Living The Dream verus Chasing The Dream

Guest blog post from Renae: our podcast guest (listen to her interview here), a singer, songwriter, and conscious pop artist.

“Hey 5 Seconds of Summer just told me it’s official, they are releasing our song on their new album!!” my co-writer friend, Mike, told me.

“OMG NO WAY, that’s amazing, I’m so excited!!” I screamed.

I was really happy, it was one of my biggest cuts as a songwriter to date. I knew they would sell a million albums worldwide and one of my songs would be on it, how cool.

I picked up the album on release day , blasted it in the car with my friend, and was on a high for the night. The next day however, I had a moment. I was sitting in my room holding the album in my hands thinking, “Okay…so the happiness is already fading…now what…shit… I really don’t want to do this anymore.”

By ‘do this’ I meant continuing to play the songwriting game.

My life consisted of songwriting sessions, where I  chased placement after placement, and I wasn’t enjoying it. Most of sessions left me in a state of major anxiety and no idea how to deal with it. I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy, because on paper, everything looked GREAT! I was friends with celebrities, working with the biggest artists in the world, and in a creative profession.

I was technically living the dream, right? Maybe in other people’s eyes, maybe in our culture’s eyes, BUT NOT IN MINE.

Soon after, everything came crashing down…. Suddenly one of my production partners passed away from cancer, leaving me  stunned and heartbroken; I really didn’t know how to process it. I started questioning everything about life. How could he have died? What was I doing with my life? Why was I not happy?

My soul was tugging at me to stop and re-assess my life. My head was telling me that I would be crazy to stop working, and if I walked away then I’d blow my career as a musician forever. I ended up telling everyone on my team I needed some time away. I took a break and started to do some soul searching…

Soul searching started with turning off my rational mind and letting my heart and intuition lead me around for awhile.

It first lead me to a few books, “The Power Of Now” by Eckhart Tolle and “The Untethered Soul” By Michael Singer. It then led me to a transpersonal counselor to talk things out with, then to a silent meditation retreat where I was silent for 6 days with 100 like-minded women. Soul searching then led me on frequent trips to beautiful places like Sedona, AZ and Joshua Tree, CA where I connected deeper with myself, nature, and healing Gurus.

And while this transition was rough and confusing, I started feeling something amazing happening to me. I started feeling inner peace for the first time in a long time, learning how to adjust my mindset, connecting with a greater purpose, and tuning back into my true self that I had lost over the years. I was on my own Eat, Pray, Love journey, and it was unfolding so, so beautifully.

On New Year’s Eve that year, my husband Matt and I decided to visit Sedona and bring in the new year with a meditation group. There was a harp player at the event that lead us through a musical chakra meditation. She explained how we have 7 chakras in the body and that each of them resonate with a certain musical note. As we all sat there vibrating to beautiful harp sounds, I had a light bulb moment…..

We should make our own album, about the chakras, but with pop music! I was so inspired by the idea, realizing it would be the first of it’s kind, combining new age healing concepts with pop music.

How powerful!

And that’s exactly what unfolded over the next year; my artistry as RENAE was born along with my first album, Align, a pop music album lyrically and sonically tuned to the 7 chakras. Creating this album was the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had and here’s why:

  • I did it all with my husband who I love SO much
  • I was free to express and sing the way I truly wanted to
  • The album carried a deeper purpose of collective healing
  • This was a completely different experience than my prior songwriting job and I was loving every moment of it

I soon realized that RENAE was more than this chakra album, it was a new chapter of my life and career. The word RENAE translates to “reborn” and is the perfect word to describe this new chapter. I’ve been reborn into a new way of life.

I’m now seeing the world through a lens of love instead of fear. I’m living with a new sense of purpose, to simply feel and spread the vibration of love, joy, and peace. To carry out this mission, I’ve shifted gears to living a more entrepreneurial lifestyle. Instead of being bound by the old music industry structure, I’m now following my intuition and building something new on my own. I’m no longer only a songwriter, but now also an artist, performer, intuitive guide, and healer with a huge passion for sharing music, poetry, courses, workshops, and healing services with others. I see this vision growing steadily each day, touching thousands of beautiful people, attracting aligned team members, opening the door to miraculous opportunities, and leaving me truly excited to wake up every day.

Looking back on everything, I’m grateful for every songwriting session and experience I had in the past. I have worked with some of the best musicians in the world and have honed my skills immensely. I really miss my friend who passed, but so deeply appreciate the experiences I had with him. I also now see several reasons why I was so anxious and unfulfilled before. I didn’t know what my life purpose was. I was living from a place of fear. I was disconnected from my true voice. I didn’t know how to be present and stand in my true power. I didn’t know what I wanted to say to the world. And perhaps one of the biggest realizations was this:

I was chasing the dream, not living the dream.

And there’s a huge difference.

When you’re chasing the dream, you’re spending your life chasing an illusory idea that you believe once achieved, will finally bring you happiness. If you don’t reach that goal, then you’re never happy. And if you do reach that goal, then you’re happy, but it’s temporary.

When you’re living the dream, you don’t depend on a future event to make you happy, instead you are in love and in alignment with the process of the dream’s unfolding. You’re following your bliss and living a moment to moment experience of joy, challenge, and fulfillment, right now. Living the dream is wonderful because it then attracts external things into your experience that match your inner state of joy, love, and peace.

You don’t have to go on a dramatic soul-seeking journey like I did to figure out how to live the dream. You can start right now in this very moment. Start making what feels good a priority. Follow your gut towards things that are calling you. Start putting your focus on what feels like love and joy and go from there.

Find the alignment first, then watch the universe work its magic around you. That’s what I’m doing right now, and it’s amazing to witness and be a part of.

To listen to Renae’s interview and learn more about her work, tune into episode #36 right here.

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