I am really thankful to have you as a part of my community! I recently added the story (below) on my official Facebook artist's page. It's about how I left a life of stress to gain a life of rest. I'm sharing it with you here so you don't miss it.
Here's the story about how I changed my mind and found peace of mind
I am an American born artist, songwriter and music producer who started Featherhead Media (Sweden), a company making inspirational music, books, videos and music videos to help people find peace of mind. For the past three years I have been leading a project with ten musicians to create the full-length album, Change My Mind, (to be released this year). It includes 12 original songs with mixed genres: indie pop; country; rock and gospel. The album illustrates my journey from a life of stress to one of rest.
My life’s story gives stressed out people hope. My intention with the first album is to point to an alternative way of finding peace of mind: through understanding that one’s self worth - is based only on God’s unconditional love.
We live in a society that tells you that your value is dependent on what you can create, accomplish and achieve. It says that I have to constantly prove my worth by what I do. Jesus disagrees....and I do too! You are already loved, already valuable before you even lift a little finger!
The story of a music dream that died and came back to life
I started writing music at the age of ten and sang in choirs and toured with a band in the greater New York area in my teens. After a few years, the band dissolved. In my senior year at High School, I secured a music scholarship at a major university, but my dad urged me to stop “wasting time” with music. Because I didn’t have the backing from home or faith in myself as an artist at the time, I gave up, put the music aside and went off to study economics. I wanted to “become something” within international politics or something vague like that. Wrong move! As I studied, I kept feeling that something was wrong.
I “hit the wall”
For years, I did everything but music. I eventually fell in love, got married, moved to Sweden, worked within many different vocations, raised her three kids, started an art-on-demand business and worked a day job. I became increasingly more worn out with every passing day.
Life started to become unmanageable. My heart was tired of living without purpose. I loved my kids and that gave me hope. But I had been trying to please everyone and prove that I was smart and successful but my soul was fatigued and my energy level was approaching “unrechargeable”.
I started suffering from headaches, heart palpitations, memory loss, bursts of anger, depression and insomnia. I went to a doctor and got told to take some anti-depressants and get some rest. The antidepressants and insomnia pills only reduced the symptoms for a time. They didn’t get to the root of the problem. I found that there were deeper questions that needed to be addressed in order for me to be whole and happy again. I began to cut away the “unnecessary" in my life. I wrote songs and painted in order to get “put words on” what what going on inside.
The root of the problem
I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy. Although I am a Christian and I knew Jesus was the real deal, had seen miracles and felt his presence, my soul was aching. Was my faith useless? I found that the refusal to accept who I was in high school - a painter and a songwriter - was the root of the problem. As long as I ignored my real calling, I was drained, worked with the wrong things and tried to prove my worth through what I did. I needed to get back to who I really was. For me, art and music had always been as natural as breathing and you know what happens if you hold your breath for too long....I needed to breathe again.
The grind that drove me to a solution
Another problem was the sheer amount of stuff I was trying to get done every day. I would work Monday to Friday, take care of the kids and run my business only to have to spend all day Saturday, shopping and cleaning. In addition, my husband was a workaholic too. We would go to church and as soon as I walked into the place, (every Sunday), they’d ask me to translate the sermon, and ask us to do this, do that. They didn’t see the pain we felt. Pain is invisible. And, if I wanted to get into the worship team, I had to go to their meetings and be in a home prayer group...
it was insane. I started having angst at the mere thought of going there. I loved the people and I loved God but this was not what I needed. God wasn't the problem, it was the enormous amount of work I was doing and without any feeling of contentment.
One Easter vacation I was sitting in my studio airbrush painting the head of a rubber mannequin for an advertising company. It took all week long and I missed a whole week with my kids. I started thinking, I have to do stop this. What on earth am I doing to myself, my husband and my kids? I cried and made a decision to change my mind about a lot of things. I needed to reevaluate and change my priorities if I wanted to have peace of mind, keep my family and my marriage intact.
I have a friend in Tennessee that explained the feeling I had at the time: sometimes you go so low that the only way to look is up. That was me. I could only look up. I felt like there was this heavy load on my shoulders and whatever I did I was not satisfied, just more and more drained. I cried out to God and spoke with my husband about it and they helped me make some necessary and radical changes.
I started saying “No!”
I stopped going to church and closed down my art business. I loved the people and the fellowship but I needed to pull back and rest. I started to seek the Lord about how I felt and He started taking me through a healing process. After leaving all the responsibilities at church, my kids got to see me more and I was able to take more time with God than ever before. I read books that helped me heal.
I spent a lot of time reading the Bible looking for wisdom and scoured books and the Internet, analysing work-related stress and its effects on the body soul and mind. I started to understand the reasons for stress and find a way out of it.
I started saying No! No to things that drained me. No to negative people. No to stress. I started saying Yes to things that made me feel better. As I started coming up out of the hole I was in, I wanted to do something to help others avoid being burned out. I started to see that my illustrations and songs about how stress feels might just help other people say “No!” before they get burned out like I did. Painting and songwriting had become a way of letting out the steam of my soul and became an integral part of healing my body soul and mind. Now I wanted to try to share them publicly. I didn’t have all the answers but I wanted to create an awareness about stress, its causes and how to change your mind about yourself - beginning to listen to yourself and love yourself.
An art show with music about stress led to my career as a producer.
In 2012, I did an art show discussing the problem of stress called Soul Steam.
It had 44 works of art with stories, poems and songs. Because of the positive emotional response by the visitors of the Soul Steam art show, I was inspired to finally publish my songs. It took a few years to find a producer, learn how to record, mix and master and find musicians and solo artists to work with. Now, after three years the dream of doing my music is finally becoming a reality.
The last few years I have been learning recording and evolving into an audio engineer/producer.
My hope is to get my songs out AND encourage others to get their music, art and inspirational work out there, too. It's never too late to start. If I can do it anyone can!
I hope this encourages you!
The Change My Mind album will be released this year and is in the final stages of premastering before it will be sent off to mastering. I am taking my time with it to insure that each song gets the attention it deserves to bring it up to a vibrant and professional level as I continue to progress in my knowledge of audio engineering. When it is finally mastered, it will be released globally - on all major music outlets including Spotify and Pandora.
After the album release I will be finishing off a book with the same title. In that I will explaining the journey I have taken from stress to rest by focusing on the process behind the lyrics. I hope this will help people understand why they need to change their minds in order to find peace of mind.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYzkKKC_ZmhwhAsZWejVuMQ Please subscribe to my Facebook page, YouTube and SoundCloud pages.
You can even sign up on my home page where you also can book me to do house concerts: www.featherheadmedia.com
These talented Musicians are on the Change My Mind album:
PG Imsen piano, bas, guitar, drums, midi tracks, and mastering guru at Sonic Media, Sweden; Jesper Nordberg awesome upright bass, electric bass prodigy; Albin Ekman fiddle wiz; Dan Holmström, sax master; Johan Malmberg smooth banjo; P.O. Larsson dobro; Marko Jelaca awesome live drums pro; Elisabeth Kitzing lyrics, music, arrangements, song, guitars, flute, percussions, midi tracks, some electric bass and mixing, mastering at the Featherhead Media Studio; Anna Löwenmark solo on the song Every Day; Rebecka Wendesten solo on the song Don't Worry; Jakob Josefsson, background vocals on the song Change My Mind.
Two different Facebook pages:
If you haven't already signed up there you might like to because there you can hear the latest news about what is going on with my music, books and other great stuff. The album to be released this year. Yay!
Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/elisabethkitzing/
I have another page for those who are aspiring indie producers/songwriters who need inspiration and help to go forward with that: https://www.facebook.com/Featherheadmedia/
Sign up! Things are going to get brewing fast this year and you won't want to miss that, would you. Please share my story with your friends too! Thanks!
Drop me a line and let me know what you thought of the story and how you are doing. Thanks once again for being a part of my community of friends.