This will change me: 21 Days of Kindness by Melanie Ida Chopko

On Sunday one of the founders of Kind Spring, an organization spreading principles and act of radical, pay it forward kindness, invited my spiritual community into a 21-day practice of Radical Kindness. "This will change you," he said, after sharing his astounding stories. 

I was so excited to start yesterday, with each day coming with an assignment. The first was to gift a treat or $5 anonymously to the next person in line at a coffee shop, store or toll booth. 

After having a few scarcity tugs while standing in line at the coffee shop (do I really give five dollars? What about three or four?) I gave the full five dollars to the cashiers, and instructed them to gift a drink/treat to the next person that came in. The cashiers were all smilely about it, and I hid myself at a corner table to see what would happen. It blew me away, with all of its fractals of meaning. When the next woman came in and was informed, she exclaimed "what?!" And, then, to my surprise, she said, "I'd like to give for the next person."

I pretty much cried. I sat there for twenty more minutes as the next two strangers received the gift, and each decided to pay it forward. I found myself wondering, what is possible here, when I "Let It Begin with Me?" At the end of the day, I'm the one within my own sphere of influence that can begin the cycle of generosity, with a gift or even within a conflict. And completely flavor the experience of interdependence. And who knows what could be possible with each of those acts?

Here we go. I'm hooked.

My Favorite by Melanie Ida Chopko

Secretly, I think this is my favorite track on the EP - Just a stunning collaboration with Rob Reich on piano, along with Anthony Ant, Patrick Wolff, Diana Gameros, Tim Vickers and Andrew Maguire.

What's extra special is how one of the players shared how playing on this is playing for his sister as well - both of us reaching to understand how to the people closest to our bloodline can also be the furthest away. I'm so moved by how many listeners come to me after a show and share there own stories of disconnection/reconnection with their siblings.

Such gratitude to Bridget Kearney for her blessing in recording this co-write. May it be of service.

Sunday by Melanie Ida Chopko

I feel so blessed to have had such an incredible release show this Sunday at the Marsh in Berkeley, complete with my parents in the front row. I felt so proud of all of our arrangements, and the work I've done to become the type of performer I want to be: A vessel for something way larger than me, on behalf of a more beautiful and just world.

I don't remember this sensation being part of the quietest song in the set, but I kind a love this photo. Thanks to Jason Simmons for taking it!