Why I’m passing on the ALS ice bucket challenge
I must admit, I was feeling a bit left out until my friend and fellow pop star Jose Vanders (check out her new song!) nominated me for the ice bucket challenge today.
But, and I hate to join the list of party poopers writing smug blogs about this, I’m going to pass on the ‘challenge’.
- Pulling off a campaign like this isn’t easy. The ALS ice bucket challenge is a total triumph. It’s great to see it raising awareness of ALS / motor neurone disease / whatever you call it where you are, and it’s great that so much money has been raised. I’ve also learned about ALS for the first time ever, thanks mostly to this ice bucket challenge that did the rounds on Upworthy. I’m just nervous that people are making a one-off donation (or simply soaking themselves with no thought about why) and then flicking back to Buzzfeed and forgetting all about it.
- I already support a few charities on a monthly basis, namely charity: water, Christian Aid and Send a Cow. They all do incredible, necessary work. I recommend you check out charity: water’s September campaign, or, better still, sign up to Pipeline, their monthly donations scheme. With that in mind, I’m going to pass on making a donation.
- Please don’t think I’m hating on the ice bucket challenge. It’s great to see so many people getting involved. It’s great to see so much money being raised. And maybe this will be the catalyst for someone getting involved with an ALS-related charity, or another charity – great. But please don’t think you have to wait for a clever social media campaign to start caring about the problems in the world. Find a cause you believe in – something that resonates with you – and get involved today. Whether it’s a monthly donation, doing some campaigning, or signing up to do a sponsored run – whatever it is, you don’t need to wait to be ‘nominated’.
With love and 100% positive vibes!
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?
Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.-
The magnificent Anne Lamott on how to begin becoming the person you were meant to be.
For the past three summers I’ve been lucky enough to play at a magnificent festival called Festivalen Frizon. It’s in a field in the Swedish countryside, kind of close to Örebro. And it’s much more than a festival.
There’s a special energy there. Everyone is friendly and open. And just from playing there a couple of times, I’ve made some incredible friends. Serious BFF stuff. So before this year’s festival, I headed to Gothenburg to hang out with some of them.
I also joined my friends Erik, Linda, Pelle and Sara on their chat show. My job including making up songs about the guests, and reading the Swedish national anthem, in Swedish. (I don’t speak Swedish.)
One of my favourite Swedish bands, Hansam, joined the chat show and I got to play piano for a…heartfelt…rendition of their new single, Aldrig. I have no idea what the words mean but I know that pop music transcends languages and this is a MASSIVE HIT. ♫ Aldrig ♫
The best thing about Frizon is getting to see a ton of amazing bands. Seriously, Sweden is full of them. New favourites this year included:
- IIDA (gorgeous, euphoric pop – punching the sky, sheer elation, I-can-do-anything stuff)
- The Majority Says (indie pop)
- Worthwhile (not Swedish but freaking sweet US hardcore)
- Like Swimming (weird and wonderful indie pop)
- Hansam (hip hop meets pop (hip pop?). Like I said, no idea what the lyrics mean but I can’t. stop. listening)
I had the honour of closing the festival. And although it was well past my bedtime and I told far too many stories about my series of bad American haircuts (I was tired and delirious and didn’t know what was going on, SORRY), it was one of the best shows of my life. If you’d told me when I started making music ten years ago that I’d be singing to a barn full of Swedes in 2014, I’d have laughed in your face. It was an honour and a privilege and all I can say is thank you.