Quantum Leaping and Sharing our Songs

The decision to drink electrically-charged waters to try to shrink my big ole’ thyroid nodule is a quantum leap I’m making - from accepted Western medical practices to little-tested alternative therapies.


I’m looking at Quantum Leaping in other parts of my life as well - working on blockages in any way I can that might be contributing, on a psychic level, to the blockage in my thyroid.

I have a sizable perfectionist block. Who doesn't, right?


It keeps me from completing and sharing work I’ve done - the songs and shows I’ve created. It keeps me doing endless rewrites, the latest not necessarily any better than the one that came before, just different.

It also keeps the work of my collaborators locked in the electronic file cabinet. Not fair to them. 

Take the first song I created for Hope Sings No one has ever heard it (my husband doesn't count) (don't tell him I said that).

I went to tremendous lengths to create the song “Blanca.” I brazenly buttonholed Latin music stars, worked and reworked the lyric, traveled to Panama twice to collaborate and record the demo.

And there “Blanca” sits, in its electronic drawer. 3 years, it sits.

I have let all the lovely work of my collaborators - composer Romulo Castro and musician/producer Luis Thomas – go unheard.

I have let the inspiring story of Blanca from Barcenas - a woman who raised her family from poverty, thanks to FINCA microloans and delicious bread – go unsung.

Because -

  • It doesn't sound "pop" enough (I'm embarrassed of my musical theatre roots)
  • I don’t like my singing voice (I sang the demo) (I'm such a soprano!)
  • I ran out of money to produce it (an excuse).
  • It’s not perfect.
  • I’m afraid others will be even more critical than I am.
  • It's not perfect

In the book "Do It Wrong Quickly" e-marketing guru Mike Moran writes:

“Music is now a conversation, and feedback from your fans helps you adjust what you do every day.”

Actually, he wrote “Marketing,” not “Music,” and “customers” not “fans.” Creative license.

Seth Godin says the same thing. Ship, ship, ship. That’s the only way to improve the product.

Rodgers and Hammerstein got a musical on stage just about every year, and that’s how they became – Rodgers and Hammerstein. They shipped. Not every show they wrote was a hit. Ever hear of Pipedream

In our world of $100 (min) tickets to a Broadway show, consumers demand perfection. What a shame. Sometimes one glorious moment in an otherwise mediocre enterprise is worth the price of admission.


Let It Go

Like you have to let a child be who they are.

Let It Go.

Like stress. Insecurity. The laundry.

Let It Go

LIke this song.

Let Blanca Go

(shades of the Wizard of Oz)

To Romulo and Luis: my heartfelt apologies. Here is your song. And a promise: I will produce it with a better voice than mine. it will be a big part of Hope Sings the Musical. (more on that soon!).

What “songs” are you hiding? Share them with me. Please. Let your babies out.

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What Happens When You Stop "Singing"? (or Thanks, Universe, for the Ear Infection)

I have a confession to make.

I told myself when I started Hope Sings that it was all about helping people – to empower women, to “harness the power of song and story to change the world.” My stated mission was to put the power of inspiring true story back into pop music – to Sing Stories and Change Lives (to misquote our tag-line). Sounds good, right?

In my heart, I knew a big part of why I started Hope Sings was for me. I wanted to swim in a bigger pop/international pond than the musical theatre one where I’d been. I dreamed of writing with all different kinds of big exotic fish, traveling the world as I created huge hit songs.

We have had many satisfying successes - our songs supporting microfinance, our Songs for Sandy initiative, the anthem for UN Women. I believe we have helped people. And I know I've written next to nothing in the four years since I started Hope Sings

And now I find myself facing a crisis – a crisis of inspiration.

I am facing it because of an ear infection.

A summer swim with my son, an overactive Q-Tip, a stubborn plug of earwax, a visit to an ENT who noticed something I hadn't – and today, here I am looking at what truly inspires me, what my real talents are, and what happens when you stop singing - literally and metaphorically.

I've pondered whether this line of posting of belongs with Hope Sings. But I think there is something worth sharing about this journey I'm beginning. Another more personal aspect to the idea of hope and singing.

In recent weeks, my energy and attention has shifted from creating songs and shows to another use of my creative energies - healing myself. And trying to uncover where the disease (or "dis-ease" as Esther Hicks calls it - genius) came from.

I believe that when you are blocked creatively - or in any part of your life, since your life is your biggest and best creation - disease will follow. So letting yourself Sing - and letting your hopes and dreams Sing - isn't just nice, it's fundamental. It's key to wellness and thriving, a matter of life and death - as much as microloans are essential to women in Latin America. 

More on What the ENT Saw in the next post.

But first: a song that reminds us how SINGING defines who you are (however you define singing) – whether you achieve “Success” or not. Jim Croce’s “I’ve Got A Name”:

Like the North wind whistling down the sky

I've got a song
, I've got a song

Like the whip-poor-will and the babies crying

I've got a song, I've got a song

And I carry it with me and I sing it proud

If it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud

Moving me down the highway

Rolling me down the highway

Moving ahead so life won't pass me by.


Baby with the Bathwater

There's been a big backlash against microfinance recently, which many of you probably know. No, it's not a panacea. And no, it's not the devil.

And now political gripes in India are threatening to get Dr. Yunus ousted from the bank he founded (Grameen). 

It's nice to see fellow microfinance folk standing up for his rights. See the letter below, signed by several partners to Hope Sings. 


An Open Letter In Support Of Dr. Muhammad Yunus

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Washington D.C., March 8, 2011 - Muhammad Yunus has diligently served the poor for decades. No one has done more to inspire generations to work to reduce poverty.

We are increasingly concerned and dismayed with the troubles Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus is facing in Bangladesh. As we understand it, the Government of Bangladesh is resorting to technicalities to remove Dr. Yunus from the Grameen Bank, without presentation through legitimate and transparent legal processes of any evidence of wrong-doing.

We deeply deplore this lack of justice and unproven allegations that not only impugn Dr. Yunus' character and the integrity of his flagship bank, but reach much further. Forced removal creates unnecessary risk for the more than 8 million borrowers-owners of the bank. The Government of Bangladesh previously had respect for the bank's independence as a majority client-owned microfinance institution; it is our sincere hope that a return to the status quo can be made quickly.

Dr. Yunus has played a seminal role in the development and recognition of microfinance — the provision of small, working-capital loans and other financial services for the entrepreneurial poor. He has our strong support, and our wishes for a just and speedy resolution to this sad turn of events.


Calvert Foundation
Co-operative Bank
Deutsche Bank 
Freedom from Hunger
Grameen Foundation
Grassroots Capital
Microvest Fund
Opportunity International
Pro Mujer
Triple Jump
VisionFund International
Women’s World Banking