A Saturday to Remember…

I pulled in at exactly 11:44 am – one minute sooner than I had been expected to be there – because lately everyone has been on my case about being on time. I was wearing “Betty,” and was instructed to change into “Veronica” later that night for our show at WhySound (Natalee has decided to name ALL of our outfits). We had just gotten back from Salt Lake City late the night before, and we hadn’t had time to go over all of the show details. I assumed we were playing a 20min set, Nat thought it was supposed to be 45min, but it turned out to be an hour! We whipped out a Subway receipt on the way there, and wrote out our show set on the back as quickly as we could.

We’ve been playing as a trio lately, and since Dominic Walker (our newest guitarist) wasn’t playing with us, we improvised. The first few songs went perfectly, and then we played one of our favorite cover songs, “Grenade”. It all got a little funny after that. Halfway through the first verse, I noticed that a fly had landed on my fret board. I then pushed down on the strings to play the next chord, and accidentally squashed it! I tried to focus on singing as it dangled from my strings, but I just couldn’t concentrate. At least the audience got a kick out of Natalee using her pick to get it off my guitar.

The song “She’s Got Issues” followed, and apparently I was the only one that had issues playing it. And Amanda, our creative services manager, got it ALL on film since watching film is now apart of the protocol. My dad relates everything in life to football, and since watching film is mandatory for football players, he thought that principle should apply to us as well. I initially thought it would be a big waste of time, but it’s actually provided an immense amount of entertainment – especially when we keep clicking rewind to watch the new verse I created to “She’s Got Issues” on the spot! Forgetting lyrics hasn’t really ever been a problem for me, UNTIL SATURDAY. I could NOT get it together. Natalee and I just lost it! We continued to play guitar, even though she was nearly bent over trying to conceal her laughter from the audience. I finally caught on and started singing, but then the thought of what had happened resurfaced and we’d both start laughing uncontrollably all over again! I managed to blame it on Natalee, telling the audience that she kept making me laugh. It reminded me of family prayers/speeches/weddings – basically anything that requires silence – when Natalee and I look at each other and burst out laughing at inappropriate moments!

Because we’ve been performing since the ages of 2 and 4, we’re stage vets. Anything that could go wrong has, and we’ve learned how to handle it. We’ve wrapped ourselves in mic chords, dealt with power outages, fallen over, and had to share equipment. However, the craziest show was probably the time we performed on a stage that wasn’t clipped together. After the performance, we did a Q&A segment. When they brought my chair up, the crew accidentally set the leg right on the crack of the stage, and BOOM! The stage separated, my legs flew in the air, and I was on my back before I knew it. THAT one was caught on camera as well! Haha!

Of course, all of the catastrophic shows only give us more appreciation for the shows that run smoothly. That was kind of how Saturday was for us. Our morning show was a mess, and our show later that night at WhySound went great! We played a few brand new songs and opened for an incredibly talented duo called Montana Skies. After, we all had a gathering at my place to celebrate, and Natalee and I ended up crying about the death of Michael Jackson, who has always been a musical inspiration for us. On Sunday, we decided to start a new FALK instagram (follow us at @falkmusic!), and I was writing songs like crazy! So, overall, it’s been a very eventful weekend. I’m excited for what this one will bring!

Take care everyone!

XOXO – Alexa

Bucket List

This past Tuesday night Natalee and I drove down to SLC for a KSL radio interview. Since it’s “National Eating Disorder Week” we talked a lot about self-image, and played our song “Deadly Beauty. We had a fantastic time, and the DJ’s were hilarious as always! Afterwards, we split pizza and salad while laughing, and mocking each other’s responses. (Our poor waiter! haha) Our best friends Geoff, Pat, Chels, and Abby joined us, and we all found ourselves dancing until 2:00 in the morning! It was an unexpectedly fun night that inspired us to create more memorable moments.

Two days prior Natalee and I decided to make a bucket list after watching Oprah interview Tony Robins. She had attended one of his seminars, and at the end everyone walked across burning coals. It was not only hilarious, but inspiring. We added coal walking to our list, along with other random things we are going to start doing here in our small town. One “experience” on our list was driving USU students to their classes. We had always joked about it, but life is too short to live in the “Someday.”

That meant getting up at 5:00. We stopped for coffee at our favorite latte trailer, and headed for Logan. We watched the sunrise and listened to our album! That’s a lie- we didn’t do much listening… instead we laughed and conversed through our alter ego’s  (me-Karl with a K Stickles, and Natalee- Willfred Fillmore) When we got into town we stopped and got donuts… then began our search for pedestrians wearing backpacks. (It was around this time I realized I left my purse in Salt Lake!)

I would have to say that the reaction from people getting in a black H3 with two girls offering to take them ANYWHERE was pretty priceless. I wish we had taken a camera to film it, but we didn’t anticipate the hilarity that morning would offer! We made quite a few friends, and fed a lot of starving students. We got our dance on, and definitely enjoyed being out of our element! It felt good to break the routine! Sometimes you just need little things to remind you that your heart is beating, you’re breathing, and that anything can happen!! Because it can! So far I’m loving this bucket list thing… it reminds me to live in possibility, instead of probability!

 Can’t wait to cross off next week’s “Bucket List Experience!” Hell Yeah!!!

“Rescuing Hug”

Sometimes you just can’t do it yourself. Sometimes your level of self-hatred runs so deep that doing anything good in your life seems like a privilege that you don’t deserve. Sometimes you veer so far off the beaten path that you become accustomed to blazing an unnecessary trail. You don’t feel worthy of balance, or of having your “shit” together. A life of happiness seems like a house made of clouds. A nice idea, but not quite a stable reality. Sometimes you need another person to see that you are talented enough, pretty enough, smart enough, just… good enough. Sometimes you need another person to believe in you, because you just can’t believe in yourself. That person for me is my sister Natalee.

I don’t know how she did it, but she managed to stand still amidst my past chaos of a life.  She’s been the eye of my tornado, the roll bar to my tumbling go-kart, and the handle of a fishing pole -reeling me in when my line cast too far out. I have no doubt in my mind that if she wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be either. She has saved me over, and over, and over again. We’ve been through everything together, and I am so blessed to be going through this crazy thing called life with my best friend!

A while back she showed me a picture of  the “rescuing hug.” She came after one of my many “close calls” to talk some sense into me. She told me the story  about the twin babies in the picture. They were put together in an incubator after one was expected die. When they were together the healthier of the two put an arm around her sister, and the smaller baby’s heart rate stabilized. She couldn’t really make it through the story, because we both started sobbing hysterically.  It doesn’t matter what it is… but when one of us starts crying – the other one follows. She’s always been the one with her arm wrapped around me, and i’m getting stronger because of her!

I love you Nat!

“Deadly Beauty” NEDA Ambassador Contract!

Today was a fantastic day in all realms of life! I’m just about to meet with my family to toast to the signing of a contract that means so much to me! Natalee and I are now “officially” ambassadors for NEDA. (National Eating Disorder Association) and I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity to heal others through music. It’s been a long journey to be this person that I am today… much longer than I’d like to admit. I’m not who I once was, I no longer think they way I once thought, and I no longer make the self-destructive decisions I chose to make once upon a time. Thank God!

I’ve found life is worth living, when you choose to let yourself just be YOURSELF, and not who someone else wants you to be. Changes don’t happen over night, but they DO happen! I’m so inspired to help others come to the realization that they are good enough. Right now! Exactly as they are! We can never add to, or take away from our essence… and I hope that one day we will define, and live by our own version of beauty. It is my personal belief that if we had a world of people who truly loved themselves, then we’d have a more loving world.

I’m beyond exited to produce a new version of our song “Deadly Beauty” with Jason Deere (The first producer I ever worked with) He taught me everything I know about songwriting, and has been my biggest musical mentor! In about a week we’ll be working with him in Nashville on our new album, as well as a new single version of “Deadly Beauty.” We plan to create a powerful video that will hopefully impact as many people as the song has. I’m so excited about this partnership, and am looking forward to the upcoming NEDA concerts! 2012 is just beginning to unfold, and I have a feeling it’s the start of an amazing journey!

***Please check out, support, and share these incredible sites! ***

NEDA

http://www.facebook.com/NationalEatingDisordersAssociationNEDA

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Helpline Number: 800.931.2237

NEDA FOR TEENS

http://www.facebook.com/Proud2BmeUSA
http://www.proud2Bme.org

Positive Affirmations

Anytime I’m sad, or just having a tough day… I read a few affirmations, and start to feel better :)

I LOVE you, Goodbye…

Maybe we made a pact in heaven before this life…to come down and help each other’s souls grow to a depth unimaginable. Your love strengthened me, and completely broke me all at the same time. You broke who I thought I was, and all the shattered pieces revealed the person I really am, but neglected to see. You showed me every area where I WASN’T loving myself. My every insecurity was so highlighted in your presence that the unbearable feeling of  “I’m not good enough” forced me back to GOD. It forced me back to the realization that no matter what I do, what I say, what I look like, how much money I make, or what my career is… that NONE of that is me. For I am a piece of the DIVINE, and you merely helped me remember that.

Nothing of the EGO, or material world can compare to the sheer magnificence of my being. It was an incredible awakening to realize that I’m NOT this body, rather the LIGHT it carries. I forgot that, and I’ve wanted to hate you for showing me…but in truth I just love you more. I’m ready to release you to your highest good, and forgive you for not being what I wanted you to be. I created a dream that you were apart of, but I must realize it’s STILL my dream… even if you aren’t in it anymore. Your role may be over, but I’m willing to be okay with that. I loved you beyond this life. My soul loved you, still does, and always will.

You don’t know this, but you led me home. You reminded me that I’m greater than who I chose to be when I was with you. You reminded me of my innocence, purity, compassion, and divinity. Those are things that can never be lost, for they remain of the heart, not of the body. With relationships I’m learning that GOD doesn’t send you perfect people, he sends you people that will help you grow. People who will offer you lessons in learning your own perfection. People who are angels in disguise. You were my angel. Sometimes those lessons we learn feel like the most awful experiences, but in truth they are blessings…showing us all the ways we were not LOVING ourselves.

I didn’t love myself, and that’s why I thought I needed you to love me. I looked to you for everything I wasn’t giving myself. Love, attention, happiness, validation, trust, faith etc. I needed you to see me, but really it was ME who needed to see me. I’m sorry I put such a heavy burden of expectation on you. I only needed you because I didn’t think I could need me. I didn’t trust that I was enough alone, but now I know that I’ve always been strong enough, pretty enough, smart enough… just good enough as I AM! You weren’t responsible for my happiness, or my sadness. I’m sorry I thought you were.

I love you so much, and I always will, but I’m willing to release you so that I can release myself. I’m ready to free my heart of the heavy burden it has carried. I’m ready to feel alive again, truly alive. I’m ready to accept God’s plan, and open my arms to a new love. You triggered things in me I never wanted to face, but I HAD to in order for me to really grow into my highest self. There are still times when I want to find the nearest bush to throw up in when I see you with someone else, but I’m giving you to God. I choose to release this resentment towards you. You played a bigger role in my life than you’ll ever know. I realized I can’t hate you, for you gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever received.

-The gift of myself!

Should… OR shouldn’t? (FALK IT!)

Today I found myself struggling with what I “should” do, as opposed to what I wanted to do. Should, for me is a loaded word. It carries the fear of what will happen if I don’t, and the guilt that accompanies the feeling of letting others down. We all think the thoughts of I “should,” and I “shouldn’t.” (Example: I should look like this, I shouldn’t say that, I should do what they say, I shouldn’t question that etc.) But why are we

“should-ing” on our selves? Who says we have to be a certain way? Whose voice is in our head pouring on this guilt? Are we trying to live a life that maybe our heart doesn’t want? Have we ever asked ourselves what it is that we DO want, instead of creating a life based on someone else’s standards?

It’s interesting, because once we address the “shoulds” we place on ourselves, we start to notice the “should’s” we place on other people! Why is it that we judge not only ourselves, but also other people for the choices they make in their life? Judging someone only makes him or her wrong. Why would we choose to make not only ourselves, but also another human being “wrong?” Weren’t we all created perfectly? Isn’t everyone a perfect reflection of our creator? Isn’t everything just a learning experience?

So when we look at people, and we make assumptions about who they are…we judge by saying “oh my God I would never do that, say that, wear that etc.” It really pisses me off… because how do you know? How do you know that if you had a tragic childhood that you wouldn’t deal with it through the methods some choose to heal their pain? How do you know that you wouldn’t respond THAT way, make THAT decision, dress like THAT, and act like THAT? How do you really know?  How do you know until you experience something similar?

I’ve learned to never judge someone for how they treat me, or the decisions they make…because people are living off of THEIR OWN pain. And it’s really NOT ABOUT ME, it’s about THEM. That’s where forgiveness comes in. Forgiveness is a huge aspect of life, because it doesn’t free anyone but ourselves… so I’m learning to forgive myself, and others for not being what I thought they “should” be.

I have been guilty of  trying to change people to how I think they should be. It really isn’t fair for me to want someone to be different than who they are. I’ve been working on releasing all criticism, and accepting others EXACTLY AS THEY ARE. When we are critical of others it’s just a reflection of how critical we are of ourselves. I have absolutely no room to judge, because whatever someone else has done- I’ve probably matched/or trumped it. – We fall off the wagon sometimes but God can use our veer of direction to strengthen our soul. God turns our misery into our ministry. I know this first hand… how else would I have been able to write some of the lyrics that I have?

So now it’s about learning how to be authentic to myself, and not what my parents, sister, friends, boyfriend, society, media, and religion tell me to be. I still struggle in certain areas, but I must say I’m proud of myself for taking the steps toward listening to my own heart. I’m choosing to no longer use the word “should” because it has an attachment to the feeling of obligation. Instead I’ll use “could.” My favorite author, Louise Hay always says that using “could,” instead of “should” frees us from guilt, and opens the door to possibility. It’s a scary, and exciting place to be, but I’ve got to love my self through it, and allow myself to break the limitations of what others want for me.

We have all got to free our hearts of not only the judgments we place on others, but also the judgments we place on ourselves. It starts with forgiving ourselves for not doing better, for not being better, for messing up. It takes a moment of going back to that scared person, in that situation we were in, and saying “I’m so sorry that I’ve been angry at you for making that decision that you chose to make in that moment. I have blamed you, but I’m willing to forgive you. You didn’t know any better. You were scared, you did what you thought you could, you thought you could fix it, you thought it would make someone love you, you thought it could protect you. I forgive you for making THAT choice. I forgive you for not knowing any better, and I free myself in this moment. I’m willing to love, and approve of you for who you are right now. I’m sorry for hating you, I forgive you for not being perfect.”

Hopefully when we can forgive ourselves for not always making the “right” decision (if such a thing even exists) then maybe we can ease up on the people around us. There really is no such thing as “should,” or “shouldn’t” in this life. It’s all a lesson, and we can choose to learn through pain, or pleasure. I’ve had enough pain to last me a lifetime, so I’m gonna learn through joy from now on. If I make a mistake… oh well. Who doesn’t? And who’s to say what’s a mistake vs. what is potentially the GREATEST decision of your life? Some of my greatest “FALK” ups have turned into my most beautiful, humbling moments. So I guess the judgment goes beyond just our decisions, but also our circumstances. Who’s to say what is a positive experience, vs. a negative one? Isn’t all of God good? Isn’t all of life good? And if it’s not, isn’t that just our perception?  Idk… but I guess I’ll keep living and find out! Oh… and “FALK” the shoulds…

 

I’m willing to forgive myself…

I wish I had done it differently. All of it!!! I looked at pictures of myself with Natalee and some friends after dinner tonight, and I just wanted to bawl. How was it that we all started out as fragile little girls, and somewhere down the line some of us became so broken? Some of us wandered so far off our course that we almost didn’t make it back. I almost didn’t make it back.

Why did I have to make life so hard on myself? Was it so I would have a “story?” was it so that I could be a better songwriter?” Was it because I decided I wanted to learn the depths of suffering so that I could empathize with the human condition? Why? Why did I do this to myself?

My life could’ve been different. And I guess that’s the upsetting reality that led me to crying hysterically on my brother’s bathroom floor. My tears weren’t for anything that is going on in my current life, but more or less for the innocence I lost because of the decisions I began making at the age of 12.

For Natalee, her childhood is filled with happy memories. She looks forward to holidays, she likes going through scrapbooks, telling stories, and watching family video’s. She naturally has a fun, optimistic outlook to life. I’m happy now, but I’ve worked damn hard to feel this way. Childhood for me was much different. It’s something I’ll probably spend the rest of my life getting over, and over-compensating for. It’s amazing the depths of hell a human heart can reach… and by their own doing.

My hell was all my own doing. Every bit of shame, hate, sadness, guilt, and fear was a choice. And it was a choice that I made… no one made it for me. Yes, shit happened. However, no one made me do what I did. I’m no longer going to play the “victim” role. No one thought for me, no one created my reaction. No one has ever been harder on me than I have been on myself. It’s so sad to realize I’ve been my biggest bully. I can’t change the past, but I can change my tomorrows. I’m going to try being my biggest fan and see what a difference that makes. Mantra for the week: “I love and approve of myself exactly as I am.” “I forgive myself for not being perfect.”

I need to find a way to get back to my innocence. Start over without the “Shoulds” that I put on myself. Is there a way I can re-create my life, and not live with my gut-wrenching past that underlies every moment? I guess this is the part where I put it all in Gods hands. “Please free me of my former self, please help me start over, please help me see with new eyes, please help me begin again”

I’m learning to forgive the person that I was, because I know she was merely the sacrifice for the person I’m becoming. As I continue to write this blog I’m not as angry at myself, but more compassionate… I was just doing the best I knew how to do with the knowledge, and understanding that I had at the time. I was just a kid, if I knew how to do it all better, I would’ve.  I’ll never forget everything that happened, but I know that for me, life can only get better. It’s time to create the life that I want, not the life that I had!

 

 

Tough times don’t last… tough people DO!!!

Tough times don’t last… tough people DO!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. I figured it was necessary to reflect, and get all this stuff out, so that it no longer lives inside of me. I feel like I’ve been hit with more adversity than I’ve ever had to endure before. It’s been a roller coaster in just about every aspect of my life. The highest of highs, along with the lowest of lows. God was really testing my faith when I found out that Brad Barton, a close family friend suddenly died. It was the cherry on top of a Sunday I didn’t want to consume. I found myself waking up struggling with finding a point to this thing we call life.  I was devastated, and everything seemed meaningless.

The last time I felt like that was when I was sixteen. I didn’t know how to handle all the disappointment, and sadness being thrown at me. I gave up on hope, on my dreams, on possibility… I gave up on myself. Feeling like this again worried me… I couldn’t afford to relapse into self-destructive patterns. The morning of Brad’s funeral I was playing the “victim” role. I felt powerless to the chaos swirling around me, and just wanted to cry. I needed someone to blame for what I perceived as the depressing reality of my life. Thanks to all of the tools I’ve developed along my path of healing, I learned to never pray for a “change of circumstances,” but to pray for a “change in perspective.” At Brad’s funeral I got it.

“Every man dies, but not every man truly lives.” A quote from Brad -A man who truly lived, and did it his way. He had a love affair with his life, and just listening to, and being around him put you at ease. He made you appreciate every delicious breath, every hug, and every sunset. He lived loudly, and didn’t care what people thought of him. (Always up for a good time, no matter how much sleep he lost.) When he took a break from coaching my little brother, Brad and I would always end up talking God, religion, people, purpose, music, poetry, and the power of love.

 

He truly loved. He loved his family, his hometown, his friends, God, his country, his players, and the game of basketball.  Everyone he met was a better person for knowing him. Brad was one of the most non-judgmental people I had ever known. It felt safe to be honest with Brad. I’ll never forget the night that we stayed up until almost 4:00 am. I sat cross-legged on the marble countertop drinking coffee, while Brad and my mom sipped fine wine. He read his poetry, and encouraged me to share my un-fished music. He was the first person that heard my song “Deadly Beauty.” Because of his positive reaction, and support I had the confidence to share, and be open with the story of that song.  He gave me the courage to be honest about my past mistakes, and because of that I’ve been able to help so many people through my own overcoming. Recently Natalee and I were in NYC performing on the Brooklyn bridge at a NEDA walk (National Eating Disorder Association)  I’ve never been so humbled by an audience before. So many people thanked me for writing the song, and it was amazing to see what an impact it had on the lives that surround me. I can’t help but credit Brad, who was brave enough to be himself, and helped me to do the same.

He was a living angel, and now he’s a real one. “Tough times don’t last, tough people do” was a favorite quote of his, read aloud at the funeral. When I heard it I knew it was a message directly for me, and my family.  We were all at major crossroads in our lives, and it was what we desperately needed to hear. Because of his death my family has taken steps towards forgiving, and becoming closer.  I can’t help but think Brad has something to do with that.

After the service I drove home with a feeling of comfort, and clarity. I was in the thick of the storm, but had my belief in rainbows again … I saw the most glorious one I’ve EVER seen yesterday.  It made me think of Brad, and savor a deep breath.  I know I’m going to be okay. I’m a tough girl. This time in my life wont last… but I will!

 

-Love you Brad

Almost Home!!!

I woke up in Utah this morning, and today just might be the day I make it back to my OWN bed! It’s been almost three weeks, and I’m having withdrawals! We went over our schedules yesterday and I felt like I needed to take a nap after reading the itinerary for the summer. I guess I can look at it all like an adventure! Speaking of… Nat and I are going camping this weekend! I’m going to get her to do some things that make her very uncomfortable!

A lot has gone on since my last blog… too much to write, but it’s all been great! My dad turned 49 on Sunday! I have so much appreciation for that man! There were a rough few years there, but being able to talk to him now, I can see that he only had the best intentions… even thought I didn’t see it that way! He’s been such a rock in my life. He has the greatest character, and  the biggest heart of anyone I know. He came from nothing, and created everything. I am so proud of him! We’re going fishing in a few weeks, and I can’t wait! I may wear heels everyday… but I love the boy stuff too J

As far as music goes… there is A-LOT of good stuff going on! Jason Deere, a producer that I’ve been working with since I was nine years old flew into Utah for the past couple of days! We’ve been songwriting, and laughing/catching up! It’s been so much fun, and I love the songs we just finished! I wish I could record them, and share them with everyone right NOW!!!  I’m excited for what the future holds… It’s looking like I’ll be spending some time in Nashville. It’s time to buy some new cowboy boots!