Picture of Lauren covering ears while friend sings.

I create atmosphere with music, pressing play with anticipation and then as the music crescendos, I run and run and twirl! Twirl! The room streaks around me and the music spins me and carries me. Once the music starts, we are able to become so much more than we were before and my sister and friends have found this magic too, we can all create this moment together. It feels even more powerful than climbing trees or throwing heavy rocks into the water, and the excitement is close to how wind feels in my face on a bicycle. I know I am more magnificent with music than without. I know that this is so much fun. I know that the adults around me are delighted by this spectacle and will laugh and applaud even if we slip or make a mistake.

I thought that I became a less desirable collaborator as I got older. Moody. Busy. Tired, with difficulty focusing. Too loud. All over the place. Not receptive to others. Bossy. Sensitive, but not aware enough.
It turns out that as a child, things were too loud sometimes. I was loud sometimes. Things were just right sometimes. I couldn’t focus sometimes. I couldn’t remember what I needed to sometimes.

A child and father play music. A white child sits on an organ bench, looking at the camera with a wind instrument in her mouth. A brown haired white man wearing a paisley shirt sits behind her, playing a wooden recorder.

My story starts with adults singing to me and reading me poetry. It starts with making up songs, directing dramas in the yard, drumming on rocks. It starts with adults willing to listen, willing to try, willing to help me. It was people holding space for possibilities for me, then me holding space for possibilities for me.

I became an adult. I held on to possibilities. I dove into possibilities. I gave up trying. I remembered. I created. I let myself rest, finally. In a long, winding, often confusing process. Often joyful, sometimes desperate, often exhausted, sometimes heartbroken. I emerged again and again, many winters of laying fallow and many winters of slow growth.
I have realized that I am most able to connect to others with love, connect to myself with love, connect to my family with love, connect to my community and planet with love… when I prioritize collaboration and creativity in my life. Also sleep, sun, food, and fun (not in that order).

A white child with blue eyes sitting outside in the sun.

Sometimes that collaboration is with the spirit of my creativity or the spirit of my business, a collaboration with my past intentions for my future self, a collaboration with my whispered prayers and secret wishes. Sometimes that collaboration is with nature, nourishing myself and feeling myself expand and explore within and yet with my awareness reaching out into the wonder of it all, out there.
Often that collaboration is with others. I have done many projects and been a many hyphenated, much “doing” person. It started with sparks, with ideas, with feeling a sense of yearning, with friction and with flow.
I’ve done lots of things that I will talk about more, too, because it helps explain what I’ve learned and how I can help.
It’s mostly come down to create things. Sometimes. But not all the time, just be, too. Help people. Have fun. Trust that the uncertainty is part of it. Keep trying. Don’t give up, but change. Listen. This is what I keep doing.