beautiful

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year my friends!  There were sure a lot of inspiration quotes on Instagram today.  And I am sappy enough to love every bit of them.  New beginnings and hopeful perspectives, wondering what this year holds and letting 2015 fly away.  Like this T.S. Elliot quote:  

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It really is a beautiful opportunity the let old things pass away and start afresh.  And let me say-  get your hopes up.  Expect good things!   Open your eyes, ears, and heart to the beauty of the present moment, focus on good things, remind yourself of what you are thankful for, and know that whether this year brings challenges or triumphs, it is a brilliant chance to grow and learn.  So much love and blessing on you and yours in 2016, from your friends Pilgrim.  

xoxo

 

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I'm writing this from a little market in Austin, TX. as I drink a kombucha and watch the cars pass on the other side of the window.  I set my drink down on a copy of the Austin Chronicle and smile while Lana Del Ray serenades me through little white ear buds.  My whole body is tingling with an aliveness and sense of victory that, if it were to break through the surface of my calm and publicly appropriate demeanor, would probably reveal itself as the most atrocious football style victory dance or at least high pitched screaming laughter.  Possibly both.  But it remains a buzz pulsating through each individual nerve, lighting up my insides.  I bask in the feeling as if it were a spiritual spa.  I bathe in each sensation with utter satisfaction.  The occasion?  We did it.  After months and months of literal blood, sweat and tears, there is a palpable sense that we've broken through.  A simple transition, as if walking through an invisible veil.  But I don't need my eyes to tell me I've made it.  We are staying in our renovated vintage airstream trailer in an rv park downtown Austin, in a beautiful and fun area.  The air conditioning is finally working in the trailer.  We're fully moved in.  This is our home.  And now, it feels like home.  We've painted, decorated, organized.  We've played a good number of house shows so far and they've been amazing.  All of the sudden everything feels right.  I know now that every time I decided not to give up, it was because I knew I'd get here eventually.  We closed our eyes and jumped into the arms of faith so many times.  We pushed ourselves to live with our hands wide open.  Giving, receiving, flowing, believing.  Believing in everything we hoped would hold weight.  And now, we are victorious.  We are airborne on the winds of love itself.  Even as I try and describe the circumstances that surround this breakthrough I realize that if you look at those alone you may miss what I trying to express to you.  It's deeper, the victory is actually unseen.  It's impossible to describe really.  It's about presence. It's about breathing in the fullness of life, over and over.  It's that I believed something I was told about life, and love, and dreams, and hope.  And it turned out to be true.  

Believe.  Not just in things you desire, but in LIFE.  Life is meant to be incredible and dynamic.  The challenges and victories are the riches.  The letting go is the portal.  The openness and the surrender are the keys.  Ask and you shall receive.  Ask for life.  Ask for the fullness.  Then believe, embrace what comes, and push for the breakthrough.  

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Exiting The Comfort Zone

_MG_0058 1 The thing about getting out of your comfort zone is that it requires you to be, well, UNCOMFORTABLE.  Its fun and exciting to talk about adventure, stepping out, taking chances- feels like the whole world opens up to you and anything is possible.  This usually happens after a big cup of coffee for me.  But when you dive headfirst into your grand adventure, pushing yourself beyond your limits and stretching your own boundaries, it doesn't always feel like standing on the front of the titanic, arms spread wide.  Sometimes it does, but sometimes it feels more like sinking.  You may find yourself tired, nervous, awkward, hot, cold, unsure, scared, broke, homesick, exasperated.. but for some odd reason, these things seem to be the tokens that unlock some of the greatest riches of experience.  The moments that would've never happened inside the boundaries of your soft and pillowy zone of comfort.  Campfires, endless stars, connection, deep conversations, hair blowing in the wind, thrills, passionate kisses, new friendships, breathtaking views, late night giggles, greatness, hope, life.  These things exist beyond the leap of faith of which we often find ourselves teetering on the edge.  Sometimes its a big jump, buried deep in your heart, pulling on you to set it free.  Sometimes its a daily disposition of openness that will reveal the true beauty of the life you already lead.  In every case its a conscious decision to embrace every facet of life with a hunger for the true riches hidden within it all.  Believe in the possibilities and embraces the stuggles as they unlock the joy available.  _MG_0628 _MG_0596 _MG_0587  _MG_0394_MG_0410 _MG_0360 _MG_0343 _MG_0227     _MG_0248   _MG_0411 1_MG_0058_MG_0453 1_MG_0394 1_MG_0327 1_MG_0292_MG_0271 1_MG_0240 1_MG_0171 1_MG_0135 1_MG_0129 1

Failure is Awesome

Or what happens when you take all those pinterest quotes seriously......

We left our house.

We loved that house.  Thinking about that big backyard and the way our daughter would explore it brings an ache to my heart even still.  But there was such a burning at the time.  We couldn't shake the need to break out.  We were falling into a rhythm that didn't match the beat of our heart.

"For what its worth: Its never too late to be whoever you want to be.  I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope that you have the strength to start over." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Why not go out on a limb? Thats where the fruit is." -Mark Twain

"If you want to take a step you have to give up your balance for a moment."

So we left.  We gave up balance.  We gave up things.  Nearly all of them.  Just stuff.  No big deal.  We had each other.

We moved into a small windowless basement in Aaron's parents' house.  We were thrilled, if a little nervous.  The amazing part was that the basement was all set up as a recording studio, ready to go.  It didn't take long for dots to connect and the perfect producer to come across our path- an old friend who had the skills, the vision, the feel and the interest.  He just needed the space.  We had the space.  Aaron's mom was happy to spend time with Magnolia while we recorded.  Things were lining up.  We had so much fun creating our six-song E.P.

Then, right after we wrapped up recording, certain events (which I may take the time to describe later but not right now) forced us to leave that place pretty quickly and unexpectedly.  We spent a couple weeks at Aaron's sister's house, then a couple months at my sister's house.  Letting go of so much, giving up home, bouncing around and facing challenge after challenge, even cutting my long hair as a symbol of the change and our commitment, was leading me on a journey of growing and learning.  The goal was and is- non-circumstantial peace.  I've written about this before.  To grow in inner strength to the point that external forces cannot shake that peace or determine my happiness.  Ultimately, though I kicked and screamed at moments, I reveled in the challenge, like a weight-lifter endures the pain knowing that the muscle will be built.  I felt like a caterpillar in a cocoon.  My mind was blown at discovering what happens to a caterpillar during metamorphosis.  Everything that was the caterpillar disintegrates into a liquid, the only information remaining being the "imaginal discs", from which the butterfly- a completely different creature- is created.  I was ready to be made new.

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." -Nelson Mandela

"Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place."

We began to consider a move to California.  We felt a draw out west.  So we took a trip.  We had a few meetings- they went great.  Label interest, publishing interest, movie placement possibilities.  Oh yeah and Aaron got a job as the video director for the 2014 Tom Petty tour.  Things were feeling right again.  We were high and higher.  Driving around L.A., the whole world was laid out before us on a platter.  I guess that's the nature of that beautiful temptress of a city.  I adore high moments like that though.  I let those feelings blossom to their fullest, when they decide to appear.  You know those moments.  They make you dance, they make you sing, they make you scream.  And I let them.  I love them.  Regardless of the inevitable mundane that was to be my next three months.

There was no hollywood glamour involved in moving back in with Aaron's parents when he went out on the three month long tour.  There were, however, a lot of simple, slow, beautiful summer days with my daughter.  Going to the park and my mom's house over and over and over.  Talking, painting, reading, giggling.  And more chances to grow.  Some very long nights.  Lots of lonely evenings.  A gentle fog of sadness at missing my love.  Doing all the things myself that I had learned to rely on him for.  Melting, morphing, growing.

When he finally returned, we drove straight to TX and bought our airstream.  We were wind-in-your-hair and sun-on-your-face happy again.  We began to develop our plan.  Our dream.  Traveling, playing music, living life, going slow, being together, meeting people, filming, creating.  We decided to keep the renovation to the trailer minimal in order to get on the road as quickly as possible.  January 1st was the goal.  The new year came and went.  There was more to do.  March was the new goal.  Came and went.  Unexpected issues with the trailer.  Had to dig deeper.  Waiting, changing plans, adjusting, more growing.

"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest."

"If your dreams don't scare you they aren't big enough."

It was taking as much courage as I could muster to dive into such an unknown adventure, but then on top of that, all this start-stop business had me almost tearing my hair out!  Almost.

We continued pushing forward.  Working hard.

April.  Spring.  Here we are now.

After all of that.  Everything we had been working and building towards.  The highs, the lows, the expectations, the learning, the working, pushing, resting, praying, holding open our hands, believing... We find ourselves here.  And what here feels like is a big fat failure.  Even as I write this I kinda know, all is not lost.  But man, it doesn't feel great.  Without going into all the details, it seems as if we may actually have to start over on the trailer.  Many people gut and completely rebuild these vintage airstreams- we chose not to because, like I said, we were rarin' to go.  We simply built it out to a livable extent and called it a "work in progress".  But now, we may have to start over.  Its not clear how we will move forward.  We have no bearing on what this will take.  Our resources are tapped.  Our plans have flopped.  We're still living with family.  We gave up so much.  What do we have to show?  Failure.

But then I remember...

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried."

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."

"Those who dare to fail miserably, can achieve greatly."

"When something goes wrong in your life just yell 'plot twist!' and move on" (new personal fave)

"Failure is proof that you tried.  Now go try again."

Oh, inspirational quotes by famous and unknown people, you've done it again.  You've filled me with gumption.  Ok, here we go.  We will find a way to replenish.  We will find a way to start over.  We will find a way to keep going.  There is no other option.  We are still working on our new plan, but we know we will make it to the shows we've already booked.  We will do what it takes to get the airstream road-ready and we will live this dream of ours.  We will see this accomplished.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far.  Along with Pinterest quotes, we'd be lost without the wonderful support and encouragement we've received from our friends and family.  We love you!

[Plot twist!]

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The Creative Force

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Pilgrim "You For Me" Video | Happy Valentines Day

Once upon a time, after finishing my shift at the sushi restaurant where I worked as a hostess, I ran over to a little venue called 12th and Porter to say hi to a friend before going home to get off my feet after a long day. I rushed inside and found that I had missed the band, but I wasn't too concerned.  I said hi to my friend Pricilla and she immediately introduced me to a couple of fellas.  Conversation with one of them came quickly and easily and we were joking and bantering in a matter of moments.  My interested was piqued and my plans for the evening changed.  We talked until 3 in the morning. Five or so years later, he and I wrote this song together as we watched our daughter crawl across the floor after a toy.

Happy Valentines Day. Enjoy.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9AHPvzmkmk&w=560&h=315]

 

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