“Nature Inspires peace of mind, joy, balance, and profound gratitude.”
– Lee Sunshine
As a child, I felt a deep sense of wonder towards the Earth, finding comfort in the shade of trees and the warmth of the sun. When I was given the opportunity to turn my observations into poetry, I eagerly accepted, realizing that this was the start of my journey as an author. I had always dreamed of writing my own books, and I am thrilled to say that this day has finally arrived.
I started writing poetry regularly in 2020 because I found that words flowed easily to me whenever I was surrounded by nature. Whether I was by the lake, in a river, on a trail, or watching the sunrise, I felt inspired by the beauty of the world around me. But it wasn’t just about the aesthetics. Being in nature also brought me a sense of clarity and connectedness. It helped me to be more in tune with myself and the Earth. One of the things that stood out to me during my outdoor adventures was the deep sense of gratitude that nature exudes. Everything in the natural world seems to thrive on gratitude and reciprocity – from bees pollinating flowers, to the sun nourishing the land, to humans tending the earth and the earth feeding us.
Each of these poems sheds light on a lesson I’ve learned through experiences in nature. I am sharing these with the intention of letting my words be received by others, in the hopes that they may inspire someone else, just as nature has and will always inspire me. Through a combination of traditional and haiku-style writing, I dive into the world of Nature Inspires: positive affirmations inspired by God’s greatest creation.
This week’s sounds of the week we have the eclectic Arthur Russell. I came across the ’08 documentary Wild Combination: A portrait of Arthur Russell by Matt Wolf last week and was so surprised by what I saw. I was even more surprised by what I heard. Through a mirage of different home videos, clips from the artist’s past, and photos served as the introduction to a musician who seemed to embody what it meant to be a creator. In the documentary it was made clear that Arthur’s life revolved around music and the creation of sound. From the instrumentation to the signature echo in his voice, all aspects of his music involve a wild combination of sounds. Sounds that turned into songs which captured intimate and feeling driven moments in the artist’s life.
As I write I am listening to the Calling out of Context album, released posthumously by Arthur’s estate in 2000. An original compilation of sounds from what appears to be a multitude of sources, the 1 hour project takes you through seemingly honest renditions of the artists’ thoughts and experiences at a point in time. My favorite song from this album is That’s Us/Wild Combination. I really like how simple the songs appear at first, but once I listened a few times the layers to the song became apparent. The nuance of his singing, paired with the unpredictable melody, created a sound like none that I have heard before. One minute into the song I find myself dancing along to lyrics like:
Hard as I can be,
it's never too hard
With this our love to see, by it's own light
Love inside of me, it's working at night
The sentiment of feeling love for another and ones self is relatable and touching to hear. This was a cool introduction to an artist I’ll be listening a lot going into this new year. It’s fascinating to learn how he created an abundance of music during his time. All despite not being chosen as a mainstream artist of his generation. A real testament to following ones passions in life with a faith that may appear blind to some, but at heart is what you came here to express in a way that is true. Thank you Arthur Russell, a truth sharer and inspiration to all artist out there. And Thank you Matt Wolf for making the film that brought this sound to my awareness.
Give it a listen for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!
There is a lot of greatness to be believed and a lot of greatness to be had in this world.
Lee Sunshine, YouTooAreALoveleeBeing Season 1 episode 3
In this weeks episode I share some of the lessons I learned in the past week when it came to being a full-time artist. I speak about valuing yourself, your gifts, and being in a state of gratitude. Throughout the episode I share some of the positive affirmations I use to reaffirm myself during times of self doubt. 2021 was the year I started to believe in myself in ways that I never have before. I use to rely on external validation to motivate me to go after anything I wanted. It took ample time alone and lots of reflection to realize there is much more value in self validation, especially for talents or personal gifts. I mean who else knows better than YOU, of what YOU are capable of? Learning to accept help even though I have gotten use to, and comfortable with, accomplishing things on my own. It is vital to ask for and accept help while we are on this journey called life. Accepting these aspects of life have helped me step out of my way slowly but surely and allow more blessings to find me. Below you will find the affirmations I discussed in this weeks episode. May they help you when you are in need of a reminder 🙂
I will step out of my own way today and I will seize all the opportunities meant for me
There is an infinite amount of potential for your life to be as great as you want it to be
I can do anything I set my heart to do, I know my worth and I value myself
Living in a state of gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving
The little things make all the big things matter, the little things are just as valuable
Feelings of inspiration can be fleeting. I spent the past week riding the roller coaster that is inspiration. For a series of moments everything truly does feel possible. Everything. Then, for a series of moments things look gray, that is when the worry and or uncertainty begins to cloud the vision. I consider myself a dreamer, someone who feels on the optimistic side of life. Reading books based around spirituality, self-care, and self-love have helped me to strengthen this way of believing. Lately I have had an abundance of inspiration all around me, I am so grateful for it all. Wether I’m at the grocery store or at home watching a documentary, I often find myself inspired by what I witness.
In light of these moments, I had the realization that a dream needs action behind it to come to fruition. Action and commitment despite what may happen along the journey to meeting a dream face to face in reality.
I titled this post ‘Feelings of Inspiration can be fleeting’ because I want to acknowledge the feeling head on. I don’t wish to let the moments of doubt or uncertainty overshadow the motivation I have to seize moments of inspiration for all they can be.
Surely, I am making my way towards my dreams and I’d encourage anyone with a dream to believe in it.
For the moments when the shadows come marching in I like to affirm to myself:
I can do anything I set my heart to do
It is ok to take your time, rushing isn’t a solution
I am free to think, do, and believe as I please
Society doesn’t set my standards for living, I do
Faith leads to success
Put spirit first and everything else follows
Nothing is worth the sacrifice of happiness, nothing
May these help others in times of need, keep on dreaming dreamers and feel the vibes of inspiration all around!
First up this week we have Ivery Mack, a local Chicago artist who just dropped his first collective project The Ivery Mack Experience. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Ivery in the making of the Artwork that accompanies this EP. Listening to each track from start to finish you truly get what the title calls for; an Experience. With 6 songs, this EP gives new and og listeners of Ivery Mack a look at what he is capable of. Genre has no restriction to this project. With a beautiful combination of lyricism and original flow, The Ivery Mack Experience is an exploration of multiple sounds with one voice leading the way through. From fiery rock and roll tracks like Fight the machine to the country twang of Little Wings , there is something for everyone who listens to The Ivery Mack Experience.
One of my favorite songs is 1000 MPH. Real movie music vibes, main character working towards his victory type energy.
"The whole world traveling 1000mph
whose gonna stop you now? "
Clearly nothing is stopping Ivery Mack, not a thing.
Artwork and music go hand in hand with this EP, check out the lyric videos below to see some of the magic behind the cover art.
Remy Shand is one of my brothers favorite artist. I use to hear the song Take A Message over and over when I was a kid. I didn’t get it then, but I get it now. Take a message is what I like to call a 50/50 song. 50% of the beauty in this song comes from the message Remy is sharing (haha get it Message). The other 50% are the bongo backed instrumentals and movement in the sounds that shape the song. I haven’t listened to much of Remy’s music, but if this song is any indication of what he is capable of then I imagine it sounds great. I can see how my brother would listen to this and nothing else all night long. This song makes me feel nostalgic and loving, perhaps the way Remy felt?