On singing, scarcity, crowdfunding, and more!
“Some of the best opera singers are dumb as a doornail."
They don't let their mind get in the way of their breath." My voice teacher, Tamuz, is teaching me how to breath.
(psst. If you clicked for the free guide on crowdfunding-- skip to the bottom of the page. Now back to this regularly programmed storytletter)
“You have to let the mind get out of the way. Just act like a dumb guppy.”
Tamuz let her mouth go slack, allowed her eyes to wander up and to the left as if staring into nothing, and showed me what it looks like when you just open your mouth and trust that all the air you need will come and provide what is needed to belt out the next note.
I’ve been singing till I’m depleted and out of air, then gasping, sucking it in with desperation before the next note. My voice has become a critical part of the performances and Soul Story work, the resonance creating a form of magic that I can’t begin to explain, so I knew in my bones that I needed to address this running out of air piece.
I just didn’t know why.
I’ve been studying scarcity.
It was no surprise that it showed up in my conversation with money.
I didn’t realize it was so pervasive in my relationship to time.
Or that it lived in my relationships.
Or whispered to me in the kitchen.
But it never occurred to me that it could be living in my breath.
“You’re working too hard,” Tamuz explained.
I couldn’t help but think about how our whole planet is working too hard, and the harder we work, the more resources we use as we stay up late, use more oil as we commute longer hours… We are using so many of our planet’s resources to depletion because we are working too hard.
A few years back I got an idea for a book called, “Dangerous Stories.” I liked the title. But I didn’t know what kind of stories would go in it.
Now I know.
The story of scarcity is a dangerous story.
I really wouldn’t recommend diving in without a belay.
“You aren’t really trying to do this on your own?” Matt asked rather incredulously. Then I realized that this idea that I had to face the darkest parts of my navel gazing on my own was even woven out of the threads of scarcity. Then he showed me a piece written by Tad about how our current model of self reliance and the village making (link below).
I’ve been asking a uncomfortable question: Do I need to blow up the whole foundation and structure that has been built out of scarcity consciousness and start from scratch?
Or can I just build a new platform of prosperity consciousness on top of this foundation?
And I started to realize…I’m not the only one grappling with this question is living deep inside of our collective unconsciousness as we try to imagine what it will take to create a sustainable mode of living on this planet.
Do we need to blow the whole thing up and start again from scratch?
Or can we build on top of an infrastructure that was built and designed based on a depleting resources model-- and find a new way to find balance with the inherent prosperity that this planet is created from?
CROWDFUNDING FROM THE HEART
Meanwhile, I’m putting together the next cohort of crowdfunders. After I ran a couple of kickstarter campaigns people started approaching me for consulting. I love it. I get to put all of my knowledge about online engagement, online communication and strategy, writing and long term community engagement strategy to good work while supportying activists, social do-gooders, and artists manifest their dreams into reality.
I put together this rad video interview series (if I don't say so myself) with some stellar human beings and social good entrepreneurs who have raised from 30K to over 100K and share their systems, techniques, and tricks of the trade. After hosting 6 of these conversations, turns out every single conversation is threaded with the same keys to their success: Love and generosity. I kid you not.
You see, the trick to crowdfunding, is that is has very little to do with asking for money, and everything to do with cultivating a massive field of generosity.
If you want to know more about the logistics, as part of my storyteller community I would love to offer you my 23 page Action Guide on how to crowdfund as a gift. Just email me and I'll send it along.
And if you knowof anyone who is getting ready to launch a campaign, I’m putting together a group of people who can support each other in the process.
Because friends don’t let friends crowdfund alone.
Allison sent me this photo~ inspired by some of the art in the past newsletters. I love it (and her).
A few really great resources out there if you want to keep exploring scarcity:
The Soul of Money (an absolute must read and is also on audio)
The Art of Ask by Amanda Palmer (available on book, audio and a Ted talk)
On Village-Making: The Means and the Ends of Our Personal and Collective Redemption (mentioned above: by Tad Hardgrave)
And if you are in the bay area, Tamuz is one of the most extraordinary voice teachers I know.
May you breathe with the ease of a dumb guppy,
PS: Tamuz swears that the dumb guppy metaphor was created in my honor. It made me laugh so hard it was really hard to sing.
PPS: Thank you to everyone who responds with a little love note after receiving this wild experiment in storyletters. I appreciate every single one.
PPS: Illustrations by April Wilson