till the road cleared and the snow tapered off.  20 minutes!!! After almost 6 hours of driving!  Sometimes the end is just right around the corner.  Press on!

Well, we did continue on and pulled into Vegas at 6 AM, stopped for a brief nap until 10 or 11 and continued driving to our destination 8 hours away.   Just a little bit tired ;)

Lesson #2:  My roommate was quite shocked at how calm I was during the entire ordeal.  Though a little petrified herself, she cheered me on and even tried to buy me whatever I wanted/needed at the gas station to keep me motivated.  Because of conversations we had had prior to this, she knew that I have at times struggled with overcoming stage fright and having what I would consider good stage presence.  She said to me, "You faced that deadly storm like it was no thing and you're afraid to get up in front of a few hundred people and sing???!!"  Huh.  Good point.  When I got up to sing that night in front of my peers and industry professionals, I remembered the storm and bravely stood up to my fear of performing in front of people.  It wasn't until later when I was talking to a mentor friend of mine and relayed this story that she added further clarity on the storm analogy.  Kindly, she pointed out, "Yeah Catherine, but the storm wasn't going to not love you if you didn't make it through."  ...Bingo...  Though this is a subject for another day and another blog post, learning to love myself through every stage, every disappointment, every storm has been a big part of my work over the last year.  I'm still learning, practicing and growing in my ability to do this.  But I'm pretty certain these harsh lessons I've been going through are because this message is something I need to share.  It's part of my purpose.  And, I will.  Stay tuned.

Lesson #3:  The third part of this showed up today, actually.  Although, if I really think about it, it's shown up multiple times, I just didn't see it fully until today.  I have thought about the storm analogy many times since having this experience.  I have thought about how easy it was for me to feel assured during that whole process, but in real life, I fear putting in the work through such an arduous climb and then ending up in the ditch anyway.  I feared moving forward.  I feared feeling ANYTHING, because what if I move forward with faith, trusting to make it through the 10 hours and then I end up in the ditch anyway?  Life truly felt like it had played me this card over the last 12 months.  I had worked and worked and worked SOO hard to become better, lose weight, make myself available, become a morning person (not an easy thing for me), make an album, put myself "out there" in more ways than one, open up to love, love fully with all of my heart, trust another human, trust God with all of my heart and do whatever He asked me to do (and I really did whatever He asked me to...with full intent) and I felt like after all that, I got thrown in the ditch.  

I posed this hypothetical, non-rhetorical question to a relative of mine that is a healer today and she said, "So, the 'problem' is, you can't (don't) see the progress you made in those 9 hours of driving.  You don't see how far you got in those 9 hours before you ended up in the ditch."  .....No, well, I guess not.

My dad had actually asked me to take an inventory about a year ago and write down all of the good that had come from me taking the journey I had over the year prior.  The truth is, I made a LOT of progress.  I learned A LOT.  My list is quite long, but most importantly, I helped another person find value in themselves.  I grew closer to God than I had ever been in my life.   I loved unfeigned.  As painful as it was to have that love rejected, what was worse was the belief that it instilled in me, a belief based in lies, even the evidence was twisted around from truth and reality in order to back up the belief:  You are not enough.  You are not worthy. You are not loved. You will never be loved.  You are not beautiful.  Therefore, you are not worthy of love.


I drove 9 hours through a snow storm to end up in the "I don't love myself" ditch.  And, what's worse is, once there, I didn't see how far I'd come.  I truly believed it would have been better for me to stay home and not make any journey at all than to end up where I did.

But, I believe God cares less about the ditches we fall into and more about our overall progress.  He cares less about what we would call successes and failures, and more about what He sees as our growth and improvement.  He knows the ditch is temporary.  He also knows that the ditch is teaching me an extremely important lesson.  One which I will carry with me to avoid future ditches, potholes and wrong turns.

I've learned a lot of lessons over the past year.  And, I assume I will continue to learn and grow even more through this sometimes painful, arduous process of life. 

 Oh, and one more important lesson I've learned.  "Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success" --Napoleon Hill.  

I'm super stoked for the upside of these trials.  In every thing there is an opposite...which means through the bitter and the sorrow, there must be an EQUAL capacity for joy, gladness and success.  I look forward to that while also being grateful for the nine hours I made it down the road already.  Who knows, twenty more minutes and we could be out of this storm :).


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

1 AM Thoughts: Mirror, Mirror

Sometimes it feels like I just keep bumping up against myself.  Instead of the usual "brick wall" we usually refer to when we come up against a problem that seems to be slowing us down, mine is a mirror, reflecting back to me my own imperfections and weaknesses, the problems that don't seem to get fixed or the ones I can't seem to accept.   It feels like a hard lesson to face, getting to the point of breakthrough and getting knocked back down again.  But somehow I know each time it toughens and makes weak things stronger. Someday I'm gonna break through and shatter that mirror, and when I walk past them, all images thrown at me will not distract or deter me from my purpose.  I'll simply walk on past them straight to my goal.



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Opening Up

As one of my 5 readers, you may have noticed that, I haven't written in a while.  I can't really say (no pun intended) why this is.  I posted in the last few months about having a "broken mouth" and this is truly how I feel a lot of the time.  It's not that I don't have anything to say.  I have so much to say.  It's almost gotten to the point that it's painful that I can't say it.  I have several partially formulated drafts just sitting in my blog account and even more wheeling around in my mind.  And I don't know why I can't speak.  But for the sake of, at least energetically speaking, being available to and willing to change that story, I'm gonna start.  And it may come out awkwardly at first.  And I may need to make a few midnight ramblings like this one.  But I'm hoping I'll have something concrete to say about what I've learned over the last year or so, and where my journey is now.  And, as sometimes painfully transparent as that is, I hope you'll go with me.


I have been extremely nostalgic lately.  It seems like everywhere I turn something reminds me of the past: times, that, no matter how eventful or gray or up or down, are held in this beautiful space for me that when indulged in thought for too long is almost too much to hold.  I've been honoring that by leaning into it a little bit.  I made a playlist of songs that bring me back to that "place" in time, which I of course entitled Nostalgia.  I started calling friends I miss, recalling old adventures to mind, old mindsets, beautiful moments, not so beautiful moments.  It began with missing the two and a half(ish) transforming and beautiful years I spent in Arizona from May 09-Jan 12.  I miss going on a run on a beautiful, warm January day.  I miss the open skies and breathtaking sunsets and sunrises.  I miss the Mesa temple.  I miss my friends. My friends!!!! If you're reading this, I miss you.  Finer things club, Scottsdale art walks, indie movie nights, long bike rides by the canal at night, neighborhood bike rides, thai food, Tempe town lakes, running! so much running, music nights, long talks... it goes on.  After leaning into this, I began missing summers in Portland, my childhood in San Diego, beach camping in Carlsbad, Balboa Park.  All of these times, though not always momentous, felt magical and I am missing that.

I've been leaning into the feeling and acknowledging its presence.  However, because of a lot of the "work" I've done to get to where I am now, I understand that the past is not real.  Because, the only "time" that is real is right NOW.  The past is only a memory of a recent or distant present.  We can never go back into the past, because we can only exist in the present moment.  If I went back to any of these places right now (physically speaking), I may or may not have a magical experience, but the point is that it would be a new experience, it would be a present experience.  I realize that I have to bring the magic into where I am now.  Because there may be a day that I will be missing the exact moment I'm in, the time when I lived in the "pirate ship" (what we call our house) in Salt Lake City and all of the ups and downs of this present moment.  And I wouldn't want to live this or remember this experience with my head stuck in the (past) clouds.

I told my roommate my situation the other day and she made an insightful comment that went something like, "nostalgia comes up when we don't have a clear picture of what's coming up next."  Essentially, our minds don't know what's up ahead so we delve into the past for whatever we're wanting the present/future to be.  Whether we're searching for connection, for meaning, purpose, friends, or for life to be "magical" as I put it, we'll go looking for it in the past because it's all our mind knows.  I feel fortunate to have such a smart roommate.  I'm not mad at my nostalgia or the fact that it's showing up something fierce right now.  My past memories are beautiful things that I want to cherish and remember.  But I also know for a fact that my path right now is super unknown.  I'm moving forward, with hope and somewhat of a vision that I'm formulating for myself, and with a desire to create some new and wonderful things in my life.  But as scary and exciting as it is (two adjectives that completely describe my life right now), there are some days when I don't know what my life will look like two days from now let alone two months or twelve months.  It feels like taking two steps into the darkness hoping that the light will follow.  And it requires faith to do so.  So I step into the darkness, staying true to what I know, how I feel, and what I believe, having full determination that this synchronous rhythm I'm following will lead me to where I want to go.  And that's my story for now.

Thanks for listening.  Please comment if you have any thoughts.

"I do not ask to see the distant scene, one step enough for me."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Living the Questions

Lately I've been feeling like there is so much to be worked on, changed, healed in order to get to where I want to go in life.  I keep thinking if I can just shift one thing that everything else would fall into place.  The unimportant things would sift themselves out and the really important things would effortlessly align through me focusing and acting on that one thing.  So I keep looking around for the answer.  Really, I keep looking inside, because I know the answers are always within.  There's nothing that we need outside of ourselves to get to where we want to go.  Yet, the answers seem to evade.  Suddenly I thought of this quote by Rainer Maria Wilke,

"...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

How difficult do we make our lives by resisting the questions?  How else are we to know what our soul, our heart is telling us unless we dig into that inner space and ask? I'm making it my new mission to ask the questions before looking for the answers.  It's no coincidence that the motto for this year so far has been to "find out."  Let's live the questions, and get excited for what we might find.



Thursday, April 12, 2012

measuring a good way

Dad told me to take a self inventory today.  In what ways have I measured up, showed up, given service?  Who have I touched?  What qualities have I developed and expressed?  

What would be on your list?

Expressing the positive of things always brings you more of what you want.  So I'm starting here.


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Daylight

I don't know how this guy does it.  His music tears at my heart but I can't stop listening.  Sounds like most of my relationships. Ha.  Can't wait for this EP to come out on this coming Tuesday!

Listen more here:

Friday, February 17, 2012

broken mouth

I have so much to say right now. So much incubating inside.  And right now words seem like the most futile expression.  Maybe it's time to take up painting again.  Or maybe I will write about this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is all around.

Loving self. Surrounding others with love. Receiving. Filling the spaces between with light and love.  These are things I have been focusing on more recently.  When I woke up today my thoughts were far from any lack of love or relationship in my life, which many "singles" often succumb to on this sometimes dreaded and strange holiday.  I actually forgot it was even a holiday. 

Nonetheless, today was still deeply satisfying and looked something like this:

-woke up
-positive affirmations
-oat bran & berries
-lemon tea
-family text session
-coaching call
-reaching out to a friend
-playing with beautiful, laughing children
-receiving an aromatherapy kit of amazingness from employer just to say thank you & happy V day...score.
-listening to "One and Only" by Adele on repeat during my entire roundtrip commute
-stopped at the store: back to nature fudge mint cookies--soo good, coconut milk "ice cream" entitled "Naked Coconut" (the name sealed the deal)--organic & fair trade! we're getting super healthy & politically aware up in here, 3 shades of pink nail polish (why not?), meatless chicken tenders, coconut milk, vine ripe tomatoes, asparagus.... the essentials.
-came home to a surprise card from my roommates encouraging more random lip action in my life (featured above)
-candle lit, music, room cleaning, aromatherapy
-chat session with roommate
-chillaxing on bed in newly cleaned, sweet smelling room

even though it's midnight I feel like the most loving choice right now would be to head over to the gym and spend a few minutes on the treadmill with some new tunes I just bought in my headphones followed by a session in the steam room...which let's be honest is the real reason I bought a gym pass ... is that bad? ;)

The best part of today (besides the fudge mint cookies) was hearing Bubba's (18 mos) laughter fill the room.  We had fun today.  There is nothing more beautiful and loving than the smile of a child.

Love is all around.  Can you feel it?