Creativity Inspires Leadership

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The beautiful thing about my songwriting  workshops is that they take on a life of their own. I barely have to plan because only the slightest nudge is needed for young people to open their hearts and express what is inside. Young Songwriter Rio who is 8 years old has not only written several songs over the past few weeks but has also become a mentor and coach to others who are more introverted. She helps adjust microphones, set up percussion, design posters and offer support and encouragement to those who are recording vocal tracks which requires great vulnerability and courage. Kids like Rio make my job less of a leader and more of an assistant.

Here is what Rio’s mother has to say about her daughter’s experience in the Young Songwriting Workshops. I’m blessed and grateful to receive these words..

“We are so pleased with the work that Havilah has done with our daughter during their songwriting workshops.  Havilah has a great gift and real talent for helping kids express their creativity through songwriting, singing & music.  I have seen my daughter gain confidence and a new love of music while working with Havilah. When they are making music together the flow is incredible to see.  I highly recommend Havilah’s class!”

Letting go and coming alive

IMG_20140218_120440“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Four weeks ago I packed everything I could fit into a 1996 Kia Sportage and left my life in Austin, TX for a valley in the North Cascade mountain range in Washington State. It was a tough decision but in the end there really wasn’t a question. There aren’t many things in this life that I feel sure about. What I am sure of is that singing and writing songs is as much a part of me as breathing. I am sure that being around kids strengthens my soul enough to weather most confrontations I have with adult egos including my own. I am sure that it will always be extremely difficult for me to be anything other than myself. I am sure that if I don’t spend the majority of my time doing something that I enjoy and that I find exciting and purposeful, that I will slowly die.

I made the choice that served every desire (besides money) my heart was longing for. More time singing, more time being creative with kids, more fresh air, less time in traffic, less time recuperating from a job that would deplete my creative energy rather than strengthen it, I got in the car and drove forty hours through the desert and the sunset colored hills of California and through the wet forests of southern Oregon back to my heart so I could BE alive instead of TRYING to be alive. Life has a way of making us think that there is always something more or different that we could be if only we tried harder. I find more and more that by accepting who I am in this moment and embracing it wholly brings me the closest to realizing my full potential.

As many others, I have often made the mistake of comparing my life to other’s, scrutinizing my choices and wondering why “normal” things like family, a steady job and home have never happened. I’m eternally grateful to whatever higher consciousness has helped me to see that our most precious belonging, our greatest treasure is our story. With its beauty and intrigue, heartbreak and strange twists and turns….this what we have to share with each other. When we find a way to share our selves and our most authentic story with the world, whether its through writing, singing, teaching, building a house or bombing down a snowy mountain..this is when we truly come alive and are serving the greater good of humanity.

I have a lot to say these days so stay tuned. I hope to take advantage of these chilly nights and early mornings by writing my story and sharing it with you.