What would the world be like if everyone felt loved, important, and safe? How would we be if we no longer questioned our innate worth, no longer danced with fear, no longer acted out our mistrust? 'Sweet Dreams My Little Friends' is a reminder of the truth about each of us. We are lovable, precious, and full of light and goodness. No one can take this away. It cannot be stopped. We have meaning and purpose; our lives matter. I dream of this place where bright eyes filled with wonder replace the dull stares of apathy. I see relationships changed from stifled self-preservation to the adventure of discovery and service. Children and adults alike giggle, tumble on a summer lawn, sing with mouths wide open, and take delight in each other. I believe in the magnificence of each person. Our individuality is our gift. Each of us comes with a great purpose to fulfill by being who we truly are. The abundance of life surrounds us, locked behind the worries and doubts of each of us. We are the richness of life for each other. My desire is to release the hidden magnificence we've been taught to shun. The idea is simple; the application is profound. Once we know and believe the truth, that we are cherished, invaluable, and full of an inexhaustible love, then we become free to simply 'be.' Our natural gifts flow easily from us; joy becomes our common state; and wonder returns. I dream of a being the kind of person who inspires our real selves to come out from behind the protective walls we so cleverly build. This first CD was created in response to the child in all of us; especially the hurting child. As I created the messages and music, I held in my heart the children closest to me. What did I want them to know, more than anything? What did I want them to be taught and to believe when I couldn't be there myself? The impetus for creating a widely available album came when I was involved with a community service project. A thousand volunteers came together to sew thousands of travel bags for the local children who get removed from their homes and families because of parental issues. 'The Garbage-Bag Kids,' that's what they called the foster care kids in Oregon. Moving from house to house, often they didn't have travel bags, so they were handed garbage bags to stuff their things into. The title caught on. Some thoughtful soul decided to change that. In October 2000, the Portland, Oregon coliseum was filled with row after endless row of sewing machines, bolts of material, and a thousand volunteers. We assembled to make large bags for the children. I took my seat at a table and started cutting out the cloth. Who would get this bag I was making? What is his or her name? How old is she? What experiences has he had? What does she believe about herself because of these experiences? As I lined up the material, I thought back on my childhood; my joy, and my pain. What I really wanted, more than anything, was to feel completely accepted and loved. Approval became a life mission for me. Love certainly came, but so did fear; fear of not being enough; fear of being unlovable; fear of rejection. And that fear impacted my life; coloring my decisions and beliefs; holding me back from the peace and joy that was always mine to have. What do the children today believe about their precious lives? Are they being taught that they matter? Do they know that their inherent value cannot be dimmed by what others do to them? Do they know that they are lovable, precious, and priceless? And what of nurturing; the healing, growth-promoting catalyst of a soft word, encouragement, and consistent tender messages of love? At 10 years old, a stranger raped me. The rape in combination with the judicial process, and the reaction of those closest to me, created a lasting impact upon my life; confusing my sense of personal boundaries, and validating my fear-based view of the world. Walls, protections, and defenses wrapped around me, keeping me at arms length from lasting joy. I cut out the material for my fifth bag, and passed it on to the sewers. 'Are we going to put anything into these bags when we give them out?' I thought to myself. At that very moment, I felt tears flood my eyes. A shiver, a burning, electricity ran through my body as I felt impressed to make a CD for the children. I would talk to them and share nurturing truths about who they really are and how they matter. This would be something they could take with them from place to place; a consistent, loving, feminine voice to remind them of their precious worth and unstoppable beauty. I could give them soothing songs and stories to nurture feelings of love and self-confidence. I was on fire with the idea. As soon as got home that day, I sat at my computer and wrote the first draft of a visualization and a few of the songs that are now on the final CD. I was a woman with a mission! It took me a year to gather and learn the studio recording equipment; compose, arrange, perform and produce the CD; and to start getting it into the hands of the children. Immediately after the demo was completed, the real work of healing my past began. With the support of a wise therapist, a loving boyfriend, treasured girlfriends and concerned family, my childhood wounds opened and much of the pain was released. I'm still working through the healing, and now my life is more alive, conscious and open than ever before. At the same time of these breakthroughs, the Dr. Laura Schlessinger Foundation for abused children contacted me about putting this cassette and a player in each of the 'My Stuff' bags they give to children who must be removed from their abusive homes. In 2001 the foundation served over 22,000 children with My Stuff bags. I have the channel to place every Sweet Dreams Music Kit that I can find donations for. I am still amazed at the miracle of that contract being the unforeseen fulfillment of my initial passion to create the album. The album was finally at the manufacturing plant on September 11. The timing opened the space for two thousand more CDs and cassettes than planned to be made so that the affected families could be served by it's healing messages. Now, less than six months since the product was released, feedback is coming in from children and adults alike as to the way it is changing lives in ways I could not have previously imagined. I sit back in wonder at the journey one piece of inspiration created. And then I see the bigger picture of how God took the tragedy of one and transformed it into beauty for all. Perhaps that is the greatest miracle of all; the alchemy of God; how he changes our difficulties into blessings; freeing us to be the beautiful, powerful, light-filled beings He created. --------------- Messages * You are lovable (it's okay to feel good about yourself) * You matter. You have worth. * Your feelings are important * You can create a safe, nurturing place for yourself * Expressing (letting out) feelings is healing * Reconnect your feelings with your body. ------------------- Quotes from Sweet Dreams: * 'Look into my eyes. What do you see? . . . I see you as a powerful, beautiful person. I'm so thankful that I get to be with you and remind you that you are worth all the love in the world. You deserve tenderness and fairness. You have important reasons for living. You are creating goodness and light; inspiring peace and joy in our world. Thank you for being alive.' * 'Look up and see the night sky, full of bright stars. It's beautiful because there are so many different stars; each one shining it's light. You are like a star, full of light, shinning, making a difference in this world. Feel the light inside of you getting brighter and brighter. A light that no one can take away. A light that is you, wonderful you.' * 'Every creation in nature is different, and each one is beautiful. They don't have to do anything special to be important and interesting. They just are what they were born to be. Each one is amazing just as it is. And so are you! You were born lovable and complete without doing anything! You were created amazing and wonderful!' * 'You are full of light and peace. You are important. Notice how big breathing makes you feel. It's okay to have deep feelings. You are lovable no matter how you feel because you were born lovable!'