"Let's start a new habit of waking, walking, breathing, singing
"Thank You!" for everything..."

- from "Habit" by Amanda West

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- Fall 2016 Update -

Autumn is always such a magical time of year. I love the golden light, and the inspiring wisdom of the trees, dropping their leaves, letting go of all they do not need. I continue the practice of seeking balance in all I do, working to determine which things are the leaves to let go of, and which are the branches to strengthen. Sometimes the answer is different depending on the day.

This summer I produced a live studio album for the Womb Song project (www.womsbong.com) I co-lead. Eight wonderful singing mamas went into the studio, and in just a few short months, under the skilled hands of engineer/producer Pete Coates, we released a collection of chants, lullabies and simple songs for “birthing, mothering and living.” This one too will be up online soon, and for the moment is available for purchase at our monthly Womb Song circles, 3rd Monday of each month, at the Pacific Cultural Center in Santa Cruz.

Around the time that album was being finished up, I completed the final edits on my chapter “The Benefits of Singing Through Pregnancy, Birth & Post Partum”, which will be published in a book called “Music & Motherhood” by Demeter Press, due out in 2017. I cannot wait to read the rest of it! I am delighting in discovering a growing community of parent artists, and have recently become an associate artist of the Digital Institute for Early Parenthood (http://www.diep.org.uk/). There has been a longtime myth that the artist’s path and the parent’s path are mutually exclusive, but I seem to have found myself in a 21st century movement to change that.

I have been enjoying putting music into practice as a healing art form, singing for ceremonies & celebrations, spiritual services, meetings bringing awareness to environmental issues, and gatherings that build, strengthen and uplift community. I feel the medicinal power of music too when working with my private students. We are not just learning to play guitar, write a song, or sing with a full voice, we are learning how to learn, how to feel, how to live, how to be human! And I learn as much every day as my students do, and I am so grateful for it.

The creativity and inspiration continues to flow, new songs keep coming through, new projects in the works. If you are not on it already, please join my mailing list for monthly newsletters about the latest happenings, with a little does of philosophical heart musings on the side.

Wishing you & your loved ones a beautiful autumn, and peaceful hunkering down into the rest of wintertime.